Upon completion of an assignment for university, I increased my understanding of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how a child missing breakfast can impact their level of learning.
Whilst on professional placement, I was able to reflect on this theory. Children had the opportunity to pay for toast at school, and all pupils were provided with fruit at break times. This was an approach implemented in order to support childrens progression up Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs. Children are less likely to concentrate if they have not eaten before school, following this, their learning will be affected. The stratgey of providing children with snack removes the barrier of learning becoming disrupted by hunger.
Drawing upon reading of Maslow and reflection with regard to placement shows evidence against TS2. It is demonstrated that I can identify ways in which children learn, and the barriers that can prevent this. With this knowledge, I am able to identify various other barriers which may prevent children from learning, enabling me to support students in the best possible way.
The school strategy, of encouraging snack before break, can have a positive impact on children’s learning as they are eliminating the barrier of hunger from impacting children’s concentration. I do however understand that there may be more than one reason as to why a child is unable to concentrate, and as teachers we have to be flexible to try move around these issues to ensure all pupils are able to increase their learning and development. Developing from this I have set a target to increase my knowledge of other learning theories.
During a Science session at university, various different hands-on approaches were discussed and demonstrated within the seminar. One explore how to create the digestive system using physical objects.
Many different everyday objects were used to show the process that helps a human body digest food. Bananas and weetabix were mixed together to show the food that was eaten. This was pushed through a series of objects, including a pair of tights. Finally the end product was produced to show the feces.
This activity allows pupils to visualise each stage of the digestive process within the human body. Activities such as these help to facilitate children’s learning and acquisition of children knowledge. This learning experience help to support my own personal understanding of how the human digestive system. Furthermore, it enabled me to discover the importance of planning lessons that promote curiosity within children, as this motivates children’s learning, supporting their knowledge development. Depending upon the year group my next practice will be based within, I will ensure I use this activity or a similar activity with the children I work with.
At the beginning of my final placement, the topic within the year group was based upon the Great Fire of London. Children had began to complete work related to this subject. I asked the class teacher if it would be possible to create a display for this topic they were completing.
I used a range of different pieces of children work that they had created within a literacy lesson and added these to the display. I added facts onto the display which were relevant to the history of the 1666 event. The display was bright and colourful, bringing life to the classroom. Children’s Art work was also added to the display to make a part of the picture; this added to a welcoming classroom environment for all pupils.
Below is an image of the display created.
Displaying the children’s work around the classroom stimulated a passion to work hard; it encourage children to try their best and gave the pupils who’s work was displayed, a sense of achievement. Having information about the Great Fire of London was effective; children often spent time in the classroom such as wet play times, where they would sit and look at the display. This meant children were reading the information and learning new facts without realising. For my NQT year I will ensure I incorporate bright, stimulating displays into my classroom.
There are a wide range of ways support staff can be deployed effectively. Following a lecture at university, I gained an insight into the ways that this should be adapted into everyday practice. The following show my notes from the session.
- When planning lessons, it is vital to ensure support staff within the classroom are incorporated throughout the lesson.
- It should be stated in the plans where they are required within the lesson, and the children or activities which they will be working with.
- Teaching Assistants and other members of staff working within the classroom should be sent or give planning prior to the lesson. This allows them to query areas of the planning they may not understand or are not confident with.
- Discussion with support staff within the class if vital in order to support pupils progression.
- This should be carried out prior to the lesson to explain the expectations the teacher has of the pupils.
- Once the lesson is complete, further discussion should be engaged with between support staff and the class teacher. This allows misunderstanding the children have had to be addressed and feedback to be gain based upon how the children worked with responded to the activity.
Reflecting upon this lecture, I have gained an understanding of the importance for deploying support staff effectively within the classroom. In order to effectively deploy members of staff to support learning and progression discussion and planning is vital. This is an aspect I have not engaged within whist on practice. For future placements and teaching experience I will ensure I include members of staff in the classroom into my planning. Furthermore, I will engage with conversation about the children they are working with and how well they have responded to the activities.
