As schools break up for the summer thought will be given to encouraging children to keep learning over the holidays.
Local libraries run the Summer Reading Challenge each year and this year it is part of the year long celebration of 100
years since the birth of Roald Dahl.
The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice to complete the Challenge. There are exclusive rewards to collect along the way, and it’s FREE to take part! There’s lots more information available at Summer Reading Challenge website
Pobble have published this list of activities that teachers and parents can use to set fun challenges over the summer. It can be downloaded here: Pobble’s the best homework ever
It could be fun to get the children to design their own list of homework for each other!
Announcing the University of Northampton and IntoFilm Playdate and TeachMeet.
This event, for educators across primary and secondary education, combines an interactive Digital Playdate with an informative TeachMeet to provide an inspiring opportunity to tinker with new tools and technologies and explore media and digital literacy.
A Digital Playdate is a chance to find out about some technologies you are curious to try through hands on play alongside others. It is based on the acronym ‘People Learning and Asking Y’.
We’ll have a choice of workshops and demos for you to join in with, including greenscreening, making photospheres, iPads full of apps, virtual reality headsets, robots, filmmaking and animation, lightboxes and dark dens.
There will be digital leaders at hand to support your playful exploration.
There will also be short presentations on media and digital literacy so that you can hear about some of the great practice happening around the country.
You’ll go away with some fresh skills that you are confident to try out with your learners.
At the end of the event we will have time for participants to share what they’ve learnt and we’ll be encouraging everyone to take part in the conversation on Twitter throughout the event.
If you are interested in providing a presentation for the TeachMeet section please indicate this when booking your ticket and we will be in touch to confirm details. Slots of 3 or 5 minutes will be available. Spaces are limited so please get in touch as soon as you can if you’d like to present.
When Wednesday, 8 June 2016 from 17:30 to 20:00 (BST)
Where Newton Grand Hall, Avenue Campus, The University of Northampton, St George’s Avenue, Northampton, Nn2 6JD.
On the 15th December 2015 Tim Peake left the earth in the Soyuz rocket for a six month stay on the International Space Station. You can see some highlights of the launch day in this video:
The name of this mission is Principia and during his mission Tim Peake will be undertaking science experiments and research on the space station. There are school activities based around science and technology running alongside this mission that could be interesting and inspiring to follow and join in with. These resources can accessed here.
Tim Peake has a website which can be accessed here.
You can follow him on Twitter @ASTRO_TIMPEAKE If you scroll through his twitter feed you can that there are so many children and schools being inspired by his mission to the ISS.
You can follow his blog for posts about life and work on the ISS here: Tim’s blog.
There’s lots of possibilities for using this event to inspire and support learning in school. If you want to have a go at growing seeds that have been into space you can find details here
Some more episodes of the BBC Radio 4 series The Educators are currently being broadcast.
The episodes in this series listed so far are:
The episode is about the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP). This is an American program to support pupils in disadvantaged circumstances. “They work in the most disadvantaged districts of New York, Houston and Los Angeles, where children have less than a 1 in 10 chance of completing a college degree, but their focus on character skills like grit, empathy and determination, is seen as the reason why half of KIPP students will graduate from college.”
(BBC, 2015a, lines 5 -10)
2. What Finland did next.
This episode examines the Finnish education system: “Since the first international comparisons in 2000, Finland has been at or near the top of league tables for the abilities of its teenagers in reading, maths and science. Experts and politicians flocked to its schools to discover what was leading to its success, and came away with a picture of autonomous schools, children starting school much later than in the UK, and having no tests until their final year. What developed was seen by many as a myth surrounding Finnish education success, while the reality could be attributed to extensive teacher training, high quality lessons and a culture of literacy. But now, Finland is overhauling the way it teaches through ‘phenomenon learning’ – periods of the school year where learning isn’t confined to single subjects, but students take on a broad topic and decide what, and how, they will learn. From 2016, it will be compulsory for all schools to teach with phenomenon projects, but Helsinki has already adopted it in the capital’s schools.” (BBC, 2015b, lines 1 – 17)
The programmes are available online at this link and they are saved on Box of Broadcasts.
BBC (2015a) The Educators Character Lessons. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06ptw79 [Accessed:26/11/15]
BBC (2015b) The Educators What Finland did next. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06qjyrr [Accessed: 26/11/15]
This week the second series of ‘The Secret Life of…’ starts. Last time it was focused on four year olds. This time it is extended to five and six year olds as well.
If you watched the programmes last year you will know what to expect – a ‘fly in the wall’ insight into the daily school life of a group of children with a focus on their friendships and interactions.
