Hampshire Primary English Conference

| November 8, 2010 | 22 Comments 

Great to spend some time with the Hampshire Primary English Co-ordinators at the Holiday Inn, in Winchester.

It is always good to work alongside Literacy people, because, even though a lot of what we do is subtitled “ICT To Inspire”, it is the impact that any technology can have on raising many levels of literacy, and confidence, in children of all abilities and ages.

Speaking and listening, feeds in to writing in so many ways. The opportunity to drip vocabulary, and sentence structure, in to an exploration (or rather, more often, a “standing still in” ) of a virtual world.

Giving children the opportunity, and encouragement, to become “creative plagiarists”, to borrow ideas off their teacher, and from each other, that is when you get a spiral upwards within a classroom.

In our keynote, we investigated the power of engaging children in the writing, speaking and listening, and inventing, processes – and how this can impact on so many areas of a child’s progress.

In our workshops, we took folk for a walk in Epic Citadel, and showed some of the many interlinked processes we have been investigating.

We focussed on getting children to take off and fly.

This is a recurring theme for Ali Sparkes, the author who closed off the day.

In her top tips for becoming a writer, Ali writes: “Above all -enjoy it! Good writing should make you feel like you are flying!”

Ali is well known, for her Monster MakersShapeshifters series, Frozen in Time, Dark Summer, and the up coming S.W.I.T.C.H. books (to be published in February 2011) books,

Before she became an author, Ali worked as a singer, journalist, magazine editor, assistant to a juggling unicyclist, and comedy columnist on BBC Radio.

Ali describes herself as, “at heart, an 11-year-old boy, and as a child spent a lot of time poking about in copses, building dens, climbing trees and digging up stuff”.

My favourite fact about Ali, gleaned from her website, is that ” if you laid all of Ali’s living relatives, head to foot across the UK, they’d be extremely annoyed”.  😀

One element that is very important to us, is the many ways to inspire and motivate children into believing they are writers. Changing the perception of themselves into being a writer. I didn’t know I could do this and… I’m actually enjoying the process. Did I write THAT?!”

Ali says “It took me years to work out that writing stories was my thing, and now I have no idea how I missed it in the first place. It was obvious, like a 15 foot glowing neon sign buzzing on and off outside your bedroom window all night.

 OK. Took a while for me notice it, but now that I have I love it and there is nothing, but nothing, that I would rather be.

Here are some more of Ali Sparkes’ top tips for getting started…

Always try to make your first line or paragraph unusual or interesting to get the attention of someone who’s just idly picked it up.

Get dialogue going quite quickly.

Do work on good description BUT don’t over-do it.

Try to avoid using clichés to describe things – ie: instead of saying ‘Scared to death’ think of a way to really describe how you felt. Eg: ‘I felt my stomach clench and my hands start to shake, while a feeling of panic seemed to rise up in my throat’.

Use your own experiences. Use your imagination, of course, but also write about things you know about. This makes your writing ring true, which is really important.

Don’t guess at things. If there’s something factual about your story, check it. Research can be great fun.

Get someone you trust to check it through for any mistakes (but don’t let them re-write it for you!).

And, of course  …..

It doesn’t always have to be digital, and today there was a suberb focus on books through P&G Wells Book Fairs, a long established leading book supplier to schools and colleges in Hampshire.

They specialise in setting up and running book fairs in schools.

Now here is the clever stuff! Here is the help sheet you have been looking for, for that nifty stuff Sarah showed you on using the hidden gems within PowerPoint. Download it HERE  Making multimodal writing frames Using PowerPoint.

Here is one on Inserting Media Player into PowerPoint.

Other usefuls explored : Lulu, Epic Citadel, ZooBurst, Animoto, Wordsift

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (22)

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  1. Penny Davies says:

    Sat on the front row of the Tim Rylands rollercoaster! Very glad to be here early for Tim to say that I’m too keen! It was only good traffic – honestly!! A truely inspiring and worthwhile day already and only 11am!! Double thumbs up!! 🙂

  2. Tim says:

    Too keen, Penny! TOO keen. One can never be tooooo keen. You are a star to get a comment into the blog, even before we have finished. Thank you. Keep up the keen-ness-nissity. 😀

  3. Rebecca Buckle says:

    Thank you for so many inspiring ideas. Can’t wait to try the software with my year 3 class, and share with colleagues. I am supposed to be paying attention to Wizkid training in our evening staff meeting (sorry Georgina, but couldn’t wait to take a look at the blog. What a lot of very attractive English leaders!

