A return visit to Carmel RC College in Darlington to spend time with four of its feeder primary schools. A morning of lessons with two groups of 60 Year 4/5/6 pupils and their teachers. The schools, St Bede’s RC Primary, St Teresa’s RC Primary, Holy Family RC Primary and Cockerton CoE Primary. Then, an afternoon with some of the teachers, followed by a twilight with all the staff from each of the schools.
Great use of humour to hook the children’s attention at the beginning of the session. Animated actions and dramatic voices instantly had the children smiling and focused on every word. Lots of praise to individual children, using their name and repeating their ideas back to them.
Using talk partners to get the children to share their ideas, encouraging ‘crazy’ ideas as it will lead to fictional writing. Great way of getting more out of children ‘Great! Can you explain this!’ Repeating what the children say in a very animated way was a great way of sharing the children’s ideas.
When a child is talking get the rest of the children to put their hands down so they can concentrate on the main discussion.
Looking at the animation in the background and giving lots of ideas about what may be happening.
‘What makes you think this? Can you explain this? This is gorgeous!’ ‘I want to know about this, tell me some more.’ ‘Splatter me with your ideas’.
I need to know your name! Thank you so much.
“That was not a good piece of writing… that was a fan-bloomin-tastic piece of writing!” Dragging out the praise to really emphasise the compliments. This worked really well and motivated the other children to share their ideas please TR.
This worked Praised every contribution from the children, this motivated everyone else join in and try to impress.
Used a cup to pretend he was drinking which showed the children he was listening and not going to interrupt. This worked really well as the children would continue to talk while he was drinking because they knew it was ‘their turn’ to talk. Use this especially when the children are about to stop speaking or coming to the end of a sentence.
Getting the children to ‘speak’ with eyebrows was a fantastic way of engaging all of the children.
They children loved it.
Never stood still, the children’s eyes were constantly following him as he walked from table to table.
Used a fun activity to remember similes and metaphors by saying examples of these in a funny voice with an action, pirate voice, old lady, very posh.
Give the children a sentence starter to describe the setting, encourage the children to use similes and metaphors in their description. Put a comma in the sentence starter to encourage children to use punctuation.
Started the children off writing then after a minute stopped them to give three teaching points.
Three points at the beginning of the writing task.
- You can nick my ideas but I want you sparkle it up a bit.
- There are no right or wrong answers.
- Don’t worry about the spellings, try your best but don’t wait and worry about them, the world wants to know your brilliant ideas so don’t let a spelling mistake stop them hearing it, well can fix those later.
The computer animation ran on a loop throughout the writing task which allowed the children to get new ideas.
Without putting hands up, encourage the children to read out their work. Children take it in turns to read out their work. All of the children read out work full of fantastic similes and metaphors to describe the setting shown on the screen.
A child commentated as TR moved throughout the computer landscape. Where should we go? What is this?
Role play and hot seat activity, two of the children took a role of a character from the landscape. Tim starts questions, tell us about your crew mate, what happened to the rest of the islanders? Tell me ‘THE TRUTH’ about your crew mate… Tell me about that TERRIBLE thing that happened here…
Then get the rest of the children to ask more questions in the ‘hot seat’ activity.
I have learnt so much from the session and am excited about going back and using some of these ideas with my class. The children were so keen to carry on writing and were obviously disappointed when the session ended.
Tom Dowling – GTP trainee (primary) teacher, Carmel College
Category: 1) Events and Training days