Emily Bailey's Blog

I was excited to return to another ICT session, exploring the different apps was very enjoyable and I couldn’t wait to use more. As we finished our trailer in the previous session we decided to explore a different app to create a retelling of the story.

We decided to use Puppet Pals, an app with it’s own characters built in including princesses, baddies, superheroes, animals etc., with even more available to download should they be required. You can also add your own pictures for characters and settings, we used the ones available but struggled to find a ladybird suitable for our character so took a picture from the book to use. You add your own sounds for this and move the characters while doing so. You record for as long as you want each scene and press pause before moving onto the next scene to record it.

Unfortunately we didn’t realise you should pause it and we pressed stop. Therefore we had to find a way to link all of our separate scenes into one short film, using our prior knowledge of iMovie we decided to create a  new project in that to link them altogether. That is why in our finished project a short advertisement flashes between each scene though we tried to cut this down as much as possible. When using this in the classroom it’s important all children know how to use it correctly! However, one positive of using iMovie to collate our scenes allowed us to add music in the background and text at the beginning which made it even more interactive.

We found puppet pals relatively easy to use, though we did discuss that it allows you to move the characters in multiple areas, so if children are having difficulty sharing it could cause an issue when everyone is moving everything at the same time. This would, again, be somethi ng to discuss with the children before use. However, if shared properly there should  be no issues with children using it.

This is our finished project, we had a lot of laughs and fun creating it!

 

We thought this could be used to introduce the topic of farm animals, enhance children’s map skills, any shy children who particularly like technology could flourish and come out of their shell during this which in turn could aid confidence and it ensures there’s a real understanding of the story.

I searched Puppet Pals in primary classrooms and came across it being used in many schools. On Oaks Class Blog they have blogged about this, they used it as part of a story telling project to tell the story of Maximus. Below is one example:

I also found a good video that quickly shows you how to navigate PuppetPals, click here to see. On this post they also discuss using Puppet Pals within Mathematics to give drama to a real life problem, this can make mathematics more entertaining and accessible for young children, it can particularly help children who are visual learners and have trouble picturing things inside their head. It also mentions History in that you can bring props and actors to recreate events from History. There is also a PSHE element within story telling as you can retell dilemmas and get the children to come up with their own endings  or solutions or create videos for events such as anti-bullying week.

MrJonesICT Blog notes using the app to record discussions, these can make for strong formative assessment as they’ll illustrate whether the children have understood what’s being discussed.

 

In the suggested reading/research one suggestion that stood out to me was ‘The Wonder of Film’, which supports the use of movies to evoke storytelling skills within children.

I’d never before considered the use of film to aid children’s development. At first, I just pictured the Television being rolled in and everyone celebrating because we could ‘switch off’ whilst a dull documentary was being played or a film was being shown to fill in time.

No longer like this!

No longer like this!

However, as this blog explores, it’s about the choice of film. They have the power to benefit and develop children academically in terms of their storytelling abilities and in their personal growth, instilling empathy, a sense of right and wrong, life in other cultures and a sense of compassion.

Kidron set up something called the FILMCLUB, the children watch a movie uninterrupted and afterwards they discuss what they’ve just watched. She reflects the children’s understanding and compassion after a viewing of Schindler’s List, an insightful comment about forgetting what had happened was made. Thus illustrating how films can truly make children think deeper.

In practice I have seen episodes of educational programmes used, the Reception class were engrossed in a number episode. However this was just put on to fill in time and to allow the children to unwind after an energetic and fun-filled morning. Whilst I was at school I remember watching films in English to further our understanding of the book we were currently studying, though during GCSE whilst studying The Crucible I did find myself skipping chapters because I thought having watched it would suffice. I took it more seriously at A Level and having found Wuthering Heights to be a little tricky to understand watching the film and discussing it within lessons did tend to clear up confusion.

