October 08, 2010

Science reflective journal – week3

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/wie/teaching/pgce/secondary/subjects/science/outline/week_3

Third Week is coming to a close, and I have a spare twenty minutes before I get down to the crux of planning my microteaching. So let us blog.

I’m going to be thinking about assessment and the various ways we have at looking at pupil progress and what we can do to assess pupils.

I have to start of by saying that there is a need for summative assessment, without a grading system for GCSEs, A-Levels, Degree etc. we would end up with some very strange methods of differentiating the thousands of people who want to enter the job market. However I feel that we can use this summative assessment formatively.

By taking the information gained from this summative assessment we can let it feedback into the way that we teach, to essentially encourage development.

Formative assessment has been shown undeniably to be a much more successful way of giving feedback for work, By giving comments rather than a grade meant that pupils stop trying to compete with each other, and genuinely focus on the information they are given to work on to become effective learners.

The only difficulty with this is the amount of extra work that has to be done by the teacher, giving an individualised personalised comment based on the work is taxing, and isn’t going to be easy, BUT if it means that because of that little extra work your pupils gain so much more out of their education, I think that is a sacrifice that I would be willing to make.

APP is certainly interesting, and I have to say I whole heartedly agree with this method of assessment. Children do not need stress in their life that comes from summative examination, and by assessing pupils progress throughout a whole year it gives pupils (unitentionally) the ability to show off their best pieces of work, and be assessed on what suits their learning style.

We also spent alot of time on practical work and demonstrations, and Health and Safety is a huge part of that.

Thank god that CLEAPSS was invented, their information for experiments and hazards are superb and one of the greatest things I have ever come across so far. I now have it linked as a favourite in my internet browser. through having good health and safety we can make sure that our exciting and dynamic experiments are suitable for the classroom… lest we burn down an entire lab (something I did when I was at school).

Practical science is by far the most engaging thing about science and it underpins everything we do as scientists. We need to spark the scientists of the future, and the only way to give them that spark is by letting children loose in the laboratory, (within reason). Although computation is getting so much better than it used to be (and in cases we can show experiments that would never have the chance to be shown in school), it is never going to be as good as the children holding test tubes in their own hand, and working through an experiment for themselves.

I can’t wait to get into the schools and start doing my own practicals, and seeing pupuls work on their own experimentation, Practical science is the best way of learning things from first principles. Pupils need to work through the science to be able to understand most of it, and to give them the essential skills of how science works.

lecture wise it’s been so much fun this week… and I got to play godzilla, and get out of the classroom to be the ice-age! =D

October 07, 2010

Science reflective journal – week2

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/wie/teaching/pgce/secondary/subjects/science/outline/week_2

Second week is over and I’m supposed to be reflecting on my planning, Seeing as I JUST spent nearly 3 hours on a one hour lesson plan trying to get it as perfect as I can… I think that I am going to do my blog for this week now.
Chemistry in Action!

So Why Plan? I guess because we have to, it’s important how on earth are we as trainee teachers going to be able to perform in the classroom without knowing what we are going to be doing! The time for winging it has passed long long LOOOONG ago, and we’re going to have to make sure there is nothing we don’t cover in our planning.

It has to include so much (as I learnt today) covering not just the outline of the lesson, but also assessment, differentiation, health and safety, learning objectives and outcomes, key questions, back up plans, lists of equipment, resources, etc. and in all honesty, that’s alot that we have to plan for as trainee teachers!

I’m confident that this is going to get easier with practice or at least I hope… It’s only hard now because alot of the stuff I’m having to think of just isn’t coming naturally to me. Now that I have one lesson plan under my belt, I certainly think that the whole process is going to get easier.

The teachers that I saw on my placements and such, just didn’t seem to need to plan, but of course all they had done was work with the subject material so much that teaching a lesson had become an almost automatic situation, where the plan itself becomes internalised. I am dying for this day.

