Forest Art

The use of iMovie in the primary School


I discovered this blog post while researching iMovie and the use of ipads in the classroom. I have used iMovie within my classroom at my current placement to record the children’s drawings and making them into an animation. Unfortunately, a child who is on the movie is unable to be photographed which I was not informed about until the movie was made. The movie has now been deleted. However, I found it very easy to use this app and so did the children. The children made flowers, cars and planes from modelling straws and k’nex construction equipment which we then placed into different positions using different backdrops and then recorded the different snapshots making them into a movie.  I really feel this is a great addition to the classroom and will use this when I have my own classroom. The blog details lots of other apps and gives its opinion of the different apps.


Parkinson, L. (2014) [online] Accessed 27th April 2014.

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ICT 18/11/13 – Felt Boards


Today we looked at apps for the ipad. I really liked the Feltboard app which I think I could use in class, if not then definitely in September when I hopefully have my own classroom ! I liked the way this could be use for Literacy or C&L and EAD and UTW within the EYFS. It could be used for storytelling and retelling or ICT.  I struggle with ICT myself, but found an app called Feltboard which allows children to create Feltboard pictures, either retelling a story or creating their own story.  The pictures the children can create can also be moved into an app where they can insert text and music either from soundtracks or using their own voice. An excellent tool for literacy, C&L and EAD. I look forward to creating my own story and posting this online at a later date.

Today we looked at iPad apps and ways to encourage children to engage with ICT within the classroom. I struggle with ICT myself, but found an app called Feltboard which allows children to create Feltboard pictures, either retelling a story or creating their own story.  The pictures the children can create can also be moved into an app where they can insert text and music either from soundtracks or using their own voice. An excellent tool for literacy, C&L and EAD. I look forward to creating my own story and posting this online at a later date.



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9th December 2013 Music apps/ipads/distorted sound


I was unable to attend this lecture due to illness, however, I have researched the use of ipads and technology in the classroom and also applied my own experiences to this blog post.

I have been encouraging the children within my reception class to use the ipads more during free-flow time. I have however, discovered some issues relating to the use of ipads within a classroom of 4-5 year olds. During free-flow time, the children have access to 2 classrooms with lots of activities including an outside area with bikes, sand and water play, climbing and construction equipment. Within the classroom there is a quiet area with books and cushions for the children to get comfortable during quiet reading time.

I have witnessed on many occasions however when I give out the ipads, the children within the classroom do not focus on the other activities within the learning environment and simply focus on the ipads to the extent where they argue over them and a queue is formed around the quiet area waiting for their turn, thus preventing any child who may wish to sit quietly and looks at books from doing so. My further concerns stem from the intense focus upon the ipads that distracts the whole class from participating in writing, role play, conversing or constructing. Palmer (2007) refers to plummeting literacy skills in Japan falling significantly due to children losing interest in reading. According to Palmer (2007) more than half the children in Japan have no reading pattern at all due to the technology environment the children are exposed to. Palmer (2007) continues to state how education can be supported by technology by making it interesting and exciting, however it can also make learners lazy.  ICT in the form of calculators can have a detrimental affect upon a child’s mental mathematic ability. It is my opinion that ICT within role play can have a positive effect, such as using a laptop to make believe you are in an office or a shop. However, it appears within the classroom environment during free-flow play that the ipads need some sort of supervision or a particular focus applied to them.

During my second placement, I attended a large town school where the ICT facilities were fantastic. Here the children were exposed daily to different types of ICT as this was used to enhance lessons. The IWB’s were used daily and the children were able to enhance their learning through the use of iboard programs. A maths lesson would sometimes be carried out using the laptops in the classroom and the children would be set a particular activity to complete and then they would be allowed to ‘play’ on a game of their choice. The classrooms did not have their own supply of ipads and therefore there did not appear to be this intense need for this type of technology. Perhaps this was due to the interactive nature of the lessons that were being delivered on a daily basis that included an ICT thread. Palmer (2007) concludes that too much exposure to ICT was almost as much benefit as none at all. However, a few hours a week to support learning proved to be beneficial.


Palmer, S. (2007) Toxic Childhood: How the modern world is damaging our children and what we can do about it. Orion Books Ltd: London.



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Art – March


During March 2014, we had a great Art lecture. I am not confident with art and always think I lack creativity. Prior to our lecture we were asked to bring in a book that would be relevant for children or inspire creativity from children. I chose the Hungry Caterpillar as this has always been a favourite of mine and very successful with children.  We were introduced to painting with rollers and shapes. We were also shown how to mix the paints to create different effects. I chose a circle and a thin piece of cardboard and painted with the roller. I used green for the circles to create the leaves of the tree and brown for the stem. I used white and brown to create a mottled effect to look like the bark of the tree. We worked in pairs for this activity and my partner was creating a clay model of a caterpillar which would be used with the printed background to create a story. The clay model pictures are attached below. We would then be able to position the clay model into different poses to produce the effect of a movie. IMovie can be used for this as well as other apps including Movie Slate, Reel Director and storyboard composer.

