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.

3rd Placement Day

I am thoroughly enjoying the placement serial days, I can’t believe it’s week 3 already.  As my class were undertaking Standardised Testing, I was able to spend some time in a P1 class this week.  In Literacy, they had chosen … Continue reading

I am thoroughly enjoying the placement serial days, I can’t believe it’s week 3 already.  As my class were undertaking Standardised Testing, I was able to spend some time in a P1 class this week.  In Literacy, they had chosen to talk about a time when they were happy, and had to write a sentence about this and why it made them happy.  The teacher made a word bank out of words the children suggested, and they had to do a black ink drawing to accompany it.  I was impressed by some of the sentences that were produced, and learnt how, at early level, to assist them with their spelling by letting them ‘have a go’ at spelling difficult words, then writing the correct spelling out underneath for them to copy.

When I returned to the P3 class, I was able to help a group with Maths.  The topic was money, and they had to work out how much change they would receive when given an item to buy and an amount of money to buy it with.  Resources we used were whiteboards, and plastic money.  It was interesting to see how different children engaged with the resources as some did a calculation on their white boards whilst for others it worked better to see the coins, and draw them out as the answer.  Then it was outdoors for muddy movers where they had to construct a bridge in groups and go over them. The children enjoyed this, and I saw great teamwork as they figured out the best strategies for using the equipment available.

The skill of questioning

Following a Situated Communication workshop, I have been given an independent task to read a chapter from ‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’ (Hargie, 2011). Chapter 5 of this book discusses the various types of questions which can … Continue reading

Following a Situated Communication workshop, I have been given an independent task to read a chapter from ‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’ (Hargie, 2011).

Chapter 5 of this book discusses the various types of questions which can be used to shape or influence the given answer.  The function of certain questioning techniques is highlighted, with examples of ‘affective’ and ‘leading’ questions being suggested as techniques which can manipulate answers, with the effects on individuals by varying questioning techniques also explained.   

There were several theories mentioned within the chapter, and I found these to be very thought provoking, particularly the ‘minimisation’ theory.  This strategy is found to be used within courtrooms to lead subjects into believing that they may be treated more leniently when questions are put to them in a more understanding manner. I also was intrigued by the ‘acquiescence’ effect of individuals anticipating an answer to a question without fully understanding the question being asked.  Psychology appears throughout the chapter, and is found in the example of ‘subtle leads’ which highlights how answers can be influenced by the use of particular words.  Harris (1973) provided evidence of ‘subtle leads’ when asking the question “how long was the movie?”.  Answers  of 130 minutes were given, compared to those who answered 100 minutes when asked “how short was the movie?”.  

Although I agree with most of what is written in the chapter, I do not agree with the use of ‘leading questions’ when questioning children, as seen in the Orkney satanic abuse inquiry. It has been demonstrated through research by Hardie and van Leeuwen (2004), that children aged between three and five and a half years of age were more susceptible to be led by this style of questioning, although this particular inquiry contravenes this research as the child in the excerpt could not be influenced.

Reference

Hargie, O. (2011) Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. 5th ed. London: Routledge.

 

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.

Reflections on Placement

On the 29th of October 2018- I embarked on my first university placement. I was nervous, terrified and excited all at once. This was a new territory for me as I am originally from the East coast; this meant a big change for me. I was placed in a local catholic school from which I had … Continue reading Reflections on Placement

On the 29th of October 2018- I embarked on my first university placement. I was nervous, terrified and excited all at once. This was a new territory for me as I am originally from the East coast; this meant a big change for me. I was placed in a local catholic school from which I had a short walk each morning. For the first week, I was in with a Primary 4 class and in my second week I was in with a Primary 6 class. I enjoyed my time in my placement and learned many things from this experience that I will use to develop my practice for the future.

Strengths

A strength that I believe I portrayed well was my facial expressions, each morning I would always smile, welcome the children with a warm “hello”. This really helped me integrate with the class as when I was first introduced, this eased the general class tension. I personally found this to be extremely important as I was guest in the school, therefore, making this a positive experience from the beginning  meant that the kids would feel comfortable to ask for my help.  Another strength was my body language- I ensured this as from recent learning in our module “situated communication” I am developing my knowledge of good body language. I always tried to seem engaged as this would mirror onto the children.

Developmental weakness

A developmental weakness I learnt about myself was my lack of confidence especially when working with older years. I felt this stemmed from my height as I am 5’1 ft and I look young, so this made me feel less confident working with the Primary 6’s. I knew this was an irrational fear of mine, yet it did play upon my mind especially one afternoon when there was an elective class with the primary 7’s. Luckily I did have a pair comfy heels I could wear to placement this eased my anxiety a little as I was now the same height as the tallest Primary 6 child. Another developmental weakness I noticed was use of language. I used a lot of filler short words such as ‘erm’, ‘like’ and ‘um’; this is a bad habit of mine especially the word ‘like’ I use this quite a lot. For example in maths, I was explaining to a young girl about when multiplying by then 10 you need to remember to move the decimal place, I found this hard to explain without using these filler words.

Action plan

My action plan is to take my strengths and develop these even further, but also to work on my weaknesses.  To build up my confidence, I spoke to my lecturer and to the teacher I worked with. My lecturer suggested that improving my stance and posture would help me and I would naturally feel more confident. The teacher I worked with also understood my insecurities, and she told me that from her experience, dressing up a little bit more may make someone seem more serious. She stated that when she had taught older years in the past and felt this way, she would buy something like a blazer and she felt she was ‘dressing for business’. To improve my use of conversational filler I could watch my pace and slow down my speaking as I will have more opportunity to think about what I am saying to avoid these habits.