Home Learning – Further Suggestions for Parents and Carers

Readers, this blog is again aimed at parents and carers – please, if you can, share the blogpost with parents/carers via your chosen communication channels (shortlink: https://wp.me/p8Z4W4-Tw).

Many of us are settling in to a different routine with regards to how we approach our daily lives; each day requires us to adapt and be flexible. Lots of parents and carers are now juggling the demands of working from home whilst trying to keep their own children entertained, active and most importantly happy! Keep going, we are all doing our best in very difficult circumstances.

At LGfL we know individual schools are approaching the school closure in a variety of different ways and also know there is no right or wrong response/guidance. All establishments are doing their very best to support home learning with the resources they have available to them.

Earlier in the week, my colleague Bradley (a father to two primary school aged children) wrote a blog “A Parents’/Carers’ Guide to Home Learning“. He is also planning on running a parents/carers’ live webinar in the future, to showcase LGfL for those who were previously unfamiliar with the resources we host.

In the meantime, I thought I would put together a timetable for (some) of the activities I have seen being advertised. This is by no mean exhaustive and every day more and more people are starting up YouTube channels, Facebook Live events and other such ways to share things you can do with your children. Also, do bear in mind that, your children are likely to work through activities quicker than they would when in a class of 30; one to one or one to a small group means you are likely to be able to cover far more content! Also remember that you cannot replicate a typical school day and to try, where possible, to get outside with your children and limit the amount of screen time.

Daily Timetable – what is on offer at set times of the day?

Time Brief description Link to activity
9:00 PE lesson with Joe Wicks (30 mins) https://www.youtube.com/thebodycoachtv
9:30 English Activities with Pie Corbett, Deputy Mitchell, Ian Rockey and Russell Prue

Wildlife with Steve Backshall on Facebook (answering wildlife, biology, conservation, geography and exploration questions)

https://radioblogging.net/

Steve Backshall Facebook

11:00 Super Sentence Stacking Webinar

Let’s Go Live with Maddie and Greg (science and nature)

Jane Considine – English Webinar

Free Subscription – //bit.ly/2UoAMxo

https://www.youtube.com/user/maddiemoate

11:30 Dance with Oti Mabuse live on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OtiMabuse/
Any time LGfL’s DigiSafeDaily (a worksheet with reminders to stay safe)

White Rose Maths Lessons

English Activity – free online projects from Lit Film Fest

Complete some of the micro:bit projects

Draw along videos (with Rob Bidduplh)

LEO Academy lessons:

  • Maths Archive
  • English Archive

Gareth Metcalfe – I See Maths

Stay at Home Storytime with Oliver Jeffers

Little Inventors Daily Challenge

Discovery (ready to print or download, Discovery have unlocked a collection of activity-based worksheets).

New Horizon – Meditation & Sleep Stories

digisafedaily.lgfl.net 

whiterosemaths.com/homelearning

LitFilmFest #WriteAtHome

 https://microbit.org/

http://www.robbiddulph.com/draw-with-rob

LEO Distance Learning Maths

LEO Distance Learning English

http://www.iseemaths.com/home-lessons/

https://www.oliverjeffers.com/books#/abookaday/

https://www.littleinventors.org/

Discovery Education

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjW-3doUmNsyY5aLQHLiNXg

Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed especially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world. https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga

Graham Andre (who was at the centre of the BBC’s ‘No More Boys and Girls’ programme that explored gender equality issues in schools) has also put together a padlet which contains some of the suggestions above; where it is a live document, he will be adding further suggestions, so do visit that too. Please visit Graham Andre’s Padlet. (Image shown below):

Do remember that we are continually updating our advice on the LGfL Coronvirus page (you will note there is a parent tab on there too, see image below).

From the parent tab you will find information about the changes we made to help our schools offer continued meaningful education during school closures ie the majority of LGfL learning resources have been changed to open access (no login needed). There are also links highlighting the LGfL resources which best lend themselves to being used for learning at home.

Both BusyThings and Just2Easy have simplified LGfL access to their resources during the school closures.

For BusyThings, if pupils are unable to use LGfL USO logins, teachers should contact Busy Things and they will be able to issue them with temporary login details for both teachers and pupils to use at any time.

You can call Sue on 01332 364963 or email sue@busythings.co.uk if you have queries as a parent; they are happy to help during school closures and will be able to advise regarding what your school has in place.

