If you asked a teacher what their most challenging time of the day to teach is it would probably be undoubtedly the last session of the day. Primary students are tired, ready to go home and engagement tapers off. It is in this session that instruction needs to be short and sharp and hands on activities need to be carefully considered. In a classroom situation we tend to teach hands on key learning areas such as creative arts, health or science.
This week I took up the offer of teaching a lesson to St Luke’s Activities Club where students are engaged in learning focused activities after the school day finishes. Well for all those thinking the last session of the day is hard – try teaching at 3:30pm in the afternoon! However, in preparation, I found myself planning a science lesson on the solar system. I knew it had to be engaging, hands on and minimal teacher talk time. It challenged me to think outside the square about what I knew about the student I’d be teaching and their needs.
I decided to start with a video delivering the content all about planets and the solar system (this particular bunch of kids love anything visual). This was then followed up with a kahoot checking in on some of the new content they had just learnt. Then I thought we’d test out an augmented reality app called quiver where students could design a planet using a premade template and use the app to turn it into real life. Now in true technology fashion, we couldn’t get all the iPads to load the app but we did get some working and the students were amazed to see their designs come to life. Many students chose to take their design home to see if they could try it out on their device at home.
The opportunity to teach at Activities Club was an interesting one for me. Coming from a before and after school care background and now being a teacher I have definitely seen both sides. Activities Club is different again and challenges you to adapt and think about your teaching pedagogy.