Sharing ideas and all things ICT… I am a Y2 teacher, AHT, ICT subject leader and mum

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Bloom’s Taxonomy Y3 Homework Matrix for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

It has been very successful with parents and children alike.  What homework projects do you give to your children?


Bloom’s Taxonomy Homework for Y3 – WWII!

A little while ago I wanted to rethink homework for my class.  I wanted them to have more ownership of how they presented their learning and a bigger choice of activities depending on their preferred subjects.  This seemed quite a daunting task at first  until I stumbled on examples of using Bloom’s Taxonomy as a matrix for activities pertinent to our topic.  The choice was there, the style of presentation was left to the children thereby giving more ownership of their learning.  The only two requests were that each child completed a literacy and a numeracy task and the total points score of the tasks totalled 20 points or more.

They had six weeks to complete the homework, some came in sooner, some complete much more than twenty points of tasks, some took enormous ride in bringing in and talking about what they had done.  More importantly, deeper learning had been established!!  Gone were the weekly sheets and tasks that were not as inspiring as they needed to be due to the weekly nature of them.  Gone was the restrictive way of presenting or writing the homework.  If the final exhibition of their learning was anything to go by then quality, substance, analytical, evaluative and meaningful learning had taken place and long may it continue!!!

This term is a focus on Charlie and the chocolate factory – both term’s matrix is below for you to see.  I’d be interested in your views…

Ten days in and looking forward…

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I originally intended to write my first post of 2013 with a reflective tone to all that has happened in 2012.  Sitting here has made me reconsider, not that 2012 lacked highlights – far from it!  But, to me, what is now important is looking forward to the future and all the new and exciting challenges that may come my way.

A week ago, I became a very proud grandmother to Noah – a real thrill which opens a new chapter of adventure for me and my family.

After school today I had the absolute privilege of watching Tim Rylands in action.  I have been lucky to see him many times previously and he never fails to disappoint or inspire me to want to be a better teacher or to try new things to encourage children to be the best they can be – that is indeed a great talent, which I fully recognise and appreciate.

Ten days into the new year and already I feel excited by the future.  This is my ninth year of teaching and I continue to learn new things which is important to me.  I am always determined to do the best for the children I teach by constantly striving to be the best teacher I can be by learning new technologies, conducting class based action research, engaging in personal research, sharing ideas and resources, constantly adapting my teaching practice to reflect knowledge gained and continuing to search for new and exciting ways to engage and motivate children.

It’s all too easy to reflect and become complacent, reflective practice is essential, and goes without saying but the need to draw a line and move forward is vital for me and I plan to do exactly that.  Setting personal targets and goals are on my agenda.  Today has been a good day!


Merlin – feeling like a wizard’s apprentice!

Today was the first day’s training to become a Merlin mentor.  The aim of the day was to familiarise ourselves with the interface of Merlin and navigate the all the tools, widgets, files and pages that it contained.  The title of this post reflects my initial thoughts as I had difficulty logging on (my error, not Merlin’s) – didn’t bode well!  But eventually we got down to business and explored how Merlin could be tailored to suit our school’s needs.  I have to admit that the driver for embarking on using Merlin is mainly due to two reasons, the first being the major ICT infrastructure overhaul we are intending to install and secondly, the parent online reporting that is due to be up and running by December 2012.  These reasons combined with wanting an ‘umbrella’ by which we want to link our existing website, blogs, staff share drives etc etc.  Because of the changes in our ICT infrastructure, I had already designed a spec as to our ICT vision and what we want basically which formed a good foundation for today’s course.

We were asked to bring an admin person as well to enable a different perspective on the  proceedings.  This worked well as they could ask questions that were pertinent to their issues and dilemmas.  I can see that the role of a Merlin mentor in a school of our size (402 children and 30+ staff) will be a massive undertaking and will require patience and tenacity if the school is going to gain the maximum impact from such a venture.  It’s part 2 of 3 next Thursday, where the teaching and learning aspects will  be implemented on our pages.  I am ever hopeful that my ‘apprenticeship’ will extend to me becoming more proficient at Merlin and learning about all that it has to offer if only to decide what we need and don’t need.  Watch this space…..

A big welcome to all new visitors to our blog!

Thank you to all those people who have taken the time to look at and read our blog.  We love sharing what we have been learning about in the classroom and would really enjoy reading what you think about our blog.  So please feel free to leave a comment about what you have seen or what you are doing in your class or school.


Snow Fun!

Many days passed and not one flake settled.  I was hearing and watching stories of drifts a foot (or 30cms) high, virtual standstill of traffic, school closures, snow fun on any slight incline that would accommodate a sledge and fantastic sculptures of a variety of shapes and objects.  It felt like we were in a bit of a ‘Bermuda Triangle’  where this chaos hadn’t touched us.  On Wednesday night we magically had a couple of cms and now we felt part of the group.  Driving into work I kept thinking ‘be careful what you wish for’ as I too wanted snow like everyone was experiencing and now I  had it.  As I walked through the doors, the phones were ringing off the hook as to enquiries asking if the school was open. Our website server had crashed and the website was temporarily off line (whether this added to the thinking that the school might be closed – not sure??)  Children then started arriving, having been asked to remove their shoes so as to keep the wetness inside to a minimum.  Tiptoeing in stockinged feet added to the excitement.  Then at last came playtime…  only a smattering of snow compared to many but it didn’t stop the enjoyment that the children felt.

Wild Earth African Safari – Day 3

Up in a helicopter, rising above the Serengeti National Park!  It’s great to have a completely different perspective of the savannah and its animals.  The children are learning about new animals and ask to go and look them up so they know what to look for – the hydrax is a tricky one to find…  Note taking skills are being used to great effect so far.  We recap at the beginning of the session by looking at the previous assignment and the photographs we took.  This ensures that no vital facts are missed.  The hope is to complete a fact file on some of the animals and a diary entry of their first day ‘on safari’.   Positional and directional language has improved due to the fact that other children are helping those using the controls.

‘This is SO cool…’ was the response of a reluctant writer who grabbed a pen and a dictionary (to find out about the animals) and wrote right to the very end!!