Posted in Coding, Cross-Curricular Computing Links, KS1, KS2, Programming Devices

Module 4: Computer Science

 

The final Pick ‘n’ Mix module was all about computer science. Many of my previous blogs give information regarding the topics discussed within this module and they are linked below:

Unplugged:

Algorithms can also be taught using the unplugged concept. Children complete challenges which relate to that of an algorithm, for example, children describe to a partner how to complete simple daily tasks such as getting from one place to another, making a jam sandwich or even tying your shoelaces. Whilst explaining, children will have time to adjust and amend their instructions or debug them, creating problem solvers and computational thinkers.  Computing unplugged can be adapted for use in many lesson such as DT, English, Maths and PE.unplugged cs

Computer Science Unplugged offer some great activities to use within the classroom to help introduce and develop computational thinking.

KS1:

KS1 computer science is a little different to KS2 as they learn to:

  • Write and test simple programs
  • Manipulate data
  • Organise data

Below are some useful resources to use with the children when teaching and learning about the areas outlined above:

Write and test simple programs: understand algorithms and how they are implemented as programs on digital devices

Manipulate data: manipulating and retrieving data in a range of digital formats

Organise data: organising and classifying whilst working creatively using digital media

KS2:

KS2 has significantly more computer science aspects and these can be read about in detail on my KS2 National Curriculum blog.

Areas addressed within the module include (some are linked up to previous blog posts):

  • Analysing and presenting
  • Computer Networks
  • Control
  • De-bugging
  • Decomposition
  • Discernment
  • How an algorithm/program works
  • Programming
  • Repetition
  • Variables

Below are some useful resources to use with the children when teaching and learning about the areas outlined above:

Analyse and Present: use and combine a variety of software to analyse and present data and information

  • Google Trends – great way for children to explore and compare data series. Links nicely with Google Flu Trends
  • Piktochart: create your own infographics combining global and local data by adding images, text and data to ready-made themes. Alternatives are easel.ly and infogr.am. A successful Year 3 student project
  • worksheet to use with children in order to teach them the difference between random data and data organised in a table.  They initially attempt to answer impossible questions based on random data – they can only really guess the answers.  They turn over and answer the same questions once the data has been organised into a data table
  • Hackasaurus: mash up and change any web page like magic. Use ‘x-ray goggles’ to hover over a website to see behind the scenes, then remix, make and share webpages or create your own, all within your browser. This makes it easy for children to tinker and mess around with the building blocks that make up the web. Includes resources for teaching webmaking: printables, cheat sheets, lesson plans, assessment rubrics, and a slideshow.
  • Popcorn Maker from Mozilla makes it easy to enhance, remix and share web video. Combine video and audio with text, links, maps, pictures and live feeds to make your own interactive newscasts, pop-up videos, multimedia reports, fan videos, guided web tours and more. Remix your favorite videos on YouTube or sounds on SoundCloud, add your own comments and links, or drag and drop in content from across the web.The result is a whole new way to tell stories on the web.
  • Mozilla Thimble: Thimble projects are hackable webpages that allow you to complete a challenge, play a game or build something cool by editing the code of the page, and learn webmaking skills like HTML and CSS in the process. Beginners can tinker around with template projects such as ‘Build your own Awesome Animal’, ‘Make an Animated Avatar’ or ‘Make Your Own Meme.’ Or you can hack into a pre-made game, customise it and share with friends
  • Text2Mindmap: A simple way to organise and classify information and show it visually. Outline your ideas as a list of topics and subtopics and an animated mindmap is automatically generated. You can drag and bounce your mindmap around the screen, edit fonts, colours and lines, rearrange the layout and save as a .jpg. Provides a quick focus on the hierarchical relationships between topics
  • The Rebirth of Rails: Amazing infographicvideo from General Electric about capturing and converting energy from braking to power trains. Also see two more interactives on the theme of trains
  • Book Creator App for the iPad- simple book creation for children
  • CBB app for ipad Creative Book Builder
  • Popplet for the iPad- organising ideas
  • Whodunnit? – Analyse a database to solve crimes

