Wednesday, 23 October 2019

The Sunscreen Song - Thought for the Week

As a 16 year old, I heard the "The Sunscreen Song" on the radio. It struck me as being slightly odd, different and a bit amusing. A week later, my mother purchased a copy on CD. Me mam, buying a song in the charts. I know! 
Since, 20 years have passed. It's popped up now and again on the radio and I've also stuck it on myself. As I've aged, the song has meant more and more to me. It is a beautiful series of words and sentences. And, why my mother purchased a copy now makes more sense! 


Here's what I'm up to with it:


In my classroom, I have created a 'This Week's Thought' display and I have split the song into some of it's lines of 'advice'. Each week, I put up a different quote from the song. 

I have not told my class where they are coming from, nor have I pointed out the display. I'm going to keep putting them up and then, towards the end of the year, review what's been up there, play them the song and get them to read the lyrics. We can then discuss.

Also, we will try to write some lines of our own in a similar style.


Monday, 30 September 2019

Cutting, Sticking and Straight Lines

At the start of the year, we like to get some basics sorted. 


To get those cutting, sticking and using a ruler skills up to speed, we use the following two tasks:

Cutting and sticking

We found a Mincraft sword for the children to cut out and stick together. The more accurately they cut and stick, the better the outcome. The source of this resource can be found here

Drawing straight lines

For the ruler skills, we discovered 'What to draw and how to draw it', Lutz (c1913). We used the book to create a resource for class. The outcomes were great, and a skill practised.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Taskmaster - What did you see?

In the most recent series of Taskmaster, the following task was given to the contestants.

They were shown a display of items for a short period of time (they were allowed to walk past it once):

Then, and only then, they were asked to recreate what they had seen using the resources in front of them. These images show what they came up with.


So, in class, set up a scene. Allow the children to walk past it. Ask them to draw what they had seen. Get them to do it with resources. Get them to describe it to someone else for them to draw.

The main thing is, with this task, the pupils walk past the scene without knowing what's coming next in the task.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Short Stories with Oliver Jeffers

On a recent visit to the local library, I picked up 'An Alphabet of Stories' by Oliver Jeffers. I picked it up because I'm a bit of a fan of Jeffers' work and had not see this book before. As can be seen in some of our previous posts, I quite like a short story too!


In this book, Jeffers creates a short story linked to each letter of the alphabet. Some stories even cross-reference each other.

The stories are fantastic: build up, dilemma and conclusion all in a few sentences. Like the 'A' example above, all the stories begin on one page and have the punchline or resolution on the next page.


In my current Year Six class, we have 28 pupils. With 26 letters of the alphabet, I decided we'd all write a story (with some letters being repeated if no one was absent). Two pupils were absent. Result! 

Below in my attempt for 'P':


Give it a go. Let us know how you get on...

Friday, 14 June 2019

Desk Calendar Problem

So, I saw this on a colleague's desk. It got me thinking: "These are six-sided cubes. So, how can twelve digits split as a six and a six represent all thirty-one days of a month?"


It's a problem that makes use of trial and error, make a model and test and thinking logically. I made a sheet to introduce the problem:



The sheet, with differentiated support and my answer can be found here.

I wonder how many combinations of answer there are...

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Beach Ball Throw - Taskmaster

For the past four years, we've used the 'Backwards Video Task' as a team building task at the start of each year. It gets children working together and produces some imaginative and impressive outcomes


In the most recent series of Taskmaster, the contestants were given another video task I can see working well in the classroom. The contestants were given a beach ball and asked to film themselves in one location throwing the ball out of shot and then later film them self catching the ball in a new location. The winner of the task was the person who 'threw' the ball over the largest total distance. In school, I'd be looking for the group to ensure consistency by linking the throws and filming to make each throw and catch look authentic. 


Going to give it a go in September. We'll see what the children come up with! There's a planning sheet here that may be useful.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Disney in French

I have two toddler daughters. In recent years, I've become very familiar with the plots, characters and songs of 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Frozen' in particular. One day last week, one daughter wanted to dance to 'Build a Snowman'. So, I searched for it on my phone. For some reason, the French version came up. It struck me that this could be another way to access a language in a classroom. A hook, a stater, game or just for a bit of fun...

La Reine des Neiges - Je voudrais un bonhomme de neige