FEBRUARY - CREATIVITY & LITERACY
How creativity flows from a good book
"So I've put up distance, how much the children can get out of the book, how far they can metaphorically travel. … So basically it's all the roads we went down from the book. Lots of roads you could go down. I think if you get a good book the creativity just flows and 'Sky Song' is just one of those books."
How creative I am with respect to literacy
"So I think what I tried to make myself think about is how creative I am and so I tried to quantify my own perception of how creative I am, so I gave myself a minute to write down all the things I do vaguely related to teaching literacy that might be creative and it was really hard, so I got 26 …
It's kind of a mish mash of the things that I do, it's not all the things I do, it's far from exhaustive and now looking at it it's not even perhaps some of the most crucial or essential things I do. It's probably not even some of the most creative things I do but it's what I could summon in a minute's time to reflect how creative I feel or what I feel I do that is creative."
Creativity through group story telling
"So we've been doing 'The Snail and the Whale' by Julia Donaldson and we'd been reading lots and exploring lots and then we were retelling it person by person, passing it round using some vocabulary from the text …
They're in Year 2 so that's a big part of it, is kind of retelling and using vocabulary that you've been given, so I was trying to look for how they could show their creativity."
Reflecting on being a 'silent teacher'
"I knew what I wanted to do ages ago because I found this, I think it was one of the Facebook groups someone was talking about silent teacher, I don't know if you've ever heard of it but I was like, oh, I love this idea, I'm going to do this. It basically involves not talking for an entire morning or as long as you can bear.
So my idea for the silent teaching morning was to present the text to them, give them a list of instructions but not really instructions, a sort of, well, this is what you're going to do, it's guided reading, there's a couple of questions to answer but do what you normally do looking at how independent they can work really, I think that was my initial aim. Then my TA and I just sort of sat back and observed to see what they were up to and it started off really, really well."
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Where do children get their creative ideas from when writing?
"I created this. The 'Baker Ross' catalogue by me. I thought that's creative, I shall use bits of that and collage it, so there we go. … It was all based on this book 'The Bear and the Piano' which is lovely and I was interested in where children get their creative ideas from, so it's kind of measuring and counting where they get their creative ideas and what that looks like in a session.
The way I represented it on the postcard, so I'm reading a text to them and then the way I saw it, coming back to me, I didn't know how to present this, this was last night in bed thinking about an idea! It was like my journey around the lesson, so we visit the class text here and then we do lots of discussion with the children so they can share with their peers and then in and amongst this they end up writing something and maybe those children have unique original ideas of their own or maybe things they've magpied from other text which is the idea if they're supposed to be good readers
How I plan English sessions
"So basically I decided to think, right, how do I plan an English session? I decided to go, again being in Year 6, I thought about the boosters that I'm doing because obviously in terms of boosters, we've got so much to cram in in such a short space of time because we have an English booster that I've literally come from tonight, but we only have an hour so I was thinking, right, what do I think about when I think about these boosters?"
Mapping children's literacy activities
"I started reflecting on what we'd been doing with 'myths' altogether from the literacy side of things and decided to try and map out some of the activities we'd done, but to think about it from a Bloom's Taxonomy point of view about the depths of the children's thinking and kind of did a radar. A labyrinth. And just trying to think how those activities joined up to each other. It's not something I'd consciously done was to plan and create opportunities or apply ones or understand it. It was just things I'd gone with with the children, with their interest."