Wuthering 1992

 

I can appreciate and recognise that within the school day there is often not enough time for films, especially long ones so an afterschool club seems appropriate to approach this. For Early Years they could also find it difficult to sit still for so long so if I was to use film it would most likely be clips or spread out over a period of time.

You could have a class trip to the cinema provided the film they saw was purposeful and within context. A preliminary viewing would be essential but as children discuss trips for so long and so much afterwards this would be ideal as it would encourage them to explore the film even further. It’s definitely something I will keep in mind.

We have begun year 2 with a bang. I found this ICT session to be the most enjoyable of the week, I think you’ll see why.

Our new tutor Helen Caldwell, whom we’d already been introduced as a point of help last year started the session off with a discussion of different technologies used within classrooms. In no time the group had compiled a great list including the interactive whiteboard, beebots, ipads, cameras etc. The group had varying levels of teaching experience with ICT. On the 1b placement I didn’t make much use of it beside there being readily able for me. I did use a camera to record children’s work, and in particular to record predictions and results in a floating and sinking activity. I had planned to use the interactive whiteboard for a CL+L activity where I told a story from a picture being displayed. I was going to write down some words the children came up with on the board but unfortunately it wasn’t working at the time so I had to improvise. As sometimes can be the trouble with technology! However, most of the time it’s an extremely useful tool within the classroom, as we were shown this session. Helen briefly explained a few apps that were available on the ipad and set us free to explore them and create a resource for our chosen books.

We began exploring and being shown a wide variety of apps that can be used on the computer and ipad. These included purple mash, imovie, puppet pals, I can animate, video scribe and LOTS more. A particular favourite of mine was the iMovie trailer. This is an app that enables you to add your own pictures to various scenes readily set up and your own text, there are several themes including Fairytale, Superhero etc. In school practice I have seen iPads being used though these were just available for the children to use during free play or an adult would use them for their observations and evidence, so I hadn’t seen the practitioner identifying any particular app for them to explore and use. And despite it’s wealth of activities and options I am also yet to see Purple Mash being used in a setting!

Prior to the session we were told to bring in a story book that we could make ICT resources from. We got into groups and in mine we chose ‘What the Ladybird Head’ by the fabulous Julia Donaldson. This was the book I bought in (it’s a particular favourite of mine) we chose to use it because the other two members in my group hadn’t read it before so we thought it would be something different for us to explore. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, it’s set on a farm containing your standard farmyard animals including a fine prize cow and a ladybird who never says a word. Two thieves plan to steal the fine prize cow, the ladybird however overhears their plan and confuses the thieves so they end up falling into the pond. The cow is saved and all the animals are happy and the ladybird returns to never saying a word. I like that it shows even the smallest and quietest beings shouldn’t be underestimated! I also particularly like the illustrations, these are done by Lydia Monks.

We dove straight into using iMovie to create a trailer for the up and coming film ‘What the Ladybird Heard’. We opted for a superhero theme as the Ladybird in the story saves the prize cow from being stolen. To create the trailer we went to the library to find resources in the school experience section. We found several farm themed story sacks containing puppets and soft toys to use for our characters. The app already has sound for you, you just need to select text and pictures or short video clips. We had a lot of fun taking the pictures and videos and adding them in.

Whilst creating the trailer we discussed how simple the app was to use which would make it accessible for use in the classroom. Once children have been introduced to the app it would be something they could independently carry out in groups, the only issue we thought about was children taking it in turns adding text and pictures. This would need to be discussed and organised.

This is our finished project.

 

We thought it could be used to introduce a Farm animals topic or simply a topic for the book itself. If the children use the imovie app they will be thinking about the characters, what animals they are and what they’re called and the setting of where they live (their habitat). It may be advisable to use an app where the children have to add their own sounds so they can think about what the animals sound like too.

