Category Archives: 1.1 Social Justice

Enhancing Digital Technology

Would you accept children being failed to be educated on maths or language?  Although they are being brought up/growing up surrounded by it and to have a successful, positive experience within and out with school they must have developing knowledge and skills of these subjects.  I’m assuming your answers would be no, therefore, why do you sit back and accept the fact the majority of children are being failed to be educated on technology.  Why is this the case when children are completely surrounded by digital content whether that’s; television, mobile phones, games, tablets, kindles, laptops…etc.  These are all digital tools which children will see within their everyday life yet it gets pushed away within the classroom.  By doing so children are merely consuming the content of the TV, game, kindle etc. rather than learning about HOW the content is created, why do we not teach children these skills and promote the creation to allow children ownership of what they are growing up admiring.

When exploring the different website’s Derek shared with us my brother was sitting in his bedroom playing Minecraft in his own little bubble.  My brother is someone who loves to learn, as soon as he finds something he is interested in he researches it meaning he knows SO much about Minecraft where he has a number of books he’s read inside out, a huge youtube playlist with a number of videos of Minecraft and a notebook with a number of notes he’s taking when watching his friends play Minecraft.  My brother is 9 years old.  If someone this young is so interested in learning about this game it would make perfect sense if he was taught a little about it.  Therefore I sat with him and we went through the website  which explains how Minecraft is coded.  He was stunned at how HE could code and make the game work exactly like it does when he plays it.  He was so engrossed in the whole process that he completed all the challenges and watched every single video intently.  Seeing him so inspired and enthusiastic to create something which he and all his friends play every other day was very rewarding.  The next day I came downstairs to witness my brother sitting with 4 of his friends (of various ages and genders) going through the challenges learning how to code.  Honestly i was amazed and my eyes were opened to how much children are actually interested in the ‘behind the scenes’ of games they play.

After exploring coding and sharing it with my brother I showed him Mozilla and the features of X-Ray Goggles and Thimble.  We explored these together and learned how to use these together, it was a great experience as I realised he actually knew a lot more than me about digital tools  and he actually educated me on different factors as I was educating him.  During these activities I realised we were actually learning collaboratively as he and his friends were.  We were also sharing our; learning, knowledge and skills.  This highlighted to me that this could easily be adapted to a collegiate learning culture if it was introduced into schools.

In this video it is stated that learners are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technologies and by doing so it will help raise attainment, ambition and opportunities.  This is stated for digital learning week however from this video it is clear this should be the case for the whole year through and when looking at the principles and practice of technologies this is also the case.  Angela Constance also discusses the fact that schools should embrace digital technologies and I think that with most/if not all schools have access to digital tools therefore we should continuously embrace this fact and take advantage of it.

As a developing student teacher I feel it is essential to reflect on how we are embracing digital technology within the classroom.  I think this is something which is advancing and improving within schools however I think it is essential that we introduce different ways of using and developing digital technology in teaching and learning.  As I stated before children are growing up surrounded by digital technology therefore I believe their interest and enthusiasm for using and learning about digital technology is there embedded in them, it is up to us as teachers to enhance this and take advantage of the children’s interests to allow teaching and learning to be the best it can be within the classroom.  I think there are many possibilities and opportunities when looking at technology and I am very excited to be part of the growing/developing teaching and learning of technologies.

 


The website’s I used to form these opinions are;

https://teach.mozilla.org/tools/

https://code.org/learn

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Education/Schools/ICTinLearning/DLTStrategy

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/d/digitallearningweek.asp?strReferringChannel=educationscotland&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-615801-64&class=l1+d86716

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/learningandteaching/curriculumareas/technologies/principlesandpractice/index.asp

 

 

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Tricia asked us as part of our questioning and discussion to come prepared to the second workshop with a context and questions to follow this context.  When looking at this I felt extremely nervous as it looked a lot more difficult than she had explained.  However as I got started it was such a straight forward, helpful aid to use which allowed me to think of very in depth questions that would make the children think and learn in a wider context than just the topic.  For this I chose children of primary 4/5 and a book called Wonder by R.J.Palacio which can link in with a variety of curricular areas.  I think this would be a wonderful class book to read together as a class as there are so many different learning points within the book.  This book can link to; language, health and wellbeing, religious and moral education, drama and art and design.  I used the Bloom’s Taxonomy to aid me in thinking of my questions and I found this the most helpful process for questioning.  It allows you to start off with simple, easy questions which you can come up with on the spot which you then take and explore deeper with the questions linking.