BusyThings have reported a high volume of calls asking about logging in from LGfL. If you are unfamiliar with LGfL.net and your child has a USO username and password, you will want to log in at “myLGfL” (this is the far right tab):

Children’s USO will generally be their inital and surname (sometimes a number depending on popularity of surname) and a number which identifies the borough. An example would be lsmith1.319 (this is the username) and then it would require a password (unfortunately staff at LGfL, BusyThings and Just2Easy cannot access this password for you).

Once you are logged in and have searched for BusyThings, you will be taken to the BusyThings summary page.

In the top right hand corner you will need to launch BusyThings by clicking on the red “launch resource”.

 

Once you have launched the resource, you will then get a screen as shown below:

 

You will need to choose the top “Normal USO login”.

For the J2eToolsuite (from Just2Easy), if schools haven’t got USO (unified sign on) sorted for pupils yet – you can now login to #just2easy here.

The #DigiSafeDaily challenge is to remind parents & pupils about staying safe online. It is includes a question (answers  given the following day) and reminders to get active & creative: digisafedaily.lgfl.net for #stayingsafe while #homelearning.

Additionally, there is a NEW flyer aimed at parents and carers to help keep children #SafeOnline during Corona #schoolclosures. Mark Bentley from LGfL DigiSafe explains the ‘Six Top Tips’ given in the poster and suggests you print it out and place on the fridge.

To help ease the burden, if you are on Twitter or Facebook do look at #RemoteLearning #Edtech #HomeLearningUK people are being encouraged to share resources and make learning accessible by adopting these hashtags.

Remember, if you need any support for our learning content you can contact the Inspire Team by emailing contentsupport@lgfl.net  or contact the LGfL Switchboard: 020 82 555 555.

 

 

 

 

Get cracking with our Easter resources!

It may not feel like it but spring is nearly here, it’s the season of baby lambs, daffodils, chocolate, fluffy chicks, chocolate, longer days and new life. Did I mention chocolate? So, here are a few sugar-free egg-cellent ideas to use with your students this Easter. (sorry you will have to buy your own chocolate and put up with my egg-stremely bad puns!)

Busy things offer a range of Egg-ceptional digital content that you can use to explore the concept of Easter within your class. From designing your own digital Easter Egg (perfect for fine motor control in the EYFS) exploring the story of Easter in more depth or recreating your own Easter Sunday story.

To explore faith in greater depth you could use Espresso Faiths to look at how Easter is celebrated. Why not compare this with how different communities celebrate other spring festivals and ask your students to explore the common links that they can see in these celebrations?

Just 2 Easy has a range of digital tools to support you in making your own Easter resources, here are some ideas to get you cracking!

Why not create your own Easter egg hunt (you could use real eggs or printed out eggs) and then collate the data into j2Pictogram.

Hold an Easter egg popularity test (maybe with a small taste test) with j2Vote and then collate the data into a graph using j2graph, (if you are wondering I am hoping for a Daily Milk Fruit and Nut Easter egg!)

You could also take a virtual Easter Egg Hunt using Turtle, here is a template you can use.

Use j2Paint to design your own Easter eggs, great for fine motor skills, you can use this template.

Research the concept of Easter celebration across the world and create a presentation with j2e5, why not add an interactive quiz? You can use this template as an example.

Widgit Have an egg-stremely good set of activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, Within the pack are two symbol supported stories about the events of Easter designed for different levels. The large symbol cards can be used in small group work to help retell a simple story. The longer story is supported by the vocabulary list for children to re-write their own version of the story on the Easter writing and drawing paper.

As Easter is also a time of rebirth and growth, why not use some of our science resources to kick start some egg-ploration into the topic of growth? The ever-popular i-Board has a range of life cycle activities such as Hatching a chick or planting a seed.

Switched on science have various units such as “Young Gardeners” which cover the concept of plant and animal growth, Switched on Science is a flexible and creative investigation-based program with a clear focus on working scientifically. It is packed with best-practice CPD videos and supportive lessons to ensure every teacher can deliver the curriculum with confidence.

Virtual Experiments also has a range of growth-related science activities, these ever-popular online resources are ideal for demonstrating difficult scientific concepts with the added benefit of minimising the time, mess and fuss involved in many experiments and allowing to repeat, slow down, stop or vary the conditions of the experiment.