Computer Networks: understanding computer networks including the internet

  • How the Internet Works A module aimed at Year 5 with activities and resources.
  • Modelling Google A class activity. [CC by-sa Graham Hastings]
  • CS Unplugged: computer science without a computer. A collection of lesson ideas aimed at primary students that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles using cards, string, crayons and lots of running around. The activities introduce concepts such as representing information, networks, binary numbers, algorithms, procedures, and data compression, with practical guidance, worksheets, photos and videos.
  • The internet map: an interactive visualisation of the relationships between websites. Enter a well-known site and zoom in and out.
  • ScrabbleNet : Acting out the Internet An activity with Y7 to demonstrate the concept of how data is transmitted across the Internet.

Control: using computers to control simple devices such as toys

  • Pro Bot – classic floor turtle robot car from TTS. Not cheap but a great way into Logo.
  • Examples of worksheets for projects involving input/output control – Flowol based.  LighthousePelicanLevel Crossing.
  • Robots and computers activities from theOregon Museum of Science and Technology(OMNI). You can program a robot to complete an online obstacle course and download activity instructions for programming a friend around a maze or a robot to tie your shoes. Other online interactives include a binary number balance activity, manipulating colour mixing and resolution, how computer pointing devices work, exploring passwords, and the history of communication technologies.
  • Low Life Labs: a robotics activity from the Museum of Minnesota to find out how “CAPTCHAS” tests whether you are a human or a computer. Explore how you read letters versus how a computer reads them. Look at human vision and how human brains use “pattern recognition” to help us understand what we see.
  • Lego robots activities aimed at 8-13 year old girls: how do we design a robot that moves quickly and tuns in a tight circle? Extensions explore how to program a LEGO robot to perform specific tasks, testing and retesting modifications to maximise the effectiveness of each design feature.
  • Lego WeDo and Scratch – Resources for using Scratch to control the Lego WeDo control kit (for 8-12 year olds)
  • Education WeDo Resources for using the Lego WeDo software
  • Robotics Concepts for Kids from IBM: workshop materials that bridge the gap between computer science (programming using NetLogo) and engineering (designing and constructing a magnetic Braitenburg vehicle). The introduction uses a prepared presentation and film clips about artificial intelligence and the history of robotics. A computer simulation and construction of a mechanical vehicle that responds to magnetic force reinforces robotics as a practical pursuit. Suitable for Years 5 and 6.
  • Lightbot: control a robot by giving it commands using programming logic. A great introduction to simple programming with the more complex levels introducing recursion and conditionals.
  • Stencyl: a complete game-creation toolset based on Scratch blocks. Click and drag blocks to program your characters and choose from many ready made blocks.
  • Enchanting Scratch meets Lego NXT.
  • FlowGo Line Following Vehicle – sensing and control with feedback.  Ideal for KS2 extension and STEM project.  See Word doc at the foot of this page & video on Youtube

Decomposition: solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts

  • Before pupils create something in Scratch it can be useful to look at a working example and decompose what is happening. Spider Game on the Scratch website is here. Use right and left arrows to steer the spider. Spider Game planning is here.
  • Children (yrs 4-6) begin by working in small groups to develop a dance routine and record it on a flip cam. They break down the dance routine into parts and develop flow charts for each part.Pupils then edit screen gabs of them in different dance positions, whilst performing dance routine then import into Scratch costumes. Finally pupils use Selection and repetition to reconstruct the dance routine in scratch.
  • Thinking Myself: Computational Thinking in K-12 A peek into computational thinking through a series of lessons and games for children in grades K-12 defining the terms decompose, patterns, abstraction, algorithms and variables through examples and interactions

