Mixing Music and ICT

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Mixing Music with ICT

Music session 2

In this session we asked to get into groups and think about the different ways that you can combine music and ICT skills together to support learning within the classroom. Music has been shown to play a key role in the EYFS framework according to Bance and the London Early Years Music Network (2012) suggest that music helps children communicate and develop their emotional understanding helping them to recognize patterns and use musical patterns.  Because music is so beneficial for children’s development it should be integrated with everyday school life. To effectly do this as a teacher you need to be aware of the apps available to help support and integrate music into the curriculum. This is why within this session we looked at up to date computer programs, relevant web sites and apps that can be used to support and develop musical for both teachers and learners.

The link below explains the importance of music on all areas of children’s development and gives examples of how music can be supported within the classroom.


The Dfe also recognise the importance of music within education in their plan called ‘The Importance of Music, A National Plan for Music Education’ (Dfe, 2011).

“Most children will have their first experience of music at school. It is important that music education of high quality is available to as many of them as possible: it must not become the preserve of those children whose families can afford to pay for music tuition. While music touches the lives of all young people, the disadvantaged can benefit most.”

This illustrates just how important is to children and their development and is just another reason why i plan to try to incorporate music into as much of my teaching as possible.

At the start of the session we all joined in with a game of ‘follow the leader’ we got to see how inclusive and interactive this game when developing music interest. This was great fun and I could really see how children would want to join in this this. We discussed how this activity could be enhanced through the use of music encouraging children to try to follow a beat. Children could also record themselves using ipads to look back over and discuss their performances.

If you would like to look at the whole report follow the link below:


As a class we all listened to a train journey. We then in groups had to choose music instruments to do our own representation of the train using music interments. Here is my groups performance:

train video

This is a great activity you could do with your class using different sounds to ensure children think about how they want to interpret using musical instruments. It made us think about: pace, loud and soft, timings and encouraged us to work as a team, communicating our ideas to each other .

In our session we were also introduced to apps such as:

  • Garageband
  • Simon Says
  • SoundOscope
  • Magic piano (I really enjoy this app)

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These apps help children to follow musical patterns, think carefully, build confidence, be creative, express themselves, evaluate and improve their work.

While on placement I was able to teach a music lesson. The children were learning about Noah and the Art and so I based the lesson around the song ‘the animals went in two by two’ I used the link below to make the lesson more visual and to incorporate ICT.  The children were fully engaged and enjoyed trying to play instrument along with the beat of the song. The use of ICT helped support the children reading skills and made the lesson more visually engaging.


two by two

The animals went in two by two

I have Learnt a lot about apps I didn’t even know existed and will continue to practice using them in my spare time so I can confidently implement them into my teaching practice.

Presentation Software

Presentation Software to Support and Enhance Teaching…

ICT Session 4

This was another extremely useful session we were shown a variety of ways in which we could use the IWB (interactive white board) to support our teaching and children’s learning. We were introduced to presentation software which linked in nicely will our previous session on exploring media in relation to support children’s literacy and storytelling capabilities. We had a group discussion, sharing how we had used IWB and how we had observed other professional using IWB. This was interesting as it opened up lots of different ways of using the IWB and the presentation software that can be used to engage and support learning.

Smith et al (2006) expresses that the globalizing phenomenon of information technologies (ICT) is a major characteristic of modern society. Their has been a growing interest and use of IWB, which has had a massive impact of children’s’ and teachers experiences as they can all effectively interact with software as a whole which supports whole class interactive teaching. I would really like to take on this interactive whole class teaching approach and so learning about new software is something I am eager to do. I know that it is also import to introduce children to a wide variety of software, as the DfEE (1997) state that it is a necessity to prepare children for the ever-growing technological advancing global environment.

Wood (1990) Jeffrey and Craft (2004) explain that software has to be made relevant to the children. They go on to explain that it is important to give children ownership and control over their learning experiences as it encourages innovation. Using ICT enables teacher to teach creativity, which in turn promotes creative learning (Wood, 1995).

So here are some of the presentation software’s that I was introduced to during the session.

I made my own ppt slide show to support an art lesson. The children were to create black and white sketch of locate monuments to go in their role play restrunant :pizzeria Art work ppt

Alongside this I experiment with the visualizer modelling how to sketch so the children could watch the process of me sketching on the IWB.

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Prezi makes normal ppt a lot more dim entail and interesting to watch and is software I would defiantly like to invest in. if you would like to find out more: youtube.com/watch?v=pxhqD0hNx4Q

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we also looked at:

  • StoryBird (which you can find on my first post)
  • Pintrest
  • Scribblepress
  • Tinytap
  • Doodle Buddy

    Doodle buddy

    Doodle buddy

  • Story patch

All of these could be used both by the class during interactive sessions or by the children independently to promote their own learning.


