Pillar drill

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Kinaesthetic learners

Now term has really started I thought we would look at our more practical – touch, feel, do learners. They have a rather long name and are called Kinaesthetic learners.  I think I must be predominantly this type as anything practical attracts me first. Probably why my subject is Design technology, resistant materials, graphic, control technology and textiles as they are all things that you do!.

For Kinaesthetic learners generally they enjoy learning that involves physical experience – touching, feeling, holding, doing, practical hands-on experiences.

The base of the word comes from the Greek  kineo, meaning move, and aisthesis, meaning sensation Hence the name Kinaesthetic describes the sense of using muscular movement so for us teachers that means we need to look at teaching/learning experiences that include within the term some work that involves the stimulation of nerves in the body’s muscles, joints and tendons.  For Design Technology, PE, Music it is commonplace to find this type of activity, but how do you ensure those with this type of learning experience it at least a  few times per term in Maths for example? This is the conundrum for all of these styles how do you ensure you reach your learners and support them with their style of learning. For me having a  check list per activity when planning means that over each half term I have a general idea of which style I have used mostly in order that I can change the balance over the next term or if revising a fact/ module of work find another way of demonstrating it i.e.. if It was mainly visual learning first time then revise with the visual reminder but back up with a  practical (kinaesthetic) activity.

If you are unsure which type you are then you can find out using the link below.

or try the free test on – http://www.businessballs.com/vaklearningstylestest.htm

Basic Timetabling for department heads

Timetables are always there to greet us at the start of the new term as teachers, but what happens when we get to be managers and need to do our own staffing timetables or indeed the whole schools timetable.  Ideally you should love puzzles and a little bit of maths. After this a sense of humour as it can take weeks to get a large schools timetable correct and then someone on the staff will say can you just change this for me without realising the repercussions on others as well as the time to reshuffle others around.

In Technology for instance each year group on a rotation timetable needs to go to each member of staff in turn to ensure they get their full curriculum quota.

Here is an example of one such set of groups year 7.  It is for a group of 5 classes labelled X1-5 for ease but you can easily put the class name in e.g. 7AB, 7EF, 7JF, 7DE and 7VG.

Each group must do food technology, graphics, electronics, control and resistant material projects.  There are 5 teachers needed to deliver it. here is a suggested approach to timetabling this rotation. The initials of the teachers are EF, NS, TG, AM and HC.

Group DateSept-Nov DateNov -Jan DateJan – Mar DateMar – May DateMay – Jul
X1 HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl
X2 EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics
X3 NSElectronics EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics
X4 AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials
X5 TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl HCFood

This is quite simple as each is moving along but can be readjusted if the teacher stays with the class except for food lessons as a change of classroom is needed. See the timetable below. As you can see there are two different resistant materials projects for this particular rotation. But anything can be inserted e.g. History/English or other year groups and their projects including exam classes.

Group DateSept-Nov DateNov -Jan DateJan – Mar DateMar – May DateMay – Jul
X1 HCSafety

Food

TGSafety

Electronics

TGResistant Materials 1 TGGraphics TGResistant Materials 2
X2 EFSafety

Resistant Materials 1

HCSafety

Food

EFGraphics EFResistant Materials 2 EFElectronics
X3 NSSafety

Electronics

NSGraphics HCSafety

Food

NCResistant Materials 1 NCResistant Materials 2
X4 AMGraphics AMElectronics AMResistant Materials 1 HCSafety

Food

AMResistant Materials 2
X5 TGSafety Resistant Materials 1 TGElectronics TGResistant Materials 2 TGGraphics HCSafety

Food

Design Technology – How to support EAL learners

Design Technology is a practical subject with elements that require explanation of ideas, development of ideas using a mix of drawing and text, planning and at the end of everything evaluation. These areas are often neglected to be mentioned by senior managers as they often believe that the written element is so small it contributes little to the practical component. However this is not true in the classroom.

In the classroom young people often find it difficult to express the ideas in their heads when the classroom language is English and their first language is the same, but put your self in the shoes of an eight or thirteen year old whose first language is not English.

It is worth thinking about this at the planning stages what tools, including websites and withdrawal classes for pre teaching support, will you ensure you have to hand to support the child through the learning process?

What words will the child need to know to effectively evaluate or predict? How will you ensure that they learn these academic words alongside the other skills and practical language and skills they are learning? What is your plan if some one new is integrated into the class when you have done the groundwork with others?

