Monthly Archives: January 2016

Looking at my reflection

In our last eportfolio input we got the opportunity to look and read a few very good examples of our peers blog posts. This really brought the nagging feeling I had that I wasn’t trying hard enough to light. I have never engaged properly with the eportfolio I don’t feel a pressing desire to write on mine when doing reading and never felt that it helped with my own professional reflection. However I have realised that I should be using this as an outlet to show others that I do genuinely care about becoming a teacher and this profession, and I am sure tchants-field-mirror-4-by-alex-baker-photographyhat when I look back at my posts in the future I will be interested and pleased to be able to see how I progressed to become the teacher I truly want to be. Therefore expect more being posted and at a much higher quality than before. I will become a much more visibly reflective practitioner.

Lesson planning

Today was my first attempt at lesson planning, and despite having an input on lesson planning earlier today and doing some extra reading on the subject it was still surprisingly more difficult than I was expecting as although I was aware it wasn’t going to be completely simple there was much more to think about than I previously thouappleght. Instead of simply deciding what I needed to teach and how I was going to present my lesson in a fun and engaging way I also had to consider how I would assess whether or not each stage of my lesson was working to the standard I wanted and then evaluate what the next steps for my pupils needs to be. As I never actually got to teach this lesson I could not complete the ‘Evaluating my practice’ section however I looked at the questions and considered how I would have to be constantly reviewing myself as I taught the lesson. I like the format of the lesson planning sheet we were given as I felt that it was very clear and supported me a great deal. Although it did take me longer than expected to complete the sheet I am not concerned as I am sure that the longer I am on this course and the more I try lesson planning the faster I will be and once I have more teaching experience I will need less detailed lesson plans.


This is my lesson plan: Spooky story writing lesson plan

To complete the experience I decided to also create a power point which I would put onto the interactive white board and use as a teaching tool which would make my lesson much more engaging and interesting for the pupils.

This is my power point:  Spooky story writing power point


Although it was more of a challenge than I expected I thoroughly enjoyed making both my lesson plan and the accompanying power point, and it has helped my confidence when thinking about teaching on placement.

Internet safety- Prezi presentation

prezi– internet saftey (TDT)Computer

The purpose of this ‘Prezi’ presentation is to use as a tool for teaching pupils about internet safety and it meets certain skills outlined within the Curriculum for Excellence ‘Experiences and Outcomes.’

I can access, retrieve and use information from electronic sources to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts.

TCH 1-03b

This outcome is met as the skill of accessing information is being addressed as the presentation discusses not using any websites which the pupil is unsure of and this means that the pupils learn to access safe information to support, enrich and extend their learning.

I enjoy exploring and using technologies to communicate with others within and beyond my place of learning.

Zip it, Block it, Flag itTCH 0-04a

This outcome is also addressed by the presentation as pupil safety while using resources such as social media is discussed. Social media is a hugely useful tool for communicating with others however as the presentation discusses it can also be a dangerous activity especially for young children. Therefore pupils need to be taught the skill of using technologies for communication while being responsible and keeping both their identities and personality safe.

I can create, capture and manipulate sounds, text and images to communicate experiences, ideas and information in creative and engaging ways.

TCH 1-04b / TCH 2-04b

This is an outcome contains skills which are taught through the form of presentation rather than the content, to teach these skills you could get the pupils to create their own ‘Prezi’ presentations to show each other, or another class of the same age group if the school has one, they could use the information discussed as a class and then extra information they have found using safe internet searching to create a more in depth presentation. A more advanced class would be able to add music or videos to show theSocial mediair grasp on more difficult ICT skills.


How I feel about my own maths ability

Maths has always been a struggle for me, I never managed to find very much enjoyment or understand it very well and therefore I never thought it would be a subject I would enjoy teaching. I think my main issue with maths was my complete lack of faith in my own mathematical ability, this began in primary school which was a time in which I struggled with most of my subjects but especially maths. However one of the main cMaths 1auses of my low confidence in my own ability was my teachers. I was placed in the bottom set in maths once I reached secondary school and had to work incredibly hard to move up to a level which would allow me to be physically able to attain a grade higher than a C at GCSE. My maths teacher at the time was not very supportive, he agreed to give me additional work to help me improve but this turned out to mean giving me work sheets similar to those in primary school, he even gave me a colouring sheet once. There was a complete lack of faith in the bottom sets, the message that we were not good at maths was very clear and that no one expected us to be able to attain a good maths grade. This lack of support of interest in our maths education resulted in classes of disinterested pupils who will never believe they are capable of doing maths. Once leaving GCSE level with a B grade I moved into the Scottish system and although I was not in the bottom set of maths I was faced with a lack of support from a new teacher who, like the others, didn’t believe I could achieve a good maths grade to such an extent that he told me on my last lesson that I wouldn’t pass the exam. I was thankfully not put off by this comment and managed to get a B in higher maths. However putting all these experiences together it is easy to see why I am apprehensive over teaching maths to my pupils, I’m not only afraid of being unable to provide a thorough and useful level of teaching, I am also afraid of holding pupils back and not allowing them to enjoy maths and reach their full potentials.

