Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A New Term at Compton.

So, it's a new school year at Compton, and we are all set for the exciting challenges ahead of us.

Those of us involved in the Future Classrooms project in school hit the ground running this year, with a return trip to the lab in Brussels. This was a fantastic two days catching up with those we met back in March, and meeting new teachers who have got involved in the project in the intervening months. It was really interesting hearing how each school had developed their use of Chromebooks in different directions and great to see lots of pictures of engaged and excited children. As was the case in March, one of the most exciting elements of the course was the opportunity to share and explore new apps and extensions that we can use to enhance our children's education.

One of the most interesting new apps was Storybird. We had experimented with this a little at the beginning of the year, but whilst away we were able to explore the possibilities of this software in more detail. This is a fantastic app that supports children in their writing; artists have donated a wide range of images to the app that can then be embedded into a book and used to ignite children's imaginations. They can use a wide range of images to help them structure and illustrate their writing, and the finished product can then potentially be bought as a published book by parents. Some of our year 5/6 children have already experimented with writing poetry using this app and after half term some of the year 3 children will use it to help them write their stories set in familiar settings.

Back in school, the children have been busy reminding themselves how to log in and access their new Google Classrooms, while the year 3s have been doing this for the first time. There are inevitably teething problems with this as we all grapple with new passwords and remembering to include capital letters in the correct places, but with each attempt we experience more success and it won't be long before we are all logging in without any issues at all. The Google Classrooms are becoming a more common part of teaching in some of our lessons as they provide an ideal start point - somewhere children can get quick and easy links to the websites they need to complete their work, as well as a forum to ask for more help and support. Some of the classes have already completed home learning tasks set through the Google Classrooms and it is hoped that this will become a normal routine in due course.

So all in all, its been a busy start for us all at Compton, but we are excited about the new term and getting to grips with redefining our teaching using the Chromebooks.

Til next month......
The Compton Bloggers.

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