Don’t forget you have the power of Creativity at your fingertips with the whole range of Adobe Creative Cloud tools to empower students to think creatively and communicate expressively, so they can turn their classroom ideas into college and career opportunities if you haven’t already signed up to receive your licences simply go here and sign up.

To get inspired for Easter just go to the Adobe Education Exchange, created for educators by educators, the Adobe Education Exchange is a free learning platform offering instant access to professional development, teaching materials, and other tools designed to egg-nite creativity in the classroom.

Have a look at Juliette Bentley’s (Teacher) idea of using Spark to create Easter Reflective Action Cards.

They contain a reading, a prayer and a call to action. The intention is that they are used for an opening to a Religious Education lesson (Catholic/Christian), during the period of Lent so that they can approach it mindfully. Teachers might email the asset out or print them and give each student a copy. Students then create their own card using Spark and this is then printed, laminated and given to the student to take home and share with their families.

Or why not use Susan Bell’s (Instructional Designer) idea to create an ecard with Photoshop

using a picture of your face, Easter eggs and an Easter bunny picture.

However, you fill the last few weeks before the Easter holidays we at London Grid for Learning want to give you a massive round of applause and thanks for all of your hard work so far this year and hope you have a restful break and are ready for an egg-citing Summer term!

If you do use any LGfL content in your school to inspire your students do let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook pages

World Book Day 2020

World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. It’s also 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 23rd year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 5th March 2020, children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily. 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.

This World Book Day the goal is to ‘share a million stories’ across the UK on Thursday 5 March. So sign up and record every time you share a story to be in with a chance of winning £1,000 worth of books every week throughout March.

The World Book Day website is packed with resources for Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools with lesson plans, activity sheets, assembly plans, discussion guides and much more for you to use on the day. 

Their is also a second series of creative, inspiring and interactive films for you to screen in class at ANY TIME that suits you. These 12 new films have been created to inspire all students aged 5-12, whether they’re reluctant readers or aspiring authors and illustrators! Featuring a sensational line-up of authors and illustrators including Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida CowellEoin ColferMatthew SyedFrancesca SimonMatt HaigMuhammad Khan and Katherine Rundell. Every film comes with FREE classroom resources too!

Introduced this year is the World Book Day Social is a fun and informed online festival for young people taking place on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th March. Over two days and evenings, we’ll be sharing fun and inspiring content and chat with bestselling authors and illustrators, all based around our theme of READING IS POWER.

Schools can access the online festival during the day on our website and social media feeds with extra content for young people at our WORLD BOOK DAY AFTER DARK after-party from 7-9pm each night.

Featuring:

  • Exclusive Reading is Power podcasts
  • Power book reading recommendations
  • Power playlists for reading and working to, as recommended by your favourite authors and illustrators
  • Instagram real-time readalongs

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 Morpurgo, Oliver Jeffers, Jacqueline Wilson and Cressida Cowell to name a few. Alongside interviews with the authors explaining their inspiration and writing resources, there is also a range of resources for teachers to use in class.  

Busy Things have a wide range of resources to support reading and writing across the primary range. BusyPaint and publish has 100’s of templates to choose from with easy to use features that children can use to create their own stories. They have also handpicked a series of resources for World book day, as you can see below.

Or why not use the j2etool suite to complete one of the following activities: You could 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 or design their own character. The tool suite includes templates that can be used on World book day and this will be live from 1st March.

The whole story resource from LGfL aims to explore how storytelling can maximise creativity within learning activities for children. By capturing the expert advice of a professional storyteller and arranging this advice into a simple interface, it is hoped that teachers of all age groups can get inspiration on how to incorporate storytelling across the curriculum.

Another fantastic resource to use on World Book Day is Listening books, these popular audiobooks for KS2-KS5 pupils are fantastic for supporting SEND pupils and feature both fiction and non-fiction titles.

Or use Talking Stories 1, Talking Stories 2, Talking stories 3 from 2Simple, on World Book Day, featuring stories that include: Orpheus and Eurydice, The Wishing Tree, Sherlock Holmes, Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Great Fire of London, these resources include teacher notes and lesson plans.

Don’t forget you can also listen to a range of books with Listening Books If you are not aware of Listening Books, it is a charity providing a service for people with print impairments. Reading is essential for any child’s success. All too often, the barriers faced by children with difficulty reading outweigh their desire to read and, without proper guidance, they never may never overcome them. Listening Books offers audiobooks which can be used with children and young people who struggle to read books in the usual way due to an illness, disability, learning or mental health difficulty.

