Our last two blog posts have been aimed at the under-5-year-olds. Now we want to look at the over-5s. The school age children. When it comes to searching online for resources––this is where the money can be made so it’s not surprising that there are heaps of products. From guidance offered by school inspectors (the UK’s Ofsted), to ‘Free Educational Apps’, to creating ‘old school’ style reading flip charts, you can now use technology to find everything you need––and a few things you don’t.
Therefore here will illustrate our favourites and how they fit alongside both our TechnoTeacher “Daredevil Missions” and the reading milestones from our previous blog.
Age 5-6: Heads Down for Reading
Reading Support: Have fiction and nonfiction books & magazines available. Visit museums & libraries.
Dare Devil Mission: Explore the idea of genre while learning outside the classroom.
Why? At this point in a children’s learning, you will want them to be able to read letters, words, and sentences from the page. You can help them learn how by opening up the new ‘worlds’ of literature.
Begin by inviting children into the grown up world of culture. Help them understand that knowledge is valued in our society, and that as readers you are giving them the key to unlocking new worlds.
Tools: Seek out the best examples of local libraries and museums. Find out which have events to take in, and which have the best children’s section.
You can also ask children to design their own museum! Similarly, if you have a school library, encourage students to take real ownership by asking them what they can do to improve it.
Alternatively, you can use electronic research to find a book online, sorting by genre, author, or title. Consider different types of books, from reference material (“Guinness World Records” for example) to comic books. Then ask children to create their own mini-books based on what they like. Show them how to create their own comics (using 'Comic Life'), for example. Or try clicking on the “Guinness World Record” site and have children create comprehension questions they might ask another student, based on what they learned.
If you want to encourage first steps into museums, begin with the ones where you live. Do they have any family or exhibits geared specifically for children? You can also research national museums to find out what they offer online. Many will have online museum tours and games. For example, the The Natural History Museum in London has a great ‘What type of dinosaur are you?' quiz on their website. Similarly, the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City, has an app called ‘Power of Poison’, which can deepen and enrich children’s understanding of the exhibit.
Taking this exploration one step further, you could videoconference a team member of the museum for a Q&A session with your class, using Skype or Skype Classroom. Not only will this virtual visit cut out the paperwork for an actual trip, but it might also help forge a new relationship with an outside organisation.
If you have another other apps or websites that you would like to share,please add a comment below!
N & J x
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This is where Jules and Nic will post articles, links to interesting sites and things that we think our TechnoTeachers will like.