Showing posts from February, 2013

What is our online global audience?

Since beginning our blogging journey, I am constantly trying to show the children the potential it can have on improving their writing. Giving the children an audience provides a purpose for their writing. They carefully consider their writing which provides them with a more focused approach which has a knock on effect to improve their writing. It is sometimes hard for children to see how global their work can spread. Throwing numbers around doesn't always enthuse the children to carry on blogging. Over the past week I have tried a little experiment to try and give the children a visual picture of the global audience available through sharing work online. Just over a week ago, two classes from my school made their own versions of the latest internet meme -  Harlem Shake . Here was our effort: As much as the children loved making the video, there was a real purpose to it.  Youtube  provides in depth analysis of all the views the video recieves, from the demographics t

My journey with iPads so far - Feb 2013

This was a post I was asked to write for Rising Stars  - click here for their published article. Around a year ago the Head Teacher approached me and suggested I came out of the classroom to cover PPA. I have undertaken the role of ICT co-ordinator since my NQT year and ICT was my specialism for my university course. He wanted me to use my expertise of teaching ICT to work across the whole school and see how well I could embed core ICT skills within the curriculum. Initially I wasn’t overwhelmed by the idea, the ICT suite although big enough for a full class, was starting to feel outdated and was often temperamental. To take on this role I needed something new, fresh and exciting to really impact on teaching and learning. That was when I started to look at iPads as a tool in the classroom. A couple of websites I stumbled across really opened my eyes to the possibilities that iPads could provide –  and . Afte

Epic Citadel - Igniting children's imaginations for both fiction and non fiction

Possibly one of the best apps on the iPad to ignite the children's imagination and creativity is Epic Citadel.  The app is basically the setting for the computer game, Infinity Blade. A medieval kingdom, where the children can explore every inch of this fantasy world. There are no characters, stories or plots which leaves it up to the children to create their own characters and stories. This is what I love, the children being able to interpret the kingdom in whatever way they feel. As a school, we have recently had a big focus on using picture books as a stimulus in Literacy to encourage the children to use their imagination and build on their own interpretations. Epic Citadel is a very similar idea except rather than a book, it is a computer generated kingdom. From the first moment the children explored the app they were completely enthralled by the game like structure and many felt they were playing a game despite there being no direction or story. Before I started planning t

How to provide more to a school play!

In the six years of teaching at my current school I have put on a production each year. Each Year group puts on a play throughout the year as a way of providing opportunities for the children to showcase talents and interests that aren't always covered in the classroom. The facilities are amazing with a fully functional stage with a hall that can hold up to 150 people. Each year group performs a production throughout the year - Year 3 do Harvest (October), Year 4 - Christmas, Year 5 - Easter and Year 6 do a leaving show at the end of the year. I taught for four years in Year 5 therefore had to find four different ways of retelling the Easter story. We like to keep it traditional as we feel it is important that children learn the story behind the holidays we have, so each one had to tell the story of Jesus' death and resurrection. To keep the idea fresh I had to find creative and new ways to retell the story. The first year as an NQT I kept it quite safe performing GOOD NEWS