Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Transition Activities

Again, inspired by a Tweet:
We couldn't answer in 140 characters, so we'll answer in a blog post...

On our transition day, we get our new year group for just over two hours. Lots of time to get to know them a bit and learn a little about them. We do a short maths activity, a short writing activity and do lots of 'getting to know you' activities. 

'Getting to Know You a Little' - Children roll a dice and answer a question based upon what number they roll. For example: 1 Something you enjoyed about this year. 2 Favourite colour. -> 6 Dream job.

Share the curriculum for the year ahead. Let the children know what they'll be studying. They may even do some pre-learning. 

Trips. Again similar to above, let the children know what trips they can expect. 



'The Hardest Test You'll Do All Year' (Getting to Know Me a Little) - I give each table four pictures. For example: sweetcorn, peas, carrots and broccoli. They need to work out which is the odd one out and why. Always some interesting answers and then I explain the right answer. Can't stand sweetcorn by the way!

'Getting to Know You' - provide the children with a form to fill in so you, the teacher, have something to keep about them as you prepare for the year ahead.

Share a sideshow of photos from your current year.  

Look at your class / year group blog. 

'Just Like Me' - Someone says something they like or do and anyone who is the same/similar says, "Just like me".

There's some ideas. We really value transition day. Get to know the children a little. Make introductions. Set some expatiations. And, all before it begins 'for real' in September...

Saturday, 25 June 2016

RAF at Your Event

The Royal Air Force "complete many flypasts each summer as they transit from display to display." On the RAF website, there is the ability to request a flypast for an event. For schools, this is most likely to be a summer fayre or similar. There are events they will not provide a flypast for and they only flaypast for one person's birthday (HM The Queen), but school faryres fall into the category of events they will do. 

We've requested a flypast in each of the last five years and were successful in 2013. As previous, we sent off our application and then, much to our surprise, we received a call from the RAF wanting to confirm our location and timings. On the day, we were waiting at the estimated time of arrival and suddenly the roar of a Spitfire engine came closer and closer. The pilot gave us a stunning display before wiggling the wings and setting off into the distance. Unfortunately, we only caught a small part of the flypast on camera.


The flypast is only possible if the RAF happen to have an aircraft passing and we've been lucky enough to have one visit once. We'll keep applying and hopefully have one back again. Got your fayre planned? Put in an application...

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Story Behind the Tweet

Not all our ideas are our own. Here's another we found on Twitter:
Nina posted the above Tweet and we immediately loved the idea. It's taken a few weeks to find the opportunity to try it out, but now we have and it worked quite well. It certainly engaged a group of Year Fives who just about know how Twitter works and certainly hear about and see Tweets in various media they see.

Here's what we did:

Firstly, I considered looking for an intriguing Tweet (which I may do in the future), but I didn't and instead created my own, fictional Tweet, using lemmetweetthatforyou:


I read the class the original example from Waitrose in Nina's Tweet and then showed them the fictional Tweet. I informed them that it was fictional and I even went to the bother of checking that the @Mentions don't currently exist on the site. 


Challenge 1: explain what the Tweet's about. Challenge 2: write in a similar style to Waitrose. Challenge 3: explain it in exactly 140 words. 


We completed our writing in the Count Words & Characters app and then posted the finished stories to a Padlet wall


We've written in the past about other forms of restrained writing: Two Sentence Stories, Stories in a Tweet, 100WC and others...

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Musical Notation and Fractions

While planning a unit of work about fractions recently, a colleague (musical one) suggested using musical notation as a way of introducing fractions.

Four beats in a bar: this can be achieved in many many ways! 


A bit of a reminder / teaching about musical notation and off we went...


And then, the children had a go themselves:



The resources were all made using Printable Paper.


Friday, 10 June 2016

Lessons That Resource Themselves(ish)

On 9th June 2016, Liam was invited to present at Animate2Educate's Talk on the Tyne event. Below is a copy of his presentation:



Martin ran two stunning events over 9th and 10th June. If you've not yet taken a look at what he can offer, we strongly suggest you do: www.animate2educate.co.uk

https://twitter.com/search?f=images&vertical=default&q=thisisliamm%20talkonthetyne&src=typd

Friday, 20 May 2016

Cliffhangers

At some recent training with Dylan Wiliam, he asked us a question just before a coffee break and before lunch. He told us we'd get the answer after the break - you know, like Eastenders. So, I've been doing it. Pose a question just before break or lunch that'll be answered at the start of the next lesson. Some of the children actually go away and think about it. Of course, it's very easily done with a book that's being read to the class too...

Monday, 16 May 2016

Lynne Truss' Books for Punctuation

I can remember when 'Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation' was first published. I was at university at the time and a house mate purchased it as a gift for his mother. I had a flick through and found some of the contents of interest. A few years later, and now teaching, I came across the 'child version' of the book. So, I made a purchase and often us the three child-friendly versions of the original in class. Although aimed at children, these books often act as an aide-mémoire for me too!



We've recently been looking at how commas can change the meaning of a sentence. 'Eats, Shoots & Leaves For Children: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference' is ideal for introducing this. After looking at the examples in the book and some of what's in the other two books pictured above, we had a go at writing some of our own: