Programmable Toys – 161/18

In today’s class we were looking at programmable toys and the benefits they have. We were using Bee-Bot to design a map based on a numeracy outcome. Doing this task […]

In today’s class we were looking at programmable toys and the benefits they have. We were using Bee-Bot to design a map based on a numeracy outcome. Doing this task was extremely useful for me as I was able to gain ideas for when I am teaching how to sometimes cover multiple outcomes during the same lesson.

There are many benefits of using programmable floor toys in the classroom including teaching the children the concepts in a fun manner and helping with developing knowledge and an understanding of the modern world (Janka, 2008). Numeracy is a subject in particular that benefits as children can describe simple journeys made by the programmable toy which will help the pupil’s develop positional language and estimation (Janka, 2008).  The National Centre for Technology in Education (2012), found that programmable toys also encourage the building of skills such as logical sequencing, measuring, space orientation and comparing lengths.

We worked in groups to create an activity using Bee-Bot. We picked a mathematical outcome from Curriculum for Excellence and created a game based on flags of the world. The children would get question cards and have to use positional language to answer the questions. They would also be asked to move to certain locations without going through certain landmarks.

In the future, I would use Bee-Bot in my classroom as it has many benefits and allows children to enjoy activities for outcomes that may not necessarily have been too engaging. It also spreads across many different areas of the curriculum from literacy to technology.

References

Janka, P. (2008) Using a Programmable Toy at Preschool Age: Why and How?

[Online] http://www.terecop.eu/downloads/simbar2008/pekarova.pdf

[Access: 16th January 2018]

NCTE (National centre for Technology in Education) (2012) NCTE Floor Robots – Focus on Literacy & Numeracy.

[Online] http://www.ncte.ie/media/NCTE_Floor_robots_focus_on_literacy_numeracy_primary_12-06.pdf [Accessed: 16th January 2018]

Digital Technology Week 4 – Coding

Digital Technology Week 4 – Coding This week in Digital Technology we were learning about coding. We learnt about the Benefits of using coding in the classroom, we did this by doing coding through the scratch jr. app on the iPad and using the instruction cards to learn how to do the simple coding instructions. […]

Digital Technology Week 4 – Coding

This week in Digital Technology we were learning about coding. We learnt about the Benefits of using coding in the classroom, we did this by doing coding through the scratch jr. app on the iPad and using the instruction cards to learn how to do the simple coding instructions. We were instructed to create a short animation that could be used to start off a literacy lesson or to give ideas to children to create their own animation.

We were taught about the benefits of using coding in the classroom. Today coding is considered a huge part of literature and giving children, these skills helps them be able to understand how a computer works and can help because it can lead into other areas of learning. Areas such as problem solving and communication it also helps with their concentration levels as it takes a lot of thought process to be able to understand how coding works to then be able to do it themselves. (Beauchamp 2012). The only experience of coding before this tutorial was a couple of lessons we did in 3rd year at school in computing on scratch on the computer where we made a maze game. I didn’t realise that coding such as scratch has now been taken down schools to as young as 5 years old as I didn’t realise children were as advanced in computing as what they are.

Scratch Jr. is a straightforward way to introduce coding to young children in primary school. It is described as able to be used by children of 5 years and above. It is used to create interactive animations and games for them to share and use to enhance their learning. Scratch jr. works by joining together blocks that when made into a sequence in the correct order allows the “sprite,” which is the characters used in the animations and games, to be able to move and do other things that the children instruct them to. “Scratch is designed for exploration and experimentation, so it supports any different learning style.” The Lead Project (2014). Scratch was designed to be able to teach children what coding is and how it works but making it fun and interesting for them and easy enough for them to understand and for the teachers to be able to teach. It was also created to help children in other areas such as problem solving and creative imagination as it lets the children bring their ideas to life on the screen then be able to share what they have create with their peers in the class room and their teacher. “Scratch was developed for young people to help them develop creative learning skills for the 21st century.” The Lead project (2014). Skills developed through the use of Scratch Jr. in young people can be:
• Creative thinking skills
• Logical reasoning skills
• Problem solving skills
• Collaboration skills

The short animation I created was about a crab and a frog who went into the sea to look for colourful shells. I created my animation to be shown to the children at the start of a lesson in which they would go on to create a similar animation but with their own stories. This would give the children the idea of the standard of work the teacher would be looking for and would also give them ideas to allow the children to go further and create their own stories or they could carry on my animation with similar characters and story line.

