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Some down time…

| March 29, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

daffodilsOFFTaking time to take time…

Taking a break—even for 15 to 20 minutes—is a proven way to sustain concentration and energy levels throughout the day.

We are taking a bit of down time, switching off for a little bit. See you back after a bit of exploring of South America. Hoping YOU can take a break too.

HookPad by HookTheory

| March 27, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

HookpadHookPad is software that simplifies songwriting by helping you choose chords that sound good together and guiding you to write a good melody. It’s a musical sketchpad with music theory “built-in”.

Hope University, Liverpool 2015 ~ The Return 3.2

| March 27, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Liverpool Hope University

The second day of our return visit, again, to Liverpool Hope University, for lessons (and training) with, more fourthe year students and children from St Cecilia’s Catholic Infant School and Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School.

Over these two days, we have been intrepid explorers, investigating mysterious worlds, experimenting with different ways to pick up ideas and words, and play with them.

Liverpool Hope University

Twilight

These virtual environments are an excellent blank canvas, and we can build to where we are happy to jostle words around and juggle with them, then splatter them over the page, painting pictures which, in turn, lift off the page and dance in our heads. (Hey! Mr Rylands. Those are similes and metaphors!)

Spending time wandering through, and STANDING STILL in magical, digital vistas, and the teaching techniques we can use within them, allow students of any age and ability, to take risks, in a safe environment, where they can’t make mistakes.

“There is no right idea. Even better, there is no wrong idea”.

What a superb bunch. They quickly rose to the challenges, and opportunities, we offered them, taking off and flying with descriptive imaginations of what might lie beyond where we stood.

Even though there were so many packed into each room, each of us was almost “deliciously alone”, as we took the time to write, and draw, about where we “stood”, and what we thought might exist, just out of sight, and then voyaged to discover what it actually was. The children showed remarkable, and inventive thought, as did the student teachers, and turned these in to delightful, imaginative, pieces of writing. Well done all.

A soft murmer

| March 26, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

A soft murmer 1A soft murmer 2A Soft Murmer is another great way to create and play with ambient sounds. Descriptive narrative and beyond.

Hope University, Liverpool 2015 ~ The Return 3.1

| March 26, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Liverpool Hope Universtiy

A joyous trip back to Liverpool Hope University, for a day of lessons (and training) with third year student teachers and children from St Margaret’s Anfield Church of England Primary. We have had the pleasure of working alongside the Liverpool Hope crew over the last few years. So it was great to be back! Another big Thank You to Michelle Pearson, Head of Primary ITE, the Faculty of Education, at Liverpool Hope University, for organising our return trip.

A delightful morning with an up-for-it class of Year 2 pupils and 40+ third-year student teachers.

And a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon with a lovely bunch of Year 5 pupils and a further 50+ student teachers.

Liverpool Hope Universtiy

As we have said before, it is so valuable to work alongside students heading off in to the world of education. One of the most rewarding ways to spend your working days. Teaching is a hard path, in many respects, on many occasions. Hours of extra preparation, planning and reflection. But, as Confucius said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

Thanks to Veronica Poulter for sharing these thoughts:

The Primary English team and the Year 3 BA QTS students at Liverpool Hope University have been very much looking forward to welcoming our old friends Tim and Sarah to be part of our English Focus Week. In this week, we explore a range of strategies to support children in their story telling and creative writing. ICT is a highly powerful resource, which offers a wide range of applications, catering for all learning styles. Tim and Sarah’s innovative approach using gaming technology, fully engages and enthrals both student teachers and children. #can’twaitforThursday!

Twilight

 

Vocaroo ~ record & embed audio… easily

| March 19, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

VocarooVocaroo is a quick and easy way to get audio in to a blog post without loads of hassle, & technical equipment. (This uses Flash, so won’t work on an i device, sadly.) Click the arrow for an example.
Record and upload voice >>

Valley Teaching School Alliance, Coulsdon, Surrey ~ Day 2

| March 19, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Chipstead Valley Primary

Back to Chipstead Valley Primary School in Coulsdon, Surrey. for a day of lessons for Valley Teaching School Alliance, and more exploring, of the possibilities and magic that words and sentences contain.

Myst 4 Revelation The VillageOver the two days we have spent at the school we have been intrepid explorers, investigating mysterious worlds, experimenting with different ways to pick up ideas and words, and play with them.

These virtual environments are an excellent blank canvas and we can build to where folk are happy to pick words up and juggle with them, then splatter them over the page, painting pictures which, in turn, lift off the page and dance in our heads. (Hey! Mr Rylands. Those are similes and metphors!)

Spending time wandering through, and STANDING STILL in magical, digital vistas, and the teaching techniques we can use within them, allow students of any age and ability, to take risks, in a safe environment, where they can’t make mistakes.

“There is no right idea. Even better, there is no wrong idea”.

