Saturday, 31 October 2020

Pupil Stationery Toolkits

At the start of this school year, there was much discussion on social media and forums about methods of providing pupils with their own individual resources (for COVID19 reasons). 

A little later than we hoped to publish this post (we've been a little busy!), but we hope it's useful to someone...

So, here's what we do at our school, how long we've been doing it and why.

Back in 2017, we visited Woodside Primary Academy. As part of our visit, we picked up a number of best practice ideas. One of which was introducing Toolkits. There are a number of reasons we took these on:

- making children accountable for looking after the stationary the school has paid for

- giving them somewhere to store the equipment

- if they move in the classroom or go to work elsewhere, they just pick up the Toolkit and off they go

- we use everything in there quite regularly.


So, what's in there?

- whiteboard & whiteboard pen

- handwriting pen, green biro & HB pencil

- ruler, protractor and scissors

- sky, grass, mud letters and punctuation

- times table grid / 150 'square'

- A B C D voting card

- red, orange, green discs

- spelling cards for high frequency words

- sentence and vocabulary booklet

- grammar knowledge organiser


And, as you may be able to see, each Toolkit and each item in it is numbered according to the child's register number. When found, lost items can be returned to pupils. 


Saturday, 5 September 2020

Me, Me, Me

There are wide and ranging ways to 'get to know your new class'. This year, 2020, we wanted to find out about how the children had been since March, were feeling now, what home is like and added in a couple of 'silly' questions too. 


If it's useful, download a copy here.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

The Five Uses of a Comma & Dual Coding

 Well, hello again! Our first post since February - it's been an interesting time (COVID19)!

Over August, we've been doing some reading.

Most recently, we have read 'Dual Coding With Teachers' and have used some of what we learned from that reading to adapt a resource we made earlier in 2020.

At a PiXL Event towards the end of 2019, we came across the revelation that 'commas have five uses in written English'.

So, combining both the information from PiXL and Oliver Caviglioli, we created this:

We're going to give it a go in our Year Six classrooms this coming year. We hope it'll improve the accuracy with which our children use commas when writing. 

Firstly, they need to know the 'five uses' and then link them to the images.

Next, we hope the codes can then be used to jog memories and used as teaching points.

We would be the last to claim to be English specialists, so if you have any feedback on our understanding of this element of English, please let us know.

An up-to-date copy of this resource, if it is changed, will always be here. (Typo corrected).



Saturday, 15 February 2020

Children Write the Knowledge Organiser

So, you're likely familiar with knowledge organisers and have written your own or downloaded some from online

Recently, we've undertaken a Canada study with our Year Six pupils that culminates in the writing of travel brochures. At the start of the work, we were looking for ways to make the children familiar with different parts of the country. In our Year Six, we have four classes; so each class took on the job of researching a different city and producing a knowledge organiser about it that the other classes could then use throughout the term. We linked the sections of the knowledge organiser to end of year geography knowledge expectations. 

In the past year, the good chaps at 'Mr A, Mr C and Mr D Present!' have given us access to their site*. (We'll have another post about them coming soon...) We used knowledge organisers off their site as the basis for this work. 

Firstly, their 'North America' knowledge organiser provided an example text:


Next, on the site there are editable knowledge organisers, so we downloaded one and edited it slightly:


And, the outcome for the city of St.John's, NL came out like this:


At the end, we have knowledge organisers about four Canadian cities, researched and produced by the children themselves. They can now be used by all the children to aid their work.

Studying a new topic? Get the class or classes in your year group to research and present their findings, as a knowledge organiser, for the children all to use at a later date...

*Our access to the 'Mr A, Mr C and Mr D Present PRIMARY SCHOOL · KS2 EDUCATION WEBSITE' was provided free of charge by Mr A, Mr C and Mr D Present. This was not with the purpose or expectation of this blog post being written. This is, as always, the view and opinion of two full-time class teachers/school leaders about something we use in the classroom. 

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Calendar for Child's Stickers

Not one for the teachers this time. This one's for the parents...

So, my eldest started Reception in September 2019. Since, she's brought home various stickers (due to her hard work, obviously). We've been looking for somewhere to keep them.

Here's what we've done:


Going forward, I have purchased a 2020 calendar and put it in my daughter's room. If she comes home with a sticker, we'll add it to that date on the calendar. Come 2021, we can reflect on her year... Hopefully, a calendar full of stickers!

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Maths Question of the Decade

In about October time, someone twigged on that the decade was coming to an end. All we've heard since is 'decade', 'decade', decade'...

As it's my daughter's birthday, my mind shifted to a possible maths problem... (in a similar fashion to the Birthday Riddle): 

So, I'm 36 and I'm entering my 5th decade. 36 and 50 (ie 5 decades) are a fair distance apart. The children currently in Years Four, Three, Two... are only just entering their second decade.
So, here's the question:

How long would someone have to be alive to enter their second decade at the earliest opportunity?

How long would someone have to be alive to enter their second decade at the latest opportunity?

How long would someone have to be alive to enter their fifth decade at the earliest opportunity?

How long would someone have to be alive to enter their fifth decade at the latest opportunity?

How long would someone have to be alive to enter their tenth decade at the earliest opportunity?

How long would someone have to be alive to enter their tenth decade at the latest opportunity?

Or, any other similar questions that may come to mind...

What's the longest a decade can be? What's the shortest a decade can be? (NB: Leap Years ;-))

Friday, 29 November 2019

English Figurative Language Crossed the Road

Recently, I came across this wonderful article pictured below:


Unfortunately, I've lost the source (if found, this will be updated).

We shared it with our Year Six children...


We shared it as part of our current poetry work. We asked the children to write sentences in the style of 'Why did the chicken cross the road?", but replace the chicken with a poetic device and then make the rest of the sentence an example of that figurative language. Here's some of what they came up with...



The children found this an engaging and productive activity.