World Space Week – October 4 – 10 2018

World Space week runs from the 4th – 10th October, and is an international celebration of all things Space and focuses on science and technology and its role in the past, present and future of mankind, a way of not only promoting the work that countries do together to explore space but also how important space technology is to life on earth.

The theme for UN-declared World Space Week 2018 will be “Space Unites the World,” and “will celebrate the role of space in bringing the world closer together,” said WSWA President Dennis Stone.

There are a number of resources for educators to use during the week from the official World Space Week website.

If you haven’t used it yet, this week would be a perfect time to launch Space Adventures, this unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe.

It features dramatic video content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative. The aim is to draw the learner into the turn of events that threatens the ability of our intrepid astronaut Tazz to return safely back to earth. Will her on board computer be enough to get her back safely or will she need to draw on her maths and science knowledge and understanding? You can watch a trailer below:

The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for Maths, Literacy and Science and a Computing unit created by Max Wainwright, author of the popular espresso coding resource for primary schools.

J2e have a range of tools that can be used within Space week, the children could use any of the tools in j2write, to complete research into the planets, space and the Solar System as well as creating fact files on famous astronauts. They could also use JIT to explore branching databases, sorting aliens.

J2code has a range of resources and examples that can be used.

JIT is a turtle based coding language in which you can code freely or use spite (Or more then one spite using advanced mode) and background templates to create simple short based animations for KS1.

Visual is a block based coding language in which you can freely code to create more complex coding outcomes for KS2, including for example,  creating a space themed game:

Busy Things also have a range of labelling and fact sheet templates covering the Solar System and Space that can be used in class for KS1 and KS2, whilst younger children can get creative with designing their own spaceship.

You can find lesson plans and activities from Switched on Science – The Out of this world Unit for Year 5 is perfect to use during World Space Week.

If you are running an event in school, you can register this on the World Space week website as well as finding a whole range of resources including: A Space nutrition activity sheet and an activity leaflet from Tim Peake.

This picture which was first posted on Twitter shows all the planets in on picture – Pluto is included and the picture is not to scale, however I think it would make an excellent introduction to the topic of Space as well as being great on display – you can see the original painting here.

Stem learning have a range of resources that can be used during Space Week, with just a few materials, building a paper model of the International Space Station (ISS) can become a class project. The resource contains a brief overview of the ISS, its parts, the science that occurs on board, instructions, and extension fact sheets. Learn about the ISS, explore fun facts, simulate building the station, and learn about the international partners.

Is there anyone out there? This resource was funded by the UK Space Agency and developed by ESERO-UK and CIEC Promoting Science. It is based upon the quest to discover more about the solar system through space projects such as the European Space Agency’s Aurora programme, and NASA’s Curiosity mission seeking to gather evidence of life on the planet Mars. The students take on the role of space scientists or space engineers to discover more about Mars. The activities in this resource are designed for students aged 9-12 years.The activities are organised into three themes: life, landscape and landing. Activities in the life and landscape themes are suitable for students aged 9 to 11.

You can find all the resources here, including getting your students to train like an astronaut in P.E.

Your class could even borrow the moon!

The STFC Lunar Rocks and Meteorites Loan Scheme has been running since the mid 1980s. It has lent the NASA Moon rock discs and meteorites to thousands of schools, museums and outreach organisers. You can find out how to apply here. The site also has a vast range of resources from the National Space centre suitable for ages 5-18.

The Moon Camp Challenge is a new interdisciplinary school project that invites students, aged 8 to 19, to team up and design their own human base on the Moon, a ‘Moon Camp’. The project will allow students to use exciting and innovative learning technologies, such as 3D modelling, to explore the extreme environment of space, in particular on the Moon, to better understand how environment affects habitability.

The first Moon Camp Challenge will run in the school year 2018/19. It will be launched during World Space Week 2018 and it will continue throughout 2019, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing.  In the future, to enable astronauts to stay on the Moon for long periods of time, new infrastructures have to be developed to solve important challenges; protection from radiation and meteorites, energy production, the extraction and recycling of water, food production and much more. The Moon Camp Challenge invites students to become Moon explorers and decode some of the complexities future astronauts may face.

