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Showing posts from 2017

Reporting from the scene of the Great Fire of London

We recently discovered the Read Write Perform has now been used in over 2000 schools around the world. This is incredible! For a fairly new approach, to see it grow so quickly has been amazing. The best part is the positive feedback we receive from teachers, who say it has revolutionised the way in which they teach English. At present, there are 10 packs, we have mapped out around 30+ to hopefully get to a point where schools could do a pack a half term from year 1-6. Unfortunately, due to the amount of detail and quality that goes into the packs, they take a while to write.

However, we love how teachers are now innovating on the approach. After trying one of the teaching packs, teachers and schools understand the pedagogy behind the approach and now use the overview to plan their English. This includes some of the teachers in my school. So Year 2 have been writing newspaper articles about the Great Fire of London. Using the ReadWritePerform approach, the children then performed their…

Remembrance Day Activities

Although Remembrance Day has passed, I wanted to share a couple of activities we did across our school to learn about this important and significant day.

In KS1, the pupils created videos using the fantastic Adobe Spark Video app to share their knowledge and understanding about Armistice Day; how it happened and how we remember it.

Here is one of their examples:


In KS2, the pupils created greenscreen videos as paperboys sharing the news about the end of the Great War. Brilliant little task which challenged the children to think about abstraction and constraints with their writing. They had to be paper boys spreading the news about Armistice day. The challenge was to grab people’s attention but it had to be short, almost speak in headlines. The boys in the video would love to hear what you think, so please leave them a comment! 


Watch this space, as this will be developed into a READWRITEPERFORM pack soon. 
As a whole school, we created a Padlet wall for families to share stories of re…

Improving Oral Speaking in EYFS/KS1 through Digital Storytelling

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One of the best ways in which I use iPad in the classroom is to encourage and improve student's speaking and listening. In a culture of teaching, where we are so accountable to prove what we have done in books, I fear we do not develop young children's oral speaking skills. In my opinion, if a child cannot talk you through a story, I don't believe they can effectively write one. So over the past few weeks, I have been using one of my favourite apps - Puppetpals HD Directors Pass, to improve and develop children oral storytelling.

The app, which I have enjoyed using for a number of years, allows pupils to add pictures of characters alongside background and record their own cartoon. It lends itself brilliantly to so many different areas of the curriculum. Working with Reception over the past few weeks, we have focused on using it to allow pupils retell stories they have been reading in class. Here are a couple of recent projects the students have created:

The Tiger Who Came …

I Love The Power Of The Internet!

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This is something I share a lot on my training. I explain how, as teachers, we need to embrace the internet and demonstrate how to use it safely. I also demonstrate how when utilised in the right way, it can have an incredible impact on children's learning. I have previously blogged plenty of examples where the internet has enhanced our learning in class and the experiences my pupils have had from it. 
This week I've had a much more personal example of how incredibly powerful the internet is. A close family friend is currently undergoing a lot of treatment to battle Leukemia. Rather than me tell you all about her battle, here is our superstar Emmie talking all about her current illness:


Now before Emmie was diagnosed with this illness, my wife had managed to get tickets for her and her Mum to attend the Little Mix concert in Manchester alongside my wife and daughter. Everyone was really looking forward to seeing their favourite band perform. Unfortunately, over the past week,…

Mr P's Round Up of Christmas Adverts - 2017

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So it is that time of year again and already our TVs are flooded with different adverts. Over the past few years, I have blogged a number of ways to use some of the more popular adverts in class, which you can read here:

Mr P's round-up of Christmas Adverts 2016
Developing Emotional Literacy through a great Christmas Advert
John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015
John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014
Sainsbury's Christmas Advert 2014

So as Christmas is all about traditions, here are some ideas for this year's adverts.

Before I start I must mention some other resources worth checking out. Firstly, the Christmas Letter ReadWritePerform Pack:


There is also my eBook - The 12 iPad lessons of Christmas which you can download by clicking the picture:

So let's start with the most popular - John Lewis and their Moz the Monster advert:


Now as the advert doesn't have any text, John Lewis has provided a book to work alongside the advert. You can grab a copy here.
You may have also seen in the …

Reading Comprehension through Harry Styles

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I love using music in the classroom for a number of reasons. I have previously blogged about using songs for comprehension and you can read about them here - CLICK HERE.
After listening to the latest song released by Harry Styles, 'Two Ghosts' is definitely a song you could use and discuss with your pupils.

Here is a lyric video:


I would first play the song all the way through and ask the children what the song is about - It is about a relationship ending and both leaving as very different people. 
Then consider the lyrics in more detail:

Same lips red, same eyes blue,
Same white shirt, couple more tattoos,
But it's not you and it's not me,
Tastes so sweet, looks so real,
Sounds like something that I used to feel,
But I can't touch what I see.

