Evaluating and Sharing our Story!


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, Early Years, Story Telling, Uncategorized | Posted on February 9, 2014

The last lecture of year 2 was the session I was most looking forward to. As a group we had completed our story ICT product and were really looking forward to sharing it with the other students. Before the students shared our work we took a look at a few more applications and website resources that could be useful when using ICT in the classroom. We had been introduced briefly to Purple Mash in Year 1 and it was good to get a refresher on how this website worked. It was great to see how Purple Mash could be used to support many areas of the curriculum, including Science, Maths and Design & Technology. Upon reflection it is great to see the positive benefits of using ICt to support all areas of the curriculum. Some children may not enjoy the traditional methods of learning and teaching, but they may find learning about subjects through ICT resources and hardware more engaging. I have included a short video clip below giving an overview of Purple Mash and how it can be used to support learning.

After taking a look at the different websites and applications it was finally time to share our work! Each group took it in turns to present to the class the story they had produced. It was really interesting to see how many of the different apps and resources had been used to make the different tellings of the stories. Some groups had used puppet pals like ourselves to produce their story. Another group had used Monkey Jam to make a short video telling of their story, and others had made trailers for their stories using iMovie. On the whole each groups presentation was very well thought out, and it was clearly explained how they felt the story would support further learning within the Early Years. Groups suggested it could be a link for Literacy whereas others noted how the story could be used as the hook into learning about Geography for example.

Our presentation felt as though it went well. We explained our choice of story, in that we felt it was a well known story, with characters that children find appealing and it had some repetitive parts that children could join in with as the story progressed. We shared with the other groups our thoughts on how easy or difficult we found the different apps to use, and how we would amend our piece if we repeated the task. Feedback provided by the group was on the whole very positive, and it was commented upon that they liked the use of a child telling the story. Proud Mum moment for me as my son had read the story very well!

It was great to get the opportunity to work with a group to produce our own version of a well known and much loved story, and share our work with our friends. We also uploaded our video to the universities resource bank site, to allow other students to freely access our story.

So here it is! Our version of Hairy MacLary! Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!

Lets Make A Story Movie!


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, Early Years, Story Telling | Posted on February 9, 2014

The second of our ICT lectures again filled me with slight apprehension to begin with. I worried I would find it as challenging as the previous week. This lecture our main focus was on looking at some of the educational applications and programmes that could be used within the classroom to support learning. The focus of the session was how we could use multimedia and ICT to create our own version of a story within our groups. It was great to have a look at some apps and online programs such as the Night Zoo Keeper and Morfo to get some ideas on the different apps and programs we could use, and the kind of products we could create. Both of these were new to me and it was interesting to be introduced to programs and apps which are suitable for use in the Early Years. There is such wide range of products available it is good to have some recommendations, and see how they can benefit learning. Below is a brief video clip to show how Night Zookeeper works and how it can be used within the classroom to stimulate literacy and storytelling.

Powerpoint is another program that can be used to create stories and this was the format I was most aware and confident in using. I have seen interactive whiteboard and smart board programs being used in previous placements, and again I felt more comfortable with these. I love the idea of using popplet as a way to create a spider diagram of ideas with children. Not only does it allow the children to share their ideas, for the teacher to see what ideas are ptresent in the classroom, but it allows the children to use ICT at every stage of the storytelling process.  We were introduced to Puppet Pals, which is an app on the Ipad which was great for creating your own version of stories, or telling your own tales. This app allows you to use photographs that are then cut to create characters and backgrounds for your piece. I really enjoyed this app as it was simple to use and I liked the fact you could photograph people to include them within the story. This would allow the children to photograph themselves to play the main roles in their retelling. I did find cutting out the characters a little tricky, and moving the characters across screen can be a little fiddly. It’s very easy to move them too fast! However, both of these techniques could be of benefit to developing a child’s fine motor skills. The recording of sound was also a little tricky as you have to record it at the same time as moving the characters across the screen. We were shown how to multi-layer apps and export the completed video into another app called Imovie and this made the whole process of editing your film much easier. It was easier to record the sound as your clip was playing and it could be re-recorded if needed. You were also able to alter the speed, add sounds or music and cut bits from your clip to create a finished resource or piece of work. I really liked the feature that allowed you to make either a film or a movie trailer, but felt that with the trailers you had very specific things you had to do to complete it. You didnt have as much flexibility with creating a trailer as you had to have a set amount of clips.


