Final Version of our Project

Great reflections from a successful activity. I certainly agree that the children’s engagement and enjoyment would rate high on the scales and this is a testament to how you planned, changed and then led / support the learning. Where children are and who they are with can also affect learning, think of it as adults, if you feel safe and with friends you are more open to learn, but if on your own and in an unfamiliar setting then you will be more concerned about other things, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs would help explain why this.

Early Years Explorers

Today, we finally did our project at The Divine Mercy Primary School. We arrived there around 10:15, whilst Sean was still teaching the children. We delivered our project around a half an hour later, and the results were incredible. First of all, we decided to lay out the paintings and materials differently compared to last time. Instead of putting them all in one tray on a side, we decided to spread out the materials and the paints around the white paper roll, which we decided to use again as it was a success last time. In fact, we decided not give out individual papers, as children barely used them and we proved that they could work all together in the same paper without any conflict or sharing issues. We also put some paint in the paper before the kids entered the class, which poses the following question: did this encourage them…

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Activity practice run

Congratulations! The open ended nature of your activity enabled children of different ages and abilities to enjoy and engage with your activity. The fact that you had spent time in planning it beforehand created this opportunity, differentiation is a key element of teaching. Also the fact you planned an open-ended activity allowed the children to explore and learn without fear of getting it wrong.

EDLAB: Early Years Explorers

On the 21st of February, we undertook a ‘practice run’ of our project activities. I was particularly interested in how the children were going to undertake our activity due to it being seen as a ‘simple’ activity.

We set out our activity on the floor using a variety of resources like:

  • 2 big water trays
  • Aprons
  • Variety of resources such as nature equipment like wood, sticks, leaves etc
  • Plastercene

To begin with we was not going to use plastercene as we wanted it to be themed based, however after a discussion with Sean we decided to include it and see how the children use it. The idea of the plastercene was based on if children were to make difference things out if it, would each thing they make differ from each other regarding sinking and floating.

Having the water trays  on the floor is far more beneficial for children’s engagement…

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EdLab Conference #3

EdLab Conference 24th March – 10am to 3pm
Agenda for Conference #3

10.00 Introductory Lecture: Assessment Orientations (Mark Peace and Mick Chesterman) Lecture Theatre 3

In this introductory session, we will revisit the assessment principles and requirement for the unit, and give some guidance on the kinds of forms that assessments can take.

11.00 Assignment Workshops

You will then move into your project teams, to begin to interrogate the substance, focus and form your assessment submissions will take. We want this session to give you space to actually get stuff done – so please bring along a device, and anticipate making a dent in working on your submission. Groups will report to the following rooms:

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House – BR 2.15 with John Lean
Early Years Explorers – BR 2.10 with Sean Mitchell
Environmental Play – BR 2.19 with Rachel Summerscales
The Language of Clay – BR 2.16 with Elle Simms
The Oubliette – BR 2.17 with Mark Peace
Mobilise Grimm and Co – BR 2.17 with Lauren Ash
The Game Makers – BR 2.18 with Mick Chesterman

In addition, we put on an additional workshop in BR 2.18 for students who have not engaged well enough in the process so far to feel confident in producing their assignments. It is important that you have identified yourselves to Mick Chesterman (m .chesterman @ ahead of the day.

13.00 Project Team Meetings / Working Lunch

The final hour of the day will be given over to project teams to continue any final development work on their planned outreach activity. Bring a packed lunch so that you can continue to work through this hour!

14.00 Ad Hoc Tutorials / Focused Session for the Students ‘Catching Up’ – 2.18/2.17

The remaining hour will be given over to allow further one-to-one support for students who need it, and for students ‘catching up’ with Mick to continue their development work.

If you do not need extra support, at this point, you are free to work independently on your assignment either in the spaces we have booked, or elsewhere.

15.00 END




Reflection, Evaluation and Analysis: How to Understand What You Have Done

You have successfully completed the outreach activities and have built up knowledge during this whole process, well done! As you plan your follow up activities at TDM also think about the opportunities for you to generate content ideas for your final submission and associated academic research to show how you have considered what you are thinking in terms of the academic research element.

You can take an approach of considering the whole process or decide to focus down on specific elements within it (eg planning, differentiation, engagement). Either way show how you have further considered what you say with associated relevant research. If you need any pointers by all means contact me and I’ll help.

You could have a look back at the posts I have made already to see if they resonate with you and now start to lead you further into research areas, or what about looking at Mark’s “7 deadly sins” presentation and now considering and contrasting how an EYFS based approach works when compared to how education is delivered post EYFS?

Don’t forget we also have Lab 0-6 to call upon if you want another resource to use.


Outreach activity

A key objective from a scientific based activity is “questioning”, in terms of thinking about the types of questions you want the children to think about and try to answer. You also successfully created the second objective of questions because the children themselves started to develop their own questions. Once they develop their own questions to explore and answer you have a really powerful learning opportunity with direct motivation already in place. That’s one of the reasons why we do the “Big Brain” exercise, seeing what the children want to learn about and planning around that instead of only looking at a curriculum and telling them what they will learn.

Site Title

On the 21st February my group and I did an outreach activity in the Birley building. This was a great opportunity to see and understand more about our activity that we had come up with as a group, to give our activity a trial run. The session began from 11am-12:30pm, this gave us time to come in early at 10:30 to set up before the children and parents walked in.

Coming in to see our resources on the side gave me a good initial idea of how to set up the activity, that would attract the children and even the parents to come along and play with normal sand and kinetic sand. We put kinetic sand one side of the tray and normal sand on the other side. Once everything was set up (as shown in the images above), this made me excited about the day and the outcome it was going…

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Outreach Activity: Practice Run

It was clear that the children enjoyed the activities and you have really reflected well on how it went not just in terms of learning but also the logistics. The concept of using plastacine came from Lab 0-6 feedback and I agree it was a really great resource for the children to further extend their learning around scientific concepts. The problem solving element fits in really well to the Characteristics of Learning.

EdLab Unit: Early Years Explorer

On Thursday the 22nd of February, we had an opportunity to participate in an initial ‘pilot’ activity where we could trial-run our activity. Personally, I found the day extremely useful in terms of a learners perspective as I could look and analyse the strengths and weaknesses. Of course, with children, activities never run smoothly and sometimes the whole activity can go out of the window – it is heavily reliant on what the children think at that given time. Additionally, there were a lot of other groups who were completing their own outreach activities as well and it was visible that they were achieving their goals in playing and acquiring necessary information. Children were engaged in all the tasks and I found that our ‘Sinking and Floating’ activity drew in a lot of the older children (3-4 years) rather than the younger (1-2 years), however, there was still involvement. The…

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