Thanet 2 Day 3: Newlands Primary School, Kent

| January 26, 2010 | 0 Comments 

Thank you to Marie Knight for recording her thoughts on today:

“Having seen Tim in action on training days and conferences,  I am, at last, standing in the hall of my school, watching Tim doing what he does best: Working with the kids and being shot by Mr Walker. (Just a normal day at Newlands then).

Looking at a landscape from Myst IV the children come out of their shell. It gives those children who often are the ones struggling with the academic structure of the day coming out with amazing descriptions, bold enough to speak out loud, explain ideas and develop their sense of achievement.

I was keen to watch my old class, who had experienced Myst last year, working with Tim. They knew who he was, they knew how to say simile in their best posh voices, but they still joined in and loved it! I found myself joining in with the games without thinking. If I was pulled into the game then I am sure the children were.

To be able to prompt children into role playing  gardeners  and overseers. For them to improvise ideas  and thoughts. I can see so much potential in these ideas. We could film it, record their words, watch it, develop the ideas they came up with.

We could make books on the plants, how to look after them, and even make the plants… the possibilities are endless! If these are the ideas flying around in my head, I’m sure the children can develop their writing and imagination too.

At the end of our sessions the teachers were clear that they do not have to play, or complete, the game. They can dip in and out of the game, even only a few times. They know that to make up a lesson plan before the session will not always work. The children develop the lesson. Their ideas structure the outcome. They have seen non academic children have confidence to say what they can see without worrying about writing things down…yet they also wrote them down, and with style”.

Dean Holland, Ellington Infants School, Ramsgate, was one of the visiting colleagues today. He has become a very enthusiastic convert to some of the approaches:

“I have just started using Myst. I was told it was a game and to use it to help writing. When I used it I could see it “does what it says on the tin”. I have never seen a year two class say, “No! Can we keep writing” at the end of a lesson!

The game is, however, only an aid to the teachers own ideas and personality. If you use this and generate ideas, they will not stop. It is a really good link to modern life. The boys are jumping and overflowing with ideas; the girls are less “jumping”, but full of  the same amount of ideas.

I have found that you need to let them run with those ideas and they can then produce real, meaningful writing which they “own”. The language, and vocabulary development, is endless.

Overall I feel that the main power, is its ability to go anywhere and to let the children’s minds run free, therefore real writing for a real purpose”.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Leave a Reply