To inform my plan I think there is alot that I can do, looking at previous plans, and using a clear structured proforma definitly help. There are so many resources as well, and building a lesson around a key theme seems to be easier than sitting and writing a systematic plan. For guidance I seem to be resorting to google more than anything else, the internet is a valuable resourse for the teaching profession, and one that I intend to utilse for the whole of my career. I do have to say though listening to what my peers say and come up with in our professional studies has been invaluable, someone is bound to have had a similar problem to you, and asking around over a cup of coffee has been enlightening.

All in all I’ve had an awesome second week though, a highlight of which was being a sperm!

September 29, 2010


I got to be a sperm today!


yes! a sperm! =D it was so much fun! I had the best time!!

This is part of a scheme of work covering common misconceptions in science (specifically Biology today) and looked at the problems with teaching cells, and in particular practicals that we can do to show how cells work, or what cells are etc.

There were some really fun things like DNA Extraction, and looking at our own cheek cells under a microscope, stuff that I as a chemist had just never done before.

But of course the best thing was being a sperm... so let us play


Sperm wars!

half the team are SPERM, half make up a fallopian tube, and one person is the egg waiting to be fertilised.

the sperm have to run to get into the fallopian tube and into the egg as soon as possible. ONLY ONE SPERM CAN WIN!

omg. best. lesson. ever.

September 28, 2010

Glowing in the Dark

Hey guys, so it's week 2, and I thought I better write a little something about how its all been going befoe I have to dash to my next lecture... and the only thing that tends to stick in my mind is these cool beads!


they're amazing right? basically these beads change colour in the sunlight, inside they're white and outside they're all the colours of the rainbow!

We had to plan a lesson around these things, but I was just impressed with how they worked, if someone can tell me (I'm talking about the actual chemistry, not just 'they change in UV light') I'll give them a gold star!

Anyway so I've now got a little bracelet made out of these things, I might put a little photo of it on the internet when I've got a camera on me!


September 27, 2010

Science reflective journal – week1

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/wie/teaching/pgce/secondary/subjects/science/outline/week_1

So, I’ve just finished my science audit, set up my Warwick Blog to reflect on what I have done, handed in my first Core Completion Task, actually done the reading (a first for this Ex-Chemistry student) and now I have to evaluate my progress so far… so, what have I been up to?

Basically this first week has been all about getting to grips with the science curriculum and what we are expected to do with our future careers as trainee teachers. First day was frightening, it was daunting being yet again a fresher, with the prospect of having to make friends again after all the years I’ve spent here, but I’m sucking it up and befriending as many people as possible. That is afterall what they told us to do.

Day two was better, and getting to know one or two people made it easier, aquaintances are becoming friends, and we started looking at the science curriculum.

Day three brought Core professional Studies, and our first Core Completion Task, my first ever real non-scientific essay since I was doing my GCSE’s

Days Four and Five had more subject stuff which I genuinely find more interesting than the CPS that we’re doing! I guess that means I’m just a simple little scientist.

I feel I’ve brought a wealth of experience with me. I’ve come straight out of a job as a teaching assistant and I even had the chance to teach the odd lesson, and small groups, (which has been quite humbling more than anything else).

I realise I know a little less about physics than I used to know just because of our Subject Knowledge audits, and our seminar with Mauresh on Energy (Ole), so that is something that I know I’m going to have to work on, and I’ll be sure to buy a GCSE revision guide for all of the sciences!

anyway I’m being summoned to go and leave the department before my first tutorial (I’ll tell you how that goes in the second week’s blog)

Peace out have fun, and all I have to say is xoxo

The First Day of Pretending.

Hey guys, it's me Tommy Precious, and I'm on my PGCE, hopefully this will go better than the last blog I made...

Where I be at!

FYI the Institute of Education is making us do a reflective blog, we're expected to reflect each week on the things that we have done that week in our career in education so obviously that's going to be important, there are just going to be places where I have formative assessment on this blog!

Come and get involved, I'll appreciate the companionship.

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