Diary from Slovakia day 5

Friday, April 20

Grammar School Tillgnerova

Reading lesson. Primary grade 3 aged 9-10
Split into four groups, children move tables to form group areas. Taking pulse rates, resting rate, rate after dancing, then dancing breathing only through a straw. Heart rate increases hen using the straw, teacher discusses results on the carpet with children using questioning to draw out reasoning. Likens to smoking with restriction in breathing.

Children take it in turns to read aloud from factual book, all children have the same book, lots of illustrations but text look quite complex. All about the effects of smoking.

Teacher hides slips of paper with text in different colours around the room while they listen to her tell a story with their heads on the desk. Slips have questions that match phrases in the book : comprehension testing. Children will think about what is better to hold in their hand than a cigarette and make a poster about it. Extends over next two lessons to include art. Teaching is often through extended projects, children are taught maths by someone else, as this teacher teaches another class in the same grade English.

Lots of movement between carpet and tables, 23 children. Lots of child involvement, reading out ideas on board. Lots of questioning. Lots of laughter.

The classroom is light and airy, windows on two sides, plants all along the windowsills. Cupboards at the back of the room to hold resources, a sink for hand-washing, a teachers desk has tablecloth on it, CD player and pot of pens, bookcase behind. Large blackboard and magnetic whiteboard. Two thirds of the room is given over to the desks, the rest is carpeted for siting on.

Biology reproductive organs of flowers
17 children aged 12
Science room with interactive whiteboard and replica monitors throughout the room, 5 are broken but children are sitting with the working ones, some have a strong green tint.

Children asked to use the whiteboard. Lots of hands raised to answer questions from teacher, children keen to take part.

Structure of the school day
Lessons run for 45 minutes each. Five lessons in the day. Ten minute break between lessons and longer 20 minute break after the third lesson.
7.55-8.40 1st lesson
8.50-9.35 2nd lesson
9.50-10.35 3rd lesson then break
10.55-11.40 4th lesson
11.50-12.35 5th lesson
12.45-13.30 6th lesson

No school uniform. A bell sounds (chimes) between the sessions.

Discussion with teachers
Children are given a mark for behaviour from 1 (good) to 4 (poor) at the end of each term along with a school report and grades in each subject from 1-5.
Every school has an educational psychologist to help with SEN, behaviour or problems at home. Teachers do 22 hours of teaching a week, can do more and are paid extra. Most classes are streamed when children are older and languages are taught in half classes. Good relationship with parents and good communication.

Teachers feel behaviour is getting worse.

English lesson, aged 14, 16 children
Children preparing for their two week exchange to the UK. Children pay for he trip and stay with families and visit London. They are looking at places they might visit on their trip. IT suite with PCs in rows.

Teacher leads through PowerPoint with questioning and using map in the room. Uses YouTube to show coronation. Focus on London, visiting Buckingham palace. Interesting that two boys at the back are using galaxy tablet and smart phone to look at facts that teacher is giving and playing draw something 😉

Uses quiz at the end with class in two groups to recall the facts they learned.

Slovak language and literature, drama
Children aged 12, 12 in class. Children read the stories they have written and then perform a drama scene. Lots of questioning, children showing different types of responses and emotions, scream, cry, evil laugh.

As children read out their stories they are questioned and discuss them. Then take a turn each to add a sentence to a story. Children choose roles at random from a tin with slips of paper.














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