Making Thinking Visible tdt

As you read the Social Studies Principles and Practice paper, note down anything you find particularly interesting, important or insightful. When you have finished reading, choose the three things which stand out to you the most.

  • For one, choose a colour that best represents or captures the essence of that idea.
  • For another, choose a symbol that best represents or captures the essence of that idea.
  • For the third, choose an image that best represents or captures the essence of that idea.

Be creative and prepare to share at our first 3CM11 Social Studies input.

Colour 

“Responsible citizens” – I think this is important as it refers to one of the  Image result for green paint splatter                                         four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence. By teaching children social studies, it enables them to develop a deeper understanding of geography, history and modern studies therefore, giving them the chance to have their say on world issues and become responsible citizens. I think green best reflects this point as it symbolises the environment in which we live in. By becoming responsible citizens, children show commitment to participating responsibly in political, economic, social and cultural life. They will be able to make informed choices and decisions which will enable them to evaluate environmental issues and take care of their planet.

 

Culture

Symbol

“Developing an understanding of their own values, beliefs and cultures and those of others” – I think this symbol captures the essence of this idea as the handprint represents the pupils own beliefs, cultures and values and the various flags inside represent the beliefs, cultures and values of others. I think this is an important point to highlight within the principles and practice document because to successfully learn the beliefs, cultures and values of others it is important for pupils to have an understanding of their own.

 

That's some physics education right thereImage 

“Learning outdoors” – I think this is an important phrase to address   within the principles and practice document as learning outside the classroom benefits students’ understanding of society, nature and the world through concrete experiences. By using outdoor learning in social studies, it enables teachers to train students as active members of society. By getting out into the local community it makes learning more relevant and encourages learning through play and experimentation. I think this image best represents this key point as it shows children’s willingness to investigate the outdoors.

 

A Memorable Learning Experience

Reflecting on my time at school, I have had various memorable learning experiences in and out-with the classroom environment. One which I remember particularly well, was the way in which we were introduced to our new class topic – “The Bermuda Triangle. “

We entered the classroom after interval, to an audio playing on the loud speakers. Initially, I was very confused with what I was hearing, but as the audio continued facts began to arise and I started to make connections.

Despite the recording being muffled, I managed to decipher a conversation between a group of people. One man was feeding back to another on their whereabouts and how they had mysteriously been brought off course.  They were miles away from their planned route for no apparent reason and were beginning to become increasingly panicked as things started to go wrong with their controls. The language used and the dialogue unfolding made me think it was a conversation between people in the cockpit of an airplane and ground control staff.

I was immediately engaged in the lesson without the teacher having to say a thing. The audio came to an abrupt ending and there was an eerie ringing sound coming from one end of the line. Ground control repeatedly asked for any sort of response from the cockpit but they received nothing. This left us all completely engrossed and wanting to know more. After asking the teacher to re-play the clip, we discussed its’ content and our thoughts collectively as a class. Following this we were introduced to our new topic and my assumptions were confirmed as we were told this was in fact a real-life cockpit recording, taken just before Flight 19 crashed into the North Atlantic Ocean. The teacher then went onto discuss how we were going to be studying and investigating “The Bermuda Triangle.”

For me, this was a memorable and valuable learning experience as I was immediately engaged. The clip acted as a provocation and allowed me to embark on enquiry within the classroom. As a result of this I became actively involved in my own learning. Furthermore, it stimulated my curiosity and triggered my ability to make connections. Reflecting on this experience has made me realise the importance of provocation within the classroom. This is therefore something I would like to draw upon in future placements.

Science Literacy tdt

According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (2006): “Scientific literacy is the capacity to use scientific knowledge, to identify questions and to draw evidence-based conclusions.” In other words scientific literacy can be defined as the knowledge and understanding behind a range of scientific concepts and processes that we use in day-to-day life in varying contexts. According to NWS (2011) students are scientifically literate they are aware and have an understanding of various scientific concepts which apply to their life within society. Furthermore these pupils will be able to read articles and then evaluate the quality of the information through applying their previous understanding. Another aspect that a pupil who is scientifically literate will be able to undertake is pin pointing specific scientific issues that influence local and central government. The term scientific literacy can therefore be referred to as an umbrella term as it refers to a number of areas.

