Random Post: Reading Game #3
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    Smilebox :)

    November 15th, 2010

    This weekend I discovered Smilebox!  While our children danced the night away at their matric dance, we parents (excitedly? nervously?) sat in front of our computers checking Facebook for regular uploads of photos.  In between Facebook updates (Teenagers don’t use Twitter!) I found a wonderful online photograph album, complete with turning pages and your choice of background music.  You can also create scrapbooks, recipe books, calendars, slideshows etc.  Have a look at this one I made at 2am… it was very quick and easy.

    Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
    Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
    Personalize a scrapbook

    With plenty of year-end events coming up at school, why not put all your school photos into Smilebox and create a super-professional presentation for parents and children!


    Sumo Paint… for kids of all ages

    November 14th, 2010

    If you are a Foundation Phase teacher, you have probably used Microsoft Paint as the starting point for literacy work in the classroom.  My ten-year-old son introduced me to this far superior, web-based painting tool: SumoPaint 

    The above picture was made entirely using SumoPaint.  There are many wonderful effects that enable children to create very professional-looking artwork.  Click on the picture below to visit a gallery of images.  Have fun using this tool.  Why not create a slideshow of pictures created by your whole class!


    Social Networking: Think before you post online

    November 8th, 2010

    With thanks to The Spicy Learning Blog for this wonderful teaching graphic.  Nothing needs to be added


    Term 4, Week 9

    November 8th, 2010

    Yippee!  It’s the last week of term. It’s time for a treat when your children visit the computer lab.

    Have lots of fun playing all these fabulous games:
    COMPUTER GAMES FOR AFRICA!

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom you could all watch this beautiful traditional story and listen to the accompanying classical music composed by Tchaikovsky:
    THE NUTCRACKER


    Term 4, Week 8

    November 8th, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week: Exercise is still our theme this week.  Here are some brilliant TEAM GAMES to play with your class.

    You can try these exercises with Mickey Mouse.  It’s fun to do them together while you watch the video on an interactive whiteboard.  But you will need to move the desks out of the way first!



    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 1 Advanced, “Bend and stretch” continued.

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: Do you know the nursery rhyme below?  Enjoy singing it with your class.  Rhymes and songs are a great help to children who are learning English as a second language.

    You can make your own Top Trumps card game about spiders. This was designed by Nathan, aged 10,  in Cape Town: SPIDERS. If you don’t know how to play, click here: TOP TRUMPS RULES.

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 2 Advanced, “Let’s make a spider” continued.

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week: Continue making the climbing clowns that you started last week.  Have your children seen clowns in action?  If not, here are two cool videos to enjoy.  These will be fun for the whole class to watch together if you have an interactive whiteboard.


     

    In the computer lab this week: 

    Talking Story – Level 3 Advanced, “Make a climbing clown” continued.


    Term 4, Week 7

    November 7th, 2010

    All Levels

    Over the past two weeks you have assessed your learners’ ability to read key words.  Now you need to communicate this information!  Send a copy of the assessment sheet home so that parents can encourage and help their children further.  Also remember to file a copy for each child so that next year’s teacher will know where to start with each one.

     Level 1

    In the classroom this week: This week’s Talking Story is all about exercise.  Physical activity gets our hearts beating faster and oxygen pumping through our brains.  This helps to give children more energy and keeps them more alert during lessons.  Many schools do not give enough attention to P.E. and games.  You don’t need special equipment or training.  Think about the games you played as a child.  Did you play Stuck-in-the-Mud or Open Gate or Tag or Hide-and-Seek?  I still see children playing “Elastics” and skipping and Hop-Scotch in the same way that I did at primary school.  Some people believe that playing these games is a waste of precious teaching time… But try it for yourself and see how much more focused the children are when they have had a chance to expend energy in a fun way.  They also learn to take turns, to co-operate as a team, to win and lose graciously, to support and encourage each other and to have fun!

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 1 Advanced, “Bend and stretch”.

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: Print out the classroom activity – It has the template for the spider in the Talking Story.  Your kids will have a lot of fun cutting this out and following the pictorial instructions for assembling their bouncing spiders!

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 2 Advanced, “Let’s make a spider”

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week: The printable classroom activity contains a template and instructions for making the Climbing Clown that the Talking Story is based on.  This clown really does climb up the string!  Try it and see for yourself!

    In the computer lab this week: 

    Talking Story – Level 3 Advanced, “Make a climbing clown”.


    Term 4, Week 6

    November 1st, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week: Continue with the assessments started last week. 

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom then you can enjoy this online talking story about bugs – it ties in nicely with this week’s theme story about “Goggas”: BUG BUZZ

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 1 Advanced, “Goggas” continued.