Discernment; Not believing everything that is read online

  • All About Explorers: what looks like a regular history site is full of inaccuracies. Activities are designed to help children learn to check facts and apply critical thinking skills to their research.
  • Internet Research (Fact or Fiction): Use this PDF guide covering urban legends, myths, hoaxes, opinions vs fact, web suffixes and dates to instigate class discussion around the accuracy of Internet information and maybe create your own urban legends. (from SNegreid on TES).
  • Media Smart – resources to help children and teachers understand digital advertising

How an algorithm works:

  • BrainPop animated movie on Computers: How does a computer work? What’s the difference between ROM and RAM? What’s an operating system? Covers what a central processing unit (CPU) is and how a hard drive operates. Also mentions modems, circuit boards, and sound and video cards. A related resource looks at Data Storage Devices: how CDs and DVDs, USB drives and memory cards store data. Resources includes a graded quiz, vocabulary activities and related information pages (subscription needed).
  • Jam Sandwich Algorithm Pupils program their teacher to make a jam sandwich

Programming:

  • Programming Basics A Prezi guide to some programming constructs with simple Scratch examples.
  •  Khan Academy Computer Science: an engaging and fun computing environment that has a coding pane and a canvas. You can change things in real time and explore how patterns, drawings, simulations and animations interact by changing core variables in Javascript or Processing. Watch the code and what is running simultaneously. This encourages you to experiment and make it your own, save to your profile and then share. You can listen to a tutorial as you interact on screen.
  • Redware lesson plans adaptable for upper KS1 and great for KS2 on Scratch.
  • A series of Scratch lesson plans aimed at KS2 and used with Y4-6 following the principle of not always showing pupils how to create each block
  • A series of Python lessons taught to Y6 pupils. Python needs MUCH more teacher time investment to teach successfully at KS2 – its a rarity just now
  • Python Video Help Files
  • Scratchel:introduces computational thinking through a series of problem solving activities set in Scratch based around Scratchel the robot and his friends.
  • Teaching LOGO in Lower KS2 series of lesson plans taught using programming principles
  • Series of Scratch Projects created by Phil Bagge and used in Y4-6.

Repetition: 

These are largely a collection of downloadable PDF’s that you can use with Microsoft’s LOGO program.  Children’s activities on this sort of application are often enriched and enhanced by working in pairs due to the opportunities for developing mathematical language and reasoning.

Variables: 

  • Scratch Maths Quiz which uses a single variable to hold the score. This is increased if the user answers questions right and is reported to the user after each question. (Yrs 4 & 5)
  • Scratch Automated Maths Quiz This builds on the concepts explored in Maths Quiz. The numbers are generated randomly and stored in two variables. The two variables are multiplied and the result stored in another variable. The user answer is compared to total variable. (Y5)
  • Text Based adventure game in Scratch Main Planning Variables used for hitpoints help sheet
  • Python Code (Adapting a poem) This module looks at the creation and use of a variable within a poem. The variable can be created by the programmer or by the program user or selected randomly from a list of items. (Yr 6) I think it is easier to explain variables with Python than Scratch but Python needs MUCH teacher training time investment!
  • Creating a shape calculator in Scratch where the number of repetitions is dependent on the number of sides on a shape.
    Thinking Myself: Computational Thinking in K-12 A peek into computational thinking through a series of lessons and games for children in grades K-12 defining the terms decompose, patterns, abstraction, algorithms and variables through examples and interactions.
  • Duck builder – free simulation resource that allows you to change and test variables
  • Virtual experiments – many of these allow you to test variables
  • A sense of murder  – from Kent ICT. A way of engaging children with data logging equipment.
  • Creatorverse and monster physics are great little apps to promote this area of ICT

Computer science is a key aspect of the computing curriculum and underpins many of the teaching strategies. I would always utilise computer science where necessary within all of my lessons as I believe it helps to set children up for future life within this technological world.

