Before arriving at the dance workshop, I dreaded the thought of having to perform in front of my peers. Every experience I had ever had to do with dance consisted of learning, rehearsing and then performing a dance. As I am not particularly confident with physical activities, I was really not looking forward to dancing. However, it became clear quickly that this fear wasn’t warranted as it was nothing like I had been expecting.
By partaking in the ‘traveling’ exercise, everyone quickly became more relaxed. As there were no routines involved and we only had to perform 4 different actions, no one felt as anxious or nervous as they initially did.
In our groups, we discussed the meaning of health and wellbeing and the effect it has on our life. We all agreed that this was not only physically important, but also mentally, socially and emotionally. By teaching this to children, we would highlight the importance of caring for every part of themselves, not just their physical appearance. By highlighting how to eat healthily, children would be given the ability to make better choices regarding what they eat and drink.
Before the session, we had been asked to watch John Cornochan’s video titled Sugar Rush. The amount of sugar in perceived ‘healthy foods’ that were discussed shocked me as things such as fruit cordial had a much higher sugar content than I ever imagined. Packaging can be very deceiving as companies often hide their sugar content by labeling it using it’s scientific name that many do not know. Bringing this to the children’s attention would allow them to see that by eating a healthy balance of food can have many benefits to them.
Straight away in the lecture, we were all given numbers from 1 to 8 which were used to decide who would answer for our table. This was to ease the maths anxiety in the room, and seemed to work to a degree. Those who were extremely daunted by maths quickly tried to swap their number with a peer which left them feeling even more anxious. On the other hand, this method allowed a more wide variety of people to voice their opinions. It also helped to keep us on task as we all knew someone would be chosen to voice the discussion in which our table just had.
Enthusiasm, motivation and passion are all vital when teaching every subject but especially maths. Having maths anxiety myself, this felt like a very challenging prospect, however, I am already beginning to see ways in which I don’t need to feel this way. If teachers display a negative light to maths, most pupils will then adopt the same behaviour toward the subject and become disinterested. the more engaging, fun and exciting maths is presented, the more likely it is that the children will engage and flourish in this area. Parental maths anxiety also plays a large part in the views children take towards maths. If they regularly tell their child “I wasn’t any good at maths at school”, then children will feel as though it is okay to not engage in the subject. Building a bond with parents to combat this is extremely important as it can have long lasting effects on the child.
Also mentioned was the idea that you either had a ‘numerical brain’ or a ‘creative brain’. We were told however, that this was a myth as everyone is born with the ability to learn. You might be more inclined and advanced in one of the two areas, but you still have the ability to do well in both – if maths anxiety is overcome.