If you stopped by our classroom, you would see a room filled with young children who are beginning their journey of learning about science. They would be learning about how science is addressed throughout the world, its future, its history, and the people who have changed this world we live in. You might hear a story that evokes interest and passion regarding the topic they would then chose to research. These stories are the impetus of the emotional journey through their personal learning adventure, and are told with a difference to usual classroom techniques.
How are teachers ensuring results in an environment where no one size fits all? I thought it would be useful to ask Primary and Secondary school learners for their own views about how a teacher brings teaching and learning to life for them. I imagined some rather all-singing-all-dancing responses but, surprisingly, this really was not the case. Here are some of their responses:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that teachers are under pressure to produce value-added results, follow an ever-changing curriculum and teach to inspection standards with limited amounts of planning and preparation time. With multiple lessons planned for the week, short-term, mid-term and long-term it is easy to fall into the same pattern of activities: the worksheets, the interactive whiteboard presentation that isn’t always interactive, and the card sort that is creased from its annual usage at the same stage in the trusty scheme of work. And let’s not mention the marking. The 10 mugs of coffee a day is a habit that’s hard to kick.
In recent decades, much research has been conducted on the structure of children’s education, and how the format of the school day impacts their ability to learn and grow. People in general benefit from regular brief breaks from desk work, and children, who are constantly growing and developing, need this time off from work more than most. One recent study, the results of which were written up for The Washington Post, supported the notion of children requiring regular work breaks, and that the implementation of recesses saw them achieving better results within the classroom, concentrating more and using their energy more efficiently.
What is "Big" History? For me, it’s anything that captures the imagination, enthuses or even sparks inspiration for students in a History lesson. More so, when I think "big", I think outlandish, memorable and relevant. I've done all of these in various shapes or forms;they have worked well, and I’d love to hear yours too (please comment at the foot of the article!).
In addition to academic development, the classroom is the perfect place for children to develop their characters. Character development helps children to build key social and personal components, such as a sense of morality, self-belief, and integrity; valuable traits that will continue to help students throughout the rest of their lives. This article outlines the best activities for inspiring character development in the classroom.
What comes to mind when you think of Goldilocks? Sweet, innocent little angel with pigtails and a healthy appetite? Maybe. However, when planning for a literacy unit on traditional tales, I decided to focus on the true moral of the classic fairy tale by portraying Goldilocks in a new light: as a porridge thief!