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.

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/

 

Reflective Questions

Group and leadership Was there a group leader? In my group there was no clear group leader however I feel there were people who were more prominent in decision making than others.  How was this chosen? A leader wasn’t explicitly chosen If informal, how did you know?  What were the actions that marked them as …

Continue reading “Reflective Questions”

Group and leadership

Was there a group leader?

In my group there was no clear group leader however I feel there were people who were more prominent in decision making than others.

 How was this chosen?

A leader wasn’t explicitly chosen

If informal, how did you know?  What were the actions that marked them as a leader?

People who were more prominent in the decision making made this clear as they were more confident when speaking out and shared their ideas with ease. They also were not afraid to suggest what other people within the group should do or ask for help with what they were doing.

How did this impact on the rest of the group e.g. was there some underlying resentment/ did anyone feel excluded?

I do not think anyone felt excluded or pushed out. I think we all worked together as everyone shared their opinions, even if some were more confident and forward than others. The people who were confident however did ask everyone if they were in agreement with what we did.

What was most challenging for you about working in this group? (personal reflection)

The most challenging thing for me within this group was working with people I wouldn’t normally work with. This meant trying to quickly get to know them and understand their way of working

 

Explaining

How clearly did you think the group explained to you?

I think the group explained how they built their den very clearly with the right amount of detail

What made this clear or unclear?

They had one clear leader for the talking part which meant only one person was speaking and not everyone speaking over each other. She explained the ethos they used very well and pointed out difficulties they faced when building their den. This allowed for her to share their failures and how they worked with that to re-strategise and find a solution to their problem. The spokesperson also gave opportunities for the rest of her team to jump in and put their opinion to the group which showed their great use of teamwork. They all spoke with clear voices which were easy to understand and they all spoke with confidence

What stage of the 5Ps might have been missed out?

They may have missed out the preparation stage as there wasn’t much time to prepare. They possibly had time to quickly plan who was speaking but that person won’t have had time to properly prepare.

Environment

What was the impact of the environment on your communication?

The environment can cause a lot of distraction and background noise which must be taken into consideration when communicating. It is important to keep your audience in one area where they can all see you and hear you clearly.

What changes did you make when explaining to others that you might not have considered in a typical classroom?

Volume of voice may need to be louder and clearer.

How challenging was it so speak above the sounds in the environment?  How can we make this communication easier on both speaker and listener?

It is important to keep your audience in one area where they can all see you and hear you clearly. It is important to project your voice out towards the audience. Also if there is wind it is important to consider this when positioning yourself as the noise of the wind may inhibit your audience from hearing you.

When listening, did the environment distract you? How can we overcome this?

If the audience is looking out at a busy road for example it will be easier to be distracted so the audience should face away from the distraction.

Reflective Questions

Group and leadership Was there a group leader? I would say that we all took equal roles and worked together to create our den.  How was this chosen?  We all adapted and naturally ended up working together. If informal, how did you know?  What were the actions that marked them as a leader? How did … Continue reading Reflective Questions

  • Group and leadership
    • Was there a group leader? I would say that we all took equal roles and worked together to create our den.
    •  How was this chosen?  We all adapted and naturally ended up working together.
    • If informal, how did you know?  What were the actions that marked them as a leader?
    • How did this impact on the rest of the group e.g. was there some underlying resentment/ did anyone feel excluded? I don’t think so as we all had equal leadership roles.
    • What was most challenging for you about working in this group? (personal reflection)  I think working with new people I hadn’t worked with before was slightly difficult at first but I adapted quite easily and came out of my shell fast.
  • Explaining
    • How clearly did you think the group explained to you? I think there was good explanations throughout, I didn’t struggle to understand anything.
    • What made this clear or unclear?
    • What stage of the 5Ps might have been missed out? I think our Presentation was missed out as we didn’t really discuss with other groups how our den was built and how we built it, even though we had planned accordingly.
  • Environment
    • What was the impact of the environment on your communication? We mainly used our environment, we used minimal man made elements and used mainly trees and branches along with other natural materials.
    • What changes did you make when explaining to others that you might not have considered in a typical classroom? We were more informal.
    • How challenging was it so speak above the sounds in the environment?  How can we make this communication easier on both speaker and listener? We didn’t struggle as we built our den in an enclosed area, out the way of the other groups, so it was relatively quiet.
    • When listening, did the environment distract you? How can we overcome this? No, because it wasn’t very windy or loud outside.
  • Negotiation
    • Were your negotiations successful?  Why/Why not? They weren’t successful as only 2 of us went to negotiate and got distracted by the other groups dens.
    • What was most challenging about these? Our negotiation skills could have definitely been improved.

