Reflections on Placement

The last two weeks I attended my first school experience placement. This experience for me was thoroughly enjoyable, yet challenging in pushing me out of my “comfort zone”. One strength I found I developed over the course of the two weeks was getting to know each pupil in my class (P.2/3) individually e.g. I knew …

Continue reading “Reflections on Placement”

The last two weeks I attended my first school experience placement. This experience for me was thoroughly enjoyable, yet challenging in pushing me out of my “comfort zone”.

One strength I found I developed over the course of the two weeks was getting to know each pupil in my class (P.2/3) individually e.g. I knew every pupil by their name. I could change my register in how I spoke to the class and then how I spoke to the class teacher. When presenting ‘mini’ lessons to the class I ensured every pupil was involved, I used their names to ask questions when carrying out a “show me, tell me” lesson.

I feel I made most progress when taking smaller groups of students for reading and mathematics tasks. I enjoyed doing these tasks as I got see a variety of abilities within the class as a whole.

One development I have realised I need to work on is my teacher voice/presence. The teacher I was working with could get the class under control by using a simple ‘class call back’ e.g. the teacher would shout ‘STOP’ and the class would stop what they were doing and repeat back to her ‘COLLABORATE AND LISTEN’. Although, when I was in control of the class I found it difficult to get the attention of the whole class at once. I have took note of all the ‘class call backs’ my teacher used and hope to make use of them on my next school experience placement.

Integrated Arts- Music and Dance 17/10/2017

The focal points of this week’s integrated arts inputs where music and dance. Again, after these inputs I believe I have developed further knowledge and confidence within the integrated arts education. During the lecture we explored why music matters within education and how music can complement other subject areas, in particularly literacy. The skills of … Continue reading Integrated Arts- Music and Dance 17/10/2017

The focal points of this week’s integrated arts inputs where music and dance. Again, after these inputs I believe I have developed further knowledge and confidence within the integrated arts education.
During the lecture we explored why music matters within education and how music can complement other subject areas, in particularly literacy. The skills of music are encircled by the skills of literacy primarily transpiring as reading, writing, listening and speaking, Hansen et al (2014, p.1) connotes “children are learning valuable skills of music that are an integral part of becoming a literate person”. Likewise, Patricia Stock cited by Hansen et al (2014, p.3) denotes literacy as “the ability to use available symbol systems that are fundamental to learning and teaching- for the purpose of comprehending and composing- for the purpose of making and communicating meaning and knowledge”. Music empowers children to acquire additional skills of creative, perspective, comprehending and rhythm. Even at a young age when children are engaging in play, children are making emblematic connections to the real word. From early stage children should be encourage to listen to music and create their own music too, researchers have proven that music can enhance children’s language and literacy acquisitions. Decoding is a fundamental skill of learning to read and making the connections between the phoneme and grapheme (Hansen et al, 2014). Teachers are able to use music in literacy and maths for instance “using songs as a way to learn the content of reading or mathematics such as memorising grammatical structure or multiplication tables” (Hansen et al, 2014, p. 42). Similarly, music can also raise attainment in the primary school, children may become more engaged in learning and behaviour may improve due to the involvement of music. As a perspective teacher it is important that I find a way of implement music in the classroom, allowing the children to be engaged within all of the arts and give them the opportunity to create their own authentic pieces of integrated art work, whether it is an individual or with peers. There are many options that engendered children’s involvement in music, this can be through learning to play an instrument or learning to sing, learning to compose, using ICT to develop music, learning to produce a performance. What I gathered from lecture is music is a powerful subject which can help teachers to develop learning and teaching, and also aid the cognitive development of children, as a perspective teacher it is important that within my practise I express enthusiasm and energy in order to make learning engaging and enjoyable. Bloomfield (2000, p.67) highlights the importance of music in the curriculum “some children will find an opportunity to excel in musical communication while others will be highly motivated by musical activities. It is important to acknowledge that such music is such a powerful musical tool”.
The music workshop focused on the theory aspect of music and the advantages of music in other subject areas. In groups we were assigned a curricular area within the ‘International Journal of Music Education’ by Susan Hallam, my group was assigned physical development, below is the mind-map of information we abstracted.

