MakerSpaces: Foundation Stage Best Practice in Key Stage 2

What is a MakerSpace.

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I was interested in MakerSpaces because of their strong links to Foundation Stage best practise. It’s a place in school where children use sets of resources to work on projects related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic skills. Children design on their own projects or respond to challenges. I wanted to see how best practises and resources from Foundation can be extended to support learning further up school. For the Year 4 teachers, they wanted to see how our new range of iPad compatible robots can be used in their coding curriculum.

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For this MakerSpace I was joined by Jason Milner. Jason is an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) from Sydney, Australia. Throughout July he visited other ADE schools across Europe and today we collaborated on this project at my school. Jason wanted to gain experience using iPad compatible robots and also observe the impact that wrapping code around the curriculum may improve the way in which children apply mathematic skills.

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The MakerSpace: A Foundation Stage Challenge

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Monday 4th July was the day I had been waiting for since February. Apple Distinguished Educator, Jason Milner a Year 4 teacher from Sydney, visited my school to work with me on a MakerSpace project we had been planning for months.

 

 

What is a MakerSpace?

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I was particularly interested in this concept of MakerSpaces because of the strong links to Foundation Stage style practice. It’s a place in your school or setting where children use open-ended resources or work on projects related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic skills. Children work on their own projects or respond to challenges set. I wanted to see how best practices and resources from Foundation can be extended to support learning in computing and programming skills. Jason also wanted to gain experience using our Dash robots with Foundation Stage children.

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Go! – apps for an early years cars, planes and trains topic. #EYTalking #UKEdChat

Over the summer it’s time for us teachers to prepare for our new class and the year ahead. Over the next few weeks I’m going to put spotlights on particular topics or themes, highlighting some apps which can support learning. This year the AppStore team have selected the best interactive stories, games and knowledge apps for a collection called ‘Cars, Planes and Trains’. Their collections are always interesting and pick out great apps to use for lessons in the classroom. Take a look at this featured collection here. Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 08.01.24 I’ve taken a quick walk through this latest collection and picked out a few apps which look like good fun for early years and ones which can develop knowledge and understanding in this topic. Continue reading

Changing Spaces: Focus and simplify learning in continuous provision areas

I have decided to write another post about the wider curriculum and classroom organisation. Over the years I have posted a few times about my classroom spaces and provision as it adds a bit of flavour to the technology focus of my blog. It shows another side to my work.  

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I always look to Alistair Bryce-Clegg for inspiration, he is a one-stop-shop for all things early years. Not only does Alistair share great ways of working, his recommendations are well within the reach of all early years settings. They are cheap, sometimes free, and every time his ideas are effective! Alistair’s post Creating an Environment to Provoke Learning gave me the confidence and vision to go ahead and put all my energy in to redesigning our areas.

“As a class teacher, when it came to my environment less was definitely not more! In fact more was more with a bit more chucked in for good measure!” writes Alistair.

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A theory about outdoor education from The Simpsons #ukedchat

I have watched this episode of The Simpsons many times and always wanted to do something with it.

It gives me a lot to think about, and I know that I have a lot of work to do to improve my outdoor opportunities. Sometimes I don’t always feel confident with the open ended nature of learning outside, I don’t always know how to plan it and how to explain it to others. Sometimes we are not prepared for weather with the right clothes and I know that is always the best times to be outside (puddles, mud, snow). Sometimes I’m not always prepared to take the risks involved in climbing, building etc.

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