Archive for June 18th, 2007
I have become very involved with Bridgend and have always enjoyed the visits I have made before. I am also coming back over three weeks in the autumn term, working clusters of schools, in the region.
Les, Jane Ryan Caine, Jo Blackman and Beth Williams organised a really interesting day, full of discussion on ways of motivating speaking and listening in children of all abilities and ages.The project has received financial and moral support from the Basic Skills Agency for Wales, in the shape of their Training and Strategic Intervention Grants
The Talk Project aims to develop talk-based learning through interactive group work, using techniques and strategies inspired by the work of the National Oracy Project. These strategies are generic and can be applied from foundation stage through to key stage 3, across all subjects. I find many of the elements fascinating and similar to the techniques we have been developing when using the Myst games as a stimulus. Individual think time; paired talk; structured talk; thinking and talking, envoying, collating ideas, sharing across a group…
On a previous trip to Bridgend, we touched upon many of these features and planned how we might work across all areas of the curriculum and recorded them on 2Simple’s 2Connect:
A lot of the development process in the Bridgend Talk Project is based on modelling, focus on key vocabulary, and reading writing to peers. All of these elements are particularly valuable for boys, who need an audience for their work and ideas.
It was fun to get the folk at the conference to try some of the talk elements through one of the Myst landscapes. However, for me, one of the most enjoyable experiences was watching Karen Morgan and Julia Williams, from Mynydd Cynffig Junior school and Tynerheol Primary school, present all of the excellent work they have been doing using Myst. They had so many thought provoking ideas: getting children to design real perfumes after studying the plant life in the Myst landscapes. Superb! Character profiles for all of the Myst inhabitants:
One of the “extras” I mentioned was my use of Crazy Talk 4. Discussed with a few people how useful this can be for presenting work in an original and fun way. It is also great for exploring facial expressions with children on the autistic spectrum. We had Tony Blair welcoming us all personally this morning.
Thanks to all for a valuable and practical day.