This time it will be interesting to see the differences between the younger and older children.
From your point of view as students you might like to consider the ethics of this filming of young children – how does this relate to the need for informed consent? There is a clip about the making of the programme that you might find interesting.
You may have noticed that in mid September the ‘Commission on Assessment Without Levels: final report’ was published. It can be accessed here.
At this same link you can access two videos where John McIntosh CBE, Chair of the Commission discusses the benefits of developing new assessment and Sean Harford, National Director, Schools, Ofsted, talks about inspectors of schools assessment systems.
In addition to this you can explore the Association for Achievement and Improvement through Assessment (AAIA) website here. On this website you can see the development of the assessment without levels approach over the last few years, leading up to this report. You can also see videos of Dylan Wiliam and Tim Oates talking about aspects of the approach and also access the NCTL research report.
If you are on the FDLT course this information will be useful to you in year 1 as you work on the PDT1004 assignment and it will be useful to all students and TAs as you seek to keep up to date with changes in education and schools.
October is the month of the The Big Draw in the UK and all over the world.
‘The Big Draw is the world’s biggest drawing festival with thousands of enjoyable, and mainly free, drawing activities which connect people of all ages with museums, outdoor spaces, artists, designers, illustrators – and each other.
The Big Draw is for anyone who loves to draw, as well as those who think they can’t!
Every day a new picture is revealed on the Pobble 365 website. It is run by the very popular Lend me Your Literacy (LMYL) website. It emerged from Jonny Davies’s experience as a classroom teacher – he explains that he would look for a striking and extraordinary image to inspire thinking and discussion in his classroom. This is what Jonny says:
And this is exactly what happened in our classroom: each Friday morning at 09.05 I would reveal one of these unique images. As it appeared on the board, I looked around the classroom and I could see a mixture of open mouths, excited whispers and animated discussion. The children talked about whether the giant that was crawling out of the ground was searching for a companion or baying for blood, or whether the mysterious forest of eyes contained fairies or werewolves. The pictures I chose were surreal, abstract or conceptual. To the children these images were weird and wonderful, fantastic and bizarre.
Imagine your favourite children’s book: when you read it your mind becomes full of fantasy and colour as you paint a picture in your mind, bringing the pages to life. This is what these images did, even for the children who didn’t enjoy reading.
The provoked conversation gradually became filled with rich vocabulary as I channelled the children’s thinking towards describing a character or a setting. Their imaginations ran wild, and poured out onto the paper. I can still remember the goosebumps on my skin as the teacher in the adjacent classroom and I would sit down with a coffee at 4 o’clock and read through the writing produced. I thought to myself ‘this is what teaching is all about’. These are the moments that we must cherish as educators.’ (Davies, 2015, lines 20 to 46)
You can sign in to Pobble with your Facebook, twitter or Google account or by creating a sign in with your email address and a password.
Each day a picture appears and along with it some resources to help you use it with pupils. These include story starters, questions, a link to exploring sentences and other ideas. You can download the picture and ideas as a PDF or if you join as a teacher you can use the images in your lesson more directly.
Here’s a link to the picture for today, October 2nd. How would you use it?
There are many other interesting aspects to the Pobble website including, if you join as a school, being able to share your pupils’ writing and make and receive comments about it.
Comment below if you use Pobble365 or to share ideas about using pictures in learning and teaching.
Davies, J. (2015) Going Global: from Picture of the Day to Pobble 365. [online] Available from: http://blog.pobble.com/picture-of-the-day-to-pobble-365/ [Accesed 25/09/15]
Many of you will be starting a new academic year with your pupils, with your own children and perhaps yourselves as students.It s a big step to take and there is a lot to absorb.
At the University of Northampton we have a wonderful resource to support students with their study – skillshub
This is an online resource for students to use to find help with all aspects of their university study.
A first step would be to click on ‘essential tools’ where you can find a list of useful starting points. Two that would be good to start with are ‘Your University Login’ and ‘Introduction to NILE’.
After you have explored these, you could go to explore ‘Using the library catalogue’ in essential tools and ‘Reading Skills’ in ‘Academic Skills’. In Study Skills sessions you will be guided to look at other resources but you can browse any of the resources and use them as and when you want to.
As well as online resources that you can use independently you can use skillshub to access other support such as group and individual tutorials, telephone and skype appointments.
Below is a ThingLink. You will learn more about what these are and how to make them in the future. This Thinglink gives you lots of links that will be useful to you as a student beginning study at the University of Northampton.
When you start a new course there is a lot of information to absorb so always make a note of any questions you may have and email tutors to ask.