I often hear parents talking about how upsetting it is when they hear unkind words spoken to their child.
No parent likes to see or hear their child upset by the actions or words of others.
All to often this is the case and it’s usually because someone is different or has needs different to the majority. That could be learning difficulties or a physical disability or it could be that your child is exceptionally bright.
Whatever the difference every child has a need to be accepted – in this we are all the same.
We as parents need to encourage our children to accept and celebrate those differences – they are exciting and not something to fear.
I’ve been asked a few times recently how do you know how to plan a topic and where do I start? So I thought I’d share with you the topic I have planned to teach my children this term and how I went about planning this. Obviously this is just an example as there are many different ways to approach planning a topic of work… this is just one of them.
What should I do first?
I began by asking Jack and Harry what they were interested in and also by thinking about what our local area has to offer in terms of places to visit. I always begin my topics with a visit somewhere, to bring the topic alive. The boys decided they were interested in learning about animals and also they like to make things so I suggested we visit the local beach and learn about the seaside and link this to some work about Lighthouses. As we live by the seaside we have a lighthouse that we can visit and plenty of local beaches where we can go rockpooling.
If you can tie in your topic to a local place you can visit, it will really animate your child and bring the learning to life from the start.
So what next?
Once we had a theme in place we then considered how we can link other subjects into our learning. I have chosen a couple of really nice children’s books to link to the seaside – The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch (Ronda and David Armitage) and Kensuke’s Kingdom (Michael Morpurgo). We will use these to write stories and learn how to use vocabulary and grammar in our writing. We can learn the History of the seaside and of lighthouses and then we can also learn about map reading skills and some physical Geography by looking at key features of the coastline when at the beach. To link in some Art we will be sketching pictures of lighthouses and some items we might find at the beach such as shells. For DT we will be creating a mod-roc lighthouse that we will be painting and when complete we will learn how to create a circuit to add a light to the top of the lighthouse.
Have a look at my mind map below which will give you my thoughts written down.
Drilling down further…
Once I have a clear idea of the things I can do I will then create a week by week plan as a guide to follow when we will do each thing.
There are many good websites online with plenty of information about whatever topic you choose. If you base your topic around a local theme you may well be able to get resources from local places.
Once you have shown and taught what makes good talk you must teach and scaffold good talk. Teaching the correct language to use in a variety of situations is crucial. Don’t assume the children will know the correct way to persuade or to explain! Scaffolding gives the children the structure to practice the language for a given purpose. You should also give plenty of opportunities for these structures to be seen in your classroom. Display them as you use them on your display boards linked to all subjects. Give the sentence stems to the children so they are in front of them in the lesson you are teaching. The more exposure you can give the better!
How do you get from where you are now to where you aspire to be?
Small steps are the key and focus.
We went to see the red arrows at Armed Forces day and they didn’t disappoint! How do they become that good at flying a plane they can do stunts and fly so close to one another? Well they didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to do it. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve the skills needed to do this.
All these dreams require small steps to reach a goal. Once you have decided on your path you can decide what small steps are needed to make it happen.
These are particularly useful to support fair turn-taking. Pupils have to work out a fair way for everyone to be heard.
Some ideas for this are:
Pass the teddy – great for the younger pupils. You can only talk when you are holding the teddy.
Pass and go – one person starts talking and then passes to the next in the group to share their idea. This works well in a circle as the talk passes from one person to the next.
Thumbs in – as you have an idea you put your thumb up. When the current speaker finishes they choose the next to talk. This gives a good flow to the talk and no one has control.
Chaired discussion – each group decides on a chair who makes sure the discussion is fair and there is good turn-taking. They may also ensure that contributions are relevant and accepted. The chair could also have the role of summarising the talk.
Teach My Child will be offering Maths clubs to help and support your child’s learning. These will be online but tailored to your child’s needs with direct contact to the teacher for the session via online video chat.
When? Weekly support with the guidance and expertise of qualified teachers delivering what your child needs.
Where? In the comfort of your home via an online video chat.
What? Post your question or area of need in the private Facebook group by a prearranged time. Join the call online to take part in the session.