I looked into the use of imovie in Primary Schools and found a nice section on Highwoods Primary School’s website, a class of Year 5 children used the app to create a trailer based on the book Kensuke’s Kingdom. This clearly invoked a higher understanding of the book and makes for an enjoyable and interactive session.

Woods(2013) posted about the wonders of iMovie and how it can be used across the curriculum. He makes several suggestions for uses other than literacy, including

  • an information video about a science or history topic.
  • A trailer to make a biography about a famous person.
  • Make a set of instructions about a PE game,
  • A recount of a school trip or residential.
  • An evaluation of a D&T topic.
  • A tour of  the school or part of the community for a geographical inquiry

There is also a useful link to a planning sheet that could be used prior to utilizing the app which supports planning and writing skills.

This was a very enjoyable session and I would definitely use imovie in practice.

Ipads in the Classroom

The suggested reading highlighted some of the ways to use iPads in the classroom and the benefits of this.

One post highlights that yes, using iPads and technology promotes interaction but introduces the question- what are the children actually doing?  In order to tackle this they have provided a table stating activities focused on consumption, collaboration and production.

Click to access the website

Click to access the website

I also watched a short video summarising why iPads should be used. (this person may have video scribe to create this which is one of the apps we were introduced to today). The video essentially highlights that iPads can become any stimulus, whatever you wish to focus upon, there is probably an app that can be used. Another point it makes is that it’s inclusive to those who were previously excluded from technology, we should and are striving for a more inclusive teaching and learning experience, iPads are a good way to provide this.

 

We’ve had our last ICT session of our first year so I thought this would be an appropriate time to reflect.

The sessions have introduced me to so many different tools and resources that can be used with a class- one that I particularly enjoy is the blog. This will not be my last post, I will do my best to continue posting throughout the course. Many assignments can often be stressful and dull but having a blog as one has been brilliant. Help has been at hand throughout and the more relaxed, less formal and more personal tone of it has relaxed me and made for an enjoyable assignment- who knew!

I was aware of many of the tools before the sessions for example PowerPoint but I didn’t realise the many ways which they can be used and manipulated for lessons.

The sessions have opened my eyes to the wide world of ICT and I have enjoyed every session!

 

 

Unfortunately I was unwell and couldn’t attend this session. Upon discovering what the session involved I was very upset! The class got to explore games including the Nintendo Wii, DS, Playstation, Xbox, Rockband etc. which I had never thought would be something that could be used for educational purposes.

I have had experience with all of these devices so I’m aware how engaging they are and how much concentration the games require.

      

Before researching into this I thought that though games are engaging and fun (particularly for boys) I saw them as dominantly recreational and that they wouldn’t enhance learning. However, after thinking about it it’s clear that gaming can help with physical skills. The big actions you must use when playing on the wii can aid children’s gross motor skills, where the concentration and small buttons you must press on the Xbox and Nintendo DS mean your fine motor skills are being utilised.

When feeling better I downloaded the ‘Computer Games and Learning Handbook‘ from the ICT Booklet. The positive aspects of using games in the classroom are explored. A list of them include

  • Need to learn to become adaptable; helps as games are ideally suited to practicing things in authentic contexts
  • Enhances imagination and creativity-pretending to be someone else
  • Playing games helps to re-organise brain functioning
  • Interactivity engages the brain
  • Diverse Tool

I found my own post by searching advantages of gaming in schools on google. The article is called ‘The Educational Benefits of Video Games’. The article notes how they can enhance children’s different skills including:

*Language Skills

*Basic Maths Skills

*Basic Reading Skills

*Social Skills

I then watched this video concerning boys losing interest in education and the idea of using games to re-engage and interest them into education.

Although gaming can be a good way to aid learning, it must be assured that appropriate games are used. For example I believe Rockband wouldn’t be appropriate for 3-7 year old children due to the songs being too difficult, but if you could find a similar game or activity with more age appropriate and easier songs it would be a great tool. Many appropriate games can be found on the CBBC website, I witnessed one of these being used during placement. Once you have ensured appropriate games are being used I think they would be a good tool to use during free-flow play to enhance children’s turn taking abilities.

