Monthly Archives: January 2019

The Importance of a Positive Attitude When Teaching Maths

Before attending my first maths input with Tara, I was quite nervous regarding whether or not I would be any good at teaching the subject.  Although, my opinion on teaching maths very quickly changed as I progressed throughout the workshop.

As soon as we began the lesson, Tara initially discussed the ‘maths anxieties’ that many individual’s deal with, especially as primary teachers and as a result this suddenly eased my nerves.  Although there are some aspects of maths that I feel comfortable with, there are also many areas, such as algebra, that I feel I may struggle with in the near future, as a primary school teacher.

Tara also expressed some of her own concerns as a fully qualified maths teacher, such as struggling with mental maths and how she prefers to write down her working out on paper.  This assures me that just because I may struggle with certain areas of maths, does not mean that I can’t effectively and enthusiastically teach the subject.

One key point that Tara addressed within the workshop, consisted of the importance of enthusiasm and positivity that all teachers should direct towards maths.  If a teacher displays a negative attitude towards the subject, then it is most likely that this will be passed on to the children in relation to learning maths.  Whereas, if a positive and excited approach is used when teaching maths, it will reflect on the pupils and positively influence the outcome of their work.

The Value of Reflection as a Primary Teacher

In relation to, ‘The Standard of Provisional Registration,’ section 3.4.2, the professional action of, ‘working collaboratively to share their professional learning and development with colleagues,’ specifically linked to my own experiences within semester one.  One of the key modules that I was required to complete within semester one consisted of the ‘Working Together’ module.  Throughout this module, I was required to work alongside students from CLD, Social Work and fellow Education students.  We had to work in a collaborative manner in order to create an assessed presentation.  Approaching the end of the module, we were required to provide peer feedback to each member of our group.  This process of reflection really allowed me to gain an insight into the strengths and weaknesses that I brought to the group.  It gave me the opportunity to reflect on my role within the group and my relationship with my peers.  Also, through this process of reflection, I was made aware of the importance that reflection has within my role as a future primary school teacher.  It provides me with the chance to improve upon my practice and work towards becoming a better primary practitioner.

The Impact of Relationships on a Child’s Brain Development

In relation to the video entitled, “Pre-Birth to Three: Doctor Suzanne Zeedyk – Brain development,” Doctor Suzanne Zeedyk outlines the importance associated with relationships, as a baby’s brain will develop as a consequence of the relationships that they maintain.  Their brains develop based on the various kinds of relationships that babies have with other individuals and the responses that they receive in return.  One of the main aspects that Doctor Suzanne Zeedyk referred to, was the importance regarding the environment that a young child resides in.  She used the example of domestic abuse.  If a baby was brought up in an environment where domestic abuse was a regular occurrence, the baby’s brain would soon learn to associate other environments, such as the classroom, as a threat.  As a result, a young child at school may be constantly focused on detecting threat rather than learning new things.  However, babies’ brains are very flexible, they continue to develop after a child turns three, which many people are unaware of.  Therefore, a child can still be positively influenced in a positive environment, such as within the primary school.  When key pathways are established in childhood, especially as a baby, these are carried on throughout a child’s life and as a result, is why so much more attention is now given to individuals in their early childhood.  Children react to the environment that we give them to react to, therefore as primary practitioners, one of our most important roles involves creating a safe, happy and inclusive environment for all children within the classroom.  We can aim to build positive relationships with the children and act as a role model, positively influencing the pupils.  Due to gaining the pupil’s trust and creating strong relationships, it allows for a more harmonious and encouraging atmosphere within the classroom.

Creating an Animation

As part of my ICT input, we were introduced to a program which allowed us to create animations that would act as a useful resource within the classroom.  In order to produce the animation, we were asked to compile a few clips of various shapes of different sizes and colours displaying different patterns and images.  We then were required to add a piece of music alongside our animation which really enhanced the overall effect of our presentation.  The process of creating an animation has allowed me to witness first-hand the positive benefits that it could bring to students within the classroom.  It has the ability to enhance their creativity, develop their confidence and also provide them with the opportunity to have fun whilst they learn something new.

My animation can be found linked below:

The Importance of Dance within the Classroom

Before attending the dance class, I was exceptionally nervous, as I am aware that dance is not one of my strong points.  I also was unsure of how dance could benefit children within the classroom.  Although, despite this, my perception of dance has widely changed since completing the session with Eilidh.

At the beginning of the class, we were shown multiple, child-friendly resources that could be used effectively within the classroom to teach dance.  Eilidh also outlined the range of benefits involved with dance, such as increased confidence and positive determination and aspects such as learning from each other and working together, either in pairs or as groups.  Within the session, we then proceeded to gather round in a circle to carry out a warm-up activity.  This allowed everyone to get over their initial anxiety in relation to dancing in front of others.  We were later placed into pairs, which allowed each individual to feel more comfortable, as they had someone they could rely on and share ideas.

Within each pair, we were asked to create a way in which we could travel across the room.  Each pair took a very different approach to this, which made the lesson all the more interesting.  Following this, we were asked to split the room in two and each side of the room had their chance to travel across the room in their pairs.  We then had to demonstrate our routine to another pair and likewise follow their routine.  In our new groups, we had to create a routine that we performed in front of the class, which allowed us to develop confidence whilst also having fun.

There were many aspects that I took away from Eilidh’s class that I will take forward into placement, that I feel would be beneficial within the classroom.  One key message that I took away from the dance class, was the importance of a safe space, free from prejudice and where the children feel supported by their peers.  An idea that I also took from the lesson, consisted of the use of videos showcasing different styles of dance at the beginning of the lesson.  This allowed children to see an example of what they were asked to do and enabled them to access a variety of cultures.  One of the main aspects that I took away from the dance lesson consisted of Eilidh’s persistent enthusiasm and passion for dance.  This is how I aim to act towards dance within my own classroom, as I feel it puts children more at ease and allows them to express themselves and have fun!