Posts Tagged With: creativity

Springing into Action

This post is dedicated to the inspiring, wonderfully creative @bevevans22, who sadly passed away last month. I was fortunate enough to have met Bev on a few occasions over the past couple of years since embracing the world of Twitter and was always impressed by her warmth and creativity. For many teachers, they may not know her name, but they will have a Bev Evans resource somewhere in their classroom. Bev’s legacy can  be judged through countless downloads of the free resources she uploaded to the TES SEN site. That said,  it’s her dedication and commitment to improving the lives of children that will be remembered most.

The impact that Bev had on the world of education encourages me to continue to be creative and innovative through my own practice.
Recently, I have asked my Y1 children to demonstrate their creativity through topic lessons. In a recent music session, I introduced them to a website called ‘Incredibox‘, whereby they got to compose their own song through assembling various sounds. By using Incredibox to maintain a steady background beat, we built on it and composed a variation of a well know farm-themed song. Visit the Bowling Park Primary website to listen to the final composition and to view our iPad art based on the work of David Hockney.

As Spring is well and truly here, I thought it an appropriate moment to take time to reflect on the first months of 2014. As my theme for the year is ‘change’, I was inspired by various people at #EdShow14 in Birmingham last month. As I walked up and down the aisles, I saw so many innovative products, ideas and people, which further inspire me to make a difference in the lives of children. I enjoyed learning about the latest news from #BETT award winners @Showmyhomework, catching up with @chrisrat on the @scholastic stand and listening to the ever inspiring @stevebunce demonstrating just how easy the Computing Curriculum can be.

Bradford have had different holiday times to other authorities, which has meant that I have enjoyed this past week considering what the Summer Term might look like for children in my class. Discussions with fellow educators has led me to consider developing the idea of #DigitalLeaders and @OpenBadges. Watch this space…

Making the most of my alternative week off, I took myself down to London for some rest and relaxation, beginning my trip with a lovely catch up at South Bank for #pizzaed. Many folk attended including @mberry, @digitalmaverick, @gillbudgell, @dawnhallybone to name a few. It was here that I learned more about how Mary Farmer @ebd35 has been using technology in her school and about the insightful work that @oliverquinlan is doing at @nesta_uk. Special thanks go to @andreacarr1 for organising the event.
From one lovely evening to another, other meet-ups included a good old chat with @tonyparkin about the wonderful city of #York and @jachapman82 and her brand new blog which can be found at hiaragirlpower.blogspot.com.

And so, full of the joys of spring after a lovely break, I look ahead to this week and seeing the smiling faces of my Y1’s tomorrow morning. Let’s hope that they too have had a fantastic holiday and are ready to spring into action from 8:45am…

 

 

 

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Categories: Apps, Education and learning, Technology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Princesses, Superheroes and the Bat Poo

Another month has passed by and the Spring Term is flying by! I had planned to write about various weekend events I have attended such as Start Up London and BETT 2013 but I thought something light-hearted for a Sunday evening was more appropriate.
It doesn’t seem like two seconds since I walked back into my classroom after the Christmas break and even in amongst snow days, we have found new games and apps to use on the I-pads. In addition, the children have thought about what they think imagination means.

Our Spring topic is ‘Let’s Imagine’ and all the children have expressed their ideas via paintings, drawings, writing and discussion. Last year, you may recall how the class of 2012’s imagination led them on a dragon hunt. This year has led to key groups being identified and classroom provision enhanced accordingly:

* Castles, dragons and princesses
* Superheroes
* Monsters

That’s not to say that monsters are exclusive to boys and princesses to girls, indeed a number of boys have donned the mermaid tail and made crowns. That said, this year’s class are more divided on the gender front than last year’s class.

I have to say that my boys in particular haven’t stopped talking since they came back and the topic has proved a powerful tool for all areas of learning. Let me explain how it is working in literacy alone.

Whilst it is important for the boys in my class to explain to the girls why Batman is better than Princess Superhero, this is only the half of it!

I had a lovely moment the other day when the class had discussed transforming the role play area into a cave (for monsters and superheroes of course). After we had gathered the materials and began construction one afternoon, the inevitable time came to go home and I (the humble facilitator) was asked to finish it over night so they could play in it first thing the following morning.

Needless to say, I spent an hour after school with duct tape and string, ensuring it was child-proof until it was ‘finished’…phew!

The very next morning, I opened the door, the children bounded past me and raced to the role play area. As I watched, smiling to myself and proud of my achievements, you can imagine the disappointment I felt when two of the boys from the Superhero Group complained, “That’s not a bat cave, it’s a bear cave maybe.” “Yeah, where’s Batman’s motorbike?”

Aghast for a moment, despite the other children’s delight that it was ready to play in, I did what any teacher would do and replied as follows:

“Well put it in writing with a detailed plan of exactly what you had in mind and we will negotiate a change.”

Of course, without further ado, both boys trotted off respectfully to get a pen and some paper and did just that!

It all shows that by following the children’s own interests, treating them as responsible citizens and independent learners, even the most boisterous boys will write!

By the end of this exciting week, it was my PPA time out of class and the cover teacher went in. I returned at home time to blue paint splattered all over my art display and clay all over the floor in the now infamous ‘cave’. When I was informed about what had happened, I couldn’t help but laugh.
You see, the culprits of the mess had a perfectly justifiable reason as ‘the blue is what colour Batman has in his house and the clay is the BAT POO!’

Who says creativity is dying in schools?

I wonder where our imagination will take us this week…

For the latest exciting news from Bowling Park Primary, visit http://www.bowlingparkprimary.net

Categories: Education and learning | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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