Tag: digilearnscot

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.

How I am using Microsoft Teams for physics

Being a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) has allowed me to develop my digital skills over the past five years.  However before this current crisis I had only used Microsoft Teams with a few classes.  One of the first things I did was review some of courses on Teams and Forms on the Microsoft Educator Community to reacquaint myself with some features and to learn new ones.

 

Guided by what makes good teaching and learning and readings such as this one on tips for effective learning at a distance by Paul Kirshner and his comments on the differences between distance teaching and emergency remote teaching.  The Education Endowment Foundation published a paper called distance learning rapid assessment.

My philosophy is that good learning and teaching is good learning and teaching whatever the context and it is about using the digital tools to support our pedagogy choices.

Firstly it is important to have clarity, I mean this both in terms of what you want the students to learn and how and also the clarity of the instructions that you are providing to your students.

Some of my tips for clarity are:

  • Use more than one channel in your Team.  Posts about assignments are made in the general channel.  It can be a good idea to make the general channel so that only owners (teachers) can make posts and have other channels for questions/chat.  This means instructions can be clearly seen.  The latest post is always at the bottom of a team.  If the instructions move up the page you can move them back to the bottom with a short reply to the original post (you can even delete the reply if you want afterwards).
  • Use announcement within Teams, make the tasks explicitly clear and logical for your students.  Try to minimise the number of documents that you want students to access for one task.  Add hyperlinks within your Teams announcements to the resources that you want students to use whether documents or videos rather than instruction pupils to go to the files section and open file X.
  • Avoid making a post to remind about the work that just says complete the work stated in the earlier post.  Instead either move the first post down by replying to it or copy the instructions from the first post and then make amendments for the new post.  Sometimes it can be hard to scroll up the team channel to find where work is.
  • Consider making channels for different weeks of work or topics to help improve the clarity and to put all the questions asked in the same place.
  • Make the learning intentions and success criteria of tasks clear and place these within the wider context to help them scaffold learning to prior knowledge.
  • Give short assignments using teams assignments, these can not only have dates so students can plan their work, but better allow you to see how students are progressing and allow feedback.  My students have indicated to me that they prefer more shorter assignments than one larger one.
  • Be aware of the files that you attach for any student task.  What size are they?  What format are they?  For example a PDF file is difficult to edit and cannot be edited directly in Teams.  Make sure documents attached to assignments are the x version of the Microsoft files, docx, xlsx, pptx etc. rather than doc, xls, ppt.
  • Be aware that a number of learners are using phones as their main device.  Simplifying instructions can help how many clicks they need to follow to read instructions and complete work.
  • Within the Teams assignments I also include all the hyperlinks to the file documents in the same way that I do for the announcement posts in the channel.  These links can be copied from place to place.

Here is an example of one of my Team announcement post with a custom background, hyperlinks to videos and documents and in this case 4 assignment tasks.

The Microsoft Teams structure approach describe in my detail in my blog was informed by Microsoft webinar on remote learning at the University of NSW, Australia.

My approach to planning learning has been to plan student work on a mostly asynchronous basis.

  • Retrieval practice quiz using Forms and sometimes a quiz on prior learning.
  • Introduction video (created using PowerPoint recorder) and shared via unlisted YouTube.
  • Activity task (Quizlet, Quizizz, Animations/Simulations such as PHET, and at home experiments)
  • Diagnostic assessment (Microsoft Form)
  • Consolidation task (Forms, card sorts in Excel, Padlet etc.)

Synchronous activities include:

  • Responses to questions posted on the Teams channel.
  • Weekly catch-up Team meetings with students, answering questions, providing advice and support, modelling tricky problems modelling on paper or using the Whiteboard app or OneNote.
  • Live quizzes on platforms such as Kahoot, Quizlet, Quizizz.

About me

I am a physics and science teacher working in Angus on the beautiful and sunny east coast of Scotland.


In addition to being a teacher, I am a consultant physics teacher coach with the Institute of Physics Scotland and as part of that role have been running webinar training sessions for physics teaching using Microsoft tools.  Details of support being provided for physics teachers by the IOPS can be found in the Scottish Physics teacher group on Talk Physics including shared Microsoft Forms quizzes, videos, introduction videos, simulations and activities.


I have a interest in professional learning, pedagogy, evidence informed teaching and have contributed to Pedagoo and ResearchEd Scotland events.

I tweet on andrewkbailey13

My YouTube channel includes videos for teachers and pupils on Glow. 

My personal digital learning blog can be found at https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/an/digitallearningprototype/

This includes posts on:

Microsoft Forms and Feedback

My Microsoft Team

I have been a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert since 2016 and am now a Microsoft MIE Master Trainer.

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)