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Posted in Cross-Curricular Computing Links, KS1, KS2

Module 3: Children as developers and animators

The 3rd Pick ‘n’ Mix module focuses upon the information technology and digital literacy strand of the National Curriculum. It focuses in depth upon:

  • App making
  • Animation
  • School Radio
  • Immersive environments

blippitBLIPPIT is a tool in which children and teachers can create and publish apps. Blippit has a wide range of uses:

  • as self-contained projects in their own right
  • as part of a wider topic in the classroom
  • to engage reluctant writers
  • to personalise learning & promote children as independent learners
  • to help you as a teacher assess children’s knowledge and understanding

The apps can be created and once published, accessed by iPhones, smart phones, tablets and even on a web browser. In addition, the apps created only need to be approved by the teacher before they can be submitted for the world to see. A quick guide and tour of the programme can be accessed here.

ANIMATION

Film Education is a charity organisation which supports and promotes the use of film within the curriculum and classroom. The web page details about getting started, tasks for pupils to complete and resources on animated film.

Stop Frame animation is a technique that can be used and adapted within the classroom to create short videos on a variety of topics. Oscar Stringer is an experienced stop frame animator and produced an ‘Animation Course for Teachers‘ resource which introduces the basic skills to get started alongside some project ideas. model animation

Another great video to show stop frame animation in action is ‘Making a model from clay‘. It quickly shows you how to create an animated video from modelling clay in a simple yet effective way.

I believe that animation is a brilliant skill to teach children. It will know only give the children chance to use their creative side but as projects can sometimes be quite big, it allows children to communicate ideas, collaborate and create as a group. Animation could be used in every curriculum area, ranging from a persuasive advert in English, explaining a concept in Maths and re-enacting a historic battle or past time within Topic lessons. In addition. children could be split into teams and each team creates an informative animation regarding an aspect of Viking life, different aspects of a contrasting culture/country or even book reviews.

There are many different resources that can be used to enhance the children’s digital literacy and information technology. These include Monkey Jam , Pivot Stickfigure and Stykz.

The possibilities for effective use of animation in the classroom are endless and therefore teachers should try and incorporate these were appropriate.

SCHOOL RADIO

School radio is a great motivator for students to write for purpose within English. It gives children a contextual reason to plan, research, write, read, speak and listen. It may be a story for younger years or a podcast outlining important details about ancient Greeks for their peers. Teachers could also incorporate

AudacityAudacity is an app that can be used to record, rerecord and edit voice clips, particularly useful for school radio and podcasts. This would enable students to work individually or collaboratively whilst improving their digital literacy and information technology knowledge and understanding. Audioboom is another website which allows students to create and broadcast podcasts and school projects on a ‘school radio’.

Children could be split into teams and create podcasts about E-safety, informative talks and discussions about the decision made by characters in a book or furthermore, interview other staff and students at an event such as sports day or world book day. This would enhance the learning of students within English as well as developing skills they can use in later life. I believe a school or class radio would be invaluable to the learning of every student and that many students would thrive and prosper on such an exciting opportunity.

IMMERSION ENVIRONMENT

Many schools now have access to rooms known as immersion environment rooms. These rooms offer many opportunities to enhance learning and improve creative writing. Immersion rooms are where a projector projects moving images onto the walls around the room. These images could be space, world war 2, bonfire night, a forest etc giving the children chance to ‘immerse’ themselves within an environment they may not have had opportunity to visit or to give them an idea about what it was like. More recently, in newly built schools, rooms which have screens on every part of the all are built to facilitate the same effect as the projections.

immersionenviro
An example of one type of immersion environment

I believe that these immersion environments would be beneficial to children of all ages to enhance and facilitate learning of specific topics. It would create an atmosphere in which students can generate plenty of ideas to take back to the classroom and even then incorporate back into immersion environments. For example, a projection of a soldier within world war 2 could be accompanied by a student composed and read aloud daily diary entry to bring about emotions and thoughts amongst other children.

Animation and developments using computing and in particular developing digital literacy and information technology skills can greatly enhance other curriculum subjects aiding in the overall individual development of children. I will use plenty of these ideas and techniques within my own teaching as I feel they will be of great value.