PBWorks (no date) Bloom’s Taxonomy (Revised) [online]. Available at: http://pcs2ndgrade.pbworks.com/f/1318607148/RBT.PNG (accessed 23/02/15)

RBT

Remembering – Ask the children;

  • Do they remember the key points in the chapter?
  • Do  they remember a time they felt the same way as some of the characters at these key points?
  • Do they remember ever experiencing anything that the similar to the key points?

Understanding – Do the children understand;

  • Bullying?
  • Exclusion?
  • That people are different i.e look different, have different personalities etc
  • That bullying etc. have an effect on other people as well not just the individual who is being bullied
  • Friendships and relationships- can be good and bad…

Applying – The children could put themselves in the position of either the main character or another character from the book, they could write a short story or produce a comic book strip (or something similar) which can show what is happening and how they are feeling about the situation as that person.

Analysing – The children could have a discussion where they can explore the reasons why certain people act/react differently.  Is it possible they’re doing so because their home life and experiences or because peer pressure from friends etc..

Evaluating – The children could put themselves in one of the characters positions and defend their actions which could bring a debate into their discussions.

Creating – The children could create; a comic book strip, story, piece of art, pivot animation or a range of other things which expresses their feelings and point of view of the book.  The children could then work in pairs to have 10 minutes to look and jot down questions they have.  They could then ask those questions and have a discussion with their partner exploring their thoughts and feelings.

 

We Need More!

Health and Wellbeing.

This is a subject which I strongly, strongly believe should be introduced more throughout every single year spent within school.  I understand that a lot will be covered within this as it is a main focus within the curriculum however personally I find that many teachers are too shy or uncomfortable with exploring some topics which arise in this area of the curriculum.  As a teacher I will ensure I’m a positive figure that children know they can approach when they have difficult questions or problems that they possibly don’t feel comfortable with taking to their friends or family.

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing is a subject I find isn’t explained as much as it should be in the primary school.  Children must understand that what they feel can take over their mental health if they don’t talk about it.  They must understand that it’s okay to feel a range of emotions but they should learn to overcome feelings which make them upset and unhappy to allow their mental health to stay strong.  They must be aware that support is available for them and that they are not alone!grass  Children must understand that building strong relationships impacts their mental health as I feel some children and even myself forget this/find this difficult to understand until things get tough.  Many children and adults think that being alone is what they need however it’s hard to understand how this affects your mental health until you experience it.  I think that this may be the case because it’s not explained enough by some teachers and parents which is why I’m excited to cover this area with the children in my classroom so I am able to make a change to their lives in the long run!

 

Social Wellbeing is something I wasn’t actually familiar with until this semester.  I think this is an area which is so important within the classroom as all pupils will be able to understand each other and communicate with each other and myself in respectful manners where they can explore opinions and views without causing distress to anyone.  This is so important for children to build and gain confidence within themselves which will strength their self worth.  Children will be able to gain a true sense of belonging as they will understand how important and special they are within their school and community.mind  I think this is one of the most important factors for young individuals as many of them won’t experience this in their home life where their confidence and self worth may be very low and due to this they will struggle to build strong relationships with others therefore it is essential they experience this and understand this through school.  I’m thrilled to be introducing/explaining this area within my own classroom as I will be making a huge change to each individual allowing them to feel good about themselves.

Physical Wellbeing is an area which I was so nervous to learn about as I felt it would be centred around physical exercise which I personally struggle with.  However learning and reading about physical wellbeing has made me more confident as there’s so much more to it than exercise.  It’s very important that children understand what is good/bad for their body and how this actually affects them.  When speaking to children and being surrounded by them I find that yes they understand what foods and drinks are good/bad however they don’t care.  I find that they don’t care because they don’t fully understand the consequences of them – which is why I’m looking forward to teaching them about this as it will inform them on areas which their family members or peers don’t know about.  It’s also so important for children to fully understand how to be safe and how to keep others safe when possible.

3 takes responsibility!

This is a prime example of why children need to understand how to be safe and what to do in a serious, unfortunate accident.  Most of the time children will be surrounded by one or more adults therefore if anything happens usually there’s someone to help.  However in the case of an extreme emergency where the responsibility falls upon the child they must have an understanding of what to do to allow their mental and emotional wellbeing remaining stable throughout the aftermath.

Overall I am looking forward to making a positive difference in many young individuals lives when teaching health and wellbeing.

