We’re very lucky in this school. It’s an Apple technology school so all the children from year 3 upwards do have their own iPad on loan. So the children, over the years, have trained themselves up. We have lots of different apps on it and we use them regularly in lessons. Even without me having to say now, the children know what to use their iPads for, how to get it up, how it works and we do DigiClub as well outside of school so that gives them the skills and the tips needed to help them aid in lessons really.
‘Now what we’ve done is, while I was looking through all your work yesterday, I saw some fabulous newspaper recounts so Ruby’s just mirrored hers up to the screen for us. Now what we’re going to do is, I’m going to read through it and I want you to have a think of all the things that we’ve got to put into our newspaper recount so the things on the board. Have a little think, has she got those things?’ So the visualisation we use regularly on a day to day basis. It gives the children a chance to actually show off their work, everything they’re doing that they’re proud of and also it gives them chance to do peer feedback as well.
We tend to find that the children have built confidence and are actually learning techniques of how to edit and improve their own work, whereas previously that’s something that they struggled with. ‘I want you to talk to your partners. What do we like about Ruby’s newspaper recount? [pupil conversation]. We used to go around each individual child and we’d give individual feedback and we used to tend to find that we were repeating ourselves with different children doing the same question or the same mistake. So what we thought was, well, we visualise the work for what is a good one so why not visualise the work and help each other to improve as well.
By putting the work up on the screen, we tend to find that we can reach 30 children with the same mistake than going round individually and wasting time doing one on one. It also gives the children chance, as fresh pairs of eyes, to spot mistakes that maybe myself or other people wouldn’t necessarily have recognised. ‘What does that show us? Can anybody remember what it’s called? Go on Summer. Yes, she’s used brackets for parenthesis hasn’t she? Good girl, well done, she’ added extra information in. Any thing else? Ava, what do you like? It’s very descriptive. Can you find me an example?’ It’s so much easier.
You tend to find that the children are involved in the marking process so they become teachers themselves. They know exactly what’s expected of them, they know how to edit it, how to improve it, they help each other and they’ve built confidence and resilience and also it’s a massive timesaver from walking round and marking; saving me having to take books home at night time as well. ‘Has anybody got anything they think Ruby could improve on? I think Ruby’s done very, very well. Has she got a headline? Yes, she’s got a headline up there. Does it sound catchy? Does it make you want to read it? Yes. Has she got subheadings? Yes. Has she used a quote? Yes. Monique, where’s the quote?’
The children are really good and over the years, they have learned that when we ask them to put their iPads down, they do put them down as they know it’s a luxury but there’s also an app called Apple Classroom, which enables me on my Apple Mac to connect to each and every one of their iPads so I can see exactly what they’re on at any time and I can also lock them so if I’m talking and I need their full attention, I can press the padlock button and every iPad gets locked so there’s no fiddling, there’s no temptation to mess and their focus is solely on me. ‘What happens as reporters if we put incorrect information in our stories? Lexie?
Yes, remember we spoke about how sometimes on media, we read stories and people think it’s true and it’s not and it’s sometimes because the journalist hasn’t got all the information.’ Because the visualiser is visible to 30 children, no child has got the opportunity to be bored; every child has got to focus and got to listen and got to have an input. With the questioning, I try not to give them closed questions.
I try to get them to point out what is good, what’s the mistake, how can we improve it so that they’re constantly thinking and by doing that, it actually helps them with their own practice so when they go back to their own books, they can actually sit and go through the exact same process and edit and proofread their own work as well. ‘What about the content, so things she’s actually put in? Flip back to the other page for me a second, Freya. Does anybody notice anything around here? Have a think about the key facts. Has anybody noticed anything about the address? Does anybody know where Cork city is? It’s in Ireland.
So Cork city, I think Freya’s got a little bit mixed up with where he was originally from and where the incident happened.’ At first, no child ever wanted to stand up in case they’d made a mistake, whereas now mistakes are celebrated and because it’s done in such a relaxed way, the children actually help each other and will honestly put their hands up and say, ‘I need a bit of help, can I mirror it and can somebody please help me out?’ So they want that recognition now as well; they want that support.
It gives them the responsibility of their own marking and their own feedback as well so they become teachers of their own work, which in the future it can only be a good thing because they’ll be able to do that independently, without as much support from a member of staff. I love that it’s really clearly laid out and you can see exactly where you’re going. I think that’s overall a really good piece of work, well done guys.’