Friday, 26 October 2012

Specialism Week

This week at Plymouth we had a specialism week where we focused on our chosen specialism, mine being digital literacy. I went into this week not knowing at all what I would be doing, worrying slightly as to whether I'd be able to do it or if I'd struggle.
When I first settled into the room I found out we'd be making animations and then teaching them to the children that we were going to be teaching. We started looking at a programme called "I Can Animate" and could choose whether we used and iPad or the laptop. In my pair we chose both of them so this gave a good mix. I automatically went for the iPad as I long for one, they're so cool. We went out of the computer room and sat outside and set up our green screen. We used blu - tack to keep our little lego people still and moved them a little bit every picture. When you use I Can Animate you have to take one photo, move the lego slightly, take another etc. This is a long process and when using the iPad that you aren't able to stand up your arm begins to ache. After a long time of moving and snapping we finally created this little project..

So once we had worked on this for a day we then moved onto working out how to teach it to the children at the school we were going too. The teachers came in to inform us that we were going to be teaching Tudors to the children. Unfortunately, I remember very little from my days at school about the tudors. I struggled to remember the rhyme let alone information to teach with. I knew that both Tuesday and Wednesday I would have to do a lot of research about the Tudors so that I knew exactly what I was teaching them and so I didn't look like a fool.
By Wednesday night I had prepared an example video (see below), a lesson plan, activities and resources and was raring to go. I knew that Thursday was going to be a long day but was looking forward too it.

As soon as I arrived into the school I could tell that this was a completely different school to where I had worked before. There was silence. That was the main shock as we walked in, no noise from screaming children excited to see everyone, no stern voices from teachers. Either the children were really well behaved or we were entering a school with outstanding discipline. Once again we had to hide our phones and walked to the ICT room. On first glance we didn't know how we were going to work in here because of the computers in the middle of the desks but no one said anything. Just after an ICT teacher came in and pressed a few buttons on the desk and the computers started lowering into the centre of the table. Even though we are all ICT students we were all fascinated by this. We then moved into the classroom to introduce ourselves to the children. They all sat there and stared and we stood there and stared. Safe to say, it was a very awkward introduction session.
I moved my stuff into the classroom and set up with my pupils. They sat there and stared at me, not uttering a word. I knew that I would have a lot to do to help these two to feel comfortable enough to work. I asked them about the wives and about who was beheaded and who wasn't and then they finally began to open up and chat more. I had them colour in their Henry VIII pictures and then set them to work on writing a script and their storyboard. They seemed very excited about making the animation and were more talkative now.
After a few struggles of having to set up the webcam and green screen we finally had it all set up and were ready to go. The children found it hard to understand that you only move the pictures a little bit each photo and didn't always move their hand so I had to go back multiple times to correct that picture. They were very happy with the end result.
However, the laptop I was using decided to have a funny five minutes and wouldn't let me export the video and now it has corrupted and is unable to play. I was very disappointed about this as I really wanted this one to work. As bad as that was, I knew what I needed to do the next day to change what happened on this day.
The next day was more relaxed and instead of going into the classroom I stayed in the ICT room to see what the change of atmosphere would have on my teaching. I felt more relaxed in the ICT room but I still haven't really worked out why. The two children I had on the Friday didn't talk much at all. Until over half way through the day. The boy knew an excellent amount of information about animation and the tudors and I could just tell he was a fan of history by the way he spoke so passionately about it.
They seemed to understand the small movement concept a lot more than the previous children on the previous day. They kept leaving their hands in the camera though, that still was a problem. They were very keen about looking at their video and were so happy with their work. They sat making their credits and choosing their animations, effects and transitions so that their video would be the best. They invited their teachers over for the big moment of seeing their video as one complete film. The teachers praised the children and you could see the glee shining. They were very proud of themselves. Below shows their creation.

This week gave me a lot of time to see whether teaching is the course for me as it shows how much stress can go into just one lesson plan. Many questions go through your head "will they enjoy it?" "will they both understand what to do?" and so on.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the school and on the specialism week. This course is amazing and I'm glad I'm doing it. Just want to be an actual teacher now though!!

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