World Book Day 2018

World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

This is the 21st year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 1st March 2018, children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. That’s why World Book Day  will be sending schools (including those nurseries and secondary schools that have specially registered to participate), packs of Book Tokens and age-ranged World Book Day Resource Packs (age-ranged into Nursery/Pre-School, Primary and Secondary) full of ideas and activities, display material and more information about how to get involved in World Book Day.

The Wold Book Day website is packed with ideas for dressing up,  resources, and the chance to sign up to watch live streamed shows on World Book Day.

Reading Zone Live from LGfL is the perfect resource to use within your class on World Book day, the site is packed with interviews with authors including: Michael Murpurgo, Oliver Jeffers, Jacqueline Wilson and Cressida Cowell to name a few. Alongside interviews with the authors explaining their inspiration and writing resources, there are also a range of resources for teachers to use in class.  Our next Reading Zone Live event is with the author Mini Grey on the 21st March 2018, you can find out more information and how to watch here.

You can also use the j2etool suite to complete one of the following activities: Why not have a vote on World Book Day as to who the favourite author is in your class or school, ask the children to write a book review or a biography of their favourite author using j2e and finally they could use the tools in JIT to create an alternative book cover. The tool suite includes some templates that can be used on World book day.

Book creator app is a fantastic app to use on World Book day, you can use either the tablet or web based version to get children to create their own books, combining text, image, audio and video to create their own interactive stories that they can share.

The author Jo Cotterill has come up. with a fantastic range of World Book Day Alternative ideas, these include Potato and Egg characters, donate a book and build a book scene in a box you can see these ideas and more here.

Night Zoo Keeper also launch their World Creative Writing month on World Book day, this is a month long competition where classrooms around the world work together to write as money stories as possible. Last year schools from 30 countries wrote over 6 million words. The very best writing is showcased each week with prizes up for grabs – you can find out more about this and how to register here.

What do you have planned for World Book Day we would love to see pictures and work  please share via our twitter or Facebook pages #WBD18

 

Wonderful Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics begin this Friday in Pyeongchang South Korea, although the first week of the Olympics takes place in half term, it continues until the 25th February, we have highlighted some resources to use in school to introduce children to these sports and activities based around the games.  Newsround have a great short video to introduce the Winter Olympics to children.

Another great video from the BBC highlights past moments of the Winter Olympics using Lego figures you can watch it here. This is a great way of introducing sports to the children as well as getting them to create their own animation perhaps using the animation tool in JIT or you can use this outline lego figure to get the children to create their own outfit for the GB team, or use the paint package also contained in JIT. Another art and design idea could be to use images from the amazing Skeleton Bob helmets worn at the 2014 games to get the children to design their own ones.

 

 

By the time the children return after half term there will be a range of data that the children could look at, they can use the data tools contained in J2e Tool suite, they could do a medal count tally, vote for their favourite sport or graph timings in a particular sport.  They could also do a presentation comparing Ancient and Modern Olympics or research the athletes competing. The Team GB website has a fact filled website with profiles of sports and competitors. You can also get them to write a report on a particular sport, using the tools in j2office, or j2write, or why not get them to record a ‘live’ commentary and then upload their videos into Video Central HD or film a short segment on what they have enjoyed watching or a recap of the games so far using music from Audio Network to add to their film.

Virtual Reality is not just for the classroom it is also being used by US athletes competing at the Winter Olympics this year in skiing, you can read more about this in a report by the BBC and watch a video of the Virtual Reality run here. Great to use as a discussion with children as to why the athletes benefit from Virtual Reality and why it is being used and what other sports may benefit from using this technology.

The Mascot for the Winter Olympics this year is Soohorang, which took its motif from the white tiger. The white tiger has been long considered Korea’s guardian animal. You can find out more about the mascot here, why not ask the children what they would have chosen as the mascot and why.

 

The Olympic Museum has produced the “Experiencing discovering the Olympic Games: Special PyeongChang 2018” kit which includes:

  • Essential information about the 23rd Olympic Winter Games;
  • An introduction to Korean culture as it affects the Games;
  • Classroom activities for pupils aged 6 to 11 and 12 to 15.

The purpose of this kit is to show how the Olympic values and the culture of the host country have been incorporated into the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The themes are designed to link with educational curricula in a variety of ways. The Get Set network has produced a range of resources including a quick fire quiz and an assembly and activities on team work, you will need to sign up to Get Set to access these resources.  Teaching Ideas also have some more great ideas to use across the curriculum.

