Showing posts from 2012

Lack of blog posts recently...

I'm sorry for the lack of posts recently! It's just been such a manic couple of weeks/month!

With placement which was brilliant - I had year two which was lovely as they were just finding their feet as a class but still found everything quite new and exciting.

Then our assignment which was on high quality teaching and learning in core subjects supported by recent experience and academic reading, presented as a portfolio of work whilst trying to ensure I actually referenced correctly!

And finally other aspects of Uni life such as actually finding a fork amongst the mass of dirty grimy things in the kitchen - Honestly... you would be appalled! Plus having a social life and going out or round friends for film nights or halo nights!

So all in all it's been a manic couple of weeks but I wouldn't have it any other way! Watch this space for any updates as I'll be catching up on blogging over these holidays :)


I have just finished my two week placement at a local school, and to be honest I wish it had lasted longer! Two weeks doesn't feel like nearly long enough as it feels like we were just getting settled with the routine, children, staff and being a part of the school. My school was a lovely one form entry primary school which had a farm, tree trail and nature path attached to it which the school made the most of by running things like forest school.

In the first week we started to get settled and into the swing of teaching and being in school full time. The early mornings were the main thing to deal with in my opinion! Plus the 'teacher clothes' which were smart but also practical to wear as I was with year 2 which means you need to be able to sit on the floor, kneel etc.

It felt like I was back at school as we made our packed lunches round at the flat next door to me with the two boys who were also on their teaching placements. We had a lovely variety of chicken, ham and ch…

Art Sketchbook Development

I chose to continue to develop my work using the impressionist style which we used in our seminar. Here are some examples of my sketchbook work and a final development piece using this style.

These photos below document the stages of my final developmental piece of work in the impressionist style. We used a limited palette when creating our pieces to see the range of colours you could make. 

Reflection on Observation Lesson

What went well?
The children learnt the benefits of magnifying glasses to observe objects closely. For their age they produced detailed drawings of their shells observing the different patterns, textures, sections, colours noticed and contours. Children referred back to the object frequently by looking through the magnifying glass to check their drawing against their object. Children then progressed onto making models of their shells out of Plasticine they again focused on getting the correct shape and contours of their shell and began to draw in patterns using their pencils to carve in to create textures.  Why did it go well?
Gave them lots of prompts throughout the activity to keep children motivated and using the magnifying glasses got them engaged in the activity more as excited by this new piece of equipment.
What did not go as planned or work well?
Lack of explanation as felt pushed for time when in fact if we had spent more time properly explaining and modelling to the children they…

Science Observation Lesson

For Science we went into a school and taught a lesson on observation to small groups of children. We based our lesson on the one which we had had earlier in the year and wrote up a lesson plan (then annotated it afterward which are the bits in red)

Here is the lesson plan which we used to teach this lesson:

Here are some photos from the lesson...

They used Plasticine to try and model the shells and explore observation of patterns

The children drew out what they saw, what was quite interesting was that one child looked really closely and saw that the shell actually sparkled so drew that in by sketching little stars on the shell.

Teaching Art Movements.

In our Art seminar we were learning about three key art movements which were Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Fauvism. I've never actually had to do any work on any of these art movements so it seemed like a huge task to take on in a two hour seminar, but actually worked really well as we not only covered the main points of each style but also did a quick painting for each as well.

We began by discussing photographs of famous artists work such as 'The Torn Hat - by Thomas Sully' and 'The Luncheon of the Boating Party - by Pierre Auguste Renoir' and the question put to us was "Why do Artists choose to use certain colours?"  We discussed this and came to the conclusion that there are many different reasons such as to represent emotion and colour, to add life to pictures, highlight key areas whilst throwing shadows on those which you wish to be more mysterious, and to draw the viewers eye into the picture. Also looking at shades of the same colour we d…

Learning to Read...

In our English seminar we learnt about how we teach children to read using phonetics schemes such as 'letters and sounds' and 'jolly phonics'. There is an awful lot about phonics that i don't know and it seems to have changed since I was at school - a statement that makes me sound so old!

We began with looking at definitions of words which are related/used in these schemes, some of these are:

Grapheme - which is how the sound is recorded [written down]
Phoneme - the smallest unit of sound in a word [the sound which a letter makes]
GPC - Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence Segmenting - splitting up a word into its sounds or phonemes Blending - putting the sounds or phonemes back together  Digraphs - a two letter sound Trigraphs - a three letter sound Sound button - a dot or line you place under the sound/phoneme to split up the sounds, then when you press the button the children say the sounds getting faster until they blend the phonemes together.

We also looked at what other a…

Reflection on our lesson...

To analyse the lesson which me, Jennifer and Laura team taught I have used a SWOT analysis which is the method which they use in business. We had to teach a group of 7/8 children at Holy Cross Primary School for an Art Lesson. We had year 6 children meaning that we had to gauge where they were at already to ensure we were helping them progress and learn. We taught two groups the same task and in both groups there was a mix of abilities, using the carousel of children technique.


