When I am teaching how to teach, one of the dilemmas I have is what to teach first in the ‘teaching process’ (lots of teach/teaching there!). Although many will assume that planning is the obvious starting point, to me the starting point is always what the child knows and therefore, what do they need to learn. This needs to be assessed and so for me the starting point is observation and assessment. This waffle is all about the basic of managing the process of assessment.
You must remember that although I have always taught with a National Curriculum in some form (yes there was education before the National Curriculum), when I started to teach there was no literacy or numeracy hour. How you organised your time was really up to you and I was always keen for children to take the lead role in their learning. It was because of this that I used to run an integrated day – what is an integrated day I hear you ask? – well that is what this week’s waffle is all about.
In the summer term, there is usually some sort of build up to the standard assessment tasks/tests when pupil and teachers alike hope that the hard work they have put in throughout the year will pay off. Once the dust has settled from these, I always felt it was important for the children to ‘chill a bit’ while still learning. During this time, for the whole week, I played a game with the class. It soon almost became an institution, something that everyone looked forward to playing if they were in Mr. Wilson’s class. It was the infamous game of ‘Sim-sim-cities!’