If you use any of the ideas we would love to see the work, please let us know via our  twitter or Facebook pages.

Blast into the new term

What better way to start the new term by letting you know about a new and updated resource.  LGfL schools have access to the Just2Easy tool suite and J2Blast has now been updated to include Spelling!

The new Spell Blast encourages pupils to learn spellings while they do what comes naturally; play and compete against each other. As they progress through the levels, the words automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult. There is always a challenge, if no other live players are waiting for a game, robots take over, so it always appears that there are multiple players. The scoreboard shows your place in the class, school and world.

Feedback is built into this tool and teachers can see detailed information about the achievements of their pupils as well as which aspects they have found difficult. A word cloud shows commenly mis-spelt words.

As the users progress, they earn points which unlock new premium Pirate based characters. This makes learning fun and increases motivation.

You can find out more about spell blast and the features including being able to add your own word lists in the video below:

J2Blast has been renamed as Tt Blast,Tt blast encourages pupils to learn maths while they do what comes naturally; play and compete against each other. As they progress through the levels, the questions automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult.

Again feedback is built in,teachers can see detailed information about the achievements of their pupils as well as which aspects they have found difficult.

The final tool in the blast series is SATs blast, this builds on the success of TT blast, SATs blast encourages pupils to learn the maths elements of SATA test for KS1 and KS2 in a games based context. With the same feedback involved in both Tt Blast and Spell blast.

So why not use these new and updated tools to blast your students into the New Year.

Remember as ever, if you use these tools i in your classroom we would love to hear from you, let us know using the hashtag #Blast #J2e on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook

 

LGfL Christmas Crackers

‘It’s’ nearly here and we know as teachers how hard it is to get through the final weeks of the Autumn term, be it grotto duty at the Christmas Fair, sorting out who gets the toy from the cracker at Christmas lunch or going to yet another Christmas production practice!

Which is why we are offering you a range of stocking fillers to help you fill those moments!

Busy things offer a range of digital content that you can use to get that much-needed magical moment of peace within in your class. From designing your own digital Christmas card, decorating your own tree (perfect for fine motor control in the EYFS) or exploring symmetry making your own snowflakes and it’s never too late to write a letter to Santa!

Just 2 Easy have a winter wonderland tab which you can use to access a bumper packed bag of festive treats, why not try playing a game of digital noughts and crosses festively named ‘Shepard’s and wise men”, play a word matching game or create your own digital nativity scene, Many J2e tools also have has a Christmas makeover:

J2data: Branch has a Christmas set of resources to sort – elves, reindeer, gingerbread men etc. – plus a Christmas background. And the clothes category are winter clothes.

J2Pictogram: has a set of Christmas images to add

JIT: Write and Paint have a Christmas background and Paint has Christmas images.

J2code: Visual has a reindeer instead of the usual penguin sprite

J2e also offers analogue activities such as making yummy festive biscuits, remember to go back every day to open the advent calendar to see the latest activity.

Your students don’t need to be visited by the Ghost of Christmas past to see what has happened at Christmas in the past, just let them search The Guardian and The Observer archives, the archives go all the way back to 1791 and offer a window into celebrations from years gone by, great for your students to research and compare modern traditions with those in the past.

Audio Network has over 60,000 professionally produced tracks that can be search by keyword or mood. Why not search for ‘festive’, ‘jolly’ or ‘Christmas’. You can use them in lessons, performances and for videos you create in school – without breaking any copyright rules!

We also have Espresso Faiths to look how Christmas is celebrated why not compare this with how different communities celebrate festivals and ask your students to explore the common links that they can see in the religious celebrations?

Remember we also have this Blog post about using Christmas media within school It’s that time of the year ! Using Christmas media with LGfL content.

However, you fill the last weeks of the school year we at London Grid for Learning want to give you a massive round of applause and thanks for all of your hard work this year and hope you have a restful break and are ready for an exciting 2018! Merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

Road Safety Week 20th-26th November 2017

Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest road safety event, involving thousands of schools, organisations and community groups every year. Set up in 1997, the event is coordinated annually by Brake each November, and aims to encourage grassroots action on road safety and raise awareness about the part we can all play in preventing tragedies and making roads safer. The theme for this years Road Safety Week which runs from the 20th – 26th November is Speed Down Save Lives.

