Creating resources collaboratively with a time constraint


In groups we were given the task of creating some ICT resources to explore a story book with children.
There were 4 people in my group and we decided to use ‘Walking Through the Jungle’ as a base for our resources. We only had one hour to decide what we were going to do and create the resources ready to present to the rest of the class. Firstly, we had a brief discussion to share and combine our ideas; we all have different strengths, weaknesses and qualities, therefore you get the best outcome when you work collaboratively and we all enhanced our own skills from eachother.

We agreed that our resources should meet the following criteria:

  • be interactive to engage and involve the children as much as possible
  • be appropriate for their age; we decided to aim ours at FS2
  • have a purpose; be an effective resource to have an impact on learning to ‘move the children on’
  • demonstrate ICT skills
  • be fun! – to find out if we have been successful here, we would ask the children for their feedback about the resources.

Using a Popplet, the ideas were mind-mapped:

It was decided that to get the children to ‘tune in’ we would ask them to close their eyes and listen to a music clip of a jungle whilst the teacher asks thought-provoking questions. Once they have listened to a bit of the music, the next slide could be opened to support the discussion of different habitats and to help the children determine where the music is from.

Jungle Presentation

Monkeyjam was used to create a stop frame animation, this is a great activity to carry out with the children. We used it to sequence the story:

It would be great to share children’s animations on a class blog, in assembly or to have playing during parents’ evening.

A resource about jungles was created for use with an IWB. There is a jungle image with shapes hiding animals, the teacher can move the shapes to reveal as much or as little of the animal for the children to guess what it is. Alternatively, the children could be asked to find out what is behind a specific shape which will also be linking the jungle theme to mathematics.

I would have been happy carrying on all day creating resources to extend this topic, but I was impressed with the amount we created in just 1 hour. I have added an additional activity to the IWB resource as I was exploring what could be done with this software package. The activity is for children to use by themselves; they have to sort the animals into ‘jungle animals’ and ‘not jungle animals’ and they can ‘check’ how they performed too. Take a look….

Interactive smart board jungle activities

One of my favourite nursery songs is suitable for use with this theme too: TEASING MR CROCODILE

Teasing Mr Crocodile

This song is one I used in a Story Sack I created for Roald Dahl’s “The Enormous Crocodile” which also has a Jungle theme, here are a few of the resources I created for this story sack including masks and a glove puppet with felt monkeys attached and a scene setting and main characters for the book:

Blogging in the Classroom

As I am new to blogging, especially to the idea of using them within the classroom, I have familiarised myself with the ways they are currently being used and the benefits of blogging.
Blogging offers many opportunities to both staff and pupils, http://theschoolbloggers.co.uk/school-blogs-benefits/blogging-in-the-classroom/ explain these in further detail:

  • Pupils and teachers love it!
  • Showcase your pupils’ best work to a far greater audience
  • Fantastic tool to help the support the raising of levels of attainment across your school
  • Students become independent learners
  • Easy differentiation to meet all abilities
  • Everyone learns and teachers
  • Develop relationships with the local community
  • Incredibly powerful tool for project collaboration
  • Create links with schools both nationally and internationally
  • Foster links with businesses
  • A window into the classroom for parents

Making comments on blogs was another aspect I felt unsure about; the content and tone of the text is also something I have looked into. Comments should be:

  • written like a letter; have a greeting, main content and an ending.
  • correct in terms of spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • complimentary to the writer, ask a question or add relevant information that is relevant to the post.
  • professional; not identifying any personal information.
  • checked over and edited before being published.

The children in this video explain how to write blog comments:

Reflection:

I think blogging is a great way of sharing ideas and work, with the possibility of receiving comments which could enhance your ideas. I intend to continue blogging and commenting on other people’s blogs so it becomes second-nature to me, so I am completely confident using them in schools with children.