I found that this lesson would link to 3 experiences and outcomes on the curriculum for excellence, two from the ICT section and one from literacy. The first ICT outcome talks about the children creating the animations on the computer and being able to understand how to work the app. “I explore and experiment with the features and functions of computer technology and I can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts.” TCH 1-04a / TCH 2-04a. the second ICT outcome refers to the creation of their ideas onto the computer bringing their ideas to life. “I can create, capture and manipulate sounds, text and images to communicate experiences, ideas and information in creative and engaging ways.” TCH 1-04b / TCH 2-04b. the literacy outcome I decided to refer to is “I enjoy creating texts of my choice and I regularly select subject, purpose, format and resources to suit the needs of my audience.” LIT 1-20a / LIT 2-20a. As this refers to the children making ideas and putting them into words to create an animated story on the computer.

Overall, I think the use of coding in the classroom is a big benefit to the children as it introduces them to how a computer works behind the games etc that they play on an everyday basis. I think scratch is a good and uncomplicated way to incorporate coding and ICT into lessons in the classroom also it engages the children as they enjoy doing things involving technology and that allow them to create things including their own ideas. I would love to be able to use scratch Jr. on the iPad when I am teaching in classrooms.

References

• Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary School: From Pedagogy to Practice. Pearson.
• Education Scotland (2004) – Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed on 5th February 2018]
• The Lead Project (2014) Super Scratch Programming Adventure: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games! No Starch Press.

Digital Technology Week 4- 30/01/2018 (Coding, Scratch Jr.)

In today’s lesson we explored coding, specifically through the programme Scratch Jr. which is used in many schools. We experimented with Scratch Jr. ourselves and discussed how coding could enhance learning for children both referring to further reading on professionals opinions of coding as well as through our own experiences and creations of lessons plans […]

In today’s lesson we explored coding, specifically through the programme Scratch Jr. which is used in many schools. We experimented with Scratch Jr. ourselves and discussed how coding could enhance learning for children both referring to further reading on professionals opinions of coding as well as through our own experiences and creations of lessons plans on Scratch Jr.

Scratch Jr has been designed to allow children to create and explore and so it can support many different learning styles which is essential in modern day,  busy classrooms where every child is an individual and has their own preferred style of learning. There are many other benefits to the use of coding programmes in schools; Children are not only being encouraged to be creative, they are also gaining reasoning skills and learning how to work collaboratively. All of these are skills are essential to becoming successful later on in their life. To have a programme which can engage and help children with many different learning styles in areas across the curriculum is an incredibly useful tool (The Lead Project, 2014).

During today’s lesson our objective was to create a story using Scratch Jr. to promote literacy skills in a chosen level of the curriculum i.e. early or first level. We had to link our story with our chosen level alongside the specific experiences and outcomes which we had also chosen from the Curriculum for Excellence. There were some online tutorials which talked us through various aspects of the programme; how to choose a landscape, how to choose various characters and how to move these characters around. I had never used any programme like Scratch Jr. before and so this style of tutorial with a step by step guide was very useful before the upcoming assessment. I decided to focus upon first level and I decided on the following outcomes;

 

By considering the type of text I am creating, I can select ideas and relevant information, organise these in a logical sequence and use words which will be interesting and/or useful for others- LIT 1-26a

 

I am learning to use my notes and other types of writing to help me understand information and ideas, explore problems, generate and develop ideas or create new text- LIT 1-25a