 

In today’s session we were to make an ICT resource of our choice as a group. When discovering it was group work I was a little skeptical about how we’d get on with it. As we all know group work can often be a stressful and annoying tasks- more often than not there’s often a member who wants to do everything and a member who doesn’t want to do anything! It can be difficult to organise yourselves and create a successful piece.

As a group we decided to create a MonkeyJam and an Interactive Whiteboard Activity for the book ‘The Owl Babies’ by Martin Waddell.

 If you are unfamiliar with the story here is an animation of it I found on youtube.

Alex had previously made an excellent resource that can be used to tell the story, it included a tree, a backing and characters which we thought were all perfect to create a MonkeyJam with. We decided to split into two so we had enough time to create quality the two quality resources we wanted. Rebecca and Alex made the MonkeyJam while myself and Alyson created the Interactive Whiteboard Activity. Alex had initial trouble sticking her background up due to the type of material it was. When it was finally staying in place it was found not to be big enough for the video so we had to use some green material to cover anything that was showing. There are some pictures of them creating it included below.

   

There was then some issues with the timing. After the MonkeyJam had been completed we realised it was too fast for the story to be understood but we couldn’t make it longer due to time constraints. We decided to try and make the frames longer and discovered you could set less frames per second which made the MonkeyJam a lot better and understandable. I then put it on youtube so it can be watched on here-enjoy.

Meanwhile Alyson and I were creating the Interactive Whiteboard resource. We decided that as the story is about animals, the topic of nocturnal animals could be introduced. We decided to make a sorting activity where children looked at a picture of an animal and had to decide whether it was nocturnal or not. As we chose to use this in Reception we decided to call the catergories ‘awake in the day’ and ‘awake at night’ to make it simpler. At first we tried to make it all on the same page but realised there was no way for the children to check themselves because we wanted it to be an independent activity. At first it looked like the below picture.

I then remembered the previous sorting activity I’d found that had it’s own check button. We scrapped what we had made and quickly made a number of pages with different pictures. We found the pictures from google and simply copied and pasted them into the resource. Pictures of us creating it, and the activity can be found below.

   

Interactive Nocturnal Game

As me and Alyson managed to finish our resource relatively quickly we decided to find some music for us to put with the MonkeyJam. We found a piece we liked which can be found here. Unfortunately due to the time constraints we didn’t have time to insert it and decided we would just play it in youtube whilst MonkeyJam was playing.

 

After we’d made our resources we presented them to the class. Everyone had some really great ideas- I particularly liked Drew, Sarah, Hayley and Hayley’s with their bear going round the world and using different languages. Here are some pictures of some of the presentations.

   

This session has illustrated that working as a group isn’t all bad- when there are time constraints you can split the work and save time.

 

I remember being in Primary School when the Interactive Whiteboard first took off. Hands used to shoot up to use the pen to select an answer on the board, followed by a momentous groan when children weren’t chosen. Interactive Whiteboards are still a prominent part of education today and the uses for them are ever growing. Though it is an ICT tool it is one that can be crossed across all subjects.

Although I was eager to use the Interactive Whiteboard in Primary School I’d always been nervous about using them on placement. I’d never have planned a lesson or activity using the device because I wasn’t sure how to utilise it to it’s best potential! Which is why I’m glad this session took a focus on how to use it as a resource. To make a resource you can use the programme ‘Smart Notebook’ which has a wide range of resources you can create for lessons. We got to explore the programme and create several of our own activities. I have included my resource from the lesson. The first is a picture which I have zoomed in on a cropped on the next page, in the classroom you can use this for a literacy lesson where pupils will explore the five w’s- who, what, where, when and why? To create their own story and encourage them to set the scene.

