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Monthly Archives: April 2021

  1. Get cooking - safely
    27
    Apr

    Get cooking - safely

    I'm sure you have heard of the resurgence of baking banana bread over the past year. As some foods became difficult to come by we were more aware of not wasting any of it. So, we created innovative ways to use up leftovers. We also turned to cooking and baking to stop us going stir crazy in lockdown.

    Cooking became a family activity, something to keep everyone occupied and the best bit was eating the results afterwards. Personally I have churned out more trays of flapjacks in the past year than I care to count. But they are good for you as they are mainly oats, right? (!)

    Introducing children to cooking at a young age, or any age in fact (how else will they cope when they finally leave home?) is a worthwhile endeavour. But how do we keep them safe with all those sharp implements about?

    We have produced 8 short videos showing different skills needed to keep safe in the kitchen.

    For instance, watch this video explaining the

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  2. The 3Ms of times tables
    15
    Apr

    The 3Ms of times tables

    The three factors within the extraordinary 3M method of teaching times tables

    There are indeed three factors that need to be present if all children are going to learn their times tables in good time.
     
    First, the children need to be motivated. Second, they need to be taught using a method that keeps that motivation going from one lesson to the next. And third the children need to find the whole process enjoyable.
     
    Now, as you may have realised, the only problem here is that “enjoyable” rather breaks the alliterative approach that I was building up with the ideas of “motivation” and “method”, so for my third factor I’m going to say, “mighty fun.”  I hope that’s ok with you.

    Motivation, method and mighty fun. That’s our aim.

    So, to begin: motivation.  We’ve achieved this in the “Mighty Fun Activities for Practising Times Tables set for Primary Schools” by using superheroes through the materials

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  3. Creative Writing: Cracked
    15
    Apr

    Creative Writing: Cracked

    What is the most effective way of encouraging all children to explore and experiment with creative writing?

    The aim is something that we can all aspire to: to make creative writing an enjoyable activity for all children.

    But how?  Especially with KS2 children who proclaim that they hate writing and can’t do it, and indeed don’t know what to say.

    One particular approach that appeals to many is the sense of the utterly absurd – as with a request to write out the differences between a bicycle and a banana.

    When an activity like this is then accompanied by instructions which seem contrary to the normal approach to writing (such as “write quickly” rather than “plan carefully”) suddenly the whole meaning of creative writing is changed.

    And not only is the child’s vision of creative writing changed at this point, but the child also starts to understand that not all writers work in the same way. For while some do indeed spen

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  4. Art lessons promote creativity – obviously
    14
    Apr

    Art lessons promote creativity – obviously

    They also promote reflection, self-criticism, visual-spatial abilities, and the willingness to learn from mistakes and to experiment.

    Which makes art sound like one of the most important subjects i

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  5. Learn the skill; practise the skill
    06
    Apr

    Learn the skill; practise the skill

    What is the most effective way of enhancing the artistic skills of all primary school children?

    Visual art like so many other aspects of life, consists of skills that can be learned – and as they are learned they need to be applied and practised.

    And improving children’s artistic skills is of enormous value as, with all the arts, competence leads to a sense of achievement and a growth in confidence which spreads across all aspects of the individual child’s life.

    But to achieve this growth, what is needed within the teaching programme is a clear structure.  This is not only enormously helpful for the children, it also allows non-specialist teachers to work with and enhance the artistic skills and abilities of all children in the class.

    The series of books, Drawing is a Class Act, helps teach the child

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  6. The more senses, the better the learning
    06
    Apr

    The more senses, the better the learning

    What is the simplest way of enhancing the speed of learning a foreign language?

    It is a simple but powerful observation, that the more senses a child engages while learning, the more embedded and meaningful that learning will become.  Which inevitably means that what is learned becomes more and more likely to be available for immediate recall.

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