I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts- TCH 1-01a

In the story I created for my lesson I set out the basic outline for a fairytale story. My first slide featured a girl in a car driving away from a house. From experience in schools I have found that many children, and adults alike, find getting started the hardest part of story writing and so this is why I believed it was important to include this as my opening slide in the story. On the slide I provided various story starters for those children who may need more help to get their story started e.g. ‘Once upon a time…’. My next slide is an opportunity for children to describe the scenery and how the main character might be feeling at this point. I decided to leave my story at a disequilibrium to give the children some freedom and allow them to use their imagination to decide what happens next to the character.  Before starting this particular lesson with the children in previous weeks I would have intruded the Scratch Jr. programme to the class and each week showed them a new feature of the application, therefore on this week they would be more confident in using the application so I could focus the lesson more upon literacy. I would read through my story with the children, pausing to ask what they thought on each slide and writing down different ‘buzz words’ that the class came up with to describe characters feelings or the scene so they could refer back to the board earlier, see the buzz words and use these in their own stories. I would also give the children some thinking time and ask if they had any ideas what might happen to the main character after the story as well as sharing some of my own ideas so that children who may find this a daunting task have lots of ideas to use in their own story.

After thinking of how I would use Scratch Jr. in a classroom setting this made the idea come to life for me and I understood how useful a tool this would be in a classroom. It is very engaging and makes the story come to life which would be incredibly helpful for children who struggle to engage with story writing, before having to describe the dragon they could create their own purple dragon with red eyes, a jaggy jewelled tale and terrifying teeth.

 

 

 

References

Education Scotland (2004) Curriculum for Excellence [Online] Available at: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/all-experiences-and-outcomes.pdf  Accessed: 31/01/18

The Lead Project (2014) Super Scratch Programming Adventure: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games! No Starch Press.

Digital Technologies Week 3 (Multimodality) 23/1/18

The main focus of this week’s lesson was to understand the importance of creating classroom presentations that are multimodal. Following this, we were then given the opportunity to create our own, personal multimodal text with the help of useful app ‘ActivInspire’. Examples of previous effective lessons using multimodality were shown prior to us completing this […]

The main focus of this week’s lesson was to understand the importance of creating classroom presentations that are multimodal. Following this, we were then given the opportunity to create our own, personal multimodal text with the help of useful app ‘ActivInspire’. Examples of previous effective lessons using multimodality were shown prior to us completing this task, giving us ideas and creativity.

I learned that a text can be described as ‘multimodal’ when it combines two or more of the five semiotic systems, which are: linguistic, visual, audio, gestural and spatial. Creating this type of text results in young learners being engaged and interested in the information at hand as well as ensuring that the lesson will be memorable. Beauchamp (2012) highlights the importance of engaging with multimodal texts when it was stated that multimodality “allows teachers to present an idea in a variety of different ways to help pupils understand it.” I am glad to have gained knowledge on this aspect of teaching as I believe the benefits that multimodality provides in education can be easily recognised. Multimodal presentations have the potential to be interactive, personal and motivating as well as enjoyable for both the learner and teacher.

After being given an understanding of how multimodality can be useful for future lessons, we were given the chance to witness this type of presentation first hand and create our own. To do this, we were introduced to ‘ActivInspire’ which is a useful tool that empowers teachers to create interactive and collaborative flip charts. My partner and I decided to base our flip chart on a French language lesson. Focusing on basic colours, we created tasks on each slide such as “use the interactive pen to draw a line from the colour in French to the image of a flower that matches that description” or “the letters that form a colour in French are in the wrong order. Rewrite them correctly using the interactive pen.” Having both text and images displayed simultaneously allows the information to be more memorable since children may find it easier to remember words when they can associate them in their minds with pictures. In addition, having a teacher saying the text aloud as the pupil is reading it will aid learning as having audio and text alongside each other allows children to picture in their minds what the word looks like as well as sounds like. Having the opportunity to interact with the teaching as opposed to listening for lengthy periods of time, children become excited by the knowledge they are gaining and can display their independence. The benefits of this learning are supported by Prandstatter (2014) as it was stated that “touch displays can become a social learning tool encouraging hands-on experiences, thereby helping children to learn by doing.”

Although my partner and I focused on the subject of language for this task, I am aware that other fellow students chose varying topics ranging from mathematics to literacy. This displays the idea that multimodality is beneficial throughout many aspects of education and should be encouraged at all stages. Due to this session, I am significantly more aware of why multimodal texts should be frequently used in schools and the benefits of using them in teaching. I also now feel more confident using helpful tools such as ActivInspire to include children more independently in their learning. My previous placement made it clear how involved young individuals are with technology and how much enjoyment interactivity can bring to a lesson therefore I plan to use my new skills in future classroom settings now that I have gained a better understanding.