Posted in Cross-Curricular Computing Links, KS1, KS2

Morfo: A long lost video message from the past…

Morfo is an app that allows the user to quickly turn a photo of yourself or a friend into a different 3D character by editing voice, appearance and style. It can be successfully utilised by teachers and students in a variety of lessons to captivate the students further whilst developing their computer literacy.

Once a picture of a face has been taken, you align the white lined facial features up with the picture and then you are all set to customise.

My attempt: 

I thought this app would be highly useful within many lessons but in particular English lessons in which students could read a diary entry from a characters perspective or the teacher could ‘morf’ their face into a character from the book. In addition, students could describe characters the teacher creates using the app or invent characters for their own narrative.

You could become Medusa from the Greek Myth Perseus and create a story from her point of view. Or you could explore the motions felt by ‘Plop’ within the story ‘The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark.’

Similarly, it could successfully be utilised within a topic lesson, such as history, whereby the teacher introduces a new topic or task by ‘morfing’ into, for example, a Viking.

It could captivate a students curious mind if introduced a long lost video message from ancient history which has set quests for them to solve. 

I attempted to ‘morf’ myself into a Viking, hopefully one that isn’t too creepy or scary. I found the app super easy to navigate and it didn’t take me long to explore and get to grips with the various settings.

morfo5
Potentially scary Viking Chloe

Posted in KS1, KS2

Module 2: Learning through games

The second Pick ‘n’ Mix module looked at:

  • Class Dojo as a behaviour reward system
  • Classroom Voting Systems
  • Handheld learning devices
  • Learning through games

This particular blog post will focus upon learning through games as I believe it can enhance and reinforce learning, knowledge and understanding. In addition, games are a huge motivator for students, particularly students with a competitive edge, so by incorporating ICT learning games within lessons will help create engaging lessons for all.

Learning games online are designed to be accessed and enjoyed independently by the child with limited teacher direction and input. As they are designed for children for children, learning games are usually media rich, entertaining and child centred, thus will keep children occupied whilst facilitating learning. However, the educational worth and learning potential of each game must be evaluated and decided by the teacher.

Great learning game sites include: 

  • educationcityEducation City: This website is great for not only educational games, but also teacher resources. It is broken down into year groups, ages and subjects and is very easy to use. I have seen games on education city used regularly within KS1, particularly in phonics lessons and the children throughly enjoy accessing this site to reinforce learning.
  • ictgamesICT games: Once again, this site has copious amounts of games for both maths and literacy. They are broken down into areas of learning such as multiplication, money, odd and even etc., therefore it is easy to establish the games required to enhance learning. I have personally used this website within teaching and found it very useful in motivating children in areas they find difficult.
  • bbc-bitesizeBBC Bitesize: This site is also extremely easy to use and the learning games relate to children’s TV characters that they will be familiar with. It is broken down into english, maths and science with specific areas of learning further broken down into sub sections, for example, within maths, there is a 2D shapes section which includes a game and revision aspect. I have used this website for revision and subject knowledge and the learning games are both relevant and entertaining.

Entertainment OR learning:

It is vital to ensure pupils are still learning whilst also enjoying the games being played. Therefore, teachers need to choose learning games that facilitate this balance. Whilst researching this area, I came across this blog: ICT across the curriculum . It outlined reasons for utilising ICT games within the classroom and these are listed below:

  • Motivation – games can engage and motivate students and in doing so they are more likely to interact in topics covered
  • Games can provide feedback to both the learner and the teacher outcomes help students to identify their current levels of achievement and staff can intervene, scaffold and adjust learning opportunities as necessary in relation to the outcomes.
  • For many students the nature of a game or quiz is less threatening than some other learning opportunities.
  • Can be used to review learning in the classroom through starters and plenaries.
  • Can be used as useful revision aids and through online sources can be used to support independent revision by students.