Craft, A. (2005). Creativity in schools; tensions and dilemmas. London: Routledge.

Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) (1997) Excellence in Schools. London, UK:


Jeffrey, B. & Craft, A. (2004). Teaching creatively and teaching for creativity, distinctions and relationships, Journal of Educational Studies, 30, 1(March), 77–87.

Smith, F., Hardman, F. & Higgins, S. (2006). The impact of IWBs on teacher–pupil interaction in

the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies. British Educational Research Journal, 32,

3(June), 443–457.

Woods, P. (1990) Teacher skills and strategies. Lewes, UK: Falmer Press.

Woods, P. (1995). Creative teachers in primary schools. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Exploring Media that can be used to support learning within the EYFS

Exploring Media

ICT Session 3

This session introduced us to the to a wide variety of apps and software that can be used to combine visual, musical and text. This type of combined multimedia  can  support both creative teaching and can also  be used by children within the early years foundation stage to develop their own creative compositions, combing a range of different media to suite their purpose. Bearne et al (2004); Warrington et al (2006) and Walsh (2007) express that although visual texts may put more demands on teachers to keep up to date with the latest technologies,  they give children a wealth of new experiences which can be shared and enjoyed by them and the whole class. Their compositions can be discussed and creatively developed through reflective practice. Walsh (2007) goes on to say that composing using different types of medium can give children their own voice. It is also  help develop children’s reading and give them a basis for their written work. Warrington et al (2006) voices that practitioner need to teach children to be both critical and analytical . To ensure that children are critical and analytical when looking at multimedia pieces it is important that teachers are confident in their own knowledge of the programmes that the children are using. Teachers also need to be able to take risks and teach creatively, being prepared to try new apps that they are not familiar with and experiment with a diverse range of visual and digital media, that children might encounter both inside and outside of school.

This session was extremely informative as I got to and follow the advice of Warrington et al (2006) as I went out of my comfort zone and experiment with a number on new apps that I had never used before. These apps were focused on introducing children to the world of animation such as Purplemash, Moviemaker and Puppetpals.

I have experimented with Puppetpals: the dream

This would be a great app to intorduce the concept of animation its very easy to use. I chose my hamster Chew and Ryan Gosling as the characters, a castle for the background and played some emotional music on my laptop while recording to  give the piece a bit more feeling and depth.  

Here is an interesting link made by the Downs CE Primary school:


They explain how they use Purplemash within their school,. Its a lovely video as some of the children from the school show their creations and tell you what they like best about Purplemash. It also explains that they use this tool to support: literacy, science and mathematics.

They explain how they use Purplemash within their school,. Its a lovely video as some of the children from the school show their creations and tell you what they like best about Purplemash. It also explains that they use this tool to support: literacy, science and mathematics.

Here are a couple of the apps we looked at that stood out to me and would be especially useful when supporting children literacy skills:

The following link tells you all about simplecity and it benefits on children’s listening, language, independence, collaboration and creative skills.

2simple.com/component/virtuemart/age-group/3-5/simple-city-downloadable-detail?Itemid=0 children to explore and leaner about cities. 

 Following link explains how children can lean through 2simple:

  • Incorporate text, drawings, imported images, sound and object animation.
  • Bring characters to life with the use of lip sync.
  • Compile simple time lines to map story elements.


I have learnt that it is essential as a teacher to make sure that you keep up to date with new software. I think it is a nice idea to gather the children’s choices of the kind of software they use at home, so you can incorporate them in to your teaching and then introduce new and exciting apps that extend their learning. I like the idea of children having their own Purplemash accounts that they can also use at home to be independently creative.


Berne, E. Gringer,T. 2004 Raising Boys’ Achievement in Writing, Literacy, 38 (3): 153-9.

Walsh, G. (2007) Creativity as Capital in the Literacy Classroom, Literacy, 41(2): 74-85.

Warrington,M. Younger, M. and Berne, E. (2006) Raising Boys’ Achievement in primary Schools: Towards a Holistic Approach. Maidenhead: Opne University Press.

Blu, as a stilmulus for creativity.

Photo taken by me in Bologna, of Blu’s art work.

 My chosen artist to use as a stimulus for creativity is an artist called Blu, he lives in Bologna, Italy and has been active in street art since 1999. My chosen art piece is called ‘Banana Man’, Blu created this piece in 2005 when he traveled to Central South America. Blu’s art if often influenced by social and political issues.


