Brushing up on my HTML!

With coding being at the forefront of the Computing National curriculum I decided to cast myself back to my ICT A Level where we learnt a smattering of html. I’m pretty pleased with the result, it’s basic but also simple enough skills to transfer to school, please take a look:

bannerhttp://worldofdrseuss.uphero.com/DrSeuss.html

I’m going to put it forward to the head that perhaps I could deliver a coding club at school to some of the older year groups where they can design their own website on whatever subject interests them. Then with some basic html they can make their own website. I’ll keep you posted anyhow!

Think  I may make a few more of  my own to make sure I’m up to scratch myself 🙂

HTML is actually pretty simple to do you can use notebook on your computer or download free software notebook++.  I started on notebook then downloaded the free software which is intuitive and makes it easier to spot the mistakes in your coding.

A great place to start if you fancy a crack at it yourself is http://coding4kids.co.uk/tutorials/

I used these videos myself for things that  I needed a little reminding of how to do. It’s straight forward and simple to follow and  I would definitely recommend it 🙂

 

 

 

All the better to see you with my dear…

So today I decided to have a go at making a story map on Google maps. As I am doing Little Red Riding Hood at the start of next year that’s the story I based this map on. I got the idea from this TESConnect resource. I’m pretty pleased with the result, have a look and see what you think!

Under the sea.

Our topic this term is under the sea and after a pretty boring role play area, and failed attempts at fantasy stories last term, I decided that another wow role play area was needed to replicate the fab fairy tale stories we got after Christmas…

 

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So far along the writing process we have looked at a few different sea creatures and read a few under the sea stories. We’ve used alliteration to describe the sea creatures and next    I’m going to lead a few drama sessions in the role play area acting out problems and solutions 🙂 I’m just waiting for the child’s wetsuit I bought off ebay to arrive!

Back to the roleplay area: I was adamant I wanted some fabric to create a definite “under” the sea feel and found this beautiful bargain at the market for just a pound a metre. The fish are fish the children created using a collage technique during our Bread and Fishes miracle lesson! My TAs created the tissue paper backdrop and the water themed paper was from the YPO catalogue that I got at the start of the year for our pirates topic.

The best part is the kids using my old yellow with pink fishes sarong and wearing it as a mermaid/merman tail!

I’ve also put a kids camera and recording microphone in and hopefully we’ll get some good photos and oral story telling out of it prior to getting down to writing.

Hooray!

Despite my anxieties about my assessments being accurate http://wp.me/p1M2a7-4Q half of my class were Sandwell’d today (Maths test) and it turns out my assessment is pretty much bob on! Happy days 🙂 so I can safely say there is some pretty whizzy maths going on in my class (the head’s words!).  

All I need now is the writing moderation session with my NQT tutor to make sure I’m on track with those and maybe that little voice in my head will leave me alone and trust me.

Very proud of my bunch of littlies- we have worked so hard this year; it’s a relief to see that it has paid off 😀

So Jesus had a sweet tooth?

This one was completely my fault as I had asked my more able writers to imagine what happened after Jesus healed Bartemeaus and Bartemeaus joined Jesus and his crowd. I just really didn’t expect to be reading this:

 

Jesus had a sweet tooth

 Guess I need to emphasise that it needed to be realistic and that when Jesus was alive one just didn’t pop down the shop for some sweets! R.E strikes again and gives me fits of giggles! Hope you find it as funny as I did 🙂

 

 

Not quite Poundland Pedagogy but close enough!

Yesterday I decided to go for a little shopping trip and ended up strolling into one of my favourite places to browse- Home Bargains.

As a teacher I can’t help but spend my money on things for my class, I just see something and my someone inside my head screams ‘YOU NEED THIS NOW!’- and because I’m not buying clothes or shoes for myself I justify it. (I shouldn’t really- I should in fact be saving for a wedding but It’s really hard to ignore someone screaming in your head you know…).

Anyway, back to Home Bargains, I saw the best thing ever a big fluffy toy flower! As a year 1 teacher I needed this trust me. Initially I thought it would be great to go in our ‘garden centre’ but most things I buy to put in the role play area end up getting broken and this was just to lovely to be put in the dangerous hands of 5 year old monsters :p. However my second idea was far better:

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How cute is that?  So now we have a Science working wall! and as Science Co-ordinator I think i’ll keep a science working wall all year round. As we have continuous provision in the class the children have already interacted and used the display to further reinforce their new knowledge of plants! I even caught some drawing and labelling their own in the creative area today. Hoorah!

‘I love reading to you Miss…’

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As a year 6 lad once said to me ‘I love reading to you Miss you make it exciting!’. This boy hated reading, and we had a struggle to get him read at home. However when he read to me the fact that I interacted with his reading made the experience so much more enjoyable for him.