I have had positive first hand experience regarding the use of ICT games to support learning. When working as a 1:1 TA, my child struggled to stay focussed within maths lessons but was highly motivated by the iPad. The class were tackling word problems involving money but not really in a contextual way. I found a supermarket game : ICT games – Giving change . This game allowed my child to be the shop assistant who had to work out the change for customers purchases. As the context of and link to the learning was easy to identify the child progressed his skills quicker by verbally talking through the word problems and receiving instant feedback on his answers when playing the game than by calculating word problems in their book.

As a teacher I will try to incorporate opportunities to reinforce and enhance learning through games to motivate my students further. Children who struggle on certain topics may be motivated by ICT games where they always receive instant feedback. Similarly, a class plenary game such as ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ in which the children give their answers via handheld voting systems may also motivate students.

Further reading/links: 

Using ICT to enhance learning

ICT and Pedagogy

 

 

Posted in Cross-Curricular Computing Links, E-Safety, KS1, KS2

Module 1: Children as Publishers

The first Pick ‘n’ Mix module focuses on InformationTechnology and Digital Literacy, particularly blogging and tweeting within schools or ‘children as publishers’.

Some schools have adopted class blogs, whereby either the class has a blog they update together or each child has their own page which they can update regularly with lessons, investigations and anything they have enjoyed or found interesting at school. However, this area of computing is still relatively new as schools will have concerns over e-safety, staff who may not be confident in blogging themselves and time constraints.

Nevertheless, schools that have engaged fully and adopted blogging as part of the weekly timetable have found many positives. The University Blackboard Computing site highlighted these benefits to blogging:

  • it is highly motivational for many children at key stage two in writing
  • can transform children from being writers into publishers to a wider ‘real’ audience
  • promotes critical thinking ‘about’ writing e.g. children can learn about constructive peer assessment
  • a real sense of an authentic audience and purpose for children’s writing
  • can motivate children to improve, care and realise that their writing can affect a reader to comment
  • helps children to understand and comment on features of ‘good’ writing

Furthermore, children can access school blogs from anywhere in the world, opening up a whole new discussion area for the classroom regarding similarities and differences within different countries. Online pen pals across the continents could be a follow up activity.

Quadblogging incorporates this international blogging idea. It is a tool which allows teachers and schools to produce blogs within a  global network of class blogs. With over 40 countries and 150,000 pupils from around the world participating, it demonstrates to children to positive uses of communication over the internet. Similarly, pupils may feel a sense of pride and achievement when a school from say America, reads their blog. This way children will take an interest in their writing as they are writing for a purpose and a reader.

It has been stated by teachers Quadblogging ‘brings something new to our classroom’ everyday and that that cant be planned.

quadblogging2
Quadblogging

The link below the screenshot above discusses the potential issues teachers face when introducing a blogging initiative to schools. Firstly senior leadership would need to be behind the idea and that teachers need to persevere if they face and initial negative response. The effect of student engagement that blogging has is discussed in the video and it is outlined that blogging does not have to be an e-safety concern. However, if the school does raise concerns over safety, access can only be granted via passwords, that way the children would be producing the content for their parents, teachers and family.

It is also evident from case study videos of a school in Greater Manchester that blogging elicits eagerness, excitement and enthusiasm towards content production, particularly amongst boys. The module suggests ideas to help introduce blogging to your class through three easy steps. These steps emphasise that it is mainly a child lead activity.

  • The teacher creates a post which children respond to through comments. Or children respond to posts on other blogs.
  • A whole class blog is created whereby the children create the content and the posts.
  • An individual student blog for each child is set up, which they take ownership of and create posts for.

Blogging can be  part of almost any lesson, for example showcasing science results, english narratives and poetry, PE dances and gymnastics and computing lessons.

Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to create a class blog on GPP, but there is always a possibility within my final professional placement. Hopefully, when I have a my own class I can create  a class blog, as my confidence regarding blogging and improved dramatically since starting Chloe’s PGCE adventure. There may even be the possibility to integrate Quadblogging and use blogging as a cross curricular tool, parental insight tool and schools news bulletin site.