There is a great range of fiction and non-fiction available to support pupils from Key Stage 2 up to A-Level, including:

  • British History Makers: King Henry VIII by Leon Ashworth
  • GCSE English: Of Mice and Men: The Text Guide by Coordination Group Publications
  • Secrets of the Rainforest: Predators and Prey by Michael Chinery
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming (Young Adult Version) by Al Gore
  • Dates with History: 6th August 1945 The Bombing of Hiroshima by John Malam
  • My Friend Walter by Michael Morpurgo
  • The Elements in Poetry: Poems about Fire edited by Andrew Fusek Peters
  • The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  • Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

Dominic Traynor our Education Evangelist for Adobe has a project perfect for World Book Day which can be found on the Adobe Education Exchange here.

“This sequence of 5 lessons can be taught at any time of year once a group of students have finished studying a book in class. Alternatively, it can be taught in the lead up to World Book Day so that they have a video book review to share with the rest of the school.

It can also be condensed into a full day project for World Book Day itself. I would recommend completing the writing in the morning and then allowing students to film and edit in the afternoon.

Here is a great example of good book reviews in a primary/elementary school setting. For an idea of how to share their work in a special, whole school community celebration, watch this video of how a school near Manchester in the UK celebrated their work.”

Why not also use Adobe spark to design your own book cover and or retell or create alternative endings for well-known stories in Adobe Spark Video?

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) has a wide range of free resources for World Book day, for tips on running a successful day, developing a Reading for Pleasure school all year round and engaging parents with books and literacy. The resources for schools contain easy and fun activities based on key themes of creating, discover, experience, explore and imagine.

BBC Teach has put together a great collection of resources for Primary and Secondary pupils, perfect for inspiring your class.  Featuring awesome authors, authors live and a selection of well-known stories retold and brought to life in short animated films there is something for everyone.

With many people, noting that World Book Day had become just a chance for children to dress up the fantastic 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

Apple Books has a wide range of  Digital children’s books to download and read in primary and secondary classrooms usually you may not know that there are plenty of free books available too. To find books, try opening the Top Charts section where you will see the most popular paid-for and free books and don’t forget that when using iPad there is a range of accessibility features within Apple Books, including the ability to change the font size, background colour and have words read aloud when selected.

What do you have planned for World Book Day we would love to see your pictures and work please share via our twitter or Facebook pages #WorldBookDay2020

Original Post written by Dawn Hallybone edited for 2020 by Bradley Dardis

Everyone Can Create with LGfL Energise Curriculum Resources

In this first of a series of blog posts, I will look at how you can use Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Create’ creative guides with LGfL’s award-winning Energise curriculum resources to enhance and enrich your students learning.

“By unleashing the creativity of students through interactive exercises, they’ll learn how to develop and communicate ideas, become better problem solvers and discover new ways they can leave their mark on the world” – Apple

The Everyone Can Create curriculum is a collection of project guides (broken down into music, drawing, photo and video) that bring creative expression to every subject. They are designed to help students develop and communicate ideas and use free apps available on any iPad; taking advantage of the built-in camera, microphone, speakers, Multi-Touch display and Apple Pencil. 

 

Over my next four blog posts, I will look at each guide and demonstrate how to use these creative guides alongside LGfL’s award-winning Energise curriculum content.

The only things you will need are: an iPad running iOS 11 or later, the free Apple Books from the App Store and of course a ‘Let’s Get Digital Subscription’. Students can complete all of the activities using their fingertips, but for more accurate drawing the Apple Pencil is the perfect accessory. If your students are younger, they may have difficulty holding the slim Apple Pencil, so the Logitech Crayon may be more suitable for education use. For more details on procuring iPads, Pencils or Logitech Crayons visit here

What’s in the guides?

Each chapter starts with objectives, giving the student(s) a clear purpose for each task and comes with screenshots, illustrations and videos for additional support. As students work through each task they will build a toolkit of creative skills that they can use for the last project at the end of each chapter.

Everyone Can Create comes with a teacher guide designed to help educators infuse creativity in every year group with fun activities that can help to deepen student’s learning. It includes lesson ideas for projects in maths, science, literacy and literature, history and social studies and coding. Apple has also provided rubrics to help you evaluate student’s work in each medium. 