  4. mandy mcgarvey says:

    fantasic ideas and i just can’t wait to try lots of them with my class and share at least some of the ideas with the teaching staff back at school.

  5. summr says:

    A fabby session, thank you, relaxing yet stimulating! Inspirational and achievable… more please!

  6. Amanda Croft says:

    Yep! Had a great day. Many, many thanks Tim and Sarah. Found the ICT inspirational and am about to have a go at the PowerPoint. I wonder, can I get it done for tomorrow…
    Love the blog too. Big thanks!
    PS I was your ‘translator’ second session:-D

  7. Polly Ashness says:

    What an incredible course! Am feeling so inspired and really enjoyed the upbeat an lively nature of the presentation. I cannot wait to try out all the ideas – am already looking for the different resources on the Internet.

    Thank you so much

  8. Leilah Amos says:

    Thank you so much for such an inspiring day! I think this will really appeal to my pupils and be really useful – especiallu with some of my more reluctant writers. I’m hoping to do some action research as part of my MA and I’m really keen to try using ICT to inspire writers to see the results! Thank you for giving me a great stimulus and for really practical ideas touse in the classroom!

  9. Hannah says:

    Very rarely have I come away from a conference or course with so many brilliant ideas and enthusiasm for trying them out myself. Have already ordered myself a set of thinking dice, now looking into the Myst game. Thank you so much! It was great!

  10. Moira Groves says:

    Thank you for some truly inspirational ideas. I shall look forward to practising with some of them before I am let loose on our staff!

  11. Carol Pitts says:

    Thanks so much for truly inspiring sessions from you both. Had so many positive comments about it already. Just about to get into Myst 3!

  12. Helen Salter says:

    Thoroughly captivating presentation, hope to use some ideas this week in our Book Week (Comic Book & Super Heroes) let’s get those boys writing!

  13. Rita Morgan says:

    Definitely worth battling through the awful weather and driving conditions! I’ve checked out all the resources since getting home and can’t wait to feedback to the staff and the children tomorrow. Thank you Tim and Sarah for so many useful and fun ideas.

  14. Emma Tarrant says:

    Thank you for an amazing and refreshing insight into the use of ICT in literacy. Lots of great ideas, I just hope – can remember how to create the text box in powerpoint!

  15. Luddite says:

    You challenged me to write a comment after I told you what a Luddite I am. Thank you again for an inspiring day. I am even thinking about trying out MYST!

  16. Emma says:

    Thank you for sharing some brilliant ideas – I have created a power point using your text box ideas ready for my class tomorrow and I can’t wait to see their reaction!!

  17. Tish says:

    Thank you for so many brilliant and achievable ideas – My headteacher has already agreed to order 10 sets of the thinking dice and I am about to have a go at making myself a powerpoint using your text box ideas. Thank you again.

  18. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for an inspirational and fun day….. I can’t wait to try out some of the ideas.

  19. Margaret says:

    Yes I am a Margaret – but no not phased (well only a bit!) by all that you shared with us yesterday. It was truly amazing. I will try very hard not to be a Margaret about it and see how much I can remember to share with my year sixes and the staff at school. Thank you for an inspirationaland entertaining two sessions. I hope all is going well in Denmark.

  20. fwood says:

    At last it is starting to again make sense ~ no more static interactivity!!!! Thank you for restoring my faith.

  21. Greg Braham says:

    Now that I finally have Internet connection restored I can add to the blog!

    Tim, Sarah…truly inspirational – many thanks for a fantastic day. I’m already playing around with Wordle and picture editors…if only there was a help sheet on using the image editor on http://www.aviary.com!

  22. Rebecca Jakes says:

    I used MYST with my class for the first time today. I had to force the children to go out to play afterwards! One child, who usually writes a couple of sentences at the mos,t unless supported, scribbled away frantically. This evening, I introduced it to the rest of the staff in my staff meeting. Fantastic!

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