Ways in which Blu’s art could be used as a Stimulus:

  • whole class project, children to bring in unwanted objects and make there own 3D ‘Banana Man’. Could learn about the importance of recycling and experiment with a varying range of objects. Also problem solving as to how to attach all the objects together.
  • like Blu children could create their own art piece on a large scale using different paints and large painting tools.
  • children could be asked to create a sound piece based on some of the sounds the ‘Banana Man’ might make if he were to move.
  • children could record a short video based on their ideas of what the ‘Banana Man’ is going to do or say to the heart in his hand.


If you wish to find out more about Blu,  please follow the link below…


Dress For December

One day, in one particular seminar, we all rocked up in matching green attire. Although coincidental, this is a theme we decided to keep going with by colour co-ordinating our clothes each day at uni.

To give it a purpose, we decided to start collecting for charity and to involve the rest of the lovely ladies on our Early Years PGCE course.

Now, you may be thinking that wearing clothes isn’t a particularly epic act for charity but trust me, when you are all walking around together on a uni campus with thousands of other students you do look and feel a bit silly!!! We agreed to more extreme types of clothing co-ordination e.g onsies.

We  uploaded pictures each day to document our dress codes with everyone who joins in on our course.

We chosen to support the NSPCC. The protection of children from abuse, harm and neglect as it is something dear to our hearts and something that we, as future teachers, have a responsibility to protect.

Donating were given through a JustGiving page where in total we managed to raise……

this is a link to the page:


The Importance of Forest School

Outdoor Art in the Early Years and being Creative

Art session 1-Forest School 

In one of our MSMTL lessons we were given the opportunity to participate in a Forest School session.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Forest School here is a useful link:


The Economic Foundation and Forestry Commission have compiled research to illustrate the benefits of Forest School, if you are intrested in finding out more follow think link below:


I have always had a passion for forest school, I was lucky enough to have Sara Knight who has written several books on forest school as my university mentor and she instilled my love of forest schools.

Within our first art session I enjoyed relearning about the benefits of Forest Schools and how they are a unique combination of environmental education, outdoor education, play and learning (Knight, 2011).  We discussed the positive effects the experiences have on children’s independence, self esteem and confidence and how this freedom to respond to the environment can be used as a cross curricular tool (Knight, 2011). Our main focus of this session was to look at how: Art, ICT and Music can be incorporated within Forest School which is something I had not looked at before and so found this extremely interesting.

When we first reached the forest school site we were asked to go and carry out a safety assessment. We walked around and looked for potential hazards, we then gathered together as a group and discussed some of the things that we thought were risks: mushrooms, branches to trip over, falling debris from trees, holes in the ground, thorns, stinging nettles etc. This was a very interesting conversation and I suppose one, which reflects practitioner own pedagogical principles, as some practitioners may find this kind of learning environment too ‘risky’. I have been lucky enough to have been apart of supporting forest schools within my first and second school experience placements and have seen how responsible children can be if you give them clear guidelines. I have witness children getting stung by stinging nettles and going to find doc leafs to cure the itching. I have seen how it promotes teamwork, problem solving, communication, understanding of the world, confidence building and emotional wellbeing (Knight, 2013).

At our university forest school site different role-play objects were placed around the wood and we were given the opportunity using iPads to create a unique piece of work. My group decided to produce a short story using the props to get children to consider ‘What Will I be When I Grow Up’. I directed the story line and Sophie was the actress who made the story come to life. This kind of activity would be great for children as it involves a lot of communication and teamwork children would have to be able to both give and flow instructions but within the free environment of forest school which helps children to develop both their ideas and their imaginations (Knight, 2013).

Enjoy, I have left some of the out takes in for your amusement….

Forest school Creation.

I was able to piece the clips together and overlaid music to make it more interesting to the viewer. Having produced this piece it is clear that this is an activity you could implement for children and one which they themselves could create, incorporating and furthering their ICT, Art and Music skills through the meaningful, valuable and creative experience of forest school.

 I would eventually like to do my Certificate in Outdoor Learning.

If you are interested in this or want to find out more information follow the link below:



Knight, S. (2013) Forest School and Outdoor Learning in The Early Years. London: Sage.

Knight, S (2011) Forest Schools for all. London: Sage.

Knight, S (2011) Risk and Adventure in the Early Years Outdoor Play. London: Sage



Digital Literacy and Creative Expressive Arts.

 Art session 3- the creation of an e-book

Multimedia to inspire learning

For this mornings MSMTL session we were asked to bring a book in with us in which the illustrator’s work inspired us. I choose to refer to a book written by Angela Mc Allister, called ‘Leon and The Place Between’, illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith who’s work is beautifully intriguing and inspiring.

