Playing the Writing Game project: Wiltshire

| September 29, 2010 | 11 Comments 

Today we are at Urchfont Manor in Devizes, Wiltshire for the ‘Playing the Writing Game’ Project working with teachers and children.
A class of pupils, from All Cannings Primary School, joined us here for a lesson, and one and half hours of smiles, laughter and writing.

Simon Watkins, Primary ICT Adviser for Wiltshire, shared his thoughts on the day for us here:

‘Are you up for a challenge?’ Tim asks the group. Well it was my challenge to introduce my good friends, Tim and Sarah. From past experience I know I won’t get long because he will interupt, cut in and generally try and put me off, but it is well worth it, as I know that we are in for a fascinating and exciting day.
Tim was asked to return to Wiltshire, to launch a writing project, across 13 schools, and his belief, that ‘our role is to get children to take off and fly’ fits perfectly, with the reason for getting involved with it. Tim’s challenge was to introduce the concept of using games to inspire writing, in a gorgeous venue, and (a slightly too small) old stable room (smaller still, it felt, once we had shoehorned a class of 30 delightful children, from a local school into it!)
However, there was no need to worry, as his inspirational approach captivated and fully engaged. We then used technology, to comment on the lesson, to question Tim about his techniques, and to fully understand his approach.
Throughout the session the fully embedded use of ‘invisible’ ICT was entirely appropriate to enhance the children’s learning experience.

We looked at a range of online tools to support the project including www.primarypad.com , www.Cueprompter.com , www.wallwisher.com and www.twitter.com (and I’ve now started following @timrylands on Twitter too).

Our challenge is to now take these ideas back to school and investigate how we can help our children take off and fly.

Thank you, Simon, and sorry to interrupt – we just “don’t do big build ups”! 😀
Really looking forward to the rest of the Playing the Writing Game project…

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (11)

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  1. Gordon Nunn says:

    Thank you for a great day. I was really impressed with how ‘real’ children were so engaged and enthused by the lesson. Some great ideas I will take back to the classroom.

  2. Jill March says:

    Thank you for so much incredible information. I look forward to stepping in to the ‘Playing the Writing Game’ project. I will be taking African Safari and many of your other ideas in to my Year 4/5 class. I especially liked the way you managed to get so many children to share their ideas so confidently in such a potentially intimidating scenario!

  3. emma bevan says:

    Really inspiring day, can’t wait to get back into the classroom. The way that the children shared their work will stay with me and I want to try that out as soon as possible. Breaking the writing up and the need to give the children time was something that I will share with others. Staying in one scene and talking the talk is something that I will be using straight away. Thankyou

  4. Nicky Phillips says:

    Thank you for an inspiring day. I found watching your teaching and seeing the strategies you used for extending the children’s vocabulary was really useful. The dripping in and modelling new vocabulary, the translator for extending their exisiting vocab was something I’ll take back and use more in my classroom.
    I’m also hoping to extend my own ICT skills with some of the whizzy things you had and showed us. I loved Wordle and the networking word meanings!
    Thanks again.

  5. Helen Ayers says:

    What a brilliant start to ‘Playing the Writing Game’. An inspiration to start the project off. Lots of great ideas to take back into the classroom starting with a game to build up lots of vocabulary with the children. Now I have my game, I can’t wait to start it with them. I cannot be like Tim in the classroom but just practising the ideas that he gave will certainly give myself and the children a great start. Thanks for the day – truly inspiring!

  6. Flick Carpenter says:

    Today was very interesting and my head is exploding with many things that I can take back and use at school.
    One of the main highlights for me was seeing the lesson taught and seeing the way that Tim questioned the children; he asked such open-ended questions that required higher order thinking.
    I shall definitely be using the dripping in of vocabulary and repeating so that the children soak up all the fab words.
    Using a prop as an ice breaker would be interesting – I have seen this work well in my class before so hopefully it could work again.
    The way that the game was on the board and the way the ICT was made ‘invisible’ throughout the entire lesson seemed to engage the children far more than ‘if you were in this picture…’

    Am I up to the challenge? I hope so!

  7. Nicky says:

    Once again, a superb day jam packed with superb ideas that I can now take back into my classroom. I am especially keen to use the ‘translator’ aspect to increase vocabulary and understanding. Tag Galaxy is ‘out of this world’ – pun intended! The emerging web2 technologies list that you have given will keep me busy for many a happy hour. The day has provided a fantastic springboard for this exciting project – thank you!

  8. Luke Ford says:

    Great course today. Thank you. It was lovely to she the techniques used today to engage children in their development of writing skills and vocabulary.
    Things I’m going to use in my classroom-
    Myst 3 to provide the stimulus- only using a small part- looking at the landscape, using lots of vocabulary linking in similies and methaphors.
    I will choose children to act as the characters in the scene and I will use the technique where children read out their work with out putting their hands up.
    Sarah’s input on Powerpoint was interesting and I will work with my class to use this to support their work. I liked the map with buttons linking to other pages with photos and information.
    The timrylands website looks very useful and I hope to make use of the resources in the future and share with other members of staff.

    Thank you Tim and Sarah for the great training.

  9. Sarah Pender says:

    Thank you for a brilliant day. I came away with much too much to do and am conscious of making my next steps valuable. My topic is currently Africa (a whole school topic in fact) and I loved the work on the Wild Earth Africa. I’m keen to use the primary pad, WallWisher and supplement it with Myst IV if possible. I like the idea of using the game as a starting point for research and other curriculum areas.
    I’d also like to try the powerpoint techniques to work on a current project which is based on Handa’s Surprise and will be sent to our link school in France. We may get the opportunity to develop Wall Wisher or Primary Pad with our French partners as well but maybe not quite yet. It was my school’s pupils who were the demo class and it was fascinating to see reluctant writers soar. I am now going back to use it with my current class (Y1,2,3). How lucky are we at All Cannings to have such a Rylands input in our school!!

  10. Louise Knipe says:

    As teachers we are constantly searching for new ways to engage our children and improve our practice.’Playing the Writing Game’ has so much to offer with regards to both. The workshop at Urchfont has been totally inspiring and I cannot wait to try out Tim’s ideas in the classroom. I will be interested to see how those less keen to write respond and whether it impacts on their writing. Watch this space!

  11. Tim says:

    Thank you, all, for your kind comments and feedback.
    We are looking forward to the rest of the Playing The Writing Game project.
    Keep up the excellent work.
    Tim and Sarah

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