14 02 2013

Its been an emotional week, anticipation, anxiety, joy, stress, anger, appreciation, happiness, to name but a few, but which ones have i ridden on the crest of and have any drowned me?

This week i had an interview to change direction, moving from managing a curriculum area (ICT) to managing the children. All sorts of emotions have run through my head, but at the end of he day, surprise, happiness, relief, excitement are in abundance. (Phew!)

And talking about riding along on the crest of a wave, an art lesson on movement…. Waves!




#fun – secret agent style!

8 02 2013

Tonight it was hard to leave school, i was having so much fun, and all related to the project I was not looking forward to teaching. I reckon if i can make it fun for me, I am more likely to enthuse those I am teaching.

Fun, for me, is a major consideration when planning lessons, second only to the learning intention/ target. We have all attended training/courses and which did we remember most? Which did we participate most in? Which made a lasting impression, which encouraged us to do our best? the ones which were carefully planned to meet the learning target in a FUN way.

So back to this afternoon… I have a team work project to deliver, where children have to collaborate and present information about a specific country. 21 hours of research. What it needed was a spin… A reason for being, and a fun one at that… Luckily i work with. Team of talented and creative likeminded teachers and we collaborated and came up with a plan… Mission 4367, where children are invited by James bond to help them research their country in a top secret mission in which agent lives across the world are in danger. I have downloaded ‘morfo’ on my ipad, grabbed a picture of 007 and animated him recording the initial briefing. Top secret dossiers have been created, secret agent cards are ready for laminating and a flipchart created for ‘retired agents’ (aka teachers) to model the learning and reinforce instructions.

All I need now are 23 willing agent volunteers! Roll on next half term!



1 02 2013

A special treat for technowellies readers today, a blog about ….. Wellies! Or rather the drawing of them. Many of you will have fathomed that our current topic is ‘weather’. For art, i decided to utilise my stash of outgrown wellies for a still life lesson. Grouping the wellies in threes of varying patterns, sizes and colours, the children set to work using pencil, pen or pastel. Their target for the lesson was to use line to create an accurate picture of the wellington boots.

All was going well for the first twenty minutes, until one bright spark ( and he is a bright spark) asked another child why they were drawing boots. The other child replied that it was because of our weather topic and that boots were useful in rain. A second child piped in and said it was because Mrs Lydon must have lots of wellies so it was an easy thing for her to get together. My bright spark was having none of these answers though, and posed the question, “but why do we have to draw anything at all?” At this point I realised two things. Firstly ‘sparky’ was not enjoying the task as much as I was and secondly my target was not appropriate. Why had I decided to ask the children to sketch wellies? What was the point of using one hour of our precious learning time?

I stepped in at this point and joined the discussion. I talked about the need for close observation in other walks of life, how they were recording the weather by observing closely what they could see, not what they thought they could see…how they were editing their stories using close observation, trying to read what they had written and not what they thought they had written…. how they checked their maths by looking carefully at their actual answers, not what they thought they had answered.

Luckily this seemed to satisfy the children, who resettled, refocused and closely observed what they really saw, and not what they thought they could see. And as for the results, well, you can see for yourself….