## Final Serial Day

Another busy day for P3, their first task was to create a set of questions or a quiz for a friend to check their understanding of their own story book, using questioning openers. Then it was imaginative writing where they … Continue reading

Another busy day for P3, their first task was to create a set of questions or a quiz for a friend to check their understanding of their own story book, using questioning openers. Then it was imaginative writing where they had to create a story with an interesting setting.  The teacher went over the importance of adjectives and what they are used for.  Their story had to be about being transported from the classroom to Ancient Egypt, and the pupils came up with descriptive, exciting journeys that involved mummies, crypts and pyramids!  Great imagination used here.

The maths input today was time related, and I assisted a small group of children learning their quarter and half past times.

As it was ‘Safer Internet Day’, an activity that led a discussion on what things the pupils like to do online ensued.  The pupils talked about the various fun aspects of being online, but also were reminded of the importance of not disclosing any personal information online, and they were given a task to create their own online ‘safe’ profile.

I’m looking forward now to my 3 week block placement.

## Serial Days 2 and 3

Some interesting observations that I have witnessed during placement days 2 and 3. During maths lessons, the teacher would blow bubbles to allow the children time to think of their answer to the math question. This allowed the lower ability children the opportunity to process the question and think about the answer. After the numeracy … Continue reading Serial Days 2 and 3

Some interesting observations that I have witnessed during placement days 2 and 3.

1. During maths lessons, the teacher would blow bubbles to allow the children time to think of their answer to the math question. This allowed the lower ability children the opportunity to process the question and think about the answer.
2. After the numeracy lesson, the children were given a selection of activities that they could choose to do after they had finished their work. (The Planning Board). Some children chose to complete calculations in the sand or with playdough and others made pictures of calculations with the help of number lines and an abacus.  For the plenary of the lesson the teacher took photos of the work completed by the children on a camera and then put the pictures on to the whiteboard. The children then had the opportunity to sit on the “share and shine” chair and talk about their work and share it with the class.
3. What I liked most about this idea was how excited the children were to share their work with the teacher and the rest of the class and also how supportive they were of each other’s work – It was really great to see!
4. During literacy, the teacher introduced the ‘say and trade’ activity to help the children with word recognition of their common words. Each child was given a posted note with one of their common words and then they began to walk around the classroom. When the music stopped the children would join up with a partner, say the common word on their posted note and swap over. This was a good way of getting the children to actively participate in their learning whilst developing effective communication skills with their peers.
5. In the afternoon when the children returned after lunch the teacher put on the NumberJacks subtraction video for the children to watch to calm them down and allowed her time to set up the tooth brushing station.

## Holmes-Rahe life stress inventory

In the Holmes-Rahe life stress inventory, I scored 167 out of 1466 putting me at the lower end of the 150-300 point category. This took into account my recent life changes including a new school (university), moving and living in a new home. Another factor which was not taken into account was the fact that …

Continue reading “Holmes-Rahe life stress inventory”

In the Holmes-Rahe life stress inventory, I scored 167 out of 1466 putting me at the lower end of the 150-300 point category. This took into account my recent life changes including a new school (university), moving and living in a new home. Another factor which was not taken into account was the fact that I have moved away from my family for the first time (as most of my relatives reside along the East coast and I now primarily live in Ayr). This is a significant point because this means I have less time with a significant support network. As well as moving away from family and friends, I have moved to an area where I had never visited before and I did not have any connection with. This could add to stress because a lot more of my daily life had to be done independently. I could no longer call a friend to join me going into town or the cinema because I did not know anyone. The 150-300 points category predicts a 50% chance of a major health breakdown in the next two years. My general health at present is good and in the next year I do not plan on any other significant life changes however in the following years I intend moving again and there is a possibility of taking out a loan or mortgage to support this. This could mean that in the next few years my stress levels could go up and my chance of illness could increase. To combat stress in my life I will continue getting support from friends and family where possible and organise my financial affairs.

http://www.stress.org/holmes-rahe-stress-inventory/

## Placement Day 1

Thursday 23rd January Today was my first day of placement in primary 1/2. Whilst in the class I found it very interesting and exciting to see all of my knowledge and understanding in practice as the children worked on their literacy and numeracy skills. Interesting observations When explaining the learning intentions and success criteria the … Continue reading Placement Day 1

Thursday 23rd January

Today was my first day of placement in primary 1/2. Whilst in the class I found it very interesting and exciting to see all of my knowledge and understanding in practice as the children worked on their literacy and numeracy skills.