The Moon Camp Challenge is an educational and inspirational programme run in collaboration between ESA and the Airbus Foundation, featuring preparatory classroom activities that focus on learning-by-design and science experimentation. Students will have to develop a number of scientific experiments related to the Moon and apply their acquired knowledge to design their own Moon Camp using a 3D modelling tool (Tinkercad or Fusion 360).

The participating teachers and students will be invited to participate in webinars with space experts and then share their designs online. A jury of experts will select the best projects.

Participation is open to teams of students aged 8-19 through two entry paths: ESA Member States or Associate Member States, and worldwide. Teams will also be able to choose between two different difficulty levels. Teams must be supported by a teacher or an educator.

The BBC have a great range of clips around Space, including this collection from CBeebies great for using with younger students and includes Dr Brian Cox reading The way back home by Oliver Jeffers.

VirtualiTeach – a non profit site dedicated to all things AR and VR in Education have produced a great blog post entitled Space: The Virtual Frontier, it features a list of 20 experiences across four categories: AR apps, 360 videos on YouTube, mobile VR apps and full VR experiences from Steam.

Discovery Education Espresso is giving primary schools access to fantastic free resources, helping teachers to bring the wonders of space into the classroom. Taking children on a fascinating tour across the universe, the resources include interactive videos, lesson plans and activities, closely mapped to the National Curriculum. From visiting observatories to looking deep into our solar system, to tracking cosmic firestorms, meteors and shooting stars, these exciting free resources will engage younger children with space science. They’ll also help pupils to see the bigger picture, as they learn about the future of space travel and life on other planets. With spectacular clips from television network Discovery Science, and contributions from world famous astronomer Professor Richard Ellis, children will learn about space in a fun and accessible way.

The resources also include a special World Space Week lesson plan: Beyond Planet Earth – A Virtual Space Experience, culminating in an out-of-this-world virtual reality tour of the universe.

Remember we would love to see your work for World Space week – you can share via our Twitter and Facebook page #WSW2018

 

 

 

J2e new features added

Just 2 Easy have announce not one but two updates to their popular suite of tools.

The first update is to JIT: Junior Infant Toolkit, part of the Just2easy Toolsuite which has a range of digital tools to help introduce basic computing skills such as word processing, animation, graphing, coding and digital publishing. The online infant toolkit allows the following features – all linked via the LGfL USO log in:

  • Word processing
  • Animation
  • Graphing
  • Painting
  • Pictogram
  • Turtle control
  • Mix of all the above into an online document

We are really excited to say that this popular program has had some new features added!

Pupils can now paint or fill using textures as well as solid colours, the colour picker and pen sizing have all been improved and an eraser has also been added.  You can see these new features in the picture below.

 

Speech bubbles and text can now be added to painting or animations, vastly improving the learning possibilities, enabling story boards to be created across a range of curriculum subjects. A new stamp feature takes the creativity on to new levels, you now have the ability to not only create your own stamps but these are then all saved in a new My Stamps area and these can then be used across the JIT progam.

Internet search has also been added to the JIT program – this is a safe search with copyright filters in place.

You can see all the features in action by watching the short video below

The second update is to Visual part of j2Code, adding a new sprite in visual is now even easier, 3 tabs have been added and you can choose from my pictures (pictures stored within your own files on j2e), shared files any pictures that have been shared with you and a web search.  Using the web search you can either search for all images, faces, pictures and clip art, once you have search for an image you can then set it as your background, making it easier to add backgrounds into visual.

If adding a new sprite from clip art, there are a new set of commands with added directions so that you can set the direction you want the sprite to move.

The video below explains the new added improvements:

 

We would love to hear what you think of these new features or if you have any examples that you would like to share with us on how you have made use of the new features via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

5 Ways with Early Years

Introducing another in the 5 ways series of resources to help you access LGfL content quickly and help your students learn more.

The aim of 5 ways is to showcase five ways to use LGfL resources across the curriculum that you can take and use and share for example, they can be shared in the staff room, at INSET sessions and also given to parents so that they can support their children’s learning at home.

5 Ways to support EYFS The resource shows you 5 resources that you can use straight away in your classroom, we would love to know what you think about them and how you have used them in your setting.

