Use word walls to collaborate in class.

29 04 2009

I love this site. It lets yo create a wall to which you can add sticky notes. I have made one here for you to add to. Click on the link and add a note by double clicking. I can see my using it as a suggestion wall, a feedback wall, a brainstorming wall…. what about you?wall

http://wallwisher.com/wall/whatwouldyoudo





picture fun

29 04 2009

another web2.0 tool for you to try- (anyone ever worked out how many there are?)

http://www.bubbleshare.com

Anyway- this lets you make picture shows, with speech bubbles on, so great fun for staff and children! It also allows a story to be developed using images children have takes and words they type- so great for a review of a school trip for example- or for primary children to make their own stories.

I love the ease of use- changing the order, addin text, bubbles etc is simple.

And in true ‘Blue Peter’ Style, here is one I made earlier (obviously I would not normally cover faces, but I’ m sure you all understand why.)




BubbleShare: Share photosEasy Photo Sharing





A second bite at the cherry

23 04 2009

img_0154bI had such a fun day yesterday with our nursery children. The sort of stuff that makes me remember why I became a teacher!

Just before Easter we went on a bug hunt. Children took photographs, video, recorded sound. Today was the day to review that work. The children were super, completely absorbed, watching themselves looking for bugs, identifying them, taking pictures and video of them. They were fascinated, watching and absimg_0151orbing everything on the large IWB.

I asked the children to help me record their experiences using talking postcards, to record information for their parents to tell the what they had been doing. After all, as I expained to them, the children are the experts, as they had been on the bug hunt, unlike the teachers in the room!

The responses I got were amazing, and amazed te teachers too. I had children come and draw who would never choose this type of activity. I had children with English as an additional langauge want to record their ideas into a postcard. Children drew the most amazing pictures of slaters under logs, bees with them chasing. They wre running around the garden dressed as bats and ladybirds, the bats trying to eat the ladybird… “because that’s what bats do isn’t it?” (yes the teachers replied and extended discussion on food chains) Children were keen to examine plastic mini-beasts and rehunt for more real bugs.

But would the children have done this anyway? Did ICT really enhance learning? Well we think the answer is a tentative yes. Staff in the room believe the watching of the work undertaken before easter was important in the following ways.

  1. Children watched it very carefully beacuse they had made it and they were in it.
  2. Children remembered what they had done and wanted to talk about it again, reinforcing previous learning
  3. Children were keen to draw/talk/play to extend their experiences even further. Vocabulary and concepts were visibly stretched, perhaps due to their second bite at the cherry?

Anyway, I left a happy room. I felt energised, staff were full of smiles and the  children were making me invites to their next playdough tea party !





NO UNDO!!!!!

21 04 2009

Oh dear, I am well out of my comfort zone… I can use a flip camera, (4 buttons). I can program a bee-bot (7 buttons). I love Activ inspire and am getting on well converting to Office 2007….. but sharepoint…. There is no undo button (AGGGH!)  Trying to create a manual for staff how to use our new learning gateway is stretching me… to my mental limits. I am finding it a bit like reports though- the house is tidier as I am using avoidance tactics. I even have a new Heater flower bed! If only i could undo…..  I will keep you posted, if I manage to get past the fron cover graphics (more avoidance!!)





Alpha inventions

15 04 2009

alphainventions

I love stats, and, as I am little competative, I love looking at my stats. I enjoy seeing which posts are the  most popular, which links are used the most and where viewers come from. Today I found an incoming link (or 20) from Alphainventions. It seems this is a site which shows updated blogs in realtime, generating lots more viewers. To be honest, I am not quite sure how it works, but it was good fun looking on the site at other blogs!

http://alphainventions.com/





Layers upon layers of fun!

15 04 2009

I have had fun today getting to grips with layers in ActivInspire. The 10 layers allow lots of cool ways of using objects on flipchart pages, so I have made a helpsheet for my staff.

Here it is.





Why?

7 04 2009

It’s been a few days now since I was at school. and during my holiday I have been thinking ( I do this a lot!) And it seems to me my favourite word is ‘Why?’ Maybe it’s having a 6 and 4 year old in the house, but maybe, most probably it’s just me! I remember not being allowed to carry on physics because I always asked ‘why’ and teachers could not always satisfy me with their answers. I don’t like making things unless there is a purpose for them. I don’t like going somewhere unless there is a reason. Why ?

So it seems ‘Why’ is my keyword, my reason for being and doing. This week I have made more cards and craft items than ever before… why? because I have a table booked at a local sale and need to make some money. I have reorganised my dining room for the first time in two years.. Why? because I have guests sleeping in there over Easter. I have even cleaned my house. why, my mum is coming to stay!

And thinking back, ‘Why’ is the most important question in everything  I plan with children and staff. If there is no real benefit to children or staff, I findit VERY hard to advocate teaching it. I have to make it fit in to the needs, expectations, life of our pupils. An HMIe visited recently. He congratulated us for an integrated approach towards ICT, already meeting CfE criteria. And yet I had done nothing to change our curiculum, and nor will I… untill I see something else I need to change to benefit young learners. I am always asking myself ‘why I am  teaching this?’

..and so over Easter I challenge you, not only to question yourself why you are eating so much chocloate, but just as importantly, why are you teaching certain elements next session?