Interesting observations

1. When explaining the learning intentions and success criteria the teacher used toys called “learning ladybug” and “successful snake” to engage the children and keep them focused on what is expected from them.
2. In the morning when the children arrived, the teacher reinforces the days of the week, months of the year and asks the children the date.
3. In maths, when looking at number patterns/sequins the teacher used a washing line and gloves to teach the children how to count in patterns of 5. The gloves with 5 fingers were a great visual for the children as they could easily count the fingers if they needed to.
4. When completing the writing task the children used number lines to help them identify missing numbers in the sequence.
5. One successful method that I noticed the teacher using to ‘chunk’ up the lesson was to use interactive videos on https://app.gonoodle.com/discover . I noticed that the teacher used this strategy to help the children when they were becoming restless or beginning to lose focus. This not only improved the children health and wellbeing by getting them up and moving as all the children were very keen to join in and dance along. In addition the videos developed their understanding as they were related to the task i.e. patterns.

## Communication in Other Environments

In today’s workshop we were put into groups of 5 and set the task of building a den using some materials provided such as poles and cardboard and other materials that we found i.e. leaves and sticks. Within my group there was a leader, however, this leader was informally chosen and naturally stepped up to … Continue reading Communication in Other Environments

In today’s workshop we were put into groups of 5 and set the task of building a den using some materials provided such as poles and cardboard and other materials that we found i.e. leaves and sticks.

Within my group there was a leader, however, this leader was informally chosen and naturally stepped up to this role and she had experience in building dens. The leader had a vision for out den and explained to us how she thought would be the best to build the den based on the materials that our group had. I was happy for someone who had more experience than me to step up and share her ideas with the group. In my personal opinion the most challenging part of working in my group was having to work and communicate with people that I normally wouldn’t and discussing different ideas until we found one that suited our group and materials.

When talking to other groups about how they built their den, they used the ‘5 P’s of explaining’ as a way of communicating with us about how they built it. The group discussed how they planned and prepared their den and then listed some key points and features of their den and why they built it the way that they did.

As we were outside our communication was not only verbal, when explaining to others within my group, I used hand gestures to communicate instructions and sometimes had to raise my voice to communicate with other group members if they were far away. Throughout the task we were constantly listening to other people’s ideas and giving feedback based on our own opinions. In my personal opinion I didn’t find that I was having to speak above the sounds in the environment as all my group members were actively engaged and listening. I understand that when completing this task with children that they may become distracted by the environment, I feel that one way of overcoming this is to not talk at the children for a long period of time and get them actively engaged in the task such as finding materials and building the den quickly.

## Early Level Communication

https://glowscotland.sharepoint.com/sites/WestLothianCouncil/wlliteracy/SitePages/West-Lothian-Literacy-Progression—Early-Level.aspx

https://glowscotland.sharepoint.com/sites/WestLothianCouncil/wlliteracy/SitePages/West-Lothian-Literacy-Progression—Early-Level.aspx

## Interdependence

Over the last two weeks we have been looking at interdependence. Interdependence in its simplest form is the way in which two or more people or things depend on each other. Interdependence is split into three areas; economic, social and environmental. Economic interdependence is related to the global stock market and trading, and how we, …

Over the last two weeks we have been looking at interdependence. Interdependence in its simplest form is the way in which two or more people or things depend on each other. Interdependence is split into three areas; economic, social and environmental. Economic interdependence is related to the global stock market and trading, and how we, as a country, are impacted by the value of other currencies, products and jobs in other countries. Social interdependence, because of technology and social media, is increasing. With most of the major media outlets being in the USA or Europe, American and European cultures and values are being spread throughout the world and impact on other cultures. It also means that the wants of those around the world are becoming increasingly similar and are allowing the economy to grow and feed on itself (Higgins, 2013). Environmental interdependence is something increasingly in the front of people’s minds with climate change invoking protests and political action. The biggest thing, in my opinion, that we need to be aware of is that pollution  is not confined to one country or one area it is a worldwide issue. We also have to be aware that habitats and animals that are endangered in one place have an effect on the world as a whole. We can see the impact of all three of these areas if we look at them in terms of the farms we visited and the sustainable fishing infographic we created.

We visited two dairy farms; an organic farm and an intensive farm. Economically the intensive farm had a bigger impact as they sold to supermarkets, however, the organic farm may also have an impact as they sell their milk for a greater price but sell to a smaller consumer base. This also links to the social aspect of interdependence as more people are looking to eat organic food and drinks, and are against intensive farming. This is something that couple be seen within my peer group when we were at the farm as many people comment that they did not like how the cows and calves were being kept and were shocked when told that the cows were milked up to five times a day. The other thing impacting farming in general, from the social side, is the approximate 542,000 vegan that live in Great Britain (The Vegan Society, 2016 cited in BBC, 2018). This is decreasing the sales of milk and other dairy products which has an impact economically as well as socially. Dairy farming does have a huge environmental impact. According to WWF (2019) “Dairy cows and their manure produce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change. Poor handling of manure and fertilizers can degrade local water resources.” Unsustainable farming, including the production of feed, can also impact the environment through the loss of habitats, such as prairies, wetlands and forests.

