These six words were uttered out of a child’s mouth on Friday afternoon so I thought I’d record and share what had happened that day:
We were coming to the end of our Learning Journey week. This is a week off of our usual timetable (pfft..what does that even mean!?) in which we provide our children with a project to work on, whilst we have 1:1 discussions with each child in regards to their learning and wellbeing. So, yes, I wasn’t technically teaching them that day…but I’m still going to take this pupil’s comment as a win for Mr Rhodes!
The children had been working on a project related to their spirituality/’darkness into light’ topic in which they plan an experience day at a monastery. After a couple of days of designing logos, creating timetables and producing advertising posters, I noticed they were running out of steam as they had wrapped up what they wanted to achieve. Panicked, I wracked my brain as to what I could possibly do to occupy them for the whole day Friday whilst I was with the children.
My class are incredibly creative and relish independent writing/reading/drawing time to make fantastic pieces that they’re keen to share. Therefore, I decided to channel their interests into my planning and this was the result:
- The slides were incredibly simplistic because I needed to do a brief explanation before dashing off to conduct my learning journey meetings. All the information required was up on the board for them and on the whole they completed the activities without needing to ask me anything.
- In between meetings, I’d drift back into the class to see what they were up to. The enthusiasm was wonderful. The children had all taken to the tasks in their own individual ways and there was a great deal of imaginative thinking and problem solving throughout.
- Collaboration was a huge factor of the day. The children shared their creations with one another. Some played their arithmetic board games, others completed their peers’ word searches and at the end of the day many of the children shared their silly stories.
- I gained some incredible insights into my pupils during our meetings – and had a lot of laughs too. They were honest about what was working well for them and how they/I could support their learning in the future.
- I had children begging me to listen to their stories and they looked like they were going to burst when I said we’d wait until the end of the day to have storytelling time.
This day reminded me of the importance of truly pursuing the children’s interests. It gets the best out of their motivation, behaviour and learning.
I left school with a huge smile on my face and it was lovely to see that the children did too.
A huge thank you to all those who created the fantastic resources online. You have made a class of 29 children, 1 teacher and 1 teaching assistant very happy!