Category Archives: Carmuirs Primary School

Developing an online collaborative classroom with Microsoft Office 365 in Glow

NethermainsPSGlowSitesMalcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer within the Curriculum Support team of Service and School Improvement, Falkirk Council Education Services led sessions with all teaching staff at Nethermains Primary School, Antonine Primary School, Carmuirs Primary School, Bonnybridge Primary School, Shieldhill Primary School, Denny Primary School, St Joseph’s Primary School and St Patrick’s Primary School on developing an online collaborative classroom with Microsoft Office 365 in Glow.

Office 365 in Glow

These sessions led staff through an exploration of various features within Office 365, including class sites created within SharePoint as part of Microsoft Office 365 (which is accessed via their Glow username), as well as the Falkirk Council local authority site and a site within the national site which provided exemplars of pupil engagement activities.

Task Workflow – easy, secure sharing of pupil work with their teacher

Each Glow user (pupils and staff) has an Outlook email account as part of the Microsoft Office 365 account included in Glow where each user has 50GB storage, and each email can have attachments up to 25MB, and their own secure cloud storage (each user has unlimited storage in this OneDrive). So staff were shown (and carried out this themselves) how a task can be set by a teacher (perhaps using the discussion webpart in their class site) and each individual pupil can then create their response in their own OneDrive using Word Online (so Word does not need installed on any device), and then they can share it with their teacher (just by clicking on “Share” within the document, adding the teacher’s Glow username and clicking “share” to automatically both send it by email to the teacher, and making it available in the “Documents shared with me” part of the teacher’s OneDrive for easy access).

The teacher, with whom the pupil’s document has been shared, can then either edit the document in Word Online or simply click on “Insert” in the edit menu to add comments at appropriate parts in the pupil’s document, to provide feedback, encouragement and suggestions for change. All of this is able to be seen by the pupil instantly the changes or comments have been added.

Collaborative Document

Staff were shown how they could open a Word Online document in Office 365 in Glow to be editable by as many users as they chose, opening the possibility for groups of pupils to collaborate on the same document online all at the same time from their own computers, or mobile devices – staff trying this out could see that they could all view the same document being edited in front of their eyes with different coloured flags appearing on screen to show who was editing the different parts of the document.

Class Shared Resources

All classes have their own online space within Office 365 in Glow. A class space includes, by default, a discussion app (which provides the facility for pupils sharing their work with the teacher who has set the task, and for asking questions in a controlled class environment, peer to peer or teacher-pupil in the confines of a private class area); weblink sharing; a document store (where documents were created using Microsoft Word Online as part of Office 365, meaning that the document can be created online without need for the software to be installed on the PC or mobile device); and a picture gallery. Further apps can be added to these class spaces (so some include a class calendar, or media-specific gallery for uploading videos or audio recordings), and each page is easily editable by the class teacher. In most cases class sites are set up so that pupils can only add to the discussion area (though this can be changed by staff should they so wish), whereas staff can add and edit throughout the class site.

Collaboration via Video-Conferencing

imageStaff were shown that Glow includes two options for staff to use video-conferencing between classes or between schools.

These are the Office 365 Lync tool (which works like Skype, with which many are already familiar), set up as simply as adding an entry in the online calendar, inviting collaborators by adding their username, ticking the box to add an online meeting, and then clicking the share button to send an invitation via email to all invited to take part in the video-conferencing meeting. Currently this is only available to staff users.

The second option is Adobe Connect which provides more options for varying access permissions for different users, so that some may be able to present a Powerpoint presentation, others may be able to talk via microphone, or some may only be able to view the content and video (interacting via chat text messaging).

Access via Mobile Device

OneNoteAll parts of Glow can be accessed via a mobile device either via the mobile device browser or via different apps for each tool, including Office Mobile (in order to be able to edit Word or Powerpoint for example) and OneDrive for Business (the ordinary OneDrive app is for the likes of a personal Hotmail account).

Setting alerts for changes

Staff were shown how to set an alert in their class site so that they get sent a message whenever anything gets added or changed in their site. They were shown how to click onto their own MySite in Office 365 to access a page where they can see all of the sites they want to get to quickly (both within and outwith Glow), the contacts in Glow, the documents they store in their OneDrive and more.

Online Pupil Engagement Activities

They also had a look at the national Glow Winter Challenges site in which pupils have a host of activities which they can complete in order to gain points and online badges – which can be used right away with pupils, or provide ideas for teachers to adapt for use in their own class sites.

