Last week the FDLT Y1 students in the Leicester and Northampton groups explored a variety of apps and tools to support and inspire spoken language in the classroom.
December 17, 2018
December 3, 2018
Pobble have shared ten fun ideas to inspire writing with a Christmas theme here.
Jesse’s frosty festive poem evokes all the senses. She’d love you to have a read.
Christmas in China
What is your Christmas fortune? Dexter discovered what happens at Christmas in China and then wrote fortunes to share with his family. Read here.
The Iron Man saves Christmas!
Father Christmas has one last hope: The Iron Man. This fun narrative is a fun twist on a traditional tale. Click to read.
A recipe for the perfect Christmas
What ingredients would you choose to create the perfect Christmas? A beautiful teaching idea! We think Libby’s recipe is spot on!
The Christmas Truce
After learning about the truce on Christmas Day 1914, Holly wrote this poignant piece outlining the events.
The sound of Christmas
What does Christmas sound like? Lee shared his thoughts in this joyful poem. Have a read.
Joe time travelled back to a Christmas Eve in the Victorian era. In this piece he explains what he discovered.
The Bear’s First Christmas
This simile packed story is a festive treat! Tiah tells the tale of ‘The bear’s first Christmas’. Read here.
If Father Christmas got stuck up my chimney…
What would you do if Santa got stuck up your chimney? Jessica would give him a push! Read more.
Reindeer job application
A job application with a twist! Maxwell is applying to be one of Santa’s reindeers. Would you give him the job? Read Maxwell’s letter.
Pobble (2018) Festive teaching ideas. [online] Available from: http://blog.pobble.com/festive-teaching-ideas-for-you/ [Accessed: 3/12/18]
October 1, 2018
It is National Poetry Day on Friday 4th October and this year the theme is Poetry for a Change. There are free resources available for use with children here.
These include the opportunity to take part in a BBC live lesson on Thursday 3rd October from 2pm: details here. It lasts around 35 minutes and is based around similes, metaphor and alliteration. Children will get the opportunity to contribute to a mass live poem!
National Poetry Day (2018) Header image. [online] Available from: https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/ [Accessed: 1/10/18]
June 13, 2018
Last week the FDLT year 1 students went on field trips to explore different ways of supporting learning outdoors. Led by Ken Bland and Georgina Hand, they explored fieldwork around a river including mapping the meander, measuring depth; testing speed of flow and exploring water quality. They also took a kick sample of the animal life in the water and used magnifiers to look at the creatures they had found. They explored the clues to the history of their location around the landscape.
Students also used the outdoors as inspiration for poetry and art. As a starter the students played a digital find it activity in pairs. Each pair was given a grid with things to look for, photograph and present as a PicCollage. The grids were based around subject content, subject specific vocabulary, and could be differentiated to the learning of the pupils. It is a good way of getting a group to explore the outdoor where they will be working in without unnecessarily collecting and damaging the environment.
We also looked at the work of artist Richard Long. The students then had a go at making walking poetry by setting a rule to walk, collect words and explore the outdoor environment. Some students walked ten steps and then looked up and looked down; others set rules related to collecting certain groups or patterns of words. This gave them the opportunity to use grammatical knowledge in a creative context.
Students also collected one leaf and tried to identify it using books and an identification app on the ipad. After this they had a go at writing a poem around the edge of the leaf. We discussed using scientific as well as poetic language.
We also looked at The Lost Words – see earlier blog post.
This day connects forwards into the PDT2016 learning beyond the school site module that the students will study in 2018/19.
March 21, 2018
You may already have seen this wonderful book by author, Robert MacFarlane and artist, Jackie Morris called ‘The Lost Words’.
Here’s a link to a blog post by Jackie Morris about why the book is so important for children (and adults). She explains the significance of keeping hold of words for wild places and the natural world as well as the collaborative process of planning and writing the book.
There is also a free “An Explorer’s Guide to The Lost Words” by Eva Muir to accompany the book and encourage us to explore it further. It is available here along with posters and ideas about how to use the book to inspire learning and enjoyment.
If you use the book as an inspiration for learning you can post what you make on this Padlet. It is also a source of ideas for your work with children of course.
A successful crowdfunder campaign was run to get the book into every school in Scotland and this has been followed by other counties in England.
March 5, 2018
You might be interested in some of the blog posts in the ‘Teaching’ section of Tim Squirrell’s blog.
