Monday, 31 December 2012

Loop Cards Become Treasure Hunts

Do you have loop (follow me) cards in your classroom? Do you use them? Do the children sit and respond when they think they have the right answer? What do they do once they have answered?

Hows about all the children taking part all at once?

Make them into a treasure hunt! Print them on large paper and put them up around your classroom, playground or whole school. Give each child or group of children a different starting point and set them off. When they get back to where they started they've finished. 
Got the facility to read QR Codes? You can use them too!

As you can see we've mainly used these in maths. They can be used in many other subjects too. This has been good for identifying misconceptions, group work skills, perseverance levels and checking of incorrect answers. A map of where the questions are is helpful. They can also be differentiated; two different hunts on different coloured paper or a 'longer route' and 'shorter route'.

An example treasure hunt can be found here.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Kung Fu Literacy (Grammar)

Our previous post was titled Kung Fu Literacy (Word Types). This post follows on from that.The idea again is to use Kung Fu style moves to remind children of rules when writing.

Display a sentence. The everyone reads the sentence aloud. When the following appear in the sentence the following actions are used by all:

Capital Letter - Hands together and bow.

Full Stop - One punch forwards.

Comma - One hand moving in a downwards diagonal direction.

Speech Marks - Both hands held above the head and fingers used in a speech mark style.

Exclamation Mark / Question Mark - One hand make the shape of the upper part and then a punch below.

These are moves we have used. More can be added. Children should be encouraged to think about the moves as they write to remind them of what's required and where.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Kung Fu Literacy (Word Types)

In the past, we've blogged about using kung fu moves in maths. We've also used similar in literacy. We have used it in a couple of different ways. One is to reinforce word types. The idea is to give the children a way of remembering what nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs are. Each word has its own move to remind children of its meaning:

noun - Place two finger on the forehead and then move them away in a an almost saluting way. This is British Sign Language for name.

adjective - Place thumb and forefinger above and below eyes and open eyes wide. Adjectives describe what things are like.

verb - Jogging or walking on the spot. Verbs describe how things move. Do also remind children of the verb to be.

adverb - Arms by your side and then swishing to the left quickly. Adverbs give more description about verbs.

We have used these for:

- a list of words and children show an action when a word is pointed to;

- reading a sentence and children show an action when they say words;

- children have also been see acting out the move to themselves as they work.

If you have any ideas for new moves, changes to moves or activities to use them with please add them to the comments below.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Ringtones Real Life Link

As part of our ICT curriculum, we use GarageBand to create music. Using the application children can import pre-recorded music loops or record their own voice or sound effects. After familiarising themselves with the software, their end of unit outcome is to produce a mobile phone ringtone. Audacity can also be used for the same purpose. GarageBand comes 'free' with a Mac computer and Audacity can be downloaded free for a Windows computer.

What to do:
- The children create a piece of music less than 40 seconds long.
- They export it to the computer as a .mp3 file.
- Finally, using Bluetooth they send it to a mobile phone to be used as a ringtone.

The children bring in a mobile phone, often a parent or sibling's old one to send their ringtone to during their lesson. Then we also hold an after school event when children invite their parents in to do the same, but with the child teaching them. 

Some example of our children's work can be found here.