Also within the input we consider lesson planning in music, using an interdisciplinary approach, below is our lesson plan

This week we were introduce to the dance aspect of the integrated arts. Before the input I felt rather apprehensive and uneased by the prospect of teaching dance, but throughout the input I acquired valuable techniques that has increased my empowerment and confidence in dance. Dance is made up of movements which are used to illustrate emotions and meaning, dance is part of cultural across the world, and dance is considering a means of social interaction (Bloomfield, 2000). Children are first exposed to dance “through singing games and spontaneous rhythmical play actions, acquired through family, nursery, and media resources (Bloomfield, 2000, p,45). Bloomfield likewise states dance is “experienced through awareness of kinaesthetic flow patterns, the awakening and development of skills through coordination… meaning of movement in a creative and expressive way (2000. P.45). Throughout the input we were shown a variety of ways to implement dance in an engaging way for instance dance whisper- the class form two equal straight lines and the two children at top is show a short sequence dance and must pass it along line to the end of the lines. Another approach is getting the children to form a conga line and different music plays and each child gets the opportunity to create a unique response to the music. Also in groups we consider bones and muscles that we use when we exercise, when teaching dance especially through Physical Education it is important to do a warm-up and ensure the children are ready to dance, likewise a cool- down is important too. Movements of the left side of the body are dominated by the fundamental motor and sensory sector of the brains right hemisphere, (Bloomfield, 2000). When teaching dance, it foremost to be aware that individual have one side of their body more presiding than the other, it is therefore principle to practise the movement on both sides of body, being resilient if one side of body is more challenged by the movement (Bloomfield, 2000).


Nonetheless this week we were able to establish the principle TEN words of any dance routine being:
• Twist
• Reach
• Roll
• Slide
• Gesture
• Hop
• Jump
• Kick
• Turn
• Balance
Utilising the ten words above in groups we create our own movement for each and next week we hope to incorporate into constructed dance routine.
I found this week inputs to be overall insightful, I have been able to consider the power, the influence and theory of music not only to the curriculum, but the significance that music can have on children’s development and attainment within learning. Likewise, in dance I have be able to acknowledge the importance of movement within dance and the thought behind creative dance routines.

References
Bloomfield, A. (2000) Teaching Integrated Arts in the Primary School. Oxon: David Fulton
Hansen, D, Bernstorf, E, Stuber, G. (2014) The Music and Literacy Connection .(2nd ed). London: Rowan and Littlefield

Cognitive Development of Children’s Art Work

The focus of this week’s  integrated arts input was the cognitive development of children’s art work, as they progressed through their primary education. Initially, Elliot Eisner 10 Lessons the Arts Teach was imparted during the lecture, what I gathered was this publication should be at the centre of any creative teaching, as it abridges the … Continue reading Cognitive Development of Children’s Art Work

The focus of this week’s  integrated arts input was the cognitive development of children’s art work, as they progressed through their primary education.

Initially, Elliot Eisner 10 Lessons the Arts Teach was imparted during the lecture, what I gathered was this publication should be at the centre of any creative teaching, as it abridges the exposition for the arts in education (Hall and Thomson, 2017). Likewise, the arts can aid attainment throughout the curriculum, but Eisner publication makes it his nucleus that the arts are more about understanding the world completely and the influence that creativity can have on our world (Hall and Thomson, 2017).

The pre-readings required for the lecture where very insightful, which explored art and design in primary education and the art developments of children through nursery and primary.

  • The Arts in Education, Fleming 2012
  • Teaching Art and Design 3-11, McAuliffe 2007

These reading encouraged me to consider the varying elements of creativity and how this can influence the mark makings, drawings and paintings of a range of ages and was able to use this knowledge when introduced to the archive of children’s art work.