What a superb bunch. They rose to the challenges, and opportunities, we offered them. You would be in awe of the courage and persistence these children demonstrate. We saw many incidents of children helping each other in patient, caring ways.

We explored everything from persuasive language and balanced arguments, through to taking off and flying with descriptive imaginations of what might lay beyond where we stood.

There were so many packed into the room, yet we were all almost “deliciously alone” as we took the time to write, and draw, what we thought might exist, just out of sight, and then voyaged to discover what it actually was. The children showed remarkable, and inventive thought, and turned these in to delightful, imaginative, pieces of writing and imaginative illustrations. With some of the pupils we looked at how to develop some quite complex descriptive vocabulary, and bring a landscape alive.

All of the children (and staff) displayed a great sense of humour which showed itself in inventive responses and witty banter when asked to take  on different roles. Well done all.

Thanks again to Clare Rackham, Assistant Head, Chipstead Valley Primary School for coordinating the two days with style and very useful ‘freebies’.

“Virtual Manipulatives”

| March 18, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Virtual Mnipulatives!Virtual Manipulatives

Virtual Manipulatives is a superb free app offering some support with fractions, percentages and decimals through the use of tiles to investigate.

Virtual Manipulatives: Fraction, Decimal & Percent Tiles is a great way for students to explore how parts make up a whole.

Valley Teaching School Alliance, Coulsdon, Surrey ~ Day 1

| March 18, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Valley Teaching School Alliance

CVPS_photo_2Great, to spend two days working alongside the Valley Teaching School Alliance, at Chipstead Valley Primary School in Coulsdon, Surrey.

Chipstead Valley Teaching Alliance is made up of two secondary schools, one nursery, one special school and eight primaries. Joining us today were eight schools, some from beyond the Alliance, and three School Direct students. Cheam Fields Primary, Oasis Byron Academy, Keston Primary, Poplar Primary,   New Valley Primary, Ridgeway Primary and Nursery, Gonville Academy, and St Giles School.

We took folk on a fast paced pelt through a vast amount of, mostly free, online resources and way of extending learning styles, keeping the MAGIC in the curriculum. Well done all for keeping up and going for it.

A big thank you to Clare Rackham, Assistant Head, for sharing these thoughts:

Clare RackhamChipstead Valley Primary School is a two-forms of entry primary school with a bulge class in Reception. We have leadership responsibility for Coulsdon Nursery, and have recently become an academy and academy trust in order to take on and support New Valley Primary, in their improvement journey. In 2013 we received the ‘Outstanding’ grading in all areas from OFSTED. In September of the same year, we opened an ‘Enhanced Learning’ provision, with the capacity to admit 14 children with physical disabilities and complex medical needs.

Our journey became even more exciting in April 2014, when we were named as a National Teaching School. Working closely with all of the schools within our alliance, we strive to foster the love of learning in both staff and children across our local area. We are proud of our many achievements; academic standards are high and all pupils are encouraged to strive for their best, through carefully planned learning opportunities, provided by an excellent team of staff.

Having worked hard to develop computing within our school, we have recently purchased a number of ipads and software to help further develop our curriculum. In addition, staff have received training in a range of concepts and are now more keen than ever to promote the use of ICT within a range of different subjects. We are extremely excited to be welcoming Tim and Sarah into our school and are very much looking forward to being further motivated into using ICT to inspire our children.

‘tinterweb in graphical form ~ a challenge

| March 17, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

screenshot0621Have a look at THIS totally fascinating collection of images from the Internet Mapping Project, or go straight to Kevin Kell’s Flickr page of the maps HERE

Thought provoking images. How about trying this as an activity with your students.

The digital world is a wonderful place… What does it look like maybe?

We would be fascinated to see any iterations of this process.

Ricards Lodge High School, Wimbledon ~ Day 2

| March 17, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Ricards Lodge High School

Ricards Lodge High SchoolGreat to back for a second day at Ricards Lodge High School for Girls in Wimbledon.

Well done all for setting foot confidently in the world of words.

What a joyous bunch of explorers! Laughter AND learning is a powerful mixture. This lot were up for a giggle and rising to challenges. Thanks all.

Smiles and similes.

Ricards Lodge High School

Thanks again to Paula Simmons,  Deputy Headteacher, for organising this cross between working working alongside the staff yesterday, and students with teachers today.

Paula SimmonsTo work alongside colleagues from every department in Secondary schools, means that, at some point, somebody has to translate and assess how resources can be useful in their particular subject specialism.

How powerful, therefore, to hear staff today rising to that challenge and buzz about how they could apply some of the web 2.0 technologies from yesterday in their lessons. From R.E and Geography teachers and maths specialists, through to food technology teachers is a huge range of interests. Well done folks for having the vision to see how some of these things can have an impact in their classroom.