Google Expeditions: KS2 go on a virtual school trip!

The whole of KS2 went on a virtual school trip today using Google Virtual Reality Headsets! To tie in with their topic learning, Years 3 and 4 went to a tropical rainforest and Ancient Greece, while  years 5 and 6 took a tour of a Lancaster Bomber and then went to Africa to look at the Namibian Desert, The Cape of Good Hope and the Kruger National Park.

After that, we went off topic and went to a variety of places including Antarctica, under the sea at the Galapogos Islands, prehistoric earth (dinosaurs!), the International Space Station, the solar system and lots more. We went to so many places i’ve forgotten them! Can you remind by commenting below?

Huge thank you to Rumana from Google Expeditions for bringing all the equipment and helping the morning run so smoothly.

What did you think? Did you enjoy learning in a different way? Was it better? Why?

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Y5/6: Alan Turing – Mathematical & Computing Genius

Today, during maths, we will be learning about Alan Turing. Alan Turing was a mathematician who, with an excellent team around him, cracked the ‘Enigma Code’ (secret code used by the German Army during WW2).

This website gives us some fantastic information about Alan Turing:

If you want to extend your learning – the website below gives more information about how Alan Turing created modern ‘computing’.

(in class: stop after approx 1 min)

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Skoolbo – Maple Cross students gain international recognition!

Skoolbo-Hi-res-logoI knew that the children of Maple Cross loved Skoolbo; we’ve been using it for a while now. However, I  had no idea how well this school years re-launch would go! What has made the difference this year? Is it that we have a leaderboard on our school blog? Maybe. Is it that we all VALUE learning so much that we willingly do it in our own time? Possibly. Is it that Skoolbo is brilliant fun – not too easy, not too hard? You’ll have to let me know.

 

imageNo 1 in the World!

Andy H, as I write this post,  is currently at THE TOP OF THE WORLD LEADERBOARD! That means no-one, anywhere in the world, has answered as many Skoolbo questions as Andy, this week. This is an incredible achievement – you are really putting Maple Cross on the map! What attributes have you had to use, Andy?

 

image

Special recognition needs to go to  2 other children – Bianca N in Y6 and  George C in Y2. You have made it onto the top 100 WORLD leaderboard this week (Top 40 on the UK leaderboard). That is a fantastic effort  – there are hundreds of thousands of Skoolbo users – just like you – and you are leading the way!

A question…

What I really want to know is: Is this having an impact in the classroom? If you use Skoolbo (which is most of you) – Do you feel like you’re that little bit sharper in maths? Are some of those words slightly easier to read? How is it helping you?

Parents – what do you think? Is it having an impact on your child’s learning? Do let me know.

A final thought…

I love Skoolbo – but do make sure you take regular screen breaks, don’t stay up too late playing it, keep reading normal books too and get out into the fresh air to play. It’s all about balance. Good job Maple Cross.

 

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Digital Leaders Update

Thanks to the ideas generated by our Y4,5&6 Computing Club, We now have a much better idea of how we will use Digital Leaders next half term. In our inaugural Digital Leaders meeting we discussed our journey so far, and where we could go:

 

  1. Computing Club  learnt how to use some equipment and some simple programming games.
  2. They practised, made mistakes and gained more confidence.
  3. They will teach next half terms y1,2,3 Computing Club how to use the same equipment and games.
  4. These children from Y1,2,3 Computing Club become Digital Leaders.
  5. They help their teacher to teach the rest of their class.

Thats part of the plan – the next stage will be for them to set up a working party to meet with y1,2 & 3 teachers to plan some classroom activities.

Their will be some other roles too – details to be announced.

So, Digital Leaders (you know who you are) – keep the ideas coming. What else could we do?

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Skoolbo Relaunch!

In celebration assembly today, we will be relaunching Skoolbo. Skoolbo is a brilliant, free to use, learning platform that assesses your child as they play so that the number/word games they play are set at the right level of challenge. Best of all – it’s great fun.

The childrens login and username should have been stuck in their reading records or home learning booklets today (Friday 30th). Please ask your childs teacher if this hasn’t happened.

You can play online here:  http://dashboard.skoolbo.co.uk/students/login  but we would advise downloading the app from the Skoolbo website: http://www.skoolbo.co.uk/downloads/

Nursery children will be getting involved too – next week!

Have fun learning! Can you make the leaderboard?

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BlueBots have arrived… (Thanks PTA!)

img_2554Computing Club were eager to get their hands on our new, PTA funded, BlueBots. BlueBots look very similar to BeeBots but they have many extra functions – the main one being that you can operate them on an iPad via a bluetooth connection. They are also able to carry out quarter turns and, via the iPad, display a simple code sequence.

Computing Club seemed to relish the opportunity to try them out and we discussed what the potential problems would be when using them in a class environment and how we could overcome them.

I haven’t asked anyone to apply to be a ‘Digital Leader’ yet but some of the children in Computing Club have shown that they have all the necessary skills to rise to the challenge!

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