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  • kvnmcl 10:01 pm on January 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2010, activities, , , resolutions,   

    What’s coming up. Floaters. 

    Crystal ball by David Reece

    Okay now, a floater to some might raise a few brows and cause a few to smirk. But a floater to me is an idea, and one that doesn’t go away easily. A floater comes to mind when you are usually not following the ‘rule books’, when you decide to go with the flow in the classroom and see what the outcome will be rather than try to get to the outcome you have written down. A floater can be brilliant but also annoyingly out of reach. But it’s always there and always wants to be given a chance. Here are my floaters for the year ahead.

    1. Allow my class to talk more
    2. Make the school VLE a LEARNING ENVIRONMENT!
    3. Create an ‘old school’ interactive learning display
    4. Be more creative in my approach to other parts of the curriculum e.g. Use Green screen in RE lessons to retell stories from bible
    5. Bring my guitar into school everyday for no other reason than to sing with the class
    6. Be positive and stop moaning (but some things I have to moan about and I will continue to do so)
    7. Ask my class for more feedback
    8. Talk to my class more rather than getting through the mountain of objectives
    9. Continue my personal pursuit to rid the world of pointless homeworks
    10. If Oftsted do actually make an appearance this year, welcome them with open arms and have fun

    Let 2010 commence.

    • Mark Cunningham 10:39 pm on January 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great “floaters”. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 especially

    • Stuart Ridout 12:22 am on January 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply


      I must admit that I did have a minor smirk at the floaters but your list of floaters is great.

      I love the use of student voice in point 7, perhaps it could link to #2 and students could vote or rate lessons using the VLE. #6 benefits everyone (not specifically in your case but in general) and I think is something we could all try to take on board.

      Something that really excites me is #4. I love using green screen but find it tough to make it work in the classroom with so many people. We have a few staff who use green screen and one teacher is making a film using both live action and green screen (you can see the trailer at http://blip.tv/file/2960987 )

      Good luck with it! I look forward to seeing your outcomes online!

    • Pam Thompson 1:41 am on January 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      What a great list – a nice balance. Love the idea of taking your guitar in every day – an opportunity to chill & give the outcomes a rest 🙂

  • kvnmcl 7:44 pm on December 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activities, arcademic, maths, numeracy,   

    Netbook Maths – arcademicskillbuilders 

    Arcademic Skill Builders

    This is a quick post about the following site, arcademicskillbuilders.com which I found out through my PLN on Twitter via @bevevans22.

    I’d been looking for some Maths sites for Netbook use and in particular team games and collaboration. We have used and still do use the brilliant tutpup site but I’m always on the lookout for others to add to the resource list. This is one site that will be bookmarked for continued use by my class as they enjoyed the activities and learned too.

    (More …)

  • kvnmcl 12:02 pm on May 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activities, ,   

    Using Voice thread in the classroom 

    Voicethread is one of those tools that I have only just discovered and wish I had done so a few weeks back. In case you don’t know it’s

    a place for creating and collaborating on digital stories and documentaries, practicing and documenting language skills, exploring geography and culture, solving math problems or simply finding and honing student voices.

    I have used it with my class to document a school trip and I asked them to do it in Spanish, their mother language. The Voicethread I have started only contains two slides and 2 comments but the potential as a documentary tool is impressive. You can see for yourself here.

    (More …)

  • kvnmcl 3:53 pm on May 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activities, , , , , ,   

    Myst V – first week finished 

    Myst by Maria H.

    I thought it would be of interest to post my thoughts, conclusions and also comments from my class after our first week of exploring and using Myst in our classroom. 

    I had my initial doubts whether the use of the game as a teaching and learning tool would be suitable for a class of children who have Spanish as a first language but after playing with the game I decided it would be a wonderful opportunity for developing speaking and listening skills. My thoughts were proved correct as the game has brought so much conversation into the class and with it more descriptive and interesting language. (More …)

  • kvnmcl 6:58 pm on May 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activities, , , , ,   

    Myst V – Day 3 

    The excitement and anticipation that this game has brought to my class is truly an inspiration. Before we had even gotten into the classroom children were asking me when we were going to do Literacy. It’s become their favourite subject with no exceptions.

    I set up two chairs for hot seats and asked the class to recap on yesterday’s events. I use hot seats in the way wrestlers use their partners – children can tag others to get into the seat to talk and since we started using Myst everyone wants to talk. It’s a busy 5 minutes and the conversation is wonderful; I will have to record one session for you to listen to so you can experience the intensity of discussion.

    (More …)

  • kvnmcl 6:27 pm on May 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activities, , , ,   

    Myst V – Day 2 

    Wow! What an amazing lesson we had today. The collective sigh of extreme disappointment that the class let out when I had to stop the lesson was felt around the room.

    We picked up from Friday’s first exploration by discussing what might happen next, who we might meet and the clues we have found. I provided my class with a template to work from and they discussed the following questions with their buddy (working partner).

    • We have met two characters – Yeesha and Esher, both have stories to tell. But do you trust one character more than the other? Who do you trust? Explain your answers.
    • What is Myst? Can you describe the world that we have encountered so far? What other places do you think we might find?
    • What are your thoughts and feelings so far about Myst?

    The children sat working diligently for 20 minutes as I walked around joining in on conversations, asking questions and listening to their responses and explanations. I have only witnessed this level of interaction from my class when we have been on excursions or during Science experiments but never in a Literacy lesson. The level of anticipation grew as I invited buddies to speak to the class.

    And then the windows were closed, lights switched off and the door firmly shut so that we could continue on our quest.


  • kvnmcl 11:14 pm on May 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activities, , , , ,   

    Myst V – the beginning of our adventure 

    I have been reading all about Mark Warner’s uses of Myst in the classroom over the past couple of weeks and I just had to buy a copy of the game and find out what all the fuss was about. As soon as I installed it and started to play I immediately saw why it has been given such a positive response by many teachers as an inspirational teaching and learning tool.

    Over the next 6 weeks I will provide a daily account of how I have used the game with my class, what skills they have developed from using it, the lessons I have taught and the work they have done so that you too might just decide to take the plunge and try it with your own class.

    (More …)

    • EBD35 11:53 am on May 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hi ya. I teach in an EBD primary special school (5boys/2girls) and used Myst III for pre ofsted and ofsted lessons and my class LOVED it.
      I look forward to following your adventures over the following week(s)

    • K Haig 11:56 am on May 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      “Unfortunately I now have to play the game on my own so I can prepare activities to be used throughout the next few weeks as we delve deeper into it, but I can safely say that I will enjoy every moment of it.”

      This sounds such a hardship! Really interesting reading your thoughts, just found your blog through twitter and it is interesting reading- thanks!

    • kvnmclaughlin 12:13 pm on May 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      @EBD35 If you have any ideas and activities that you would like to share I’d be more than grateful.

      @K Haig Definitely a hardship 🙂 I just find it difficult not to keep playing it and seeing it through to the end. I want to keep some sense of wonder as I use the game with my class.

    • Dawn Willman 1:53 am on May 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I used to teach 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. I am currently a stay at home mom with my 3 and 6 year old. I will be tutoring students in writing this summer. I am just now through internet research hearing about the use of the Myst game for writing lessons. Has anyone published anything that has lessons already prepared with writing concepts and the use of this game? Are there any good websites out there to go to that have writing lessons for this game?

    • KOL 12:27 pm on June 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      It’s a shame that, as literature, Myst V is easily the weakest of the series. On the other hand it’s also among the easiest game-wise, so I can definitely see it as a good subject to examine in a classroom.

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