Thinking about resources

Resource  Use  Health and Safety  Storage  Cost 
Acrylic paint (10 bottles)  Only pour out small amounts so that there is less wasted  Ensure children are wearing a painting apron to protect clothing and ensure that no one is putting paint near mouth  Should be kept upright – no spillages in cupboard  £28.99 
Paint brushes (5 packs of 6 brushes)  Use for paint only, not glue  Ensure all brushes are cleaned properly after use, children should not put brush in mouth  Store in cupboard when clean and dry  £12.30 
Painting paper (500 sheets)  For painting and other art lessons  N/A  Some could be accessible in the classroom for when children want to do art, the rest in the store cupboard  £18.79 
Glue sticks (pack of 30)  For any arts or crafts activity in the classroom  Avoid contact with skin or near the mouth or eyes  Can be kept in tray or cupboard for child use  £19.23 
Tissue paper  To explore the different effects that can be made with tissue paper  N/A  Store flat in a box so it doesn’t get crumpled before use  £4.59 
Coloured card  For doing craft, maybe making cards for special occasions  N/A  Store flat in store cupboard  £9.87 
Coloured pencils (6 packs)  General classroom use, if they want to add colour to anything  Don’t put in mouth, be careful with sharp pencils  Have a pack of pencils per table group and some spare in store cupboard  £17.94 
Crayons (6 packs)  For trying out new techniques when colouring  Don’t put in mouth  Keep in packs or distribute into trays  £25.14 
Paint palette (pack of 24)  For each child to have when painting so they can see the girls they are using and how much they need  Use for paint only, not glue  Ensure palettes are clean and dry before stacking away  £13.41 
Chalk (6 packs)  Trying out new techniques and colours  Don’t put in mouth  Store in packs so colours don’t transfer onto other material  £18.54 


Total spent: £168.80 



Appreciating dance

Dance moms – Living with the ribbon 

 The title of the piece is called “Living with the ribbon” so a prop in the form of a large pink ribbon was used throughout the piece and incorporate into the dance. All the dancers are wearing satin pink shirts, keeping in with the theme of the ribbon. 

 The stage setting was very simple; a black backdrop with basic stage lighting. The style of dance is lyrical and it starts off with the dancers doing different pieces of choreography at different parts of the stage. The dancers then begin to dance in time, all doing the same and using the whole of the stage so that it is aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. The dance works well with the piece of music and the dancers use their bodies to create the effect of the ribbon.   

I like this dance because I think it’s nice to watch but also makes me a little nostalgic as I used to be in a dance team when I was similar ages with some of these girls. This clip was taken from the TV programme Dance Moms. 

Diversity – BGT final 

This performance is on a much bigger scale than the previous dance. The use of technology plays a massive part in the performance as the choreography is in sync with the images that appear on the large screen behind the dancers. It makes the performance interesting to watch.  

 The style of dance incorporates street dancing along with acrobatics and the dancers use each other for support when doing things like backflips. Throughout the performance there is a voice which almost narrates the dance and keeps suspense of what’s coming next. There are different types of music throughout the piece along with sound effects, it’s almost like watching an action movie. 

 I enjoyed the dance more when the choreography changed and all the dancers on the stage danced together in synchrony as I felt that it was almost easier to watch as when the dancers were doing different choreography, it was difficult to focus on what everyone was doing. I watched this video on Youtube but I think that it would be a lot more powerful and effective if I was watching it in the audience of a theatre. 

Giving blogging another go…

I feel that I have neglected my e-portfolio a little throughout MA2; I enjoyed writing out my notes and when it came to writing in my e-portfolio, the thought of it seemed like such a chore. However, the elective module Expressive Arts requires me to document some of my TDT’s electronically so I thought “Why not?”

The first TDT I’ll be sharing on my blog is one that I enjoyed taking part in with a group from Expressive Arts. The task was to make a silent movie, which meant that there was no dialogue whatsoever, only music to tell the story.  In first year, Sharon showed us this video which was made by the Spanish Lottery. It is such an emotional video and this is because the powerful music emphasises the emotions felt throughout.

Our take on ‘silent movie’ was a little different than this advert and we instantly thought of old black and white movies. We could have been a bit more creative with the story line but we opted for a simple change of emotion so that we could easily display the different music used for such contrasting emotions. If this was a lesson that I was doing with an upper years class, I would definitely spend a lot of time with them thinking of a story and then replacing whatever dialogue they had in their role-play with music which they created.