In this post, we will look at the Drawing unit. The activities use Apple’s free, built-in apps (Keynote, Pages, Camera and Photos) and also a free drawing app, Tayasui Sketches School, which combine to help develop students’ confidence with different creative techniques and styles using apps they’ll already be familiar with.

First Chapter

The first chapter covers the concepts and techniques used when creating word art. Students start off with the basics, drawing freehand circles and making lines and patterns, before building on all the skills they’ll learn in the chapter to complete an expressive piece of word art. 

Why not ask your students to create their own word art using some of the Energise curriculum content titles as a theme? For example, use the theme of Ancient Egypt, Space Adventures or The Tudors in London to create word art to start their topic off or explore in detail the type of letting or styles found within that era of history.

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Second Chapter

In this chapter, students have the chance to explore sketch noting and how to use shapes and doodles to represent an idea or concept and to emphasize ideas such as a story or even a recipe

Cook It and use sketch noting to explain or demonstrate a recipe? The aim of Cook it is to improve pupils’ skill, understanding and enjoyment of food and healthy eating. The site supports the teaching of a range of basic skills and processes. It encourages and inspire learners to explore cooking and supports ways for students to create and share their own recipes and what better way than creating their own sketch note.

You could also ask your students to explore SEND Fairytales (or Early Shakespeare for older students) and use sketch noting to retell or explore a story? Or use the History of Computing resources “Brave New World ‘ to get students to explore parts of a computer and than sketchnote their knowledge or You can have them sketchnote a science experiment from Switched on Science or the timeline of the Roman empire from The Romans in London. Sketchnoting is perfect for the classroom because it can be used with all levels and all subjects.

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Third Chapter

This chapter shows how to create stimulating images by combining shape, shadow and shading to bring depth and power to images. To enrich this activity, and to find more fun drawing exercises and explore these techniques, why not use Art Skills for Teachers? It contains simple and effective advice for non-specialist art teachers to inspire creative art activities at school and is suitable for all Key Stages. The resource aims to inspire teachers and children to try out and achieve the creation of artwork beyond their own expectations. The resource is full of unusual and easily accessible techniques to make art a truly inclusive activity for all members of your school community.

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Fourth Chapter

The fourth chapter focuses on drawing inspiration from the view around you, be it a rural wilderness or an urban cityscape; the activities in this chapter will focus on how to frame a scene, apply perspective and depth to give the artwork a realistic appearance.

Ben Uri: Art in the Open offers the ‘Sense of Place’ unit which contains information and points of discussion about works from the collection under the theme of landscapes with teachers’ notes for each unit/project, exploring how you can use the pieces of work to inspire students 

  • Sun and Snow
  • Night Scenes
  • Landscapes
  • City Sights
  • As Far As The Eye Can See.

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Fifth Chapter

This chapter focuses on creating expressive portraits by not just capturing the likeness of the person but also the character and personality within. To explore the concept of portrait and identity further, our resource Ben Uri: Portraits & Identity contains starting points for portraiture and identity projects in the classroom, including the teacher’s notes about selected works from the Ben Uri collection, suggestions and lesson plans for 2D and 3D activities in the classroom.

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Sixth Chapter

The sixth chapter focuses on still composition using a balanced composition and light & shadow to highlight a subject and create a mood. You can improve your drawing skills by adopting the tips and techniques you can find within Culture Street . This uses interactive resources to inspire young people to get started and share their creativity. 

Culture Street is a one-stop destination to introduce young people to contemporary artists, writers, curators and performers and their amazing work – for example watch how the artist, Louise Bradley, demonstrates a great range of drawing techniques with charcoal, wax crayon, rubbers and textured paper.  Also within Culture Street you can find a step-by-step drawing guide. Play the ‘How-to Video’ first and then remind yourself with the individual steps clips; a foolproof way to success! Then you can also try more ambitious drawing projects.

Seventh Chapter

This chapter looks at architectural design; focusing on how architects plan and design by showcasing how to develop basic architectural drawing skills such as floor plan, bird’s eye view and being able to use vanishing point to create depth. 

For expert architectural insights, captured in over 50 videos about three unique buildings in London, look no future than Opening Up Architecture. This resource offers an insight into three unique buildings in London. With help from three architects who have a deep understanding of each building, they unlock the vision behind each one and how it meets the needs of the clients and daily users. This resource asks many key questions such as “How often do we consider the influence that the built environment has on our daily London lives?” and “How do the materials, use of light, layout and construction methods impact on our work and leisure?”

