Inspire me…catch me later

Inspire me…catch me later!

School is a very busy place students come first and staff work tirelessly to ensure that the children’s welfare is paramount and uppermost in their mind when planning activities. So how do you reach staff and give them the support and knowledge that you were employed to deliver, without adding extra burden to their day? Twilight sessions, 1:2:1 training, a coffee and catchup chat or I’ll put it in the diary for a few weeks have all been tried. I want there to be a symbiosis between me, the staff and the students. Their expertise is key as they are the ones who have my undivided attention for the majority of the day that I’m in school. Student led learning. These ‘student ambassadors’ ‘ digital genius’s’ & ‘tech team” can fill the knowledge gap through interactive bulletin boards, iTunes U courses and school blogs… I can feel an after school activity coming on! Inspiring through modelling best practice can be emulated by students on their peers and for their tutors. Or even as part of a display to inspire writing.

What have I used in the classroom today? 
Inventioneers this app I use to demonstrate to the students that gaming can be challenging. This fun innocuous looking gaming platform allows the children to use the character of windy to gather three stars and complete a puzzle on each level. Children like to play games but actually they don’t want to be faced with a task that is too hard, As I give up too easily. But ask three before me rule doesn’t apply here! I found this app to be a great way to let the children struggle a little, come up against issues and the need to change their ideas, finesse what they’re doing and be resilient. When debugging any string of code they will need to be able to continue to complete a task and solve a problem. This app allows you to do that in a fun motivating get challenging way.
Inventioneers by Filimundus AB :his app allows the children to enter a world of gaming without

Reality Strikes

Reality strikes!

Faced with a class of 32 mixed aged Y3 & Y4 group children is enough to snap anyone back into the real world! Today’s task was to set boundaries in order to establish routines to support my ongoing classroom management skill. First hurdle, names. I am reasonably proficient at recalling names but I’m a visual learner and rely heavily on context. The place the child sits in a room or whether they wear glasses for instance. It also is more effective to stop a child in its tracks by calling them by their correct name rather than relying on the perfected teacher stare…

What have the pupils and I used today?
1. Teacher Kit – among the many features the app allows you to enter students in classes and take a photo so you can literally put a face to a name. Very useful!
2. Snowflake – a bank of pre loaded  lessons to be used in conjunction with the Clevertouch interactive board. A whizz feature is being able to split the board into multiple sections without losing the interactivity. Today I had two children competing on a mental maths game simultaneously. It adds to the competitive atmosphere and allows more children to experience the activity.
3. Inventioneers – year 2 were instantly hooked on by the appealing graphics and characters in the problem solving section of the app. Making decisions and improving their attempts to achieve three stars! Manipulating the variables will set them up well for the computing curriculum.
4. Explain Everything was used to set the maths investigation task in conjunction with AirPlay onto the Clever Touch board. With the ability to replay for those who had ‘accidentally’ forgotten the task.  It also served as a model for the pupils as they will be asked to submit their work using this app soon.
5. Pic collage – I had reservations about this app due to age restrictions and inappropriate adverts but with specific safe searching options in Safari and success criteria being modelled first, the school fete’s programme was created! Using the timer to limit search time and encouraging partners to critique the design layout, check spellings and feedback on the inclusion of the limited criteria. The intuitive nature of the app meant that everyone was able to produce a quality piece of work.
A class full of proud digital citizens!