Year 3, count down begins!


Posted by Tracey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 9, 2013

Welcome back, summer is over and we are now in the last stretch of this course. First ICT lesson of the new term and we looked at digital storytelling. The new National Curriculum has renamed ICT to Computing. The idea of computing is for children to actually understand about how computers can be programmed in order to follow instructions. So on this basis we looked at ways children can program and create stories of their own. So, we were asked the question, ‘why do we tell stories?’. The group came up with a variety of reasons; can express their own imaginations, escapism from the classroom, increase vocabulary, listen and make up their own stories and maybe relate to some of the issues they are listening to. A good story can produce cross curriculum plans for a term and longer! By creating a story in the computing lesson the children are also using their literacy skills, their creative skills, following a sequence of events as in numeracy, developing the story  will lay down foundations for  understanding the world, by talking with their peers they have covered PSE and by using their hands they are developing their fine motor skills for PE!  So, by creating a story we can see how other ideas can develop.

Our task this session was to try and create a story with 5 slides. Ben and I worked together and with Ben’s vivid imagination we came up with a plot. This had to involve Nicholas Cage, don’t ask me why! The story was about birds and how Nic would either fight them or befriend them. We decided on the friendly option as this seemed more appropriate for young children. I didn’t fancy trying to create a blood and guts picture. I decide to create the story using  the 2 simple range;  2 create a super story.

Ben used the iPad but had trouble trying to save it so went back onto the computer. He used the program ‘popplet‘ which involved lots of text boxes with pictures that all linked together.

There are a variety of different apps that children can use to create stories. During the lesson we only manged to view a few but from what we saw they are all very creative, imaginative and guide children into making a worth while story. Some examples are;

Night Zookeeper– children can create any type of animal and then send them on exciting adventures. One review suggests that the app is, Inspiring! by Primary Teacher London ‘This app really stimulated the imaginations of the children in my class. We used it during a literacy project on stories set in imaginary worlds. The children came up with their own magical animals after completing the creative missions hidden in the star filled sky’.

Communication 4 all are ready made screens for the children to create a story. There are different themes for the children to choose to which they can add their own dialogue. The story options are very colourful and the children can relate to them.

An app for the iPad that I came across, Toonia Storymaker, this combines the ‘ease of a sticker-book app with a multi-page layout and doesn’t require reading or writing (but it is an option).  Players create different scenes and can then tell a story about their artwork as the slideshow of pages automatically progresses’. Although I haven’t been able to download this app and give it a try it looks very appealing to children. If anyone has access to an iPad then let me know how you get on!

Stuart Dredge, who writes for the Guardian newspaper, summed up how ICT is used in schools just through his heading, ‘The best children’s apps are about great story telling and strong characters. Technology doesn’t replace traditional skills, but it can bring kids into the creative process’.

I will definitely give some of the apps a try during my next placement. From what I have seen the apps look like they will be useful for all abilities. I have used stories before to complete a weeks planning, ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch’, the children wrote about what they would like in their sandwiches and also made their own sandwiches. They made lighthouses with kitchen rolls and electrical circuits to light the bulbs! They painted seaside pictures and counted out all the objects they could see in large scaled seaside picture eg; seagulls, starfish, boats, flags etc. In the outside area we had the sand with plastic food and in the water tray we had a collection of seashells. I prefer working from a theme as it seems easier to think of things to do!

Hope you have enjoyed my blog, can’t wait for your responses!


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