Sunday, 23 June 2013

TeachMeet East 2013



Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend my third TeachMeet. For those of you who haven't come across the idea of a TeachMeet before, it is an opportunity for educators to gather together informally to share ideas and good practice to enhance the learning experience within the classroom. Organised by +Tim Handley and Sarah Prentice, and backed up by a great team, it was held at Bluebell Primary School in Norwich and was a day full of inspiration and ideas. A special thank you to Martin aka ICTmagic for his help at setting up the internet on my Chromebook.

For this TeachMeet there were two parts to the day, first a Hands On series of sessions and secondly the main session where people present on a variety of topics of either 5 minutes or 7 minutes in length. With over 30 something presentations there was an awful lot to take in and this blog post aims to be a quick summary of just a few of the ideas that I am looking forward to exploring more and trying out in my classroom.

Digital Storytelling

This was referenced several times through the day and it was the session that my mind kept returning to. It was a super presentation by Paul Parslow-Williams, currently working in the UEA Education department, who shared some of the digital storytelling projects he has been working on. I came away with lots of ideas for using maps to tell a story, both the children's hand drawn ones and those using Google maps etc. I also have a few projects to explore including Kate Pullinger's Ebb and Flow Project and Stefano Tambellini's Writing Maps Project. Paul also gave some great tips for creating an interactive map in Powerpoint, reminding us that Powerpoint can still be a useful tool.

Google Sites and Google Apps for Education


Several people referenced the above throughout the day and although I use Google a lot for my personal life (you should hear what Mr Dotty calls me!) I have not used much in the classroom apart from the obvious things like maps. After sessions by peeople like +Mark Allen aka EdintheClouds I really do want to finally get myself using Google Sites etc and have decided that this will be one of my summer PD projects.

Hackasaurus

This website had completely bypassed me so thank you to SheliBB who blogs at Carry On Learning for sharing this website. Hackasaurus is a great way to mash up websites (and get an insight into HTML) to create interesting resources for use in the classroom. It is really easy to use and will definitely get the kids engaged! Check out here and this video by Ian Addison for a short introduction.

Creating Character by Adam Parkhouse

Adam shared some fantastic ideas for creating more well rounded characters in writing where you use dice to decide on the features of your character (sound familiar?!) and he also linked to Paul Parslow-William's comments on using maps. I liked his idea of having a large map on the wall, the children creating a character (with described features on the back) and the children physically moving the character around the map. He also shared the idea of asking questions of the characters, for example What is the most recent thing you have lost? It really gets the children to delve more into their character. I will definitely be implementing Adam's ideas soon and when I do I will blog about it to show what it looks like in the classroom.


Other things to explore

I have heard so much about Scratch and yet never tried it so it was nice to get an introduction from James Abela. I now have this list of sites to explore, play and learn from!


Scratch- James Abela







Mr ICTmagic shared this presentation filled with some fantastic links to resources that will be good to use in the classroom, go check them out!

JenniH68 shared what she has been doing with reading in her class and school as well as her blog, Reading for Pleasure Not Gove. It was nice to see what other schools are doing and see the similarities with things I have set up in school such as our Borrow a Book scheme. She also shared some lovely videos to inspire writing. I will try and find the videos she used and add in links but the message is they are a fantastic resource for inspiring writing!

Jeni Smith (a blast from the past from my PGCE at UEA!) shared some great paper folding ideas to help think about landscapes. It also gave me an idea for how I can use it in our geography topic this term.


Lucy Abel shared some of the things she has been doing on her PGCE placements and I loved her simple ideas for teaching decimals- looking at food packaging! Lucy gave a real reminder of the need for reak contexts and practical applications of learning.

As well as her fabulous door Becki Jennings also shared some more great videos to inspire writing.

Image taken from here

I promise you that this is only a brief snapshot of what was covered that day! Some super presentations and ideas to get you thinking! Also there was a gorgeous BBQ, sweets AND cake! I also attended the Teach Eat afterwards where I ate far too much and got to continue having fantastic conversations with people.



So to everyone who attended TeachMeet East 2013- thank you and I look forward to the next one!

Kelly



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Kelly