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Teaching - Core 1 English.

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Introduction

Core 1 English. At my school placement, I am currently working with a year 4 class. I decided to take a differentiated group of eight children out of the class to work with them on a poem, which was called First Day at School by Roger McGough, and evaluate the children's response to and engagement in text. The group consisted of three children from the top set of English, three children from the middle set and two children from the lower set. I told the children that I would read the poem to them first and then I would like each child to read three lines each. When they had read the poem, we would then discuss the poem and I would put some questions to them to make them think about what the poem means. When I read the poem, I used enthusiasm in the language and facial expressions to engage the children and capture their attention. All the children listened carefully to the text, and laughed at the humorous parts. The poem really engaged the children and they seemed to enjoy and understand the poem completely. When the children had read their lines of the poem, the lower set needed some help with their reading, but the middle and top set managed to read the poem very well. ...read more.

Middle

The teacher seems to be able to capture the whole class' attention and engage and interest the children very well to a point where the children are excited about the text and determined to answer any questions asked. When the children were asked to discuss an opinion within the text, they needed to be reminded that an opinion would be regarded as something, which someone thinks is true but has not been scientifically researched. The children then understood that sentences in the report, such as 'I urge drivers to remember that missing a call wont kill you but an accident will,' was an opinion of somebody who thinks that this is correct. This opinion was discussed and the children responded to the fact that not all accidents result in death, and it was discussed that if the missed call was a matter of urgency, it could affect the person long term, which could result in deep anxiety and it was suggested by the children that this could make a person drive faster and maybe they would have an accident which could be fatal. After the lesson I asked the teacher why he had chosen that particular article, and he explained to me that the children probably had some background knowledge of this new law and that they would probably find the report interesting and respond well, which they did. ...read more.

Conclusion

Media is a good resource to use, and can give a firm foundation to exploring further with text level work in accompanying books. Sarah Jones argues that 'young children find films accessible and familiar' and most teachers agree with this. Jones explains that 'film can play a role in establishing our place in society and our sense of self worth.' I believe this to be true because film does allow us to imagine that we are the characters and makes us think about how we would feel in the same situation. When planning to use a poem the teacher must also be very thorough. When reading a poem to children it is important for the reader to be familiar with the poem and use expressive language when reading. I realised this when I read a poem to a group of children. If I had not been familiar with the poem I wouldn't have been able to use the expression needed for the children to engage with the poem. Children see text all over their world and throughout their lives from a very early age. Text can be found in 'every shop, at eye level, are brightly coloured posters, notices, adverts and bill boards proclaiming the goods on offer.' (Holly Anderson) Even cereal packets have text on the packaging. This evidences the fact that engaging with text is an essential life skill and learning tool. ...read more.

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