In addition to my teaching role I am also a House tutor. I thoroughly enjoy this pastoral role as it provides a great opportunity to build positive relationships with my pupils, not just focusing on the academic elements. Being a tutor allows me to take part in tutor and whole school activities that differ to my teaching role. The start of year is a very important time for teachers to get to know their pupils and as mentioned build those crucial positive relationships. It is also very important for pupils to get to know each other, as well as feeling comfortable and confident in school.
I have written about #PoundlandPedagogy ideas before and more recently I collaborated with Mark Anderson writing about #PoundlandPedagogy of apps, which can be found here. This post contains some of my favourite ideas that have worked really well with my students, that I wanted to share and explain. The idea behind this is very simple; using cheap objects in the classroom in a creative way to aid teaching and learning. Isabella Wallace created the hashtag #PoundlandPedagogy. I am regularly inspired by and gain/adapt ideas from teachers on Twitter, sharing their Poundland resources, so hopefully these ideas can be used by others too!
Firstly, to clear up any confusion Body suits are very thin, all in one work suits that can be easily purchased from a pound shop or DIY store. The purpose of these suits are to protect clothing when decorating. However, they can also be used in weird and wonderful ways in the classroom! Here are some suggested ways they can be used with your classes…
I’ll be honest, I struggled with an appropriate title for this post!
A bag of plastic balls can first appear like a teachers worst nightmare …with potentially inappropriate ball comments, balls flying around and so on! They may also appear to some teachers as “gimmickry”. However, they have worked really well with my students. Of course, they are fun but in addition to that (that isn’t my priority although I do want students to be engaged in addition to making progress), there are lots of ways they can be used as an activity to aid learning and progress forwards. These are some of the different ways I have used the ball pool ( I suggest using the term ball pool rather than ball bag!).
Teachers can struggle to ‘switch off’ from the day job. This was certainly true when I was shopping in Asda one night and purchased three traffic light coloured tubs to use in my classroom!
The traffic light colours are often associated with AfL. This is because it is a very simple method to self assess and reflect. Red often meaning that the pupil struggled, found the work or lesson too difficult, needs more help etc. The yellow or amber colour is associated with the student being able to grasp most elements but not all and almost there. The green is the go ahead, showing confidence and understanding. However, different Schools and classes that use the Traffic Light/ RAG colours do so in different ways. There are lots of interesting ways I have used the traffic light colours in my classroom and the collection tubs are one idea that I found worked very well!
Spelling, punctuation and grammar are an essential part of learning and communication. Teachers and students understand the importance of SPaG and if they don’t, have a word!
I have shared this idea before on Twitter and at various Teach Meet events where I have presented. The concept itself may come across as a gimmick but students have responded really well to this activity! Reflecting upon that point, metacognition is a massively important element of successful learning. By stressing the importance of certain elements of learning, such as spelling, grammar and punctuation, children are able to ensure that it is at the front of their mind when learning in class. This is why, whilst on the face of it seemingly ‘gimmicky’ the SPaG watch activity really is an integral part of learning in my classroom.