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Showing posts from October, 2011

Space & Aliens

After a conversation on Twitter with a few people (specifically Nicki Allman & Dawn Hallybone) I had some help in brainstorming things I could teach over the next few weeks.

I should mention at this point, that I've not taught so far this academic year, due to breaking my leg just before the end of the summer holidays, so I still need to get to know the class. Nicki very generously sent me some fabulous plans for work based around Dr Who (the BBC Schools links are here). I'm definitely going to do a few weeks based on that, but I felt I needed a buffer, or a 'getting to know each other' week - but one that would allow a good deal of learning to take place.

I've created a topic plan for a week's worth of lessons (not including Maths, which I keep as stand-alone lessons) based around the book The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers
Please bear in mind that there are gaps & not a lot of detail, but if you can pinch an idea or two, then please feel free to. You…

100 Word Challenge week 16

Both images courtesy of Julia Skinner's blog http://jfb57.wordpress.com

This week's 100WCGU has to use the following picture prompt from the view of vegetarians. I couldn't decide what to do, so if you'll forgive me, I've attempted it twice. Good luck to me...

Attempt Number 1: Vegetarian:(waving leaflet) "Do you know that McDonalds bid against Pedigree Chum for their meat consignments?" Me: "Actually yes, I did." Vegetarian: "And that there's more chicken in the packaging than in the nuggets." Me: "I wouldn't be surprised." Vegetarian: "You should try mung bean burgers. They're scrummy." Me: "Why? I like the other sort - with meat." Vegetarian: "That's disgusting. Do you know how many cows died to provide meat for your burgers last year?" Me: "No, but..." Vegetarian: "..7 million- and that's just the UK! Do you want to sign my petition?" Me: "No, I want a…

ICT Self Assessment booklet

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across ICT Teaching & Learning Framework 2011, which was written by Matt Lovegrove and included contributions from Steve Greenfield, David Sheppard & Claire Waite.

Here is the Framework which can be found on his blog.

The beauty of this work was that it was licensed for sharing, remixing and adapting. This is exactly the type of thing we should all be doing in my opinion and I must sincerely thank those who wrote it for saving me a tremendous amount of time by not having to write my own.

What I did do, however, was to create a self-assessment booklet that can be used in conjunction with the framework.

I hate assessment, but this book allows the children to assess their learning at the end of the week. I've factored in time to my timetable to allow reflection. This, in turn, feeds into my planning & because it's done on a weekly basis, it's easy to keep on top of and lasts about 20 mins.

Here's an example copy of what I've don…

100 word challenge

Little puffs of brown meander their way to the hardening ground. The vibrant colours of endless summer have abandoned the world. Muted, the autumn leaves lead us inexorably towards the bleakness of winter. Our world is numbing. Fingers creep inside pockets. Coat buttons are done up. Smiles become grimaces.

Spelling Clouds

I hated learning spellings as a child. My mother would despair of me, because I would learn 7 of the pre-requisite 10 weekly spellings, as I figured out that my teacher would accept 7/10.

I hated the boredom associated with lists. Some people thrive on lists (my wife is the casing point) but I am more visual.

It was a tweet from @halfpintgill that sparked my interest.



I thought that was a fabulous idea - and one that I could turn into an ongoing record for the children.
At my school, we use Learning Logs for our homework, as a lot of schools do. I encourage the children to complete the work in a lot of different ways, online, through models, practically and so on.
This is an 'add on' to their homework where we will create a word cloud of the half termly spellings, where each week they gain another part of the puzzle. The idea is they can see their knowledge building 10 words at a time and can identify the amount of work that can be built upon gradually. 
All I ask is that they l…

Independent Learning

This evening on #ukedchat, the discussion was about 'independent learning' or 'IL' and it's importance in the curriculum.

In my opinion IL is an umbrella title, one so multi-faceted that we probably need to invest a lot of time determining the rationale behind it.

One point that came across was from Miles Berry that Independent Learning is something innate, present from birth as a survival mechanism so teaching it is contradictory. This is something that I agree with and yet we are in a system that has institutionalised our lives to the point where children are taught out of this. They become so reliant on being told what, when and how to do things, that they forget what they are genetically programmed to do.

And there's my mistake. I'm talking about these children in the third person. The point is that we have all fallen into the habit of providing knowledge as teachers. There is no blame associated with this, we are as caught up in the status quo as they …