We can all play our part in raising awareness about the dangers of driving too fast and this year’s campaign will focus on:

  • speed causes deaths and serious injuries on our roads
  • rural roads are not race tracks
  • 20mph is the only safe speed in heavily built-up areas used by pedestrians and cyclists
  • going slow = stopping in time
  • speed is scary and noisy. It stops communities being enjoyable places for children and families to walk, talk and play
  • speed cameras work. They save lives.
  • Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) is an important development that is likely to be fitted to all vehicles in the future

There are new online resources for educators for 207, free to all those who register using this online form. The free online action pack includes more advice, ideas and resources, including lesson plans, assembly presentations, activity sheets and fact sheets linked to the 2017 theme of Speed Down Save Lives.

Brake, the road safety charity have produced a guide for educators on teaching road safety, as well as specific guidance for road safety with pupils with SEND.   They have  also recorded the webcast below, full of ideas and activities for educators to use during the week:

Thinking skills for Life from LGfL in partnership with Axis education, includes a section on travel and transport,there are 3 categories of worksheets for each activity which require different levels of literacy,thinking and comprehension skills. This includes worksheets which use Widgit symbols to support understanding for many young people with SEND, EAL and lower literacy levels.

Busy things has a template to help children create a poster on how to stay safe on the roads, children could also use JIT or J25 to create either an animation or a poster to encourage parents to speed down, save lives. They could also write to their local council and ask what is being done in their areas to encourage people to speed down and save lives.  Using J2data children could create data on traffic in their local area around schools and use this to encourage more people to walk to school.

RoSPA have also got a range of resources on their website for educators to use including teacher guides, workbooks and travel training for KS3 and KS4. Think from the Department of Transport have websites for Primary and Secondary both feature sections for teachers, pupils and parents.

STARS is TfL’s accreditation scheme for London schools and nurseries. STARS inspires young Londoners to travel to school sustainably, actively, responsibly and safely by championing walking, scooting and cycling. STARS supports pupils’ wellbeing, helps to reduce congestion at the school gates and improve road safety and air quality. STARS is open to all London schools and nurseries. To take part in the scheme, you first need to create a STARS Online account. This will put you in touch with your local borough officer who will support you throughout the accreditation process, help you create a School Travel Plan (STP) and select the most suitable activities for your school to address your travel issues and reach your active travel targets. A great resource to use during Road Safety Week.

Please let us know what you are doing for the week, you can share via our Twitter and Facebook pages, or using the hashtag #RoadSafetyWeek #SpeedDown

 

Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day 2017

National Poetry day is on the 28th September 2017, the theme this year is Freedom.

To get you ready for this, LGfL are hosting a special Poetry themed Reading zone Live with Roger Stevens on the 27th September at 2:30 pm. Roger Stevens is best known for founding and running the award-winning Poetry Zone website.  His most recent poetry collections include It’s Not My Fault (with Steven Withrow) and an anthology called Is This a Poem. Reading zone live is an excellent way for you and your class to engage with an author and hear how he creates poems and ideas as well as asking questions either before the day or during the event.

We would love you to join in with this event and there are a number of ways you can do this:

  • If you have access to Video conferencing (VC) facilities you can link with the live event by e mailing contentsupport@lgfl.net
  • If you do not have access to VC, you can e mail questions in advance to contentsupport@lgfl.net
  • You can watch the event live from 2:25 pm on the 27th September here
  • Tweet us before and during the event using the hashtag  #RZL to @LGfL.

 

 

 

There are a number of resources that can be used to help you plan and deliver lessons on or before National Poetry day based around the theme of Freedom:

  • Read or perform a poem – there are a selection of poems on the National Poetry day website that can get your class inspired.
  • Posters to put up in class or around school and on your website to highlight the fact that you are supporting National Poetry day.
  • Lesson plans for KS 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 from the National Poetry day website to get you started, including a toolkit full of ideas and inspirations.
  • Use Perform a Poem from LGfL to get tips on performing poems including resources for teachers.
  • Use J2launch via LGfl – why not blog about your favourite poem on Freedom, use J2e5 to write your own poem relating to freedom and use j2vote to vote for your favourite class or school poem.

We would love to see the work you do around Reading Zone Live and National Poetry day via our Twitter and Facebook pages.