Posted in Displays

Myth and Legends – Ancient Greek Gossip

In English, the children were studying a variety of Greek myths and legends. We started the topic off by reading Perseus and Medusa as a class. The overall aim was to write a diary entry from the perspective of a hero within the myth; in this case, Perseus. To write a successful and effective diary entry, the children needed to think about how Perseus felt before, during and after slaying Medusa and use first person.

We thought by ‘interviewing’ the great hero Perseus, we could generate plenty of ideas to use in our diary entry’s. To do this effectively, I purchased blow up microphones, which the interviewers held and a reflective shield, which Perseus held during the interview. Perseus (a volunteering child) came to the front and answered questions in character from the interviewers about his thoughts and feelings when slaying Medusa. ‘Perseus’ was changed every 3 or so questions so different children had opportunity to become Perseus and the interviewing was initially modelled by myself and the TA.  The children thoroughly enjoyed the activity and they had some super ideas to write up into the Ancient Greek Gossip magazine following the interview (as pictured above the blog heading). We then looked at synonyms of certain feelings such as scared, worried, happy and sad to up-level their writing.

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The display was a celebration of the children’s work and also acted as a word wall of adjectives to describe thoughts and feelings to assist the children in their future work. The children enjoyed using the words rejoiced and anxious in their diary entry’s that followed and these words appeared in their vocabulary as a result of interviewing Perseus. They were excited to see their work being celebrated for all to see and in some cases, made them try super hard in subsequent pieces of work.

To finish off the lesson, pairs of children came to the front and reenacted the interview using the answers they had written into the magazine and it was peer assessed using 3 stars and a wish.

peer-assessed

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Posted in Displays

How HOT is your handwriting?

During my Guided Placement, in which i was based with a year 5 class, i noticed that often the children did not take pride in their handwriting and it was sometimes quite ‘sloppy’. As a way to engage the children and to ensure they took care with their handwriting I thought of setting up an interactive handwriting display. I always modelled cursive handwriting on the board and in their books which often received praise from students (and teachers), therefore I decided to try and make neat cursive handwriting enjoyable and rewarding.

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3 examples of handwriting, written by children their age but whom they did not know, were stuck on the wall; excellent, good and okay. In groups, children identified aspects of the handwriting for example, what could be improved, what they think is good about it etc. Children then each had a labelled laminated pencil and looked at their own handwriting. They then compared their handwriting to that on display and stuck their pencil on the chart at the level they thought they were at. After that, they wrote down a couple of ways they thought they could improve their handwriting to move up into the next level. The levels were denoted by heat in the form of chilli’s. 3 chilli’s meant excellent and 1 chilli meant room for improvement.

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The children enjoyed the context of the chillies as guidance and said ‘I am on two chilli’s but I need to write all my letters on the line to be three chillies’ or ‘I want to be three chillies by Christmas’.  They also enjoyed self-assessing their handwriting and having an example to aspire to. The children assessed their handwriting on Tuesdays and Thursday by using the interactive display and justified to the teachers why they thought they were at the level they did. They also took pride in having my giant pencil cushion in the classroom to remind them about their handwriting.

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