Showing posts from January, 2014

Using drama to develop the "Show not Tell" technique in writing.

The other day I came across this image shared on twitter by  @shaunh0pper : Love this for developing writing. — shaun hopper (@shaunh0pper) January 24, 2014 It got me thinking about how I could enhance this idea using drama and the iPads. I decided to have a go at creating our own Show and Tell digital display. The year 2 class have been thinking a lot about character descriptions and how we can improve our writing. We started by looking at this picture:  We discussed that every row demonstrates a different emotion. We then looked at which emotion each row displays. We tried to explain how we knew the character was happy/sad/scared/nervous and this led us to think that if we explain how a character is acting it will then show how that character feels. I came across the "Show not Tell technique," in Alan Peat's Improving Story Writing book. The idea is that it is more effective to show how a character acts, rather than simply sta

Using Music to Inspire Writing

I have been a massive fan of the Literacy Shed for a long time. I have been lucky enough to be able to be part of the team and contributed some ideas and now offer training through the site . The idea of using visual media such as short films and animations certainly helps engage and inspire writing in many different ways. Probably the biggest one is that nowadays children access stories through TV, film and video games a lot more than books. This doesn’t mean using videos can’t help encourage children to read, in fact as a starting point, using videos to initially engage children can then lead to them wanting to know more by reading the book. However having the immediate visual and audio to give children ideas for their writing can have a massive impact. There are aspects of a film that appeal to different learning styles more than a book may. There is one aspect that I have really been looking at developing as a tool to inspire writing for a while. What most if not all of the v

Math Duel - Test children's quick calculations under pressure!

I came across this app a few months ago after it was on the ever useful Apps Gone Free app . It has quickly become one of the most popular apps with the children. They love using this app in Numeracy lessons as it is competitive and challenging, and the reason it is so challenging and competitive is because children are competing against each other. I have used this app with children from Year 1 - Year 6, even with teachers on training INSET, all of whom respond in the same way - concentrating to try to win. You just need one iPad between 2 people (there is an option for one player, but the two player option is the best part of the app for me.) The screen is then split in half and each child sits at either end. Then it is a race in time to try and answer the question the quickest and make their bar in the middle bigger. The winner is the person with a full bar in the middle of the screen. I love how this app puts children under pressure. They have to apply their knowledge o

A Year in the life of Triplets

Yes this post isn't technically teaching related, however, I can't help but share. After a whole year, I have completed a video of my toddler triplets by recording 1 second of them everyday! Starting from January 10th 2012 I went about recording clips of my children everyday for the next 365 days! Using the 1 second everyday app  to help put together most of the footage, I did end up having to do some of the editing on my computer as my wife and other family members had footage on their phones. It is a video that I adore watching and it really does emphasise the idea that time moves so quickly. The 6 minutes make it so clear how fast our children grow up and how important it is to really appreciate and enjoy every second you have as a parent with your children. I am incredibly blessed to have beautiful children, watching this video will be a constant reminder of how lucky I am. I recommend doing this as a parent, not only to treasure precious memories but also to reflec