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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Please help my class!

Please take a moment to answer these quick questions, feel free to share with your friends, students or colleagues -


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Boosting writing using the iPad

Over the past term, I have been working with a group of Year 5 children, looking to boost their writing using the iPads. All the children were slightly below where they need to be in terms of their progress with writing, so it has been my job to try and improve this using the iPads. It has been tricky as I have only been able to work with the group once a week and even then, whenever a teacher has been ill or on a course, I have had to cover so missed the session. However in the short sequence of lessons we have had we have seen some incredible writing inspired by the use of iPads.

I have been using a lot of ideas from Inspired Mind's fantastic book - Developing Writing through Comics and decided to use a comic app as the inspiration for the writing project. The app 'Shifter,' is an interactive graphic novel with some incredible artwork, sound effects and an augmented reality partner app. The only problem with the app is that it has a 12+ rating on the app store as further into the story their is some choice language that isn't appropriate for use in schools. It is a real shame really as the potential to this app is unbelievable and the way the children responded to it was impressive. We just used the opening scene as the stimulus. The series of activities led to children creating their own digital stories that showcased their writing and motivating them knowing their writing was going to be transformed on the iPad and proudly showcased on our school blog!

The video explains all the activities carried out on the iPad that aided the writing process before creating our digital stories using a range of other creative skills to enhance and bring the writing to life -



When the writing was presented to the class teacher, it was compared to other assessed writing and we found all the children made significant progress. I know this was an isolated project and cannot undeniably show the direct impact iPads have had on their writing. But our next project will be non fiction, so I am hoping to see a continued progression.

If you are interested in how to best use mobile technology to really enhance children's learning, Mr P can provide bespoke training for your school - details here. 

Real Life Learning on the iPad - Examples from Class

Last week, I blogged about a few apps I have discovered that challenge the children to apply their understanding and knowledge in real life situations. YOU CAN READ THE BLOG POST BY CLICKING HERE.

Today I tried a couple of them with our Year 3 children who relished every minute using these apps!

In Numeracy, we used Motion Math: Pizza! This app is brilliant! The children were instantly hooked! There are so many aspects of this game that get children thinking carefully. They start with a budget of £50 have to buy ingredients, design a pizza and then decide how much it should be sold for in comparison how much it cost to make. They then have to deal with customers who buy different amounts of pizzas. They have to answer quickly before the customer loses their patience and leaves. The children may run out of ingredients, have customers who feel the pizza is overpriced. After each day the children are shown what profit they have made and can then buy more ingredients and make more pizzas. As the game progresses other shops open to buy ingredients so children need to compare prices to find the best deals for their stock.


It was one of the best numeracy lessons we have had. The children realised the importance of knowing their times tables, seeing where it would be used in real life. They worked fantastically well together to try and build the biggest profit they were having to solve problems and think quickly. I will be on the hunt for other games similar to this, and for £2.49 it is definitely worth every penny.
The learning wouldn't need to stop at the app, just yesterday I came across this wonderful blog post from @Ideas_Factory - CLICK HERE, which would make great connections to Literacy.

We then moved on to using Keyplan 3D. This fantastic app allows children to build their own house and then decorate the interior by adding a wide range of furniture. The children worked in pairs to create their own house. They worked brilliantly well, discussing ideas and collaboratively designing a house with bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, kitchen, garden and other special rooms. 

Once the children had finished their designs, we looked on rightmove.com for examples of property descriptions. The children used the iVisualiser app to highlight effective vocabulary, here is an example - 


The children then wrote their own descriptions about their properties. They then narrated their writing over pictures of their houses in iMovie to create impressive videos of their creations. Here are some of their examples - 


One group experimented with a couple of other apps including Tellagami Edu, Doink Greenscreen, iMovie and the record feature in Airserver - 


All in all a great day in Year 3 today! And already we have had feedback from the professionals - 




This was an email we received from another estate agent -
Hi Lee,
It looks like a great program you have here. The way the houses were presented are the same as we use online everyday for floor plans and virtual tours. 
The descriptions on the first and fourth properties were great. They really highlighted the unique selling points of their properties, which is a vital asset in the sales process. 

