E-Safety of Children Online

26 04 2014

Below is a link to a story that a peer and I created using the website Storybirds.


The story is aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 7 to inform them about E-safety and offer them suggestions on how to keep safe. Using this website was easy; however the illustrations have to be chosen from those available online already. Which can be tricky as the illustrations might not link perfectly to the story as a result. On the other hand publishing this book was very simple, quick and free to do.

Story image

Music that incorporates ICT

26 04 2014

Steam Train sounds recreated using ICT, instruments and vocal chords:

We used a mixture of our voices, instruments and an application on an iPad to create the sounds of a train leaving and pulling in to the station. The application we used is called Steam Trains and offers a variety of train clips and sounds to stimulate children. One of the features of this application is the children’s ability to control the speed of the steam train, and therefore the tempo of the sounds.

Using the Finger Drums application:

To create a clip of music using only drums we all used the Finger Drums application and layered the music. On playing back this sound it is clear that the sound we produced is not good. However the application offered the names of each drum type and symbol which could help children who are more able to develop their musical interests.

We also had a go at using the Simon Says application which requires children to listen to numerous sounds and see a light flash to represent each note. The user then has to replay the pattern music created using the coloured light buttons.

The DfE (2014) clearly indicates that children need to be given the opportunity to express themselves through music and sounds as part of the Expressive Arts and Design framework. I feel that offering children a variety of music and art applications to choose from could lead to children taking charge of their own learning and using their personal interests to learn. However, I would walk the children through how to use the applications and what each application offers for them to be able to make the choice about which application to use.


DfE (2014) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage: Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/299391/DFE-00337-2014.pdf [Accessed on 26/04/14]

Music: Instruments and Singing

26 04 2014

Use everyday products to make instruments such as the ones that have been photographed. One of the instruments uses a see-through shallow box to fill with marbles to create a sound. The use of a see through shallow box means that images can be stuck to the back of such as a marble maze. It could be beneficial to offer children a variety of contents inside of the box such as rice, or coins. Piaget’s theory is highlighted by Gray and Macblain (2012) as offering 3 stages of development, one of which is the sensory-motor stage where children need stimulus to form brain synapses.  Instruments, especially those made with a different materials offer the children the chance to develop.

Another instrument that was available to test out was the Bell Chorus bells. These bells feature a letter on each bell representing the note of that bell. I have seen these bells used in an educational context and found that they helped children to identify letter names and sounds as well as supporting them to play songs from the music sheet.

We were challenged to work in a group to produce a piece of music that built up texture and faded out textures using different rhythms and pitch combined. The video on the link below shows how our musical piece sounded.



In this session, Nicholls (2014) also discussed the benefits of songs and action songs. Nicholls (2014) used the example of a welcoming song where all of the children sung collaboratively and changed the name of the person each time to welcome all members of the class to school. Most of the songs offered by Nicholls (2014) have a similar repetitive rhythm which makes them easier to learn. In my school placement experiences I have seen teachers using songs to attract the attention of the class and to encourage whole class participation.


Gray, C. and Macblain, S. (2012) Learning Theories in Childhood. London: Sage.

Nicholls, S. (2014) PG EYFS Music: Multisensory Media for Teaching and learning. University of Northampton.

Incorporating Clay in Child Development

26 04 2014




We learnt how to create models out of clay using techniques such as cross hatching and we made thumb pots to keep the water in. Once we had made our character we attempted to produce some story-prompting photographs of the character in front of different backgrounds.  These images could then be used as story prompts to encourage creativity in children’s writing similar to those produced by The Literacy Shed (2014). Physical development is considered to be one of the three Prime Areas in the DfE’s (2014) EYFS Statutory Framework. The children would be developing their fine motor skills through the physical handling and manipulating of the clay. The model can then be used to promote communication and language through discussions about the persona of the character.





