Although the new Computing curriculum was transformed to become more relevant to 21st century students, learning to code and create on the web is still generally perceived as being ‘difficult’ and ‘dull’. It’s considered to be more appealing to students who are better at Maths and Science, and not those with an interest in languages and the arts.
Mathematics maestros Happy Numbers have launched Plus, an exciting outside-the-box supplement for the Maths curriculum. Every month, a free challenge is launched - each consisting of a set of age-appropriate problems. As students progress through each problem successfully, the difficulty increases. The challenges are designed to stretch students’ thinking and problem-solving skills.
MemorAbility is a new and important programme designed for children in Nursery, Reception and Years 1 and 2. The resource has been created specifically for the pupil who is having difficulty learning to recognise letters, blending sounds and learning to read through either a phonetic or a visual approach.
For our pupils to become able and confident mathematicians in Primary school, it is essential that they have a bank of key number facts they have learnt stored away, which they can draw on at any time. However, we must work to incorporate new ways to help them memorise these facts so that they have them at their disposal whenever they’re needed.
Many of us have grown up playing board games. I spent endless hours building up real estate portfolios when playing Monopoly and solved murders playing Cluedo. These days I dig these games out on wet Sundays to play with my own children. I work in a school where many of my pupils may not get a chance to play these games, and therefore I could see not only educational benefits, but it also gave my pupils a chance to interact with one and another and have some fun. This great mix of social interaction, competition and education has certainly helped my pupils over the years.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” - Confucius
1. It is a fun experience!
As an Early Level teacher, I see the benefits of active learning. It is a fun way of getting the children to engage in a subject without them thinking its work. It is an organic process; not always planned and possible to be confidently led by the children themselves.
Games trade body Ukie are this week showcasing their range of computational thinking workshops run through the Digital Schoolhouse programme at The Big Bang Fair, the UK’s largest celebration of STEM subjects, from Wednesday 16th March to Saturday 19th March. The Big Bang Fair is being held at the Birmingham NEC Arena, and The Digital Schoolhouse can be found at stand #409. The activity on the Digital Schoolhouse stand will include a full programme of inspirational speakers and interactive workshops over the four days of the Fair.
The Minecraft Music Project began simply. The majority of my students in grades PS-8 love Minecraft, and I want them to enjoy learning, as well as gain mastery of the nuts and bolts of music. This prompted the question: How can I integrate Minecraft into the Music curriculum to successfully reach the most students?
Gamification is essentially about turning all manner of activities into games or competitive activities. Teachers routinely make learning into a game to motivate and interest their students, and so I thought that it might be interesting to take this to the next step and use it with members of staff.
Teaching can be a strange thing, you can plan a lesson to within an inch of your life, you can create resources and finely tune the learning objective, but sometimes some of the best lessons can be those that you didn’t plan or even create an objective for. This is one of those lessons. It was our termly celebration day, where parents are invited in to share their children’s work from the term, and we had just come to the end of the sharing with an hour still left of the day. I had a class of expectant parents with little to do. “Right,” I thought, and pulled a bit of gamification out of the bag.