Sue Waters blog is a huge resource for using ICT in the classroom.
For English teachers I also like Alan Levine’s blog which has the marvellous 50 ways to tell a story
including a demonstration of how not to tell a story, that reminded me a lot of being in several BBC ‘creative’ meetings:
Yesterday I visited Norfolk Community Primary School in Sheffield, where whiteboards are fully integrated into the school’s daily practice. This is an inspiring school in many ways, both for its use of technology to foster creativity and for its general ethos. It’s an eco-school with a grass roof for insulation, recycling of rainwater and integration of activities like gardening, composting and growing food into the children’s curriculum.
Most inspiring are the teachers and pupils who have really got into writing stories and retelling stories with group presentations, using a wide range of techniques to scaffold, model and collaborate. Year 4 interrupted their PE lesson to give me an impromptu performance of a story they’d created, which fizzed along with great brio.
It’s a wonderful example of a very new school, only four years old, that seems to have been designed for learning, with wide corridors, great spaces, small and large, and a sense of warmth and welcome. And it feels like every inch of space is used, with words and maps and vivid art at every turn, creating a sense of an exciting learning community.
The wonderful literacy expert Sue Palmer drew my attention to the way the alphabet can be taught using movement, with kids using their whole bodies to learn the shapes of letters – a bit like a massive use of the Magic pencil technique used by Clare Elstow in the BBC Words and Pictures series before she took over Cbeebies. Sue saw this technique used in scandinavian primary schools. The Wii and Eye Toy technology seems to me to be made for this.