Archive for November 8th, 2007
A return trip to work with the Maesteg cluster, at Garth Primary School. This time the weather was slightly more “clement” as, last time I visited, our day had to be cut short due to a heavy snowfall. (It took me six hours to get home that day, a journey that normally only takes one and a half!)
This time, I had a superb day, finishing my first week of three in Bridgend. It is always good to work for a cluster of schools that gather teachers from all key stages, including secondary staff, together for a practical training day. I feel it broadens our discussions and the investigations of how far we can challenge and motivate children.
We started the day with a whole morning of fun and challenge with a class of Year 5 pupils. They took well to the descriptive elements we introduced, and to the idea of stretching Simile and Metaphor.
After break we focussed on developing speaking and listening techniques. Speaking, in a large group, and without your hand up, is a bit like going to school in your pyjamas (or am I the only one to have had that dream?!) “No hands” is also like doing something without a safety net.
However, I often think that, at times, putting your hand in the air can act like putting a cork in a bottle: nothing else comes out AND nothing else goes IN. Children can “switch off” with their hands pointing at the ceiling. By modelling methods of handling a group “hands-free” discussion, the children today were soon listening to the offerings of their classmates more attentively, and, when they found the right time to contribute, their interjections were more expressive, and responsive to what had gone before.
Two quiet young ladies rose to my challenge and it was a joy to watch a development in confidence as they took on the role of designers and builders of the structure we were standing in. Well done girls!
Thank you to teachers Kate, Rachel, Ann, Claire, Richard, Jenna, Jon, Deb, Annette, and the children of Colin’s class, for a great day and for your feedback (read the comments filed for this post folks.)