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.

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

Social Sciences TDT: Flying back in time

I can investigate a Scottish historical theme to discover how past events or the actions of individuals or groups have shaped Scottish society. SOC 2-03a

  1. Think about the selected outcome – This outcome makes me think of several different topics to base this on when teaching in the classroom. These include: WW1/WW2, Women gaining the right to vote, Titanic, and the Great fire of London to name but a few. I feel these alongside many others contributed greatly in shaping our society and the way we live today, and the children within a classroom setting can learn from this with age and stage appropriate materials.
  2. Brainstorm key questions– line of inquiry for the outcome -Initially I thought of asking the children what they might already know about the topic in hand, and what they may want to explore and learn about further, this includes what questions they may have. A few I thought of myself included: – Why did this event happen? Who were the major influencers? How? Has this event left an impact on society and the way we live now? If so, explain… how? How does this event make you feel? Would you liked to have lived when said event happened? What caused this event to happen? Who can you think of from this event? Can you think of any differences from the way we live in society today?
  3. Think of some activities– (Drama)- rein act a key scene of what happened in the event.. what characters or props might you make or need? What might they have said? (Literacy) Pupils could crate a poem, short story, newspaper article, diary entry based on the event, or if they were alive at the time of the event. (ICT) research topics based on the event nd present back to class, working with a partner or in a small group. (HWB) What food did they eat back then? Is it different to the food we eat in this day in age? What did they do for fun? What was it like to be a child in the event era? What was school like, how has it changed?. (Maths) has money changed since the event era? If so, how? What does it look like? What is its value now? What could you buy with it then compared to now? (Music) What was the music like then? Have the class listen to some music from the era and have them try to identify how it makes them feel? What instruments they might hear? What the song might mean? Is there a dance to go with it?

Easy as 1.. 2.. 3..?

After missing the last maths input, due to having my pre-placement visit early, I have managed to catch up with the thanks to Tara’s PowerPoint notes and friends taking notes for me. What I have taken from it, is that maths is one of the three areas in which is classed in the responsibility of all (the other two being health and well-being, and literacy).

There are 8 organisers for numeracy: 

  1. Number and number processes
  2. Money 
  3. Time 
  4. Measurement
  5. Data and analysis 
  6. Fractions, decimal fractions and percentages
  7. Rounding and estimation
  8. Ideas of chance and uncertainty. 

What I have taken most from this input is that it is fundamental that we are all numerate as well as literate. Being numerate involves having the confidence  and competence when using numbers which helps solve problems and analyse information such as time telling and using money and percentages. This helps make informed decisions based on the information gathered. Ensuring lessons and planning helps children have realistic expectations and a real-world idea on how numbers are used, as an example, home economics encourages children to bake and weigh out ingredients and have an end product at the end (such as a cake) which can make the lesson memorable, relatable to real life experiences and gives them a sense of achievement. This gives a realistic context for learning and it is key for teachers to give children this opportunity, to inspire and show them that numbers are all around them and not give them maths anxiety. Promoting lessons which go well, sharing with other practitioners is good practice and gives inspiration to other teachers, which in turn could help other children throughout the school. Children within a class all come with their own experiences and knowledge, so it is important to check in before a lesson to have an understanding of what children know without a topic of maths, taking on board what positive experiences they may have, or concerns which worry them and restrict them from progressing further. As a part of lesson planning, preparing for a maths lesson is important to ensure there is enough resources for a smooth running lesson, and to ensure children are engaged and learning in all aspects. 

From a personal point of view, in primary school I loved maths (apart from problem solving, where the problem just seemed too hard). When I got to high school I felt it was too regimented, strict and if you had a question the teacher would act as if you should already know it and someone would snigger from behind. In primary school I remember learning chimney sums and being told I was great at it. I remember learning to tell the time and sticking my hand up in the air so proud with myself when the teacher asked what the time was on a huge clock prop. I later revisited my love for maths when I took a night class (to help me get into teaching) and the lecturer was nothing like a class teacher, who actually encouraged us to speak out and ask questions. No homework was given and no wondering how something was done if you fell behind. Liz’ method in teaching was if you felt like you went home not understanding, the next class you told her and she went over it until you got it, and there was always someone else in the class who felt the same. I felt confidence and the determination to pass my exam (which I did!), and without that love of maths in me, I don’t think I would have. Do I have the confidence to teach it? Not yet. Do I feel I will get the confidence to teach it? Absolutely. 

Unfortunatly I was unable to access the “Mathematics explained for primary teachers” by Derek Haylock in the library or online. However I am looking to buy the hard copy as in investment for my future development and career.