 

For those who do not have a good grasp of scientific literacy it can be hard to make sense of news articles and reports, journals and even published papers which often include scientific jargon incomprehensible to the ‘everyday’ person. And so when articles and papers are published containing ideas which people cannot fully understand the instinctual response is to follow what others are doing in reaction. This is exactly what happened with the MMR scandal. A paper published by Andrew Wakefield stated that the MMR vaccination could have potential links to autism, and therefore giving your child this vaccination would increase their chance of becoming autistic. This paper was held with high regard due to the credibility of its author and publisher. For many people this paper would be far too advanced to unpick and evaluate without appropriate scientific literacy and so newspapers began to publish articles in a simpler language for people to understand. However this paper published by Wakefield was later found to be biased and based upon unfair testing and untruths. And so in fear, provoked by media pressure, many parents chose to withhold the MMR vaccination for their child, therefore putting their child at a higher risk of contracting measles, mumps and rubella. This was caused by a lack of scientific literacy allowing an informed decision to be made and this is why being scientifically literate is so important.

 

When doing a science experiment in a classroom it is crucial to do the test fairly to get the best possible results. Fair testing is the process of changing a different factor of the experiment and keeping the rest the exact same in order to achieve the most reliable results. There are multiple ways in which you can conduct change factors in an experiment in order to receive the best and most reliable results. Examples of the different things you could change whilst conducting science experiments could be changing the PH levels, the amount of a specific factor, the volume of a specific factor or the materials used. Fair testing in science can teach children multiple things. For example after a fair testing experiment has been carried out, it will allow the children to write up an effective conclusion about the experiment as they will have the evidence to do so. Fair testing links to science literacy as it has the children thinking and discussing the most effective ways in which to carry out an experiment

 

Scientific Literacy is not just having the knowledge, but is also having the understanding of scientific concepts. Meaning, that a person has the ability to explain and predicted natural phenomena. National Academy Press states; “A literate citizen should be able to evaluate the quality of scientific information on the basis of its source and the methods used to generate it.” Enforce the notion that a person who is scientifically literate should be able to explain how just the how but the why. All of this portraying the thought that you would need to know everything about science in order to be scientifically literate. However, this is false. “You can be scientifically literate without knowing how a superconductor works at the atomic level, what the various species of superconductor are or how one could go about fabricating a superconducting material.” This quote from Hazen. H and Terfil. J indicates that in order to be scientifically literate you do not need to know everything about science, but have a basic understanding of the matter being discussed.

 

Reference List:

Greenslade, R. (2013) “The story behind the MMR Scare” 25th April. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/apr/25/mmr-scare-analysis [Accessed: 13/02/16]

H Hazen. H & Trefil. J (2009) Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy. United States of America.

National Academy Press (1998) National Science Education Standards. United States of America: Washington, DC.

NSW Department of Education and Communities: What is Scientific Literacy? Available at: http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/investigate/ [Accessed: 13/02/16]

PISA Programme for International Student Assessment: Scientific Literacy. (2006) Available at:

http://www.pisa2006.helsinki.fi/oecd_pisa/pisa_in_a_nutshell/scientific_literacy.htm [Accessed: 12/02/16]

Jessica Murray, Megan Gowens, Amy Louise Burnett, Kaylan McAtear

 

Enhancing our Performance Skills

Drama conventions are vital everyday tools that we as teachers must work into our drama lessons. They enable us to improve drama skills such as story telling and character development along with giving children the chance to become involved in their own learning.

There is a list of drama conventions that we can adopt within our drama lessons including: Conscience Alley, Freeze Frame, Hot-seating, Improvisation, Mantle-of-the-expert, Mime, Sculpting, Soundscape, Still Image, Teacher in Role, Thought Tracking and Visualisation. I am going to focus on three.

Miming is a drama convention that has been used for decades. There are many types of mime but the main being when an actor tells a story without the use of voice. When adopting this drama convention actors make use of gestures, movements and facial expressions. There are several games and exercises revolving around miming which we as teachers can include in our drama lessons. An example of one is the game Chain Mime. In order to play this the class must be split into groups of 4 or 5. They will then be numbered and every pupil apart from the number ones will leave the classroom. Whilst they are away the teacher can then give the number ones an action to mime. Once they are happy with the mime they have to act out number twos will be called in to watch and guess what their classmate is doing and then be able to recreate it. The chain will continue as number threes enter the room and watch. Talking is not allowed and each pupil must mime exactly what they have observed. The mime could be anything from riding a horse to eating hot food! There are no limits! This is a great drama convention to use within lessons as it enables pupils to work together without using their voices.

Freeze Frame is another drama convention that can be  used within lessons. With freeze frame the action in a play or particular scene is frozen as if it was a still image. This can be done at a specific time within the scene in order to enhance it and draw the audiences attention to the importance of this moment. This also allows the audience time to appreciate what is going on within the play.A freeze frame can be used to portray things like a memory, a dream or a wish in addition to also displaying emotions such as happiness, anger or jealousy.

