Hill of Banchory School, Aberdeenshire

| April 23, 2008 | 16 Comments 

Another day in another new Aberdeenshire primary school at Hill of Banchory.

Blog Scribing by Alison Butcher today.

“I could do with some of Tim’s class to help make my writing more descriptive!

I first heard Tim speak at SETT in Glasgow in 2005 and had never been so inspired at a seminar.  I tried Myst with my class soon after.  In my class there were some boys who were very reluctant writers.  One had severe attention deficit disorder and another had Aspergers and seldom wrote anything.  From the moment they walked into the class with the opening scene on the interactive whiteboard they were all hooked!  I introduced them to word thieves at the same time and soon they were all writing madly, pinching each other’s words.  The classroom assistant who was in the class with me at the time couldn’t believe how the children were responding compared to how writing lessons normally went.  The writing was amazing but what struck me most was how the children were immersed in the task and how well they collaborated and shared ideas.  I’ve been a great fan of Tim’s ever since and have used many other ideas nicked from him.  First term with a new class the children’s homework was to produce a short film using the Digital Blue Movie Creator cameras about their ‘Magnificient Obsession’.  This was great to give me some insight into the children’s interests and we had a very enjoyable cinema session one afternoon when we watched each other’s films.

Primary teachers attended today’s session from all over Aberdeenshire – Braemar, Rhynie, Gartly, Inverurie, Aboyne, Stonehaven, Ardallie, Oyne, Tullynessle, Dunecht, Towie, Laurencekirk, Lumsden and Banchory.

The Meat Loaf pie chart got a laugh – so Tim had to repeat it!  He enjoyed it as much as we did.  He made up a new phrase – hang a long.  Tim also suggested we show children how to analyse visual images, using pictures by Norman Rockwell.

Dorothy was the lucky person chosen to participate in the ‘Doors of Doom Challenge’ an example of how PowerPoint can be used to produce branching stories/quizzes.

‘LO and behold’ card on desk so that children try to work out learning objectives seems a better idea than sharing learning objectives at start of lesson. It also makes children think more about what they are learning rather than just being told what they are learning.

As soon as the teachers were allowed to explore the game they were instantly hooked – just like the children!  I bet they’ll be spending time exploring the games at home.  Hope their HTs accept ‘playing computer games’ as a CPD activity!

The afternoon session was a lesson with Mr Calder’s P5/6 class.  The children were brilliant and even taught Tim some new words – ‘exellcant’ and ‘slippering’.  Their writing was very descriptive and they were rightly very proud of it.  They came up with some ‘exellcant’ similes and metaphors.  Robbie did a brilliant commentary and Katie played the part of Alesha with great confidence.

Teachers’ comments included:

‘I know what my sons see in computer games now!’

‘Thoroughly enjoyable day!  Really has inspired me to look, not only at Myst, but to find more ways to motivate my children with their learning.’

‘Every teacher should get a workshop with him!’

‘The most exciting and dynamic course I’ve been on in a long time.  Great to see Tim in the class too.’

‘Away home to order a copy of Myst now.’

‘Today’s course has been a joy.  Tim is an excellent speaker who stimulates and enthuses everyone.’

‘What a fantastic day!  I feel so lucky to have had this experience!’

I’ve had a great day too.  Thanks Tim for another very inspirational day – the fourth so far!!


Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (16)

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  1. Scott Calder says:

    Excellent day! Was great to have some innovative ideas that can be used practically in class. My children thoroughly enjoyed exploring their new surroundings and produced some decriptive pieces. We will all look forward to using it in the classroom!

  2. Cara says:

    After hearing Tim on Saturday I was excited about coming to hear him today and I wasn’t disappointed! He gave us lots of useful ideas and tips and I am away home to order my copy of Myst III tonight. Seeing him work with the children was the best bit – I can’t believe the children sat for an hour and a half imersed in what they were doing and producing some fantastic results! One boy was still writing as we left the room!

  3. Lynn Anderson says:

    Very interesting and inspiring workshop on using Myst 3 and 4. The input Tim gave was fantastic and really made you want to have a play of the game. I particularly enjoyed the observation lesson in the afternoon, where we watched Tim delivering a writing lesson using Myst. It really emphasised the slow pace that he had explained in the morning and gave you a real hands on view of how to use the game effectively.

