This evening we hosted our very first teachmeet at East Harling. It really was a 'back to basics' teachmeet, with no live-streaming and no tweeting during the presentations. I make no apology for this and actually think that it made for a better event as everyone was concentrating on what was being said - and joining in with the more interactive parts. I tried to liveblog, but my ipad decided to have keyboard failure, so that was that!
Thanks to our generous sponsors, all attendees got a great swag bag with lots of goodies inside. We had delicious cakes and sweets on the tables to keep us going. The note books and pens came in very handy for all the top tips we learned throughout and our new hot mugs are much appreciated.
Here is a flavour of the brilliant presentations.
Up first was @AmandaCockburn who took us through a series of activities and actions to support fine motor skills development. Funky fingers and finger gym activities are completed daily in her classroom. Amanda has a huge collection of resources in her classroom to support fine motor development. Her inspiration comes from @tishylishy on Pinterest where you can find other brilliant ideas.
We had a great bit of audience participation with dough disco!
Next up, @AmandalYates shared story bags for RE, for creative and reflective responses to story telling. Using the props and the ideas from given scripts in the Bible Storybook, you can build up a story from the bible, ensuring that children are given lots of time for thought and reflection. Through this, children explore a range of ideas, thoughts and feelings.
Matt shared some great websites to use in maths for primary aged children. They can be found on the class blog. Favourite ones include maths sticks and transum.
Next, @beckijennings shared with us how films can be used to inspire writing. She has a fantastic Pinterest page where you can find a lot of these films.
I can vouch for My Morning Jacket - If you Touch Me ... as I have used it three times with year two children as a big writing stimulus, with incredible results. Try it yourself!
Next to come up on the fruit machine was @JenniH68 who talked us through the benefits of using solo taxonomy as a great method of assessment for learning. Jenni also explained how clearly it can show progress in a lesson, or across lessons, to any visitors in the classroom. She shared the lego film which explains nicely the principles of solo taxonomy, then showed how she uses it for self assessment by asking children to circle where they are on the learning objective / marking slips that go in their books.
Next up, Lisa talked us through how she has used the inspirational book, The Arrival by Shaun Tan. She has used it in many different ways, but generally as a resource for PSHE. She shares how, as a book with no words in it, it levels the playing field for all children. It provides a great stimulus for thinking through a range of ideas, problems and dilemmas.
Lisa also shared the great video she has used that has been created by Frederik Vorndran. It really is a book that every school should own as there are many opportunities for PSHE, writing and drama that can be gained from it.
Next up, Tessa (who used to take my yoga class and is utterly brilliant!) showed us how to use yoga in the classroom to help children maintain focus when they have been sitting for a while, like after assembly. She explained how she scatters bits of yoga throughout the day as a kind of brain gym, and as we all had been sitting for a little while we had a bit more audience participation!
After a spot of yoga, Melissa had a bit more audience participation with her spaghetti marshmallow maths! Why use art straws when you can have fun with food. There were rules though, like 'no licking!'
I'm ashamed to say that I forgot to take pictures of some of the marvellous creations around the room, but you can see some of the class maths on their blog.
After a bit of maths @jenniH68 showed us how to get some quality writing by slowing it right down with slow writing. This is another great free resource that really can help children produce quality writing, by following the prompts on screen and having thoughtful discussions with their partners. Try it! It's fab!
Back to maths with Laura, who showed us how you can use something in the news, like the sugar content in our drinks, to cover percentages in maths. You can see more on her class blog where her year 5 children participate in a think before you drink investigation. A super way to use maths in a meaningful context.
Emma talked us through Osiris effort levels and how she uses these in class. By holding fingers up at children you can give them immediate feedback about where you think they are, or you can ask them to self assess where they are. Effort level 1 means you are distracting others, 2 letting yourself getting distracted, 3 is that kind of not brilliant effort place, up to 5 where you are putting best effort in. A simple but effective way of giving feedback and getting children to self assess.
I may have presented next, but there is no photo as I was using my iPad. I shared thinking blocks and lots of lovely computing resources for primary, which of course you can see on this blog by following the computing link.
Last but not least, @seeman_paul shared maths garden, which he learned about on a trip to the Netherlands. It is a whole school maths resource that has a huge benefit - it changes difficulty level according to where children are. You can track progress easily and they have found it to be a useful school resource.
The presenter raffle was much appreciated at the end - I will blog about this tomorrow!