Reflections of a Trainee Teacher – @EarlyYearsIdeas

“He who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” ~ Richard Henry Dann

It’s science Jim, but not as we know it!

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It’s no secret that science was far from my favourite subject at school. While I can remember exploring imaginary worlds in English and laughing with my friends in PE, my memories of science lessons consist of boring teaching and Bunsen burners that we were told not to touch!

My attitudes towards science changed a little as I moved into my role as an early years educator. I was lucky enough to attend a CPD session, held by the Dundee Science Centre, which aimed to encourage practitioners to embrace science with young children. I vividly remember the session, as it involved plenty of wonderfully easy and stimulating activities which we could take and try for ourselves. I came away from the session feeling inspired and confident that I was going to make science a larger part of my children’s experiences.

Throughout my work with pre-schoolers, I feel that I was able to provide inviting and age appropriate experiences which touched on some scientific concepts and ideas. I am now looking forward to being able to explore these areas in more depth as I begin my work with older children.

Image from morguefile.com

 

This week, I attended my first Science input. As an introductory activity; everyone was asked to prepare a short experiment which we shared with a partner. My chosen experiment was to push sharpened pencils through a plastic bag containing water. Rather than causing a horrible, wet mess on the floor (as you might expect) the bag remains water tight. This is because plastic bags are made of polymers which are long chains of molecules. When the pencil pushes through, it simply separates the chain rather than breaking it.

More about this experiment here

In Science (as with many of the curricular areas,) practical activities are extremely beneficial to learning. While chains of molecules could be a difficult concept for children to grasp; presenting the information as an experiment makes it stimulating and engaging, as well as bringing the information into a real world context.

 

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Following the input, we were set a TDT which involves planning a science lesson.

I have chosen to focus on Space, and am using the current show at the Dundee Science Centre (entitled ‘Destination Space’) as a stimulus.

The Experiences and Outcomes relating to this area are:

Planet Earth (continued)
Early First Second Third Fourth
SpaceLearners develop their understanding of the Earth’s position within the universe while developing a sense of time and scale. They develop their understanding of how our knowledge of the universe has changed over time and explore ideas of future space exploration and the likelihood of life beyond planet Earth. I have experienced the wonder of looking at the vastness of the sky, and can recognise the sun, moon and stars and link them to daily patterns of life.SCN 0-06a By safely observing and recording the sun and moon at various times, I can describe their patterns of movement and changes over time. I can relate these to the length of a day, a month and a year.SCN 1-06a By observing and researching features of our solar system, I can use simple models to communicate my understanding of size, scale, time and relative motion within it.SCN 2-06a By using my knowledge of our solar system and the basic needs of living things, I can produce a reasoned argument on the likelihood of life existing elsewhere in the universe.SCN 3-06a By researching developments used to observe or explore space, I can illustrate how our knowledge of the universe has evolved over time.SCN 4-06a

My SMART Targets:

Specific – I will plan a lesson for a primary 5 class on the topic of space, meeting the criteria for SC2-06a.

Measurable – I will create a 2 A4 page plan

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Achievable – I will use the internet and university resources to gather information. I will discuss ideas with classmates and will visit Dundee Science Centre to find out more about the ‘Destination Space’ event.

Relevant – The recent launch of the British astronaut; Tim Peake, has been in the news and it is likely that pupils may have heard about it.

Time bound – I will complete this plan by the end of my 2 week observation block.

Here are some of my initial Space ideas

I hope that through the planning and hypothetical preparation of this lesson, I will develop my own scientific knowledge in this area. It is also a good opportunity for me to practice the planning process which will be a big part of my future career.

 

 

 

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