Spinners Experiment Write Up

Possible Variables:

• Wing Length
• Weight
• Card Thickness
• Size of Spinner
• Varying Wings
• Height Dropped

Possible Observations:

• Speed
• Number of Spins
• Duration of Spins

My Question
When I change CARD THICKNESS, what will happen to the SPEED at which the spinner falls?

My Prediction
The spinner with the thicker card will fall faster than the thinner spinner.

To make this a controlled experiment we created two spinners of equal size and equal wing length but one spinner was made out of paper whilst the other was created out of thick card. Once we had created our spinners and ensured that the only difference was the card thickness we began the experiment. To ensure the experiment was fair we made sure we were dropping both spinners from an equal height by measuring 2 meters from the ground. We then dropped the spinners and timed their drop time. We did this twice to ensure our results were reliable, we made sure that the same people dropped the spinners both times to keep the experiment controlled.
After we had conducted the experiment we calculated the results. To do this we added the two times for each spinner together and divided the result by two to find the average fall time.
The results showed that the thicker spinner fell in 3.43 seconds, whilst the thinner spinner took 4.45 seconds to fall showing that the thinner spinner took 1.02 seconds longer to fall than the thicker one. This result shows that the initial prediction was correct.

Animoto

Here is my animoto video on Hedgehogs:  https://animoto.com/project/YrRtm3WxL0So3FjrphHaIw

I believe animoto would be a very good resource to use in a Primary Classroom. I found it very fun to use, not only this but it was also very simple. The simplicity of the programme means that it could very easily be used by primary school pupils, even those from lower down the school, with a bit of guidance from their teacher. Animoto could act as a great way to allow pupils to create fun presentations for their class, both alone and in groups. It offers a unique way of displaying the information they have learnt and can be used on a variety of topics, ranging from history to maths. It is also very appealing to look at, which I believe will keep the pupils focused whilst watching it.
I personally found it slightly frustrating that the character limit was so low but this could be beneficial as it encourages pupils to get straight to the point they are trying to make and not just float around it.
Animoto could also be used as a way for the teacher to teach some lessons, such as a lesson on a specific event in history, for example World War 2. In this circumstance Animoto could be used as a timeline to show the order in which significant events throughout the war occurred, or it could be used to focus solely on one event and go into more detail about the facts about that. The ability to add music and pictures makes it very interesting and may hold the pupils attention longer than an ordinary presentation with the teacher talking may.

Other ways I believe I could use Animoto in the classroom could be as a short video at the start of a lesson or new topic to give a brief overview of what we are going to learn today or as a way of displaying pupils work to their parents on parents evening etc.

Maths

Throughout primary school I generally enjoyed maths, I understood it and I found it fun being able to work out all the problems. I looked forward to the mental maths test on a Friday morning and had an overall good feeling towards maths. As I entered into high school and maths got gradually harder my liking towards maths began to decrease, especially when it came to higher maths in S5, I hated it. I dreaded going to class, and not because of my teacher, I had had the same teacher since first year and she was great! I just hated the subject. I was in a class of very high achieving pupils and I always felt that I just wasn’t as good as any of them, I felt as though I was the only one who didn’t understand and always felt like I was falling behind in class. Although I hated this at the time I did somehow manage to pass my higher and I am now in some ways glad that I have had this experience. I know what it is like to truly struggle with something, to look at a piece of work and just feel like you are looking at some sort of foreign language, to try so hard but inevitably always hit a brick wall. I believe that after having experienced this myself I will be able to sympathise with pupils in my class who are struggling and understanding how they may be feeling and what they are going through.

I believe that interactive learning is the reason I enjoyed maths in primary school, we were always using physical objects such as counters and blocks. Being able to use these objects to improve my understanding made maths seem like a bit of a game, it made it fun and an enjoyable subject to be participating in. As a trainee teacher and further on when I become a fully qualified teacher I hope to be able to use interactive learning in my maths lessons as much as possible, to try and encourage my pupils to physically get involved with maths and see what is happening when you are adding and subtracting etc. and also making maths different to other subjects, adding variation to their learning, making it fun and intriguing for the pupils.

Technology in the Classroom

In our first Technology input we created this video, along with a small flip book and another short animation made using Pivot Animator. I found this workshop very enjoyable and loved being able to use the computers for such a fun, new and exciting task. Although it was extremely fun, it was not necessarily easy, at first it took me a while to get to grips with all the different animation systems and understand how to work them, this made me think about the skills involved in using them, especially in a classroom.

