Sharing our persuasive writing with Year 4 on O365 – By Amelie and Thasnim

Over the last few weeks, we have used Office 365 to document our work on persuasion. For the first lesson, Miss Coade asked us to write a letter of persuasion so she could see what we already knew. Our task was to write to the governors asking whether we could complete our ‘Grow a Pound’ unit during school time and at break.

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In the same lesson we were given examples of persuasive writing to highlight the features of persuasion on. This was much easier than Miss Coade making 30 copies of sheets and handing them out.  She put them on the collaboration area and we copied them into our own sections. It also saves mother nature’s loving trees. We chose a consistent colour code and everyone highlighted on their individual workspace areas in the class OneNote. Using what we had identified, we created a Success Criteria and went back to up level our first letter in purple text. (This is the same as the purple pen of power in our books!) Having the devices and using Office 365 made life much easier than the good old fashioned pen and paper. It was easier to highlight, up-level and move sentences around without having to re-write it out again. Up-leveling in our books causes stress and is quite difficult as well as time consuming.

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Not only did we work online throughout the week during lessons, but our homework was set on 0365!

In topic time, we spent time researching the Ivory trade which links to our unit on Africa. Together as a class we came up with the idea to write to a government in a country within Africa and make them aware of these issues, as well as provide suggestions on why it should be stopped. We logged into the class OneNote and recorded our facts in the correct section so we could use it in our writing at the end of the unit. Before we would have written it on pieces of paper and lost it! There were some times however when we needed to use paper, for example when planning.

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Finally for the magic! We spent the last week writing up our letters and up levelling what we had written. We looked back at the Success Criteria and used each one as a focus for each day. This included looking at openers, the language used, the structure and the ideas.

Once complete, we shared our work over 0365 to Year 4 and visited them to see what they thought of our writing. We listened carefully to their feedback and they left comments focusing on what went well (WWW) and what they would improve (EBI) in green text which is the same as in our books.

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Bing Translator in the classroom

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What Microsoft say…

The Translator App by Microsoft is your companion when you need to quickly translate what you are looking at. Use your camera, say phrase or just type the text you want to translate. Text and camera translation work offline with downloadable language packs, so you can get the power of Translator on-the-go, even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

  • Text translation – Type and translate text into more than 45 languages
  • Camera translation – Translate signs, menus, newspapers, or any printed text with your device’s camera in an instant
  • Voice translation -Translate by just speaking the phrase. Voice translation requires a network connection
  • Text to speech – Hear translations spoken with a native speaker’s accent
  • Offline translation – Translate when you are not connected to the Internet and when you want to avoid expensive data roaming charges by using downloadable offline language packs
  • Translate from anywhere – Translate text from other Windows Store apps using the Share charm. Just select and share
  • Multitask with Snap View – Translate quickly while doing other tasks by snapping Translator to the right or left of your screen
  • Word of the Day – Improve your vocabulary by pinning the Translator to your Start screen
  • History – Saves your translations and lets you edit them

How Bing Translator has enhanced learning at Simon de Senlis…

Nicanor is Romanian and has recently joined Simon de Senlis primary school with no English. As a way of allowing him opportunities to access work that is being set, the class teachers has used the Bing Translator APP on the Windows 8 Surface tablets to translate typed text so that he understands the task. This enables him to become more independent and facilitates his learning, therefore meaning he isn’t so dependent upon adults or his peers to explain the task to him. Although the Surface tablet helps him read and understand the task, he chooses to write his response in English, thereby developing his confidence and his attention and focus in class. What is unique about this app is that it has in built camera translation which allows the user to hover the device over a piece of text whilst overlapping it with the translation on the screen. This not only saves time in typing the text in, but also allows links between a child’s home language and the English words.

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Teacher-TA communication on OneNote – Charlotte Coade (Y5 teacher)

Recently in Year 5, we have decided to use OneNote to plan units for Literacy and Topic. This in itself solves many day to day problems which you can read more about at http://microsoft.simondesenlisblogs.org/2015/03/13/year-5-planning-on-onenote-charlotte-coade/

Not only does it make the sharing and editing of planning  between teachers easier but we have found that this has also impacted on other members of the team including TA’s. Planning has always regularly been emailed to members of the team on a Sunday night for them to read through before the week. However this is not always appropriate. What happens if lessons change mid week and take a different direction? Or the focus group changes to target misconceptions? It is important to efficiently communicate throughout the week as the units develop and before this would have meant re-emailing planning, printing it off or leaving post-it notes with vague annotations (how much can you actually fit on a post-it note?). Often is difficult to allocate time to discuss lessons before they actually happen or in fact after. We have found that using OneNote to plan has addressed some of these main issues. Planning is shared through O365 where all members of staff can witness live updates and changes as they happen throughout the week.

There have also been many examples where TA’s have used this set up as an opportunity for them to feedback to teachers on things that they have noticed in the lesson which may not have acknowledged at the time. This feedback is invaluable and along with work from the book, provides a full picture of how the lesson went and comments on individual children.

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Reception share planning across 0365!

Since the introduction of 0365, there have been several examples across the school of it being used to aid the sharing of planning between teachers.

OneDrive is a valuable tool which allows users to upload and share documents of any size. Recently, a Year 1 teacher who had previously taught in Reception wanted to share her planning from the previous year with the new team. However the unit, along with resources, were too large to email over. Instead, she uploaded to her personal OneDrive and shared across with two other members of staff. Along with this, they have also found it useful to edit, update and comment on ideas on the one shared document. Both year groups have commented on how practical and useful this was for them to share and develop planning across year groups.

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