One of the biggest, but most important aspects of retaining the attention and enthusiasm of a class is in the variety of the activities presented. Keeping lessons and activities as fresh and exciting as possible is a top aim of most teachers, because not only does it make things fun for the pupils, it also keeps things fun for us. It can be difficult to keep every pupil happy and often it can feel like a juggling act, trying to ensure that everyone is having fun but also learning.
As teachers we need to look at the variety of ways that pupils learn. Neil Fleming, an educational theorist, designed the VARK model of learning, which involves Visual, Aural/Auditory, Read/Write and Kinaesthetic methods. Building upon the idea of kinaesthetic intelligence, first suggested by Howard Gardner in the 1980s, Fleming’s model encourages a greater focus on concrete hands on learning, with physical interaction and experimentation.
As part of our ‘light’ themed topic, Year 5 looked into how it is possible to draw pictures with light. They were given a camera, a light source and a selection of objects and were then encouraged to experiment, moving the camera, light sources and objects to see what effect it would have on the pictures produced. The physicality and immediacy of the experiment gave the pupils the opportunity to think, experiment, evaluate and develop their outcomes.
The visual aspect of the exercise and the objects used really helped the pupils to understand the differences between opaque, transparent and translucent objects and how light affected them. The auditory aspect of this experiment took the form of pupils giving a verbal prediction of what would take place during the experiment and what they expect the outcomes to look like. They then wrote down their predictions in their books, explaining why they thought they would obtain the predicted outcome. Finally, the kinaesthetic part of the lesson took place when the pupils went into a dark room and physically engaged in the experiment, shining lights through a variety of translucent objects and creating patterns with the light.
Through these steps, the pupils engaged in multiple forms of learning and created some really exciting and imaginative outcomes. Also, and this is just as important, they had a lot of fun in the process.
Mr Liam, Year 5 Teacher
Casey Barnes is a qualified teacher who was born in America and grew up in Ireland. He studied English Literature and Education and is currently working toward a second Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.
John Wilson is from Scotland and has taught in Austria, South Korea, and most recently he taught History and Global Perspectives for two years at CIS in Moscow, Skolkovo campus
Frank Morris is a qualified teacher from the UK with teaching and leadership experience in Italy, Serbia, Russia, and the UK.
Jenny Stones is a qualified teacher from Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Having spent over ten years working in a primary school, she has experience of teaching the British Curriculum creatively, holistically and skills-based to primary students.
Emma Banks is an experienced teacher from the UK.
Christina Jozefiak is a qualified teacher with her Master’s in Education and Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) from Cambridge University.
Our students did several school trips to Bread Museum, visited Story House and Tropic forest
Meeting with a guest author from the UK, Ms Susan.