I think if any of the properties were on the open market then number 4 would sell the quickest. The rooms in the property flowed well, clear USP's and bungalows tend to sell well. It is a property that would tick a lot of boxes for potential buyers. 
The sale of a property comes down to three key points they are the location, price and property itself. All of these properties have unique aspects, non are the same and if they were to come onto the market they would all be priced at different levels. The third property for example was the largest and most grand therefore would probably achieve a higher figure than the others but the area could affect that.
Thanks,
Ed Wright
Senior Sales Negotiator
Sell Simple Estate Agency

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The 12 iPad lessons of Christmas in action!

My eBook - The 12 iPad lessons of Christmas is available on the iBook store NOW for just 99p! On the first day of release it was the 3rd best selling eBook in the UK! Thank you to everyone who has downloaded a copy! If you haven't yet got one, be sure to give it a download as it will provide you with some fantastic and inspiring ideas in the lead up to Christmas! If you cannot download the eBook from iBooks, you can buy a PDF copy here.

Just to give you a flavour of some of the lesson ideas, here are a couple of finished examples children have created using lessons from the eBook -


Interactive Advent Calendar


Descriptive Winter Scene Pictures

Class 4a Winter Scene



Thank you to @primaryideas for sharing the Emoji Christmas songs his class made -



Some more interactive advent calendars -
From @lynne_1978-



@missvilderhttp://missvidlerict.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/christmas-advent-calendars/

@TinaWatsonTeach and her class -




If you use any of the lessons from the eBook, please share a link and I will add it to this blog post!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Whole School Training - Feedback

Most of the training I provide is in the form of a whole school INSET for a day. This involves all the teachers and TAs having hands on practical training using technology to raise standards across the curriculum. The difference with whole school INSET and a conference is that you get a complete spread of confidence levels in teachers towards using technology. With my conferences usually attendees are ICT co-ordinators or teachers already confident in using technology. Sometimes with whole school INSET days some teachers do not believe technology can transform and improve learning beforehand so it is interesting to hear their evaluation after the training day. 

I am often asked whether TAs should take part in the training and the answer is always YES! They are incredibly important in the support of children's learning and building their confidence is just as important as the teacher.

Last Friday, I ran a whole school training day at Sandford Hill School in Stoke. The assistant head explained that they have a whole range of teachers at differing levels of confidence using technology in the classroom. The day went brilliantly well and I was fortunate enough to be included in the lovely Christmas dinner they had at lunch!

I received some lovely feedback from all the staff, which was fantastic and greatly appreciated. It was brilliant to see how teachers with different confidence levels all got a lot from the training -

"A very inspiring day! Not only for ideas to use in the classroom using the iPads but also for motivating reluctant writers. I really enjoyed the training day and will be planning to use many of the apps shared. My favourites were Slow Writing, Socrative and Explain Everything! I plan to use the dual maths app as a fun mental maths activity during registration." 
"One of the best INSET training days I've attended! Really good to hear such an inspirational teacher. I really liked his ideas to motivate children to write... The use of the emoji characters πŸ‘ to help tell a story, slow write and the use of blogs to give writing a purpose and an audience. Just planning a maths lesson for next week using fruit ninja to generate some data!" 
"Although we all attended the training thinking about the use iPads in the classroom ultimately the training reaffirmed the importance of quality first teaching. Lee delivers purposeful, engaging lessons that impact positively on outcomes for pupils - especially in writing. All children deserve inspirational teachers like Lee.
I have a REAL LOVE for how he links his teaching to the interests of the children. No wonder his pupils get so WRAPPED UP in their learning. I guess some staff might worry that Lee's approach to teaching might be a little DANGEROUS as the children take part in lots of speaking and listening / drama activities that involve THINKING OUT LOUD. However he demonstrated, throughout the day, that it is a risk worth taking as children are able to write more than 6 WORDS and don't end up with a BLANK SPACE in their English book!"
 
