Friday, 20 January 2012

Sharing the good news with student teachers

Went out yesterday to Manchester Met Uni. delivering two sessions to third year student teachers at the Science learning centre in Didsbury.
The day was a special event about being creative in the primary science curriculum and I had been asked to talk about hands on lesson ideas particularly the sort of thing I have done on the RSC North West Trust Primary Science DVD.
Helen Ross came with me and so armed to the teeth with all sorts of household containers, jugs, saucers and kitchen ingredients we set off to enthuse about science.
It was a good opportunity to show how simple kitchen ingredients can be used to open a lesson or set an interesting homework or even start off a project.
We showed them a couple of clips from the DVD but then Helen WOWed them with her ping pong ball on a milk bottle - her volunteer really didn't know what would happen so her amazement was truly genuine!
I demonstrated making a lava lamp with water,oil and a fizzy tablet and then showed how you can set a great project by finding liquids with different densities and layering up a cocktail.

The freaky hand - inflating a rubber glove with carbon dioxide produced by vinegar and bicarbonate of soda - went down really well.
Then we all had a go at "art on plate" - drops of food colouring into a saucer of milk and then touching the milk with a cotton bud dipped in washing up liquid and seeing what happens.
The exit poll reviews the students were asked to do were extremely complimentary.
You can find clips of the DVD on You Tube here:
this one is art on a plate and I think there are about 20 or so clips.

I was reminded of a tutor I had at training college - a wonderful lady called Freda Davenport. She was an older woman who felt like our grandma - she was so friendly and nothing was too much trouble - it was only after a couple of years I found out she had more degrees than you could shake a stick at.
She was a mine of amazing ideas for student teachers about to go out into school who had been given some grotty subject to try to teach ( with no resources of course!). She also taught the science specialists practical science and Design Technology. I still have her notes - they were so good - and I used her ideas all through my teaching career and on into being at Catalyst.
A friend has commented that I have turned into her - what a compliment - because she was wonderful and I only wish that all student teachers could have someone like Freda - not just for the ideas but for the way she instilled us with confidence in our own ability without being a soft touch.
 I wonder where she is now??

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