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Most Viewed Posts Of 2011

by Tim Jackson

Having read a few of these posts on other sites I read regularly (and discovering posts I had missed the first time around) I thought I’d write one myself.

So below I have collated a list of the 5 most viewed posts on this blog, maybe you too will discover a new post:

  1. 7 Useful Sites For A Dinosaur & Giants Unit In Early Years
  2. Make A Krathong : A How To Guide For Primary Schools
  3. New Teaching Standards As A Word Cloud
  4. Using Twitter In A Year 1 Classroom
  5. LCF Phonics Website

Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year. I hope you have a great 2012!

Google Timeline Search Comes To An End

by Tim Jackson
Screenshot of a Google Timeline Search for Victorian England

A while ago now, 4 years to be precise, I wrote a short post on Google Timeline Search and how it could be used in the classroom along with my thoughts. I was excited about the ability to see key/interesting events of a given period on a timeline and could foresee some interesting applications for it, however all of this is going to come to an end.

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New Standards For Teachers As A Word Cloud (Wordle)

by Tim Jackson

After looking at the current Teaching Standards as Wordles in a previous post I was keen to look at the document for the new standards, which will be in force by Septemeber 2012.

Changes in the Standards

There has been a few changes to how the document is to be used, for example there are no longer different documents / levels for gaining QTS and then for Core teachers. Now they are all judged against the same set of standards and it is these that have been released and I’ve used for the wordle, combining the text for the Personal / Professional Standards section with the Standards for Teaching section. The thinking behind this is that the first year in teaching should be focused on consolidating skills already gained in the training phase. More information can be found in the FAQ that accompanies the release of the document. The published standards can be found on the DfE Website (PDF).

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Teaching Standards as Word Clouds (Wordles)

by Tim Jackson

Inspired by Tom Barrett’s post commenting on Steve Phillip‘s wordle showing the content of the proposed text in the forthcoming EYFS document, I was intrigued to see what the outcome would be if I turned the Teaching Standards into wordles for each level. I’ve been working with the standards a lot recently, reporting on the progress of NQTs this year as well as preparing my own documentation for Threshold, so wanted to see if they suffered the same fate as the EYFS framework. Or were more inline with my view of the job and the capabilities needed to perform it well at the differing levels.

All the standards can be found on the TDA Website and it is worth remembering that they are hierarchical so to become an Advanced Skills Teacher you have to meet the standards at that level but also all the levels that come before it.

I hear that next year they will be changing (at least for QTS) so it may well be interesting to perform this task again when they are published and see where the new focus will lie. [UPDATE: the new standards have been published for QTS and Core, I've turned these into a Wordle and written about them in a new post: New Teaching Standards as a Word Cloud.]

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Hatching Eggs Into Chicks With My Year 1 Class

by Tim Jackson
A young male chick.

Last term our Year 1 classes have been looking after eggs, which hatched into chicks in our care. This was done to add the “awe and wonder / wow factor” to our lessons. It tied very well into our chosen Literacy text – Egg Drop by Mini Grey, and gave us plenty of opportunites to tie into our topic.

Getting Started With the Eggs.

We got our eggs from Living Eggs, but there are plenty of other companies that will supply you with eggs a short Google away. They arrived at round lunchtime on the day of delivery, slightly disappointing as we had hoped to have them in time for our morning literacy lesson, not the end of the world though!

Everything you need to look after the eggs, then the chicks is provided for you along with a handbook detailing each step of the journey. This included a great poster detailing the chicks growth inside the egg upto the hatching day.

The chicks were predicted to, and did hatch on the 3rd day. This was brilliant, especially as their hatching synced perfectly with our lesson planning! :) We were supposed to be keeping the eggs for 10 days, but we got a couple of bonus days which extended us keeping them until the end of the week.

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