Language: The Experience

My experience with language throughout my time in both primary and high school was positive. I feel I have always engaged in it, and found lessons fun and interactive, in which I hope mine will be too. Since I had such a positive time in school I want pupils within my classroom to have the same environment and positive ‘I can do this’ mentality, which teachers instilled in me within my time at school. I feel as I got older, my writing developed as over time I was taught about finger spacing, the use of punctuation, how to form a sentence and as my time went on in primary school how to join up letters properly. The joy of being rewarded with a pen instead of a pencil is something I will never forget. My ability to communicate and listen to others has come from having lots of friends in school and finding the ques on when to speak and have my say within a conversation. I’ve always enjoyed the aspect of listening to other’s idea’s and then wondering how or why they have came up with it, then thinking ‘why didn’t I think of that?’. I was always taught that it is important to listen to others, and take different opinions on board, even if it is different from my own. Michelle’s input really opened my eyes on how important it is to be a role model for children as they pick up on the smallest things such as an eyeroll and the way you communicate with other adults. Reading is something I have always enjoyed, and to this day use it as a tool to wind down and relax. I have always enjoyed reading different stories, and learning new words and phrases developing my verbal word bank at the same time. Communicating with others is a key aspect to teaching, As speaking to the whole class helps communicate the expectations of the children for your lesson and what the achievement or end goal may be, along side the instructions on how to achieve this. Over time, my confidence on speaking to large groups has grown. I feel I used to be a shy person but over time my confidence has grown, and within my job as a waitress this has really came on. I feel I am now able to communicate myself well to and within large groups as I am able to vocalise myself and not be introverted. I feel this is key to teaching as I may need to speak to a whole assembly or staff room with lots of pairs o0f eyes on me.

Workshop 1: Dance

  • I have experienced the energy and excitement of presenting/performing for audiences and
    being part of an audience for other people’s presentations/performances.
    EXA 0-01a / EXA 1-01a / EXA 2-01a
  • I enjoy creating short dance sequences, using travel, turn, jump, gesture, pause and fall, within safe practice. EXA 1-08a
  • Inspired by a range of stimuli, I can express my ideas, thoughts and feelings through creative work in dance. EXA 0-09a / EXA 1-09a / EXA 2-09a

Using the experiences and outcomes from the expressive arts segment of the curriculum for excellence, I personally can relate to the three I have chosen. The dance workshop I attended yesterday afternoon was daunting at first as I am not a sporty person, and the idea of dancing in front of others, never mind a class, was scary. Furthermore, realizing that none of my friends were in my class was even worse. However, with a positive mindset I put all my doubts and worries aside and ended up enjoying the class completely.

If I was asked in my placement to take a dance lesson, I think after this workshop I would know where to start and have a few ideas to generate up a class lesson. I enjoyed socializing with new people, that I maybe wouldn’t have before, and becoming familiar with more faces from our huge lectures. After partnering up and realizing that everyone was on the same boat, my confidence grew and I was able to relax and enjoy the workshop. I liked how simple it was to start of with, in finding just a few ways to travel across the room, then seeing what others came up with and then thinking “why didn’t we think of that?”. Building on this, it has shown me that I do need to think outside the box more and care less on what others may think of me. The second part of the workshop when grouped with another pair was effective as the routine and the idea of dance really came to light and would be fun as a lesson for children, especially if there was steam needed to be let off. The simple way of finding a way to travel and then building on it with others, really showed that creativity can come from anywhere, and the more ideas the better, as the first idea isn’t always the best. Working with four other brains helped broaden my horizons as it highlighted that not everyone thinks the same and having other people’s ideas and inputs helped create a routine that we could perform in front of the class successfully.

Moving forward to the prospect of teaching dance in placement the three core ideas I will take from this workshop and potentially use are:

  1. Having children pair up and think of a safe and fun way to travel across the room, and to then have them show the class. After this building on the travelling and have the children create a sequence that would then formate into a dance routine.
  2. Creating an idea of a performance and show for the children, giving them something to work towards and be proud of. This would develop their interpersonal skills and working together abilities. I feel those involved would be excited and like the idea of being able to perform in front of the class. I feel this would help children who may not feel included or feel confident, have the opportunity to work with peers and have an end goal, creating a sense of achievement and have a factor of risk taking, building on their social experiences.
  3. Another idea that this workshop generated for me, is to have the children involved critique each other and peer mark each other. It would help generate ideas, giving them feedback and areas to improve before their performance as such. Using ipads if allowed to film in their rehearsals and then watch it back in their group to see where improvements or new ideas could be added. I feel this would help the pupils understand that not everything is perfect first time and that work and effort needs to go in to get the outcome they would like. This would help those involved to share ideas on the positives and negatives of their routine, building on what they have and using it to go forward.

Rounding up, I feel as the workshop progressed, my confidence grew not only in the class, but also in the idea that I could develop a lesson plan on dance if I needed to during my placement. After looking through the PowerPoint and using the expressive arts outcomes I have an understanding what is expected of me as a teacher to help generate an effective lesson for the pupils in my care, building on their experiences and understanding on what they think of dance and how it can be used.
Lastly, I feel using a youtube video at the beginning of the day would indeed help children come in and get ready quickly, as they would be curious as to what is planned for the day, and how relevant videos can help them with their learning and what is planned for their school day. However, as a side note it would be useful to load the video so that no advertisements are viewed by the children, and ensuring content is appropriate for them to view.