Tag Archives: skills

Reciprocal Teaching

Recently two colleagues taught me all about Reciprocal Teaching as a way of encouraging literacy in the classroom.

Each member of a group is given a different role, Predictor, Clarifier, Summariser or Questioner. All group members are given a piece of text to read, with each of them looking at a different role within this, it means that when they go to discuss the piece of text, they all have different ideas and perspectives to bring to it and it structures the activity much better.

Not only does this encourage literacy, it also encourages group work and makes each member accountable.

I have created some worksheets that will aid each member with their role and tasks to structure their reading.

You can download them here. Free Printables- Reciprocal Reading

Reciprocal Teaching

Read More Here: http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/reciprocal_teaching

[Posted originally on Learning RMPS.]

Developing the Young Workforce – Career Management Skills: One Primary School’s Approach

The labour market is constantly changing. Many of the children in our classrooms will move into jobs that do not yet exist. A 21st Century Teacher’s job cannot only consist of turning on the tap of knowledge in the hope that our learners will be equipped for the future.

In 2014 the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce was published. Later that year the Scottish Government outlined the Developing the Young Workforce Strategy, an agenda focused on increasing youth employment. Between May and September 2015 we have seen the 3-18 Career Education materials published on the Education Scotland website.

It’s great to see the power of work going on in the Secondary sector; however, the grass roots of the Early Years and Primary are crucial if we aim to develop the skills for work of our workforce of the future.

Earlier in 2015 Lochardil Primary School, Inverness, developed a Career Management Education programme for P6 and P7 pupils. The multi-agency project which was led by Highland Council’s then Literacy and Assessment Development Officer, the P6 and P7 teachers in the school, the Employer Liaison Manager at Barnardo’s Works and Skills Development Scotland. The project aimed to:

  • increase pupil, parent and staff awareness of the world of work
  • develop an understanding of skill development within the world of work
  • allow learners to reflect on their own horizons
  • make connections between education and the world of work.

CME2The Primary 6 and 7 pupils developed their research skills through using Skills Developmental Scotland’s My World of Work tool, identifying core skills which are fundamental across different industries. They learned how to create surveys to find information which was pertinent to the project, enhancing their skills in data literacy. They developed their communication skills through writing to businesses and presenting to businesses and their families about their learning in career education. They learned from local businesses within the hospitality, finance, construction and consumer market industries.

The project enabled the learners to make connections between the skills developed in school and the skills which are crucial to the world of work. They learned, from Skills Development Scotland, about the tools which they can use to make informed choices. Families learned from Skills Development Scotland and from the children through informative and interactive presentations.

The project engaged P6 and P7 pupils in the world of work, highlighting the importance of Skills for learning, life and work. To find out more about the project, including learning resources to help you develop Career Education with your children, check out the links below:

Developing the Young Workforce – Lochardil Primary School
Developing the Young Workforce – Lochardil Primary School (includes appendices)

The Missing Skill

There’s a skill that I was taught nearly 30 years ago, which over the intervening years has saved me literally years of wasted time. It’s a skill that is completely missing from the current National Curriculum in England, and indeed the new draft curriculum. But it’s a skill that both teachers and students need to use on a daily basis. Indeed, the further we move into the future, the more valuable and vital this skill will become. It’s a skill that is crucial in the vast majority of workplaces as well, and yet we completely fail to include it within the world of education.

When I’m in the classroom, and I show my students this skill, they are totally astounded. Comments range from: “How do you do that miss?” to “Miss, that’s like, magic innit?” They simply cannot believe that it’s possible, and yet it’s a relatively easy skill to learn. Like most skills, it just takes a bit of practice and commitment to get the hang of it. And the more you do it, the better and faster you become, until you can do it without even thinking. A handful of UK schools teach this skill, but the vast majority do not.

It’s a skill that I’m using right now, as I create this blog entry for Pedagoo. Have you guessed what it is yet? A couple more clues … I can do it at a speed of about 80, while those people who haven’t learned the skill can only go at a speed of about 8. So, that means I’m ten times as fast at this skill than someone who cannot do it. If you have mastered this skill, you can do it at the speed of thought. If you haven’t mastered this skill, then your thinking processes (and those of your students’) will be slowed right down.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? And yes, you’ve probably guessed by now, that I’m talking about touch-typing. There are various ways to learn. There’s the old fashioned way I was taught, which in those days involved a book of exercises, an hilariously huge BBC computer or even (gasp!) a typewriter. But these days a quick Google search will bring up software options suitable for schools, such as the ‘Englishtype’ programme. I recently bought my own children a Pokemon DS ‘Learn Touch Typing’ Game, with wireless keyboard included, which would work brilliantly in a school environment and which is great fun.

So this blog post is a plea to all you technologically minded teachers out there, to seriously consider teaching this skill in your schools. My ‘missing skill’ might not make it into Gove’s controversial new curriculum, but that doesn’t mean you can’t teach it in your classroom. Your children will thank you in their digital future, I promise.