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Best teaching ideas

Discussion in 'Primary' started by trustingsidekick, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Great idea for a thread. I use sign language in my class, but also because I have EAL children who have yet to speak (sometimes in either English or their home language). The sign language allows them to communicate simple messages without feeling the pressure to speak in English yet (I teach Nursery).
    Brain Gym: I teach Health to Primary children as well, and I find doing a quick brain gym/exercise routine with them when they first come into the classroom gets them settled and allows them time to get some excess energy out before we start our main lesson. Some children really struggle with transitions, and this seems to help them cope because they are not jumping straight from one lesson to the next.
    Worry Box: My husband teaches Primary 4, and for a while some of the children were expressing worries they had about things that happened at school to their parents (enter angry parents with finger pointing and blaming). My husband introduced the Worry Box where children could write down worries they were having and put it in the box and they could be addressed. It was a simple concept that the children really enjoyed because it meant being heard, but not at inappropriate times, and there was time to think about how to respond.
    Photography: I personally feel that photography can play a huge role in the classroom. I let my Nursery children take photos all the time of their friends and things they are doing or creating. Currently, they are making their own Alphabet cards using photos of children in the class (taken by them!), as well as objects in the class that start with letters of the alphabet that are not already occupied by a child's name. The children are more engaged in the creation of the alphabet cards, and they notice them up on the wall because they are in the pictures (remember, children are self-centered and love to see themselves on the wall and being a part of the creation of displays). The printable computer-designed alphabet printables may look nice to you, but they are just wallpaper to the kids.

  2. @trustingsidekick
    I hope you don't use the actual Brain Gym trademark programme in your health classes?
    Unless it's changed significantly from a few years ago when it was chock-full of complete rubbish...
  3. Haha - nope. I just call it that with the kids. Plus, they are going to be making their own routines soon to lead the class. Today we tried a Tae Kwon Do video (in light of it being Chinese New Year) and they went bananas over it. It will definitely be making a reappearance.
  4. Imtellingonyou

    Imtellingonyou New commenter

    Isn't Tae Kwon Do from South Korea???? [​IMG]
  5. Chatterbox1607

    Chatterbox1607 New commenter

  6. Chatterbox1607

    Chatterbox1607 New commenter

    I would be interested in hearing what brain gym activities everyone does for p5?
  7. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    Just don't bother doing any. It's a load of rubbish. Let them run round for a bit if they need a break!
  8. Im not the biggest fan of brain gym either - it feels too contrived
  9. Kung Fu punctuation is a nice little activity - it requires setting up over a lesson or two but once it is and you fancy a 'brain break' you can go back to it for a minute or two. Especially good and not irrelevant when they are writing, it helps them remember to put the punctuation in!

    Here's a link to the resource:
  10. Nah, it's very much a full lesson job, not worth trying in anything less or it loses the point(s). Maybe an end-of-termer.
    And as for being restless, you'd think so wouldn't you, but I can hand on heart say that the classes I've done it with are gripped from start to finish. Once they realise you're asking stuff that they really care about they can't wait to hear what's coming next. They don't even seem to notice the odd punctuation or decimals question slipped in!
    Also if you put the categories up on the board and cross them off as they go, all manner of strategies start to get discussed - "It's a sport question, Justin's good at sport, but we need to save him for the maths question so we'll use Alice and hope that it's about netball or hockey, then Jane can handle the books question" etc etc
    I even had a class of year 5's refuse to leave at 3.30 when the bell went (shock!), until they'd all had their own question...at 3.40 parents came looking...oops.
    I feel I must add that I wear a red top-hat with question marks all around it, a gold bowtie and a 'game show' blazer - kind of sets the tone from the off. Serious stuff this teaching y'know.

  11. Yes but fortunately they celebrate the Lunar new year too so it's ok haha.
  12. I like knowing that my class enjoy their learning, make progress and are independent in their learning. It makes my job more rewarding and fun for me. Many of the Ideas on this thread keep you fresh and give you some of the most simple ideas that can really make a big difference.
    I don't like 'hands up.' I use a variety of different gestures such as 'finger on your nose' 'heads down' 'close your eyes' 'tell a neighbour' thumbs up' 'thumbs down' etc. It also sharpens their listening skills!
    I like having plenty of purposeful independent activities available for times when they finish their work early, early morning activities, golden time, free choice activities and just times when they need to be independent and not interrupt me for whatever reason. I am building up a collection of Numeracy Challenge Cards (75) and Literacy Challenge Cards (30) as these have been working really well for me. Some I have uploaded to the TES resources site too. They are free!

  13. tictactoe1

    tictactoe1 New commenter

    Some really great ideas here! Especially love the signing and the Magpie book for creative writing ideas!
  14. Have you got any others? This is brilliant!
  15. mushroomz

    mushroomz New commenter

    This has got to be the most positive thread ever on these forums! Makes such a refreshing change from the moaning and groaning that generally goes on! I LOVE some of these ideas, and am going to try them with my class!!
  16. For tidying up, especially after a cutting activity, I put on the Smartboard timer for 2 minutes. At the end of that time I do a 'table inspection' where I inspect each table (and under it), looking for the tiniest piece of paper, pencils the wrong way up in the pot, chairs not straight, etc. Every 'transgression' means a deduction of one point (from a starter of 10). The table with most points wins. It's amazing how quickly the classroom can be spotless in such a little time. I have a Y3 class.
  17. That is a belter!

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