In our silent movie, we chose to use piano as our main instrument as one of our group members was confident in playing piano, and we also used different percussion instruments. We kept it simple and just used two people as actors and the other three (myself included) played the instruments and also recorded it.

watch here



Understanding Science Literacy

The process of fair testing is ensuring there are no deliberate advantages or disadvantages to any variables in an experiment. This ensures that the information gathered is reliable. To guarantee reliability any obvious advantages to any factors are controlled.

An example of this is how high a ball bounces (Prain, 2007). The height of the bounce the ball executes is measured, however the following things are considered:

  • “Will the type of ball affect its bounce?”
  • “Will the surface on which it bounces affect the bounce?”
  • “Will the height from which you drop the ball affect its bounce?” (Prain, 2007)

These three variables are changed and the experiment is carried out more than once. This, therefore, ensures the test is “fair”. By taking into account all these factors and questioning how they will effect the experiment a person is, therefore “science literate” as they are understanding the questioning and issues with the experiment.

Being literate is ‘the ability to read and write’ (Oxford University Press, 2016). Being able to read and write helps us understand daily processes we wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Without being able to read and write we wouldn’t understand travel timetables, signs, how to tell the time, how to shop or even be able to sustain a job! To me, this would suggest that the idea of Scientific Literacy means simply to be able to understand the ideas behind science and how to use these ideas to conduct experiments, alike how we use reading and writing to understand variables of the outside world.

Not only does Scientific Literacy mean having an understanding of science, bscienceut also being able to form questions and conclusions from the evidence found through experiments (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2003). Over all, Scientific Literacy means that children understand the words used in science, the process of experiments, why the experiments are being carried out, can come up with their thoughts about the outcomes, and also why it is important that they know this for everyday life. This directly links to some key principles in the Curriculum for Excellence (Education Scotland, 2016). Teachers must ensure that when they are teaching science their pupils are not simply just learning the terms like they may learn a times-table. In order to be Science Literate the children must understand the depth of what they are learning.

A lack of scientific literacy could mean the development of false scientific conclusions. One of the main examples of this was the MMR vaccine scare. In 1998 an investigation into the three in one vaccine for measles was conducted by, the now discredited, Andrew Wakefield. He came to the conclusion that that vaccine could actually increases a child’s chance of developing autism. This research was released and caused fear to spread to all parents who became hesitant to allow their children to receive the vaccine. It wasn’t until 2004 that an investigation into Wakefield’s research took place and it was found to be flawed. The medical records of thmmre children he investigated did not match his research and the paper he published was taken  down.

This is a clear example of how important science literacy is. This spread of false information caused the vaccine rates to drop dramatically and a significant increases in measles, causing many children to suffer unnecessarily. New research found that there was no connection between and vaccine and autism and there are no side effects to the vaccine. However, some parents are still wary of the vaccine and refuse to allow their children to receive it.


Prain, V. (2007) How to interpret multi-modal science texts. Available at: (Accessed: 27 January 2016).

Education Scotland, (2016). Principles – How is the curriculum organised? –

Learning and teaching. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Jan. 2016].

Oxford University Press, (2016). literate – definition of literate in English from the Oxford dictionary. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 Jan. 2016].

OECD, (2003). The PISA 2003 Assessment Framework – Mathematics, Reading, Science and Problem Solving Knowledge and Skills. Paris: OECD

The story behind the MMR scare, Rory Greenslade, 2013. Available at:

Utmb Health, Wakefield Autism Scandal, David Niesel and Norbert Herzog, 2012. Available at

NHS Choices, Ruling on doctor in MMR scare, 2010. Available at:


Experimenting with ICT

Today we used a new programme called Animoto, which is definitely something I would use again because it was really fun and easy to use. I feel like I’m beginning to get more confident with ICT which will definitely be something that is of great advantage in the classroom. Using ICT with children by using an interactive whiteboard provides a visual aid and also allows the children to be interactive and also feel engaged which is extremely beneficial.

Sharon’s input was very helpful as it made us think about internet safety and that this is really important because we are surrounded by technology and have such easy access to the internet. Gone are the days of taking a class down to an ICT suite to “find four interesting facts” about a certain subject. This type of activity has no real impact on pupils and it is simply just a copying and pasting exercise. A helpful activity would be to actually evaluate the website and to write a bit about what the children learned and why the source they used was helpful.