Pupils who are at the emergent, developing and consolidating levels of learning EAL will benefit from planned interventions and structures to ensure they develop the language skills they need to fully access the curriculum and produce work and portfolios at the appropriate level. This cannot be left to chance it must be planned for, including ensuring if words are to be learnt they are learnt in context. Too often classrooms and workshops that I have observed, have words that may appear random to someone with very or little language of the classroom. If you must put up words, use pictures to show the product/concept and a sentence with it in context for the children to use as their starting point.

One thing you can do is to recognise the benefits of pupils using their first language at all stages of the design process and also support them to keep the language alive as this supports 2nd language acquisition, increases their self-esteem and can lead to decreased bullying incidents.

Umeboshi – What are they? – Japan

Following on the Japanese thread from this week I came across this article from the Japanese Times which describes a cooking technique and also gives a recipe at the very end…I was very intrigued by the word itself Umeboshi so was surprised to see it linked to culinary terms as I thought it was perhaps something more geographical … my Japanese sadly is getting no better.  I do love food though especially something that is different from my cultural food experiences so thought I would share this and the history behind it.

Below is the article:

Umeboshi: perfect in any culinary pickle

Special to The Japan Times

Japanese cuisine has more than its share of acquired tastes, and umeboshi are near the top of the list. Intensely sour and salty, these traditional tsukemono (pickles) are prepared over several weeks, starting in June when the fruits of the ume tree are ripe, and finishing up in July under the hot midsummer sun. Ume are related to plums and apricots.

Making enough umeboshi to last the rest of the year was a task in most Japanese households for hundreds of years. Both of my grandmothers made a batch faithfully every summer, each tasting entirely different from the other. My paternal grandmother made pale, moist ones that were more sour than salty, and my maternal grandmother made umeboshi that were so salty that the surface glistened with crystals.

They both made their umeboshi in similar ways, but the differences came from the amount of salt used and how the fruit was handled. My father’s mother lived in a small house in central Tokyo and did not have a lot of room to spread out her umeboshi, so she kept the drying (hoshi) phase short, the salt fairly low, and disinfected her pots with shōchū liquor to ward off mold. My mother’s mother lived in a small town and had the space to give her umeboshi lots of sun and air and relied solely on salt and the natural acidity of the ume to preserve them. Her umeboshi were as wrinkled and brown as her well-worn gardener’s hands.

It’s the latter ones I remember most fondly despite their intense saltiness, because they are so interwoven with my childhood memories of summer. Every August my mother would participate in the age-old custom of sato-gaeri — going back to the small town where she grew up, offspring in tow, for a week or two’s holiday. When us kids got back home every late afternoon, exhausted and soaked in sweat from running around wild all day, our grandmother would give us an umeboshi each.

This was in the days when people used to believe (erroneously, as it turns out) that one needed to take in extra salt during the brutally hot and humid summer; for my grandmother, making her grandchildren eat her umeboshi was her way of ensuring that we stayed healthy. Even now when I bite into an umeboshi, memories come flooding back of sitting on the porch with my cousins, mouth puckering, knowing that I’d soon be rewarded with a tall, icy glass of mugi-cha (barley tea), and maybe some watermelon that had been chilling all day in the well.

The first written records of umeboshi appear as early as the year 200. Initially it was ume-su (ume vinegar), the sour-salty liquid byproduct of the umeboshi-making process, that was prized. The liquid was used as an antiseptic on wounds, as well as to clean and chelate metal items such as bronze mirrors and temple bells. (Ume-su was widely used as an antiseptic well into the 20th century, until more modern antiseptics became available.) In later times, both the pickled fruit and the vinegar were used to treat various ailments, especially of the stomach.

Umeboshi and ume-su were especially cherished in times of war. During the medieval Warring States period (1467-1573), they were valued for their long shelf life, and warlords across the land ordered the planting of bairin (ume groves). Umeboshi were thought to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, ward off food poisoning, and more.

These beliefs continued even into the 20th century, when soldiers carried bundles of umeboshi with them to the front. In the early Showa Era (1926-1989), the humble umeboshi became part of a national patriotic symbol: the hinomaru bentō, consisting of a rectangular bed of plain white rice with a single umeboshi in the middle, resembling the Japanese flag.

Nowadays, umeboshi can be bought in department-store food halls, supermarkets, convenience stores and even ¥100 shops. They range widely in price and quality; cheap umeboshi with artificial flavors are rather nasty, but at the high end they are a gourmet treat.

Traditionally, the best umeboshi come from Wakayama Prefecture, which was called the Kishu Domain during the Edo Period (1603-1867). It was mainly in this region, and during this time, that umeboshi pickled with red shiso (perilla) leaves came into being. These reddish-brown to bright purple-red delights are what most people consider to be the quintessential umeboshi. In recent years, though, umeboshi that are are less salty and marinated in dashi stock (which adds lots of umami) have gained popularity. There are also very low-salt umeboshi that still retain the sweetness of the fruit.

Are umeboshi good for you? Probably so — in moderation. The main “good” ingredient in umeboshi and ume-su is citric acid, which is a natural preservative and conservative, as well as an appetite inducer. White onigiri (rice balls) made with umeboshi filling keep for a longer time than onigiri made with other fillings, and a traditional dish to eat when you’re sick is some plain rice gruel flavored with umeboshi. However, the high salt content is not that good for you, so it’s probably best not to have more than a couple at a time.

Where umeboshi really shine is in the kitchen. Think of them as flavoring agents or condiments rather than pickles; start by using just a little in sauces or on plain rice and so on. Add an umeboshi to a marinade for meat, or put one in the poaching liquid when you poach a chicken for a subtle flavor.

You may find that once you get used to them, you become addicted to their salty-sourness. The first time my husband, who’s Swiss, popped one in his mouth, he almost spat it out in horror, but now he loves them even more than I do. One of his favorite quick lunches is pitted and chopped umeboshi, butter, a drizzle of soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds tossed with freshly cooked pasta. (I like to add a dash of Tabasco.)

The umeboshi section of a department-store food hall can be rather overwhelming, especially during the midsummer and yearend gift giving seasons. Besides the pickled fruit themselves, you can also find a variety of ume-su, ume paste (neri-ume) and umeboshi-based sauces.

Traditionally made umeboshi can keep for years, even decades, and if they do go bad (they turn black) it’s thought to be a very bad omen. However, modern low-salt umeboshi, especially ones marinated in dashi stock, do not keep so well, and must be kept refrigerated and eaten before the best-by date.

Not that many people make their own umeboshi these days, but some still keep up the tradition, including my mother. Hers are somewhere in between the ones by my two grandmothers — a bright reddish brown, somewhat dried but still moist and smooth, salty yet not overwhelming. To me, they are perfection.

Makiko Itoh is the author of “The Just Bento Cookbook” (Kodansha USA). She writes about bentō lunches at www.justbento.com and about Japanese cooking and more at www.justhungry.com.
Recipe: Ume-dashi dressing or dipping sauceThis refreshing and versatile sauce can be used as a salad dressing or as a dipping sauce for cold noodles. I make the sauce without any oil, and add a little oil before using it as a dressing. The oil helps the sauce to cling to the ingredients in a salad. If you don’t want to make dashi stock from scratch, use 1½ teaspoons of dashi granules dissolved into 400 ml of water instead.

Makes about 400 ml

Water — 400 ml

Dry konbu seaweed — 1 10-cm piece

Red shiso-type umeboshi — 4 large

Katsuobushi (bonito flakes) — ½ cup (1 small handful)

Sake — 1 tsp

Mirin — 1 tsp

Light soy sauce — 1 tsp

Ume-su — 2 tbsp

Prepare the dashi stock by steeping the konbu seaweed in the water for 20 minutes, then bringing to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer.

While the konbu seaweed is steeping, pit the umeboshi and chop the flesh finely until it becomes a paste.

Put the stones into the dashi stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the mirin and sake, and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Add the bonito flakes. Turn off the heat, and leave until cooled down to lukewarm. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

Add the soy sauce, chopped umeboshi and ume-su. Mix well. Let cool, and store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator until ready to use. It will keep for a couple of weeks.

To use as a salad dressing, mix 2 tablespoons of the sauce with  ½ tablespoon of a light-flavored vegetable or olive oil. The best method is to put both in a small glass jar with a lid (not the one you store the sauce in) and shake vigorously.

You can also use the sauce straight up as a dipping sauce for cold udon or hiyamugi noodles; it makes an interesting change from regular noodle dipping sauce. If the sauce is too salty as-is, dilute it with a little water. Add thinly sliced myōga ginger, finely chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds as garnish.

 

With thanks to http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fg20120525f1.html