Author Archives: Scottishteacher

Setting up a new classroom⤴

from @ Scottish Teacher

Next week is the start of the new year for some schools and for the first time since my first year teaching I start the year with my own class. I have a temporary contract for a year teaching primary 2 / year 1. Before the end of term I visited the school and checked out my room. The room had been used by a mother and toddler group last year and had previously been a classroom.

During the holidays I have into school and have put backing paper on all the notice boards. I have labelled my art, literacy and numeracy boards. I have the golden rules and birthday displays up. I have desks and chairs, just have to organise them. I plan to have four groups of desks and have group names.

I am looking to crowd source any other ideas about setting up a classroom. I am also looking for suggestions for an idea for a role play area.


One of those moments⤴

from @ Scottish Teacher

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This week my class have been working on information handling including reading bar graphs and creating them. A couple of times I have sent them out to survey other classes. For their assessment I sent them in small groups to survey a class on their favourite crisps. Before they went they had to decide on the flavours they would ask about. A few of the groups included other to include any flavour they hadn’t thought of. They all went off and surveyed a class. When they came back they had to individually create a bar graph about the data they had gathered.

This lesson must have stuck with one child as on Friday he gave me this bar graph. He had surveyed his family including the dog to find out what they preferred football or rugby then drew a bar graph. It was just one of those moments that make me feel pleased to be a teacher :)


Art outdoor⤴

from @ Scottish Teacher

As it is nearly the end of term I asked my class what art they would like to do again. We made a list and had a vote. They decided they would like to paint again in the style of Jackson Pollock.

So on a sunny afternoon we took paint and paper plus masking tape outside. I reminded them of how Jackson Pollock painted. The children spread out started to paint – some sitting and some standing. The paint did get on their clothes and some were more enthusiastic with the painting than others but the results were amazing.

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Do Children grow out of celebrating success?⤴

from @ Scottish Teacher

I started to pounder this question after considering one of my children’s responses to recent successes. In both situations, one a prize giving the other passing a dance exam, the child gave off the attitude of not caring that they had been successful. I cared as parent as did my husband and we were both extremely proud of what both our children do.

This week at school we had our termly wider achievement assembly. It was wonderful to hear about all the children’s successes out of school. In preparation for the assembly the children are given forms to take home to fill in to celebrate their successes. It appears that as the children progress through the school the more reluctant they become in sharing success. I found that I had fewer responses from my class of 7/8 year olds this term than I had in previous terms. Is it losing its appeal?

Has it become uncool to celebrate success? Or are the children just outgrowing praise? Any thoughts?


Elevens⤴

from @ Scottish Teacher

In my first year of teaching my class taught me a simple game called elevens.

It is played as follows -

The children sit or stand in a circle. One child starts by saying up three numbers eg 1, 2 ,3. The next then follows with up to another 3 numbers. The child who has to say 11 is out and stands or sits depending on how you start. The winner is the last person left.

I have played this with a variety of primary classes how all love it!

When playing it with a primary 6 class, we changed it to counting in French. Then this week I tried a silent version with my class where they had to show the numbers using their fingers. The normally chatty class took it very well though I was surprised at how they weren’t always sure of the number of fingers.

A good game especially at the end of the day as when a child is out they go and pack up.

Give it a try. Do you have any other variations?


Collage⤴

from @ Scottish Teacher

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This week in art I introduced the children to collage and decided the first think we would collage was their names. I had practised using my daughter’s name and demonstrated using my son’s name.

My thoughts were for them to rip the letters from a variety of paper and stick on to paper. This is where I found a hurdle, some of the children weren’t confident / comfortable ripping so I let them use scissors.

Reflecting on the lesson there are a few things I would different when I do this again -

  • Explain to use capital letters for all the name.
  • Emphasis the size of the letters – big! They were given A3 piece of paper but some children made them small.
  • Use plain paper – the children were distracted by pictures on some of the paper.

In conclusion the lesson was successful with excellent results. A colleague left the class a message to say she thought they were very good. Our next step is use collage to create houses. I plan to use the colourful houses of Tobermory as an inspiration mixed with the houses of our local area.


Time Assessment⤴

from @ Scottish Teacher

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As an end of Maths Topic assessment I challenged the children to show me what they have learned about time by creating a poster. I set them the following criteria

What they know about

  • analogue time
  • digital time
  • am and pm
  • o’clock, quarter past, half past and quarter to

I got the children to traffic light how they thought they had done in each criteria.

A comment from one child was ‘This is like writing and maths combined’.

The children enjoyed this different way of assessing them.

It fits well with the make, say, write, do assessment models of Curriculum for Excellence. I had used the models before but lately had been using end of topic tests to assess. What I learned from this was to use different types of assessment – it improves engagement and is inclusive.

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Maths and Art⤴

from @ Scottish Teacher

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In maths the children had been learning about time. I decided to bring this into our art lesson. I chose Dali’s ‘Persistence of Memory’ as our inspiration. As a class we watched the Brainpop video on Surrealism which features Dali. I demonstrated drawing the melting clock to the children with a suggestion on how to decorate it. The children were given an A3 piece of paper and provided with a choice of media to use – pencil, pen, paint and pastels. The results were amazing! A colleague had suggested draping them over parts of the class. The finished display looked amazing.

How does this fit with time? When we first started time we made clocks and some of the children were unsure of where the numbers were placed on a clock face. By the time they did this art lesson all got the numbers in the correct place.