There are a lot of resources that I could use as a teacher to keep the class engaged such as using Class Tools to access a timer or class names so that everyone in the class has a chance to talk and give their thoughts. Also Pinterest is something that I definitely will need to start using more as there is such a vast range of posts and will give inspiration for ideas to use in the classroom.

This is the Animoto that Eilidh and I created! We didn’t realise until after we had finished it that we were supposed to make one with the theme of Internet Safety. We decided to use images from social media to create an animation of our time at University so far. The site is relatively easy to use and so this is definitely something I would give a class as an activity and give them a theme to set it to. It might be a good idea to allow them to record their own music and use pictures that they could take in the classroom if the school has use of a camera.  Then this allows the children to use several forms of ICT in a safe and secure way.

Becoming the next Walt Disney…

Throughout my life, I’ve grown up watching animated films such as those created by Disney, so when Sharon told us that our first technologies input would be on animation, I was excited to see what we would be doing  throughout the workshop. Our first task was to make a small flipchart on the corner of our notebooks by drawing small pictures in the corner and flipping the paper in order for the images to move. I had done this before when I was at primary school, however this time minequote-Walt-Disney-animation-offers-a-medium-of-story-telling-1087 didn’t work out so well. (Maybe my artistic days are behind me!!)

Then, Sharon let us have a go at using the program, Pivot, which I had also used before in first year Computing at secondary school. This was really fun and Sharon told us to recreate the “Let it Go!” scene from Frozen (one of my favourite Disney films!!)  by using different figures and colours to identify the characters. The song was played through the speakers to give us motivation and made for a really fun lesson, although Sharon advised not to play the song in the classroom as there would never be any lessons getting done! It was interesting to see the different things that you can do on Pivot, however Sharon told us to quickly search Pivot on Youtube and we shortly found that many people create and upload violent animations. This is something that, as a teacher I would need to address to my class and ensure that no themes of violence should be used in the classroom environment.

The next part was the most fun  as we got to use plasticine models to create a short animation. My group decided to create small fish and create an under the sea theme. It was interesting to use the programme Zu3D as I had never heard of it before. I think that this would be a fab project to do with a class, as it could be a short activity or it could be stretched out over a long period of time to create a longer motion picture. It’s also really easy to use once the program is set up and the webcam and microphone are installed into the computer.

I had a look at the Experiences and Outcomes of ICT and found that animation sits in a section called Computing Science contexts for developing technological skills and knowledge. I think that it is definitely a science but I would also say that animation is an art. Although our projects were very small; feature length animations can take years to produce because every detail has to be perfect in order for it to flow smoothly. In Dundee, graphics and animation are now a huge part of our culture as companies based in our city create games that are sold worldwide.

I feel that animation is an aspect of ICT that I definitely want to try out with a class in the future. I think it would be so rewarding for the children to work so hard and have fun on this project to see the end result after a period of time and it would be really enjoyable for me as the teacher to see what the children create.

I think the constructivist learning theory is associated with creating animation. The learning style is intrinsic as the children will set their own goals and then motivate themselves to learn new things to make it better, and in terms of animation, make their production the best they can possibly make it. Jean Piaget was a constructivist theorist and he believed that learning relates strongly to their stage of cognitive development. In relation to animation, I agree. A task such as using plasticine to create an animation would be too advanced for Early Years pupils as they may not have the fine motor skills needed in order to mould the plasticine into models and move the models in small movements to create the picture. Therefore, the task would have to be set for a child’s age and stage (maybe younger children could create a flipchart). The role of the teacher to encourage this learning style is to provide an environment that will promote “assimilation” and “accomodation” which means that the children can allow their brain to learn new things but also build upon information they have already learned, building up a vast amount of knowledge on the subject.

Thinking about teaching science

Today MA1 had our first science workshop which was really enjoyable. Science is a subject which I, and many others in the class feel slightly nervous about teaching as it is not a subject that I took a large amount of interest in throughout my time at school. I realised that there is such a vast range of subjects that science could cover and I think it’ll be a really fun and interesting topic to teach children.

