Over the last two weeks we have been focusing was on interdependence. Interdependence is when two or more parties depend on each other. interdependence can be looked at from three different perspectives, economically, socially and environmentally. By addressing all three aspects it allows a more in depth understanding to be gained.
An example of economic interdependence would be global market and trading. An example of social interdependence would be cultural integration, media, advertising.In order to see interdependence being carried out in a real life context we went to two different dairy farms.
The first farm that we went to was called Stranhead farm. In this farm the cows were kept indoor for 12 months, whereas most farms only keep their cows indoor for up to 7 or 8 months. The reason behind this decision was to allow farmers to have more control over the well-being of the cows and monitor them better. Additionally, staying indoors according to these farmers reduces the stress level of cows, and low stress levels mean that milk quality is better. The farmers informed that they only had female cows due to the fact that only female cows produce milk. In order to produce more cows, the female cows are artificially inseminated to reproduce. According to these farmers when asked if the cows would be happier outside they argued that if they were to take the cows outside, they would come back in after a few hours. This farm could be classified as a factory farm due to production being high intensity and aim to maximise profits with minimal costs, hence only keeping female cows and keeping them indoors. This methods allows cows to produce much more milk than other cows
Reflecting on this farm I aknowledged how this method allowed farmers to increase production, however I did not agree with the cows being kept indoors all year. As even though the farmer mentioned that the cows would come back in, they had never attempted this. Also at the end of the day, cows are animals and its in their nature to go our and graze rather than be confined in a small space with not much room to move around.
the second farm we visited was an organic farm called Mossgiel farm. this was a fanboy run business which is now being currently managed by Bryce. Bryce informed us that when his grandfather managed the farm the cows were kept indoors, however now the cows are allowed to go out and in comparison to the previous farm, Bryce ensures to get milk in the most sustainable manner. Both male and female cows are kept in this farm
Having the opportunity to visit both farms was extremely educational and informative because it made me more aware where my milk was coming from and how it was being produced. It made me aware that by absentmindedly purchasing milk, I am supporting farmers that get their milk through factory farming, which i do not agree with due to the fact that I feel cow should not be living in those conditions (staying indoor in confined spaces all year round and being artificially inseminated). In addition, the Mossgiel farm also provided opportunities for children to come and learn about their type of farming.
During this week we had our introduction to the Music area of the Expressive Arts. We first acknowledged the importance of music in classrooms. My knowledge of music is very minimal and so learning that incorporating music in classroom can have educational benefits was interesting. I learned that music can be incorporated in the most subtle yet effective ways. During the workshop we listened to different pieces of music and were asked to write down one word describing how the music made us feel. This was interesting as it made me realise that different types of music can elicit different emotions. I was able to make a connection back to my placement last year where the teacher would play “cleaning up music” as the children tidied the classrooms. The music being fun and playful made the children feel energetic and they didn’t feel bad about cleaning. Another case in where the teacher used music to extract a desired emotion from the children was after lunch or a P.E class when she felt the children were too jumpy and overexcited. The teacher would play relaxing and soft music where the children would get a couple of minuets to wind down. This allowed them to feel more relaxed and adapt back to the classroom.
Music is beneficial as it allows children to develop their communication and collaboration skills (Dumont et al, 2017). Music is not a solitary subject, through music children play together and they sing together. music allows children to build their social skills. Musical experiences are all about participation, participating in something that is bigger than us. It is when every small role equates to something bigger and more meaningful, making every participant and every learner equally important. Through music children learn to compose, they learn to improvise, and they learn to perform. The power of music helps children become successful learners, effective contributors and responsible citizens. Music allows a gateway to learn about different cultures through native instruments such as the Sitar in India, the Bagpipes in Scotland and the Erhu in China. Through these instruments’ children can explore the musical and social cultures of each country. Later, during the music workshop we were played an instrumental piece that varied in tone, volume and speed. We were to create a short story that reacted to the music. For example, my short story was about a little boy that was being chased by a bully, where the music went faster, I depicted that the bully was getting closer to the boy. Where the music was much slower, I described the boy hiding out catching his breath. This was interesting activity as meant that I was actively listening to the changes in the music and creating a story that fit it. I feel this would be a good lesson to pitch to children in classrooms as it gives them an opportunity to explore the variations of the music and still use their creativity to come up with a interesting story. Later we got into groups and picked a story that we all agreed on, we picked my peers story about a boy that loses his kite and chases it into the sea with a shark. We created a comic strip and later presented it to the class. This activity allows children to work on their collaboration skills as they must agree on one story to create. Children also develop their presentation skills when delivering the story to the rest of class and explaining what parts of the music piece they reacted to. This allows them to develop their confidence in a short and comfortable setting as it is not a solo presentation, which is one of the reasons why I was comfortable presenting to my class.