I didn’t just sit and listen and I didn’t just blandly ask questions about his reading. I gasped at the exciting bits, I made oos and ahhs and the scary bits and excitedly asked him questions about what he thought would happen next.

I understand that this kind of approach isn’t for every teacher but that’s the kind of teacher I am and it certainly got this boy engaged with reading. And you’ve guessed it, he started reading at home and coming into school the next day excited to tell me what had happened. Job done. It’s still one of the best compliments I’ve ever received and probably ever will.

Make your science lessons pop (If you’ll pardon the pun)

So as I may be science co-ordinator next year it got me to musing on the fantastic science program we had during my PGCE at The University of Manchester. There were so many fantastic ways to make science exciting, engaging and memorable so I’ve decided to reminisce and share the most active of the many.

Where to start…

ELECTRICITY

I remember this one because it was active, enjoyable and the kids really understood the tricky concept of current. On the floor marked out was a single circuit. One child was the cell and another was a bulb. All the other children served as the electrical current. The battery gave each child a little push each time they went around the circuit and each time they ‘went through’ the battery the bulb jumped. Great fun!

MATERIALS

The kids really liked the movement involved in this one. When looking at solids, liquids and gases the children act as particles- obviously for solids the children are all locking arms and ‘vibrating’ quickly, for liquids they are spread out slightly and for gasses spread far apart. This is great for showing solids melting too as you can speed up the vibrating or slow it down by the use of a tambourine!

HUMAN BIOLOGY

Balloons are a necessity when teaching science! Here’s just one of the reasons why:

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You need someone to be the heart,  someone for the lungs, someone to be the brain and someone to be the rest of the body.  The rest of the children are blood cells. The blood (chn) move on a heart beat  a beat of a drum). When chn reach the lungs they are given a balloon (oxygen), they go up to the brain then make their way to the rest of the body. The chn burst the balloon to show the oxygen being used up then make their way around the circuit to pick up more oxygen. Sounds complicated but works brilliantly!

BREATHING

This one I came up with on a spur of a moment question from one of the children in my class when  I was telling them it was important to sit up straight for singing.

Me: Make sure you’ve got nice straight backs to get lots of air in your lungs

Child: Miss what’s a lung?

Me:…..well imagine you’ve got two balloons under your ribs (rubs ribs after realising eash if they don’t know what a lung is!) Every one take a deep breath in… your balloons in your chest have blown up now and they are nice and full and big. Now breath out…now your balloons have got all small again and have no air in them.

I then told the children to scrunch over and try to breath in-

Children: ‘Ah miss that’s hard!’

Now they all have lovely straight singing backs 😉

There were so many more but these are just a few of the more get up and get involved ones. If I’m teaching you to suck eggs then  I apologise but if not I hope they are of some use to you!

Spoon feeding? Not in my classroom!: A comment on the article’ Five-year-olds damaged by rise of ‘spoon-fed’ teaching’

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I was reading this article this morning, anyone to have peeked through my window would have been amused by the variable nods and furious shaking that nearly caused my head to shake right off and role out the door.

The 5 years olds in my class are certainly not being ‘spoon fed’! what more they most definitely aren’t forced to sit at desks ‘learning’ for the majority of the day. And what a surprise, I have an objective lead classroom which apparently makes it difficult for the children to learn through play and free choice. The thought that that is going on in enough classrooms to warrant a guardian article about it makes me sick.

THESE CHILDREN ARE 5! Many are still developing the skills required to work never mind sit at a desk all day. Yes there are times for sitting at desks and working, even for the little ones.

In fact each of my lessons begins with a short teacher input- (usually in the form of a game or cartoon to watch by the way)  followed by compulsory guided group work with two groups that we rotate. The rest of the children in the class get to do what we call ‘choosing’. There are many different areas in the classroom that the children can choose from; some will have activities linked to the learning objective, some won’t- I’m not one for tenuous links after all.

And yes you will get the children who will always choose the writing area to work independently, you have those who will run for the maths ‘playstation’ to choose a maths game to play.  You even have those who will without fail go to the sand, roleplay, soft play or construction. But more often that not they are choosing to do an activity that reinforces the learning objective and guess what- They are having FUN and PLAYING.

Yes this may take up a lot of my free time, ensuring there are fun games and activities for the children to choose from that match the learning objective. But that’s my job, I went into teaching knowing full well that it wasn’t going to be a standard 9-6 working day. Yes I spend a lot of time preparing and planning but by being organised I still manage to have a healthy social life.

And yes we all hate Michael Gove and some of his ridiculous educational reforms- however from reading the draft of the primary curriculum for year 1, there aren’t many issues I have with it (apart from the mention of multiplication and division- I certainly won’t be using that terminology and some of the famous figures he deems suitable for 5 year olds).  I certainly won’t need to ‘spoon feed’ the pupils in my class to meet those objectives and yes, we will still be learning through play. So if an NQT can do it, there are NO excuses!