Category: Primary

A Day in Lockdown with Mrs Pickard and P1b

I’m a primary school teacher, passionate about digital learning but by no means an expert.

This is where I am in our class learning journey with Microsoft Teams after 8/9 weeks of lockdown.

I am now using Thinglink as an interactive classroom, below is an image of my example to show my interactive classroom, the blog does not support embedding so you will need to click on the image or link to be able to click on the hotspots in the Thinglink.

I even have my pets helping me now:

Travis’ Classroom building sentences

Hobbes’ Counting Classroom

and Wilson too

 I used this app to help

Travis, Hobbes & Wilson

talk.

I didn’t start here, it has been a journey.

So I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the journey, where I started, what I did and why and where I am now.

Yes, I have been teaching Digital Literacy skills to every class I’ve ever taught from the first week, including this years primary 1b (brilliant).  The trickiest thing I found for the wee ones is keyboard skills, learning phonics is tricky but ‘find the ‘a’ on the keyboard’ was just another way of identifying and learning the sound, playing with keyboards, typewriters, another choice.

Before lockdown all of the p1b boys and girls could login to a desktop, click on a shortcut and login to a website with little or no help using their own unique login.

The week of lockdown I showed them Glow and Teams, they logged in and logged out.

Microsoft Teams is where I communicate with my class

In the beginning

A typical day started with a post from me saying good morning and

  • asking the class to reply to the message answering a question, e.g. best part of your weekend.
  • Suggesting activities/tasks, e.g. Sumdog, Reading Eggs.


After 8 / 9 weeks in we had progressed to:

A typical day starts with an Announcement with a pretty image to catch the eye and mark a new day.  The morning message can include lots of different things and reflects the morning meeting message we did in class at school:

  • Tasks
  • Challenges
  • Activity ideas
  • Pictures
  • What’s in store for the day
  • An MS Forms poll about something, e.g. vote on a story, when to meet
  • Links to songs, videos, Go Noodle
  • Fun Facts

The responses in the beginning:

  • Short phrase or sentence
  • an emoji

After 8 / 9 weeks p1b answer and share with:

     

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Emojis
  • GIFs
  • Reactions to the post

Announcements is what I use to post in Teams.

In the beginning

  • I didn’t use them at all
  • I just put up a general conversation post

After 8 / 9 weeks I use them for:

  • The morning message
  • Challenges
  • Extra fun surprise tasks/activities
  • Extra information

What is so good about announcements?

  • My class love them,
  • I can personalise the image to make them eye catching and fit the post/announcement
  • I actively encourage emojis, GIFs, reactions as responses
  • I would argue that they encourage engagement

Assignments – this is where I set up and schedule teaching and learning

In the beginning

Initially I didn’t use assignments at all, I just put up a general post

Then I started to set one or two very simple assignments each day which included:

 

  • A Title
  • One or 2 instructions

After 8 / 9 weeks I use assignments all the time to set for:

  • A title
  • Short instructions
  • Resources attached
  • Scheduled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What kind of resources do I use to create and build lessons?

In the beginning

  • Sway – gathering resources, adding audio, video, pictures, links, e.g. Word Building – oa
  • Forms – for quizzes and assessments, check ins, polls e.g. Daily Check In

  • Education City – create work for pupils focussing on specific skills  

Sumdog  – set maths challenges focussing on specific skills.

After 8 / 9 weeks I use:

  • Sway
  • Forms
  • Education City
  • Sumdog
  • Reading Eggs

PLUS

Flipgrid – to create a topic, to host videos, pupils respond to with their own videos

 

Wakelet – pulls together different resources from different places.

 

 

Kahoot – great for a quick assessment or for fun

 

 

 

ThingLink – super visual, interactive, easy to use

 

 

 

What kind of assignments?

Why do I use assignments?

  • I can create a lesson and schedule it for a date in the future 🗓
  • The assignment appears as a post in the general chat and provides a link for the pupils to click on – easy peasy
  • I can assign to the whole class, a group or an individual – great for differentiation
  • The pupils can attach work – photos, etc to their assignment and hand it in
  • The pupils work is saved in Sharepoint – in individual folders by assignment – all done for me – no extra work, no clogging up the files section in Teams – super organise, easy peasy, woohoo! 🙌
  • Feedback is private between me and individual pupil 👍
  • The Grades tab tracks assignments completed so I can see what’s happening 😊

 

Happy to help, share and collaborate

Amanda Pickard

@AJOBPickard

Microsoft Teams In A P6 Classroom.