Control, control, control…

As a pupil and a sibling I feel as though it’s often portrayed that teachers must be in control of the classroom and the children.  I always remember being in certain classes where my peers would have commented on the fact the teacher couldn’t control them therefore they would play up and misbehave.  I also remember my parents commenting on how certain teachers just have no control because they have no discipline within their classroom.  However this semester has really opened my mind to all these comments which I’ve been surrounded by.  As a teacher I am not controlling children therefore I’m not controlling the class.  As a teacher I will be (from day one) building positive, strong relationships with all the pupils in my class where we will gain mutual respect.  Yes there will be set out rules within the classroom however they will not be set in stone by myself as the classroom isn’t mine, it’s ours – mine and the pupils.  Boundaries must be set my myself as I am the teacher however in my experience children understand this and they actually want the teacher to have those set boundaries so they have a clear understanding of their expectations within the classroom which sets a positive atmosphere.  Children/pupils need a certain level of strictness within the classroom to allow them to feel safe and secure, this will allow positive attitudes from both myself and the pupils which then leads to positive behaviour.  Being a teacher isn’t about controlling your classroom, it’s about setting fair rules and boundaries with the pupils to allow; clear understanding, mutual respect, positive attitudes and positive behaviours which ultimately leads to a fantastic running classroom with a brilliant classroom ethos set by everyone within it.

3 actions for Social Studies

To develop my knowledge and skills in social studies I will have at least 3 actions which I can work on this semester and throughout my time in this course.

  1. I will ensure I get into the habit of being up to date with current news and weathnews-woodn-dice-depicting-letters-bundle-small-newspapers-leaning-left-dice-34802664er disasters to make sure I am prepared for any questions children in my class may have on current news and weather disasters.  If anything arises which I don’t fully understand or know much background in I can do a little research on the subject so I am prepared for discussions within the classroom.
  2. I will focus-history-book-words-45473373do more research on past events which are important topics within school as there are many which I will have forgotten or have never touched on throughout my own time in school.  I can keep a log of topics and research I do in this semester which I can then continue throughout my years in this course and as a teacher.
  3. I will research and find out more about the climate changes and the environmental differences in different countries which will give me a good foundation to start my research and learning on the area of people, place and environment.

climate-change-word-cloud-12343620

http://www.dreamstime.com/photos-images/news.html

SMART Science

Developing confidence and competence in science will take time, however by starting now will help ensure I’m excited and enthusiastic when the time comes for me to teach it within the classroom.

stock-photo-smart-specific-measurable-attainable-relevant-time-bound-goal-setting-concept-sketch-on-a-61714297

Here is my action plan for this semester;

  • Specific – We (as a class) can carry out a topic on The Solar System where a visit to the Glasgow Science centre would be appropriate as we could visit the planetarium.
  • Measurable – I will develop a lesson plan which I can photo graph and blog about.  This will be done when I learn how to lesson plan effectively.
  • Achievable – I will research into this using; websites, books, talking to family, friends and the teacher I will be working with on placement.  Due to this being a topic I enjoyed in school I have good knowledge which I can use with this topic.
  • Relevant – This is relevant for the children as the CFE areas which it would cover are; Space, Topical Science, Forces and Electricity and Waves.
  • Timed – By the end of this semester I will have my planned lessons and trip on a poster which I will then blog about.

This is something which I am excited to do and I will continue to use this method with other subjects.

 

http://www.glasgowsciencecentre.org/school-visit/planetarium-education-programme.html

Professionalism: My Views…

After watching these videos and taking my own notes on the different opinions/views on professionalism I have gathered some of my own thoughts on them…

I completely agreed with everything that was brought up in this video. I think it’s making a very strong, powerful point when looking at professionalism.  How the doctor and nurse explained their jobs are very similar to teaching, in my opinion.  We take a child who has a certain level of knowledge and skills where we then work with them to develop them further as individuals, this brings the great satisfaction which is felt by the doctors and nurses when taking in a patient and making them better.  I think that when you have had a significant impact on a child’s life where they’re grown and developed as individuals who are equipped to move on and develop even further what you’ve taught them in your year of working with them a great satisfaction will be felt.  Passion, dedication, loving your job, team work, commitment, enthusiasm, being reachable etc. is what professionalism looks like according to some of the teachers in the video.  I feel strongly about all of these factors as I think they all make such a huge different to treating teaching as your job; something that needs to be done for a couple of hours and being professional where you’ll see teaching as more than just a job, more than just a couple of hours in the classroom.  Being a teacher means going above and beyond your duties; it’s caring for the whole community and taking into account the difference you’re making in it and not just the children.  Being a professionalism means always staying informed with the; new curriculum, new discussions, new issues and new teaching methods.  To be professional we must be aiming to meet/going beyond the quality and the standard of which society expects us to guarantee the children.  It’s mentioned in the video that teachers aren’t just the educator of the child but the educator of the community, they have such a wider impact than only the child sitting in their classroom.  Therefore being a professional is taking this into consideration and putting in extra effort out of school hours and out of the school.  In saying this though it’s important to have an aim in your efforts, it’s important to know what you’re doing and what you want the outcome to be in the end as this will allow you to help spread your knowledge and skills throughout many people’s lives.