These computer program’s required a lot of patience and both the teacher and pupils working on this task would have to maintain a high level of patience to allow the animation to work successfully and they would also have to show understanding towards each other. A good understanding of the computer systems would also be very useful for everyone as it would allow the learning process to be simpler for the pupils and easier for the teachers to explain, but this will not always be the case. A teacher should make sure they fully understand the animation systems they are using before presenting them to the pupils as this means that they will not only find it easy to teach and explain, but also be able to answer any questions the pupils may have and be able to offer valuable help and assistance to any pupils who are struggling.

If these skills are met and both the pupils and teacher work well then I believe these types of animation could be very effective within the classroom. It will create variety in the way pupils learn and add variation to their lessons, which will keep them interested as they will not just be carrying out the same, or similar tasks, in every lesson.  Everyone in my group, and those who I have spoken to from the other group seemed to really enjoy the workshop so I also believe that pupils would find this a fun and enjoyable lesson and they may look forward to using the programs again, for lots of different activities. These types of animation can be used for many different areas of learning, for example telling a story that the children have written in their Language work or being used as a visual aid to demonstrate the process of carrying out a certain calculation or equation in maths.

Feedback

I personally feel that the process of giving feedback is one of great importance. It not only gives the individual receiving the feedback help, advice and praise but it also helps the person giving the feedback. By thinking deeply and commenting on what someone else has done it encourages you to think in more detail about your own writing and also helps you to reflect more on your previous work and notice errors for improvement through looking at other people’s opinions, feelings and work on the same, or similar, topics.

Receiving feedback on your own work can be both good and bad. Feedback allows another perspective on your work, rather than just your own, and may highlight things which you did not previously notice or think about. Receiving and acting on feedback can really aid development and encourage you to re-evaluate your thoughts, feelings and opinions and can also improve a piece of writing, if the feedback is delivered constructively. Sometimes feedback can be quite harmful. If a person is in a foul mood whilst giving feedback they may take the anger out on the person they are evaluating and deliver some destructive or unthoughtful and harmful feedback which could really knock a person’s confidence as they will most likely be unaware of how the person was feeling whilst writing their feedback. It is extremely important to leave personal issues behind and forget about them whilst constructing feedback for an individual. If you have a general dislike or do not get on with the person you are feeding back to, you must be willing to push these issues to the side whilst creating their feedback as they may cause you to create unfair and unhelpful comments on the individual’s work, which, again, may severely knock their confidence.

My personal experiences of receiving feedback have been good, for as much as I can remember, whether it was receiving feedback from a teacher, a tutor, a peer, or anyone else, I have always been able to appreciate and think about their feedback and then put these comments to good use when re-drafting my work, or even just starting a new piece on a completely different topic as some comments can be transferred between different pieces of work.

In my future I will have to use feedback a lot, for example when marking the pupils work, and I will also receive a lot of feedback aswell, e.g. when I am being assessed on placement or handing in assignments. My recent studies, reading and reflecting on feedback have taught me to be careful with how I phrase my feedback and also when I construct this feedback because, if I do not take these factors into consideration, I could unintentionally really upset or dishearten individuals. This work on feedback has also taught me to act on the feedback I have been given as it is there to help me and could really aid my performance in certain areas of the course.

What it means to be an Enquiring Practitioner

An enquiring practitioner is a professional who continually makes the effort to research and learn about their specific question. It means taking time on a regular basis to find out about new research and theories arising and being willing to constantly be learning new things. It is about having a deep knowledge and understanding of your individual research question. Practitioner enquiry tends to be carried out in groups with other individuals who have the same research question as eachother. Working in groups can have both benefits and disadvantages. Working in groups can be beneficial as it allows encouragement within groups when some people may be struggling, you could also benefit by working in a group if you are not too sure of something as the other group members may be able to explain it to you and help you understand. Even if you do understand something it is always useful to be able to discuss this understanding with others just to make sure you are fully confident and sure of your understanding and knowledge. Along with its any benefits, practitioner enquiry can also have some difficulties. If individuals in your group are not willing to carry out their role to the best of the ability then the whole group will suffer and fall behind, aswell as this, group work can very quickly and very easily turn into idle chat amongst friends or colleagues which will slow work and cause the group to fall behind.

