I write this, sitting in my bed, looking a mess after a long day at school, and eating sweets. I feel I am going through a lazy stage that I need to seriously nip in the bud. When I was at University I was a super productive, proactive, to-do list queen. However since graduation and being able to enjoy my free time, I have developed a habit of enjoying it a little too much!
Anyway, more on my laziness towards the end of this post! I have just come home after a fantastic afternoon in Year 1, who were learning about 3D shapes. The lesson was very interesting and fun, and I thought for my own development I thought it would be good for me to reflect on what I’ve learnt.
So the lesson began with a talk about what we already knew about 3D shapes. The class had lots of ideas which was fab. We then talked about our objectives briefly before cracking on with the work. The group I was working with were to explore the school looking for examples of the 3D shapes we were discussing on the carpet (cube, cuboid, sphere, cylinder). We were then going to record the shapes by drawing them onto the worksheet provided. This excited me no end! I wasted no time telling my group that we were ‘The Shape Explorers’ and that we had a very important job to do in the school (of course I also explained that this special job also involved being sensible and using indoor voices)
The reason I found this lesson particularly interesting, was because when the teacher explained the plan to me I thought wow, foolproof interactive learning experience! I was ready for action, and in no way pre-empted any of the issues we encountered. Firstly the group were very excited by the exercise. They were very well behaved, but moved on so quickly! All of their drawings were rushed and unrecogniseable as the objects they had identified. Also although they were able to point to 3D shapes and match them to their sheets, they struggled to recall the correct names.
I think the lesson was good, and I do think the children got a lot out of it. They used their independent exploration skills to find the shapes. They were able to see a clear link between their learning, and everyday objects. They were also able to effectively work within a team, helping each other to find and identify shapes. However, I would have liked their work to have been more thorough. I felt as though they moved through it too quickly, without taking everything in.
Things we could have done differently:
Photography: As well as drawing pictures the children could have used iPads to photograph the 3D shapes they found. I could then print these for the children to stick into their books. This would hopefully help them retain the connection between the objects we discussed, and the shapes we found when identifying the photos back in class.
Collecting objects: If we had of collected the objects we found around the school (where possible) we could have brought these back to our classroom to do detailed observational drawings of. I think having the shapes back at their table would have encouraged them to take longer drawing them, rather then being extremely excited to move on. This would also create the opportunity for discussion on the features of the 3D shapes. Why did you pick this object? How many faces does it have?
3D Shapes Display: As an ongoing project we could set up a classroom display where children would be encouraged to bring in a 3D shape from home (i.e. a ball, a box, dice, a can)
Whether these ideas are good developments to the lesson or not I don’t really know. I think they are, but at this stage I would need more experience to make that judgement. I’m definitely still learning and trying to reflect as much as possible, but I thought this was an interesting lesson to think about.
As previously mentioned I am getting a bit lazy. This has also started to affect my eating habits. Now, I am a healthy weight (just) but I do not want to let the stress of life and my PGCE impact on my health. I am considering starting a Miss Gets Fit section on my blog where I try and incorporate a healthy lifestyle with my teacher training, and share ideas and progress. Let me know if that is something you would be interested in reading, because either way I need to make some changes to my diet and exercise regime (or lack of)
So that’s all for now. I’m off now to hopefully be productive and not eat any more junk! Wish me luck…