In todays health and wellbeing session we explored why it was important to teach children about health and what it means to be healthy. Below is a lesson plan that I have created that is focused around our tutorial discussions. It is important that we start to teach children about sugar levels found in food. After watching the ‘sugar crash’ video I decided to plan a lesson around the amounts of sugar found in foods that children eat daily. Depending on their age, a child should consume between 5-7 teaspoons of sugar a day. Most children will be eating way above this.
Prepare power point showing how many different ways sugars are added to foods and the effects of having sugar could have on your body. Bring in many foods that the majority of children would bring for their snack or eat later on in the day and lay them out on a table. Have 5-7 teaspoons of sugar measured out in a bowl so they have a visual aid as to how much sugar it actually is. Then in another bowl, start measuring out the sugar that is found in the foods they eat. This will show them how easy it is to consume their daily sugar recommendation. This activity will be very eye opening for them and should hopefully make them think of healthier choices next time they chose to have a snack. Once this activity is finished, ask the children to create a leaflet or poster expressing the dangers of sugar and how it is hidden in everything we eat.
In the maths input given the other day I learnt about the effects maths anxiety has on people. Tara expressed how important it was to not pick on people during our math lessons as this can cause them to feel uncomfortable in front of their peers and cause them to develop maths anxiety. She suggested that we let them discuss their answers in pairs before sharing it with the class as this can give them more confidence. This is something I will bare in mind when on placement as I remember how it felt to have to say an answer out loud in class.
In maths it is also important not to repetitively tell a pupil that they are wrong. Instead, you should ask them to tell you step by step how they got to the answer. That way you can see what part of the problem needs work. Normally they get the majority of the work correct but make a silly mistake that is easily fixable. By doing this they can see that they almost got it right and should hopefully not feel anxious. Tara said that they can normally find the mistake themselves when breaking the problem down and that this is also a good learning opportunity for them.
I think the tone of your class environment is also very important when it comes to maths lessons. You want the pupils to feel comfortable expressing their concerns or difficulties without fear of embarrassment. This will take careful planning and techniques but is something that is important to get right.
Today was my first dance workshop taken by Eilidh Slattery. Before going into the workshop I was anxious as I didn’t know what to expect and I can feel quite self conscious when it comes to presenting in front of my peers. I have no professional dance knowledge but I used to go along to fitness dance classes after school. Even though I was out of my comfort zone I was looking forward to Eilidh showing us how to use dance within the classroom.
One thing I took away from today was how many opportunities you can give the children to express themselves and be creative. When we were warming up we went around the room and took turns in doing movements for the class to copy. This will allow the children in the class to develop there creativity right from the start. We then moved on and went into partners. We had to work together to think of as many different ways we could travel from one side of the room to the other. Presenting these moves allowed us to see our peers ideas. We then went into groups of four and taught each other our movements and created a small routine to show the class. This was a nervous thought but when we actually had to do it, it was lots of fun and it allowed us to develop our team working skills. Doing this with a class will allow them to grow performance confidence as they should hopefully have fun and care less about what others think.
Eilidh also talked to us about showing the children different types of dances on you tube before they try dance themselves. This will allow them to pick parts of dances they like and try them out or recreate them in teams. She gave an example of a class she had taking it further and using IPads to film themselves and improve the dance by watching it back. This also helps teach them important skills such as self evaluation and shows them that we can always improve.
I now feel more confident in my ability to teach a dance class if it came up on my placement as we were given many ideas and I have something to refer back to. I will go into the lesson with more confidence and enthusiasm as the kids will be able to feed off the positive energy.
In Tuesdays lecture we discussed both race and patriarchy, both in the past and present. I found this lecture very informative and learned a lot of information that definitely opened my eyes as to what is going on in the world.
When talking about racism I learnt a lot of historical facts that I was totally unaware of and how we as a society are better now but still no where near perfect. One of the stories we were shown was a case about a 14 year old African-American boy called Emmet Till. This was a case that I had never heard of before and the lecture gave me lots of information about the horrible event that took place. Emmet had touched a white woman’s hand and as a result of this he was brutally murdered. The story in full is extremely heart breaking but his mum decided to have an open coffin to show everyone just how horribly he was treated as a result of the colour of his skin. When the men who committed the crime were taken to court they did not get charged even though it was clear it was them. During the trial a black male stood in front of the jury and was able to identify the two men that were being accused. This was a huge thing because it was very rare for a black person to stand up in court and their point finger at a white man. It is insane that they weren’t charged for the crime. Even now African-Americans are not treated fairly. Some white people still look at them in a lesser way and you still hear and see stories in the news and on social media of them being mistreated. For example, the events that took place in Charlotte USA and Charlottesville USA. It obviously isn’t just African-Americans that are treated unfairly either, look at what gets said about Muslims; people always assume they are terrorists. As primary teachers we need to show the children that the colour of your skin and what race you are doesn’t matter, we are all people. Hopefully, all the different individuals across the three course can start to change the way people think.