Whilst undertaking my final placement, I was able to work in a class with a one-to-one member of staff for a child with SEN. When planning, I ensure the member of staff was included within the plans and they were emailed across to her prior to the lesson. Furthermore, after lesson, discussion helped inform my planning and understanding of the ability of the child she was working with. This was beneficial for my own practice, in relation to planning suitable and effective lessons for all pupils.
Below I have attached a snapshot of my End of Practice Report from my final placement. This refers to teaching standard 8 and how I met this within school.
Class Dojo is an online reward system used for many different reasons. When teachers set this up, they are able to create a character for each pupils within the class. They are then able to award the pupils ‘dojo points’ in to encourage pupils for many different skills or values including working hard, being kind and helping others.
Another aspect of this system involves parental engagement. Teachers can share photos and videos of work, moments within the class or individuals performance. This motivates children to push themselves to their best potential and allows them to be proud of the achievements they have made.
Teachers can log into the class dojo using various different devices, therefore they are able to log into a device such a an iPad and move around the room, still rewarding pupils whilst working with others.
This system was used across the school during practice for many of the reasons stated above. Often ‘whole class dojo’s’ were given out if they had all shown progression or worked extremely hard. The child with the highest about of dojo points at the end of the week got a prize from the prize box, consisting of small toys, sweets, pens etc.
This system was effective during placement. It could be used to draw the attention of the class at the beginning of the lesson. It was also used to promote positive behaviour and encourage children to complete activities. Having the ability to share photos and videos with parents was effective as it encourage positive behaviour and motivation to work hard. Furthermore, as the system was used across the school, pupils were eager to increase their points as they wanted to discuss their achievements with their friends. This is a system I will use within the future, however, as i did not implement this previously, I will ensure I share photos and videos with parents and guardians.
On my first day of profession practice within second year, I took a set of class rules into the class. Beforehand I discussed this with the class teacher to ensure she agreed with this. When I first met the children, I asked them some of the rules they have to follow in the classroom and around school. I presented my rules to the children and set the expectations I had whilst I was teaching them. Instantly, this built mutual respect between myself and the class. It also presented a good structure for behaviour, and children know what was expected of them.
The class rules I set were positive statements, that indicated the children already met the expectations I had – this can be seen below.
Ensuring the rules are positive allows children to be proud of the things they are being asked to do in addition to them to view the statements as negative things. Moreover, as children clearly understood the rules I had whilst they were being taught by myself, positive attitudes were promoted within the classroom. This is a vital aspect of teaching, as it helps monitor and support positive behaviour during lesson time. Moreover, this provides a positive attitude throughout the school, as these rules were demonstrated whilst children work with other teachers, moved from class to class and represented myself and the class teacher in assemblies. One target from this for future pratice would be to ensure pupils had the opportunity to input their ideas for class rules.
When carrying out my second year placement, I was placed in a three-form entry school. Within the year group I had been place, planning was shared and one topic was planned by each teacher, each term. During my practice I planned for Maths. A strategy introduced from the teachers at this school involved using pre-tests to inform planning and grouping of ability groups.
The day before PPA the children would complete a specialised pre-test for the topic they would be studying the following week. Each child would have the same test, and the same amount to complete this in test conditions. They would self-mark their test, allowing them to notice the areas they were weaker within. The following day, during PPA, whilst planning these pre-tests would be groups into ability groups. This differed week-on-week, as all children were stronger in various parts of the subject. Activities were then selected appropriately to support learning of pupils. Attached below is a basic pre-test used during practice.
Using and adapting pre-tests to inform planning and support identification of ability groups was an effective strategy; it highlighted the areas children were stronger and weaker in. Furthermore, using these allowed for appropriate and effective differentiation to meet all needs of the learners. As children marked their own tests, they were able to reflect upon their own knowledge and identify the areas that they needed extra support within. One disadvantage of this was that all children had the same test, regarding that there were a wide range of abilities within the group. One target from this would be to ensure that pre-tests were created for different ability groups.