* Division of Roles within our group – we team taught with one person acting as the main teacher, one as the TA and one as the observer.

* Feedback – at the end of the session we had a group discussion/plenary in which we asked the children what they thought they had learnt and they responded with ‘we now know it’s important to look at what you are drawing and not draw what you think it looks like’

* Picture resources – the children could relate to the pictures we based this task on as they had seen …

Art Specialist Week

This week we have had a specialist week meaning that I have been timetabled to only have Art this week, therefore we can completely focus on our specialisms without having to juggle our other subjects such as Ed Studies, Science, Math and English as well as our specialism.
On Monday we talked about what we were going to do and that we had a school visit planned for Wednesday in which we would be teaching two groups each a thirty minute lesson. The lesson would stay the same and the children would go on a 'learning carousel' meaning they rotated around the tables doing the different activities which we were running. We discussed ideas for our lesson then as a group decided we felt that teaching the children about Line and doing activities such as the Blind Drawing, Drawing with your non dominant hand [i.e. if you are right handed then drawing with your left hand] and Continuous line drawings would be an engaging topic.
We used the standard university planning sheet and planned…

Art - Sketchbook To Date

This is what my Art Sketchbook currently looks like, any feedback is very welcome!

English - Story Telling

For Homework in English we got set to go away and learn a story and a poem off by heart.
Now this sounds like a simple enough task but when you actually try it becomes trickier, you worry you will  forget the order of the story or the words and end up looking silly in front of your peers, plus however much you practice your story there is always that one section which catches you out!
Me, Abi and Amy decided that as a group we would learn the story 'We're going on a Bear Hunt' and after listening to our English seminar lecturer talking about Pie Corbett and how he told stories we decided we were going to not only tell the story but tell it with actions, this helps make it more engaging and interactive for the children plus they can join in with your actions!
After researching the book 'We're going on a Bear Hunt' we discovered an amazing video of the author actually telling the story, with actions! You can look at the video here:…

Art - More work on Line

After looking at what a line actually was we then moved on to create more dynamic pieces of work trying to use unique lines and experimenting with line to see the range we could create. The idea was to move fast and create dynamic exciting lines and through this we were: 'Not making a Picture, but Creating a Drawing' We also talked about the medium we were using, Charcoal, and how many adults or even teenagers have preconceived ideas about using with 'messy' mediums meaning that they cannot freely explore as well as others who will try using the charcoal. Some of the people in the seminar even stated as we found out we were using charcoal that they 'didn't like it' or hated the feel of charcoal', Sadie [the tutor] then asked us if a child in your class refused to participate in an activity because they didn't want to or didn't like it how would this promote positive learning, it made me think about how we should try to challenge our preconceive…

Art - What is a Line?

What is a Line?
Today in our art seminar this was the question our tutor put to us to look into and what this actually means when looking at mark-making with children. We had a class discussion about what we though was a line and through this realised that a line is actually undefinable in a way as it can be different things to different people, to us art students without line we would be lost as all of our sketches and drawings are made up of lines and put together these create our art and make them into pictures.
Through this discussion many different definitions of line came up, things such as 'something that starts at one end and finishes at another', another was 'you can't get anything simpler than a line' and also 'something that creates form, images and pattern'. We then looked further into it and began questioning if a dot was a line? Or if the space between marks was a line? What do you think?

After this initial discussion we began actually creatin…

Educational Studies - Homework

Our homework this week was to reflect on what qualities we had and what areas needed development, it was interesting to actually have to think about what I thought I did well and what needed development, maybe take a moment to think about what your good qualities or attributes are and if you have any areas that need development? I found it easier to identify areas that i thought personally could be developed thsn writing about what my attributes were.

What good qualities/attributes do you have?

I am a good communicator as I can get my point across and if someone doesn't understand I will try to explain it in a different way, approachable so children, parents or colleagues would feel that they are able to come to me with problems, caring meaning that i will try my best to ensure that everyone is okay and if there is something wrong i will listen to them, creative - pretty important as an art specialist! Enthusiastic - hoping that this will get children excited about different topics…

Maths - Tessellations

A tessellation is a pattern of shapes that fit together to make a pattern, picture or even mosaic. In our maths seminar we created tessellations by cutting out the same shape from a template sheet and then positioning them together to see which combinations made different shapes and patterns.

This is a lovely relaxed and creative activity to take into schools as it is enjoyable and does not feel like maths but you are learning to experiment with shape to create new shape combinations. It could be used as a starter activity for a lesson on shape and space and you could give them a time limit by using things such as the countdown tune to ensure the activity last for the amount of time you want it to.
Here are ones which we made in maths: