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Day Three at the SWIFT Writing Institute 2015

On day three, we moved from the Phoenix Building to the Library building on North Campus. A beautifully, new, shiny, glass building with an excellent Starbucks on the ground floor. Students are spoilt these days, it’s official.
We started off with our daily journalling followed by Matthew Martin, a senior lecturer in English in St. Mary’s University, Belfast. He took us on a whistle stop tour of a survey he is carrying out. It is a survey of writing pedagogy in Ireland. We spoke about creativity, beating the exam and assessment system and disadvantage among many other things. Loved this session.
Then, I as up to my teaching demo. I decided to speak about writing and children with English as an additional language needs. I focussed on animoto, photo story, book creator, story bird and kid blog to show how I have helped children with little English to create their own story. I was happy when it was over, it seemed to go well but that could be due to the fact that I bribed the fellows with chocolate and popcorn.
Next up was Orlagh, a fellow educate together teacher who stunned us with idea after idea of how to help children with little English communicate, learn and have fun. I was struck by her learning and teaching ethos, showing the learner respect no matter what age or background. Real educate together ethos stuff going on there.
To finish up, we had Chris and Jo, two higher level educators who spoke about getting third level students to speak up, write and want to learn. I realized what an easier job we have at primary level. Most children will want to learn if it is made fun and child centered. We had a chance to do a quick observational task for writing, one I will be stealing and listened to the difference between scientific and personal writing style.
Another wow day. Inspired and stuff.

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