Within our group we decided to retell the story of Hairy MacLary using Puppet Pals to create our original piece and then as shown in our lecture, we would multi-layer it into iMovie. As a group we used puppet pals to create our first take of  our story. We discovered as described before, it could be a little fiddly but it was extremely enjoyable! It was discussed how we would read the story, and after consideration we decided to ask my son to be the narrator. As a group we felt this offered something different, and it may appeal to children to hear another child reading. We also felt this allowed us to demonstrate to the other groups how a child could be involved in the process of telling a story using ICT.

This lecture was not as daunting as the first session had been. I felt I had  a better awareness of what we were learning about and about the technologies we were using. Having borrowed an iPad inbetween lectures to get to grips with how they worked really helped and definately helped to build my confidence. I feel I broadened my understanding of how ICt can be used in the Early Years, and how it can be linked to literacy in many different ways. I was really looking forward to sharing with the group our finished story!


Feeling Daunted by the ICT in Year 2!


Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning | Posted on January 21, 2014

Thank goodness that lecture is over was my first feeling after the first ICT class of my second year of teacher training! Everything just seemed to go way too fast for my untechnological brain to keep up with! Initially I left feeling confused, lost as to what I was supposed to have learnt and feeling totally frazzled! I don’t confess to being totally up to speed with ICT in schools or at home. In my days at school it was text books not powerpoints, blackboards not interactive whiteboards and we were lucky if we had one computer in the class that took an age to boot and load anything! Ipads and computer suites, what were those?! However, knowing this isn’t my strongest area I’ve made the concious effort to get up to speed a little bit more, even taking ICT lessons from my 9 year old! Even though I struggle with getting my head around some of the technology and terminology, I do see the value that having ICT as a teaching tool has in the Early Years and throughout education. Watching a short clip that children have made using an app on the Ipad to record their own work was brilliant, and very inspiring. Not only do those children get to use the technology for themselves, but it can be shared with parents and others as well as providing the teacher with an excellent source for assessment. This method is very interactive and engaging. It is a common theory many children especially boys, do not enjoy picking up a pen or pencil and recording their work in that way. If using an Ipad or camera to record the children’s work and learning gets them more engaged and excited by what they are doing, then I think its great to support this. However, I firmly believe that traditional methods such as writing are also critical for a childs development. Using ICT is a fantastic way to compliment the more traditional styles of teaching and introducing children to a theme or topic.



We were introduced to the idea of using ICT alongside a traditional story. For example, the teacher could read the story using the book then later reinforce this learning using maybe a video or pictures on an online source, for example Youtube if it is permitted in the school. Digital pictures could be used to instigate discussions around a new learning theme, whilst visual items that can be handled are also provided within the classroom to support the learning. Combining ICT with other teaching strategies could lead to more engagement amongst those who are maybe more distracted during learning, and it gives children the opportunity to see technology in action. It also helps the teacher tailor the learning to meet the varying learning styles that may be present in the classroom. Some children may find listening to instructions the best way for them to learn, whereas others may find they need to be more involved in the learning or need more visual instruction. ICT allows the teacher to provide for visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners all at the same time.

During the lecture we were introduced to the idea of how ICT use can be beneficial in storytelling. We were shown examples of how this can be used and were introduced to the online resource bank which contains a variety of ICT based storytelling resources created by students. This was a very valuable experience and it was really positive to see how other students had embraced the use of ICT for storytelling, and provided us with some great ideas. We looked at how we can use sounds, pictures, painting apps and programs on both computers and mobile devides such as the Ipad, and how these could be used to support children’s learning about literature.

All in all, although I found the session daunting and I did leave feeling so confused by it all, upon reflection I felt I learnt a lot. I  borrowed a friends Ipad and played around on that for a while learning how to use it, download apps etc as I felt quite unconfident with that. It really helped and I even managed to get my reluctant child to complete his homework using the Ipad to take pictures to go onto a powerpoint presentation at his suggestion! His teacher was really pleased with the effort he put in as his was the most unique piece submitted, and he was awarded house points as a result. The result for me however was feeling a bit more confident in my capabilities and understanding, and also seeing first hand how ICT can be incorporated into successful and engaging learning!

Now came the challenge to create our own ICT resource to use to tell a story in the Early Years. We had a group, we had a story, next we just needed a plan of action! Find out a bit later how the plan came together, and how our resource began to take shape!