"Really enjoyed today it was lovely listening to someone with so much passion about what they do. So thanks for some great ideas. πŸ˜€" 
"A brilliant training day. It was lovely to listen to someone talking so passionately about what they do. Thanks for some fantastic new ideas to use in the classroom. It just confirmed that learning can be Fun!" 
"A fantastic training day. Lee was inspirational!! It was great to have ideas that are proven to work in the classroom. I feel fired up and confident about using the iPads to develop the children's learning. I'll certainly be looking at using the slow writing app to develop writing as well as the explain Everything app." 
"What an excellent training session. Firstly a big thank you to yourself for arranging for Lee to come into school, to share his fantastic ideas. It was an extremely useful and engaging session and I benefited hugely from it. I'm inspired thank you very much." 
"An amazing training day that kept me engaged throughout! Lots of interesting and fresh ideas to use. I have so many ideas I just don't know which one to begin with. Huge thanks." 
"A motivational speaker who has given lots of food for thought. Busy incorporating ideas into planning for next week!" 
"A fantastic day which left me with so many ideas to inspire and improve chn's writing alongside numerous excellent apps to enhance my teaching using I-pads! I shall be using Epic Citadel with slow writing; maths duel for warm-ups or sodas; Daydream X will be a super tool for correcting chn as they work through maths questions; Key plan - the chn will love and the virtual zoo could be used as a fun project. I think it just reminds us of the importance of making learning relevant to the chn. Lee was inspiring and he did a super job showing just what can be achieved if you're prepared to try something new or a little bit different!" 
"What a truly inspirational day! It is not often I say that about a training day. The information Lee gave us was fantastic and I will say it again, truly inspiring. I will definitely use Explain Everything and Virtual Zoo and the Maths Apps." 
"Don't you just ❤️it when πŸ‘€ with such 😍 makes you stop and πŸ’­, making you ask ❓of yourself and how you do things. Now in order to πŸš™ through new ⚠️, we might have to ✈️ by the seat of our πŸ‘–, give it ⏰, share the πŸ‰πŸ‡πŸ’πŸ‹πŸŠπŸπŸŽ of our labour and hopefully ⌚️ πŸ“Š rise. Big πŸ‘and πŸ‘to IW πŸ‘¦ for arranging it." 
"What a fab training day! It was great to listen to such an inspirational speaker. Lee Parkinson definitely put across what a powerful learning tool an ipad can be, with someone brilliant ideas for the classroom. I really enjoyed it." 
"A great INSET full of practical ideas and activities which will give using the iPads real purpose. Using things that the children are interested in eg: computer games, animals etc, are the key, something I want to exploit more! Thanks for the training" 
"What a fantastic meeting. Full of fresh ideas and delivered with such passion. Wish he worked here. I would like to use it in the classroom with the children I work with but I would need more training.I particularly liked the Slow Writing and Word Cloud. The thing I liked the most was the fact that he demonstrated how it can be applied curriculum. " 
"Thank you for an inspirational and enjoyable day. I came away with lots of ideas and resources that could be incorporated into my teaching and enrich the early years curriculum even further! πŸ˜„"


Thanks again to Sanford Hill for inviting me to lead training, the children are luck to have such a brilliant, enthusiastic staff!







Alan Peat Presents...Using Technology to Deliver the New Primary Curriculum - 18th November Peterborough

On Tuesday 18th November at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough, 50 teachers attended my conference looking at using Technology to support and enhance the Primary Curriculum. The day was fantastic and the teachers were so responsive and enthusiastic! I want to thank everyone for attending and for the amazing feedback!



44 Evaluations

44 rated the content of the speaker as excellent
42 rated the delivery of the speaker as excellent
2 rated the delivery of the speaker as good

