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

at Leicester and UN

September 7, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

Mind Changers

Carol Dweck and Growth Mindset

(Radio 4 Wednesday 12th August and on iplayer and BoB)

‘Claudia Hammond presents the history of psychology series which examines the work of the people who have changed our understanding of the human mind. This week she interviews Carol Dweck, who identified that individuals tend towards a fixed or a growth mindset regarding what they can learn and achieve. She also showed that a fixed mindset can be changed, and that once people adopt a growth mindset, they can achieve more.

Claudia visits a UK primary school where growth mindset is part of the curriculum, and sees how children who don’t like maths soon change their attitude at a summer camp in California, once they’re shown that getting the wrong answer actually makes their brains grow more than getting the right answer.

She hears more about Dweck and her work from colleagues Greg Walton and Jo Boaler at Stanford University, and executive head Dame Alison Peacock at the Wroxham Primary School.’

(BBC, 2015, screen 1)

This is an interesting programme for you as students to listen to as it explores how the ideas and research of academics are applied in the classroom. Some of you may be experiencing the application of a growth mindset approach in your schools or your children’s schools. Do you think it also has an application to yourselves as university students?

Reference:

BBC (2015) Mind Changers: Carol Dweck and Growth Mindset. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b062jsn7 [Accessed: 03/09/15]

September 3, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

Boosting your child’s IQ

Boosting your child’s IQ

(Wednesday September 2nd at 9am and available on radio 4, iplayer and BoB)

Programme description:

‘As summer ends and children trade flip flops for school shoes, Mariella Frostrup starts the new academic year exploring what can affect a child’s IQ.

Parents who read to their children, talk at the dinner table and help with homework might have happy offspring, but will they be making them smarter?

In the light of research into the influence of genes, Mariella and her guests debate the role of parenting on intelligence. They explore recent research into the effect of exercise and sleep and ask what difference can breastfeeding, flashcards, violin lessons and superfoods really make.

For the first in a new series of Radio 4’s parenting programme, Mariella is joined by Dr Stuart Richie, Postdoctoral Fellow in Cognitive Ageing at the University of Edinburgh, writer and consultant Sue Palmer, Dr Sophie von Stumm, Lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmiths and Director of their Hungry Mind Lab, and Hilary Wilce, writer, advice columnist and coach.’

(BBC, 2015, Screen 1)

This programme is interesting for you as students to listen to because you can hear people with a range of views discussing and debating the research and evidence surrounding this issue. Listen for how they express their views, how they use evidence to support or dispute views and think about how you are swayed by their arguments. Is it what they say, or how they say it?

Reference:

BBC (2015) Boosting your child’s IQ. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0680g5x [Accessed 03/09/15]

August 17, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

Thinking about education and learning

The Educators

theedTo start you thinking about education you could find this series of radio programmes on the BBC website at this link:

The Educators

In each of the eight programmes Sarah Montague interviewed a contemporary educator about their ideas. Here is the episode list:

1. Sir Ken Robinson

2. John Hattie

3. Tony Little

4. Daisy Chritodoulou

5. Paul Howard-Jones

6. Sugata Mitra

7. Jo Boaler

8. Salman Khan

You could listen to several of these through iplayer or download the podcasts. As you listen think about how what the educator is saying relates to your setting, your role and your own experience of education. You might like to add a comment below.

June 19, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

Study Skills for Academic Success

In July the University of Northampton is running a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called ‘Study Skills for Academic Success’.

mooc

Anyone can enrol on this course – the link is here.

If you are about to start a course in Higher Education this could be useful for you, and if you are moving on to a new stage of university education eg from FDLT Y1 to Y2 or from FDLT Y2 to BALT it could also be of interest.

April 30, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

Using pictures and images to support learning

Over the last few weeks I have been teaching a session about using images to support learning and teaching to FDLT Y1. we have explored searching for images online and issues of safety, copyrightt and citation / referencing. One useful resource is photosforclass which provides a search that is:

  • Safe G Rated Images – All images are appropriate for school setting thanks to Flicker safe Search and our proprietary filters
  • Automatic Citation – Downloaded images automatically cite the author and the image license terms
  • Creative Commons – All photos shown are to the best of our (and Flickr’s) knowledge Creative Commons licensed for school use

This is useful for using to create resources for school use and for using in student work such as in presentations or creating digital artefacts that use photos.

