Showing posts from October, 2012

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:

Education Studies - Communication, Ethics and Digital Footprints

We had an Education Studies lecture #EEES403 on Communication, Ethic and Digital Footprints which looked at a range of messages from what we mean by ethics for example how it would affect a child who was badly behaved if you gave them a sticker chart - would this just reinforce to them that they had misbehaved and have a negative affect or could this improve their behavior?

This made me question and think about what my ethics would be as a teacher or a professional and if this differed from what they currently are. I think that ethics are how you look at things and feel about them morally, and I feel that generally I have quite a good moral compass meaning I am able to tell which behavior is right or wrong, distinguishing from an off day for a child to if they are deliberately misbehaving.

We also looked at communication and who the responsibility lay with to understand the information transmitted which personally I think is with the transmitter meaning that if they do not communicate…

Science Seminar - Learning to Observe

In science we covered learning to observe and did this through asking compare and contrast questions about our snails (Yes! We were given snails to play with...) 
We came up with questions such as what shape is the shell? What patterns are there? What colours are in the shell? And then we looked really closely using magnifier glasses at the details of the snail and its shell. 

We then had to draw our snail on a piece of A4 paper ensuring that we filled the page with our sketch, now give a class of art specialists a task which involves drawing in detail and you know that we will do exactly that and take our time with it! I don't think Steve (Lecturer) thought that one through! 
Here is my drawing of my snail, he got named Bob...

Art - Blind Drawing

In today's seminar we started off by looking at line and thinking about experimenting with how we create line, our topic is 'Learning to Look' and to learn how to observe pictures we began by doing some blind drawings. 
Blind drawing is when you don't look at your paper whilst you are drawing meaning you actually have to observe your picture and draw what is there instead of what you expect to be there from your memory. I found that you don't realised how much of the paper you are using and that without looking at what you are drawing it feels like you have used more of the paper than what has been used. I also found that I was more comfortable using my left hand [non dominant] than my right hand which surprised me. Questioning why this was I found it felt that using my left hand I felt free to go wrong and for the drawing not to look like a copy of the photo it was based on.
Mine were based on the sea and waves. 

We then moved onto doing a collaborative piece loo…

Education Studies - Petcha Kutcha Presentations

Today we did Petcha Kutcha Presentations in Education Studies, these are a great way of ensuring that you don't overrun your allotted time as they have a set template which is 20 Slides x 20 Seconds meaning that each Petcha Kutcha presentation lasts a total of 6 minutes 40 seconds.

We began by questioning what we meant by the word Professional, and whether this differs from Professionalism, a Profession and a Professional. We also looked at the roles of a teacher and whether they were all positive, negative or a mixture of the two. I think that the roles of a teacher are linked with being a professional as a teacher has to ensure that they are doing their job to the best of their ability which results in their pupils learning more efficiently, although how they do this can vary. Many teachers take on different roles which are outside of their primary role - to teach - these would include things such as pastoral care, safeguarding, being the subject specialist or even running extra…