Evaluating and Sharing our Story!

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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!

Lights, Camera, Action!

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Posted by Sarah | Posted in Children's Learning, Early Years | Posted on March 17, 2013

We often talk as teachers about a hook into the lesson for the children. That ‘wow’ moment that captures their imagination and fires their interest in a topic. A video is a great way to bring a subject to life for children and a great way to grab the attention of the children at the beginning of the lesson.

There are many websites with videos that can be used to educate children about a theme or topic. Probably the most well known video streaming site is YouTube, however due to the high security settings in  many schools teachers are not always able to access this resource. The BBC have some fantastic resources available on their various websites for example the Bytesize learning sites. These cover a huge variety of subjects and learning for all ages.

But, why not create a video yourself to create that ‘wow’ moment? Why not join with other teaching staff to create a short clip to introduce a theme to your children, to tell a story or bring a subject to life.  This can be fun for both the teaching staff and the children and can be a great way to assist the learning of EAL children or children who have a preference for visual learning. We recently created a short video as a hook into a presentation and received a good response from our audience as we had immediately caught the audiences attention. This demonstrated to me how a similar principle could be used with children.

Making a video with the children in the class can also be a great learning tool, as well as a way of creating a record of assessment. Children could retell a story, record themselves during an activity and have a go at creating a video around their theme of learning. It could be a fun way of the children demonstrating to their peers their ideas or what they have learnt. Videos do not have to be really technical or well edited for the children to enjoy them especially if they have produced them themselves. Many children may not have had the opportunity to use a video camera and may really enjoy using this form of ICT. With careful guidance of the teaching staff children can become film makers and could produce a cinema style session for parents to come into school to see what heir children have been learning.

There are many ways in which videos either on websites or that the teaching staff and children produce themselves can be used to bring ICT learning into the classroom to support children’s learning.