In the session we explored collecting images and placing them on Pinterest boards, grouping images together in arrangements using webtools and apps such as Fotor, PicMonkey, PicCollage and Moldiv. Having made collages it is them possible to make the pictures interactive by using them as a basis for creating ThingLinks. here is an example of a ThingLink I made that explores the kings and queens of England from 1066 to the present day.
You can easily send a ThingLink to other people via social media or from a link. It is worth exploring the ThingLink website to see examples of how others have used it to support learning. You can sign up as a teacher.
We also looked at ways of using QR code makers and scanners to access images, and best of all, we used Aurasma to reveal images linked to objects and pictures.
IMG_0793The way that a video or image can appear on a phone or tablet as if by magic is quite captivating and would appear to have many uses in education.
I made an example based on creatures’ tracks where  a picture of the animal would appear linked to each track.
If you are interested in finding out more about these webtools and apps there are further posts on this blog:
If you have any examples of using them please add them to the comments below.

March 17, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

20th March – Solar Eclipse!

On Friday March 20th (if it is not too cloudy) we will be able to view a solar eclipse. An solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the earth and the sun blocking the sun’s light from reaching the earth. This is the only total solar eclipse of 2015 and the last total solar eclipse on the March equinox occurred  in 1662 on March 20th

solar eclipse

Meteorwatch 2015a

The picture on the right shows what a total solar eclipse looks like. This will be visible in the North Atlantic. In the UK we could see a partial solar eclipse similar to the picture below.

sl

Meteorwatch 2015b

A partial solar eclipse is when the sun, moon and earth don’t quite line up from the observer’s location.

The timing of the eclipse over the UK is around 9.30 to 9.35am on Friday 20th March. You can read more about the timings and see the progress over the UK on a map at this link.

This week, starting on Wednesday 18th March, on BBC 2 the Stargazing programme is focusing on the eclipse and includes a live broadcast on Friday morning from 9am.

If you are going to observe the eclipse it is important to do some research and make sure that you are properly prepared. There are some useful resources and activities at the Stargazing website that can be used at school or at home.

It is most important that we do not look directly at the sun, but rather use special glasses, a pinhole camera or other projection devices. Below is an idea from the Radip Times Magazine website for viewing the eclipse through a colander.

Projection through a colander

Simply hold up a kitchen colander during an eclipse and you will see that myriad small crescents – corresponding to the eclipsed phase of the Sun – are cast in the shadow. Each hole acts in the same way as a pinhole camera, projecting an inverted image of the Sun, and this works even if the holes are not round. This effect can also be seen when sunlight shines through leaves on a tree or other foliage, with the gaps between leaves acting as pinholes and creating crescents of light in the shade on the ground.

Casting the image onto a white piece of card held about 50cm away will increase the contrast, making the event easier to see, however any light-coloured surface will work. Try varying this distance to find the sharpest image, as the size of the holes in different colanders will affect the view. This method is the cheapest and easiest way for a group of people to simultaneously view the eclipse and its progress with no risk to either eyesight or equipment.

The results can be easily photographed using any conventional camera. The only downside is the size of the crescents are quite small. Increasing the distance between the colander and the projection screen will make the crescents larger, but also less defined. As such, other than the crescent itself, no details such as sunspots can be seen.

Pros: Cheap and easy, great for large groups of people

Cons: Views are quite small, no detail can be seen apart from the crescents (Radio Times staff, 2015)

If you or your school are doing anything special for the eclipse do let us know by posting in the comments below.

Reference list:

MeteorWatch (2015a) Total solar eclipse. [online] Available from: http://www.meteorwatch.org/solar-eclipse-march-20th-2015-easy-guide/#more-5998 {accessed: 17/03/15]

MeteorWatch (2015b) Partial solar eclipse. [online] Available from: http://www.meteorwatch.org/solar-eclipse-march-20th-2015-easy-guide/#more-5998 {accessed: 17/03/15]

Radio Times Staff (2015) Experience the Eclipse. [online] Available from: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-03-09/how-to-watch-the-solar-eclipse [Accessed: 17/03/15]

February 23, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

Get Creative! (part 1 of 2)

Last week creativity was in the news as the Warwick Commission launched their report ‘Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth’ and the BBC launched their ‘Get Creative’ celenration of the arts, culture and creativity across the UK.

warwick‘Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth’ is based upon a year long investigation by people working in the arts and culture, supported by academics at the University of Warwick.

It was chaired by Vikki Heywood, CBE, who said:

‘The key message from this report is that the government and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and bad for society.’ (p8)

The report can be downloaded here – Final Report You can read tweets about the report and join in the discussion here #enrichinggb

For those of us working in education and schools it is interesting to note that  the report calls on the Government and Ofsted to ensure all children up to 16 receive a broad cultural education and urge that no school should be designated “outstanding” without evidence of an excellent cultural and creative education.

