After a term looking at Africa, Year 5 soon became the experts of the school. To share our knowledge and expertise, group chose, planned, resourced and delivered workshops to the rest of the school focusing on areas such as cooking, geography of Africa, art, drama/ storytelling, learning Swahili and dancing. Teachers were then asked to book time slots over two days for their class to attend and evaluate the sessions.
Over the past week, the children of Year 5 have been using O365 to present research they collated through the recent survey on perceptions of Africa. http://microsoft.simondesenlisblogs.org/2015/06/26/enchanted-kingdom-africa-immersion-making-a-dent-in-the-universe-with-Microsoft/
In particular, they have focused on using PowerPoint online which, at first, I though was no different to the programme you find on your desktop. However it did not take long for the children of Einstein Class to discover the unique functions and how it could help them to complete their work more efficiently.
The outline of their task was to create three slides: One which detailed the outcomes of the survey, one that provided statistics to support this outcome and lastly, one to showcase alternative options to help change the perception of people. Children were grouped into threes and without prompted, started to create their final outcome. Five minutes into the lesson it was clear that three children working around one device was no productive and therefore groups were asked to share their original document with all members of the group. This was a turning point in the lesson. Within minutes, children were working on individual devices on the same presentation. Notifications were shown when other individuals were editing a page and identified by colours linked to users (see image below). A very handy feature which has transformed my use of PowerPoint in the classroom!
Having already spent a term studying Africa, Year 5 became the experts leading workshops around the school and educating the children of Simon de Senlis on areas including: African Art, dance, cooking, Story Whooshing (drama), Geography of Africa and Learning Swahili.
Through immersion for Enchanted Kingdom, Year 5 were exposed to different viewpoints, perceptions and stereotypes associated with this area of the world. As part of this, a survey was sent around to the school on OneNote for children to complete in classes. They were asked a range of questions and asked for the majority view. Having this on OneNote allowed all classes to contribute to the survey and have one place for Year 5 children to analyse the results together. (see appendix 1) Once collected, the year group used Excel Online (through O365) to create pie charts and bar charts before summarising their findings. This made it easier to compare and contrast different questions and collate the mode data. (see appendix 2)
Most people at Simon de Senlis school think that Africa is
- Mainly a desert
- Consists of mainly people with black skin
- People are poor
- They don’t have much fun
- They are all farmers and workers
- Children play with animals all day
- They don’t live in houses like us
Having looked at Africa in detail for 6 weeks, the children recognised a problem and soon started to become passionate about changing people’s perception. Quite rightly one child pointed out that not all English people live in Buckingham palace and drink tea. After an in depth discussion, many believed this opinion was down to the adverts seen on TV, appeals and articles. It became clear that although the children of Einstein and Dyson class were well aware of the positives Africa has and the many diverse opportunities available, this is not widely shown to the public. After hours of ideating, synthesising and questioning, it has become clear that we need to offer a way of showcasing all of these aspects of the continent and presenting it in a different light. The work carried out so far is completely child led and driven by their passion and desire to learn and educate others. Over the next three weeks they will take a different aspect of the survey and produce an Office Mix in the form of a tourist brochure and narrating throughout based on the information they have discovered. Linked in with the ‘Alien Sands’ this will also guide them through the world of the desert and the many discoveries there.
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.
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.
O365 has helped us to collaborate with other pupils around the class and has played a big part in our school work. In particular, it has made a distinctive difference to us doing homework, and lets us do things that we could not do in our green homework books such as checking our spelling, working as a group, selecting fancy fonts, and up levelling our ideas. It also helps us to keep some work private that only the teachers and individual pupils can see.
Where as before if we put our green book in our bag and it got wet by our water bottle spilling, there was no way of ever getting it back! However with O365, if something accidentally gets deleted you can easily get it back by clicking the right version to restore.
It is a simple site to log onto at home, at work or anywhere. And if you have forgotten to do your homework you can simply log on in school time and you will finish your work easily. Uploading pictures, copying and pasting and doing our homework is much easier now. All we’re trying to say is thank you so much Microsoft. You have helped us make a dent in the universe.
Since introducing O365 in Year 5, we have begun to use it as a way to complete homework and make links between school-home learning. We have found that it provides an opportunity for children to consolidate what they have explored during the school day and extend their knowledge further.
From a teacher’s perspective, setting and monitoring homework was a task in its self. The expectation for key skills at Simon de Senlis is that weekly Literacy and Numeracy work is set and collected in the following week. Whilst most of my children completed this, I found a greater uptake when tasks were set on blogs. Often children would forget their books, lose them or not receive the sheets due to illness.
Since working on the cloud, Year 5 are more enthusiastic about completing their homework and it has eliminated many of the previous problems listed above. Class OneNote provides children with their own section to complete tasks and take ownership of their own learning, with it almost being a virtual version of their previous key skills books. Each week, I type up the task on the collaboration page which everyone can access. They then simply copy it into their own section and complete the task. Often, I will go onto 0365 before the deadline each week and share some WAGOLL’s (What A Good One Looks Like) to provide inspiration to those who have yet to complete it.
It has also made the marking of the homework much more manageable and has meant that I am not taking 60 books home each week but instead can mark from the comfort of my own home by logging onto 0365 and provide meaningful 1:1 feedback.
For those children who do not have access to the internet at home, Tuesday lunchtimes are available to them to attend and complete the home work on one of the 60 Surfaces we have in the Year 5/6 area.