Tuesday, 3 March 2015

What kind of learner are you?

As I sit here and write PLP's I'm interested to learn how many various learning styles there are. It makes me think about how we approach our teaching and learning in this day and age. I find it is important to look at differentiation and how important it is to 'know your students!'

I came across this fantastic, simple example of learning styles and the many variations. Something very important to remember and take into consideration as a teacher, and of course, as a parent. The layers of the brain teach us what ways we learn best and our own preferred learning style.

Have a look at this link to get some great information and clarification on how you essentially learn!


Comment below if you are able to ultimately understand the complexities of your own brain.

What is your preferred learning style??

Class Dismissed!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Meditation, yes or no?

As it is the start of the year, I was reflecting on my first year of teaching. One thing I am extremely proud of is introducing my 22 year 3/4 students to meditation.

Now, I must admit, in the beginning it was hard yards. One student even told me it was boring and he constantly felt itchy. Both of these points are valid (got to love how open and honest children are!) I explained to them that this was their time, and time that we hardly get to ourselves during the day. 5 minutes each day is so little, yet even 8-10 year olds already dont have time.

As I do, I persisted and reminded them about having their time and trying not to waste it. What ever has occurred during the day it is important to try and keep our mind as still as we can. Yes we have bad days, yes we get itchy, yes we are busy and thinking about how I didnt master that cartwheel at lunchtime, but its all our time.

By the end of the year I used the same child as my example to other students. He LOVED meditation time. I saw him sit still, cross his legs, relax his arms and even fall asleep! He was still, and finally enjoying his own time. It was so good to see that he could improve his own practice and change his state of thinking and realised the benefits.

So this year I will be doing the same. Continuing the pattern and the routine. Change up the various ways we can meditate and keeping it interesting each time. Of course we all can
t sit still for 5 minutes listening to music. But we can walk, draw, listen, create and all be meditating at the same time. Its all about keeping your mind still!

Whilst spending some down time on Facebook, I came across a fantastic article, all about meditation. It just re-confirmed everything I was doing and how much it helps students today!
Ill stop my talking and raving about how great it is, and you can watch it for yourself!
I hope you enjoy!

But for now, Class Dismissed!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Let's talk tech!

How about that technology hey? Today I was thinking about all the ways I use technology and it got me thinking about how we use it in schools. 

Are we helping to support and provide for the new generation in relation to technology control, as well as support and safety? Or are we too wrapped up in the curriculum to truly provide a controlled and safe environment our students need?

This is a question I have been asking myself. Am I too worried about fitting in an hour of reading, writing, maths and religion that I can't fit in an hour a week of ICT support? We live in a generation where technology is growing. I understand that the education in high schools are coming along and are relying on the use of ICT frequently. However, are primary schools providing the skills and intelligence required to help provide security and understanding for students further education? Are we helping or hindering them?

This topic came to my attention when a parent warned me of a possible app that many students enjoyed at home. There was an issue with possible adult deviants that had been warned about and flagged all over Google. My response was initially blank. I immediately thought it was my duty to do something about this, although after having conversations with leadership I realised this was way beyond my call of duty. How could I monitor what a parent provided a student at home? Impossible! I politely advised deleting the app may be appropriate, and to warn as many friends as possible. But is this enough?

I've been thinking about how teachers provide safe and supportive environments on the internet for 8-12 year olds during their primary years, which are the most influential and developmental years. In a world run by technology, how can I, as a teacher, help a student of today use technology safely?

It got me thinking. How do I use technology safely? I have Pintrest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. How do I advocate the safe usage of social media and technology? How do I maintain my own safety? Privacy is key! Without privacy how can we protect ourselves from the lurking, immature trolls who bring nothing but negative energy into your life? We expect privacy when posting pictures, stories, videos and comments about our life. And this is at 23! How do I help an 8 year old manage their parents Facebook account even if it is just for 'Candy Crush'! We need to support our students through lessons on the safe usage of technology. Most importantly, we need to understand what safety is, and how we can achieve it.

So think about it, how do you safely use the internet and technology? Are your passwords all the same? Do you use your name? Have you updated your privacy settings? Who taught you about safely using technology? 
Some food for thought on this lazy Sunday afternoon....

Class dismissed! 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

How are your creative juices?

Let's get those creative juices flowing! How? Let’s explore creativity. It's refreshing and invigorating, just ask the kids! Their ideas, words of wisdom and hints to success all come together to create big and wonderfully creative ideas.

Children are so imaginative and free from judgement that their ideas are often so left field and daunting and that, lets face it, they are quite refreshing. If we just listened and invested some time and thought we would see that those simple small ideas often end up being the best. As teachers, listening enables us to be opened up to the imagination and creative thoughts that children hold.

I've found myself in this position. At first I may think 'Wow, hold on!’ This is followed by a voice in the back of my head (mine is my Mum’s!) saying 'let it go', and when I do I see that these suggestions were amazing. It improves, enhances and makes something that is often tedious both fun and interesting, all thanks to creativity.

I got this idea from a University assignment I did, based upon Sir Ken Robinsons “Theory of creative thought”. It's a fantastic TEDtalk that will open your mind to creative thinking. Through this research I discovered a clip, and although it has minimal words, it speaks volumes. It opened both my imagination and my thinking. It's simple and reminded me to K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid!), meaning be creative, get creative and think creatively!

But for now enjoy watching,
Class dismissed!


Sir Ken Robinson's quote that resonates with me:
“My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” Watch his full talk here,


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Let's get started!

I was trying to think of a witty beginning, but who can do it better than Kid President with a 'Pep talk' to get us all motivated and ready for the beginning of 2015!

Enjoy, Class Dismissed!

(If you're having trouble seeing this video and there's a blank gap, click the link before, you'll love it!)