The third page is an activity that can be used for maths lessons, a larger shape is hiding a small shape behind it, the smaller shape behind can slowly be revealed and the children can guess what it is. This will make for an engaging and exciting activity and can be used to reveal other answers so can be adapted for any lesson.

The last page is a sorting activity where children have to label the insect. There is a box where you can check the answer so this is an activity children can complete independently which will aid their turn taking skills should they be taking it in turns to have a go. Again, this is an activity that you can adapt to any lesson.

Interactive Whiteboard Resources

Although IWB’s can be:

  • Fun
  • Engaging
  • Cross Curricular
  • Interactive
  • Inclusive
  • Aid fine and gross motor skills
  • Aid turn taking

There are also a number of cons to using an IWB:

  • Overused
  • Technological faults
  • Expensive
  • Setting up time
  • Training to use

Throughout the lesson groups of us got to go up to the front and explore using the board itself. Here are some pictures of the fun. We particularly liked the different ways you could write with the pen.

   

For a Geography session we were lucky enough to be taken  to the Forest School that is onsite. Forest Schools are a great way to provide positive outdoor learning experiences for young children. In the outdoors they can feel free to be loud and use up all their energy. Pupils that are quieter can often open up outdoors as they’re in an environment where they’re free to explore and express themselves. This website  explains and explores forest schools in more detail.

The class turned up in their wellies ready to get muddy and explore the Forest School. On the way we were each told to collect 3 ‘special things’ we would be using later on. When we arrived we sat as a group on the logs and discussed different activities children could take part in. We then did a partner activity where you clap, hit your leg and stamp by taking it in turns. This proved difficult in the end and took more concentration than I thought! We then played a game similar to hide and seek (which I very much enjoyed), we all found somewhere to hide in the Forest and the people finding had to shout “Where are you?” and we all had to reply “I’m over here”. This would be a game I believe children would very much enjoy and I would love the chance to try it out for myself.

We then all had to complete three activities. We had to make a magic wand by carving a stick with a knife into the shape and texture of our own choice. We made little monsters out of clay and stuck them around the forest. Lastly, we made a picture using sticks for the frame and put anything in it we wished. Many included pine cones, feathers… anything you could find!

Here are some pictures from the day.

      

     

   

In our first session we discussed the uses of twitter in the classroom and advised to set up our own twitter account. I already have one, and have had it for a few years. I decided I didn’t want my personal twitter I use in a  recreational  manner to be mixed with professional use. Therefore I made a separate account where I have followed a number of accounts that can enhance my teaching.

I found a number of pages particularly aimed at teachers. They share resources, quotes and advice. One I’ve found particularly useful is ‘The Teacher Page’. They tweet all of the following and what I particularly like are the quotes about teaching.

When I have a class of my own I will consider making a twitter account for the class. It can be used to display children’s work and celebrate achievements with parents in our growing world of technology!

Here is my professional twitter account I will post any resources I make and use as well as share my experiences of the upcoming placement!

As we all know, searching the internet can often be a dangerous game. When searching for something innocent, the results aren’t always what you had wanted or expected. As adults we can cringe at this, get on with the rest of our day and forget it. Children, however, can potentially be mentally harmed by images they aren’t supposed to see which is why it’s so important to safeguard them when using the web.

Before using the internet with children a teacher (and parent or carer) must first ensure their computer has a quality and up-to-date anti-virus software and parental block to stop any unwanted pop-ups and inappropriate search results. If you are using a particular website with children it’s pivotal you review the website before exploring it with the children. It was also suggested to us that instead of using google as a search engine, you use ‘google safe‘ ‘yahoo kids‘ and ‘ask jeeves‘.

 

These precautions, although important steps, are not always 100% effective.  We were then informed of ‘CEOP‘ – the Child Explotation & Online Protection Centre. The site contains lots of effective materials and training for protecting children online.

