Sunday, 5 August 2012

Week three - planning

Tomorrow Viv is in Auckland - So the student teachers and classroom teacher are going to be running the session. I look forward to hearing reports via this blog and in person about how the session goes! Good luck team!

Here are the rough planning notes for how the session might run.... To be honest this is looking a whole lot more structured and pre-planned than a Mantle normally would... generally we would aim to be more child-led and responsive. However, the structure is reassuring for everyone and we have planned for the childrens' ownership where possible.

Plan for 7th August
-Meeting convention - Create agenda as last week.
-Update part time workers on what has been happening
-Teacher in role as Josh-storage room issue. One thing we have discovered is David’s files are all mixed up and we don’t know which fact file goes with which toy.
-Toy hunt (student teachers are toys). Children working in pairs to match their fact file up with a toy who is hiding somewhere around the school.
- As children find a ‘toy’ they have the chance to ask ONE question to see if the toy is the one on their fact file. If the answer to their question is YES they can ask another question. As soon as they get a ‘NO’ – they move on to find another toy.
- Follow up activities back at Company HQ as each group returns to the office (writing a report on the condition of the toy? Recounting the process of finding it? Recording the questions that were asked? Student teachers to plan this task - NB must be professional task suitable for toy museum as well as appropriate to curriculum level of children)
- Whole company meeting – report on search for toys. Josh: We were not storing / looking after these toys very well.
- Can we help Josh practice the Phone call to David? knee to knee with buddy (one in role as David, one as Josh) We need to own up about not looking after the toys properly. What is the best way to start? Reflect and Break down the conversation. Give advice to Josh…
-‘If only these toys could talk, I wonder what they’d tell us they’d been through’-Hot seating the toys (student teachers start off in role - transition into children taking on the roles.)
-Discuss-how about an exhibition of toys of a different kind of value – toys with stories to tell?? [This will be confirmed during the week in a letter from David – MAIN COMMISSION]

Sam’s ideas:
Could use a Map of school divided into grids to note where their toy was found.
Begin the hunt from different places – management issue
Create a rule during the hunt – can only continue to ask if get “YES” as answer (helps craft the questions).

Student Teacher’s preparations:
Create ‘fact file’ for your particular toy.
Create extension activity for when your group is back in class awaiting others.
Create toy’s adventure ‘story’
Prepare for how you will run the hotseating

Over the next few days
Student teachers send blog accounts to Viv for lodging on site
MAIN COMMISSION will be confirmed (exhibition of toys with a story to tell) - Viv will send a package to the company (containing David’s bear plus the commission letter)
 Sam will draft commission letters.


  1. As stated before us as student teachers went into role as the lost toys and hid around the school to be found by the students who had a fact file about the toy. As the students came around the school you could see the excitement on their faces. They were very eager to find their toy. When the pair that had my fact file had asked questions and decided I was their toy the ritual of turning my photo around to reveal that they were correct gave them great joy. The questions were well thought of based on the information given to them and this pair did not go for the obvious questions first instead they came later. For example ‘Do you have blue satin on you?’ then later asking ‘Is your name Lucy?’

    When inside students were very keen to full out the incident form as it seemed like the right thing to do and they both worked hard on it. While they were filling out this form there was a lot of discussion about the state of the toy but also the process they went through to find me. Student A said “We thought you were Lucy because you were sitting like her in the photo”. This showed me that they were thinking about more than just the written words given to them, even though I hadn’t sat like in the photo on purpose.

    I had a good experience with the hot seating activity though I felt that more information would have been gained if we had been in smaller groups rather than the group of four student teachers. Students easily accepted that when someone was on the chair they were in role as that toy. I was the first to be hot seated and when I chose to ‘grab’ the question and pass it on to a student to answer in role they were able to easily fit into the role. The students were not phased that I had asked this and there was a lot of hands up to go into role as the toy. The students in this group seemed to be most interested in whether the toys had travelled or not. As the hot seating continued there were some deeper questions asked but I feel that if there had been more time the students would have gotten to the deeper questions.

    Overall I think the students were highly engaged throughout the lesson and totally pulled into the world of the toy museum.

  2. This comment from S.S.

    Tuesday’s MOTE session went well I thought. The students said they hadn’t done a lot this week, I tried to fit this into ‘company speak’ saying, “oh so it’s been a bit of a quiet week, not many toys in?” The two students quickly agreed, changing their tone slightly. One student, M, informed me that, “I’ve also been drawing up some plans at home of where the toys might go for the robot exhibition”. It’s great to see her involvement, and how much she has become involved and invested in the MOTE, since the first session.

    When Josh (Store room manager) was informing the company of the mess in the store room, student D popped his hand up and informed the company, “there’s another problem, there’s also a leak in the store room”. Josh replied to this by saying, “Oh see there’s just so much going on”. This student seemed to have a few behavioural issues in the first session at the beginning, but at this stage he is a valued contributor to the MOTE. I can see how it would work very well to offer students such as D, roles with slightly higher responsibility and how he would flourish in that position, especially as he may not get those opportunities in the regular classroom.

    After my two students had found me in the toy hunt we headed back to the class. I asked them, “Since you’re such experienced toy museum workers, what do you think we need to do now that we have the fact file back with the toy?” The students weren’t sure at this point, so I then said “I think we might need to document this-what might have happened for this toy to get lost?” There was a bit of prompting here, I made clear, “we just need some theories of what happened for the toys to get lost, so we can make sure it doesn’t happen again, because of course our toys deserve the best of care, don’t they?” One student said, “The leak in the store room flooded the bottom of the room, and made the fact file float away from the toy.” I replied, “Oh so the toy possibly has some water damage then?” Student A, then said, “Someone took it out to repair it and put it back in the wrong place.” The students then documented what had happened, including the date and name of the toy at the top, signing it at the bottom to show who had found the toy. This activity worked really well, I didn’t mind that the students had two different stories I just wanted it to be something they had created so they had more ownership over it. For a bit of an extension activity, I suggested we might need to document what the toy looks like now that it has some damage.

    When it came time for the ‘hot seating’ of the toys, I suggested to the students they might want to think about what they want to know from the toy, what the toy’s been through, and what might have happened when the toy was lost. I then sat in the seat, in role as the toy. I answered a few questions, when I’d been lost, when I’d arrived at the museum, etc. When one asked if I had been owned by David, I told them, “I was with David but his nephew, James, stole me from David’s house one day, and snuck me back to his home, I lived under his pillow so I was close to him, and so that his parents wouldn’t see me.” The next question a student asked, I “grabbed” and handed it over for her to answer, in role of the toy.

    Both students fitted into role seamlessly without any prompting from me. Student C said, “he wasn’t a nice owner, he stuffed us in a draw, because he stole other toys too”. I responded, “Well it sounds like he’s in a better place now, in the museum with us, he must be safer here.” I think it worked really well, to let the students go into role, and be able to question from the outside as well. I think using that strategy the students got a lot more out of it, and possibly it was more engaging for them, as they got to try and portray ‘the toy’.

  3. From R.H. (Sorry it took me a while to post these comments!)

    Today’s session with room 17 went well. For me it brought into forefront the power of drama as a tool to support learning and development in children. The search for the toys in the store room focused students on structuring questions appropriately and they tended to structure these by synthesising aspects from off the profile sheet rather than using picture cues. However a couple of toys were so well hidden that they did take 30 minutes to be found.

    The aspect of the mantle today that really resonates is the students that are usually quiet and keep ideas to themselves in classroom discussion were excited to report back to the group on the condition of the toy when it was found. They were not only willing to do this but they spoke clearly and projected their voice with purpose.