Feedback 


"Wow, excellent, creative and lots of amazing ideas to inspire hundreds of children! Thank you!"
"Interesting, enthusiastic speaker, who obviously believes passionately in his subject and importantly is still practising what he preaches as a 'real life' teacher."  
"A BRILLIANT day. Without a doubt THE best course that I have attended. Can't wait to get cracking!" 
"Very inspiring - thank you!"
"Was inspiring from the start! A lot to think about, thank you!"
"Brilliant - one of the best courses I have attended. So much I want to do and implement in my school." 
"Excellent, feel very inspired. Lots of resources and ideas to make learning  inspiring for children."
"Extremely inspiring day. Lots of great ideas to take away and try, thank you."
"Really inspiring speaker. Loads of great ideas. Will be recommending for the rest of my school."
"Really informative and amazing! I can't wait to start trying everything out. Lee was engaging and inspiring. Thank you."
"Fab course!! Really well delivered. The possibilities with technology seem endless, exciting, enjoyable and achievable!! Thanks."
"A super whirlwind tour through the many uses of technology. To see real class based examples makes it believable that I could do it. Second time I have seen you speak and worth the journey. Keep sharing as I have used your ideas so much."
"So much content! Super to see some apps which have actually been used in schools."
"Loads of great ideas! Thanks."
"Lots of fantastic ideas, very well delivered!"
"Would love to see again! Found it informative and useful!"
"Really brilliant ideas, thank you! A much enjoyed day."
"Brilliant! Thank for all the ideas, I really enjoyed today."
"Lots of super ideas, very inspired. Great delivery of training - day flew by!"
"Absolutely fantastic - so many ideas and pieces of information to take back. Very inspiring! I have already downloaded the Christmas book!"
"So much information, fantastic ideas which are related to practical use in the classroom. Understanding of what it is really like 'on the frontline' in a class of 30+ children."
"Really exciting to see what inspiring things we can do in the classroom."
"Very inspirational - lots of ideas which could be used with a range of ability groups."
"So much to take in on one day, but bundles of ideas and inspiration."
"A very interesting and inspirational talk that gave lots of interesting and useful advice about how to use iPads and technology in the classroom."
"An inspirational training day delivered in an exciting way - lots of examples, suggestions and practical tips. Thank you. I look forward to exploring some of them in school!!"
"Lots of great and exciting ideas to use in school to enhance children's learning! Thank you!"
"Really inspiring. Great manner. Likeable. Clearly passionate about the use of iPads - infectious enthusiasm. A really informative, inspiring day. This will take our pupils learning to the next level. Thank you VERY much!"
"Engaging and full of ideas that I will be introducing within my school. Fantastic knowledge gained! Thank you."
"Absolutely excellent! Really inspiring, can't wait to go back and get started. We will be interviewing virtual Romans on Thursday! Amazing!" 
 "Excellent and inspiring, so much to take back and try out. I will get those iPads used if it kills me!! Thanks for a fantastic day."
"Very engaging, load of brilliant ideas -> now need to decide on which ones to focus on."
"Very knowledgable and informative. Brilliant how it relates to school life and activities. Super resources."  
"Very entertaining and informative. Brill!"
"Super, really useful information and and strategies for using them regularly in class, too many good ideas; too little time."

Thanks again to everyone who attended! I have similar upcoming courses in London and Walsall in the next couple of months. Please click the links to find out more and book a place.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Real Life Learning on the iPad!

I am a massive fan of using real life situations for children to develop their learning in different ways. Having a real life stimulus makes learning relevant for children. The 'Mathematics Apprenticeship,' by Gareth Metcalfe is a perfect example of this. A fantastic resource for gifted and talented mathematicians to apply their skills into real word contexts.

I have previously blogged about the use of simulation apps as a stimulus in class here.

I have come across a couple of apps that have great potential for cross curricular real life projects. The first is KeyPlan 3D. This short little video will demonstrate what the app entails -


The potential to this app in the classroom is incredible! Children have to apply their knowledge of measurements if they were to redesign the classroom or create a replica of a room. They could use it for a project to design their own house, contact an estate agent to price up the property and even read then write some adverts for their creations - see some tips here. I will be using this app in some shape or form over the next few weeks and will share the results, so keep an eye out for that.

I have been fortunate to get some free codes for Keyplan 3D, which will be up for grabs on my Facebook page - http://facebook.com/ictwithmrp.



Another app that was recommended to me by Steve from iPad Educators is Storest. Again, here is a short video demonstrating the app -


Storest from Pixle on Vimeo.

At first, I thought this was would be incredible in the EYFS classroom, as a potential role play area. However used this app in Year 4 this week in numeracy to again apply their maths skills in a real life situation.

