22 Apr 2014

Van Gogh inspired landscape paintings

Saw a wonderful idea using Van Gogh's 1889 'Cypress Trees' painting on Deep Space Sparkle using chalk as the painting tool.

My pupils first discussed and compared the painting alongside Van Gogh's 'Starry  Night at St Remy' ...

They then chose to either do a daytime or night time landscape based on the two paintings. We looked at the technique used on the Deep Space Sparkle blog.

Daytime painters used white cartridge paper while the night time painters used black sugar paper. Everyone had access to the same set of paint colours: greens, blues, purple, yellow, orange and brown. 

First we cut out our hills and foothills shapes to glue onto the base paper. 

Then we began painting our skies using chalk dipped in paint and trying to use short strokes and to replicate the swirls and movement of Van Gogh's works...some pupils also chose to try to do a sunset or sunrise sky rather than just a blue daytime sky, while just four pupils chose to try a night-time scene...

Our next step was the hills, thinking about colour choices...

The foreground area was next...

We left the paintings to dry overnight and the next day we cut out tree shapes, glued them into position and painted them...

See all 21 artworks here on the classroom blog.

We discovered that the black sugar paper, being slightly rougher in texture, meant that the chalk would rub onto the paper as well while the paint was stroked on and therefore added shading and texture to the paint strokes, while the white cartridge paper was too smooth to cause the chalk to rub off.  So next time I would try to use sugar paper for all layers of the picture to help with that texture and toning.

13 Apr 2014

Tellagami app and Aurasma app

Tellagami - my class are getting to know this app.  At the moment we are creating Gami vids to use with Aurasma (like a QR code) to help new pupils or visitors to our school know about different classrooms and areas of the school.

How to create a gami avatar and create your own video (thanks to 5 Minute Tech, You Tube)

Aurasma - is an augmented reality app similar to a QR code but uses an image as the trigger for the overlay to play. My class are just deciding on what symbol to use to attach to items so people will know they can use the Aurasma.
Here is a You Tube video of how UK primary school Shaw Wood makes use of the app...

7 Apr 2014

Filling the PVA bottles!

The PVA that we get is very gluggy and hard to our into the little bottles that we use in class. I mix the PVA with water to make it into a runnier consistency that pours more easily.

To fill 5-6 small bottles: mix 2/3 cup PVA with 1/3 cup of water in a jug with a pouring lip. 
Pour carefully into the little bottles. Keep the lids off until you are sure that any PVA on the rim is dry ( or next time you want to remove the lid you may find it is stuck in place!)

After the class has used the small bottles I always give each bottle a little squeeze to puff any glue from out of the exit hole so that it is not blocked the next time somebody wishes to use it. 

4 Apr 2014

Reward system

This is a system I have been using for about 8 years - I remember my teacher using it when I was in Year 4 (known as Standard 2 in those days!)

Work is marked for content/effort as well as the tidiness of the presentation..pupils can earn extra 'scholar dollars'  for their handwriting...
The stickers are in a box and pupils put them onto their page according to the mark -
most only put the big stickers on; many choose to just have the B (which saves my sticker budget!)

When a pupil has ten big stickers they can present their book to me for counting;
I write the numbers as I count and sign the tenth sticker
 so we know where we finished our count.

Pupils can then choose from the prize box: stickers, sweet treats, pencils and pens, various toys
- the most popular items are the vouchers (free time or help in a junior room)

2 Apr 2014

Using the SAMR model with ICT devices in the classroom

I currently have 10 ipads in the classroom; all are set up through a classroom Google account.  This allows automatic/passworded access to:
  • our blogs
  • gmail - we can email many of our app creations
  • the itunes store/icloud storage (controlled by teacher via a separate password)

Our ipads are used individually, in pairs, or in groups of 3 (video projects only)
And are used for: writing, maths, reading, inquiry and for general exploring!

When planning activities or selecting apps for the ipads I try to keep in mind the SAMR model for technology tool use in the classroom (aiming for transformation activities where-ever possible:


Image created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D        http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/

  • SUBSTITUTION - iBooks, Vimeo, Google Maps, Wonderopolis, WWF Together, Number Line,Weird But True (Nat.Geog), Touch‘n’Slide Calculator, Math Slide (Add/Sub etc), Tap Quiz Maps, Safari (for reading websites/searching for info)

  • AUGMENTATION - Blogger, Comic Life, Wonderopolis, Typing Game, Google Earth, Kura, Piano, Maestro, padlet.com (used via Safari), Kibo 360, Let’s Get Inventing, Toon FX, PhotoBooth, and many MANY maths/spelling apps!

  • MODIFICATION - Shadow Puppet, Tellagami, My Story, Show Me, Puppet Pals, Sock Puppets, Comics Head, Friendstrip

  • REDEFINITION - iMovie, Explain Everything, GarageBand
Some links I have found interesting/useful as I consider how best to incorporate ICT tools such as laptops, digital cameras and ipads in my classroom programme.  I want the pupils to be getting maximum benefit from their use of these devices and the SAMR model keeps this in focus for me...

The SAMR model as applied to the use of a wiki - good visual example

Chart with simple explanation