clay 2




Clay 5



Clay 6 snow scene



Clay 3





















DfE (2014) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage: Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/299391/DFE-00337-2014.pdf [Accessed on 26/04/14]

The Literacy Shed (2014) http://www.literacyshed.com/about.html [Accessed on 26/04/14]

ICT: Application

26 04 2014

Pinterest is a useful way of viewing other people’s ideas and contribution in the education section. This application offers the user a chance to compile and collect images that are or interest to them. I have created my own Pinterest account which features a pin board called Educating_Lynne to collate all of the useful education resources that I find.  The DfE (2011) state that continuous professional development is a requirement of teachers in the Teachers’ Standard document. I find that using apps such as Pinterest and Twitter help support my knowledge and understand of education as well as keeping me up to date with the latest news and techniques.

Below is a link to my Pinterest page and I would encourage you to view my account on Twitter @LynneMarieTea as I follow education based accounts to keep myself informed.



It was suggested by Helen Caldwell (2014) that applications can be used to make learning visible, make learning flexible and personal, encourage talking and collaboration as well as offering the children a chance to make a flexible use of media. I experienced using the app called Aurasma which is described by Aurasma (2014) as the world’s leading augmented reality platform. A peer used this application in a treasure hunt for year 1 which allowed me to see the benefits of using such an application in an education context. The children thoroughly enjoyed revealing clues to find the treasure using the application but I am aware my peer found using this application time consuming. From a child’s perspective using the application is fairly easy as they have to hold the camera over objects to see if the object will reveal a clue but when I attempted to use the application in this way I found it to be quite challenging as the camera has to be held over the object at a certain angle for it to work. The camera also needs to be held still for around 10 seconds which can be difficult for younger children. When trying to input the object that would be the icon that the children have to find, I found the usability to be poor. Shaw Wood Primary School (2013) offer praise and ideas of how to use the application with children of an older age.


Aurasma (2014) What it is http://www.aurasma.com/what-is-it [Accessed on 26/04/14]

Caldwell, H. (2014) Lecture: The uses of applications in education. University of Northampton.

DfE (2011) Teachers’ Standards: Guidance for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/301107/Teachers__Standards.pdf [Accessed on 26/04/14]

Shaw Wood Primary School (2013) Augmented Reality in Education: Shaw Wood Primary School uses Aurasma http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qRcIek4NY0 [Accessed on 26/04/14]

Teaching Methods for Expressive Arts and design in the EYFS

25 04 2014

Finding letter shapes in the objects around us to spell out a word relating to art, we chose the word BOLD. Phonics Letters and sounds (2007) suggests that the learning of phonics can be enhanced by the power of play. This activity could be applied to the Early Years Foundation Stage by asking them to hunt for letters and use an iPad or camera to take photographs of what they find and then seeing if they can make words from the print out of the photos.







In a lecture, my peers and I were able to experience drawing while listening to music. The EYFS (2014) highlights in the Early Learning Goals (ELG) section that children should be allowed to express themselves through singsong, music and art. These areas are linked through the scheme offered by Write Dance (2014) which allows children to develop the physical skills needed for writing by allowing them to artistically expressive themselves to music. Below is a link to a video that demonstrates Write Dance in action:

Write Dance



EYFS (2014) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/299391/DFE-00337-2014.pdf [Accessed on 25/04/14]

Phonics Letters and sounds (2007) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letters-and-sounds [Accessed on 25/04/14]

Write Dance (2014) http://writedancetraining.com/ [Accessed on 26/04/14]

Expressive Arts and Design in the Early Years Foundation Stage

25 04 2014
Exploring Lines

Exploring Lines

A groups of peers and I created the above piece of artwork as an exploration of lines. Franz Marc offers a short video clip to demonstrate different types of lines to children in the early years on this website:


The website also offers children the opportunity to watch some artists using lines to create art. Teaching expressive art and design in the early years through a focus such as lines can open up the opportunity for children to experience how something simple can be manipulated, moulded and expressed in different ways. We we’re also encouraged in this session to think about introducing different artist’s, who may not necessarily be well known, to help children learn about the wide scope of art.