I asked the children to shop for three items, they then had to total the basket before putting the items through the till. This meant they could use the till to check whether their calculations were correct. They then had to work out which notes and coins could be used to pay so they didn't receive any change. The children lapped this challenge up and it quickly turned into finding the most expensive three items, three items that would equal exactly £100 etc. There are so many possible variants to play with this app and I know the children will enjoy using this app to solve different problems and challenges.

Over the weekend I will have some free codes for this app up for grabs too - visit http://facebook.com/ictwithmrp


Another app very similar to this is Motion Math: Pizza! this app challenges the children to run their own Pizza shop by purchasing ingredients, creating different types of Pizza and then selling them to customers! Check out this video (the app is available in £ as well as $)


The team behind Motion Math have created a range of other useful maths apps and are looking for teachers to test and feedback their apps. You can find more details here - http://motionmathgames.com/



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

#TMStockport 19th November @ Cheadle Heath Primary


What a fantastic night at Cheadle Heath Primary School for #TMStockport! A massive thank you to @MediaShaw for organising! Big thanks to @Gazneedle for his wonderful LIVE doodle notes!


The night kicked off with myself and I shared the recent Kensuke's Kingdom project to demonstrate how iPads should be used to enhance what can be done on paper!

Sarah Lyons then shared how she has been using QR codes in her classroom!

This was followed by Bryn Goodman, who shared all the ways in which he has been using Minecraft to bring the History curriculum alive!


Andy from @IntoFilmFest then shared some of the wonderful ways to use film in the classroom.




@MediaShaw then demonstrated a couple of her favourite apps with Make Dice and Tweetroot! Everyone then enjoyed some lovely hot pot courtesy of Cheadle Heath!

After the break, Alayne Levy treated us to a wonderful demonstration of using iPads to create music with young adults with learning difficulties -

We then were treated to a wonderful video presentation from @ICTEvangalist 


Then had the great Rachel Jones share a video presentation - 

@EllieMMU shared a lovely example of Augmented Reality through Trac Labs Robot! She also made my night with her lovely comments, after I realised she is a parent at my school Davyhulme Primary. 

We were then treated to a demonstration of the super app Plickers by Repa -


Kyle from Primary ICT & Media demonstrated the potential across the whole school using Greenscreen and how accessible it is on an iPad.


Scott Davies discussed the next step in coding club using Project Spark! 

@HGJohn shared some of the blogging projects happening at schools he is working at including - http://secretannexe.mrpablogs.net/


What was amazing was the incredible raffle prizes we had! We had a signed copy of Mark Anderson's 'The Perfect ICT Lesson book,' and some amazing apps up for grabs!

I was astounded at the generosity I received from app developers, some unbelievable apps were shared to all who attended and I don't think anyone went home empty handed!

Here are some of the apps that were raffled off - 


I have used the majority of these apps in the classroom and many I share on my training! Some will be featured in upcoming blog posts and some extra codes will be shared on my facebook page - Facebook.com/ictwithmrp very soon.

Check out the storify of tweets from the event - 






Thanks again to everyone who came, to Cheadle Heath for hosting, all the wonderful presenters including Mark and Rachel who took the time to do video presentations and, of course, Jules Shaw who did a wonderful job organising! Looking forward to the next one...

Please take a minute to vote for my blog in the UK Blog Awards 2015

Friday, 14 November 2014

Mr P goes international - working with ITTC in Dubai!

I was very fortunate to be invited over to Dubai to run two seminars with teachers from all around the UAE in October. Working alongside ITTC, a newly formed company looking to provide quality CPD to schools across the UAE, I ran two training days sharing ideas, apps and strategies with some enthusiastic and friendly teachers. The feedback was incredible and I want to thank everyone who came to the seminars! I will be coming back over again soon no doubt, so if you are interested in further training please contact Shama here - shama@ittrainingconsultancy.com or phone on 0508803995.

Here is a video showing some of the highlights from the event -



I also want to say a huge thank you to Steve from iPadEducators, who really helped spreading the word about my visit and has supported a lot of what I have been doing! I recently did an interview with him which you can read here - 



Thursday, 13 November 2014

Shape Lab - Fantastic app for properties of Shape

The latest app from the fantastic team at Shiny Things (the team behind the great Quick Math bundle) is Shape Lab.