A final drama convention that teachers can use is Soundscape. This is when a series of sounds are made to enhance an action or a mood within a drama. Children can be split into groups and one person can be assigned the role of a conductor and the rest of the group may act as the orchestra. The group can create a picture of different sounds relating to a specific setting, action or mood for example cooking in a kitchen or being in a jungle. The conductor can control the pace, pitch and how loud the group are by simple arm movements.

 

 

 

Dealing with Maths Anxiety

Throughout my time in primary and secondary education my opinion of maths changed frequently. This depended on the topic, the teacher, the homework and exams. I feel like many people have gone through the same mindset as me. Having a secondary teacher as a mother resulted in maths being drilled into my brain from the start of secondary school. My mother sat for hours each week helping me improve my maths. At the time this completely put me off of maths as I was getting bored with the repetitive nature of the subject. Looking back on it now I could not be more grateful for the time my mother spent with me as it worked. Although maths didn’t immediately come naturally to me by spending time on it my capability in the subject improved significantly as reflected in my standard grade and higher results.

Maths anxiety is something that is very prevalent in education today. At the beginning of my education maths did create some sort of anxiety for me and continued to at some points of my further education. However by doing my best to improve and consolidate on this topic my maths anxiety was eradicated. I can’t say I’m an expert in maths but I can truthfully say I began to enjoy it. By revising hard and successfully attaining a high grade in my higher maths this has given me a positive attitude towards the subject.

I think that as a teacher it is incredibly important to show a positive attitude towards the subject and treat it with equal importance compared to other subjects. If teachers show a lack of interest in a subject area this could influence the children into adopting the same view.  Furthermore teachers must do their best to make maths interesting. Many hold the view that maths is not a practical subject but that is simply a myth. There are many activities that teachers can prepare which make maths interactive and fun.

Maths should not be something that teachers or pupils should feel anxious about. Everyone has different capabilities within the subject which is the same with any subject. Our job as teachers is to accommodate every individuals needs and also work hard to ensure we are confident within the subject area. Furthermore it is vital that we show enthusiasm and try our best to make our maths lessons interactive and fun in order to eradicate maths anxiety.

 

 

Improving our ePortfolios

Today’s tdt gave us all the chance to spend some time reading through our peers posts and reflecting on our own. From this I have become motivated to keep my own blog up to date and not only engage with the tdt tasks but write posts on other areas that may interest me.

Scrolling down my blog I have realised that at the beginning I was consistently writing blog posts but as the semester came to an end my focus shifted onto assignments and the VIVA. I think it is incredibly important to create a happy medium. We must engage with the ePortfolios on a regular basis but putting our full attention solely on them is not the best idea.

I have always been interested in looking at other people’s blog posts for a number of reasons. Reading other people’s posts can often spur on ideas and can result in improving our own writing. We can learn a lot by comparing our writing with others. Everyone takes on a blog post in different ways and by reading one another’s we can pick up on this and develop hints and tips which we can put to practice.

One of the many things I picked up on today was that many of my peers include pictures, links and references to further reading within their blogs which is something I want to adopt. By doing this I hope it will make my blog user friendly and attract more attention.

Today has also motivated me to become more involved with my peers posts and comment on the blogs I read. I have realised that the number of blogs I’ve read does not match up with the number of times I’ve left comments which is something I want to change. One of the main purposes edushare provides is enabling us to interact with one another’s posts. I firmly believe that if we do not follow this through we will be missing out no an opportunity to enhance our practice.

Reflection on the GTCS Standards for Provisional Registration

Link to Standards: http://www.gtcs.org.uk/web/files/the-standards/standards-for-registration-1212.pdf

The standards in Section 1 within the documentation in the link above is split into four categories:

  1. Social Justice
  2. Integrity
  3. Trust & Respect
  4. Professional Commitment

Despite each section being briefly summarised by bullet points in this documentation our workshop last week encouraged us to expand on these to fully understand the meaning behind each category.

