Half term is here!!!! Meaning I finally have time to update this!
I really was pleased with how well this topic went. It is usually only found in KS1 but this was definitely a challenging KS2 topic.
We started with amateur reviews from Trip Advisor. First, we looked at some. It was harder than you'd imagine to find some that were suitable, so I have attached mine below the pic to save you a job if you decide to do this! We pulled out the features and thought about their content. As you can see, some children couldn't resist correcting the mistakes in them too!
After finding the features, we then went on to panning our own. We've been working on writing in notes when planning, which is coming on. Oh, and they LOVED creating their profile! I tweaked the planning sheet a bit after using it and have attached the improved one below.
You can guess what's coming next...we wrote them! However, we did this with a twist. I realised a while ago that my chatty children tend to...shall we say...take after their teacher! In short, they are wafflers! So, to combat this, I had them write their reviews on the computers. As you can imagine this helped in no way, as expected. However, I then showed them how to find their word count and (after working out for myself!) how to use the 'Review' tools on Word. Now, this is a little confusing, as it has nothing to do with writing a review! The name refers to 'reviewing' your work.
Here's a quick run-down of how to use these tools. I have written a short paragraph of nonsense with which to demonstrate! Take a look.
So, after learning how to do this, I challenged the children to cut their review down to 120 words. This was a great challenge and we learnt the words concise and succinct very quickly!
As you can see, we added comments too. You'll find these in the same 'Review' section of Word.
After this work on amateur, informal reviews, we moved on to professional ones. We used a Venn diagram to compare them - like the Maths link?
Then, we looked at formal language and wrote some 'professional' reviews of our own.
Well, it's been a while since I blogged.
Anyway, before Christmas officially takes over(I'm a bit of a Christmas-a-holic!), I thought I'd share a little more of my Extreme Weather topic.
One of the first things we did was to ask questions. The children worked in their teams to decide which were the most interesting and then each displayed theirs on a card. I chose a few and photocopied them to make a nice title page for their topic books:
I also displayed some of them on our topic wall, as debris flying out of the tornado. Speaking of which, I got impatient with myself because I kept dragging my heals with my display. As a result, I grabbed a piece of white playground chalk and scribbled a tornado on the wall and it actually looks great! I then went a bit mad with some cotton wool to make a hurricane! There are now icicles in that top-left corner, too. I'm actually pretty pleased with the results. Some of my best work is done on a whim!
I also had a fantastic supply teacher covering my class while I was off nursing my injury, so I thought I'd share some of her lovely ideas! In Maths, she gave them some real weather data about different locations from the BBC weather website (love that it wasn't a worksheet, but real data!). She then worked with them on finding the averages. They then used that to create a climate graph showing temperature and rainfall. A big thank you to Miss L! It's a great feeling to come back to find that, not only has the children's behaviour made me proud, but they have continued to learn.
I love teaching art! I was never good at art, which I believe actually makes me teach it better. Those who have natural artistic talent can struggle to connect with those who don't. Plus, if I can make something beautiful, so can anyone!
As part of our Extreme Weather topic, I thought we'd have a go at painting some atmospheric cloudy skies.
I began the lesson in one of my favourite ways: I asked them to do the task with no help. So, I gave out watercolours and asked them to paint me a cloudy sky. When they asked for more information, I just said to paint any cloudy sky however they wanted. On the example below, this is the picture in the top left.
After that, we experimented with some different techniques I had found online:
1) Blotting (not pictured)
Brush water over the paper, paint different shades of blues, purples or sunset colours onto it, then dab with paper towel.
2) Dripping and dribbling (pictured bottom left)
Wet the paper thoroughly, then use a very wet brush to pick up a lot of paint and drip it onto the paper, then tilt the paper around, allowing the paint to run and bleed.
3) Negative space (pictured top right)
Using a clean paintbrush, paint water in patches around the paper. Then, using very wet paint, paint your sky colour into the dry space and right up to the wet areas. It will bleed into them, giving an effective smudgy edge to the cloud.
The children evaluated each technique and experimented with them on scrap paper. They then chose their favourite technique to create a final piece with. For this, we still used only A5 size, but on card. The results really were spectacular! Take a look:
I can't believe we're already on the Christmas countdown! We even started rehearsing for our Christmas pantomime this week! Anyway, amidst clouds of fog, we began our Extreme Weather topic last week. As a homework task, the children made weather stations, which I have attached in various ways to our school fencing. (Pics to follow).
I like to send out a bit of information about each new topic we do. This introduces the topic, reminds parents of key dates, homework days etc. and sets their homework project. This is an activity to hook the children into their new topic and involve the parents in their learning. It's been a really effective way of getting the children interested and asking questions. Here's the one for this topic: (Editable file to download below)
We started our topic with a 'Knowledge Harvest' to find out what the children already know, set them thinking and asking questions. For this topic, I found some dramatic pictures of weather and its impact. The children then noted down "I see, I think, I wonder" points. Throughout the topic, we'll revisit and add to our notes in a different colour to see our learning and ask new questions. Here it is (editable download below with 4 different versions):
I can't wait for the rest of this topic! Some of their questions that we are going to investigate are How can we describe the weather? What is a cloud? How can we paint the sky? If rain is clear, why can we see it? Why don't we get [many] tornadoes in England?
Hi! I'm Mrs P: passionate primary school teacher!