Archive for January, 2014

Digital Leaders Display

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Digital Leaders Display

Having set up a DL wiki page and a DL newsletter, I thought it was time to start a more visual presence of our DLs at our school. It has started with this little noticeboard in my classroom. In an effort just to get something up, I asked a few of my pupils to answer four key questions (see photo) and write or illustrate their answers on an apple template. Hopefully as time goes on we will keep updating our board with future competitions, details of what our DLs have been up to, and perhaps even photos of who our DLs are, so pupils can easily identify who to go to for help with computing.

Advertisements

Using Scratch to teach Y6 coding

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Using Scratch to teach Y6 coding

I had a fantastic lesson today teaching Year 6, and felt inspired to share it with you. With the new computing curriculum looming on the horizon, I have been keen to integrate programming and coding into the ICT plans across the school starting this term.
The past three weeks since we returned after the Christmas break (which now seems like a distant memory) I have been showing the pupils all about scripting, sprites, and using the BRILLIANT printable Scratch code cards (free on the Scratch website) to develop their knowledge and skills.
The exciting part is that today, I felt the pupils were ready to take the next step- begin designing their own game! I created a simple planning sheet for each pupil to fill in, thinking about game setting, plot and audience, and we had a great discussion about the different models their games could follow. I can’t wait for our next lesson to get started on some scripts! If you have used Scratch and have any great ideas to share, or have any questions for me, please get in touch!

My Digital Leaders are off the ground!

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

My Digital Leaders are off the ground!

So you may have read my previous blog post (months ago) about Digital Leaders (DLs). You may already have them in your school. But the exciting news for me was that after a hard pitch to the management where I work (early December) my scheme was approved, and I was allowed to interview candidates to be DLs! It was a gruelling process sifting through the application forms, and then interviewing pupils using a short iPad task, but we managed to select four candidates per class for each class in Key Stage 2- 22 Digital leaders in total. We plan to meet once a fortnight for 30 minutes, and have our own DL wiki page, are starting a DL Newsletter (for KS2 pupils/parents)- and I even started a competition, open to all pupils at the school, to design our brand new DL logo! (see the photo for a look at our poster which is up all over the school). I have had about 20 entries so far, some sketched on paper, some produced on computer- and will be judging the winner on Wednesday! I look forward to showing you the winning design- is it sad I am already dreaming about getting my own mug printed up?… Why not try this at your school 🙂 For more info or ideas about how Digital Leaders can help improve and enhance ICT practice at your school, please message me!

QR Codes in the Classroom!!!

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

QR Codes in the Classroom!!!

Despite all of the incredible things I saw, heard about, and played with at BETT 2014, the highlight had to be the TeachPrimary stand (publishers also of TeachNursery and TeachSecondary Magazines) handing out issues to hundered of people of their latest TeachPrimary magazine- containing my third and latest article!! In this article (see photo) entitled ‘Hidden Histories’ I detail a lesson which brings QR Codes (those little black and white squares you have probably seen on packaging and newspaper pages) into the classroom, bridging an exciting divide between our virtual world and our real one. If you are interested in how to use QR Codes in your class, message me for further information!

Lego WeDo

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Lego WeDo

To all those teachers now implementing the new computing curriculum in schools- which in a nutshell means teaching pupils how to programme and control their own software and devices rather than simply learning how to use them- I am very excited to have had a delivery of Lego WeDo Crocodiles turn up at my school! (Having just googled ‘what is a group of crocodiles called?’- is it a ‘snap’? a ‘crunch’? I can reveal the correct term is a ‘float of crocodiles’!) Although still in the boxes, after having a play with one at BETT 2014, I am raring to introduce these to Key Stage 2, and have already starting reviwing the planning to see where I can squeeze them in! Will let you know how it goes!

BETT 2014

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

BETT 2014

BETT 2014- as inspiring, fascinating- and some of it as utterly mindboggling- as ever! To any teachers or educators who went along, I hope you enjoyed the BETT Exhibition, ExCel, as much as I did. From activities to support the core curriculum, to coding, programming and Augmented Reality Learning, I had a fasntastic day and even sat in on a lecture by the legendary Johnny Ball, 75, all about teaching mathematics! I have certainly come away with many ideas to share with the staff and pupils at my school. If you haven’t been to BETT before, I would strongly advise you attend next year- held in January at the ExCel, London, and entry is free!