I was unable to stay for the whole of this lesson which I am very sad about as I would have enjoyed seeing the end result for myself. I will definitely use ipads in my own classroom and really like the idea of children creating their own animations.

Since having this lecture, I have encouraged children to use more ICT in the classroom including ipads and tablets, tuff cams, flip cams and cameras. The children are also encouraged to record their own learning within the classroom so they can record what they think they have learnt and then an adult will scribe for the child as they describe their creation. Even something as basic as putting together groups of drawings the children have created to create a movie or small clip – this would be good for using in an assembly to demonstrate how children can take control of their own learning.

Our lecturer also demonstrated how to create string block printing by sticking string to a piece of card to make a printing template. I intend to use this idea with my reception children and then ask them to produce their own paintings.

Hayes and Whitebread (2006) refer to a project whereby 4 and 5 years old were provided with access to laptops and were able to manipulate their storyboard using iMovie into a mini movie. Hayes and Whitebread (2006) also refer to the successful links to skills an activity such as this can cover such as technical skills, visual skills, critical skills, awareness of audience and understanding of narrative. Many of these skills link to literacy, creativity, art and media studies. Siraj-Blatchford and Whitebread (2008) state how touchscreens are suitable for children of 4-5 years as these do not require mouse control skills which can sometimes take children a while to grasp particularly if these children do not have access to a laptop at home.

String block making The Hungry Caterpillar background

IMG_3559 IMG_2051


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

Siraj-Blatchford, J. and Whitebread, D. (2008) Supporting Information and Communications Technology in the Early Years. Open University Press: Berkshire

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Art 18/11/13


image image image

I never knew I was an artist ! Today we had a great art lesson and produced a great picture using warm colours, paint and glitter. We discussed aspects of art and linked it in with literacy and story telling. We moulded each other into characters which could be used as a stimulus for talking, drawing, writing or drama. We used lots of different materials and textures including string, buttons, glitter and thick paint. The effect was very clever and we built up layers of paint using layering of paint.

We chose a theme and then worked as a group to produce the final painting. The effect was very impressive and could easily be replicated with a little bit of supervision and control within a classroom.

We also used materials such as charcoal which produced a lovely black and white shading effect. I had not used these material before and so it was a great experience to use them. During my 2nd placement at a large town school, the class teacher had a degree in art and was often providing the children with opportunities to use alternative materials including charcoals and water colours. The children within this class produced some very good artwork from their Kung Hei Fat Choi topic. The class teacher was very disciplined with the children and they always had to draw their work first using a fine pencil, then paint within the pencil lines and then they were able to embellish their work if this was needed. At another placement, the children are not supervised during their art activities and the quality is not always very good, however the children are able to experiment with touching different materials such as feathers, beads, string, tissue paper and pipe cleaners. Painting is very ‘early years’ using large headed paint brushes and large paper.

I prefer the approach of my 2nd placement school towards their art lessons. However, within early years, should we be guiding the children or allowing them to explore their own creativity freely?

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Music 10th February 2014


imageimage  Please follow this link to see the video of the percussion version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Today we had a fantastic music lesson from Sue Nicholls. I have already used one of the songs Sue taught us. I have used a song which is the to the tune of ‘One finger one thumb keep moving’ to help the children remember the story of Koong Shee and Chang in the story of the Willow Pattern. I will update this post further following my literacy lesson with the children when I can see if it has helped them to remember the story!

Sue showed us lots of instruments and the different ways in which they could be used. I have 6 EAL children in my class and intend to use one the welcome songs to greet the children after register and will use the EAL children’s names to make them feel included.

I particularly liked the recycled instruments and the tough trays which were brilliant for SEN children due to the visual element. Various material could be used to stimulate interest and could also be used as percussion or instruments.

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Forest Art-Stickman


Today we had a great lesson and went into the woods! During our art lesson we headed out to make a man or a face from natural objects such as sticks, leaves, moss, mushrooms etc.  We decided to create a large scale man linking it to the book The Stickman by Julia Donaldson. In a group of 4 we found large sticks, fir cones, leaves and mushrooms. We constructed a frame in an upright position first and then decided to lay it on the ground as it began to fall apart! Once laid on the ground we were able to add further natural materials such as moss, pine cones etc for hair and eyes. We videoed the making of our Stickman which I can’t add today as the software didn’t work as we expected on the iPad we were using. We used iMovie to create an animation of our contributions towards our creation.

Please click on the link below to access our video.

I really enjoyed this activity and it would be an activity I would use with reception children or older. This activity could also be used for Goldsworthy activities where children create art through using natural materials such as stone, shells, rock and wood.

Our stickman creation was inspired by Andy Goldworthy who creates sculptures and artwork from natural resources from the outdoors including rocks, stones, wood, plants and trees.


Malpas, W. (2005) The Art of Andy Goldsworthy. Crescent Moon: Maidstone.

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