Glow provide access to hosts of resources with just one username and password

Glow provides access to many online resources which are provided with their Glow account, including, for example,  TigTag Science videos and teaching materials matched to Curriculum for Excellence Science at all levels, Scran (enormous digital archive of videos and images with associated information), film archives and several other subject-specific and cross-curricular resources.

Resources to support Staff in Using Glow

Staff can click on the following link to access support material for using Glow: http://tinyurl.com/l5zmeqw (Glow login required – access restricted to staff); as well as at the national Glow Connect site: http://connect.glowscotland.org.uk/

Active Approaches to Numeracy

 

Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer of the Service and School Improvement Team recently organised a professional learning opportunity entitled ‘Active Approaches to Numeracy’. 57 colleagues from Primary, Secondary and the Curriculum Support team (including QIO) spent the day examining a range of active strategies to improve attainment in mental mathematics.

 Helen MacKinven, from Big Maths provided an overview of strategies including: jigsaw numbers, CLIC and partitioning. Colleagues were also treated to the experience of a ‘Beat That’ mental maths quiz.

Clusters then worked together to look at ways forward to improve attainment in mental maths. Feedback from this day has been extremely positive.

A number of colleagues have put their names forward to be part of the Numeracy Mobilisation Team. This work will inform the update of Falkirk Council’s numeracy strategy. The first meeting for this group is being held on 12th February. For further information on this, please contact Sharon Wallace at sharon.wallace@falkirk.gov.uk

Active Literacy – P6/7 Training

Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer of the Curriculum Support Team has carried out Active Literacy training over the past two weeks with 54 teachers. The two three hour sessions examined the writing programme incorporating spelling and the reading programme.

Session one looked at how teachers can support pupils in becoming independent spellers. Pupils are taught strategies to use their previously learned knowledge of phonemes and spelling rules to more complex, polysyllabic words.

 The course examined the programme for spelling strategy work, alongside the new addition of ‘vocabulary building’, homophones and common confusions. Trials of the programme so far indicate that pupils are really enjoying the investigation element of prefixes and suffixes and how these affect the meaning of words.

The session also examined the writing genres covered at second level looking at incorporating writing trios, chunking, use of genre success criteria and next steps.

Session two focused on the development of the six key comprehension strategies across a range of texts. These strategies are:
1. Prior knowledge and prediction
2. Metalinguistics
3. Visualisation
4. Inference
5. Main ideas
6. Summarising and paraphrasing.

Sharon demonstrated how to develop these skills using a traditional ‘novel’ text, moving image (film trailer) and a poem. The course also looked at using online tools such as Powtoon, go animate and twixster to develop reading skills.

Colleagues were given a ‘Stories Allways’ resource containing a range of Scottish myths and legends as well as two CDs. This is a great resource as it provides pupils with a range of challenging questions, tasks and a synopsis of each tale.

Colleagues enthusiastically participated in a range of Active Literacy activities across the course of the two sessions and feedback so far has been really positive.

“The course was delivered extremely well by Sharon Wallace and the resources provided were very useful.”

“The course was presented over 2 days in which it provided an overview of the key methodologies and strategies as outlined in North Lanarkshire’s Active Literacy 6/7 programme. I thought all aspects of the course were useful and it enhanced my knowledge and understanding of the 6/7 programme which I will now be able to confidently implement in the classroom.”

“I am new to teaching as well as the Active Literacy programme. I had very little knowledge and understanding prior to the course however I now feel I can confidently implement active literacy in the classroom.”

“Sharon is a very enthusiastic presenter and it is clear that she wholly believes in the Active Literacy Programme. Her passionate delivery and ideas instil in you, the confidence to have a go in your own classroom.”

Staff booking onto CPD

Jamielee Dickson, Clerical Assistant within the Falkirk Council Education Services Curriculum Support Team deals with staff booking onto courses. Jamielee is the person at the end of the phone or sending e-mails for staff booking onto professional development.

Quality P.E.- The 2 Hour Target

Morag Simpson, Physical Education Lead Officer in Falkirk Council Education Services, Curriculum Support Team has been engaging in series of meetings supporting the delivery of quality physical education in Falkirk primary schools. These meetings with Headteachers of the Larbert and Falkirk cluster primary schools were to explore a variety of ways in which schools were able to meet the delivery of the 2 hour target to fulfil the pupil entitlement. These discussions provide the means to share different solutions to the different contexts in relation to staffing, accomodation and resources to name but a few.

Active Literacy – Effective Transition at the Early Level

Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning teacher, Curriculum Support Team led an active literacy workshop at the Early Years Conference. The workshop explored ways Nursery and P1 are working together to ensure a smooth transition for literacy development. Good practice was shared by Camelon Nursery and Carmuirs Primary School and this was well received by colleagues.