The Session

I have now taken part in the lesson that I planned and this post is dedicated to explore how it went.

When I arrived, I began to set up all of the resources that we had. We decided for the first activity, the bug hunt, we would provide the children with a hunting pack. My group had four children and we planned to divide them into pairs. Each pair received the following pack;

-A bucket

-two magnifying glasses

-two diggers

When we had set this up, we also decided that a really quick icebreaker would be a brilliant idea, in order to introduce ourselves as well as establishing what the children already knew. So, we used some posters of minibeasts to do a quick quiz which really got the children excited. This was a great last minute decision, as we then had an idea of what the children knew about the beasts as well as establishing a fun tone to the session by introducing a quiz.

However, I also decided last minute that hiding the resource pack in a secret box until after the quiz ended would be a way to gain enthusiasm from the children. Therefore, we hid the box under the table and when the quiz ended, we brought the box out and told the children we would we entering the forest to find our very own bugs! These two last minute ideas were essential into gaining the children’s attention and trust- the children all felt confident with us after this, proving that a lesson plan is never set in stone and is always adaptable.

So, we placed the children into pairs and entered the forest- an area with high buses. The children were very excited. My partner stayed with one pair and I explored with the others. We found a snail, however the snail would not come out of the shell, so I told the children he was asleep in a quiet voice, which me and the pair kept throughout searching making sure we didn’t wake the snail up. Unfortunately, this is the only beast that my pair found. Luckily, the other group found a few spiders and worms – even a centipede!

When we put our findings into the bucket, we then went inside. We had a Digi scope and a laptop set up in the classroom. We also had some trays set up and encouraged the children to put their beasts on them. Luckily for us, we had some help finding some bugs before the search from Mairead, just in case we could not find any in the search. So, all together we had quite a few bugs. When we put the bugs down, I felt like this section was much harder to engage attention. I attempted to show everyone how the bugs look under the Digi scope, which everyone payed attention to at different times. This is something I felt challenging within the session- perhaps this was difficult as this children were so excited, being back in the classroom or maybe due to the group being mixed ability. Whatever the reason, this has made me take a valuable lesson for the future which would be to plan for situations like this.

When we decided to pop the minibeasts away, we then got out some paper and pencils and asked the children to design their own bugs! Me and Ella originally planned for the activity to focus upon designing a bug around a habitat, but we soon realised we overestimated the ability of the children and just stuck to drawing a bug of choice. The results from this was excellent! One child produced a drawing of a spider and written ‘web’ next to it, which suggests that this child was of a higher ability and could have attempted to engage in the planned task if we had set it. One child, who was not as engaged within the hunt as the others, produced a fantastic drawing and also written the word ‘fish’. This was great and he was so proud he wanted to keep his drawing to show his parents!

Therefore, I believe that the session was a great success in terms of personal development and delivering a fun lesson! The children were so excited and engaged throughout the whole session, and at times, it was hard to decide who was lower ability and who had the higher ability, as they all were giving great answers to our questions.

The lesson proved to me that learning outdoors is a way that engages and introduces difference and fun into learning!!

Now this has been done, I am going to spend time reading theories about learning outdoors and prepare for my final critical project. However, following the session I may touch upon readings surrounding higher and lower ability- as I feel this would make a great focus point as well.

Meeting with Ella

Myself and Ella met today and came up with a concluding plan.

This is a copy of the email we sent to Sean and Mairead;

We have met today and have decided on a final plan. Vaguely we are going to be dividing our session into 3 activities which will be:

Bug Hunt We want to use the bug hotel and the outdoor forest to capture some bugs for later on. We will need magnifying glasses, containers and something to capture the bugs? Do you think a checklist card would be too much?

Digiscopes We will go indoors for this part. We will get the children to adopt the role of scientists, would it be ok if we borrow the lab coats that the heart group are ordering? We plan on using digiscopes to look closely at the bugs. How many digiscopes would you recommend us to attach to laptops?

Designing our own bugs We are going to divide the children up into groups. How many children will roughly be in the session? Each group will pick out a card to reveal a habitat which they will then have to design a bug for the habitat. For this we will need art supplies, for example, playdough and straws.

Our main focus for EYFS is Learning Outside of the class room.

Resource List • Magnifying glasses (defo) • Containers/bug catchers (defo) • Checklist cards (possibly?) • Digiscopes (defo) • Laptops • Labcoats (possibly?) • Petri-dishes (possibly?) • Habitat cards (possibly?) • Art Supplies

We want to come in for a practise soon, it doesn’t matter if we don’t do the whole thing, for example if the digiscopes haven’t arrived. We just want to come in for a general feel of how our lesson will go. What week would be best for you?

Meeting with Mairead

Today Ella and myself met with Mairead. Here we discussed what we would need to order for the session and explored using the digiscopes.

From here, we now need to properly plan a lesson and the resources we need.

I also intend on reading more about the main focus of EYFS that i plan to write about which is Learning Outside of the class room.

First Conference Preparation

My journey of education

This post is to reflect upon my education journey since primary school, right through to secondary, college and university.

I hope that this will help be as a starting point for exploring my Edlab project.

Since primary school, i fondly remember liking doing work that was unusual. I liked it when we did lessons that were different from the norm, as these were exciting. Sometime the lessons were so fun they didn’t feel like lessons at all. For example, i remember in primary school when a science bus would visit and i got to experience learning in an exciting new environment.

I remember always disliking working in silence, and even to some extent, i did not like working in groups sometimes as i felt it was often difficult to be heard.

Therefore, i feel like the most memorable experiences of learning i have involve factors that were out of the ordinary – and ones were i felt i was able to communicate my ideas.

Joining Edlab

This is my first blog post since joining Edlab. I have engaged with the blog and the main blog posts.

I was drew to the EYSci project as I was interested in working with younger children in the classroom. Also, I am passionate about the project being fun for everyone involved – including myself – which I believe the topic of science can deliver.

I am anticipating a challenge; as I have never worked inside a classroom before, or planned anything like this. Therefore, I expect to be working more independently than most other projects I have done before.