Reference list:
Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary School: From Pedagogy to Practice. Pearson.
YouTube ActivInspire series of support videos:

Education Scotland https://education.gov.scot

Learning through the concept of STEM to STEAM

This week’s input focused on the concept STEM to STEAM. Prior to this lesson, I lacked a lot of knowledge and understanding regarding this concept. I had not heard of STEM to STEAM before and was very intrigued to develop my understanding of this concept, as I believe that as a student teacher it is … Continue reading “Learning through the concept of STEM to STEAM”

This week’s input focused on the concept STEM to STEAM. Prior to this lesson, I lacked a lot of knowledge and understanding regarding this concept. I had not heard of STEM to STEAM before and was very intrigued to develop my understanding of this concept, as I believe that as a student teacher it is vital that I fully understand this concept to create more effective, efficient, fun and enjoyable lessons for the pupils.

The terms STEM and STEAM both stand and mean different things. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics whereas STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM, 2018). When looking at this concept, I considered the question that many people might ask and one I asked myself: How does a teacher combine science and art?.  Science and the arts are both experimental subjects and therefore carry an element of risk.  This could be a risk of an experiment going wrong or entering the ‘unknown’ with an art piece.  It is important to realise that the arts can be used as a positive resource to help carry the more difficult subjects like mathematics, science or technology.  This was demonstrated throughout the input today.  As part of this session, we looked through leaflets of festivals and exhibitions held at Dynamic Earth. From this, it was apparent  how easily art can be integrated with subjects like science and technology.

Part of a dynamic earth leaflet.

It is crucial to realise that introducing STEAM does not mean less time is spent on STEM subjects and more time is spent on the arts, but it is about applying creative thinking to STEM projects, and enhancing children’s creativity and imagination through the arts.  As an aspiring teacher, I need to ensure I find the most suitable and natural ways for art to fit into the STEM subjects.  Using STEAM, allows pupil’s the opportunity “to utilize their artistic talents to generate innovative thinking” (Teach Hub, n.d.). Therefore, as a student teacher, I need to bring ambition, creativity and confidence to the future jobs that I acquire.

It is important for teachers to give the pupils a range of experiences and opportunities in school that they wouldn’t be able to do at home. Educators should think outside the box with their lessons, to spark imagination and innovation within the pupils. It is vital to remember and acknowledge that children relish the opportunity to go to places in their minds and work from their imagination, and they have an innate ability to do this easily. However, this is something that perhaps gets lost or is diminished the older they get. There is a quote by Ken Robinson (2001) that I feel sums this up perfectly “We don’t grow into creativity; we grow out of it. Often we are educated out of it.” I want to ensure to provide opportunities for pupils to experience the concept of STEAM and foster this ability in all of the pupils at a level suitable to them, with consideration to their age and stage of development.

After having discussed STEM to STEAM as a class, we then moved on to continuing our artwork based on our evocative object. We were encouraged to create a piece of writing, no longer than 62 words, and use it as a stimulus to create a piece of art. I was unsure at first how I wanted mine to look, therefore I tried a few different ideas before creating the final product. I knew the different words and emotions that I wanted to include throughout my image but I was not confident in the position, font and style of the words throughout my art piece.  I began writing different feelings and emotions on a piece of paper to include into my piece of art.  This week I considered my reflections from last week and took them on board.  Therefore, I began to change my piece of art by taking a new piece of paper and using gold paint and light brushstrokes for my background. Once the paint was dry, I began to lightly wright some of the feelings and emotions connected with my evocative object.  Next week, I will begin to incorporate the symbol and colour throughout my piece of art.

This was the beginning of my new piece of art work. I used light brush strokes to add depth to my painting.

 

I began incorporating different feelings and emotions connected to my evocative object. I tried to use various styles and fonts throughout my words.

