Author Archives: Jennifer Harvey

My Pedagoo Friday

I really wanted to share more information than is possible in a tweet about the highlight of my week so here goes:

My #PedagooFriday this week has been today, which was our Roald Dahl Day.

I teach a composite primary 1/ 2 class and I have been reading ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ to the class all week in preparation for our Roald Dahl Day.

Today I planned a ‘play in a day’ structure. (We did extend this a little by doing preparation for the artwork in class yesterday afternoon but with primary 1/2 I’m sure you’ll appreciate every minute matters).

9am: After morning routines, the children got straight to work on clearing the classroom, setting up a stage and painting scenery accessories.

9:40am: The painting of our Enormous Crocodile, Humpy-rumpy and outer space complete with sun was finished and drying and it was time to start scriptwriting. We discussed our favourite parts of the book and the Croc’s clever tricks in pairs before choosing, as a class, which clever tricks we wanted to include in our play. This led to the point where we had to start writing the script. I typed the script for the class and they decided to use a similar opening to the book before writing the story in their own words. Once the script was ready we had to assign parts, I thought this would be a difficult task but everyone was happy to take a different role and there were no issues.

10:30am: We had just enough time for a quick read through before it was breaktime and after break we had assembly.

11:40am (after assembly): This was the next point to the day when I had concerns about keeping the children on task and interested in the activity but again I was proven wrong and we had three successful rehearsals before lunch, two of which we filmed to review.

12:05pm: We watched our rehearsal and the children choose the bits that were working well and, with a little guidance, discussed things that could be improved.

1:15pm: I have never seen my class get back from lunch break as quickly, shoes changed and ready to start the afternoon activities. We had a final run-through of our play, filmed in four takes, which they wanted to watch again.

1:50pm: At this point I thought it was important to have a break from the play and we had twenty minutes of language activity time.

2:10pm: The rest of the school and all of the staff arrived to watch our play and share their learning from Roald Dahl Day. The class performed wonderfully and we were very proud of our hard work.

While it is not possible to have every day like this, it is days like today when you are given a snapshot of just how much can be accomplished in a day. The class had a real sense of achievement and pupils who only started formal schooling a few weeks ago contributed and participated in a drama performance in front of the whole school. They were applying their learning from the week studying a book, they recalled the story, helped to sequence it and used rich vocabulary gleaned from other book studies in previous weeks. And this is why I am an extremely proud teacher tonight.

Pedagurus, getting involved, evolving

Good morning!

I am clearly on the high from yesterday’s fringe meet and full of questions and ideas for the future. This post started as an email to admin but then I questioned myself why? I would like to hear from all of the Pedagoo community so make it a blog post!

Do we have local pedagurus yet? If so, who is involved in Fife? I know that the idea of having more localised ‘branches’ was banded about during the reflections time yesterday and I’d like to become more involved.

I have organised 2 teachmeets before and been involved in many more but the format has been, and I believe, needs to evolve. With Olivia, I am planning another teachmeet event for next Spring but after yesterday I am now questioning whether we should attempt to reinvent the traditional teachmeet into something like a ‘Pedagather’ – a teachmeet spin off.

What do you think?

Jennifer

A Blooming Good Day #tmSLFringe12

This is the first time that I have posted on the Pedagoo blog but after an inspiring day at the Fringe it seems a most appropriate thing to do.

The workshops I attended today were:

When asked why I think Pedagoo has become such a success I might say that it is due to the enthusiasm of the founders, the passion of tweachers and a minority who have been driving progression in education.  I may also reflect and consider the timing of the Pedagoo movement and how, during times of transition, people look for reassurance that they are right in their beliefs and practices.

Linking to the workshops I attended today, there is a considerable element of ‘Changing Mindsets’  in education and teachers who recognise that the principles we expect students to follow should not be a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ scenario.  Yet, ultimately, I believe that Pedagoo works because it is OURS.  We have ownership of it, we know that the content is not only based on real practioners but it is created by those practioners themselves.  Pedagoo, in my opinion, is about teachers following a Bloom’s structure and by reaching a creating stage we are demonstrating that teaching is about building new ideas, expressing opinion and being able to explain why we hold that opinion we are modelling to our students that life is about change and dealing with change.  It is not about textbooks or tests.  Teachers who are not afraid to admit to their students that they make mistakes will gain the respect of their students.  By handing over control, difficult as it may be, teachers can guide students and support them.  We are all aware that students are more likely to engage in work which they own, in the same way we engage in Pedagoo.

If teaching and learning is a jigsaw then the teachers, students, parents, support staff and wider school/ college/ university communities are the pieces and by sharing our practice we get to see the whole picture.

At the end of today we were asked to answer three questions:

  1. What have you taken from today that you could use on Monday?
  2. What have you taken from today that you could use one year from now?
  3. How can the Pedagoo community help you to achieve that?

The Reflection Groups are often my favourite part of events such as today as I love to hear what others have taken from workshops and how they will put their learning into action.  What I am not so great at is sharing my own reflections;  I need time to mull things over and consider how I can make it work for me.  A teachmeet wouldn’t be a teachmeet if I didn’t feel challenged and today was no different.  My greatest challenge was being put on the spot and being asked what I would do on Monday; with so many ideas playing bumper car in my brain it was a difficult choice!

Pedagoo is about teachers trying things, enjoying them while they work and having the confidence to stop using those things when they reach a plateau.

Finally, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made today what it was and what I had hoped it would be.  It’s not often that I awake early for a cpd day full of excitement!