During the drama workshop it was my groups week to present our micro-teaching lesson. We decided to base our lesson on a movie called “Inside Out”. One of my peers decided this topic and we all agreed straight away, making that process very short and easy. Inside Out is about a young girl that has just moved to a new house, this sudden change has a bigger impact on her emotions than she and her family are aware of. I felt this movie would be a good inspiration piece as children would most likely be familiar with it making it more relevant and interesting. By basing our lesson on the movie, it meant that we were able to touch on the topic of emotions and the importance of being able to express yourself in an honest way. One of our lessons was handing out Inside Out certain characters to different groups that represented an emotion and asked each group to portray the emotion with out using words. I felt this activity went well as all groups participated fully. Applying on the feedback that Andrew gave to previous groups from last week, I tried to interact with the groups by asking what there thought process was. this meant that I was not just standing at the top of the room and giving out instructions but was involving myself in the activities. One part of our lesson that did not go according to plan was when we attempted to show the class a trailer of the movie so that those that were not aware of the movie would have a feel of what it was about. However, the audio was not working and so we gave the class a verbal synopsis of the movie. This minor set back was frustrating in the sense that we had to change our plans on such short notice, although it taught me no never fully rely on technology and always have a backup plan.
Dumont, E., Syurina, E., Feron, F. and van Hooren, S. (2017). Music Interventions and Child Development: A Critical Review and Further Directions. Frontiers in Psychology, 8.
Todays art workshop was about outdoor learning, specifically about Norwegian outdoor art. In groups we agreed on a land artist Andy Goldsworthy. We chose Goldsworthy because his work consisted of simple materials such as stone and leaves, yet it created a powerful art piece. To replicate his work, we went outdoors and created an art piece using the materials available to us, such as stones, sticks and leaves. At first, we were unsure where to start, we were surrounded by pebbles and rocks, however we weren’t sure what to do with them. Looking around one of my peers notices a log and suggested we use that as our frame work and work around it. We agreed as it provided a strong starting point and meant that we didn’t have to work as hard to make an effective and powerful piece. Working outdoors was greatly refreshing, it provided a break from being sat at desks in a closed room. The air and nature gave a rush of inspiration that fuelled our creativity. I see how outdoor learning can be beneficial in a classroom. children can become bored in a classroom as their lessons become routinized. Outdoor learning allows children to develop a sense of autonomy (Waite, 2011). Nature provides an abundance of materials and inspiration that are right within children’s finger tips. As teachers we must think creatively and make the most of different seasons, for example during Autumn children could make art pieces with leaves at different stages of decay or when it’s winter, try to attempt to adopt a winter pedagogy, such as going out on walks and allowing children to explore the different colours that can provide great inspiration. point of outdoor learning
Today’s music workshop consisted of exploring Garage Band. My lack of experience and knowledge of music meant that apps such s Garage Band would be of great assistance. Today’s workshop we experimented with sounds and attempted to make music pieces, however this proved more difficult than I thought as there were a lot of effects that I was unaware of. However, I understand that after visiting the app a few more times and exploring different ways of creating will help navigating it and boost my confidence.
Waite, S. (2011). Teaching and learning outside the classroom: personal values, alternative pedagogies and standards. Education 3-13, 39(1), pp.65-82.
