Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Be a sticker not a quitter.

The angle was very acute.

This is the prompt for the 100wc this week. However, I have decided to write something else completely!

Be a sticker not a quitter

I have this written in my classroom above the board and it is something I find myself saying over and over again. As a primary school teacher not a day goes past that a child doesn’t find something difficult until that magical light bulb moment when you and they know that they have grasped the concept. It doesn’t matter whether it is being able to spell a word, make a prediction, work out a calculation, interpret a chart, spot the mistake , tie a lace… each and every step along the path to learning is important.
I feel it is vital to give children the confidence to have a go, even if they are not sure if they will be right or not, so that they can experience the pleasure that comes from success. And to learn to cope when things don’t go their way.  It seems that more and more this “stickability” doesn’t come naturally.
So, have I got a solution? I try to have an ethos in my class where every child feels safe and secure to have a go. We make good use of working partners and I have been totally sold on the use of lolly sticks (or similar) to choose children rather than hands up. Even the least confident children in my class will have a go and take part. Now that , in my opinion, is what teaching is all about. Empowering children to have the confidence to ask questions, want to find out more, not be afraid to have their own opinions.
I have been busy trying to organise a project involving all the local schools and have had to write a lot of letters, make a lot of calls and write a lot of emails . But, it is all starting to come together now.  
So, whatever comes with new curriculum proposals, I will keep true to my class mantra. If only the “powers that be” could remember that it’s all about the children, that it’s our job as educators to enthuse, engage, inspire a love of learning. Give them the tools to be able to find out more.

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” Plutarch.

Amen to that. 

Monday, 17 June 2013

If at first you don't succeed...

I am  in the process of organising a joint cluster INSET. Very exciting. Just waiting for funding confirmation from the AZSTT.
Have lots of great people lined up to speak, but am really hoping to book Simon Mayo.
I have written to him six times (and counting) and emailed a similar number of times.
I will keep trying and hope that I will get a reply. I am ever the optimist!

Now let's try this way!

Dear Simon,
I have written to you regarding a request to speak at a forthcoming conference involving the ten primary schools in our area and the secondary school.
I am a member of the AZSTT (Astra Zeneca Science Teacher Trust) and am presently putting together a bid to secure funding for exciting curriculum development plans for the 2014-15 academic year.
To start the year off I am planning an INSET for all involved and would be delighted if you could consider being one of our key speakers.
I am also an ASE member but am unable to make the conference later this month where you are speaking.
I know you are a very busy man, but would be very grateful if you could spare a moment to let me know if you would consider this.
I can provide you with any further information that you need and remain hopeful to hear back from you. I am about to post another letter to you also so I hope that somehow a message makes its way past the people who deal with your mail /emails and so on. 
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear back from you.
With kind regards
Mrs Halford

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

100 words week 92

This week’s prompt from Julia is, “Yellow”  http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week92/
Now, I haven’t done one of these for a while so it’s time I did something about that. So, yellow…

 Well, I like custard (a lot) and that’s yellow. I could write a poem about custard. Perhaps not.
Mustard, that’s yellow. Or brown, or speckled. I bought a red one in France once (rather delicious; must have been the wine in it...) Where was I? Yellow.
Custard, mustard. Could be a poem in that…
 The sun, that’s yellow; had almost forgotten what it looked like until the weather bucked up. Loving it. Although it won’t be long before someone starts moaning about it being too hot/dry. Ha!
Cheese, that’s yellow. Sometimes, although I can think of more that aren’t.

Back to the drawing board.