This is the picture I chose from ‘Leon and The Place Between’ to base my work on during this session.

Before starting, as a class we discussed the role of an illustrator. We decided that illustrators have to:

  • Convey the stories message through their illustrations.
  • Use colour, creative drawings, and different textures to engage the children and set the tone for the story.
  • They must keep in mind their target audience and differentiate in accordance with this.
  • Enable children to understand that illustrations support the text and give it meaning.
  • Support children in their story telling.
  • Encourage children to un-pick imagery.

We spoke about how essential it is for children to become visually literate, giving them a voice through imagery. Cremin (2009) suggests that, “visual texts make an important contribution to our lives.” She goes on to express that images whether on paper or on screen, inform, amuse and directs learning.

Multimodal texts are part of everyday life for both children and teachers. Due to the variety of available texts the curriculum needs to integrated different types of multimodal texts within teaching to support children’s learning. I have read a document written by Bamford (2008) in which she defines visual literacy as the developing of a set of skills needed to interpret context of images. It creates opportunities for examination; discussion about the interpretation of purpose and the audience the piece is aimed at. She goes on to state that it includes the ability to visualise internally, communicate and read images. All of these skill sets are extremely valuable to children especially children in their early years, as their first books will be dominated by visual images rather then lots of words. This visual understanding can help support both learners understanding of stories and their ability to read and understand the meaning of the text that accompany the images.

Mackey (2000) emphasis’s the impact a teacher’s multisensory and technological awareness can have on children development. Teachers must consider their own views, experience and attitudes towards creative teaching in order to find ways to build on learner’s capabilities (Walsh, 2007:74).

This session really made me think about the impact and importance of choosing a subject, which will inspire not only the children, but also myself as a teacher, so I can make sure my teaching is implemented in a creative and engaging way.

As an example of a good stimulus we were shown this years John Lewis advert,


I feel this is a brilliant stimulus as its engaging and could be used in a cross curricular tool e.g. Science (hibernation), PSHE (friendship), etc…

Our turn

We worked in a group of 5 to create both characters and a background for our e-book. Sonia and I choose to create the background for the story. We used the Grahame Baker-Smith picture that I had selected as our background inspiration. Emily, Caroline and Rebecca choose to make the characters for the story out of clay.

The first thing Sonia and I did was to look closely at our stimulus so we could decided on the colour and material we would need to create a similar style of visual literature. We choose to use dark purple as the main colour. We created this background by using a small amount of purple ink, which we placed on a tray. Sonia and I then transferred the ink to the table surface with a roller. We choose not to spread it evenly as we wanted our work to look more textural. We put the paper on top of the ink and used a clean roller to transfer the ink from the table to the paper. We then wanted to make it look more dimensional; we used polystyrene tiles on which we imprinted patterns using the wooden end of a paintbrush (these are the blue spirals you can see) this enabled us to experiment with negative and positive prints. To make the picture stand out we cut shaped out of black foam (the tree and birds) and stuck them on. We used glue and gold glitter to make certain areas of the picture stand out, as this use of gold is a feature of Graham Baker-Smiths work. Sonia and I enhanced our skills of printmaking.

Emily, Caroline and Rebecca got to experiment with different ways of working with air-dry clay. They manipulated the clay and created character by putting their pieces together. They used slip (watered down clay) which is like a clay glue and then cross hatched each piece of their character using the slip to stick the pieces together. Caroline made a little Elfie, Emily made a snowman and Rebecca made Santa and a snowman.

Below is our finished background  based on the Grahame Baker-Smiths illustration shown earlier….

Having created this piece we discussed and explored ways of approaching printmaking in the early years. We talked about how in the early years children could be given an exciting stimulus like the ones mentions and provided with the same opportunity to explore with print, differentiating the resources and tools, making them age and stage appropriate.

If you would like to learn more about the learning that children can get from exploring clay I have found this interesting site that contains a video in where a teacher verbalises a child’s actions and helps to develop their skill set.

educate.ece.govt.nz/EducateHome/learning/exploringPractice/Literacy/UsingClayToDevelopLearning/PokingPushingAndProdding.aspx?p=2I have also found an interesting paper written by teachers, which explains the benefits of painting on children’s: physical, emotional, social, cognitive and language development. This I feel really shows the value of painting on all aspects of a pupil’s development and is just another reason why I will as a professional provide children will opportunities to explore and learn through paint.

If you would like to read this article the link is found below:


Within the session we tried to use the university’s ipad to create an e-story, but the apps we wanted to use such as Doodlecast Pro wouldn’t work.