In or last input we were to perform our dance routine in front of a camera, that would later be uploaded on to Moodle. i feel as if I was presented with this task four weeks ago, I would have been a lot more anxious. However, during the last few weeks has taught me that the environment in which we had practiced our dance routines was a carefree and light-hearted environment. No one was expecting professional moves, and everyone was in the same boat. I learned to take it easy on myself and loosen up. Working along side my group made me realise that I wasn’t the only one that felt uncomfortable at times and that a lot of people felt the same way but didn’t let that ruin their time to have fun. Before performing we had about 20 minutes to go over in our groups our dance routine. As I was off last week, I came to realise that my group had made a number of changes to the routine. I found it hard to catch up and learn the changes in the short time we had. However, my group was very helpful and took the time to go over the changes one part at a time. When I came to the performance it went by much quicker than I anticipated and before I knew it I was already watching the video and thinking about ways in which I could have improved my performance. During the evaluation I considered that I should work on my time keeping skills and work to me in sync with the rest of the group. I have become to understand the importance of dance in arts. Although only had three short inputs I feel I changed a lot of my mindset. Dance taught me that we will always find ourselves in situation we may not feel comfortable in, however it is important that we don’t opt out and embrace the opportunities that allow us to grow both emotionally and creatively. Teachers need to ensure that children are able to appreciate, perform and evaluate dance.
During our last music input we had the opportunity of playing the ukulele. We first learned to strum the ukulele and then we learned the notes and chords. When Julie first introduced the chords, I thought it would be way too technical to learn in such short time, however she provided coloured stickers that indicated where each chord was on the ukulele. This was vey helpful at first as it allowed me to practice playing the different chords. In order to practice further we played to a song called. this allowed us to practice the chord. Later to put it all together we played “last Christmas”. Julie explained this was a good song to practice to as it incorporated most of the chords we had learned. I found myself very engrossed in playing the ukulele as after I had perfected the chords, I found that I wasn’t relying on the coloured stickers. As future teachers I understand that in order to teach children instruments it is important to first teach them the anatomy of the instrument, so they understand how the different sounds are made. This allows their understanding of the instrument to increase which can then allow further explain to be easier. The stickers I feel were effective as the allow a helping hand for children to get a feel for the chords. Which allows them to both play the instrument with out getting to caught up in the technicality, yet still allows them to play and create.
Today’s dance class focused on how to integrate arts with other areas of the curriculum. Personally, I do not enjoy any form of dancing and find it greatly out with my comfort zone. However, I have been trying to keep an open mind and this output has greatly challenged that. Our warm up session was very energetic, and although I was out of breath in the first two minutes, I understand the importance of stretching our muscles out so that we can prevent further injuries. Children’s bodies are still developing, and their bones are much more fragile. So as a teacher is vital that we prepare our bodies for the activities later. In the previous week we done the same warm up procedure, however there were no music playing and the process was quite long, this week I found that by incorporating the warm ups into a short dance routine, it made it so much more involving and fun, and we were still able to stretched out our main muscles. By doing this short routine it also allowed me to become used to the environment again and remember that at the end of the day the aim was to have fun.
The main bulk of the class was to integrate other subjects, for example maths. I found this a creative method to involve maths into dance. It really allows the focus to remain on the dance aspect, but children still use their mathematic knowledge to create a dance routine. Zara gave out a series of maths questions that had an answer varying from 0 to 10. And as a class we came up for a dance movie for each number. Then using the answers to the maths equations, we formed a dance routine. Each group had a different set of questions. Another way to involve mathematics into art was by using a similar method in which a set move was assigned to a digit, however the children then had to dance out their home number and other children had to guess what the number was. These are just a few examples in how mathematics can be integrated into arts. I feel this is important as it really challenges me as a future teacher to be more creative in how I teach a lesson or how I merge more than one subject but still enabling the children to learn in a different mode of teaching.
However, I do feel that the need to always involve another area of the curriculum, in this instance’s mathematics, is not always necessary. Sometimes it’s important to show the significance of a creative lesson on its own and how there are enough skills and lesson that can be learned from it. For example, from this dance input I have learned the importance of collaborative working. It’s not easy to synchronise dance moves and it was difficult to come to a final dance move for a certain number. In some cases, we merged more than one dance move because some of the group members found it difficult to follow through. Ever since I entered the dance class, I’ve faced my fear of presenting in front of people, and whilst I still get nervous, I can confidently say that before I would never be able to stand inform of a class and perform a small dance routine. And the most important lesson the dance class has taught me is to loosen up, it taught me to appreciate to laugh at myself and to become more comfortable with myself and with my peers. And I feel these are lesson that are difficult to teach when doing a maths lesson. Our last input of the lesson was using visual aids to help come up with moves. We were provided with Scottish landmarks and were told to come up with a move that resembled the picture. This I found the easiest to do because I felt the picture provided a guide on what the dance move should resemble. I understand the importance of using visual aids in a lesson as it can allow children to interpret visuals in any way they desire.
