Bev's adventures in ICT

Posts tagged ‘Animoto’

Extend and Stretch

You all know I’m passionate about inclusion and that means including pupils who are more able in certain areas. It’s something that we all need to be aware of in the classroom as such pupils need to be challenged  there’s nothing worse than being bored. But how to do it? Where do you start? I have a number of things I like to use; some free, some not, but the trick is to keep them interested. Here are a few ideas that you might be able to use in your classroom.

  • The  Challenge Box…: I have two special boxes in my room. They are undeniably spangley and a little OTT. They are called challenge boxes: one small (for Foundation Phase challenges) and one large (for KS2). Inside there are a range of colour-coded cards (different colours for different skill levels) that have ‘one off’ challenges on them. I also have a couple of additional cards hanging up in poly-pockets, for quick challenges. Anyway, if a child finds a task too easy or finishes it quickly I always have a few meaningful extensions planned. If there is still time in the lesson and they have completed all tasks I will direct them to take a card of whatever colour from the box. The challenges will always relate to skills we have covered before – they are just independent tasks to get them thinking. For example…

 

  • It’s a mystery: Regularly, particularly if there is something happening in the world that I think needs investigating (like the World Cup, World Book Day etc), I will come up with a set of mystery challenges (usually 5 or 6) which I place in sealed envelopes. In each set there’s usually a challenge linked to Science, Geography, History, Literacy, Mathematics and local (i.e. Welsh or British) interest. There are some examples of these challenges here and one of the important things I feel is that I am sourcing a number of the resource – this cuts down on the children wasting time looking for relevant stuff. These sessions challenge all pupils and sometimes work better when pupils are split into pairs or small groups but that’s up to you.
  • Show them something cool: with younger pupils who are more able it’s nice sometimes to show them something extra a program can do and let them share it with their classmates (or other teachers) during a plenary session or back in class. It’s nice to feel special and kids love that you’re sharing a piece of added information just with them 🙂
  • Give them choices: let the pupils choose the best way to complete their task. I love planning activities for pupils as young as Year 1 where they can select what they want to use. In a recent session (recording factual information about the Antarctic gathered by using Zoom School) Y2 pupils chose to record their work using either 2Publish+, 2CASS or 2Publish Extra (via PurpleMash). They also chose their own template and the way they presented work, leading to work that ranged from fact sheets to reference books while all covering the same skills ( importing, copying, pasting, etc.) and the same topic. This also works with older children: asking them to make a multimedia presentation might lead to a selection of videos and animations fitting in alongside more traditional Powerpoints or items made using web based tools like Animoto or Prezi.
  • Use things that inspire and engage: if you can make room for a little gaming or game creation: it might take your lesson in unusual directions. I’ve recently brought in my ipad and shown pupils some of the great apps available – many of which could be used in the classroom. They are totally in love with it!  Bringing  in a console or something hand held (like a Nintendo DS) can have unexpected results – it just depends how you use it. Check out ideas from fantastic people like Tim Rylands and get technology working for you, and the pupils, in your classroom. On the flip side get pupils to create their own games or quizzes to challenge each other and link to topics or learning intentions. I’ve mentioned 2DIY recently (which I’ve just used with more able, younger pupils to create quizzes linked to their topic) but there are other things out there, includingScratch, which are equally useful especially with older pupils.
  • Buddy pupils up! Use your more able pupils to assist the ones that need a little extra support – not intrusively, just as a someone to encourage or chivvy them along. I also like using older pupils along side younger ones (in a sort of Yoda style mentor role). again this isn’t intrusive, just supportive, and the pupils really seem to get something out of it.

So there you go. Not rocket science but a few ideas to than can be used to extend and stretch your pupils. I’m sure you can think of loads I’ve missed but I’ll leave you to fill in the gaps. If you’re looking for a place to start (to get more ideas – technology wise) then this might be worth a look.

Time for Fairtrade

It’s Fairtrade Fornight again (22nd February – 7th March)  and for some of us that means finding activities and ideas to use in the classroom. So I thought I’d share a few ideas with you that might be useful as a starting point.  Some of them you might have come across before and some are ideas I’ve created to use in school but hopefully there’s something for all.

I’m sure many of you have come across the CAFOD website and it’s excellent resource section. Well there are some fantastic downloads and ideas to use during Fairtrade Fortnight included in both the primary and secondary sections. I particularly liked the look of the Banana split activity listed on the secondary resources page but also suitable for UKS2 too. And there are lots of other useful websites you might like to look at. The Fair Trade Resource Network also offers a range of teaching resources and if you want something more visual, or feel like creating some multimodal PowerPoints there are plenty of useful clips available online.

One activity I thought of was to create a Publisher cook book using a suitably themed template and this website. I have to say some people might be disgusted by some of the recipes but pupils can ones they liked, looking for suitable images to accompany them etc. If you don’t want to produce a cook book why not use this themed publisher paper to get you started on a poster or something similar?

You could create a survey about the use of Fairtrade products and use the data collected in Maths sessions to link into data handling.   Younger pupils can also have fun with Fairtrade: get them to produce posters or leaflets on Fairtrade produce using 2Publish+ or look at some of the nice activities on Oxfam’s Cool Planet and Dubble that could be used to tie in with Fairtrade. I’ve also put together a Healthy Eating Challenge Pack which has a number of PowerPoint Templates that may come in handy (one of the activities is also Fairtrade based and you could adapt the others if you wanted to) for pupils in KS2. Another idea would be to use Google Earth, to follow a banana’s journey, or to create some informative multimedia work with Prezi, PhotoStory, Animoto and PhotoPeach. I’m sure you can think of some other fun ideas too (please share them here if you’ve found or created anything fabulous!!!).