Throughout the past few weeks, I have found that having the opportunity to work on this artwork over a period of time has enabled me to create something more effective and meaningful and I have had a lot of fun and enjoyment whilst creating it. From having more time to work on the artwork, allowed more creative ideas to flow that otherwise would not have occurred or had the chance to come to life.  What is making this piece of art so enjoyable is that it is all of my own ideas, imagination and memories that are being incorporated to my creation.

On reflection, I have found this input very helpful, knowledgeable and enjoyable. I believe that STEAM is the correct way to move forward in education and I want to ensure that throughout my placement I engage with STEAM and and provide the pupils with opportunities to become confident individuals, successful learners, responsible citizens, and effective contributors as detailed in the Curriculum for Excellence. Robinson (2001) stated that “If creativity is to become central to our futures, it first has to move to the heart of education”. I fully agree with this statement and believe that creativity needs to become more apparent and central within the Curriculum for Excellence.

References:

STEAM, (2018) Stem to Steam. [Online] Available: http://stemtosteam.org/ [Accessed 4th February 2018]

Teach Hub, (n.d.) STEM vs STEAM: What is Better?. [Online] Available: http://www.teachhub.com/stem-vs-steam-what-is-better [Accessed 4th February 2018]

Robinson, K. (2001) Out of our Minds: Learning to be CreativeOxford, Capstone.

Education Scotland. (2017)  What is Curriculum for Excellence? [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/What%20is%20Curriculum%20for%20Excellence [Accessed: 4th February 2018].

 

 

 

 

 

Multi Modal Text – Week 3 Digital Technology

Today in class we were learning about multimodal text.  This wasn’t the first time that we had discussed this topic, as we studied multimodal text last year during a literacy lecture.  I was very interested to learn more as I already knew what some of the benefits that multimodal text bring to children in the […]

Today in class we were learning about multimodal text.  This wasn’t the first time that we had discussed this topic, as we studied multimodal text last year during a literacy lecture.  I was very interested to learn more as I already knew what some of the benefits that multimodal text bring to children in the classroom and their learning experiences.  Benefits such as interaction, collaboration, memorable and engaging, some of which will be discussed during this blog.

So what is a multimodal text? A multimodal text is is a piece of text that includes two or more semiotic systems.  Here are the five semiotic systems; linguistic, visual, audio, gestural or spatial, so by using two or more of these features you instantly have a multimodal text. Enabling you to create text for lessons that will have positive impact on young learners.  As studied by the Scottish Government (2015), digital technologies is an appropriate way to improve most literacy and numeracy skills, this has been seen particularly in primary school settings.

The application we were using today was called ‘Activinspire’, this is an interactive application that is both user friendly for children and teacher.  Like ‘Power Point’, it allows you to create and design your own slides, thus meaning you have complete control when it comes to adapting text for each level throughout education.  “The multimodality of technology…allows teachers to present an idea in a variety of different ways to help pupils understand it” Beauchamp (2012, p.8).

Together in pairs we looked at which area and level of the curriculum we would like to focus on and we brainstormed our thoughts and ideas.  We decided we would create a lesson for first level, the lesson would cover numeracy and mathematics experiences and outcomes and the subject would be ‘time’.  We chose time as we agreed that young learners could relate with time, therefor they would be engaged during the lesson and they could discuss outside activities which would contribute to the lesson. Below is the curriculum experiences and outcomes that we though would best fit our multimodal text.

MNU 1 – 10a:  I can tell time using 12 hour clocks realising there is a link with 24 hour notation, explain how it impacts on my daily routine and ensure that I am organised and ready for events throughout my day.

Activinspire is as I mentioned before, is both teacher and pupil friendly, as it can be changed to a studio format which is more formal and less likely to be used by children and more by the teacher. The application that the children use is also interactive by touch, for example on a smart board the children can write an answer or use a dragging motion to move images on the screen, depending on the text and task set. “Touch displays can become a social learning tool encouraging hands-on experiences, thereby helping children to learn by doing.” (Prandstatter, 2014).  This is a great oppertunity for communication in class as not all children actively speak out but are more than happy to participate with interactive technology which you may not have seen from the child if the task included a text book, reading book or worksheet.

