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Relationships Matter

When you first start teaching you are often asked to provide a personal philosophy on teaching; you’ve done the study and you’ve had a few practical experiences, but you haven’t actually had a class of your own. How do you know exactly what your philosophy is? Regardless of this, you …

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Teaching in the 21st Century

“What do you do?” “I’m a teacher” “Oh, what do you teach?” “I’m a primary school teacher so I teach everything” And, I can’t speak for secondary teachers so I don’t know if they feel the same but I hope they do. Because we don’t just teach subjects and content, …

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Going Green: Our Environment

A new season, a new term and a new unit! This unit is working within the theme, Sharing the Planet and we will be looking at: The properties and functions of plants. What do plants need to be healthy and grow? The importance of plants and our responsibility. We are …

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Exploring Capacity: Hands-on Learning

What is capacity? How much is a litre? These were the two questions we planned to explore. I needed to find out what prior knowledge the children had and how I could build on this. So we began with a discussion, I quickly realised that they had limited experience with …

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Assessment OF and FOR Learning

“Can we PLEASE do our summative assessment today?” This isn’t the general response teachers receive about assessment tasks but it makes me so happy to know that the student’s in my class are excited, not scared or nervous about assessment. Of course throughout the year we have openly discussed assessment …

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Purposeful Reflection: Documenting learning, for learning

So now I had to completely release control and hope for the best, the children were off to one of the other grade two classrooms to complete the experiment ‘Which shoe has the best grip?”. Of course the other teacher would be there to support them with the scientific inquiry and help them …

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Documenting Our Learning (Stage 1): Dissolving Experiment

  I wanted the children to continue developing their idea about the scientific method but I wanted also to introduce a new concept. I wanted them to document their learning as they worked their way through the next experiment, with me guiding them through the process. So we prepared our written experiment …

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Which ball bounces the highest?

Now I wanted the children to start to apply the scientific method in a range of different ways and I also wanted to introduce the idea of a ‘fair test’. So I set up an experiment that I could scaffold a little bit more, giving them the opportunity to further develop …

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Inquiry: What is scientific method?

When it comes to inquiry learning you have to be able to release some control and let the children try to discover what works on their own. We started our inquiry into scientific method with a simple question, what objects sink and what objects float? Without too much further prompting …

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Demonstrating Understanding: The Water Cycle

Now that the students knew quite a lot about the water cycle I wanted them to organise their ideas and share them with an audience. I reminded them how to use the application Explain Everything and gave them some simple instructions, they had to take a photo of the water cycle and use …