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.
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.
Within my final placement, I worked with a child with special educational needs. There were a wide range of different strategies that had been put into place within in the classroom to support his needs, including a work station and a behaviour chart. During my time working with this class, the class teacher had a meeting with the SENCO, where they invited me to listen to and input on the target setting for this child.
During the meeting they reviewed previous targets set to support this child. They identified how strategies had been used to promote his progression within class. Next they discussed his physical, social and intellectual development. This child found it difficult to take turns with other within class, and was isolated socially. Although this did not effect the child currently, it was an issue the SENCO was concerned would effect him in the future.
In order to support this, I implemented ideas to support this. We devised a strategy where this child was to listen to others read during morning registration. He was able to chose who he wanted to read with; this supported his relationships with his peers in the classroom.
As I was able to work with child after the target had been set, I was able to see the positive effects that were drawn from this strategy. Once he began building relationships with the other children in his class, it was evident that these children wanted to spend time with him outside the classroom, as well as being his partner within classroom activities. This experience allowed me to understand the importance of setting targets for all children to meet their individual needs, and support pupils progression. From this experience, I will ensure that incorporate target setting to monitor progression of all pupils within the class.
During my final placement I worked with a child who had Special Educational Needs (SEN). It was evident this child had difficulty concentrating for long periods of time and presented challenging behaviour when given an activity the child did not wish to participate in.
Lessons I had planned catered for this child and as they had one-to-one support, the support staff was deployed well. However, an effective strategy was introduced by the SENCO at the school, called a ‘task slicer’. The image below shows the basic design of the slicer. It was laminated, and there were various different ‘task cards’ made for the slicer.
The task cards would be put onto the slicer using velcro, and set up the activities the child with SEN would carry out in the day. These activities were short, and still included tasks with the other children. For example, in the morning the child would pratise spelling whilst the other children were completing a starter for their lesson. Once the child had completed their spellings, they would join the rest of the class to participate in the lesson, for example English. The task slicer would show this activity, so the child was aware of what was expected of them. Once this child had completed the expected amount for that lesson, they would use their task slicer to see that they would have a 5 minute ‘play card’, where they were able to play with something of their choice.
Below are two examples of activities.
This strategy was effective for many reasons. It support the learning and individual needs of the child, as it gave them a structure to their day. They were able to see what they were expected to do, and how much work or time they would have to take part in until their next task. Furthermore, this was beneficial to the other members in the class, as this child often became disruptive when they were presented with the same activity for a long period of time. Activities shown on the slicer were adjustable so they could be changed in order to suit the plans for that day within school. I will take this strategy into my teaching practice, and ensure that it is use effectively if required. As a target for this, I would ensure the child who the task slicer is created for, has an input into the planning and activities they will take part in within the day.
During my second professional practice I developed my understanding of how to appropriately detail mark children’s work to support learning and progression. When marking the piece of work, I had to identify one positive aspect that could be shown in their work. Next, spellings that would be expected to have been spelled correct were noted. Finally, a gap task was created with regard to the activity the children had been completing. This is a task which supports the development of their learning about the focus topic for that lesson; specifically focusing upon an area they had struggled with or made a slight error.
Often gap tasks created required children to note where they had made mistakes, therefore they had to reflect upon their own learning and show independence.
This strategy for supporting learning was effective as it allowed children to be praised for the positive areas of their work. Children responded well to gap task; this activity supported independence and allowed children to re-visit a topic that they had learnt about within that lesson. It addressed misconceptions children had within the lesson. Furthermore, it is a useful strategy to make assessments of children’s progression and identify where they need extra support. Also, detailed marking should inform future planning for the subject. This is an area that will be implemented into future practice.
As a strategy to motivate children to learn, a ‘Superhero Reward Chart’ was implemented into teaching practice phase 2. Each child’s face was put into a superhero character; the chart had three shields (bronze, silver and gold) with stepping stones in between each shield. All children started on the bronze shield, moving each stepping stone for various reasons: if the child created an outstanding piece of work, met a target which had been set between themselves and the teacher, participated and achieved within an extra-curricular activity etc. The image below shows a uncompleted example of the reward system.
This system was effective as it support children learning and achievement. Children were eager to have their superheros moved up the chart and the competition between pupils and their peers pushed them to show improvements within their work. The system was not something used everyday, therefore it gave children a huge sense of achievement when their success was promoted to the rest of the class. Although the rewards given to children were small, for example bubbles, a highlighter, a ruler etc., children were passionate to receive these rewards. This is a strategy I would like to incorporate into my NQT year, however I would ensure that one person a day would be moved up the chart in order to reinforce rewarding outstanding work.