Stephen Wiltshire MBE is an artistic with an incredible talent for drawing landscapes in great detail after only seeing it for a few minutes. This artist was also diagnosed with autism at the age of 3 and has used art as a means of communication. Parents could be asked to investigate the artist Stephen Wiltshire (2014) with their child as homework and to choose a picture they like. This artist could link to a topic about buildings and different types of houses. This could include a learning walk to take photographs of different houses. I would then create a collage of the houses we’ve seen and invite children to create their own houses through a mixture of mediums such as cardboard boxes, blocks, paint and pencils. Traberg (2014) offers a collection of house collages layered in front of a sky background. This artist’s design could be brought into the EYFS environment by have cuttings from magazines and images of different buildings for children to stick on to a sky they had painted.

Traberg, C. (2014) Collages http://carinatraberg.blogspot.co.uk/ [Accessed on 25/04/14]

Wiltshire, S. (2014) Gallery http://www.stephenwiltshire.co.uk/gallery.aspx [Accessed on 25/04/14]

Plugged and Unplugged Programming

30 12 2013

To teach Key Stage 1 how to programme we created two activities, one plugged (using ICT) and one unplugged (away from the ICT). The first plugged part of the lesson would challenge the pupils to programme a Bee-Bot to travel a circuit through tunnels.









As an extension plugged activity the pupils could use the ipads to access the Bee-Bot app and play the directional game which can be found here:


There is also a game to challenge those more able which I found online here:


This web link offers three different games that could be played using the Bee-Bot and the Bee-Bot Treasure Island Map.













The unplugged part of the lesson could be introduced into a PE lesson or as an outdoor activity. The pupils work in pairs and take it in turns to direct each other around the playground or the obstacle courses in PE.

The lesson would be cross curricula as it covers directional language, verbal communication, programming, physical activity and could be integrated with Geography due to the use of maps/directions. ICT is a versatile subject and can easily be incorporated into lessons, therefore as a teacher I will look for opportunities to do this.

Below is a link to a short video that a peer and myself created whilst programming the Beebot to go through tunnels.



Forest School

16 12 2013

19th September 2013

The forest school was an opportunity for us to learn about teaching in the outdoors environment. The forest school enabled us to experience first-hand how a simple change in the environment can create new learning opportunities. As early years practitioners this is an important part of our teaching as some children do not get the opportunity to go explore new environments.

We were able to learn about minimising risk and setting clear boundaries to keep children safe while they learn. We can do this by checking the area is safe prior to the visit and setting up colourful tape to show the children where they are allowed to go. In my professional practice I would ensure there were as many adults as possible working with groups of children to keep them safe and to enhance their learning.

We discussed that although mushrooms are poisonous, it is beneficial for children to see them growing in their natural environment so as teachers we should warn children not to touch them but allow the children to discover and look at them. Also anything that is sharp and could possibly hurt children should be removed prior to the visit. It’s also important to do the risk measurement visit close to the visit date because the environment may change during that time.

We used Ipad’s to photograph a character we’d created out of sticks to form a short story. This demonstrated how easy it is to include cross-curricula activities in outdoor education. However, it was raining quite heavily which highlighted the risk of taking ICT outdoors as it could be easily damaged. Personally I would place the group leader in charge of one piece of ICT equipment so that if it does start raining the leader could collect the equipment and protect it by putting it away. I created the story using the photographs on PhotoPeach:


Overall the forest school really helped me to see the benefits of outdoor learning as we were able to physically move around, used our imagination and even created a story! I really enjoyed seeing some of the art that people had made from natural objects. We created some stick glasses based on the inspiration from those pieces of art. A wide variety of the national curriculum and EYFS areas were covered in that one session so I will definitely make good use of outdoor learning in my professional practice.


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19 09 2013

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