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Semester 1 Seminar 6 (online task): Evaluating Resources

Website: ‘Purple Mash’ http://www.purplemash.co.uk/winchester (Links to an external site.)

The website

This website is an online learning tool for use within school or at home, enabling the teacher to set tasks for their pupils to complete. Included are activities for children in Nursery to Year 6, which address many of the primary subjects. A subscription fee is required, however this is paid by the school, meaning that this resource is provided free of charge to children.

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The website consists of activities such as ‘Writing Projects’ and ‘Paint Projects’ and includes ‘Creative Tools’ such as the ability to create animations. Interactive group FullSizeRender (24)activities such as answering questions in French or Spanish are another valuable resource. The above examples may be carried out during lesson time, set for completion by the teacher and appear on the child’s ‘My 2dos’ section, or alternatively undertaken freely as and when children wish. In addition, there are a variety of games available, including those related to maths and English.

Ease of use

The site is very easy to use as it has each section clearly labelled anFullSizeRender (25)d the desired activity can be easily found using the search tool to identify the relevant year group and subject. Alternatively, the ‘Topics’ tab displays the variety of topics for selection. In a welcome letter to parents/carers available on the website, it is explained that children will have been taught how to use this resource, and will therefore be able to use it without adult assistance. It is mentioned however that by becoming familiar wFullSizeRender (26)ith the website, parents/carers will be in a better position to provide guidance. The teacher is able to view the work of their class via the ‘Online Work’ tab, which provides a record of the children’s work that could be used to identify progress.

The curriculum

The program could be used to support almostFullSizeRender (27) every part of the curriculum, as it provides resources for subjects including: English, mathematics, science, history, computing, design and technology, art, music, religious education, geography, PSHE, languages and literacy.

Positives

I very much like that some activities include tutorial videos, as this saves time struggling to understand tasks and provides pupils with the capability to work independently. I also like that the website is very inclusive, in that its supports children from the Foundation Stage to Key Stage 2, and offers a huge variety of subjects. It also provides valuable resources for teachers such as ideas for lessons and offers parent/carer information. This makes ‘Purple Mash’ a worthwhile investment in as it can benefit many.

Improvements

I feel that the activities could be slightly more varied, as many include writing which may be limiting to children who find articulating their thoughts and ideas difficult. However, by typing instead of writing it eliminates the problem of children struggling with handwriting. The website could possibly benefit from including games related to a wider range of subjects, to spark enjoyment in these also.

Below is a video to support the use of one of the languages activities as previously described:

Pinterest Badge-Louisa

I shared my Pinterest badge on Facebook. I really enjoyed doing this badge and I found lots of useful ideas and resources!

This is my board about inspirational quotes and displays in the classroom:
  This is my board about behaviour management techniques in the classroom:

This is my board about resources for teaching maths:

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This is my board about resources for teaching English:These are all of my boards together:

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Round 7-Louisa

Bee Bots!

Computing Concepts

During the seminar we focused on the bee bots and how to programme them. We began by recapping digital literacy and how this involves reading, writing, listening and speaking. We looked at examples of this as social media, YouTube, word, PowerPoint, iMovie, book creator, pic collage, WordPress and emails. We also recapped computer science and discussed coding, algorithm, debugging and decomposition. By creating something in ICT, children will then have a sense of purpose, creativity and confidence, however children also need a context of skills so that they have enough knowledge and confidence to try things out.

Bee Bots

In order to introduce algorithms and programming the bee bots, we played the cat and mouse game which involves giving instructions and turning 90

Bee Bot Maze
Blue Bot

degrees each time! This fun activity will engage the children and also introduce the concept of algorithms which the children will need to use in order to direct the bee bots. We set up a maze of masking tape and asked the children to programme the bee bot from one end to the other. This is a really good activity to introduce the bee bots and then if they go away from the course, we can discuss as a class why this has happened and then reprogram the bee bot. In order to scaffold the children’s learning the teacher could introduce cards with directions/instructions on to help the children see where the bee bot will need to go and amend the course.

 

 

We then programmed the bee bot to make the letter T and then looked at the most complex capital letter we could make. This would be really good to use with children because they can build up their skills on algorithms, as well as working in a group to problem solve. In the seminar we also looked at how to programme a car which had more controls and a space for a pen to track the route. This may be suitable for a higher age group to progress their skills further. We also had a map of the country so that the children could programme the bee bots from one place to another, to make using the bee bots more exciting. We also used blue bots which connected to an iPad’s Bluetooth and could be programmed from the iPad, making it easier to plan the route which would therefore scaffold those children who were finding it difficult. The seminar was really engaging and I now know some really useful techniques for using bee bot technology with the children!

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Source About the Benefits of Bee Bots

https://www.bee-bot.us/

This website explains about the huge benefits of using the bee bots in a classroom, for example they are exciting, easy to programme, can store up to 40 commands and are useful to teach sequencing, problem solving and estimation. The website also explains about the blue-bot and all of the bee bot accessories. The website also allows you to post your own experiences of using the bee bots, therefore some useful teaching techniques can be picked up here.