A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

October 24, 2018
by Jean
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Exploring assessment

Many FDLT students will be exploring summative and formative assessment. Here are some links to interesting resources to make you think!

Formative and summative assessment, a blog post by David Didau. As well as raising some interesting points this blog post has a reference list that you could use to take you to reading.

Education Endowment Fund, a website with summaries of research projects. You can search this for areas around assessment.

National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), a website with an exploration of a variety of aspects of assessment. 

October 1, 2018
by Jean
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National Poetry Day

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!

Reference:

National Poetry Day (2018) Header image. [online] Available from: https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/ [Accessed: 1/10/18]

September 27, 2018
by Jean
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Recommendations: about creativity

BLOG POST:

If you are interested in exploring creativity in education a good starting point is this blog post written by Paul Carney.

Explaining creativity in education

In it he refers to the work of Csikszentmihalyi, who we discussed in sessions in the last few weeks. 

RADIO PROGRAMME:

An exploration of creativity in a wider sense in society and the creative economy can be heard in the recent episode of ‘Thinking Allowed’ on Radio 4.

Thinking Allowed: Creativity

 

June 21, 2018
by Jean
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Holiday homework

I’ve shared resources and ideas from Pobble before and here’s a great idea for holiday homework. Its called best homework ever 2018. Here’s the first few days:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can download it here. You could use it as it is or use the ideas to make up your own for your pupils.

If you’re on Twitter you or parents can share photos of what happens using #besthomeworkever and @HeyPobble

June 13, 2018
by Jean
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FDLT year 1 field trips

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. 

May 22, 2018
by Jean
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Free international online course

This year is the second year of the Digital Learning Across Boundaries (DLAB) project. We are nearly ready to share learning ideas and resources based around using digital technology creatively with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics).

The online course will begin in the first week of June. You can sign up at this link

Overview

STEM to STEAM adds the Arts to the integrated and applied study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), to create interdisciplinary challenge-based learning opportunities. Creativity and imagination, which lie at the heart of the arts, are blended with the critical thought and enquiry of STEM.

This is a flexible online course that you can join in with at a pace and depth that suits you. We will suggest activities and ideas based on our international DLaB project work, and encourage you to try them within your teaching.

We would like you to leave each week with something new to try out in practice and we will encourage you to share your experiences and swap ideas on our weekly themes within our Google+ community. You can start sharing ideas in the online community now; there’s no need to wait for the start date.

Who is this course for?

Our course is aimed at primary and lower secondary teachers, however anyone with an interest in the field is very welcome. It is in English.

May 18, 2018
by Jean
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Exploring stop motion animation

Recently the FDLT Year 1 students have been learning about stop motion animation and exploring how this might support and inspire learning. Students chose an idea and planned and made a short animation to explain it.

You can watch all the animations here:

 

March 29, 2018
by Jean
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Keep Learning!

As supporters of learning and people interested in education you are likely to be seeking opportunities to keep learning yourselves. This might be to fill gaps in your subject knowledge, to allow you to perform your role more effectively or to follow a personal interest.  FutureLearn run a number of online courses on many interesting areas, including education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can browse the available courses here: FutureLearn

The courses tend to be quite practical and involve online interaction with other people who are involved in the course. They are free to take part in although you can choose to pay to have a certificate of completion which may be useful if you want to use it as part of your CPD record or CV.

March 5, 2018
by Jean
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Support with writing essays

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 5, 2018
by Jean
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Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Here’s a great way of starting 2018 with some actions for happiness.

Action for Happiness, 2018

 

 

 

There is more detail about starting the new year in a positive frame of mind here.

It would be interesting to devise your own calendar like this with your own class focused perhaps on your school vision or classroom conventions.

Reference:

Action for Happiness (2018) Happy New Year calendar January 2018. [online] Available from: http://www.actionforhappiness.org/happy-new-year [Accessed: 5/1/18]

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