Friday, 11 July 2014

You Need To Speak Proper (Like What I Do)

In my NQT year, I noticed teaching assistants and other teachers correcting children's speech:

"Er, say thank you."

"Use please next time."

"You mean 'David and I'."

And so on...

In that year, and some since, I was more focused on some of the more basic aspects of the job. However, more recently, I have become aware of the need for children to speak correctly and then how that impacts more widely their ability to communicate, read and indeed write.

This year, a boy in my class had been frequently asking, "Can I go for a toilet?" This, in the past, was something I hadn't corrected with other children. Every time he asked, I corrected and he repeated. Then, last week, with a huge smile he came over and asked, "Can I go to the toilet please?" Of course, the answer (to a Year Five child) was, "There's only five minutes of the lesson left - see if you can wait." But, also, "I'm so pleased you asked correctly." And, I was pleased. I had been persistent and succeeded - I'd taught something (after all, I am a teacher)!

It's so easy to let these slip by. Does it mean the child doesn't know how to speak (and possibly write) correctly, are they being lazy or is it something else? You don't find out if it's not challenged. 

You and I (see what I did there?) have a duty to ensure we teach and, where required, correct children.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Looking for Sport's nth Term

I noticed that in the 2014 FIFA World Cup there are 32 participating nations and 64 matches. That's half participants to matches. 1:2 if you like. I noticed that as a possible pattern and wondered if it'd continue for a competition of 16 teams and therefore 32 matches. However, I didn't investigate. I'm going to get my class to...

Feel free to edit and adapt for your own class.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Here's What It's Like Around Here

On Monday of this week, a Tweet was posted:

At the time of writing, that Tweet has 14 ReTweets (even one from Brian Moses) and 19 Favorites. That's a lot for Liam: he's convinced most of his Tweets don't get read by anyone! Lots of interest out of the blue, and to something we though everyone would be doing. Wrong!

It's my 8th year of teaching and this is something I've done every year. Two weeks before 'Transfer Day', I give the children a home learning task to write a letter to a pupil in my next class. Here's how that was worded: 
The results were very impressive. Here are some extracts:

"Finally, you do lots of literacy and maths, but the teachers make it fun!"

"The Isle of Wight is really worth all of the five hours it takes to get there."

"The more time you spend in this year group, the more you will love it!"

"If you get my teacher, you're lucky: he's awesome!"

"The homework's not difficult if you listen in class."

There's a trip to the National Space Centre (not Space, in Leicester) and it's fun."

Your new class get to hear from those who have just experienced a year in your year group, classroom and presence. They tell it how it has been. Good points, not so good points and, at times, pick out aspects of the teacher's personality. They're useful for the teacher to evaluate the year too. 

Most of all, it's impressive to see the time taken by many of them to produce something that shows real empathy with the child who is going to be reading the letter: