Monthly archives: March 2008


Postcard projects 2

Postcards, originally uploaded by vikellis.

On the UK news yesterday there was a feature about the decline of the traditional postcard. Not as many are being bought in these days of digital communication. Here’s one good reason for buying them!
Postcard projects and wall displays. I love them! They are a great way of exciting children’s imagination. This one depends on children bringing back cards from their various holiday destinations.
Another approach is to find classes in other parts of the country or the world to exchange postcards with. This one helped pupils in the USA to place their state in its wider context.
postcard project
This one was part of my degree work
postcards
You can read more about it in Postcards from Virtual Friends


History Classroom Displays -Then and Now 6

History display, Then and Now

This is a lovely history classroom wall display for a key stage 1 class. The Then and Now topic is interesting but can be tricky for Year 1. They have so little concept of the past at this age. Last year seems an age ago to some of them 🙂
It’s a great opportunity for embedding ICT though. It’s worth remembering that ICT in Key Stage 1 isn’t all about computers. I’ve seen it taught very effectively using the following resources:

  • Tape recorder to tape invited in grandparent’s recollections of the seaside,
  • a Slideshow of seaside images from the past up on the IWB
  • Magic Grandad Seaside Holiday (Magic Grandad) used on the IWB
  • Begged and borrowed photos of the local seaside, then and now (This was in Lancaster so Morecambe is just down the road)
  • Learning and recording a variety of old seaside songs (favourites like “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside” etc.)
  • A classroom timeline border that stayed up and got longer through the year.
  • Softease timeline CD
  • Clicker grids for My Seaside Holiday
  • Role play room transformed into a beach and seaside cafe.
  • Robust hand held tape recorders for interviewing each other in role

Image Source:Angela Oxen


An Interactive Story Starters Wall Display 4

Story Starters, originally uploaded by Glazgow.

You can’t have too many ideas for story starter classroom displays. Here’s another gem and this time the phrases have come from the class:

The children did a “Walkabout, Talkabout” and came up with all the ideas for Where, When, Who and What could happen in a story.

They now use the display to help them chose characters, setting etc for their story writing.

I like the use of colour in this display. The colours actually add meaning helping the children to classify the phrases. It’s also not too busy.
Story Starters
Using the class to generate the scenarios and phrases is much more powerful than just providing them.They will feel more ownership of the display if they know it is based on their ideas. It is just vitally important that the staff resist the temptation to just pop up the same words next year, as they’ve got them already laminated 🙁 This sort of recycling happens too often and when it does engaging classroom displays lose much of their impact.


Interactive Displays – word wall 1

IMG_1791, originally uploaded by LMH_.

This is a good example of a classroom display that was really interactive. The word wall was used by children in a multi-age Speech and Language Unit to help them with their story writing.
It’s really important for this kind of display that it was placed at a child friendly height and that children had free access to it in independent time as well as during the literacy hour. They could use it to tell oral stories to talk partners first before they did any writing.
The folders you can see at the bottom of the display contained cards more with words or pictures. The children could then use those to help them structure their story.
They could choose a ‘Who’ card from the wall, perhaps a spaceman. Write one sentence or more, depending on the age and ability of the child, about the spaceman. Then go to the ‘Where’ folder and choose a setting and so on.
Those less able might just sequence the cards whilst the more able used them to tell quite complex stories.

It’s a good technique in the mainstream classroom too and an interesting way to use a classroom display area.


Spring Classroom Displays – Kites 1

kites in KS1

Simple instructions for ‘bagged’ backgrounds


Here’s a lovely classroom display idea for a windy March afternoon in Keystage 1:
The background was done onto sheets of A3 white paper with a technique called “bagging”. It’s messy 🙂

You need

  • Shallow containers, Plastic paint roller trays work well
  • Blue and white paint (the kind that comes in squeezy bottles) Water it down a little if it seems thick.
  • Crumpled up plastic carrier bags.
  • Lots of newspaper
  • Aprons for the kids
  • 3 helpers – or to be very fast on your feet!
  • Space to put the paper to dry flat. You don’t want drips.
  • Music – optional but fun 🙂

Instructions

  • Set up 3 trays of paint.
  • Dark blue
  • Light blue (mix some white with it)
  • White
  • 3 tables with a small group of children at each and one tray.

Crumple up a carrier bag to make a ball, dip it in the dark blue paint, push it down on the flat bit of the paint tray (if you’ve used one) or onto some newspaper to remove some of the paint and then print onto the paper by dabbing it quickly. You want the bag fairly dry, not overloaded with paint.

  • Remove and replace with the next bit of paper.

I said it was messy!

  • The paper is then moved to the light blue table and the process repeated.
  • Finally it moves to the white table and repeat.
  • Paper is removed to flat surface to dry.
  • When all done and dry select best ones for background. Lettering can either be cut from spare sheets or clouds can be cut to show background through.The same technique can be used with shades of grey to make clouds.

    Cloud made with the same technique

    Or even surf 🙂