TDT: Task Mat – The Rainbow Fish

The children’s book I have chosen to do my task mat on is The Rainbow Fish. I loved the book when I was younger and I feel if I was back in school and given this task mat I would be motivated and enjoy the tasks given to me. I feel the questions I have put on the task mat promote active thinking and encourages children to think of what message the book was trying to put across to the reader. I feel due to the book it would be within the First Stage level of the experiences and outcomes, and continuing on from this you could incorporate the rainbow fish in maths, art, drama and P.E.

TDT: Restorative Practices

Restorative Approaches: What it is.. It is about seeing the person and not the behavior. It is about planning for the future and repairing the harm that has been caused. Key principles that are within restorative approaches include: Taking responsibility for ones own actions and their impact on others; showing empathy with the feelings of others; fairness; allowing the participants of conflict to engage; non-judgmental, blame free approach and a willingness tp create opportunities for reflective change in pupils and staff.

Punishment or Discipline.. What is the difference? Punishment is to inflict pain on a person for breaking the rules and discipline is to train by practice, especially to enable self control and positive regard.

“Restorative Practice is an approach to offending and inappropriate behavior which puts repairing harm done to relationships and people over and above the need for assigning blame and dispensing punishment. ” Restoring Respect for Justice, Wright (1999)

After reading ‘Implementing restorative practice in schools’ by Thorsorne and Blood I have summerised the key points I have taken from it most:

  1. Restorative practice can also be known as restorative approaches and restorative measures
  2. Practitioners since the nineties have been using it in different solutions and settings and it is about working out a way forward if a problem has occurred.
  3. A restorative approach is about understanding that when something wrong has been done, we need to work with those involved to help them take responsibility for their actions, learn from it, and what actions can be taken to repair the harm that has been caused.
  4. It is highly important that attention is given to the stories of those who have been harmed, in order to repair the harm, and to help the person responsible understand how their actions have affected others.
  5. A key quote direct from the book in which I find invaluable and paramount to remember when situations arise with in an educational setting was: “Punishment has a compounding affect on children who are already dealing with stress and trauma  in their lives. Punishment contributes to this stress, something that may be very evident in those children who are easily aroused and explode in anger and rage on being challenged about their behavior. “
  6. Doidge (2008): The brain can change, by creating new experiences (with focus and repetition) new brain pathways can be formed.

We use restorative approaches to help encourage members of the school community to  effectively resolve and learn. It helps pupils learn empathy and understanding of other peoples feelings and can help promote a positive school ethos. Pupils seek fairness from adults who are dealing with disciplinary issues within the classroom, school or playground. Restorative approaches helps children understand the consequences of their actions and behavior and moves away from a win/lose culture to a more fair process.

Developing Classroom Talk…

After the lecture on classroom talk and looking the reading by Pollard (chapter 12) I have a much better understanding on the importance of classroom talk and how effective it can be in the classroom if used properly, from the pupils involved but also teacher dialect.  The power of talk helps the brain to build connections and build its capabilities (Perkins 2012). Within the general teaching council Scotland, it highlights as one of its main criteria’s that teachers should be able to communicate effectively and interact productively with learners whether individually or collectively. Teachers use talk for many purposes, this includes to: Instruct; Check understanding; Maintain control; Develop learning and help pupils see learning trajectory. Pupils need to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding to promote discussion and thinking, further developing their range of question types, and developing un understanding of people will have different opinions and views in which they need to learn to respect and value. When asking questions, it is important to give pupils appropriate time to answer, and asking questions to which there may be more than one answer. It is important to engage with the answers given, particularly the wrong answers as it can help generate as to why a pupil may be thinking something giving the teacher an insight on where progression and future goals may go. Exploratory talk is to explore ideas and probe others thinking. When planning for opportunities to talk within the classroom it is important to have a clear learning objective in mind, developing a clear plan of the context to be covered, concepts to be developed and issues to be explored. Materials should also be prepared, such as websites, questions or dvd’s as an example. Its important to set ground rules within the setting and deciding on how to evaluate and assess the questions and answers that are given. Questioning is a vital part of teaching and is paramount for both pupil and teacher as there can be low order questions and high order questions. Questioning can give an informal way to assess how a child is getting on, and gives immediate feedback on pupil’s thinking and where progression strategies may lead. (Pollard) —> Communication can be verbal and non verbal as body language and facial expressions can contradict on what is being communicated verbally. Tone, pitch, and volume are all ways we project our voice and are part of the communication process. Language skills are fundamental to communication, as we need to think about what we are going to say successfully to get information across to someone else, but in turn listening to their point of view and information understanding how to process it and understand what they are trying to communicate to us and how to respond to it both verbally and non verbally.

Science TDT 2: What makes a good lesson?

What makes a good science lesson? – After looking at the Es and Os within the curriculum for excellence, and then looking back on the last workshop with Jonathan, we came up with a list of contributors that we think will make a successful and good science lesson that encourages children to explore and experience new information and material which they can learn from and use in their futures.

The contributors to making a good science lesson:

  1. Working with local agencies/trusts
  2. Actively ‘doing’ what the children are learning about
  3. Incorporating other areas of the curriculum (e.g maths, literacy)
  4. Challenge children’s abilities
  5. Experience learning in real life context
  6. Practical Experiments
  7. Strong subject knowledge and expertise
  8. Positive attitudes
  9. Engaging
  10. Active
  11. Investigative work/Investigative skills
  12. Discussions
  13. Use of ICT
  14. Enhance local environment in biology
  15. Filming experiences/practicals and analyzing others work
  16. Parents contributing to children’s learning and work
  17. Positive ethos in classroom
  18. Work independently and collaboratively
  19. Less use of copying out notes, more practical involvement
  20. Encouraging thinking and questioning

“Science is fun. Science is curiosity. We all have natural curiosity. Science is a process of investigating. It’s posing questions and coming up with a method. It’s delving in.”  – Sally Ride