Relevant links:

Quadblogging: www.quadblogging.net

Teaching Primary Science and Technology, Alan Cross: http://primaryscienceandtech.blogspot.co.uk/

Kids Learn to Blog: http://kidslearntoblog.com/

kidslearntoblog

 

Posted in E-Safety, KS1

Resources for teaching KS1 E-Safety

These videos, although on YouTube so please be aware of comments and other videos, will begin discussions within KS1 regarding internet safety and what to do whilst online. The content is relevant and useful to how KS1 children will use the internet and making children aware about the dangers of the internet from a very young age is vital.

  • This Newsround video ‘Caught in the Web’ displays well the need for safety on the web. (Published in 2010)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgCNGvL0g1g&t=8s

caught-in-the-web

 

  • CEOP KS1 film as part of the ThinkUKnow programme. Brother and sister, Lee and Kim navigate the online world with the help of the trusted superhero friend, SID, who outlines the dangers on the world wide web. (Published in 2011).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nMUbHuffO8

lee-and-kim

 

  • Creative Conspiracy (CC) created a Child Focus ‘E-Safety’ awareness video about pop ups and unwanted links online. (Published in 2012)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5kW4pI_VQw

child-focus

 

  • Digi Ducks Big Decision is another useful ebook to make children aware of internet safety. (Published in 2012)

http://www.kidsmart.org.uk/teachers/ks1/sourcesDuck/projet/DigiDuck-eBook.pdf

Digiducksdecision.png

 

Posted in KS1

KS1 Computing National Curriculum

Computing at KS1 is paramount to ensure pupils from a young age are exposed to, have skills within and understand Computer Science, Digital Literacy and Information Technology.

Below is the subject content for Computing at KS1 taken from the National Curriculum (2013):

Subject content

Key stage 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
  • create and debug simple programs
  • use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
  • use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
  • recognise common uses of information technology beyond school
  • use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.

This doesn’t necessarily mean pupils sitting in front of screens everyday practicing coding or programming but can be utilised within cross curricular lessons to help develop young computational thinkers.

 

computing-ks1-grid
This table outlines the subject content for KS1 within the Computer Science and Digital Literacy strands.

There will undoubtedly be elements of children learning about the infinite world of computing hands on by using programs designed for children such as Bee-Bots, Scratch Jnr, Daisy the Dinosaur and the basics of Microsoft Office. However, their computing lessons can be ‘unplugged’ and algorithms can be taught in PE and Geography, simple computing skills can be utilised within English and Topic lessons and furthermore provision in which the children have access to technology and digital content can enhance their skills as well.

algorithm

There are endless possibilities to incorporate computing, aspects of computing and computational thinking into the daily routine of the classroom and I am excited to try to do so as much as possible during my KS1 FPP placement.

Posted in KS1, KS2

What is Computing in the National Curriculum?

Computing is an important subject within the National Curriculum, especially within the exciting and ever growing technological world of today. The aims of the National Curriculum for Primary Computing (2013)  are listed below:

The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

(Please see my KS1 National Curriculum and KS2 National Curriculum blog pages for the respective and specific computing subject content).

The National Curriculum for Primary Computing is also a collective term to encompass the three strands that make up the curriculum:

  1. Computer Science
  2. Information Technology
  3. Digital Literacy

1. Computer science involves pupils learning how to analyse computational problems and terms whilst developing experience of programming. Children will be exploring and learning how to code and write programs, whilst analysing and debugging programs if any issues arise. Pupils should be able to experiment with a variety of systems and programs, thus aiding the perseverance characteristic of learning. Similarly, computer science relates to pupils developing and appreciating computer networks, the world wide web and search engines, whilst developing an understanding of how these work.

