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A classroom with minimal carpet time and investigatory learning...

Discussion in 'Primary' started by impulce, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Our new head starts in September, and has talked a lot about how he wants to promote investigatory learning, likes children to lead their own learning, and hates seeing children on the carpet. He never talks about 'teaching', only 'learning'.
    I agree with what he says in principal, but am struggling to see how this works in practice in terms of Literacy/Numeracy. Hopefully he will show us and give us some examples, but for now I am trying to pan the first week or two and wondered if anybody else worked in a similar way and could offer any insight. I teach Y2, but he is promoting this all the way up to Y6.
    I can see how it will work for topic time - instead of teaching children the features of a castle, they could use books/internet/posters around the room to learn themselves etc. Or investigate how to box model a castle with a moving drawbridge.
    But how would I create an environment with this ethos for Literacy or Numeracy, where concepts need to be actively taught? A child will not just stumble upon the method for adding 2 digit numbers, for example, and Im at a loss about how to teach this without getting them on the carpet and teaching them! I could have them at tables with activities/resources for use at times during the input, but I would still have to do some degree of 'teaching' from the front of the class. Perhaps this is what he means...Obviously I will find out more in September, but I am curious if others work in this way and have any practical guidance/advice.

  2. I have observed this type of teaching in literacy. For example with spelling you split the class into groups and give each group a set of words that follow a particular pattern. The children then identify the pattern and report back to the class.
    When teaching coordinates and maps I have set the children a hypothetical problem and asked them to solve it (eg Pirate Jim has buried his treasure, how can he make sure Pirate Sue finds it). They can then come up with ideas that they investigate.
    Not sure how this works for all topics however. I know of one maths teacher who at GCSE favoured a social constructivist approach to learning which meant his class all went off and got tutors!
  3. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul Occasional commenter

  4. I would imagine there will still be parts of the lesson where the children have to listen, whether that is sitting on the carpet or at tables. Perhaps he means making sure the children are not just sat doing nothing e.g. tasks while they are listening such as listening for key words, jotting ideas on whiteboards or answering questions with talking partners.
    I can't imagine a classroom where the children never sit and listen to their teacher, that seems impossible!

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