For today’s workshop we were asked to prepare a short presentation to share with  a peer in the class in order to have a think about different experiments that we could use with a class in placement or with our own classes in the future. I chose to carry out an experiment called “Raining Blood.” This involved mixing vegetable oil with food colouring, and then pouring this mixture into a jar of water. The coloured oil created a layer on top of the water and then droplets of coloured oil sank to the bottom of the jar. This happens because the molecules of oil are heavier than those of water and therefore sink through the water. Then droplets of oil start to move back up to the layer above the water because the oil and colouring molecules begin to separate.

My experiment did not turn out as well as I’d hoped as the water changed colour much more quickly than it was supposed to but I think this was because I used too much colouring compared to the amount of oil and this is something I would need to be more careful of if I were to carry out the experiment again.

Inspiration from other professionals

After watching an episode of One Born Every Minute on BoB, I feel like I have a better understanding of what it means to be a professional. Although a career as a teacher is vastly different from a midwife, it is still vitally important to act in a professional manner in every aspect of the career.

Throughout the programme, the midwives who worked in the ward, acted in a professional manner by making their patients feel comfortable throughout a very distressing time and talked them through the process, with a calm and comforting demeanor.

It was important for them to ‘let their hair down’ during their break times by chatting to each other and dancing and generally having fun. This, however did not influence their roles on the ward at all as they still acted professional at all times with their patients.

The midwives in the hospital all had uniforms that they had to wear, mostly for cleanliness but also so that they are all equal. This is very different from a teacher’s dress code, as teachers will wear their own clothes, but must remember to be professional and dress accordingly.

I think, as midwives, the best way to learn would be work based learning and practical skills such as role play as every birth could be vastly different and they never know what to expect until they actually have to deal with the situation, which I think is something extremely challenging and in my opinion, something that would terrify me.

From the programme, I have learned that professionalism really is something that is vitally important in my career and without it, I don’t think my job could be done properly and the children in my classroom would not get the best education possible. I feel that over the course of my degree, I will gain a deeper understanding of what professionalism really is and how to pursue these skills in order to be the best professional I can be.

Reflection of peer review

Receiving feedback is a good way to reflect on the work I have already done, and to decide where the strengths and weaknesses are. Receiving good feedback is motivating as it can highlight exactly where your strengths are and is definitely a positive experience. Receiving criticism is also very helpful as it shows where you need to improve and makes you think about how to do this. I liked receiving feedback from my peers as it was nice to see that we had similar opinions and wrote our thoughts in similar ways. Giving a peer review gives me confidence as it allows me to see what other people have been doing and it gives me some ideas that I maybe wouldn’t have thought of before.

I think peer review is a great way to see how I am doing, and is definitely something that I will use in future studies, as the amount of coursework increases as I will be able to review my work with my peers and allow me to see how I am doing.

I feel that peer review is a really good method to use in the classroom with children, and is an activity I will definitely use as a student teacher, and then a teacher. Methods such as ‘Two stars and a wish” is a great way to get children to review their peer’s work and gives them confidence in the work that they have carried out and also a criticism which will allow them to improve something the next time.

Reflecting on Professionalism

After watching the Youtube videos, I began to reflect on what it really means to be a professional in education. In the first video, there were many similarities between teachers and doctors and how being professional is so important in both of these fields of work. In the video, the teachers involved also spoke about what it means to be an exceptional teacher. some of these were; team work, enthusiastic, dedicated and those who keep up their own professional development. i very much agree with all of these attributes and believe that these are vital in order to pursue a career in teaching.

In the video, there was a very inspirational woman who went above and beyond what was expected of her in her role of a teacher. She set up support groups for fellow teachers in order to develop each others’ skills and to inform one another of their own teaching methods in order to continue their own personal development. I think this is something that all teachers and student teachers should be involved in, in order to learn from one another and find the best methods that work for them and how to get the best of their teaching career.

In the second video, many teachers spoke about their thoughts on professionalism which was very interesting to hear different points of view. One of the teachers thought there is now more focus on professionalism of teachers in society as many are now benchmarked and are ‘ranked’ on how well their pupils are doing. This can provide some stress for teachers if they feel like they are constantly being compared to others, instead of working together with other colleagues.

Another teacher spoke about how important it is to be a role model, which is something I agree with entirely. Speaking and acting professionally in the classroom, and having attitudes that are appropriate will influence children in a positive way and will hopefully encourage children to model their behaviour around what you have been displaying. – Glow Blogs site

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