The organic farm:

The intensive farm:

Sustainable fishing also impacts these three areas of interdependence. As a group we researched these three areas and made an infographic.

When we went to the farms I was rather apprehensive as I did not know what to expect and what condition the cows would be kept in. I loved the way the organic farm was run and how they kept the cows and treated them. However, I, along with a number of my peers, had a couple issues with how the intensive farm was run. We found that the cows were hardly ever outside a difficult concept to grasp and that they were milked up to five times a day compared to the organic farms one. This experience though made me more aware of the importance of educating children about where there food comes from. Children need to be able to make informed decisions about what food they want to eat, where that foods comes from and how it is made.

When reviewing my visits to the farm I developed my critical thinking skills and worked on becoming more ethically-minded as I had to really but into perspective of how I want the farms to be run and how that impacts my choices and decisions, and how it impacts the choices and decisions of others. For example, I would love to be able to support organic farming but, as a full time student with a limited income, I can not afford to buy exclusively organic products. I also came to the opinion from these visits, from research and other experiences in the past, that if someone is becoming vegan or vegetarian to protect animals from cruelty, they should consider trying to support the farms that do rear animals the way they like instead of cutting off everything but I’m also aware that, for the same reasons as I have, that this is not possible for everyone.   Through this I also believe I worked on “critically examining [my] personal and professional attitudes and beliefs and challenging assumptions and professional practice” which is one of the professional values under the GTCS Standards for Registration.

Resources

https://www.rhet.org.uk/teachers/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cjyykdwmw58t/uk-climate-change-protests

http://www.gtcs.org.uk/web/FILES/the-standards/standards-for-registration-1212.pdf

https://fishandkids.msc.org/en/teachers/teachers-pack-1

References

Higgins, K (2013) Economic Growth and Sustainability – are they mutually exclusive? [Online] Available: https://www.elsevier.com/connect/economic-growth-and-sustainability-are-they-mutually-exclusive [Accessed: 20 October 2019]

Jones, L (2018) Veganism: Why is it on the up? [ Online] Accessed: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/business-4448805/  [Accessed: 21 October 2019]

WWF (2019) Sustainable Agriculture: Dairy [Online] Accessed: https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/dairy [Accessed: 21 October 2019]

## Reflections on Placement

Strength As I had previous work experience with children at different schools and clubs, I had some knowledge of how children respond when they are being spoken to rather fast; they can often get confused or not listen to what is being said. Therefore, I ensured that I was enunciating words clearly when talking to …

Strength

As I had previous work experience with children at different schools and clubs, I had some knowledge of how children respond when they are being spoken to rather fast; they can often get confused or not listen to what is being said. Therefore, I ensured that I was enunciating words clearly when talking to the children individually, in groups or as a whole class. This helped them understand what is being said and if they had any tasks they had to complete and that they knew exactly what was expected of them.

Additionally, I also ensured that I faced the children when I was speaking to them, no matter how many of them there were. I feel that if I am talking to the children that I have to look at them as a sign of respect. As if I want them to respect me by looking at me and listening to me then I have to return that by looking at them when talking to them.

Area of most progress

At the beginning of my placement I recognised numerous areas that I felt I had to improve as quickly as possible to allow me to gain the most from my placement. I found myself using fillers such as:“um,” “ah,” “like,” etc.and speaking at an adequate volume. Sometimes I felt that I wasn’t being listened to as I was speaking loud enough. Throughout my two weeks I ensured that I worked on these two areas and by the second week I had reduced the level of filler words I was using and speaking at an adequate volume, so I had some authority over the children.

Area of requiring progress

One of the biggest areas I feel I still need to improve is the use of language appropriate to the age and stage of children in the group. I often found myself using more advance language for the junior years than they could understand. I feel this is something that I can definitely improve currently as well as over the next four years and corresponding future placements.

Action plan

To improve the use of language appropriate to the age and stage of children in the group, I would ask teachers of the junior school as well as research what words and phrases are appropriate. For example, “take-away” instead of “subtraction”. This will help the children I am working with get the most out of their learning and gain a sound understanding of what they are learning. It would also help me feel more confident when addressing different topics and lessons and how I can ensure my class get the most out of my lesson.

Overall, I highly enjoyed placement as it put into practice everything I have learned over the past few months and also helped me identify my strengths, areas of most progress, and areas requiring progress. I feel that I met my expectations well as I: interacted with colleagues in the classroom and staffroom, supported learning in classes (including taking groups), demonstrated effective communication, gathered information to complete the eight observation tasks and evaluated my peer and myself. As all the teachers I worked with were all so supportive and helpful with anything including questions, this really enhanced my ability to achieve these expectations and were met without any obstacles. Overall, placement helped motivate me as it showed me what I was working towards.