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.

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.