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: Continue with the assessments started last week. 

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom then here is a super online talking story in keeping with this week’s theme of maps:
    THE TREASURE MAP

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 2 Advanced, “Maps” continued.

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week: Activity 2 of this week’s Talking Story focuses on alphabetical order.  This is an important concept for children to learn.  Here are more activities you can use to re-inforce this:
    INTERACTIVE ABC ORDER – easy
    WHAT’S THE MISSING LETTER? - a bit harder
    DRAG AND DROP WORD ORDER – good for use on an interactive whiteboard
    WORKSHEET 1
    WORKSHEET 2
    WORKSHEET 3 - difficult

    In the computer lab this week: 

    Talking Story – Level 3 Advanced, “The flood” continued.


    Term 4, Week 5

    November 1st, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week: It’s time to assess whether each learner is able to read all of this year’s key words.  You have two weeks to do this assessment.  Take time to sit with each learner individually and tick the words they are able to recognise.  Be sure to send a copy home to parents!  Click here for the Level 1 assessment sheet: Key words Assessment Level 1 lists 1-3

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 1 Advanced, “Goggas”.

    Your children can create their own SUPER BUG game card.  Each child gets to choose the head, body, legs and special powers of their bug and then name their bug.  This can be printed on a Top-Trumps style of game card.  Children could create several if they choose, and then compare these with their friends’ cards.  It’s a great way to make the “Goggas” Talking Story come alive!

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: It’s time to assess whether each learner is able to read all of this year’s key words.  You have two weeks to do this assessment.  Take time to sit with each learner individually and tick the words they are able to recognise.  Be sure to send a copy home to parents!  Click here for the Level 2 assessment sheet: Key Words Assessment Level 2 Lists 1-4

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 2 Advanced, “Maps”

    Make maps relevant to your children by visiting GOOGLE MAPS and typing the full address of your school (including your country) in the “Search Maps” box.  They will love to see the map of your school’s local area.  In addition, if you click on the red pointer on the map, you can then select “street view” which shows your children a photograph of the building taken from the street.  It’s an awesome experience when children see this for the first time!  Within minutes they will be exploring on their own, typing in their own addresses and those of family and friends – just think of all the wonderful learning that is going on as children explore this feature on their own!

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week: It’s time to assess whether each learner is able to read all of this year’s key words.  You have two weeks to do this assessment.  Take time to sit with each learner individually and tick the words they are able to recognise.  Be sure to send a copy home to parents!  Click here for the Level 3 assessment sheet: Key Words Assessment Level 3 Lists 1-3

    In the computer lab this week: 

    Talking Story – Level 3 Advanced, “The flood”.

    Teach your children about flooding: what causes it; what we can do; emergency measures; watch videos about flooding.  Here is a wonderful set or resources, designed for primary schools: FLOODING RESOURCES


    Most Innovative Small Company in South Africa

    October 23rd, 2010

    I am delighted to announce that Radical Learning has been selected as the runner up in the “Most Innovative Small Company” category of the 2010 South African SMME Awards.  We received our trophy at a glamorous gala dinner in Johannesburg on Thursday. 

    In the challenging field of Education and Skills Development in South Africa, we believe that success will only be achieved by a combination of factors: innovative thinking; high levels of motivation; consistent hard work; integrity and strong partnerships.  We want to say thank you to our partners – together we are able to achieve so much more!

    The very deserving winners were Renu-Karoo Veld Restoration cc, an extremely innovative business which develops indigenous seed orchards, to restore mining and grazing damage in the Karoo region.


    Term 4, Week 4

    October 23rd, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week: Have you ever played BINGO?  This is a brilliant game, enjoyed by children and adults around the world.  I have made a special version for you, using all the Level 1 key words, and with enough unique player cards for your whole class to play at once.  Use this game throughout the fourth term, for fun key word revision.  Click on the link below to print out everything you need:
    TALKING STORIES BINGO

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 1 Advanced, “In, out, over and under” continued.

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: In this week’s Talking Story we learn about adjectives.  If you have a data projector or interactive whiteboard in your classroom, you can use this super presentation as part of your lesson: ADJECTIVES

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 2 Advanced, “Big machines” continued.

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week: Recycling is a topic that is addressed in this week’s Talking Story.  Have a look at this VUVUZELA RECYCLING COMPETITION.  You will find some incredible ideas for re-using these proudly South African items!  Share these innovative ideas with your children.  Then why don’t you set up your own competition in class?  Children are far more creative and inventive than the average adult… and you will be strongly re-inforcing the message of this week’s book.

    In the computer lab this week: 

    Talking Story – Level 3 Advanced, “Pick it up!” continued.