Monday, 29 October 2012

Opposites are attractive!

I'm working my way through the Open University MAST program and am currently looking at how inverse operations should be taught by thinking about them as "undoing" another operation.  This leads to a natural teaching approach which is to accompany any teaching with it's inverse or opposite.

Some topics seem to fit well.  Forces are almost always taught with a focus on push and pull.  Addition is usually taught alongside subtraction....that's when I start to get a bit stuck.  During the reaching of Literacy, maybe I should contrast vastly different genres:" How does this poster differ from a playscript?  What might you expect to find in a poem, but not in a recount?"

Then I got to thinking about my current unit on World War Two.  Maybe a study of the Nobel Peace Prize should accompany this history unit.  It would be a great Internet investigation, provide a wealth of Worldwide Geography and politics but could open up some fairly challenging topics for 8-9 year olds.  Famous characters such as Aung San Suu Kyi, Jimmy Carter and Nelson Mandela could form the backbone of research. Research could be simply structured around the who, what, where, when, why, which, how question word framework.

I think another approach would be to spend more time in thinking about how an English child's life differs now from during wartime.  Comparison often produces interesting reflections and gives a greater sense of meaning.

Opposites do seem to be quite attractive.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

At home with sick child

I was looking after my sick daughter today and we stumbled on My Story, a BBC TV programme aimed at young children.

I really liked the format, particularly how it makes the story relate to a book. We watched the farm episode and also the one about pandas, both through iplayer.  It is a great introduction to oral stories and personal history.

I've been using iplayer in class this week when learning about WWII, note taking and non fiction texts.  We we using episode two of Wartime Farm.

It's such an a amazing resource to have in the classroom and almost makes up for not being able to view YouTube through the school web filtering.  We were able to stream live and can search easily.  Visual learners really responded well and it was a great way of learning for children who had more difficulties accessing text.

The downside is that it is only available in the UK and many programmes are only available for a limited time.  However, since September, the BBC has allowed viewers to download programs to iPads and tablets so they can be viewed offline for up to 30 days.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Ipad apps for primary school

I'm slowly getting to grips with ipad2 and am looking for apps for my school in Britain.
Not having much of a budget and only just venturing into apple territory in our school, I'm going for free apps although I couldn't resist iMovie.

I'm looking particularly for maths and literacy apps for both key stage one and key stage two as well as foundation stage.  I particularly want uk pronunciation and spelling for the reading and writing apps.

When I meet other ICT coordinators, I swap app titles, but would love a way of sharing a list of apps, not just single apps.

Enter curate.  This is a relatively new search term for me.  I have used compare, define and other terms when searching the Internet but curate seems to allow me to find an individuals personal selection.  I've used diigo, but want to keep up with other options.

Here are some apps to help you curate.