Writing is thought to begin prior to formal education and links children in early years to having ideas about writing and what it is. It is thought by some that in order to be able to write effectively a child must read, hear and say it first. it is from this that they will be able to form the words and create texts from the ideas in their head. children can then use this to move onto creating their texts whether that is with help from the teacher or not. Some children may require the teacher to help them through shared or guided writing. The response teachers give to children’s writing can be crucial to the development of that child. The wrong response could see the child’s engagement with writing drop and the effort they put in decreased. By supporting each individual in the best way for them it will allow everyone to reach their full potential in writing and not see it as a chore or hard task they have to do in school.
It is important to develop classroom talk as it allows communication barriers to be reduced and develops communication skills. It is key to developing open lines of communication between teachers and pupils, which in turn helps the teachers assess the pupils’ progress and ultimately improves the children’s learning. It is not enough to just develop key verbal communication skills but also be able to pick up on non-verbal forms of communication as well as active listening skills. Teachers can ensure they are listening to their pupils during discussions which can help to inform them of a child’s progress and thoughts on a subject. By listening to children and giving them a voice in the classroom it helps the teachers assess how their class is progressing and allows individuals to feel valued and respected within their class. It is also useful to allow children to develop their skills in small groups or with their peers to help boost their confidence with oral presentations/ feedback. Methods such as open ended questions allows children to be heard and their points to be made, without the fear of getting the answer wrong. Classroom talk can be widely developed through drama lessons as it encourages children to both be creative and play a role. It can be through the act of role playing that a child is able to come out of their ‘shell’ and gain the confidence to answer questions in class. Drama also allows children to be creative and explore the world in a different way, which they can then bring back to the classroom and use to think about answers in a different way.
A restorative approach is focused around building strong positive relationships, in order to fix any problems or issues that arise within the classroom. Through this approach pupils can each have their say and feel like they are being heard, this can be achieved via questioning. This approach is about fixing the problem first rather than assigning blame and handing our punishments to those in the wrong. It helps to build a positive environment where everyone feels like they are being heard and not being judged, this is achieved by open discussions which also help to resolve problems quickly and effectively. The restorative approach allows everyone to take responsibility for their actions and have a fair outcome for all. This approach focuses on values, skills and processes which help to structure it within schools. It’s through having shared values (positive regard, accountability, reparation, etc), developing associated skills (questioning, active listening, body language, etc) and effective processes (questioning, listening, calming time, etc) in place that allow a restorative approach to be successful.
Key features of a good science lesson and any lesson is ensuring the 7 principles of the CfE (Curriculum for Excellence) are used; challenge and enjoyment, breadth, depth, personalisation & choice, progression, coherence and relevance. You can ensure you do this through:
- Allowing children to take ownership of their learning.
- Open discussions
- Active learning
- Relating it to everyday life (real life contexts), making it relevant to the children
- Link to other CfE areas (literacy, maths, etc.)
- Encourage open-ended exploration and hands-on inquiry
- Allows problem solving skills to be used and developed
- Have a positive attitude and strong subject knowledge/ skills
- Embed scientific literacy