• delicious

  • Fight World Hunger
  • Blog Archive

  • Categories

#TMCymru & NGFL-Cymru Innovative Education Awards 2011 #ngflief

Last Monday I spoke at the South Wales chunk of #tmcymru in the WJEC building about how I have used some tech (Nintendo DS, MSPaint on a stylus-equipped Elitebook as a mini writing tool, MS Flashcards and NGFL-Alphabet) and non-tech (plasticine) to make letter shapes in the work I’ve done with a severely literacy-delayed pupil, and a bit about how Kodu has been a springboard for pupils’ writing. Thanks to @asober for all the efforts in trying to stream up to North Wales, but as @innovativeteach pointed out, we were disadvantaged by streaming uphill.

Thursday I went to Cardiff again for the NGFL-Cymru/Partners In Learning Awards as I had been forced, badgered,harangued, hassled, persuaded by Alessio to submit a project. I met/didn’t meet some twitter people for the first time;- @ngflblount, @ikeontoast, @owaingethin, and Ian Morgan, Dafydd Watcyn Williams from NGFL-Cymru, Carys from Llanedeyrn, @ritzertech and @davestacey. As I had won an award in 2009 I was just wondering which of the others would get to go to the IEF in Reading at MS Headquarters in November. I was utterly shocked and delighted I was one of the two projects selected! Congratulations to Owain Gethin Davies for winning the other place and well done to all the other projects, there were great ideas on display. I am really looking forward to going to Reading as the events in Birmingham 2009 and Manchester 2010 were fabulous networking occasions.

Callum’s Letters

Callum (year 5) is trying really hard to remember all the initial letter sounds and the digraphs sh, ch, th and ck.

He’s doing really well using a format based on multisensory methods and short lesson sessions as advocated by the Catch Up literacy program. I have no commercial interest in Catch Up, but as Callum in his baseline assessment knew 13 initial sounds and ‘ck’ (given that he’s now year 5) I thought I’d try the quite systematic approach Catch Up advocates. Obviously as he has such complex needs, I’ve adapted the program somewhat, using the Nintendo DS and MSPaint as recording mediums and one sound per lesson as well as revising previously learned sounds.

I’ve made him write using his ‘magic’ finger, and the stylus on the Elitebook Tablet. He’s written the letters on the desk, tablet, NGFL_alphabet, Nintendo DSi, the walls, the carpet and paper. I’ll post more as the program unfolds.

He blended a n d today to read ‘and’ and as he blended the sounds to make the word, he exclaimed it like it was the first time he had really read it, rather than remembering the ‘and’ word. ‘I’m getting good at reading now’, was his comment.

After a few weeks he’s now recognising and distinguishing between h, t, sh, n, m and u (which bodes well for the future but it’s early days yet!)

I am convinced he is more motivated and engaged in literacy using the Nintendo DS, NGFL Alphabet and the Paint/Stylus input, time will tell.

Thoughts on ipod, Clicker and Ds in the classroom

In contrast to the previous posts, I’ve been pondering about how I’ve been using the Ipod and the Nintendo DS (mine is an iXL< good for my failing eyesight) in the classroom. The Clicker bit I’ve added since i started this .

I work with a small class of MLD pupils.

My first pop was during the Winter Olympics and I used Super Mario at The Winter Olympics and Winter Sports 2009, both on DS. Both had instantaneous internal combustion with the pupils. I just provided 1 rule, that they  had to write the time/distance/points etc. down they had taken at the end of their turn.  Outcome was really positive, lots of self-evaluation on turn-taking, ordinal numbers, using minutes, seconds and 100ths of seconds,  arguments and resolutions, plaudits and accolades at playing a good game, data handling, sorting, table-building etcetera. Have since used the DS’s in a SEAL lesson getting the pupils to draw emoticons/smiley faces in Pictochat and sending them to the others to guess which emotions were being shown.

They used Word Magic on the Ipod and 2 non-readers were shouting the letters or sounds missing from the words at me within minutes of switching the game on.

For our Romans project the pupils used Rotten Romans on DS,  the good readers could be really involved with this and used the 2 readers in the class to read the historical info, then relay the instructions to the others, then all pupils could play the games – check out their claymation and commentary about gladiators that they made following this, I’ll add it soon… their Movie Maker editing skills are progressing slowly but surely.

I’ve used the Ipods as research tools using google,  google earth, and maps, and  already pupils are indicating the notion that the web is more than about homepages of Ben10, Transformers, Spongebob, Dr Who etc etc. I bought a tube-shaped battery operated speaker from ebay for a tenner so more pupils can hear the audio easily.

The World Cup app from Duchy software looks to be a great entry point into finding data about teams, players and fixtures. I’ve already used it in conjunction with the Panini sticker albums to locate countries,  flags, which teams are from rainforest areas (cc IPC project, other world geography etc.  I got 7 free sticker books from a big supermarket chain for the kids, could cost me and arm and a leg…..)

Clicker 5 by Crick software isn’t handheld but I think it is a brilliant tool on many counts. There are lots of tutorials online to do most anything. One thing useful is to create a grid that has nothing in it and save as Reading Grid or whatever , I get the pupils to copy and paste research info they have located that they might not be able to read much of and get them to paste into the blank doc and they know how to make it speak, here’s a Jing of them and I showing how. You can do anything with Clicker, but the tailorability (if there’s such a word) to your students can be quick and effective e.g. a wordbank specific to their level and task. We did a writing task on Transformers Robots as a report writing exercise.  The pupils made a wordbank of words they might use often, ( e.g. characters-Optimus Prime, Megatron, places- Cybertron etc, which would take them ages to write with a pencil,  and then they found pictures which they added into cells to make word identification easier. For little words, they either spelt out or used the built-in wordbank.  with mine and the NNEB’s  scaffolding, they made such a good job of the format, they all succeeded hugely in creating a report about  something that was led by them, and which looked great. A report about rainforest birds came after, all of the struggling writers were using reference books and the internet for info with previously uncharted skill as if they were fluent readers and writers , I’m sure as a result of the ICT-based first activity.

Am looking forward to developing the potential of these learning tools further…

%d bloggers like this: