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]
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.
June 7, 2018
Great British Button Challenge!
Hobbycraft did some research and found that out of the 10,000 people they surveyed 1 in 5 could not sew on a button, with 52% never taught this at school (Hobbycraft, 2018). This summer they’re running a challenge to bring sewing back into schools.
Teachers can go along to their local Hobbycraft up to 20th July and pick up a free bag of buttons and Great British Button Challenge stickers. There are also lots of button based projects on the Hobbycraft website along with educational resources – you can download the pack here.
If you’re not sure how to sew on a button Hobbycraft have made a video guide to help!
With thanks to a BALT graduate, now teacher, for pointing this out.
Hayhurst, M. (2018)
Hobbycraft issue first Craft Report and launch Great British Button Challenge.
[online] Available from: https://www.craftbusiness.com/news/view/hobbycraft-issue-first-craft-report-and-launch-great-british-button-challen [Accessed 07/06/18]
May 31, 2018
The Springwatch team are excited to announce eight new live programmes especially for schools!
Beaming direct into your classroom, the Wild Academy will open for business at 1:30pm on Monday 4th June.
Join us Monday to Thursday for two weeks, where your host Maddie Moate will be meeting exciting guests, watching live wildlife, setting challenges and quizzes for all you nature nuts out there, all live from the National Trust’s Sherborne Park Estate.
To watch and join in, simply head to the Springwatch website from Monday 4th June and watch live online, or via the BBC Red Button service. All programmes will be available on catch-up via BBC iPlayer, so if you miss it you don’t need to miss out.
We’d love to hear from you! Have you found a mystery poo in the school playing field? Are there fragments of broken eggshell under a tree? Have you done something amazing for wildlife in your school? Are your pupils full of ideas for how to help their local environment? Let us know and we’ll mention the best ones live on air!
Live programmes will be shown at 1:30pm daily on the Springwatch website and on the Red Button (channel 301 on older style televisions) on these dates:
More information coming soon…
To get in touch, drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or tweet using #WildAcademy
(From the BBC Springwatch website)
April 27, 2018
The Wildlife Trust invites you to something wild every day in June: random acts of wildness. You can sign up here to get a free pack including a wall chart, interactive booklet and some stickers. There is also an app.
When you take part you can also share your activity using #30DaysWild and look at what all the other participants are doing. It is a great opportunity for gathering ideas to use in school or at home in the future.
A scarf showing the temperature for each day with a row of knitting in a colour based on the temperature each day. I have since seen others based on daily rainfall.
March 29, 2018
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.
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 email@example.com. 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 21, 2017
I came across this great idea from Action for Happiness on Twitter.
Its a calendar encouraging people to be kind throughout December (and beyond). Its also available in Italian, French and in a decoration free version.
The organisation Action for Happiness says:
“If we agree that for all human beings it is important that they experience happiness and escape misery, then it follows that the best society is the one in which there is the least misery and the most happiness.
On this basis, everyone’s happiness counts equally. This includes the happiness of everybody now alive as well as that of future generations. So it is important that we act in a way that takes the happiness of all into consideration. If we can agree on this then we’re one step closer to achieving a happier society.” (2017, lines 25 – 31)
They have designed a resource for schools called “Keys to happier Living Toolkit for Schools” for children aged 7-11.
You can see information about this here.
You can follow Action for Happiness on Twitter @actionhappiness and on Facebook here.
We wish you all happy holidays and enjoy your break!
Action for happiness (2017) Why happiness. [online] Available from: http://www.actionforhappiness.org/why-happiness [Accessed 19/12/17].
Action for Hapiness. (2017) Kindness Calendar. [online] Available from: http://www.actionforhappiness.org/kindness-calendar [Accessed: 19/12/17]
September 29, 2017
The current Children’s Laureate is Lauren Child and she is in this role from 2017 to 2019. This is what the Book trust said about her:
“The role of Children’s Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field.
Lauren Child is a multi-award-winning, bestselling writer and artist whose books are known and loved the world over. She is the creator of characters such as Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort and Charlie and Lola.” (Book Trust, 2017, lines 3-7)
You can read more about her role here.
You can hear an interview with her here.
Last week in a newspaper article she argued that children should be given more time to “daydream and dawdle” and be allowed to have free, unstructured time in which to be creative and improvise. (Child, 2017, line 10) Supporting children to be creative is something you might consider as a TA. How do we provide conditions or an environment that will encourage creativity in school? What is the adult role in this?
Book Trust. (2017) Waterstones Children’s Laureate. [online] Available from: https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books/childrens-laureate/ [Accessed: 29/09/17]
Child, L. (2017) We should let children dawdle and dream. [online] Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/09/lauren-child-let-children-dawdle-and-dream [Accessed: 29/09/17]