Archive | May, 2012

Staff meeting

29 May

Staff meeting

 

Tuesday 29th May 2012-05-30

 

Running records

Review of staff meeting:

 

Main points from discussion:

 

  1. MSV- meaning/ does it make sense. Structure/ does it sound right. Visual/ does it look right.
  2. Theory we should use to teach and test reading. Active theory- to problem solves! Not to give the answers.
  3. When children come up with mistakes/ problems or questions are being asked about the text let them answer them. I should not be asking such direct questions to the children and stop them thinking- let them discover for themselves.
  4. I need to think about what I am saying to the children when I am working in groups. Let them solve the problem- questions or words- do not give them the answer. Slow the lesson down and don’t rush through it.
  5. Use prompts to help the children figure out the answer for themselves- this will be the best learning for the children. Children get the most out of the lesson and they get to do their own problem solving.
  6. What are the benefits of running record testing senior children? Do we use it in a practical way? Is it beneficial or just for records and to tick a box? (question to think about)
  7. If children don’t find the answer, after a lot of work trying and discussion, it is ok to tell them, but only at the last resort.
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Staff Meeting: Nicki Baker

22 May

Nicki Baker

Philosophy of Children (P4C)

Reflection:

 

Nicki was able to share with us what P4C was and the idea behind it. I did not know anything about the programme before going to this talk and within the 45 minute talk and discussion we had as a staff I was able to understand and become more familiar with the ideas behind it and see how it promotes in-depth thinking in the classroom and in group work.

 

Here are some of the points and ideas I got out of Nicki’s session:

 

  • There is no right or wrong answer with this approach to teaching. The children/ or thinker draws their own conclusion in their heads, and it is not the same as others.
  • It is not an extra to the classroom, but an add on. You use the style to teach and it helps to improve questioning in groups and in whole class situations. It allows children and participates to think deeply about their ideas and have to explain or justify to others about why they think about certain topics or ideas in a certain way.
  • The role of the teacher is a bystander. They guide the lesson rather than run the show. They have no opinion. The teacher can move the thinking along by only asking questions to direct the children towards a more logical or in-depth answer.
  • Choose the topic first, then let the questions and style of teaching be applied to it (make it easier for yourself)
  • Use the first lessons questions as a teaching tool for future lessons. Use these (1 question a lesson) as the focus and think more in-depth about it and allow the children to think and make up their own opinion on the topic or question discussed.
  • Procedural cards are used to explain focuses for individual lessons that allow the children to focus on one area each lesson until they have all perfected or worked on it, then move onto another one.

 

Here are some activity ideas Nicki shared with us, and recommended as great examples to use and teaching using the P4C approach:

 

  • Picture books: Use a range of these to encourage deeper thinking and getting children to form their own opinions a round a range if ideas and topics. These picture books were recommended: Hemi’s pet. The focus on this can be- what makes a pet? What is a pet? The Mole Who Knew it was Non of His Business. The focus can be- is payback ok? Was the payback enough? (I have already used this idea with this story in my own class- worked wonderfully J) Edwardo. Ask the children what does it mean by a normal young boy?- go explore deeper into this idea.
  • YouTube clips, Newspaper articles and books are all a great stimulus for the children to get them thinking deeply about world issues, morals and just opinions about a range of areas/ topics.
  • Throw the children questions they need to decide on a range of categories and where they belong on the continuum with the three headings: Has a mind, has no mind and ??????  This will get the children thinking deeply about each person’s ideas and opinions and they will justify their own reasoning. Use cards and talking stick, koosh balls or a soft toy to have individuals help explain reasons, ask questions in the group where they have the time to talk with no interruptions from others.
  • Fairy tales are a great tool to use and focus on. Why and what makes a person seen as bad or good? Is it ok to be bad?

 

I found Nicki’s discussion and ideas very insightful and has allowed me to become more open and aware of questioning my children with more open and specific questions that leads to more in-depth thinking and allowing the children to come up with answers on their own and me not trying to direct them so much. I tend to rush a lot with this and I need to slow down and realise it is about the journey of getting there, thinking involved, and not the end answer. I got a lot out of it and really enjoyed it.