This app is fantastic for children learning about different shapes, their properties and measurements.

When looking through the new Numeracy curriculum and the objectives for properties of shape and position & direction, most can be covered using this brilliant app.

Children can simply draw their own shapes using their own fingers and the shape will appear. Children can choose from a range of backgrounds include centimetre paper, four quadrants, dotted papers and triangular graphed paper.


When shapes are created, they are filled in a colour which can be made transparent making it easy for children to work out the area of the shape with the cm paper as the background.


Images can also be added as the background meaning children can clearly identify a range of different shapes within a picture.

Children can easily create Tangrams and then also work out the perimeter or area.

The Shiny Things team have also put together a range of useful lesson plans for teachers to access in relation to the app. These can be found here.

So whether it is investigating the properties of shapes, angles, parallel and perpendicular lines, co-ordinates, translation, scaling or any other part of the shape and space curriculum, this app is a must!

Make sure you head over to my facebook page - http://facebook.com/ictwithmrp as I will be sharing some FREE codes for this fantastic app over the weekend!

Please don't forget to vote for my blog in the UK Blog Awards 2015!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Sainsbury's Christmas Advert 2014

Another amazing advert was released in time for Christmas, which can be used as a great stimulus in class! Here is the video -

 

The video tells the story of British and German WW1 soldiers stopping the trench warfare for one day - Christmas Day.

This advert reminded me of a short story written by Michael Morpurgo, which you can view HERE.

The links that can be made here to the recent Remembrance Day celebrations along with the 100 year centenary.

This resource from the British Council may be useful - CLICK HERE.

As well as this fantastic Football Remembers pack, click the picture -


The writing opportunities in this pack are fantastic so do please have a look!

Please share any work you produce with your class with me and I will link it on this post. 

Here is a padlet wall with more ideas from @Watsed


Top Trump it across the Curriculum!

Top Trumps is a popular game enjoyed by millions worldwide! The new free app 'Top Trump it,' give you the ability to make your own set of Top Trump Cards. This can be used as a tool in so many different ways! I want to share a few!

For plenty of other ideas on using Top Trumps in the classroom, especially in Numeracy, check out The Numeracy Shed's Page here. 


When you load the app you have to create a username and password, you can then make a top trump by adding a picture, using the camera or choosing from the photo library. Then you can add a title and add three stat and values. It would be great if you could add more, but it is just limited to three currently. There is a range of different backgrounds you can pick from before saving the card to the camera roll.

Here are a few quick ideas, that came to mind when playing with this app:


Literacy

Why not test children's understanding of a story by asking them to make Top Trump cards for characters in their reading book -



Or use it to review books children have read and have these on hand in class for others to read, or even for a display, would link great with this idea -

Children could use it to evaluate each other's writing as a sentence or paragraph. A scoring system could be generated for children to use as they evaluate the writing -

Numeracy

Properties of 2D or 3D shapes - 


Cross Curricular

Use it for children to share knowledge about famous historical figures within a topic -


Use to classify and sort materials in a science investigation, same can be done for animals or science topics - 


Use it in a PSHCE lesson and have children make Top Trump cards about others in the class to demonstrate their individual talents - 

And I am sure there are hundreds of different ways in which you can use this idea across the curriculum. If you have an idea, please tweet me - @ict_mrp or comment on this post. Please if you do share these ideas, have the courtesy to mention the blog from where it came from.

If you like this idea and others on the blog, why not vote for me in this year's UK Blog Awards, click the picture to vote.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

UK BLOG AWARDS 2015 - PLEASE VOTE FOR ME!

I am extremely excited to be nominated into the Blog Awards 2015. I have been entered into two categories - Education Blog of the Year and Digital and Technology Blog of the Year.

I am so grateful for the help and support people have given me since starting this blog and the journey it has taken me on has been incredible!

I now need YOUR help! For me to reach the next stage of the competition, I need as many votes as possible. To do so just click the pictures below to be taken to the link to vote for me in each category.