McAuliffe (2007) encapsulates the different art and design stages that children develop, McAuliffe makes reference to the theories of Lowenfeld and Brittain (1997) which they alluded the following model of art development:

  • Stage 2-4 years- Scribbling stage
  • Stage 4- 7 years- pre-schematic stage
  • Stage 7-9 years- schematic stage
  • Stage 9- 12 years- gang stage

McAuliffe, D. (2007)

However, presently teachers no longer make reference to this theory as a means of art assessments due to cognitive advancements. (McAuliffe, 2007).

This a created by a child who was four years old, this is known as the pre-schematic stage (McAuliffe, 2007, P.26). At this age children can draw anything relevant from their imagination. Initially I though child’s drawing was of a birthday cake, however a description on the back made by their teacher said in fact the child drew a dog under a washing machine. The child’s teacher exhibited good practise by listening and making a note of what the child drew.

This painting was a produced by a child (aged 7- 9 years) during the schematic stage. As art ability is progressing  children begin to add more details and features to their work, they are understanding the importance of proportion and placement of objects and the importance of colours (McAuliffe, 2007). However, there is a conversion in learning styles as at early level creation is more “child- based activity” and when they go into first level creation is “adult- based learning” (McAuliffe, 2007, P.28). Art work in the primary school becomes more unified and is centred around the lesson plans of the teacher and their creation and imagination rather than the spontaneous imagination of the children.

The final stage of art development in primary education is the “gang stage” (aged 9-12 years). At this stage children are able to make precise drawings of features, likewise children are becoming increasingly conscious of their art work and their ability as skills required become more demanding (McAuliffe, 2007). Also children in this stage add more detail to their work but will become more discontented and will use pencil in order to rub their errors out until perfect.

The lecturer introduced an excellent way to incorporate art and literacy, this can be done by giving children one page of a book or article which they read, instead highlighting key points, they would draw their response on the page given.

This week I have been able to expand my knowledge of children development through art and design, this allowed me to consider methods in which I can adopted in order to ensure children have the opportunity to employ their own unique imagination and creativity into their art work.

References

McAuliffe, D. (2007) Foundation and Primary Settings. In Teaching Art and Design 3-11. London: Continuum.

Hall, C. Thomson, P. (2017) Inspiring School Change: Transforming Education Through the Creative Arts. 1st ed. Oxon: Routledge.

Eisner, E. (2002) The Arts and the Creation of the Mind. Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach.

 

A Long Way From Long Division.

One thing became clear to me today during our maths sessions – I really need to work on long multiplication and long division. Even though long division does not appear in the CfE E’s & O’s, I – as a teacher- must have sound understanding of the concepts behind it. To work on this I … Continue reading A Long Way From Long Division.

One thing became clear to me today during our maths sessions – I really need to work on long multiplication and long division. Even though long division does not appear in the CfE E’s & O’s, I – as a teacher- must have sound understanding of the concepts behind it.

To work on this I will visit my old secondary school and meet with my maths teacher who has agreed to help me out. Also, I will learn the understanding behind the process rather than just the steps. I will continuously ask myself why am I doing this step?

By doing this I will have a grasp of the concepts and how to teach them; Meaning I can get the maximum potential of the more abled children by setting them this challenge.

But I have a long way to come with long division.

Learning Log: Energy

During the inputs on energy it was good to get a quick refresher on the different types of energy and the different areas within those types that you might focus […]

During the inputs on energy it was good to get a quick refresher on the different types of energy and the different areas within those types that you might focus on within a primary setting. Obviously renewable energy makes a fantastic topic in the primary environment not just because it comes with great opportunities for more hands on learning through school trips to places such as wind farms or as we saw today through getting pupils to create their own examples of wind turbines or anemometers.