I split this video up into 5 sections for the different teachers opinions on professionalism;

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The notes I took from the Miss Catherine Long were points which conflicted with some of my personal views.  Personally I don’t feel as though professionalism is becoming more noticed within society this present day.  I find it has always been noticed merely the concept of professionalism has changed.  When you look back 40 odd years now you find teachers were professional in terms of;  their classroom environment, their delivery of information, the methods of teaching, working with the pupils, teacher/pupil relationships and their involvement with children at break times etc.  For all teachers these factors were to be addressed in the same manner therefore they approached these in professional ways.  However in the 21 century professionalism has changed and adapted for the new education system.  These days their are big differences on what is classed as professionalism.  Teachers have varieties in their classrooms environments, methods of teaching due to the new outlook on teaching.  Working with the pupils is approached in a number of different ways and the teacher/pupil relationship has changed dramatically as they must adapt with society and the changes which occur in it, taking into consideration the new attitudes of children and their development.  Teachers involvements at break times have changed as aspects of behaviour were highlighted and must be monitored etc.  There are many changes which I feel has altered our view of professionalism and therefore I feel society has more of a voice now because everyone has different view points.

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I agreed with everything Mrs Nursen Chemmi explained in the video.  I feel teachers have a huge role to play as children will use them as role models where they will copy the way in which you speak/act.  Professionalism should mean you’re continuously being a positive role model in their lives are many children will either be missing a mother/father figure or not have positive role models in their lives.  Children are influenced very easily therefore as a teacher you should take this into consideration and ensure you’re influencing them appropriately.

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The first part Mrs Coleen Walsh spoke about is the same as Mrs Nursen Chemmi, however the second part was very interesting for me as it is something that I find is affecting children more often.  Children should never be judge by their home life as it’s something which they have no control over.  If children were judged on their home lives and parents then there would be extremely unfair judgements both positive and negative.  Every single child should be treated equally and given the same chance with their education.

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Mrs Erin Smith raised the point that professionalism should be used differently with different groups of people, to a certain extent I agree with this.  Professionalism should vary slightly depending on who you are communicating with however your communication should still be clear and you should still have appropriate attitudes towards each individual the same.  I find that when communicating with different individuals it’s important to keep your key values of professionalism therefore you’ll always respect and approach them appropriately.

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Miss Catherine Long describes here essentially that teachers should be engaging with what I just learned to be an enquiring practitioner.  As from my previous blog post I have explained why it is important to be involved in practitioner enquiry.  I feel these are very important and significant words which I strongly agree with in terms of professionalism.

Chris

I think that Chris had a very positive message about teachers!  I enjoyed listening to him and felt as though he had an important, inspiring speech.  Chris’s passion really shone through in his message where he believes teachers are ver important and should be treating well while being payed well.  I agree with him as he describes how teachers should valued as we care for kids.  This is such a true statement which I feel is overlooked a lot.  Teachers care for every single child in their class and in their school, hence the reason most teachers go above and beyond to help their children learn and develop.  It was very refreshing and I think many teachers would agree with Chris’s words here.  

Karen

I disliked Karens statement and I disagreed with it hugely.  Karen states that she is an educational worker who merely punches a clock, I think this is a hugely negative view on being a teacher which will have a very negative impact on her work as a teacher.  Personally I do not feel that being a teacher is a job in which you can punch a clock as you must dedicate so much of your time and energy into it.  In my opinion Karen is not a professional teacher, nor is she someone who is taking her job serious enough.  She has a variety of children of different ages and different abilities who are all counting on her support to aid them with their development however with this negative attitude Karen will not be able to do this effectively.  I think it’s a very irresponsible and selfish view she has on her job.