I have witnessed this type of activity in a classroom environment and it does create great interaction within the children, as they all are so keen to participate and use the technology.  It is hard to explain the sheer excitement in the classroom when this type of activity is happening, children you thought were timid or shy are now desperate to participate and the children also laugh as they collaborate with their peers .  As stated by Beauchamp “There has been much research in recent years in the United Kingdom (UK) that explores how ICT contributes towards talk in the classroom.  This is particularly true when using the interactive white board, especially in the context of whole class teaching.” (2012, p.81).

I think it is of great importantance to have such a high mood in the class room, as it has huge positive impact on a child’s day and on what was learned that day.  I know that it works as I have witnessed it for myself while out on school placement and as I gain confidence with digital technology through my digital technology module, I will almost certainly be looking into using applications like this for interactive lessons in my future career.

 

References

  • Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary School. [Online] Available: dawsonera.com/readonline/9781408251379 [Accessed: 25th January 2018].
  • Education Scotland (2004) Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers [Accessed: 25th January 2018].
  • Education Scotland (2015) Literature Review on the Impact of Digital Technology on Learning and Teaching [Online] Available: www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/11/7786 [Accessed: 25th January 2018].
  • Prandstatter, J. (2014) Interactive Displays in Early Years Classes. [Online] Available: http://connectlearningtoday.com/interactive-displays-early-years-classes/ [Accessed: 26th January 2018]

 

 

 

 

Multimodality-ActivInspire 23/1/18

This week the Digital Technology model focused on interactivity and multimodality, specifically on the importance and impact of ActivInspire in the classroom. A text may be called multimodal when it […]

This week the Digital Technology model focused on interactivity and multimodality, specifically on the importance and impact of ActivInspire in the classroom. A text may be called multimodal when it features two or more modes of communication such as image, sounds, written language etc. These modes can be described formally as semiotic systems, there are five systems which can turn a text into a multimodal text: Linguistic, Visual, Audio, Gestural, Spatial. The use of these semiotic systems in a lesson can result in the educational content becoming more engaging for the learner as it allows them to understand and interact with the lesson through hands on learning.

Hands on learning allows children to absorb the educational content more effectively as they are physically engaging with the lesson. Educator Janice Prandstatter spoke on the impact of interactive displays in early learning on an online article ““Touch displays can become a social learning tool encouraging hands-on experiences, thereby helping children to learn by doing.” (Prandstatter 2014). Thus, it is important in education to always strive to maintain your learners’ attention and aim to encourage their interaction with the activity or else learners will switch off from the lesson and not learn anything. Beauchamp spoke on the importance of using multimodality in the classroom and the impact of its use on children’s understanding “The multimodality of technology is another reason to use it, as it allows teachers to present an idea in a variety of different ways to help pupils understand it.” (Beauchamp, 2012, p.8). Ergo, it is apparent that if I wish to develop my knowledge of digital technology to further develop my practice I must experiment with ActivInspire and other multimodal technologies to enhance my experience that I can incorporate with future lessons.

During the class we got to experiment with ActivInspire by designing a lesson that incorporated the use of Activinspire into a literacy or numeracy lesson. Myself and my partner chose to use ActivInspire as an introduction activity for a literacy lesson, specifically as an aid to help children with their creative writing. Our activity challenged the young learners to work together as a class to construct a fictional piece of text based on an imaginary day in the jungle while using imagery such as similes to describe the animals they encountered. We planned on engaging with the children by asking each volunteer to come to the board and select an animal they wished to include in their story while asking them to provide an appropriate simile or adjective to describe their chosen animal. After all animals have been chosen our activity would progress to constructing sentences with the whole class designing an opening sentence for their story. This would provide the children with examples of adjectives they could use to in their own stories while supporting them with the opening sentences to inspire their thought process. We based our ActivInspire activity around the Curriculum for Excellence guidelines, specifically “throughout the writing process, I can check that my writing makes sense” as our activity requires the children to work together to construct logical sentences.

To conclude after my research and trial of Activinspire in today’s lesson I feel it is a teaching software I would consider using as a tool for future lessons.  I feel it would be a great asset to use as an introduction for lessons such as creative writing or addition and subtraction lessons. However, I personally feel the ActivInspire activity can take a long time to prepare thus I would be unlikely to include the activity in everyday lessons. Nevertheless, due to their multiple benefits they can have on a child’s learning it is important as a student teacher that I focus on incorporating the use of ActivInspire into the occasional lesson.