From what we were shown in the lectures I can definitely see myself doing a debate with a class in the future on the advantages and disadvantages of a renewable energy source. In case of the workshop we looked into wind power and it worked really well as a way to encourage us to learn more in depth knowledge on wind energy through readings and to then come together with our peers to share our findings before final presenting our research int he form of a debate. This could be a very useful activity to do with pupils as it builds on their note taking skills as the write down key information, gets them to use their negotiation skills to decide who is doing what task and who should present before finally allowing them to use presenting skills and build on their debating skills in a debate at the end of the session. In a class room environment this is also a fantastic way to bring in lots of cross curricular learning as pupils could create posters to display their information create models that would help them demonstrate or understand facts or perhaps write up a report of how they felt the debate went and the pros and cons for each side.

Through the science workshop we were also able to see some very useful and interesting ways to use energy to bring some interesting experiments into the classroom from classic circuit activities to a rather interesting experiment involving an electromagnet.  I think pupils would engage very well with these task particularly the problem solving aspect of working with the circuits and while they would enjoy building the correct circuit to get the required result I think they would find equally interesting getting to experiment with the different components.

Final the more practical input on create and building items such as the anemometer was useful as it allowed me to see what problems pupils could encounter when engaging with those sort of task and see how disappointing it could be for them if they spent all that time building a kite and then it wasn’t windy or the straws weren’t strong enough so their creation would just fall apart in the wind. I also allowed me to see some really easy ways of using the topic of energy to bring some really creative and engaging activities into the class room and to allow pupils to have a more meaningful way of gaining measurement and team work skills.

Interdependence Learning Log

As part of the topic on interdependence we visited a farm and had a lecture from the Scottish soil association. During the farm visit  we were able to see the […]

As part of the topic on interdependence we visited a farm and had a lecture from the Scottish soil association. During the farm visit  we were able to see the benefits of getting to know your food and seeing the conditions in which the animals in which we depend on for our milk at breakfast are currently being reared in. Personally I was very impressed and surprised by how modern the farm was and by how happy all the cows seemed to be. Interdependence was shown through the cows need of grass, hay or other sources of food to survive but then our own need of the cows for milk and beef. Although at first keeping the cows permanently inside seemed slightly cruel however having had it explained that it kept the cows at an ideal temperature and allowed them to regulate their feed to ensure each animal was eating the correct amount it did make a lot of sense and in many ways it makes more sense that they would be happier inside as we have spent many years perfecting inside for ourselves as humans why wouldn’t other animals appreciate the same change. It is definitely the sort of trip I would consider doing with pupils in the future as it really would help them open their eyes to wear their food comes from, the effort that goes into farming it and allow them to get to ask a lot of questions they might have about the process first hand. I know this was certainly very useful for us as university students so I can only begin to imagine how questions pupils would have.

The talk from the soil association was fantastic from a teachers point of view it allowed me to see the variety of ways soil can be incorporated into learning from showing me how to identify different types of soil which could be used to get pupils used to reading charts and graphs and recording information. To the different studies and research task thats could be conducted into the large varieties of soil, how it is formed and the variety of life that it supports. It also helped build on them of interdependence as soil is in many ways one of the building blocks for all life being what allows plants the support and nutrients they need to grow it is many ways the start of the food chain as the the base for all primary organisms.  I feel pupils would also really engage with the hands on learning of getting to go and out and feel and mold different types of soil in order to be able to gage what its consistency and colour is and ergo find its type.

Moving into talking about the group study task on building an infographic this helped bring to light the significance of interdependence mainly via the fishing industry and how dependent a lot of countries are on fish to feed their people. I also felt I learned more about the political aspects and economic aspects of fishing and the amount of work that goes into mapping out fishing arrears to protect areas and different types of sea life. It also gave an excellent opportunity to work with peers and share our learning and findings as we created the infographic and allowed me to gain a wider overall knowledge on the subject.

