Author Archive: Tim

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Writing is the way we communicate when we’re not there

| April 29, 2017 | 0 Comments 

Writing is the way we communicate when we’re not there

in Speaking we can modify our emphasis and gesticulate

in Writing we have to pick the right words, framed in a real context

Children need a real purpose in order to encourage engagement with writing

Teachers need, regardless of their route in to the profession, a real understanding of what grammar is. Not conjugating verbs, but understanding REAL structure for real needs

Skilled users of language and socially adaptable

Complex range of literacies in a constantly changing world full of a huge range of literacies

Grammar for Writing is still a useful tool but, more essentially, grammar needs to be taught in exciting vibrant contextualized ways

 

Emancipated autonomous users of language

Phonic development is really important but not as a standalone, every now and then subject

Needs to be taught consistently and in an exciting way, a development continuum,

Reading is an essential precursor to writing and writing is an essential precursor to reading

Teachers need to plan experiences that require an ever widening range of forms for an ever increasing range of purposes and audiences

Make it real!

Reading is a stimulus and model building sophistication in children’s writing

Speaking and listening, comes alive when we expose children to new, valid, interesting and real, whether that is through ICT, trips, or other experiences.

Oral rehearsal boosts quality and confidence

Peer revue and analysis is powerful in the “work in progress: stage not just at the end. Intervention early, helps children move forwards far more effectively than if it is just picked apart when it is complete.

A finely honed set of skills is near useless unless it can help, and be used, in real contexts and challenges.

Blogging, and other ways of publishing, planning, and preparing online, are fantastic opportunities to create authors.

| April 28, 2017 | 0 Comments 

Sorry footie fans, Keeping Score is an interactive invitation to explore some of the greatest classical music, by reading the musical notation and investigating background information, from the grandest ideas, to the most subtle of emotions.

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score is designed to give people of all musical backgrounds an opportunity to explore the music and life of the composers such as Mahler, Beethoven, Berlioz, Stravinsky, Shostakovitch, Tchaikovsky, and Aaron Copland.

Extensive audio, video, and interactive material offer an engaging and quite in-depth online learning experience. By following scores and exploring musical techniques, as well as the personal and historical stories behind some key pieces of music, we gain a real, and dynamic, understanding of just how remarkable the mind and soul of a composer is.

In one small excerpt, for example, we discover that, after the premiere of his First Symphony, Mahler found that the opening “sounded far too substantial for the shimmering and glimmering of the air that I had in mind.” So he changed the instrumentation to the whispery sound of string harmonics. He continued revising the instrumentation for five more years before the symphony’s publication!

The site also includes a historical timeline that takes users deeper into the eight individual composers’ political, social, and cultural milieus as well as downloadable lesson plans created by teachers who have experienced the Keeping Score Education program.

Keeping Score aims to connect music to all subjects in the curriculum as a way of bringing learning alive.

The site is designed to appeal particularly to secondary, college and university music appreciation students and their teachers, but contains some brilliant elements that would work across younger age groups.

The great thing about classical music is its ability to reach us at all levels. So relax, pick the piece of classical music you love the best, and take a great journey with your students!

 

Category: 2) Useful n Interesting

creativity

| April 5, 2017 | 0 Comments 

Allowing children to explore the world of “creativity” guides them to places in which imagination can grow, aspirations can be raised and self-confidence enables them to explore the potential of the world around them.`

iPiccy Great online photo editing

| March 8, 2017 | 0 Comments 

A fave: iPiccy has many easy to use photo tools, enabling you to edit pictures, apply photo effects, add text or paint freehand from scratch.

iPiccy is free and no registration is required.

The iPiccy editor seems accessible enough that children, of many ages and abilities, can edit and create artistic reworkings of photographs, without too much of a learning curve.

As well as retouching individual pictures, it takes very little time to make collages of multiple images. (Requires  temporary access to a local drive) but SO handy.

Rhym(ing all the timing)

| January 13, 2017 | 0 Comments 

Rhyme ‘n Learn, (“Music That Puts The Cool Back In School”), is maths and science taught by mnemonics. Mnemonics use word associations like rhymes so that a term or fact is easier to recall later. An example of a mnemonic is “In fourteen hundred ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” or “Thirty days hath September. All the rest I can’t remember!”

Rhyme ‘n Learn was created by teacher Joe Ocando, who has taught maths and science to students of all ages and discovered that many find it difficult to memorize hundreds of new terms and facts. Rap seemed to help, and does seem to make some concepts easier to remember.

The concepts covered are more suited to older students Examples include Pi Rap | Don’t Let Pi Make Ya Cry and Rational and Irrational Numbers Rap | E-rational Thoughts

Type a maths or science term in the search bar on the site to find a mnemonic for it. If you can’t find it, send content suggestions to joe@rhymenlearn.com

Don’t forget another teacher led site “MathTrain”. Mathtrain.TV is a free educational “kids teaching kids” project from middle school mathematics teacher Eric Marcos & his students.

Both sites could be a great inspiration to students to create explanatory videos, or raps.

That is NOT cool

| December 5, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Thats not cooltnc_logoThat’s not Cool is an interesting site, dealing, as it does, with slightly older students, and their experience of internet, and mobile, etiquette, or the lack of it.