 

 

References:

Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary School: From Pedagogy to Practice. Pearson.

Prandstatter, J (2014). Interactive Displays in Early Years Classes. http://connectlearningtoday.com/interactive-displays-early-years-classes/

Personal Reflection Coding – Scratch Jr 30/1/18

In today’s class we took part in creating a Scratch Jr Project. Where I was to create a Scratch Jr story to help with a literacy lesson within a primary class. This is part of my Assessment throughout my Digital … Continue reading

In today’s class we took part in creating a Scratch Jr Project. Where I was to create a Scratch Jr story to help with a literacy lesson within a primary class. This is part of my Assessment throughout my Digital Technologies module.

Scratch Jr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5 and up) to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump and sing. Scratch was developed for young people to help them develop creative learning skills for the 21st century. Skills developed include: Creative thinking skills, logical reasoning skills, problem solving skills and collaboration skills (The Lead Project 2014). “As young people create Scratch Projects, they are not just learning how to write computer programs. They are learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively – essential skills for successs and happiness in today’s world” (The Lead Project 2014). Schools can use Scratch to aid teachers subjects like mathematics, English, music, art, design and information technology (The Lead Project 2014).

A newspaper article states “Rogers said that one group of children found the idea of learning and using HTML quite daunting as it took a couple of sessions to get their hands around the basic layout and formatting. However, over the course of teaching they became much more receptive and began to develop a firmer understanding of how useful HTML could be” (Curtis, S 2013, Pg 4). This shows that if children and adults persevere they will get used to the idea of coding and being able to create scratch projects. Although the more it is linked into the children’s learning they will be able to adapt to using the programme and it may be more beneficial for them to understand stories and lessons by creating their own.

The learning outcomes from the Curriculum for Excellence I chose that linked with my project were; “I can create, capture and manipulate sounds, text and images to communicate experience, ideas and information in creative and engaging ways” (TCH 1-04b/TCH 2-04b) and “I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts, sharing my thoughts in different ways” (LIT 0-19a).

My story was about a boy and girl named Ben and Holly. They decided to go a walk through the country side to find a lake so that they could play and swim around. They came across a field that had pigs and a horse. They discovered that the horse could talk and it took them by surprise. The horse was called Penny. Penny took Ben and Holly to a woodland area and gave them directions towards the lake. Ben and Holly followed the directions and came across the lake. When they got their Ben and Holly thought that is was peaceful and they swam and played around for hours and hours. The story had an ending where the reader could decide where Ben and Holly would go next on their travels.

This story was created for children to use describing words (Adjectives) to describe the scenes within the story and also to describe the characters and then it enables them to use their own thoughts and ideas on what adventures the characters go on. Throughout progress I would teach the children how to move objects using Scratch Jr when using technologies within the classroom and they could then create their own ending to the story. This would allow the children to progress through their technology skills and it would link in with literacy.

I found Scratch simple and easy to use after watching YouTube tutorials and having a scratch guide to assist me on how to move objects/characters around the screen and how to have the characters speaking. I had never used Scratch until today and to be able to get used to it it would take a period of time. This would be the same for children it would take a couple of lessons to discover the basics of computer coding. I think that the use of scratch Jr within the classroom is a good thing because it allows children to give a character instructions to move around the screen. It helps children bring stories that they may have created to life. It encourages them to use their problem solving skills asking themselves how many moves does it take to move the character off of their screen and how to use instructions to make each character move. Scratch is beneficial for teachers and pupils because it can be made to link in with a range of subjects including technology.

References

Curtis, S (2013) The Telegraph: Teaching our children to code: a quiet revolution  [Online] www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/104110036/Teaching-our-children-to-code-a-quiet-revolution.html

Education Scotland (2004) – Curriculum for Excellence; Experiences and Outcomes  [Online] https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes [Accessed on 30 January 2018]

The Lead Project (2014) Super Scratch Prgramming Adventure: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games! No Starch Press.