LGfL's Response to Coronavirus
Access to quality online resources has been invaluable during the coronavirus lockdown. Busy Things has hundreds of maths, literacy and phonics activities to help your pupils catch up after many months away from school. Their latest features have been designed with remote learning and the possibility of a second lockdown in mind. Of course, you don’t have to use these new features but if you do, it will enable you to see how your pupils are progressing both at home and at school.
Teachers and pupils have their own My Busy Things area with everything they need all in one place.
To access all the new features you will need to make a Teacher ID and set up Busy Things for your class. The easiest way to do this is to click the pink Configure Busy Things button at the top of the welcome screen.
You will then be prompted to follow some simple "Create new set up" steps. We recommend choosing the "secure setup option" as shown below; this is the option that provides all the new features.
Step 2 - will recognise you from your LGfL USO login (there is a tick box to allow other teachers to modify the setup; may be useful if in a two-form or larger school).
Step 3 - will get your "class code".
Step 4 - will allow you to print the code for pupils (they will need this to join the class for the first time).
Step 5 - will show you setups linked to your teacher USO account. You can then explore the "teacher hub" as shown below:
By setting up a class area you will be able to provide a place in Busy Things just for you and your pupils. This means the pupils will see what activities you want them to do. The usual setting of "assignments" (see to the right) or "pinning activities" allow for easy access for the class (ie fewer mouse clicks).
Another added feature is "Busy blasts" (see image to the left) - where you can message the whole class with an assignment, game/activity or pin … and you can queue them up so you can plan these in advance!
In the set up you have the option to stop other teachers in your school from modifying your content. You, as the named class teacher attached to the class, are the only person able to modify the content your pupils see and you can also hide content created by other teachers, so you only see your own.
Setting up your own class class will allow you to send feedback to your pupils and track what they have been doing. You can monitor what work they have completed and give feedback on their efforts. There is also the (optional) option to allow you pupils to send you messages. Below is a screen shot of a pupil logged in to a class with an assignment set and a Busy Blust alert set to a week.
Finally by setting up a class area you will provide their own personal saved files area to the pupils in your class (shown in the image above).
"Here at Busy Things our first love is designing quality games and activities - we believe if you invest time in the design process, learning will follow.
Now we have over 1000 activities on our platform spanning the whole curriculum and decided to spend some time adding new features to make learning online even easier! Within their own private My Busy Things area teachers can now message their pupils, send feedback on specific work, view pupil timelines and assign work for school or at home. So far the feedback from schools has been amazing - teachers are finding it easy to use and feel well equipped to start teaching children online - both at school and from home!" states Rachel Hall, Managing Director of Busy Things.
Busy Things are offering tutorials (click to book) on Thursdays and Fridays at 9am, midday and 3:45pm to help LGfL schools with Busy Things whatever stage of adoption they are at. You can choose between the Beginners and Advanced Overviews (see image below to see the difference between the two sessions).
Also remember, we are running "The Big Staff Meeting" every Monday at 4pm; designed to fit into a staff meeting and will include training on our most used and versatile curriculum resources (including Busy Things) and how they can be used to support your pupils in school and at home if needed. You could be new to the LGfL range of award-winning Energise learning resources or just in need of a refresher on all of the resources your ‘Let’s Get Digital’ LGfL subscription provides. The session is hosted on Google Meet (so you have nothing to download before the meeting) and staff within your school will be guided by an experienced Learning Resources Consultant via video on how best to use LGfL content. Book here for your staff.
If you would prefer a more bespoke training session you can also request a remote support session from an LRC - go to the online booking form here to request this.
We would love to hear your feedback about these updates to Busy Things and how you are using their resources to help energise your students' learning. Share your evidence of impact (it could be photos or students work) with us via our Twitter or Facebook pages.