Day 35 – Instant Results?

Day 35 – Instant results?

It can be frustrating when as a teacher, you don’t get to see instant results from the children.  It is often the case that progress is recognise by subsequent teachers. But in this world of instant gratification and access to knowledge via the internet, teaching or should I say results from teaching, is under the spotlight.

It is tempting to provide the class with activities that will satisfy this need for instant success. I like to think by utilising Showbie, the children get the feedback that encourages and guides them to improve which in turn motivates them. Parallel to this is the need to allow the children to experience failure and for them to build up their resilience when working through tasks. Providing tasks that require them to focus and try to master delicate or intricate sub-skills. Today, was one of those days…

Year 5 & 6 are embarking on a course of study all about William Morris, the Victorian designer and artist. The end result of this topic is to produce a Morris inspired design of their own, but with a modern twist but a clear notion of the essence of Morris. Together, their class teacher an I have planned work which will incorporate the skills of digital design required by the computing curriculum.

So what have I used in class today?

1) Popplet – a simple mind mapping app which allows the user to include visual elements as well as written words and links. The mind map based on the ubiquitous and persuasive Google search. Interesting the date of birth of the eminent designer was agreed however the date of death was less clear from the evidence gathered. There lies a lesson in itself! My aim was to add to the Popplet as ‘facts’ were discovered and as the project developed.

2) Keynote the powerful Apple presentation app is continuously reinventing itself in my classroom as it is so versatile and allows the creativity of the students to be fulfilled to the highest levels. Today, the students were asked to use the Instant alpha function to edit William Morris designs and isolate individual motifs as a basis for their own modern day versions. Although the Mac version allows more controllability the iPad was remarkable effective in picking out the individual leaves and flowers. One the design had been reduced and isolated the class were free to use the flip and rotate options to create a tile of repeating pattern. The following designs are just a few of the students first efforts…I have high hopes for the final designs if this is what can be achieved in the pre-task.

3) Flashcards – Homophones and Homographs are tricky to get straight in your head, according to the year 5’s! Again, it was important that the class felt they had a rapid grasp of the concept. I wanted to make an instant impact on their understanding. So the The task was placed on Showbie, with scaffolded resources and then the class  set off with a dictionary to find the definitions…


…the great thing about this task was the progress in the class and level of understanding tangibly increased when the children began to play the match-it games and took on their peers with the competitive duelling game. An excellent resource and one that got the thumbs up from the whole class. That’s what I call instant results! Perhaps my teaching did strike the balance between providing tasks to grapple with and challenge my learners and the instant gratification that keeps them motivated and wanting more!

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