There is one called ‘How to write better essays‘. In this one he reviews some key areas of essay writing. This is a summary of the contents:
“In this guide you will find:
(1) a 24-hour panic guide for students who’ve made the grave error of leaving it to the last minute and want to know the absolute basics of what they should do to achieve as decent a grade as possible;
(2) a discussion of how to pick an essay question when you have the luxury of choice;
(3) a guide to reading for the purposes of writing an essay;
(4) tips on answering the question properly, including clarification of what on earth it means to “question the question” and why that’s important;
(5) a how-to on structure, which is really easy and almost everyone gets wrong;
(6) a guide to analysis, and how to PEE on your essay in an effective fashion;
(7) tips on referencing properly, including software recommendations that will save you hours;
(8) new to this guide, some insights into how essays are marked and how to make sure you don’t end up with a worse grade than you deserve;
(9) some take-home messages”.
(Squirrell, 2017, p1)
As you look at this bear in mind that at the University of Northampton we use the Harvard system.
He has also made video guides which you can see here.
January 12, 2018
On Monday 15th January at 2pm there’s a live lesson available to watch to inspire your participation in the BBC Radio 2 500 words writing competition. You can see information about the live lesson here.
Now in its 8th year, Chris Evans’ 500 Words is one of the most successful story writing competitions for kids in the world and is open to every 5-13 year old in the UK. Its mission is to get children excited about reading and writing, regardless of their ability.
We’re creating a literacy Live Lesson to celebrate the launch of this year’s competition on 15th January. Content and resources will be tailored to different levels, but some of the higher-level content will be more appropriate for ages 7 and up.
Joining our hosts Helen Skelton and Barney Harwood, are acclaimed authors and 500 Words Judges Charlie Higson and Frank Cottrell Boyce who will be on hand to help and inspire children. The lesson will be brimming with top tips, and will provide pupils of all abilities with an essential story-telling toolkit to get them started on their stories.
We will also be featuring a follow-up programme called Live Lessons EXTRA. This will not be broadcast live but will be published on our website a day or two after the live broadcast, and will build on the outcomes of the live programme and put more of your questions to our experts.
Closer to the lesson date, we’ll be releasing more information on this page, including a full lesson guide for teachers and downloadable activity sheets.
If you’d like to be reminded by email or sent more information about the Live Lesson, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please send your 500 Words related questions for our special guests, authors and 500 Words judges Charlie Higson and Frank Cottrell Boyce.
We love to hear from you and see photos of your class at work. If you are sending in any images or videos that feature children, please ensure that you have parental permission, as they may be shown during the Live Lesson and on our website.
In the email, please confirm your official relationship to the child/children featured, e.g. teacher, Brownie group leader, sports coach etc. and confirm that you have sought prior parental consent. Please also ensure the material is not sensitive or controversial.
Read our Terms and Conditions for more information.
Please note that this page is for the 500 Words 2018 – Live Lesson only. The 500 Words story-writing competition opens on 15th January and competition entries close at 7pm on 22nd February 2018. Full details on the 500 Words 2018 website here.
BBC. (2018) 500 Words 2018 – Live Lesson. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2yRxNT9ws7MkJsFvbxPfhry/500-words-2018-live-lesson [Accessed: 12/01/18]
December 1, 2017
This week the year 2 students used their phones or tablets to make short films exploring terms and ideas used when learning English.
Their challenge was to define and explain their word in a one minute film using just the materials available – their own digital devices and card, paper, scissors, tape and sticks.
Below is the YouTube channel playlist where you can see what they made.
It was interesting to see that students also used resources from their devices eg sounds, music, backgrounds and screenshots as well as some of them editing their films using imovie.
When trying this out it is important for the film makers to devise a story or presentation that will explain and define the term clearly and without leading to any confusion for the viewer. Using examples, familiar contexts, stories and combining words and pictures can be useful devices here, as can devising quiz type scenarios.
This is a practical and creative way of exploring some key subject knowledge which leads to a shareable bank of short films which can then be used for revision or as lesson starters.
November 23, 2017
The FDLT Y2 Leicester group used their creative skills and Book Creator to make a collaborative book about some unexpected happenings in the classroom.
Here’s the whole book on Google BookCreator:
Here’s a version on YouTube:
When making a collaborative book it is essential to agree on the format of the pages – landscape or portrait. This story couldn’t be included in the main book because it was made in the wrong orientation:
After the session one of the students went away and made her own book with her son.
October 20, 2017
This week the FDLT Year 2 UN group explored the tools available in BookCreator in a session about supporting learning in English through using digital technology. You can read more about BookCreator and see some great examples here.
They explored adding their own photos and video to pages; adding written text, speech bubbles and thought bubbles and recording speech that can be listened to. We used the context of ‘the secret life of the campus’ to plan and write imaginary stories as a context for this exploration.
You can see the book on YouTube here.
You can also use this link to access it as an ebook through Google Chrome.