Our music input touched on figure notes and how they can be sued to help read music for children with additional needs. I found this method extremely helpful, as someone who has very minimum knowledge of music and how to read it, I found it greatly helpful to focus on the different shapes and their length. I found this was great because in a short amount of time I was able to play two pieces of music (jingle bells and supper trooper) on the glockenspiels. It meant that I wasn’t caught up in the technicality of the music notes and was able to still construct a music piece with guidelines. This can aid children understanding of music and allow them to interpret music in a simpler way and can still enjoy creating a musical piece.
This we week we had the pleasure of meeting a class of primary seven from Bellsbank. Before meeting the children, we were informed that they were from deprived areas and had free weekly music lessons. The children’s appreciation for music was evident from the very beginning. The task was to allow the children to teach us how to hold and play certain cords on the violin. I was seated net to one of the pupils and so had the pleasure of learning from her. Having the one-on-one allowed not only me to ask questions about her music interest and lessons, it gave her the opportunity to ask me about university and the course. Later on, I was informed that a lot of the pupils prior to coming to this UWS did not see university as a option for them, however after coming they realised that it was more of a possibility than they realised. What was very interesting to hear was that a few children realised they wished to peruse a career in teaching. This was pleasing to hear as it meant that the children were allowing themselves to plan further into the future and they had a sense of hope.
We had our first input in Dance, I was dreading this input as I hate any form of physical exercise and I do not like dancing. However, as I have been trying to do through out this whole module, I told my self to keep an open mind. For our warm up, Zara played a series of different music and as a class we lined up and the person at the start created a short dance move and everyone mimicked it. When the music changed the next person in line was to come up with a different dance move and so on. I can safely say that I disliked every aspect of this warm up, I felt completely out of my comfort zone and although I kept telling myself it wasn’t as bad as I thought, I was unable to enjoy it. When I noticed that it would be my tune to create a dance move shortly, I sunk to the back of the line. Looking back now I wish I hadn’t and had just went through with it, however I was just too uncomfortable and anxious. It was too quickly into the input and I wasn’t able to allow myself to fee comfortable in the different environment. I understand that there may be certain children that feel the same way I did, and although as a teacher it is important to be able to give children that small nudge to do things, they may not be comfortable with, it is sometimes just as effective to allow them to participate how much they want. For example, during the warm up, I didn’t exclude myself entirely, I joined in and I followed the moves just like everyone les, however it was just when it got to my turn that I opted out. Later, Zara explained that when teaching Dance there are ten basic moves to teach children.
in groups we created a dance move for each term that we thought was appropriate, each group was given a series of numbers and we had to correspond a dance move for each number, this created a basic dance routine amongst each group. This aspect of the dance input I did not mind as we were in smaller groups and the moves were short and basic. Being in a group that had my friends also made me feel better as I was with people, I felt comfortable with. This is also something that I have noted that can be effective when teaching dance and there may be student who feel shy and reluctant. Putting these children in groups with their friends can be effective as they can feel less under pressure and are more likely to enjoy themselves and participate. The most important thing a teacher can do when teaching any aspect of the creative arts is first establish a safe and comfortable environment that children feel safe to express themselves with out feeling judged.
Today’s arts workshop we were greeted with an image that had a short description at the back. We had to in groups discuss our thoughts on the image using Taylors Model of Assessment. At first, I thought this activity would be straight forward, however this was before I had seen the image. The image was tricky in the sense that there was a lot going on and at the same time I felt there was nothing going on. Our image consisted of multiple different Lamps on a table, using the given questions we discussed the colour scheme, the layout and the mood. The questions were made so that we had to think in an analytical manner and really tested our thought process. Diarmuid explained that there must be a problem at the center of everything you do in the arts, and the process of solving that problem is what cultivates creativity and innovation. Allowing children to analyse pictures with the aid of questions encourages them to think in a deeper manner and not just scratch the surface.