I have learned a lot of digital skills since becoming a MIEExpert in 2016, however I had not had the opportunity to explore Microsoft Teams fully with a class. When we found out that pupils would be learning from home I refreshed my memory of Teams by using the courses on the Microsoft Educator Community. I then took some time to explore using Teams and thought about how I could make it suit the needs of my pupils in a way that was organised and manageable for me.

Example Class Information Post

Daily Information

I have taken an asynchronous approach to teaching and learning since many families have limited access to devices. Every day I post a class information document in the General channel; this includes the date and a visual timetable, using the same visuals that we have in the classroom. In the class information document I post links to the relevant curricular area channels that the children need to access for their learning for the day.

Use of Channels

Class Channels

I have found that having a separate channel for each curricular area has helped to keep classwork well organised, benefiting both myself and the pupils. When I post daily work I make an announcement in the relevant curricular area channel with the date and attach the relevant documents. This means that pupils can easily look back in the channel if they have missed any work on a certain day.

Example Work Announcment

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initially pupils were having difficulty with accessing PowerPoints so I have switched to uploading PDFs. This has helped the class to easily access the work on the different devices that they use.

Pupil Permissions

The pupils do not have permission to comment or post in the curricular area channels as I felt like their comments would result in the work I was posting getting lost. I still wanted them to have somewhere to socialise with each other and so set up “things to do when you are bored” and “random chat” channels. The pupils can all post and comment on these channels and it has given them a way to share fun ideas with their peers. The pupils can also post in the “questions about work” channel if they need some support. I have found that having this channel ensures that I do not miss any questions from pupils.

Submitting Work

When in school my class use Seesaw to share their learning with their parents/carers. As the pupils and families are familiar with this I decided to carry on using this while schools are closed. Pupils have a home learning code which allows them to post their work directly to me. I can then mark their work and store it in their online journals for each curricular area. Some pupils have opted to post their work to me on Teams and do so using the “submit your work here please” channel. I then transfer their work to Seesaw. Due to the class being used to using Seesaw I have not explored using the assignments feature on Teams, however this is something I would like to use in the future.

Class Calls

Every Wednesday we have a class call on Teams. During this time pupils have time to chat to one another and then we do a class quiz using either Kahoot or Quizziz. When using Kahoot I share my screen in the Teams call so that pupils can see the questions and answer them on their device. If we use Quizziz I share my screen so that the pupils can see the live leader board during the game. The class have really enjoyed these calls as it gives them time to hear the voices of their peers and take part in an activity in a similar way to what we would do in school. It has been lovely to hear their voices and laughter during the calls. I feel like this has helped to maintain positive relationships with the class and helps the pupils to connect with one another during this difficult time.

I have found that organising my class Team in the ways described in this post has helped to keep the Team accessible and organised for everyone using it. After a few initial technical issues in the first week the online classroom has been running smoothly and successfully. If you would like to see examples of the work the class have been producing I have been uploading some of their work on Twitter.

Emma Hedges. Victoria Primary School, Falkirk.

Welcome Everyone

unicorn with a scottish flag

Some of the amazing Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts from across Scotland will be sharing their learning success stories in this blog.

This blog is designed for all teachers to see HOW Microsoft technologies are being used in classrooms across Scotland.

Its about the learning and the way these teachers are using technology with their students.

We will have regular updates that we hope will give you some ideas for how you can use tools like Teams, OneNote, Sway, Forms etc in your classrooms.

Also have a look at the bloggers twitter feeds as well as #TeamMIEScotland and #TeamMIEEScotland on twitter for help, support, tips and tricks.

If you would like to develop your skills in the use of any of these tools you can sign up for free CPD on the Microsoft Educator Center https://education.microsoft.com/en-us

We hope you find this blog helpful and please reach out to any of the bloggers

Sarah Clark MIE Fellow Scotland (twitter @sfm36)