Tag Archive | Year 2

Final Year 2 Post

This is my final Year 2 Post for my Blogfolio before I send it off for marking.

The three ICT sessions I have had this year have been really beneficial to me, as well as the articles available for extra reading. Everything I have discovered over these sessions will help me develop my practice when using ICT within the Early Years and Key Stage One. I have really enjoyed the hands on element, as we were given a task during the first session, and by the end of the third session we had completed everything and had the chance to share within our groups. From this, I feel I have learnt more than I may have done if we were just taking down notes, as we were also given the chance to work within groups, but sharing out the responsibilities to ensure everyone had at least one individual job to do throughout.

At the end of February, I will be beginning my 2a school experience in the Foundation Stage, and I am going to try and fit at least one element of my Year 2 ICT into this to discover if they are as successful with the children as they were with me. I will also take into consideration everything I have read from the online articles, to ensure I am using ICT to benefit the children completely, rather than making my lesson plans more cross-curricular.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have enjoyed my blog as much as I have making it!

I thought I would leave you with a video which I think is a really nice idea for using QR Codes in the classroom with iPads.
QR Codes are scannable codes for smart phones that anybody can make and can be used for almost anything. Click here for more information on what a QR code is.

Goodbye for now!

Article: Technology in Early Childhood: Advice For Parents and Teachers

There is an article online discussing the age at which technology is appropriate, when it is appropriate and how it can be used within the classroom as well as at home and in other settings.

Technology in Early Childhood: Advice For Parents and Teachers

I particularly like this quote:

“Technology should not be an isolated activity, but should instead become part of the daily classroom routine, enhancing and expanding lessons”

This really hits home about the importance of integrating ICT into the classroom, rather than trying to teach it is a separate subject. Due to the fact that ICT can support children in all areas, it should be integrated into the cross-curricular curriculum.

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However, it does speak about the different types of ICT, for example screen media where children are passive watching TV, and hands on media such as photography where children are involved and learning from what they are doing. I agree with this, as I do believe that television is an easy option to keep children quiet and occupied. However, in school ICT needs to be judged as to whether this will be the most beneficial task to children at the time, or whether a non-ICT based activity would suit better to the needs of the child at the time.

Overall, the article makes some really good points about ICT being very beneficial for children, as long as the teachers and parents ensure they are using it to enhance learning rather than just having it there as another option for children to use.

For me, this is an interesting article, due to the fact in University, even on the blank lesson plans we are being told to try and fit ICT into all areas of the curriculum to enhance the lessons, and although I agree with this, the article makes me question whether I am adding the ICT element to make the lesson look better, and whether the children will actually benefit anymore from using the ICT. When I go into my next school experience, this is something I am really going to have to think about when planning ICT within my sessions.

Using ICT in Science

During a Science session at University, we were given the task to use ICT to assist us with a misconception.

We chose the misconception based on shadows, with children not understanding that shadows are an absence of light. To do this, we decided to use the book ‘Can’t you sleep little bear?’ as inspiration. To make the video, we simply used cardboard to cut out the bears and the bed, stuck these onto long straws and then used the iPad and a torch the record the video. Here it is:

Although the video was quite simple, and we only used the camera to video rather than a downloaded App, I feel the video is quite effective, and could be adapted and used for a variety of different subjects across the curriculum. In my opinion, using ICT should engage the children more than the teacher just explaining, which should then hopefully fuel the children’s interest as they can see the bears and relate to the story, and hopefully they will gain a better understanding.

Session 3: Sharing and Evaluating

For the final session of ICT for Year 3, we filmed our final pieces for our story of ‘The Ugly Duckling’. We also made activities for the children to carry out using the ideas from our curriculum map.

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This was an activity we made based around the book using the Smart Notebook programme. As it is interactive, we thought this would be a good activity for the children to carry out on the interactive whiteboard, and the idea is that the children have to take the animals from the book and decide whether they live on the water or on land by moving them, and also then adding the correct label to the animal.

We finally decided to use ‘Puppet Pals’ to make our video on the iPad. Puppet pals was extremely easy to use:

  1. First you have to find a picture, either off the internet or from a gallery, and then these need to be cut around.
  2. Then when you have all your characters you can upload a background.
  3. Then, you can add characters on and off the screen by putting them on to the stage. Just press record, use your fingers to move the characters and speak at the same time to record the film. Characters can be flipped, can grow, can shrink and can move all with one finger.

Click here for a detailed YouTube tutorial on how to use puppet pals.

This was our final video for ‘The Ugly Duckling’

 

I really enjoyed using the Puppet Pals App on the iPad, and I believe this would be a great resource for children to use throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, and even upwards through the school. There was only one problem we encountered when using this App, and that was shrinking one of the characters too small, that we couldn’t then fit two fingers on to enlarge them again, meaning we had completely lost that character. This will be something I will be careful of in the future.
As well as being easy to use, it is also a lot of fun finding the characters, making them your own and adding funny voices over the top.
Overall, puppet pals was a success and I would recommend this App to anyone.

Once we had made everything, we then carried out a sharing session at the end so everyone could look at everyone else’s activities and videos they had made. I really enjoyed seeing the outcomes from the rest of the groups, because every activity and video was completely different from the last, with every individual putting their own spin on what they had made and the book they had chosen, and I would like to say Well Done to everyone in the group for what they have completed in the 3 sessions!