The other important topic that was talked about in our lecture was patriarchy. We discussed the equality of women. This is also a topic that is seen often in the news. Women have always been seen as inferior to men; even now in society women don’t get paid the same or recognised for their achievements in the same way that men do. For example, in sports, a woman could achieve an Olympic gold medal meanwhile her male teammate achieves a silver, which is still something to celebrate, however it is the male that gets the glory and the headlines. Women deserve recognition too. Women can be just as successful as their male peers but instead they are seen as the one who cooks or the one that is there just to please the male. We have also come a long way from how women used to be treat, thanks to the suffragettes, but we still have more progress to make. As teachers we need to stop the stereotype that makes people think that being a female means you are less than a male. To do something ‘like a girl’ should not be an insult and we need to show that to the children in our classes.
A factor that I have mentioned in both paragraphs is the media. This plays a major influence on how people think and it furthers the ideas of some stereotypes. It paints certain races in negative ways and portrays certain sports and jobs as gender specific; this isn’t helping society. It is important to try not to think this way and we can hopefully change the way this is seen by treating everyone in our classes, or even in public, as equals. As mentioned, we have come a long way in both of the topics but there is still so much more to improve on and we need to work together to do so.
I found this weeks workshop extremely valuable and found that it made me think about things differently and consider things that I had never thought of before. During the workshop we were put into small groups. We were then handed out resources that we had to use to create something that a new pupil on campus could use. My group got handed lots of resources and the lecturer was very supportive of us. This made us feel very positive and we were able to get on with the task and work well together. It wasn’t until the task finished that we realised that not every group was given the same amount of materials to work with. They expressed to us, that they had noticed that they were not given the same as everyone and that that made them feel unmotivated and it made them question whether they had done anything wrong. Had I been in their situation I probably would have noticed the lack of materials as well and felt the same way but since I had what I needed I didn’t. This task was very beneficial as it really put a lot of emphasise on how important it is to give everyone equal opportunities to learn.
Giving everyone equal opportunities to learn does not mean that everyone should get the same amount of resources and support. Some individuals will need more resources and we need to try and match that to the child’s abilities. It’s the same when it comes to support; every pupil should receive positive praise and reinforcement but some will need more encouragement and motivation dependent on what the teacher observes. Teachers will have an idea of who needs more in both of these areas but they need to be open and flexible to this changing during the task. Having this knowledge of the pupils in their class will come from building and developing a relationship of mutual trust and respect.
It is human nature to make judgements and assumptions about people. These assumptions come from what the person looks like or what we know about them (or don’t know about them) whether that’s to do with age, gender and gender identity, race, religion and belief, disability, financial status and sexual orientation. Some people will even treat these people differently based on these factors. People see things differently and have different thoughts and views on everything and we need to learn to respect them. As teachers we need to be mindful that children coming into the class are exposed to this both within and out of school.
Although the workshop gave us an insight into what this would be like in the classroom we need to remember that these situations also happen in every day life. There will always be the people that have and the people that don’t have (just like in our workshop).
For a few years I have really enjoyed working with and helping children as well as building relationships with them. I want to make school fun for them and help to change some of the negativity that surrounds education. I personally loved primary school and always had great relationships with my teachers and loved turning up every day, especially from primary 4 onward. As a teacher I hope to make the pupils in my class feel the same way I did. It is so important for children to enjoy coming to school and to enjoy learning as education takes up a massive portion of our lives. If we can get everything right for them during their primary education then they will hopefully go on to enjoy their academy and university experiences more as well as being more positive. This is something I hope to achieve as a teacher.
I also really like that I can come up with many different ways to teach lessons and I can make the them fun, interesting and creative. It is a job where I know I will be kept very busy but no two days will be the same. Being a primary teacher also means that I get to learn with the kids too as I will have to look into new things to teach them which I am really looking forward to.
I have a lot of passion towards the teaching profession and have found all my time in work experience very rewarding and exciting especially over the last year. I gained a lot of experience when i volunteered in a primary school twice a week. I mostly worked as a class helper and was able to take small reading and math groups. Even the small things like helping a couple children achieve something in math that they had been struggling with was a great feeling. As it came to the end of the year I was able to teach two lessons. This was an experience that i am extremely grateful for and i am looking forward to doing this more often.
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