Reflections on Placement

As part of the BA1 Situated Communication module I took part in a whole school placement. During placement I was able to observe a number of different lessons and the techniques how they were carried out. By observing all primary classes … Continue reading

As part of the BA1 Situated Communication module I took part in a whole school placement. During placement I was able to observe a number of different lessons and the techniques how they were carried out. By observing all primary classes … Continue reading

Placement Reflection

I found it extremely difficult during placement to find my place in the classroom. The last thing I wanted to do was to step on the teachers toes. I wasn’t keen on disciplining pupils in her class, as it felt like I would be undermining her authority. Eventually – with the teachers help – I quickly found … Continue reading Placement Reflection

I found it extremely difficult during placement to find my place in the classroom. The last thing I wanted to do was to step on the teachers toes. I wasn’t keen on disciplining pupils in her class, as it felt like I would be undermining her authority.

Eventually – with the teachers help – I quickly found my voice in the classroom and found myself at ease. One of the main things I have come to realise is that teaching is most definitely my comfort zone.

One of my communication strengths is the ability to connect with the pupils and to convey my instructions effectively. Whilst on placement I was often asked to take reading groups, and one day I was asked to run a learning activity about addresses on envelopes. It was my responsibility to engage the pupils and to assist them in learning how to write an address. In order to do this, I had to make sure that my instructions and my explanations were crystal clear. During this activity, my mentor assessed me against the mentor evaluation checklist. She was very impressed and highlighted that my instructions were good.

Also highlighted in the evaluation is my good use of questioning the children, but the teacher highlighted that this could be developed further by providing more in depth questions to the children and really making them think. I feel I can develop in this area by questioning myself all the time – really understanding why things happen. Also with some practice; I’m new to teaching so of course I’m not going to be ‘the best teacher ever’.

During my time on placement, I learned more than I can say I imagined to.  I was given so many ideas about how to engage learners in mathematics, literacy and how to engage them in the world around them. One of the main ideas that I was intrigued in was the use of video to engage in number songs and literacy rhymes.

Overall I would have to say that placement was an amazing and overwhelming experience. I am now telling myself more than I ever did – “This is the job for me.”

Sean

Reflections on Placement

Reflecting back on my  university placement, the week went by extremely quick.  From the first day of university finding out the date that placement would begin, did not seem to long ago either. Fast forward seven weeks  I had discovered my placement school and was fretting over printing out the required eight placement task and … Continue reading Reflections on Placement

Reflecting back on my  university placement, the week went by extremely quick.  From the first day of university finding out the date that placement would begin, did not seem to long ago either.

Fast forward seven weeks  I had discovered my placement school and was fretting over printing out the required eight placement task and hoping I had printed  enough placement handbooks for staff who required it at the school.

Monday morning came I was immensely apprehensive as my placement school was dissimilar to the primary school that I attended and also where I  gained my work experience at. But I was eager to get started and to embrace this new challenge… and the placement tasks.

As the week evolved I observed in many classes and also introduced to interesting teaching  methods that contributed to completing the placement task. I was engaged in self/peer evaluations and school assessment that helped me to discover strengths and areas for improvement in my communication.

Strength

My most notable strength was the way in which I used voice to speak loudly, clearly and variation of tone when carrying out group work activities. This allowed the pupils’ to understand the task and also show my enthusiasm when explaining the task.

Area of Most Progress

My area of most progress during the placement was my engagement with staff.  Initially during the first couple of days while in the staffroom I was rather quite, but as the week progressed I felt more comfortable in this setting and began to interact with staff more while in the staffroom.

Area Requiring Progress

It was evident after evaluations that my area that I need to improve is my overall non-verbal communication. When explaining tasks to groups I would use limited amount of body language and often would hide my hands.

Action Plan

This placement highlight to me that I need to become more confident with teaching staff and to improve my non-verbal communication. My next steps for next placement is get more involved with staffroom discussion. In terms of my non-verbal communication my next steps is to use more hand gesture when speaking to friends and family so I become more adjusted to this method of communication.