Article: How the iPad Can Transform Classroom Learning

There is a very interesting article online about how iPads can not only be a tool for teaching, but also a tool for children to become independent learners, while giving the teachers a chance to use the same equipment to assess the children at the same time.

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How the iPad Can Transform Classroom Learning

In this article, Ben Johnson describes the vast ways that children can use the iPads in a variety of different ways from just one task, from finding out information, using this information to gain results, make a graph using these results, talk to other members of the class to compare their results and even find online lectures.
Although this is too complicated for an Early Years group, the same concept can be put into place, using apps for specific subject, and allowing them to carry out educational games during their free flow play would be a great way to incorporate the play into their learning of a specific subject as well as ICT.

As well as the students, the teachers can use the iPad to assess the children, taking pictures, making notes, and even videoing the children, not just while they are using the iPads but throughout the day.

This has really made me think about the wide range of possibilities the iPad can bring to the classroom, and I will definitely be carrying out further research and collecting as many apps as i can to use when I am qualified.

Session 2: Curriculum Applications

This week during ICT, we looked further into using ICT specifically for Communication, Language and Literacy in the Early Years, and how it can be used for a story.

In our groups, we had the task of choosing a story, making a curriculum map around the story using ICT and coming up with an idea to either make a trailer or re-tell the story, or a similar idea using the app’s and computer programmes we discovered last week. This week we practiced using the apps to decide which ones we were going to use and also made our curriculum plan.

Firstly, we decided to use ‘The Ugly Duckling’ book, as we knew the majority of the class would be familiar with the subject, and we thought the moral of the story was lovely for an Early Years environment.

During this session, we decided to practice making a trailer using the iMovie app on the iPad. This app is quite an easy app to use, where you can choose the theme you want and it brings up a range of boxes, telling you to add writing, take pictures or take videos, and how long each video should last. Once this is completed, it makes the trailer for you:

Towards the end of the session, as a group we decided to quickly make a trailer using us as the characters. This was made quickly without much planning, but it gave us the general idea of what could be done with this iPad App if planned well and time was taken over it.

We liked this App, however we would like to have more freedom over how we set out or video, rather than being told to take a picture in one frame, then a 2 second video in another. Because of this, we decided that next week we will try a different App to record the story as a video rather than making a trailer.

Article: ICT in the Early Years

This is a very insightful article, written by a Rachel Ager, who talks about the growing need to actually teach children how to use ICT, rather than assuming because it is all around them now they will learn on their own.

ICT IN THE EARLY YEARS

Rachel discusses the adult’s role and the way they can teach children, while letting them play and discover at the same time, for example using questions such as: ‘what would happen if I pressed this button?’. I feel this is a great way for children to explore ICT and learn how to use it, without feeling they are being forced to learn the skills, or even know they are learning at all.

There is also a Health and Safety section at the end of the article, which discusses some of the issues which may not normally be thought about in a setting, for example not leaving children unattended with rechargeable batteries, or checking all plug sockets are safe.
It also touches upon the rules which could be put into place with ICT resources, e.g. a time limit on each resource to ensure a range is used and all children get to explore, as well as rules to keep the equipment safe, for example using the neck strap when taking pictures with a camera. For me, the time limit on resources for each child is a brilliant idea, due to the fact there is always that child in foundation stage who will run to the computers during free play, and stay on these until called for an activity. It is great that they are using ICT, however they may not know anything about how cameras work, so need to explore a range.

Overall, I found this article very interesting, and I will be using the ideas and information within this in the future when planning ICT sessions / activities as a reference point.

First Year 2 Session! Embedding Technology

Hello again!

We have all returned from the summer and have began blogging once again. We only have three sessions this year, but hopefully I will have a chance to build on my knowledge of ICT , and use what I have learnt in Year 2 in my 2a and 2b school experiences.

During the first session of ICT for Year 2 of our course, we spoke generally as a class about what ICT we have seen in schools, whether it is in a positive way or a negative. From this class discussion, I heard a lot of opinions of ICT, both positive and negative, but some also in a perspective I hadn’t thought of before, which I found extremely interesting.
From my own experience, the time that has stuck with me was when being observed by my PAT and school mentor during my 1b school experience, and the Interactive Whiteboard decided to freeze midway through the lesson, leaving me to make the quick decision to turn the children round and carry out my backup activity! From that moment forward, when planning ICT I make sure I always have a back up activity available.

After this, we were then given our group tasks, and we have been given the task of either retelling a book, making a trailer or adding an alternate ending to a book, using different resources such as computer programmes or different apps on the iPad.

A few examples which are excellent to use with children in Early years or KS1 could be:

  • I Can Animate App
  • iMovie App – this is brilliant for making movie trailers, as all the themes etc. are already installed.
  • VideoScribe
  • Puppet Pals
  • Explain Everything
  • Colins big cat books
  • Strip Designer
  • Comic Life

The four of us in our group, Me, Holly, Charley and Emma all decided to use the iMovie app on the iPad to create a trailer for ‘The Ugly Duckling’, which we shall be carrying out during session 2.

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