If you have found inspiration, useful ideas, help and support through my blog, I ask to take a minute to vote. It would be amazing to reach the next stage and see where it takes us!

PLEASE don't vote before Monday 10th November, if you do it won't count. If you did vote before, please vote again so it will register this time.

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO VOTE FOR ME IN THE EDUCATION CATEGORY


CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO VOTE FOR MY BLOG IN THE DIGITAL AND TECHNOLOGY CATEGORY



Thanks again for all the help and support!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Creating our own Kensuke's Kingdom!

The Year 5 topic in Autumn is the great Michael Morpurgo book 'Kensuke's Kingdom.' In the past when I have worked with Year 5 we have done plenty of lessons on this topic on the iPads including -
Today we used the iPads to create some of our own islands based on the story. First step was to create a replica of the island. To do this we read a passage from the story. The children quickly sketched out an image of the island based on this extract.

Then I asked the children to create a more detailed version in Minecraft. Minecraft is a fantastic tool for children to build and create anything! I have previously blogged about the potential to using Minecraft here. And also as a writing stimulus here. Today it was used more as a guided reading task where children had to recreate the setting based on reading part of the story. Here is a short video explaining everything we did - 



Which led to the children creating this - 

John Lewis Christmas advert 2014

The John Lewis Christmas advert is becoming as much as a Christmas tradition as mince pies and mistletoe! These fantastic short videos are usually accompanied with a great soundtrack and lovely story. This year's effort doesn't disappoint! It is all about Monty the Penguin!

I have previously blogged about the use of John Lewis Christmas adverts which feature on the Literacy Shed here.

Here is the advert -



Straight away what immediately jumps out to me is the direct link to the story 'Lost and Found,' by Oliver Jeffers.

Although in the book, the penguin seems to be more attached to the boy and it is the other way round in the advert, there are definite links that can be made and discussions about the advert and book.

Here is a short trailer to the film based on the book -


Discussion about the video -

  • Before starting the video pause at one second, ask the children about the setting? 
  • Where is it? What clues tell us it the bedroom of a young boy? What hobbies interests may the young boy have? What is the evidence?
  • What is the relationship between the boy and penguin? How do you know? What do they do together?
  • What is the penguin's favourite food?
  • Pause at 56 seconds, what happens to get the boy excited? How does the penguin react? Why does this confuse the boy? What is the penguin interested in? 
  • Pause at 1:03 what word describes the Penguins feelings towards what he sees on the TV? How do we know from his reaction? Eyes widen etc
  • At 1:15 how does the boy react to the Penguin's peculiar behaviour? How does he feel? How do we know? Why is he confused?
  • At 1:27 what does the boy realise? What do you think he will do?
  • At 1:40 how is the penguin feeling? How do you know?
  • Has the boy done the right thing? 
  • How does the mother react at 1:46?
Writing activities -
  • Write a diary recount as the boy and the year with his penguin friend.
  • Write a contrasting diary as the penguin.
  • Write a letter to Father Christmas from the penguin/boy
  • Write a set of instructions for how to keep a penguin as a pet.
  • Research and create a information text on Penguins
  • Look into the way climate change is affecting the habitats of penguins.
  • Ask the children what animal they would like as a pet and write a story about keeping that wild animal.
  • Write shape poems about Penguins.
There is also this resource created by John Lewis - CLICK HERE.

Of course, if you have any other ideas please let me know by commenting below! Please share any examples of writing you do by tweeting or emailing me and I will share them in the post.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Stockport Teachmeet Wednesday 19th November!

I am very excited to be hosting the upcoming Teachmeet in Stockport, Manchester. The event will be hosted at Cheadle Heath Primary School (SK3 0RJ) on Wednesday 19th November at 4.30pm. 

There are plenty of places for people to come along to pick up some great ideas and tips! You can also sign up to present if you have something useful to share. The teachmeet has a focus on enhancing learning through the use of iPads so make sure you come along for some great free CPD. Teachmeets are great FREE events where teachers can network, pick up some useful ideas and have a decent brew!

To sign up all you have to do is complete this form CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TO PRESENT OR ATTEND

I look forward to seeing you all there!