For me, as a student teacher, practitioner enquiry means that I must be willing to carry on my research throughout my career and must be able to make a conscious and active effort to learn new things and improve my knowledge of a specific research question even once I have left further education.

Roles of a Professional

Patience

It is extremely important for a teacher to be patient. When teaching your class a new topic it will take time for the pupils to understand what they are being taught, what they are being asked to do and how to carry it out. Some pupils may be able to understand what it is they are doing quite quickly where as others may take a bit longer. It is important that the teacher is able to be patient and understanding with the pupils who may be struggling a bit more than others. If the pupil sees that the teacher is getting fed up or impatient with them they may begin to believe they are doing something wrong or are being ‘bad’. It will also discourage the pupils if they feel as if their teacher can’t be bothered with them anymore or doesn’t have the time for them. If a pupil is left feeling like this they may start to misbehave, muck about and give up altogether which can have implications for their entire learning, not just that one topic.

Empathy

Being able to show empathy is an important trait for a teacher to have. Pupils who are struggling may need extra support from their teacher and if the teacher is empathetic towards them it will make the pupil feel less nervous and more comfortable about asking for help. Showing empathy towards pupils will also make them feel more appreciated and recognised in the classroom, an environment which may seem quite daunting, especially to pupils who may find it harder to speak up or ask for help. Pupils who are struggling may find it comforting to know that they are not the only person with this issue with the work, which it can sometimes feel like if you have no-one to talk to, so the teacher being patient with the pupil and showing an understanding for how they are feeling and what they are going through could be very useful and encouraging for them and may allow them to proceed further with encouragement and a little assistance.

Self – Control

Teachers need to be able to demonstrate and carry out self – control. If a teacher has had a bad day outside of the classroom they need to be able to put these issues aside and not take the feelings of upset or anger into the classroom. It is also vital that  teachers do not hold grudges with pupils due to their past behaviour, it is important to start every day as a new day and not hold feelings of anger or dislike towards their pupils for incidences which have past. Finally teachers must be careful not to get annoyed at pupils for something another pupil in the class has done. For example, a teacher must not get impatient and angry at a pupil who is simply struggling with a piece of work because another pupil in the class has been being disruptive and misbehaving all day.

Tolerance

Much like patience, it is extremely important for a teacher to have a high level of tolerance. Teachers need to be tolerant of pupils who find it harder than others and struggle more as getting angry with them or becoming impatient may cause them to become upset, worried (more than they already are), or start to misbehave as it is easier for them to refuse to do the work they are struggling with than sit and look their work and be able to make no sense of it when they are getting no help from a teacher. Teachers must also be tolerant of pupils who are misbehaving, it is ok to tell them off and teach them that what they are doing is wrong by taking away certain privileges such as minute of golden time etc. but if a teacher is constantly screaming and shouting at pupils for misbehaving it may act as encouragement for those misbehaving as they might find this funny or entertaining, and it will also create an unpleasant classroom environment meaning that even  those who are behaving and trying hard will not enjoy their learning either.

Justice

I believe that one of the most important traits of a teacher is to be just and treat all pupils as equals. Singling out pupils and treating them differently to others for any reason will promote inequality within the classroom and pupils may pick this up and then go on to treat people outside of the classroom unequally and unjustly which will build up an unpleasant and unhappy society. Treating pupils differently for reasons such as their academic status may also make pupils feel unhappy or uneasy as it singles them out as different to others and may cause them to be teased or bullied by their classmates and could also make them unhappy at school and stop them from trying with their work or even coming to school atall, which will severely impact their learning.

Reflective Writing

I believe reflective writing can be very useful after learning. By thinking back on what you have learnt you allow yourself the opportunity to think more deeply about certain aspects of what you have learnt, doing this can allow you to notice things which you may have not realised at first. Reflection also allows you to look at things in your own time rather than at the pace of your class or lecturer, this allows individuals to delve deeper into certain topics and gain a better understanding of things which may be of interest to you and also allows people to look over things which may not have been clear to them at first, improving their knowledge.

Reflective writing is a very handy way of gathering all your thoughts together in one place after learning. Managing to gather all your thoughts whilst learning can be difficult so carrying out reflective writing after learning allows the opportunity to do this. You don’t necessarily have to do it all at once, over time new thoughts and realisations may occur and having reflective pieces and thoughts saved in a central place allows you to easily build on thoughts, feelings and opinions as they occur over time.