We're not who we used to be,
We're not who we used to be,
We're just two ghosts standing in the place of you and me,
Trying to remember how it feels to have a heartbeat.

Consider the first line, who is he singing about? His …

Reflecting on #ReadingRocks - The Power of talking about Books

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There was a lot I took away from #ReadingRocks_17 last week. The keynotes from @TeresaCremin reminded me of how important Reading for Pleasure really is. As she stated, the research shows Reading for Pleasure has the biggest impact on children's success when they grow up. The website she mention ResearchRichPedagogies, has some great information for how to promote Reading for Pleasure in your school. These awesome sketch notes from @Cazzash picked up the main points from her keynote:
Realised the original photo is a bit blurred. pic.twitter.com/0LtXRgFW2h — Caroline Ash (@cazzash) October 14, 2017
It was the same with @MaryMyatt's keynote, a lot to think about echoing a similar message. Again here is another sketchnote from @Cazzash:

That was fantastic @MaryMyatt#ReadingRocks_17@_Reading_Rocks_pic.twitter.com/ZFq9cpcHrx — Caroline Ash (@cazzash) October 14, 2017
A big message from the day was emphasising how important it is for teachers to be readers. I completely agree and t…

A Class Read for ReadWritePerform's Storm Pack

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The latest ReadWritePerform teaching pack is now available:

The Storm: A Personification Pack challenges your students to read and deconstruct texts describing a storm, then write their own description and perform it as an interactive multimedia eBook.

The writing focuses on developing personification and multi-sensory description to bring the storm to life in the reader's mind.

Along with John's exemplar text, we also use the brilliant book - The Mousehole Cat written by Antonia Barber and illustrated by Nicola Bayley.

This is the stunningly illustrated story of the seaside village of Mousehole Cornwall, where Mowzer the cat lives happily with old fisherman Tom - Tom who rocks the rocking chair just right, and catches fresh fish for dinner every night. Their life is a happy one - until one terrible winter, the Great Storm-Cat comes clawing and snarling and leaping at the harbour walls, so that no boat can go out to sea to fish. Soon, with Christmas coming, there is no food lef…

My Workshop at Reading Rocks

I had a wonderful time on Saturday at The District CofE Primary School at the second Reading Rocks conference. I want to thank Heather and the staff for all their hard work organising a fantastic event. I was very lucky to be able to host a workshop all about ReadWritePerform. You can see my workshop and how the RWP approach works:



I was also very lucky to be interviewed as part of @RussellPrue's live radio broadcast. You can listen to the interview here:

It was nice to have the opportunity to sit and listen to other inspiring keynotes and drop into @SmithSmm's brilliant workshop. What was great how the messages from the keynotes and workshop I attended complimented the key messages from my workshop.

Combining PE and Maths with AR Runner and Graphmented

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One of the most exciting new features of Apple's iOS11 is the new ARKit and the possibilities with this new feature. The downside, as I discovered last week, the new AR apps will only work on devices with A9 or A10 chips. After installing these apps on most of our school devices, I quickly discovered they didn't work and had to change my plans quickly. 
My Year 6 digital leaders did, however, get to try these apps out on my iPad. First, they started with the app AR Runner.
The app used AR to create checkpoints which you run to as a way to complete different challenges. It is a great way to combine technology with PE as the children are timed when completing the challenges. Word of warning though, make sure you have decent cases on your iPads as no doubt there will be a few accidents when your pupils are into the game. 
The Year 6 pupils all had a few attempts of completing a challenge and collated their scores on a Google Sheet. 
Using another Augmented Reality app - Graphment…

Learning About The Human Body In Year 1

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Year 1 are learning all about the human body. Today, we used technology to enhance this topic further. First, we used the brillaint Virtuali-tee app from Curiscope. Click here to read more about this app. To order a t-shirt, click here.

Year 1 loved learning about the human body today through Augmented Reality! Thank you @curiscope_official! A post shared by Lee Parkinson (@ict_mrp) on Oct 12, 2017 at 9:24am PDT

Once we had explored and discussed the different parts of our body, the children all took turns wearing a green t-shirt and used the camera to photograph each other. They pupils then used Doink Greenscreen to create a picture that looked like we could see inside their body.


Once the pupils had uploaded their pictures to Seesaw, we used the explain and reflect tool in Seesaw to label the major organs. 




Finally, with the help of our Digital Leaders, some children were able to record a video explaining how some of our organs work, see the video here:

The children loved using the t…

How Teachers Walk Down The School Corridor

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Are you guilty of any of these?


A Class Read for ReadWritePerform's Picture Postcard Pack

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The latest ReadWritePerform pack - Wish You Were Here: The Picture Postcard Pack - is now available to download.

This Unit of Work is aimed specifically at Key Stage 1 but can be adapted for lower Key Stage 2. Through reading, deconstructing and then writing a postcard of a recent holiday, children will then perform their postcard as a greenscreen video and link it through Augmented Reality to create an interactive video postcard. Each app has a step-by-step guide for teachers who may feel less confident using the technology.