However the maths input we received on the 14th helped relax me slightly and made me feel a little more confident about teaching maths. The discussion over what made people anxious about maths was very encouraging as I found that many of my own fears were shared by others. This made me feel a little more confident as I realised that maths anxiety is not my personal issue but a nationwide problem, this showed that, although it will take more work for me to feel fully comfortable about teaching maths, a huge number of teachers have gone before me also unsure of their own maths ability and have been capable and successful maths teachers. Another point which increased my confidence slightly was that we will improve the more we teach as the information will become more and more embedded within our brain meaning that Maths 2although I am not comfortable with my maths ability now it will change and my mathematical capability will increase. The input also helped me as it helped me realise that maths can actually be a hugely creative lesson, I was afraid that I would struggle to find different ways to teach maths as my own memories of maths lessons are not overly inspired or creative. However the input discussed ‘doing, talking and thinking maths’ which involve a variety of learning styles. The input was useful as through discussing these different styles of maths I found I could think of many more ways to teach maths creatively and how to incorporate maths into other curricular areas in an interesting and relevant way.

The reading following up the input was also hugely helpful and interesting, it was Haylocks ‘Mathematics explained for primary teachers’ and I found it a very easy to read text which was hugely engaging.  This text, like the input, helped relax some of my anxiety over maths as it includes fears from other trainee teachers which were often very similar to my own fears and concerns. It was also interesting as it explained why maths is such an important subject for primary schools to teach, the text states “We teach mathematics because it has an inherent beauty that can provide the learner with delight and enjoyment.” I found that this sentence changed the way I felt about maths I had never thought about maths as beautiful but once I considered the sense of pride and pleasure I feel when I finish a maths problem correctly I could see how it could provide ‘delight’ or ‘enjoyment’, furthermore as I carried on reading the passage and was introduced to the idea of how maths isMaths 3 made up of patterns and shapes from the world around us I began to see that maths can be a beautiful and necessary  to our lives. The text claims that through teaching mathematics in the primary school successfully we will encourage a generation of children with a true appreciation for the complexity and ‘beauty’ of maths.

The maths input and the reading have both helped me to begin to warm to the idea of teaching maths, I no longer feel that I am inadequate as I know that although it will take work and I will never find teaching maths completely easy as long as I teach it in a passionate and engaging fashion ensuring that I make each lesson as creative as possible I will hopefully help my pupils develop a love of maths and ensure that maths anxiety is a thing of the past. The main message which I have taken away from thinking about how I feel about maths is that I do not want to be the reason a child says ‘I can’t do maths.’

My science SMART target

I am relatively confident when thinking about teaching science, I have always preferred biology but I have qualifications in all three sciences. However before entering placement I have set myself a science based SMART target.

S-pecific: I have very limited knowledge of the solar system, I did once learn about the planets but the information has been lost somewhere in time, therefore I want to learn the names and order of the planets with our solar system.

M-easurable: I want to be able to list the planets correctly off the top of my head in the right order.

A-chievable: This is something many primary school age, and older, pupils can do as they are interested in our solar system. This is partly why I wish to be able to do this challenge as I feel it will come in use during placement and later teaching.

R-elevant: This is a very relevant task as space is an experience and outcome within the science section of curriculum for excellence.

T-imed: I aim to have achieved this goal by the start of placement.Solar system 1

Animation and ICT skills

Creating a short animation was a fun and interesting task which I found highly engaging and was one of the first times I enjoyed an ‘ICT’ lesson. During primary school ICT consisted of going to a crowded room at the back of the school and having to race to get a computer which actually worked, needless to say I did not enjoy the lessons and couldn’t tell you what I learnt, or was supposed to learn, during those classes. Secondary school somehow managed to be worse with the schools only ICT teacher being seriously disengaged and the classes never managed to grab my attention and while I now have some grasp of simple IT skills I have never been confident with using computers and the idea of teaching children ICT was something I was dreading. However during the two hours we spent making our animations I really enjoyed learning about the different programs available for people to use and I realised that teaching children to use computers to express their creativity will actually be a thoroughly enjoyable and exciting experience.


Through creating this style of animation children would be developing several different skills, they would be working in a team which allows them to develop their communication skills and how to create a creative piece of work which they were all proud of through sharing ideas and compromising with one another to ensure everyone has an idea within the project. They would also be developing several ICT skills. We used the program ZU3D which allowed us to attach a camera to the computer and take pictures of our models which created a stop-motion animation. This would teach the children to be able to use additional pieces of equipment as well as the computer itself and be able to use a range of technology to express themselves. We also placed a piece of music in our film which we had to find and then add to the film in the appropriate place. This would also help the pupils develop ICT skills as they would learn to add in multiple layers of media to their animations.


This activity sits within the ICT experiences and outcomes as it falls under the category of ‘ICT to enhance learning’ as it is a way for the pupils to manipulate their ideas in a creative way and produce a piece of work using sounds, texts and images to communicate their thoughts across to a wider audience in an engaging way. It is also a very good activity as it is exciting and will encourage more children to go out and find ways to express themselves and their ideas in a way which they find engaging and interesting.

I really enjoyed this task and it has started to change my opinion towards teaching ICT and has shown me that there is more to computer skills than simply learning how to use powerpoint and word.