Getting down and dirty!

26 03 2009

img_0087That’s what yesterday was all about!

I spent the morning on a bug hunt with one of our Nursery rooms. 30 children excitedly crawled around under bushes, peered under logs and squealed in delight (most of the time) as they discoved ‘bugs’. We enjoyed using Google earth to track our finds, video and a digital camera to catch the action, and sound to record our findings.

Children loved the experience and i was amazed at the indepth knowledge of some and the complete lack of previous experience of others. My digital natives did not need to be show how to use the camera, although the video recorders red button did beckon a few (causing them not to video!)

And so what did I learn?

  • never assume anything. The previous experience of minibeasts varied greatly
  • to think about the vast amount of digital information children can create in a short time!  Next time I will limit this more
  • that I do not need to spend time treaching the technology to the children, much better to spend the time discussing why I am using it and the benefits..
  • that if you do bugs with four year olds, at least one will smile at you and tell their mummy you are the bug lady!
  • Nothing can quite match the enthusiasm of a four year old.
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the welly walk

16 12 2008

img_5434To observe objects in more detail I was keen to use our newest microscope- the easiscope from TTS. At £30 it is amazing and again just right for little children with big questions. We plugged it into the computer and allowed pair to bring some of their finds up to look. All the children found the easiscope simple to use, although some needed initial help to move it slowly enough so it would focus on their leaf. I hoped the children would explore the properties of their finds, use descriptive language and compare and contrast their specimens. For some this was true. Did the children extend their observation skills?…Yes. They were very keen and excited to point things out, lots of children looking carefully and describing their leaf as “Cool”! Was language extended and enriched?… Yes, but only once I had an adult working there who could point things out and make suggestions and ask questions to extend their observations. Otherwise words such as “Cool” and “look” were the most used.

 

Other follow on activities helped to extend and enrich vocabulary and observations. The chatterboxes allowed everyone to record information about their numbered find so others could easily identify a find on an exhibition table. Digital photographs were mounted onto talking postcards, explanations recorded and put with the exhibition. The ‘exhibition’ was very popular and served as a constant reminder of the walk.





getting ready

29 09 2008

So equipment needed

easispeak, talking postcards, chatterbox, digital video camera, digital camera, easi-scope… should do the trick. I’m swithering between two types of video camera- so need to play and test with the children.

 

OK- the welly cam idea is not working well- too much motion sickness watching a boot go up and down… but the flip is amazing… I’m in love!