A New Dawn in Salford

The summer is over and now it’s nearly time to get back into the classroom again.   However this year is going to be radically different – after going on and on about web2.0 and creativity for ages it’s time to put my money where my mouth is!   I’ve got no excuses, all the kids have an ultramobile pc, the internet connections there, and there’s willing in school to let me ‘go for it.’

I’ve decided upon two principles that I’m going to stick to:

  1. All of my plans are going to be saved online for anyone to have a look at/use.   I’m going to set up a different page in this blog of the links.
  2. The children will be completing as much work as possible using the UMPCs in as creative and collaborative a way as I can come up with – although I am still even at this early stage conscious that they have their SATs so some work has to be paper based.

I’ve set up quite a few systems that I want to put into place quite a few of them using Gdocs because it’s so easy to manage.


The first is a simple reading recordf orm for all the class.   The aim is that the children fill in this form when they have finished a book through an online form.   The advantage of this is that as this builds up over time the children will be able to sort the information using the spreadsheet so they could choose a book by how high a rating it received, by genre or even by reviewer.   I also like the fact that the children can chat in real time to a reviewer if they are also online to ask any questions that are unanswered in the review.   I’m also going to try and link up with my old school and get them to contribute too.   If it works then it’ll be a great way of linking up with classrooms all over the world.



My next project is to fully implement the self-marking spelling idea that I’ve posted about before.   I’ve had to set up a different file for each week’s test as I still haven’t worked out a way of pulling it all together (any suggestions welcome) but I have added another interesting layer to the process.  Tom Barrett put me onto a great site called Spellingcity.

 I’ve created my own set of spelling lists that the children can access by searching for my name – nothing unusual there- the great thing about this site however is that it provides lots of different games using your personal list for the children to practice on.   There’s so much variety that the children shouldn’t get bored.


This is an area where I really feel children collaborating together on a shared document could be really powerful.   At the start of each new topic I want to focus on children designing scientfically reliable experiments.   However I’m not going to guide or limit them in any way.   So if they want to see if playing classical music to a plant will help it grow then so be it.   The point that I want to get across is that it is the effective testing and design that is important and that all scientific discoveries started from thos what if questions.   The full form is here.   A shared spreadsheet will also be used to record chidren’s results from the experiments that we do carry out.




I also wanted to create an interesting challenge for the children when they have finished their work, so I’ve decide to set a challenge over the half term using Pivot Stick Animator.   This is basically a filckbook for the digital generation.   I’ll be offering a prize for the best animation an waiting to see the results as the appear.



That’s just the start hopefully – I’ll blog about how things have got on as the term progresses.   Onwards and upwards….