Within the site there is a link to something called thinkuknow, you can choose the age group you need (the link takes you to 5-7) out of 5-7, 8-10, 11-16, Parent/Carer and Teacher. The site teaches children about browsing and using the internet safely. On it, there is a great button you can download for the children called ‘Hector’s World Safety Button’. If the children come across something they don’t like they simply press this button  and a picture covers the screen until the class teacher is available to come over and solve the issue. This tool is effective because it reduces the chances of the screen having attention drawn to it from other children in the class. The picture that comes up is displayed below. I believe this is a great tool that should be used across all schools, this is something I would suggest on any placement as it’s free and beneficial for the class teacher.

Hector is a key character on the site meaning he can be come familiar and friendly to the children. There are many little cartoons that the children can watch that include other sea animals which have messages that teach the children about internet safety and what to do. The theme song can be listened to in the video below, it introduces the characters the children will become familiar with.

There is a video clip, with a catchy song, on the site which can be used as a tool to teach children about e-safety and the importance of telling someone when they feel something’s wrong.

In the other part of the session we discussed the importance of professionals behavior on the internet. I was shocked to discover that anything you put on the internet, even after deleting it, will ALWAYS be there. We all googled ourselves and although I didn’t find anything worrying, only a link to my twitter page which I can set to private, it was shocking how easy it is to find a persons full address and anything they’ve posted. It must be noted that, as simple as it is to put things on the internet, it’s not quite as simple to remove them.

Potential employers and current employers can and will browse your Facebook. An article named ‘17 People Who Were Fired For Using Facebook‘ illuminated to me the importance of acting appropriately on the internet. Teachers obviously have a life outside the classroom but they should always remember never to mix their outside life with the classroom. We all set our facebook’s to the highest security settings so people we aren’t friends with cannot see what we’re doing (it’s also important not to friend any students parents, bosses etc.). I will also be telling my friends to be careful with any pictures they may have of me.

After this session I will try my best to safeguard children on the internet and act appropriately on any social networking sites.

Unfortunately we didn’t have a session this week but we were told to blog about something that interests us. This left me wondering for a long time what I could possibly write about- I don’t particularly have any hobbies and was stuck for ideas of anything interesting. I work in M&S Coffee Shop at the weekend and was pondering over this blog while making a latte. I looked down to see I’d managed to do a bit of latte art and had created a leaf on top- this is a fluke that happens sometimes! So I decided, although not the most interesting, I would share pictures and explore how to create different latte art.

First you should probably know how to make the milk for a latte. You’d need a machine like the one below.

These have a steam wand which is used to heat milk up. You fill the jug with milk about 1/3 full and place the jug under the wand at a slight tilt. The milk should just cover the tip of the wand. You turn the steam wand on and heat until it gets to about 140 degrees. You then bang the jug a little on the counter and swill it round- the milk should be smooth and creamy. I’ve included a video below as a visual demonstration- it’s quite boring so watching for about 10 seconds should give you the gist.

Now you have the perfect milk you can make some pretty pictures it’s all in the angle and wriggling your wrist.

To make a leaf or flower:
-Pour the milk about an inch (2 cm – 3 cm) away from the bottom.
-Once the cup is about half filled, gently shake the jug back and forth while slowly moving it backwards. The flower design will move forward, filling the cup.
-Do this with a shaking motion originating at the wrist instead of moving your hand back and forth

Another simple pattern is the heart:
-Starting off with the milk jug close to the top of the mug, introduce a little bit of milk in the same place. Lifting the jug an inch or so up, pour one revolution of a circle, making sure to move the milk jug, not the mug.
-Hold the stream of milk in the same place, but wiggle the milk jug back and forth as you make a ringed circle.
-When your milk is almost completely poured, swing the milk up to create the bottom tip of your heart.

Those are about the only two I can occasionally do but I have included some other really nice ones below for you to see.



This isn’t really something I could teach children- lots of equipment and health and safety issues! But at least I can make a good brew for co-workers!

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