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Eighth Chapter

The eighth chapter asks you to think like a graphic designer and learn about colour, typography, hand lettering and images to create a logo for a business. Why not use the key skills mentioned in this unit to redesign our own LGfL logo, or have a look at our new brand identities and see if your students can design their own?

Ninth Chapter

In the ninth chapter the focus is on how to design and illustrate a hand-drawn infographic, choose a topic, gather data and organise the information. Why not inspire your students with some pre-prepared data that you can find within our resource ‘Maths in the Real World’ (within the unit called Sporting Decisions)? Students can be engaged through applying maths to analyse sport. Pupils will cover a wide range of data-handling techniques over the course of three lessons to help them pick a winning team. By adopting the role of the club manager, they will also apply fractions and percentages to help their decision-making process. The resource contains three lesson plans and accompanying resources and are perfect to inspire some sporting infographics.

J2e data found within the Just2Easy Toolsuite offers further examples of data and tools which can help explore complex data on a range of subjects such as dinosaurs or the  populations of countries.

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Final Chapter

In the final chapter, students are learning how to plan, publish and illustrate focusing on the aspect of publishing a children’s book. Why not get your children inspired by looking at ReadingZone Live where you can explore a wealth of authors and illustrators such as Anthony Horowitz, Henry Winkler, Sophie McKenzie, Michael Morpurgo, Sally Nichol, Lauren Child as well as Oliver Jeffers who this year teamed up with Apple Education for Earth Day, encouraging students to draw the world the way they want to see it. Find out more about the campaign here.

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To get hands-on with Everyone Can Create projects why not visit a ‘Today at Apple Session’? Based on the Everyone Can Create curriculum, you’ll work hands-on with creatives in a 60-minute session to learn how to enhance assignments in any subject or year group with video, music, drawing and photography. Sessions are recommended for educators of students aged 5‑18. Find the sessions for teachers here.

We would love to see how you are going to use LGfL services alongside the Everyone Can Create guides and resources to help energise your students’ learning? Let us know by sharing your evidence of impact (it could be photos or students work) via our Facebook and Twitter and if we like and retweet your work you could win an LGfL goodie bag! 

And don’t forget about our latest campaign Pledge 2020, Where we are giving schools a bandwidth boost, putting more security into our network and putting in fantastic equipment AT NO ADDITIONAL COST -to help enhance the use of devices such as Ipad within your school all you have to do is push the button #PoweredbyPledge2020

Multiplication tables check – how TTblast can help!

From the 2019/20 academic year onwards, all state-funded maintained schools and academies (including free schools) in England will be required to administer an online multiplication tables check (MTC) to year 4 pupils.

The purpose of the MTC is to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It will help schools to identify pupils who have not yet mastered their times tables, so that additional support can be provided.

Schools will have a 3-week window to administer the MTC. Teachers will have the flexibility to administer the check to individual pupils, small groups or a whole class at the same time.

Schools will be able to familiarise themselves with the tests and let pupils try them out, ahead of a national pilot between June 10 and June 28. The pilot will help to shape the final version of the tests, which will become statutory for Year 4 pupils in June 2020. Schools can access this area via the NCA Tools website, or via this quick link .

The check will focus on the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 times tables because, the DfE says, “these have been determined to be the most difficult multiplication tables”. There will be 25 questions and pupils will be given six seconds to answer each question.

Each pupil’s score out of 25 will be reported to the school – there will be no expected standard threshold. Children will be tested using an on-screen check (on a computer or a tablet), where they will have to answer multiplication questions against the clock.  The test will last no longer than 5 minutes and their answers will be marked instantly.

TTblast from Just2Easy (available as part of your LGfL subscription) has updated features that will help children practice ahead of the check. When children either go ‘live’ within TT blast, or if they use it in practice mode, a clock will appear in the top right hand corner as can be seen below.

This will count down 6 seconds and then turn red. Children can still answer the question after the clock has turned red, it just means that they have taken longer than 6 seconds to answer.

When the children have completed the live test, their final scores can then be seen, this screen has also been updated and children will be told the average time it took them to answer questions. Next to each answer there will be a green clock to denote if answered in 6 seconds or a red clock to show that they answered in longer than 6 seconds, as can be seen below:

The children can use TT blast both at home and at school logging in with their USO – a great way to get children to practice their tables ahead of the MTC.

If you are using TT Blast in school  why not share your top scores with u on our Twitter or Facebook accounts.

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.