In music we explored Charanga, and Julie walked us through the site, highlighting useful activities that could be used when teaching
children. I found this site easy to navigate and it was reassuring seeing how many resources were available. I understand that my confidence in Music is not great however I do not wish for this to affect my teaching or result in the children that I teach not gaining a fulfilling and meaningful lesson due to my inexperience.
Today’s music workshop explored the anatomy of music. We learned about rhythm, and Julie described it using an analogy of a cake. The bottom layer of the cake was described as the pulse, the next layer of a cake, the filling was said to be the rhythm, and just as the filling of a cake gives the sponge taste, so too does the rhythm make the pulse interesting. During the we were given drumsticks and as a starting point we talked about squares and circles instead of quavers and crochets, I found this extremely helpful as It meant I wasn’t too caught up in the technicality and it was much easier to understand when to use one beat or two beats just by looking at the shapes. This method was very simplified, which I think is good for children and the simplicity of the activity allows children to enjoy and still create music. We played along to music, as there were a series of circles and squares on the board which allowed us to follow along. Introducing the circles and squares first to children I feel is effective as it allows children to slowly immerse themselves into the concept of music, as quavers and crochets may be too confusing to understand at first.
During the visual art workshop, we discussed Norwegian artist and explored how different painting have a different meaning and message behind it. For example, the infamous painting by name “Scream” conveyed the message of mental illness. I understand that as a future teacher it is important to explain to children that by painting you are not just creating an image, you are sending a message. Continuing this theory, in today’s workshop we printed messages. In groups we were to pick a message we thought expressed an important message. I greatly enjoyed this activity and found myself greatly involved. One of the reasons why I enjoyed this activity was due to the fact that it went horribly wrong. When printing we had to write the letter back to front, so that when we stamped the print onto paper the letters came out correct. However, we forgot about this aspect and so needless to say our slogan made no sense and was not our intended message. I had great fun creating the messages and picking the paint to create the print. This message made me realise that sometimes things don’t always go the way we want, but it is important to learn from our mistakes after and enjoy the process. Although so far this is the only activity that has gone wrong, it is by far the lesson that I have enjoyed the most. This activity can make a lesson more meaningful as children are not just creating an image for the sake of it, there is an intention and purpose, to send a message they felt strongly about.
Week four we were to prepare a drama lesson for the rest of the class covering any conventions we desired. This week I was able to watch other groups present their lessons. Two groups used the basis of their lesson on a child’s book “We are going on a bare hunt” this was interesting to see as although both lessons were based on the same book, the activities were very different due to the groups touching on different conventions. This shows that there are innumerable ways of teaching a lesson and in order for it to be interactive and fun, it requires creativity. Being able to see other groups deliver their lessons first was good because I was able to take points that I thought they done well, for example at the end of their lesson one of the groups asked the rest of the class to show from a fist of five how much they enjoyed a lesson, one being not at all and five being very much. This form of feedback was good as it allowed the class to express their thoughts on the lesson. However, Andrew pointed out that although “fist of five” is a good form of feedback it is not qualitative. Continuously asking for fist of five after a lesson can come across as just ticking a box, and not really getting information from children about what they think. Instead it is useful to occasionally ask children if they enjoyed the lesson and why? This allows children to think back in a reflective manner which gives the teacher a better understanding of whether the lesson was effective and successful.
During the visual arts workshop we developed our paintings from last week. We were given a variety of chalk, colored pencils and charcoal to add to our paintings. We were asked to think back to a time we had experienced the Scottish Highlands and write words or phrases that came to our heads into the paintings. At first, I was unsure and hesitant to add writing into my painting. Diarmuid explained that children may have same feelings and the pressure to not ruin their painting can impede their creative attempts and bettering the painting. He explained to overcome this hurdle, teachers should photo-copy children’s work and allow them to continue on that. This means that if the painting is not what the child is happy with, the original painting will remain intact, and knowing this can take away their fear and allow them to do what they want. This lesson was effective as it subtly integrated literacy in art, allowing children to incorporate literacy into their work in a creative way.