Busy Things: A wide range of fun and creative games and activities to engage children. With the ability to change from pupil mode to teacher mode you are able to search via curriculum content and strands, being in teacher mode also gives you access to a powerful tool Phonic resources with this you can make your own paper-based phonics activities. Simply choose the Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence you want to use, select from the pictures and words generated, choose your favoured layout and press print!

Audio Network: A wide selection of music professionally recorded music, use the online search to find themed music then download to your computer, pre-cleared and ready for use in your classroom, this resource is great to use before reading a story, set the mood by finding a key image and adding mood music and ask your children what kind of book they think they are going to hear?

Easy Login: An easy simpler way for young children to log into LGfL, ask your Nominated Contact to make a support case asking for easy log in.  The school must be exporting the relevant data sets using the USO Auto Update exporter. Your Head teacher will also need to sign the online declaration.

JIT: Digital tools to help introduce basic computing skills such as word processing, animation, graphing, coding and digital publishing. The online infant toolkit allows the following features – all linked via the LGfL USO log in:

  • Word processing
  • Animation
  • Graphing
  • Painting
  • Pictogram
  • Turtle control
  • Mix of all the above into an online document

 

Widgit: These are simply drawn symbols designed to illustrate a simple concept in a clear and concise way. The symbols cover a range of topics including many curricular areas. Also, has over 1000 premade worksheets.

We will also be running 5 ways as short training sessions, so if you are a subject leader or are running a leader’s forum, why not get in contact with us to talk about having 5 ways as part of your CPD programme.

Over the next couple of months, we will be adding to the series, but would love to hear your thoughts! What 5 ways would help you get the most out of LGfL resources?

Please let us know via our Twitter or Facebook pages or in the comments section of this blog using the hashtag #5ways

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.

Using LGfL to develop IT skills across the Primary Curriculum

IT skills in the Primary Computing Curriculum are as follows:

EYFS: Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. Select and use technology for particular purposes. Use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways , thinking about uses and purposes.

KS1 Use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content

KS2 Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.

Some of the skills that can be taught are listed in the image below.

LGfL have a wide range of resources to support the teaching of IT skills across the Primary curriculum. We have listed some below to help you with the teaching of IT within your schools.

EYFS

Busy Things have a range of games to develop keyboard skills. JIT is the online infant toolkit from Just 2 Easy and has a huge range of tools to support the development of IT skills including: word processing animation, paint and the ability to mix, to combine the above packages to create enabling pupils to select and choose the technology for different purposes. The big day out includes a range of activities that can be used – including researching transport in London past and present and taking a picture in London and labelling it. The Magic school was developed for Early years and includes paint, music and a sand and water room for the children to interact with.

KS1

JIT and Busy Things are both fantastic for developing IT skills at KS1 with the ability to create and manipulate a range of digital content.  There are lesson plans available for KS1 using J2Write for Years 1 and 2 that encourage creativity with writing and using the built in blogging tool to showcase and publish work. Busy things also have a range of templates to encourage writing, there are over 81 to choose from and cover topics across all curriculum areas.  Stop frame animator and Super Action Comic maker are two great tools for children to create digital content as is Picture Book maker.

KS2

J2e5 is a fantastic tool for the children to use that really meets the curriculum objectives for KS2,text, graphics, animations, sounds, videos, and embedded objects can be combined on a single web page. J2e forms can also be used as a way of creating questionnaires to gather data, comments, or other information from different groups. Data can then be displayed, shared, and saved to a file. Busy things also has templates that match the KS2 curriculum with both History and Science templates for the pupils to use.

The Romans in London, The Tudors in London and Polar exploration all support writing across the curriculum, with lesson plans and suggested activities for children to create their own digital content, including Gladiator Top Trumps, Tudor floor tiles and drawing up a list for a polar expedition. Reading Zone live and Grammar explained can be used in a variety of ways to support IT skills, the children could come up with their own questions they would like to ask their favourite author, use the information to create their own Author biographies and use Grammar explained to create their own short clips to explain grammatical concepts for their peers.

A basic knowledge of computers/tablets and or devices as listed below are skills that can be taught within the IT element.