Goal 3 (of five goals) is focused upon fully harnessing the importance of creativity in education and skills development.  Goal 3 states:

A world-class creative and cultural education for all to ensure the wellbeing and creativity of the population as well as the future success of the Cultural and Creative Industries Ecosystem. Education and skills development are essential in order to maximise our nation’s full creative and cultural potential. The key to enriching Britain is to guarantee a broad cultural education for all (through arts skills acquisition, participation in arts and cultural events and enhanced appreciation), an education and a curriculum that is infused with multi-disciplinarity, creativity and enterprise and that identifies, nurtures and trains tomorrow’s creative and cultural talent. The English education system does not provide or encourage either of these priorities and this will negatively impact not just on the future of the creative industries but on our capacity to produce creative, world-leading scientists, engineers and technologists. As the evidence in this report demonstrates, children born into low income families with low levels of educational qualifications are the least likely to: be employed and succeed in the Cultural and Creative Industries; engage with and appreciate the arts, culture and heritage in the curriculum; experience culture as part of their home education and have parents who value and identify with the cultural experiences on offer from publicly funded arts, culture and heritage. (p15)

 

If you are seeking to preserve and enhance and culture in your setting this report contains powerful evidence and arguments to support you.

February 16, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

TA event

Teaching assistants from Leicestershire, Northants and Derby took part in a great day of workshops on Friday 13th February at Beauchamp College, Oadby.

The morning workshop led by Eva Cartwright, Principal of the Teaching Assistant College, focused on creative strategies to support learners and explored how to help children get the best from learning opportunities.

The afternoon session, led by Julie Jones, Course Leader of the Foundation Degree in Learning and Teaching at University of Northampton, focused on the teaching assistant’s role in developing children’s speaking and listening skills. It involved the participants in evaluating how they could contribute to environments that encourage speaking and listening and in evaluating activities that would encourage and engage children in speaking and listening.

TA Workshops photoComments from the participants highlighted what a great opportunity it had been to learn new ideas about engaging children. As one participant said; ‘It was an opportunity to engage with other T.A’s and learn new ideas and think about what I do every day.’

February 6, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

A recommendation from Dom…

Dom Murphy has recommended this blog as a useful and inspiring one to follow and read:

timrylands

You can access it at this link.

Tim Rylands is an experienced primary school teacher who uses digital technology to support and inspire learning. He now works with teachers, schools and children to help them enhance learning. As you scroll through his site you can see how enthusiastically adults and children join in and you can also see some of the ideas, apps and other resources he uses.

I like this post where there are lots of links to explore – did you sir? did you miss?

trThere are lots more and you can click on each one to a brief write up then if it catches your interest you find it and explore it more fully.

 

 

 

I was interested in this one by the Children’s University of Manchester.

Its part of a bigger site based around learning at Key Stage 2, focusing on History, Languages, Art and Design and Science. In the languages section you can choose ‘words’ or ‘French’. In the words section you can explore a variety of areas such as a world languages map, a timeline of the English language, some specific activities based on adjectives, eponyms, idioms, word classes and play some games.

 

adjdetHere you can see the opening screen for ‘adjective detective’.

If you have a recommnendation of a site, blog or other online resource do add it to the comments below.

January 29, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

A school that blogs!

Lots of schools now have their own blogs where they share school news and learning and teaching ideas. Its a great way of allowing parents and other interested people a window into school life and getting some positive feedback and interaction for children. It also provides opportunities to write for a real and interested audience.

SBblogStandens Barn Primary in Northampton has a great blog which you can access here.

There is a blog for each class and also blogs for specific people or themes such as ‘Sports Reports’, ‘Mr Chalmers’ DLs’ and ‘Clubs’.

I first became aware of this blog when Wayne Chalmers brought the school’s Digital Leaders to the University of Northampton for the afternoon to work some of our students who are STEM champions. (STEM is short for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics.) We had an interesting inspiring afternoon of using ipads to photograph and film with round the campus, following a treasure hunt and then in pairs making a short film. You can read the university press release here and you can see the films here.

Last weekend I was aware through all the tweets appearing that the BETT show was happening in London – a huge annual sharing of ideas and resources around educational technology. Then I saw some familiar faces as some of the Digital Leaders from Standens Barn and their teachers appeared! You can read about their visit here.

And next week I’m looking forward to another post as I know they are coming to the #TeachMeetNorthampton2015 on Wednesday to share their ideas and experiences.

There are lots of other schools who blog and I can see that Standens Barn Primary are making connections to other schools locally and further away. Its a great opportunity for the children to learn about the lives of other children.

If your school has a blog and you would like to share it with us why not add it to the comments below? Or even better, write a little piece about it and I’ll share it here.

 

 

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