The aim is to cover all elements of the English curriculum in an engaging and purposeful way using a variety of media.

Here is a snippet of the final piece of work your pupils will create through using the pack:


Within the pack, we recommend some books that complement the pack really well. We recommend you using these as your class read as there are many links between the pack and the books.


Meerkat Mail - Meerkat Mail is a brilliant picture book from Emily Gravet…

Descriptosaurus - The Perfect Christmas Present For A Teacher

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About 3 years ago, my fantastic Deputy gave every teacher this book - Descriptosaurus. Written by Alison Wilcox, Descriptosaurus is fantastic for creative writing that is a thematic expansion of a dictionary and a thesaurus. It provides children with a comprehensive resource with which to expand their descriptive vocabulary, experiment with language and sentence structure and build up narratives based around the following areas: Settings - landscapes, settlements and atmosphere, Characters - appearance, emotions and personality, and Creatures - appearance, abilities and habitats.

When it comes to writing, teachers can find it tricky to generate effective descriptive language during shared or guided writing sessions. I have been lucky enough to attend training by Alan Peat and Pie Corbett. Both sessions were fantastic and made it look so easy to generate effective vocabulary to tell a good story. They are geniuses and experts in the field. When faced with a class of 30, being put on t…

A Class Read for ReadWritePerform's Crazy Creatures Pack

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Recently. we discovered this amazing book that would complement our recent teaching pack - Crazy Creatures.
This Unit of Work is aimed specifically at Key Stage 1 but can be adapted for lower Key Stage 2. Through reading, researching and then writing an information text about a chosen animal, children will create their own Crazy Creature Fact File. The aim is to cover all elements of the English curriculum in an engaging and purposeful way using a variety of media. It also aims to foster within children their love of the natural world and help them to understand their role and responsibility to it.


Sloth Slept On is a picture book all about a group of children who find a sloth snoring away in a tree in their garden. Not knowing what it is, they set out to find out. While the two older children dream up increasingly outrageous possibilities, from an astronaut to a pirate, to a space creature, the youngest little girl investigates books and a globe and discovers what it really is and w…

5 Useful iOS 11 Updates for Teachers

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Recently, Apple released iOS 11 and with the update are some great new features. I have put this video together of some of my favourite new features which I think teachers will find really useful.




The downside with the new update is that there are now quite a few apps that will no longer work. @ICTEvangelist recently blogged about this and how to find out which ones are no longer compatible with iOS11. You can read it here. 
On my iPad there are 810!!! Now some of them I have downloaded and never used in the classroom. There are however a number that I regularly use and am gutted they will no longer work. Tellagami, Thinking Blocks, Epic Citadel and some of the AR apps I had, are the ones that stand out the most. Luckily with iOS11 the ARKit will bring some impressive new apps into the classroom.
Fingers crossed, most of the developers will be able to update the apps in the near future. Here is the list of apps on my iPad that will no longer work:









Retelling Stories with Shadow Puppets Edu

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For the past couple of weeks, I have been working with Year 2. Their topic is "Something old, something new." This has been linked to the story - Granny's Quilt by Penny Ives.

Last week, the students used the app Shadow Puppets Edu to record their thoughts on pictures of things from my youth which has now been replaced with modern technology. You can watch their efforts here.

This week we used the same app for a different task. Now the children had read the story a few times in class, I challenged them to create a video retelling the story in their own words.

The reason why Shadow Puppets Edu has become one of my go-to apps for KS1 is how versatile it is and how simple it is for pupils to use. Once they had selected a number of images from the book, they recorded themselves explaining that part of the story and then repeated the process for each image and then saved the finished video to their Seesaw portfolios.

Here are a couple of their examples:



10 More Medieval Pictures That Capture Life as a Teacher

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So a couple of weeks ago, I shared some medieval pictures from my Instagram account (@ICT_MrP) that depicted life as a teacher. You can read this blog post here. 

Here are 10 more:

1)
PPA Goals.... #medievalteachers #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #teacherlife A post shared by Lee Parkinson (@ict_mrp) on Sep 14, 2017 at 2:09pm PDT
2)
When you've set off a load of photocopies but forget to turn off double sided printing! #medievalteacher #teachersofinstagram #teacher #teacherlife A post shared by Lee Parkinson (@ict_mrp) on Sep 16, 2017 at 5:17am PDT 3)
Trying to decode a student’s writing! #medievalteacher #teachersofinstagram #teacher #teacherlife A post shared by Lee Parkinson (@ict_mrp) on Sep 23, 2017 at 10:39am PDT 4)
Checking to see if your pupil has a brain when they ask you what to do after you’ve explained the instructions for the tenth time! #medievalteacher #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #teacherlife #teacher A post shared by Lee Parkinson (@i…