Hour of Code

What great fun we have had these past weeks. The whole school were treated (my opinion, shared by many) to an immersion in computing. “An hour is not enough,” was a common complaint from year 3 – year 6. Using scratch, java and other means we made things happen; solved problems (debugged) and enjoyed tremendous success. It was not restricted to digital media as I had an unplugged experince lined up for the year 5 children who were programmers and robots.

Check out the website link to have a crack at some activities if you dare! The Hour of code was a success.

Hour of code

Have a look at the supporting video.

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 700 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 12 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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485692_62113197Just had my 1st formal, external officer, observation. The context was one of school improvement where all teaching staff were being observed to evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching of reading across the school. Guided reading, English and phonics were the focus lessons.

Planning and preparation were the expected bedfellows of success as was a relaxed delivery. When asked by the assistant head, “How did it go then?”

I replied, “Well I enjoyed it.” This spoke volumes because as it turns out so did the children. I was pleased and surprised to be told that I had delivered an outstanding lesson (phonics). The surprise stemmed from the fact that I did not really do anything different to what I had done before in a phonics session.

Punchy, pacey, up beat and loud. Good subject knowledge which was used to quickly correct errors in a lighthearted manner. – “Ream!” (Essex, J., 2013)

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Child led learning

This makes so much sense it’s crazy. Thanks Stephen Heppell

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Lesson 1 – Breathe!

I am now heading into week 7 of my teaching career and I find it hard to believe that we have travelled this far. The days and weeks are evaporating while the to do lists grow steadily. I think that I have been balancing it all quite well yet there is a nagging thought that pops up occasionally. What about me?

It could be that this is the longest term that has resulted in my time being gulped away.Blue Snorkel and mask set It could be that I am learning every day. It could be that that’s the way it is. However, I know that this needs to change as I realise that I am denying myself some of the things that make me me. Half term break soon but 8 weeks without breathing is dangerous. Make time to breathe and engage with your situation on your terms (occasionally).

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Four Years In The Making

The culmination of 4 years work and the start of another amazing journey.

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 22.13.24

Time to reflect before the real work starts in September. Thanks to all who have helped me along the way.

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Sir Ken: How to Escape Education’s Death Valley

I am posting this because I was reminded of the clarity of Sir Ken’s message last night when I sat up and watched a live stream from the Blue School in America – an innovative and creative team of educators whose approach attends to the individual needs of learners. If you get a chance to have a look at the Blue Men (founders of the school in 2006) perform then please do.

This TED talk also discusses the individuality of the child but goes further in that it challenges the ‘system’ and the school managers to adopt a personalised approach to how they manage individual and local  learning environments. I aspire to be able to teach in such a way.

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