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Sometimes my school drives me mad...

Discussion in 'Primary' started by minnieminx, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    and at other times it accelerates me towards madness!

    Anyway...after all your fabulous help to start me off planning minibeasts for next term, I get told today that we have to follow framework units as a starting point in literacy. This is despite the fact our children have made accelerated progress in writing this term by not following the things!

    Soooo upshot of it all is we are now doing 'habitats' in science and 'traditional tales' in literacy. We have no history or geography as yet, though I think we ought to be able to cover some geography knowledge in habitats.

    I'm not an expert at teaching habitats at all, but I'm thinking we can learn the traditional tales and rewrite stories (Pie Corbett storytelling) in literacy having some of the settings as various habitats. Or is this really naff and I should just stick with separate lessons?

    Will habitats really take an entire term (ie Christmas until Easter at 2 hours a week?) Or could I just cover it in a one off timetable day?

    Agghhhh help needed to sort out the mess and then get some creative and excellent ideas for teaching and resources pleeeeasssse!

    Only exciting thing at the moment is being able to write lots of lovely fictional stories and so cover lots of NC level 2 bits! Oh and I'm thinking of a fairly empty shell for the role play with lots of weird props for children to create stories as they wish...including a writing area for them to jot ideas.
     
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    and at other times it accelerates me towards madness!

    Anyway...after all your fabulous help to start me off planning minibeasts for next term, I get told today that we have to follow framework units as a starting point in literacy. This is despite the fact our children have made accelerated progress in writing this term by not following the things!

    Soooo upshot of it all is we are now doing 'habitats' in science and 'traditional tales' in literacy. We have no history or geography as yet, though I think we ought to be able to cover some geography knowledge in habitats.

    I'm not an expert at teaching habitats at all, but I'm thinking we can learn the traditional tales and rewrite stories (Pie Corbett storytelling) in literacy having some of the settings as various habitats. Or is this really naff and I should just stick with separate lessons?

    Will habitats really take an entire term (ie Christmas until Easter at 2 hours a week?) Or could I just cover it in a one off timetable day?

    Agghhhh help needed to sort out the mess and then get some creative and excellent ideas for teaching and resources pleeeeasssse!

    Only exciting thing at the moment is being able to write lots of lovely fictional stories and so cover lots of NC level 2 bits! Oh and I'm thinking of a fairly empty shell for the role play with lots of weird props for children to create stories as they wish...including a writing area for them to jot ideas.
     
  3. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

  4. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Occasional commenter Community helper

    I much prefer to block subjects such as science, history, geography, art, DT etc ... it means you can have a real in-depth focus on topics and also link several together.
    It does mean sketching out the whole term to make sure everything is covered though, but actually makes your life easier as you don't have to plan lots of different things each week.
    Carrie [​IMG]
     
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    How frustrating minniminx! There was me thinking the present govt were supposed to be' handing more initiative back to teachers', relying on their professionalism?
    However back to your problem.Don't know if you could make habitats last a term with 2 hours a week , but would definitely need more than 1 day. Like carriecat's idea of 'blocking', children can reall get 'stuck in' and not have to constantly 'stop', just as they're all enthused. Depends whether your Head would let you though?
    Might the Bad Tempered Ladybird & Hungry Caterpillar for instance fit into traditional tales ?
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Excellent links Marlin (as always) thank you. Love the story boards.
    I think I might try this one...HT won't mind as long as he doesn't know in advance. And to be frank he can like it or lump it. (And yes I am in a strop with him and might feel differently my January.)
    Yesish, but they are a bit young for year 2.

    LOL Someone needs to tell my HT that then!! Trust us? Got to be kidding!

    Thank you all for your help so far.


    Maybe I should give up posting until I'm less sulky with school and less alcohol affected?
     
  7. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    Can you at least use the same units, but teach them in a different order? So you can teach non-fiction in alike topics?
     
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Not sure I know what you mean exactly?

    I am a bit unsure about year 2 'units' as such, being new to KS1. I have simply been told that next term we will do 'traditional tales in literacy and habitats in science' I am assuming both will either be a half term or whole term.
     
  9. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    Well I just figured that your school is looking at the Literacy Framework and going fiction 1, non-fiction 1, poetry 1, fiction 2, non-fiction 2 etc. At my school we still use the framework units but in an order that suits us. So when I do about houses and homes, we do stories from other cultures (we look at different ways people live) When we do bodies/senses we do instruction writing (healthy recipes).
     
  10. I'd take a day and get it done. All the teachers in my year have been so **** at Science this half-term (Rocks and Soils...), that we are just going to have a day after Xmas and absolutely blitz it and get it done forever.
    Besides, even when it's something interesting (!), doing anything again and again for weeks and weeks gets boring - for the children, and for you, and they pick up on your boredom no matter how much you try to disguise it, which feeds back into their boredom, which.........
    My Y3s have just finished a whole TERM on dinosaurs. SNORE. I felt awful for the girls, because this is a unit they picked clearly to try to engage the boys. So the girls weren't much interested TO BEGIN WITH! And a whole term later, even the boys are sick to death of it [​IMG]
    I think Topic work is ace - but in short bursts and with lots of variety, surely [​IMG] xxx
     
  11. I agree, this is a good idea. When we had to do the framework, they were fine if we did it in an order that suited us, so it is worth asking about this. Luckily we don't have to use it now. I hope you manage to get them to agree to you choosing the order, then it shouldn't be so tricky to make it fit.
     
  12. The only unit we struggle to link to our topics is traditional tales. The way to do it, is to read a traditional tale and then write an adaptation where children adapt the setting/events/character to suit your topic. So for example if you were doing space, you could do jack and the beanstalk and rewrite it with him climbing the beandstalk into space.
    Pretty much all other units can fit any topic, with the right text, so im not sure why you need to change all your plans? We have a education library service who will send us whole boxes of books linked to our topic, then we find fiction/non fiction and work from there. Poetry links to anything too.
     
  13. Perhaps you need to think in terms of 'mini' topics if you are being directed to follow the units slavishly. Just do traditional tales with one other linked focus for three weeks (ICT - adding images to text? or DT - making puppets to retell the story? etc). Then move on to another mini topic (habitats and minibeasts) etc. Sometimes I think we try too hard to make topics link when they really don't. When you have the freedom to cover different genre as they occur naturally within your topics then it's easy to make links - if you don't have the freedom to select unit order then it becomes really difficult. If you are really constrained by teaching units then seriously consider blocking subjects and having short topics - it can be very effective. The children stay focused and you can keep the pace up.Don't ditch all the lovely ideas you have received from other teachers for minibeasts and habitats - just put them on the back burner until you have covered trad. tales!
     
  14. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I'm trying to think and plan a bit tonight and sort out all the buzzing about ideas, so I can speak to the HT (who I'm still in a strop with) tomorrow.

    They don't mind about order really, I'm just cross that after a lovely half term not doing them we have to start again!

    Thank you all for your help.

    Off to think about medium term plans...and a timetable.
     
  15. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Excellent ideas Singora and impulce...thank you. I didn't notice page 2 when I wrote the last post.
    Definitely not and am still using some.
     
  16. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    LOL There aren't any plans to change! Goodness knows how the last few years have been organised, there is literally no planning in place, just 'we do traditional tales after xmas' and that sort of thing.

    My initial head plans were for minibeasts, but now we have habitats and traditional tales...I'll survive!
     

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