Your mobile phone, and online profile are all digital extensions of who you are. When someone you’re with pressures or disrespects you in those places, that’s not cool. Draw your digital line about what is, or is not, okay in relationships.

Kompoz(e)

| November 29, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Kompoz

Kompoze is one for those of you who …compose… from time to time, but are short on people to play with, to bring that music alive. Create songs with a bass player in Birminham, a drummer in Dortmund, and a guitarist in Goa…or from across the street?

Wavepad (great tool)

| November 25, 2016 | 0 Comments 

WavePad is free audio editing software that can be used across many platforms*. The tablet version has the big advantage of not limiting your recording size (apart from the free space left on your device *Windows and Mac iPad, & Android.

David Ross Educational Trust, Hull ~ Day 2

| November 1, 2016 | 0 Comments 

wold-academyDay Two at Wold Academy, today with the children and staff.Magic

Today, we explored how “technology” can expand and enhance aspects of the curriculum. We had with a joint exploration of some of the visual literacy ideas that games can inspire.

Doing a bit of magic!

Many of the principles, behind the things we do, around using elements of tech to inspire, engage and motivate chidren, apply right the way through the age ranges in schools. As you might say ~ “From the little snotty ~ to the big spotty”.

We can often be surprised by how inventive, and imaginative, our younger students can be, and need to remember that it is woven in to their way of thinking. Even very small children use such things as simile, and metaphor. “Mr Rylands, Look! Look at the water, it’s like a dancing window!”

Sometimes, because of schemes of work, and external curriculum plans, it can be almost as if we have to overlook some of those skills, and “put it back in” ~ “at the right time”. Surprises are never far though.

When using computer games as a stimulus for writing, there are so many different genres that can flow from the images and experiences. With some of the more realistic experiences of high quality adventure games, descriptive narrative is perhaps the most natural first focus, due to the engaging nature of the landscapes.

However, a huge variety of writing styles can be inspired by our magical journeys through these worlds.

And, what remarkable thinking was shown today. We even had a balanced argument with a couple of, amazingly brave, soul. In front of sixty other people in the room, their opinion, about our proposed route, was portrayed so clearly. A little bit of “seeing the other side”, or admitting that there is another direction the lesson, and our travels, could take, showed an acceptance of the need for “balance”.

But, to conclude with a final, strong, persuasive argument, and one that we hadn’t heard up until this point, showed great style.

David Ross Educational Trust, Hull ~ Day 1

| October 31, 2016 | 3 Comments 

snap-2016-10-31-10-08-11

wold-1472727518530_pastedimageMore magical fun, this time with the folk from the Northern Cluster of the David Ross Educational Trust hosted by Wold Academy in Hull. The schools: Wold Academy, Endyke Academy, Ainthorpe Primary, Fairfield Community Primary, Edward Heneage Academy, Thomas Hinderwell Academy and The Quay School. Enthusing and inspiring learners using ICT, was our theme, bringing together technology and learning into one space to enthuse and inspire technicians and teachers alike. The fusion has been huge. Technology won’t improve children’s learning without the passion and enthusiasm of those who use it.

We showed how technology can be used to deliver teaching that reaches out to all children and gives them hooks to learn from, how the tools technology delivers can fire their imagination, can entice the reticent learners and can engage the whole class so that learning becomes fun and exciting.

We took folk on a magical tour of inspirational tools to inspire the uninspired learner. Real examples of transformational education, technolgical tools that have proven impact to excite and lift the eyebrows (as well as the writing hand) of even the most reluctant writer! Using freely available tools that can be used within 2 minutes in the classroom, taking pupils onto another level of creativity and enthusiasm for writing.

In this speedily changing education world, with a potentially daunting set of “new” elements to teach, we picked apart some of the possibilities to unravel the computing conundrums, but also started off what we regarded as key aspects of any teacher’s tech armoury, for bringing lessons alive across the curriculum.

Thank you to Guy Shearer, Head of IT and Data, with the David Ross Education Trust, “Broadening Horizons” and to Steve Millington the network technician.

Music Theory .net

| October 17, 2016 | 0 Comments 

Music Theory.net, by Ricci Adams, is a site I have referred to before but Ricci keeps adding new material and extending the range of lessons and activities.

Music Theory.net is often the first site you come to if you do a search for “Music Theory”, and it deserves to be there.

Lessons, Trainers, and Utilities. The site is available in British English, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, and Serbian. Not bad eh for a free site eh?

From the basics of staves and clefs, progressing through to some quite complex aspects of musical notation.

Each lesson is illustrated in a step-by-step Flash animation so this could be useful to a member of staff in a session, or to pupils as reinforcement of a section of study. These can all be progressed through at your own pace. One great feature is a pop-up keyboard, so that you can “play along” with the lessons or experiment on your own.

This keyboard (when accessed from the site itself) could be used beyond the website as it remains in a, resizable, pop-up window.

Very, very useful, in many contexts.

There are also instrument trainers. The brass trainer, for example, asks you to hold down computer keys that correspond to the valves on a trumpet, French horn, trombone (which asks for slide position), tuba, and euphonium!

With Music Theory.net, Ricci Adams continues to have reason to blow his own trumpet!