Social Justice:

  • This section highlights how we should look at social backgrounds, different cultures and gender and try and achieve equality for all. As professionals we must not only implement equality but we should also promote this idea to our pupils. By making children aware of the importance of equality now we have more of a chance of having an inequality free world in the future.
  • Sustainability is also mentioned in this section. As teachers we must make a conscious effort to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability. This could include planning lessons on areas such as recycling and renewable energy in order to educate pupils on this topic.
  • Discrimination comes under this term too. This means that teachers should not be seen to be discriminating against any pupil in their class. If any sort of discrimination occurs between pupils it must be dealt with straight away.
  • Pupils need to be made aware of diversity under this area of the standards. Pupils need to understand that within society there are different groups of people. No one person is the same. It is important we explain this in an appropriate way in order to meet the standards.
  • An important aspect of this section is being able to teach in an unbiased manner. There are many controversial issues that may come up when teaching in the classroom but teachers must be neutral and explain all sides of the story. We want to enable pupils to create their own views and opinions without being influenced by their teacher.
  • This section also touches on how we must make children aware of the rights and responsibilities they hold. This may also include looking at the role they take in their local community and how they can improve this.

Integrity

  • “Demonstrating openness, honesty, courage and wisdom” is one of the bullet points under this heading. I think it is important to look at each word individually to cage what they mean in this context.

– Openness: It is vital that teachers make themselves approachable which will in turn hopefully eliminate pupils feeling intimidated. Teachers are not only there to teach but we are here to support pupils. Many may want to talk about issues that they feel they cannot bring up with their own family so being approachable will mean pupils feel comfortable with confiding in you.

– Honesty: This is key within teaching. Not is it only important to be honest with pupils and colleagues but it is also important to be honest with yourself. If a lesson clearly isn’t working and pupils are struggling you must admit to yourself that the way you taught the subject initially possibly isn’t right for your pupils. Going back to the drawing board and changing your outlook on the topic may be necessary but first we must be honest with ourselves and admit that we may have made the wrong decision.

– Courage: This means that we must stand up for what we believe in and not be intimidated by others opinions if we do not agree with them. Courage is important in teaching as it is easy to just go along with the crowd but if you feel something needs to be done, for example if a pupil needs more support and you feel like you cannot solely provide this you must speak up. Have confidence in your opinions.

– Wisdom: In my opinion wisdom is based around experience. It is my job to build my wisdom as I gain more experience in the profession. Although I may not be able to help the fact that I don’t have a great deal of experience in the classroom compared to others I can develop my knowledge by studying. Being knowledgeable on the curriculum and teaching styles will lead to greater wisdom. Furthermore it is vital to have a good sense of judgement.

  • We must critically examine our own beliefs under this heading. We need to question whether they are solid beliefs and whether there is a better approach that we need to adopt. We must also look at school values and whether they are efficient or whether they need to be altered. We need to constantly asses these areas to ensure we are doing the best for our classes.

Trust and Respect

  • The main focus of this section is implementing mutual respect between pupils and teachers.  This is vital when creating a positive working environment. The same can be said with colleagues. Working well with staff will set a good example to the children.
  • This section highlights how it is important to set boundaries within a classroom – some things are not appropriate to say or do in this environment and pupils must be aware of this. Teachers must state what is appropriate behaviour within the classroom so that pupils respect the rules.
  • Manners also come into play within this section. It is important that teachers implement manners from an early age. By using please and thank you this will show children how to respect one another which is a key lifeskill they must learn.
  • Safety must also be looked at. This may involve bringing up the issue of bullying and taking any forms of it that may arise seriously. As teachers we must also be aware of the physical boundaries within the classroom and continue to act professionally whatever the circumstance. Safety also includes openly talking about issues such as mental health and reporting any cases or signs you have seen that may suggest a pupil is suffering from health problems like this.

Personal Commitment

  • This section focuses on engagement. We must engage with pupils staff and extra-curricular activities. Enthusiasm must be shown in all areas of the curriculum and treat each area with the same amount of importance.
  • We must work as one with all the members of staff by supporting one another and treating each other with mutual respect. When working collaboratively we must put the child at the core and establish what is best for them.
  • We must commit ourselves to the whole profession, not just the educational part. Teaching isn’t simply about educating pupils, it is also about doing our best to shape them into good people. Teaching is about going the extra mile and not just doing the bare minimum.
  • We must be open to new opportunities and experiences that will enhance our professional development. We must be willing to learn throughout our profession and not stop simply because you gain your qualification.
  • We must furthermore be able to keep a good standard of professionalism in our leadership roles throughout our whole career. This involves: being on time, having plans for class, dress code, professional conduct, always being organised…

Overall I really enjoyed looking into the GTCS Standards for Provisional Registration in deeper context. At times it was hard to get my head around what each point meant but by taking my time and working through each one I was able to gain a deeper understanding of everything. I think it is important to constantly refer back to these during the next 4 years and after I qualify in order to become the best teacher I can be.