Independent Study Task: The Skill of Questioning

The main aim of Chapter 5 :‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’ is to have a deeper insight into the types of questions we can ask, how we ask questions, e.g. with or without a pause, and how we respond to questions. A few key themes within this chapter are: – What a … Continue reading Independent Study Task: The Skill of Questioning

The main aim of Chapter 5 :‘Finding out about others: the skill of questioning’ is to have a deeper insight into the types of questions we can ask, how we ask questions, e.g. with or without a pause, and how we respond to questions.

A few key themes within this chapter are:
– What a question is and why it is important
– Different types of questions
– The structuring of questions

A theory in this chapter that I found quite interesting in particular was the “Tunnel Sequence”, or sometimes known as a “string of beads” (Stewart and Cash, 2008). This is a type of questioning that would be very useful in an interview as the questions being asked are closed and makes it easier for the interview panel to compare several candidates’ answers as they are all responding to the same questions.

One claim I read in this chapter was from a US study: pupils will not answer questions in class because their are afraid that their fellow peers will not respond well to their responses. I agree with this claim as pupils do not want to be told that their answers are incorrect or they do not understand the context of the question in front of the class.

I did not know what the word “presuppositions” meant. A definition was provided in the chapter: “silent implications or taken for granted references” within questions. (Fiedler, 2007:15). In other words, it means to assume something beforehand.

Overall, this chapter has brought to my attention the importance of using different types of questions when communicating with pupils instead of asking only closed questions to receive one answer from them. Open questions will allow pupils to give an elaborate and detailed response.

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

Communication in other environments.

Part of our module was to build a den as part of a small group. When I saw the materials we were provided with I quickly thought it would be a good idea to build a version of a teepee. I thought this because my daughter has one in her bedroom and it was easy … Continue reading Communication in other environments.

Part of our module was to build a den as part of a small group. When I saw the materials we were provided with I quickly thought it would be a good idea to build a version of a teepee. I thought this because my daughter has one in her bedroom and it was easy to assemble. The group seemed to agree with this idea and our den was built relatively quickly. I think this was because the design was simple and everyone knew how it should look. Individuals within the group used their initiative to contribute and ideas were informal short statements or questions, for example Cameron had more strength to push the polls into the ground and Jess had an idea to secure the cover around the frame more efficiently. Hannah had a positive upbeat attitude which made the task more enjoyable. I think because the group was small everyone felt included and wanted to take part, I think this showed when we were finished everyone in the group felt proud of what we had achieved and were happy with our den. I don’t think we had a leader rather a small group that worked well together. We tended to regroup and speak to everyone together rather than one to one when building, and when negotiating we tended to do this in pairs with other groups because a group negotiating may me intimidating. Negotiations were informal and straight to the point however pleasant. I think our team negotiated successfully and our team tried to help others rather than hoard unnecessary materials, Annabelle was eager to help other teams even if it meant all our group could give was elastic bands. I think due to the environment myself and others felt it easier to communicate because the experience almost took you back to childhood and the task made people feel at ease. I think because we spoke to each other closely it made communication easier and we didn’t really notice the environments noises but naturally we used a slightly louder voice than perhaps in classroom but maybe didn’t notice this at the time.

Communicating – Den Building Task

Group and Leadership There was no group leader chosen, instead we all had a different role within the team. We all got along well so there was no issues and no one was excluded. However, we had very limited material … Continue reading

Group and Leadership

There was no group leader chosen, instead we all had a different role within the team. We all got along well so there was no issues and no one was excluded. However, we had very limited material as the other groups had taken most of it, therefore, we had to problem solve and use the natural resources e.g. sticks/branches.

 

Explaining

I think all explanations given were clear as all members of the group had the same idea of what the den should look like. Therefore, we all had the same end goal which made us work more efficiently.

In my opinion we did not plan. We started to build the den and just sort of ‘winged it’ in the hopes that it would work out. This led to a few issues e.g. the roof of the den ended up collapsing as the branch was not strong enough to hold the materials.

 

Environment

The environment changes the formality of a situation e.g. the workshop felt very informal and more enjoyable.

In order to communicate effectively outdoors you have to make changes e.g. instructions have to be clear because there is a larger risk to health and safety, the volume may differ (could be louder because larger space, or quieter to prevent disruption to the environment and others who may be there).

Transitioning from communicating indoors to communicating outdoors was not an issue for my group. However, as a developing student teacher I am aware that this may not always be the case, I am now aware of strategies that I can use in order to communicate effectively with a class outdoors. E.g. standing against a wall with the children in front to shield my voice and also prevent any distractions.