Little Miss Teacher Blog

By Clara Fiorentini

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Time for a theme

Hi everyone,

So you may have noticed that January was a particularly quiet month on the blog for me! Between being unwell for a few weeks and getting back to work and focusing on my Juniors for that time, I wasn't left with much time to spare!

However, I'm back and have so much content to share with you over the next few weeks so stay tuned!

Firstly however, this week I had the absolute pleasure of working with some of the students in Marino Institute of Education, and what a great experience it was. So many enthusiastic young trainee teachers, with some really great ideas to offer! The schools they well be working with in their upcoming placements are very lucky!

So back to it! I've had so many messages, PMs emails and DMs about themes for Teaching Practice and where to start!

The world is your oyster  when picking a theme, but my advice is try to thinking a little outside the box...pick it for the right reasons. How will your theme be exciting, inspiring and motivational for you AND the learners?

My advice for picking a theme:

-Don't pick a theme just because you're interested in it - what about your learners' interests?
-Obvious isn't always best; broaden your searches! Just because it's Spring Time doesn't mean that it automatically has to be your theme! Zzzzzzz!!
-Consider the time of year.
-Have you asked your pupils what their interests are? What might they like to learn about?
-Make sure it's informed by the Curriculum. Make sure your objectives are in line with it!
-Make sure it's interesting, meaningful and worth learning about.
-How can you make it fun?
-Make sure it has plenty of scope for cross-curricular learning.

Sometimes maybe using a general idea like Spring is a good springboard to start for brainstorming for a more unique theme! Don't be afraid to try something that you might have once regarded as a 'sub-theme' - whose to say it can't be a theme itself? Get your paper out and get brainstorming. Why not try the I.P.O.P technique for planning?

Stories as themes
Have you ever considered using a story as your theme for learning? When so much valuable learning opportunities can stem from a story, what's stopping you?

You could base your whole year around a selection of stories as your themes, that's what I've been doing mostly this year and it leaves so much scope for cross-curricular integration and sub-themes.

Sample story based theme framework:

I've chosen my theme, now what?

1. Content
2. What activities lend themselves to this theme?
3. All activities planned developmentally appropriate?
4. Will it last? What mileage will you get out of it?
5. Are all activities planned meaningful and worthwhile?
6. What resources will I need?
7. How will I evaluate the success?

There are so many advantages to adopting a thematic approach to teaching and learning but sure we'll get into that another day!

Best of luck to everyone heading out on placement, make the most of it!

Possible Themes

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