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creative classroom practice - do you do it?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by gingernut42, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. gingernut42

    gingernut42 New commenter

    My current school (primary, I have Y3/4) teaches to a very prescriptive timetable - discrete lessons all the time - now we're doing maths, next we're doing science, then we're doing history etc - so boooring. However I think that I may have managed to organise this year's timetable to give me nearly a whole day where I can go 'creative' and teach in a more integrated way so that we are learning about history and so on but in a non-discrete way. It is a few years since I have been able to teach like this and I would be grateful for any ideas of successful topics/ ideas to get us started. Thank you in advance.....
  2. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    First idea - don't get so high and mighty to call a way you don't like boring. Why don't you try and make it interesting?
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I have year 3 and we also have a subject specific timetable, with some specialist teaching. My class last year certainly didn't think it was boring at all. And I have it good authority that the ones coming up are very excited about all their subjects.

    A better way if you want integrated, might be to organise your subject topics so they match up a bit.
    So Rainforests in geography is taught in the same term as habitats in science. Stone age to Iron age in history is taught when you do rocks and soils in science and so on.
  4. Ds2d12

    Ds2d12 Occasional commenter

    I personally think discrete subjects are better. I think things get lost doing "creative" curriculums
  5. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    Oh please. I don't think they were trying to insult anyone who does like teaching this way. They're allowed to find it boring. I'm not a fan of teaching early years, it doesn't mean that I think it's wrong, it's just not for me.

    To the OP:

    Hamilton trust have a lot of good topic ideas (with planning!) and I know ****** have topic maps with suggestions of cross curricular links. Alternatively get out your assessment sheets and make a mind map and see what you can link together.
  6. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    I'm not allowed to name the website gives the topic maps then? :rolleyes: I'm sure you can guess.
  7. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    You pretty much lost any credibility by recommending Hamilton Trust.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Ummmm but maybe not if they are teaching it? How does anyone find their own lessons boring?

    It isn't discrete subjects or topic teaching that makes a child's day interesting or boring. They can be inspired to learn through either approach. A child can be creative in a maths lesson, then English, then history and then music just as much as they can in a 'creative day'. History can be superbly exciting whether it is in a history lesson or within a day of mish mash activities.

    I agree the OP was probably not trying to be insulting, but to suggest an entire approach is boring is pretty insulting to those of us that teach that way.
  9. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    @Milgod as sad as I am to have gone down in your estimations, I still think Hamilton is a good place to start. I have used it before and with a fair bit of tweaking it was a useful basis. If my school's topic map links in with theirs of course I'm going to look at it.

    @caterpillartobutterfly I think it's possible to teach lessons that children enjoy and learn from without necessarily enjoying it yourself. If your school required you to teach in a way that isn't your style I can understand feeling bored with it if, in your opinion, you feel you could do it in a more effective way.

    And just for the record I've taught discrete and cross-curricularly but don't have a particular preference.
  10. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    I'll admit I was worried by the mention of "boring" lessons - while I don't think teachers should be expected to produce all-singing, all-dancing entertainment for pupils, you do have to present the material in an interesting way if you want learning to stick (yes, even if you're teaching spag :)). Personally, I just have to be enthusiastic about what I'm teaching - I know no other way that works.

    But then I read it again and realised that the 'boring' bit is about the timetabling, not the content of the lesson themselves. Who sets your timetable? Do they check that you're teaching art every Tuesday afternoon from 2.10 until 2.55pm? Sounds unlikely... but possible in some schools, I suppose. :(

    I don't stick to a rigid weekly timetable in the afternoons, except where timetabling is restricted (e.g. we have our slot in the hall - although we can arrange swaps with other classes). Children in my class in September often ask me "Is it history next?"; by the end of the year, they just go with the flow. I do a lot of cross-curricular stuff through linking our topics with English, and have art, science, DT and music being closely linked where possible. Sometimes the children notice the connections and tell me, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes they don't know what subject it is - who cares as long as we're enjoying learning something?!

    If I need a whole day doing something occasionally, I do it - but English and Maths every morning is the norm. I wouldn't want a whole day every week (couldn't that become 'boring' too?! ;) ) It takes a lot of planning: for the start of the term I create an Excel spreadsheet showing the rough content of the lessons, week by week, through the whole term, to help me fit things together and ensure I'm covering all the things I need to and keeping a balance of subjects and skills across the term. No one asks me to do this, but I find it quite enjoyable (okay, yes, I AM strange..) and I love the fact I know where I'm going, even if I don't stick to it exactly!

    It sounds to me as though you want a bit more flexibility with your timetable. I'd agree - give it a go and let us know how you get on.
    sallywestley likes this.

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