  4. Dawn Davidson says:

    Thank you, Tim, for an excellent day. Having tried out your ideas from Myst – Exile before it was great to actually be taught by ‘the master’. I picked up heaps of ideas to try out in class. I particularly enjoyed seeing you ‘in action’ with my old class. I needed a new slant on how to use it and I am now totally inspired again. Thank you so much.

    Kind regards


  5. Lynn Service says:

    Excellent day- thank you. It was refreshing to listen to someone so inspiring. As a non-teaching depute it was great to get back into an imaginative frame of mind. I think I will need to borrow a class to get started with this excting new resource. I think your refreshing , fun and stimulating style would bring any resources alive but can see the fantastic resource is a way in to encourage imaginative writing and a love of literature.

  6. Deborah says:

    I’m totally inspired and thoroughly enjoyed the classroom workshop experience today. The children (and adults) were completely absorbed and I loved every minute. I just need to borrow some of Tim’s jokes and our writing lessons will be fabulous! Thanks for a great day.

    Please add Sandy Toksvic to your fantasy dinner party Tim.

  7. jan bewick says:

    Tim has so much energy, I was exhausted by the end of a very thought provoking day. I am not a gamer although have 2 teenagers who are! However, Tim was able to reassure us that we could access Myst and use as a tool for improving writing (and listening and talking) in the classroom without spending hours infront of a screen. His work with the children was great to witness and their reaction was a reflection of his enthusiasm. Thank you.

  8. Louise McIntosh says:

    I’ve had a really excellent day and got some great ideas about how to motivate the pupils in my class who are less keen on writing. I am definetly going to rush home and buy MYST for myself and have a go at using in my class – after I have had a good look around it. A very inspiring day, thanks a lot.

    ….. a famous female for the fantasy dinner…… how about Helen Mirren??

  9. Alana says:

    A fantastic Day! I really enjoyed the workshops, especially when Tim demonstrated the lesson with the pupils. I plan to take these great ideas back to my classroom to engage the pupils in literacy. I did not realise the cross-curricular opportunities Myst could provide. Entertaining and Inspiring Day, Thank you.

  10. Kerry Glass says:

    I have been using Myst with my class and have had some excellent results especially from usually reluctant writers. This course has given me the confidence to keep going with Myst as I am not a gamer. It was an excellent day thanks.

  11. Caroline says:

    An inspirational day! I’ve already had a shot at using MYST exile III with my class but today has made me aware of so many other possible uses. E.g tourism brochures, instructions, poems etc. I’m looking forward to sharing this with my colleagues back at school, especially those in the infant department because they weren’t sure whether or not MYST could be used with very young children. I was wondering though…how often do you use MYST with your class? Does it lose its impact if used too often??

  12. Lorna McCourt says:

    Thank you for an inspiring day. It was great to see children immersed in their writing and so willing to share it with others. I particularly liked seeing ‘hot seating’ in use. Katie was excellent.

  13. Lorna Stewart says:

    I now understand why the password for the locked page password is “inspire”! My mind feels full and I desperately want to go out and buy the disc (just for me, not for the kids!) However, more importantly I feel the inspiration extends beyond the game to refresh my whole outlook on writing. The best part for me was seeing it work in the classroom, to see the enthusiasm of the kids and the results which speak for themselves! Thanks for the inspiration which i promise to go back and share with my kids in the class, to let us rediscover the enjoyment of writing, and take our journey along another route.
    ps how do you open the door?!!!!

  14. dorothy says:

    Have had a most inspiring and motivational day. Thank you.

    J.K.Rowling and Germaine Greer for dinner?

  15. Gaynor Steel says:

    Having trialled ‘Myst’ at Ardallie School, I have provided regular ‘hits’ to your website and was very excited when I heard you were coming to Aberdeenshire. Your ideas have helped my children come up with some excellent pieces of writing – they are so enthusiastic about ‘Myst’! After hearing you today and seeing you work with a class, you have enhanced my enthusiasm for the game and given me so many good ideas to take back to our school and share with my staff. Thank you so so much!

    ps, You managed to trick me with the ‘Gaynor’ game – how possible would it be to get a copy?

  16. Gaynor Steel says:

    After trying many times to post a comment, it has now worked, yee ha!

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