Our group have used flipagram to create this story using our clay figures and the backgrounds we made:



Bamford, A. (2008) The Visual literacy White Paper, Adobe systems Pty Ltd, Austrilia. Available at wwwimages2.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/education/pdfs/visual-literacy-wp.pdf (accessed 12 April 2014)

Cremin,T. (2009) Teaching English Creatively. London: Routledge.

Mackey, M. (2002) Literacies Across Media: Playing the Text, London: Rouledge.

Walsh. C. (2007) Creativity as Capital in the Literacy Classroom, Literacy, 41 (2): 74-85.

Unplugged and Plugged ICT ideas to use in the Early Years

Creative Computing

ICT: Session 2

In this ICT session we were shown how to open our blogs to the class blog site. This was a very useful session as we were also shown the resource bank, which we can add to and use to gather information to support our professional development. During this session the main focus was to look at different ways of engaging children with unplugged (away from multi-media devices) plugged (on a media devise) ICT ideas, relating to different aspects of supporting this area of children’s development. I had not heard of these terms before and it would be beneficial when teaching to gather the children’s understanding of the two concepts and see if they could sort out the different unplugged and plugged devises.

This session really helped to develop my understanding of the usefulness of media devises within the early years. I have also learnt from my own research that 65 percent of adults are visual learners and that children especially those within their early years rely heavily on this type of learning (Marsh 2005). This I feel shows how beneficial plugged and unplugged media are on children’s development as they are visual interactive, fun and so promote learning through children’s interests (Hawk 2007). Simon and Nemeth (2012) discuss the importance of choosing the appropriate media tools to get the desired learning from the children. Within this session we were focusing of children’s ability to program and follow instructions. When choose the right devices age appropriateness and children prior knowledge and understand needs to be taken into account (Nemeth, (2012).

In pairs we were asked to choose a devise that could be used for plugged and unplugged activities Rebecca and I choose to focus on Bee-bots. I remember using and enjoying them when I was at school and so this appealed to me, as I wanted to see how I could incorporate Bee-Bots within my own teaching practice.

We had to think of away of using the Bee-Bots in a plugged and unplugged way that would aid children’s learning and development. We had a discuss about how we remembered using them (moving them around the classroom carpet) and then we did some online research to gather some useful ideas.

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This is what we came up with:

Unplugged: get children to work in pairs, children are to take turns using positional instructional language to guide each other around the hall. This could be use on large number mats; children could pretend that they are the Bee-Bots. This would support their development of early directional programming skills and their ability to use positional language.

Plugged: provide children with Bee-Bots, asking them to program them to get to a set destination. This could be related to different topics: Treasure Island map, letters, numbers, as well as a particular theme that is going on in the school at the time.

Below is a link to a Bee-Bot being used to find treasure on a map:


Bee-Bots can also be used within mathematics sessions as seen in the link below, where they play snakes and ladders:


 Extended plug:  children could be given the opportunity to use apps such as: Scratch, Alice, Code monster, Hackety-Hack, Daisy the Dinosaurs http://readwrite.com/2013/04/19/how-to-raise-the-next-zuck-6-coding-apps-for-kids#awesm=~op8WXUnY8gPi8m

Providing children with the concept that they can instruct computers to follow their commands.  Helps children develop their positional instructional thinking strategies. Whitebread and Hayes (2006) suggest that animations, which incorporate sound and movement, can support children’s reading and language development.


March, J. (2005) Popular Culture, New Media and Digital Literacy in Early Childhood. London: Routledge Falmer.

Hawk, T., 2007. Using Learning Styles Instruments to Enhance Students Learning. Decision Science Journal of Innovative Education. 5 (1), 1-16.

Simon, F. Nemeth, K (2012) Digital Decisions: Chooseing the Right Tecnowledge Tools for Early Childhood Education. London: Sage

Whitebread, D. and Hayes, M. (2006) ICT in the Early Years. Berkshire: Open University Press.

What kind of Teacher will I be?

Thought this funny clip might make others contemplate what kind of teacher they want to be. I know I want to be the best teacher I can be but, in what form I’m not sure yet. I think it’s defiantly a learning process and hopefully one day soon I will develop my own style and methods of teaching.


If anyone has any interesting stories about their ‘finding themselves’ as a teacher I would love to hear them…

The link below gives you some things to think about when looking at teaching styles.


Audio Representation

We were asked to look at a famous abstract art piece called ‘Composition 8’  by Wassily Kandinksky and discuss the mood and sounds you might hear. This would be a great activity you could do with your class, varying the different art work  to encourage discussion and experimentation with different musical instruments.







This is our audio representation of this painting…