2. Information technology is the more commonly known aspect of computing.It involves the work children do whilst using a wide range of technology and applications to create digital content. The creative aspect within computing is still expected to be learnt through a variety of applications effectively such as the use of animations, blogs, publisher and powerpoint.

3. Digital literacy refers to children becoming confident, competent and creative whilst using technology but also remaining responsible and safe. Therefore children must have an awareness of the dangers technology possesses and how to minimise these risks accordingly. They will also develop an understanding of technology as a communication tool and will grow up within an technological generation safely and respectfully. My E-Safety blog expands on this aspect further.

computing-curriculum
Above is some further information regarding Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy alongside some examples.

The CAS Computing in the national curriculum: A guide for primary teachers, is a great resource which outlines how to introduce computing into your classroom and why it is important.

Another useful website which gives a detailed overview of the National Primary Curriculum for Computing was created by Simon Haughton at www.simonhaughton.co.uk. The picture below is taken from his website and breaks down the aspects of computing into potential learning objectives:

computing-overview

Posted in GPP., KS1, KS2

Task and Observation Week : GPP

My first week of GPP went extremely well and I am undeniably excited to start teaching full lessons to my class. The school is lovely and the children are very well behaved and enthusiastic about learning. I observed some super lessons and got to grips with the location of everything within the school and everyones names (just about). I even managed to use the photocopier successfully on numerous occasions!

SIMS:

Using SIMS to take the register on the third day was rather interesting. SIMS holds a lot more data that I first thought and teachers can access records and attainment files for each pupil. Similarly, if a child was absent, you can hover over their absent mark and view the absence reason, saving time and making communication between the school reception and class teachers highly efficient.

Interactive Whiteboards and Moviemaker:

I saw computing adopted in a number of ways from frequent use of the interactive whiteboard within every lesson, mainly to model maths, show youtube videos to enhance english writing and PowerPoints in almost every lesson. My class are also beginning to create their own informative video about the vikings using moviemaker on netbooks. My mentor doesn’t actually teach the children computing, they have a specialist computing teacher do this within a weekly 45 minute lesson.

Cross-Curricular Computing Intentions:

Similarly, my initial intentions to utilise computing within PE and foundation subjects will prove trickier than first thought due to the school having collapsed curriculum days in which they learn about a history or geography topic for a whole day within a variety of different activities (hopefully I can then utilise my morfo idea within their viking day). However, within english the children are studying explanation texts and using Wallace and Gromit’s cracking contraptions to summarise how these inventions work, which in my opinion could be slightly related to computing as they are using YouTube to enhance learning.

This is the same for PE, outside coaches teach PE to every year group apart from reception, so although I will have some input and teach reception PE, I doubt I will be able to utilise CoachesEye on this occasion.

However, the provision for computing to be utilised in quite restricted. The classes have access to netbooks, however these are the only way children can access computing and they are quite limiting. Therefore, any i-pad apps cannot be accessed or used by the class or teacher thus, many of my lesson ideas that incorporate computing will have to wait for another opportunity.

Phonics and Computing:

A lesson in which I thought computing was utilised extremely well was a year 2 phonics lesson. It was an intervention group for those who didn’t quite pass the Year 1 phonics screening test. The children began by going over all the phonetical sounds and then practicing the focus sound for that lesson which was -ie. They contextualised the sound by practising sounding out and blending words which contained that sound and then played a whole class game on the interactive whiteboard using Education City . The whole class were really engaged and eager to have a turn of matching the sound to an object in granny’s kitchen and found it funny that there were flies in the pies. I thought it was a fab lesson and slightly changed my perception of teaching phonics. I will definitely adopt this practice when I teach phonics during FPP in which I am in KS1.

Having already planned my lessons for after half term, I am now thoroughly excited to teach my grammar lesson on parenthesis revision, my multiplication maths lesson and shape activity (for open day), to introduce my interactive display to the class which will be adopted within dictation/handwriting lessons and introduce my own behaviour reward system so the children relate a certain system to my lessons.

Roll on autumn half term 2!