Tag Archives: Art and Design

35,000 Images.

There are over 35,000 images which you can freely download  from the National Galleries website. This is a great resource and has loads of uses in class. I’ve always found that children really enjoy looking at different pictures and whilst not as good as a trip to a gallery, it’s a great resource.

Learning Spaces.

An area I wanted to develop this term in class was my use of displays. I feel ‘traditional’ primary school displays are not a natural strength of mine, and I’ve always wondered about the effectiveness of the display in effecting children’s learning. I’m open to any researched ideas about the effects if you’d like to post in the comments or e-mail me I’d be grateful.

In March time I came across No Tosh’s posts on learning spaces and was really interested in some of the ideas in the post. I was particularly interested in the learning wall idea, and set about creating one in my class using plastic wallets to display the children’s work in a respectful manner as well as allowing the much needed fluidity for the display’s success.

We launched our topic in April, Beavers – back after 400 years, and I explained the ideas to the children, and waited…and waited…and waited. Well this week we had a bit of a breakthrough. A couple of children brought work in on Tuesday, a couple more on Wednesday and today I had a child asking to stay in through lunchtime to create her work for the display. I have to say I am delighted that the idea seems to be taking off. I hope to have more work to add to the display coming in thick and fast now.

How does it compare to ‘traditional’ displays? Well, the children are very interested by what is on the display and clearly as work is beginning to come in they are motivated by what they see and want to copy, build on and develop their peers work. Could this happen on a ‘traditional’ display? Well yes it could, but my experience (and/or lack of artistic eye) means through my career it hasn’t happened as much as I’d have liked, and certainly not as much as the time and physical resources used in a display should have impacted. It is certainly something I will be using again next school year and I hope it will have the same motivational effect.

Here is the work the children have created to date.



Scotland on Screen

Our topic for the coming term is The Very Important Bear.  We will be studying aspects of films and cinema throughout this topic as well as creating our own movies using Windows Moviemaker.

A new site I have come across as part of planning this is Scotland on Screen. This has loads of Scottish Archive footage in it from the Scottish Screen Archive. All of these are freely downloadable and can be freely edited using software such as Moviemaker or iMovie.

The feature resources page has links to footage and ideas for its use in the classroom. The footage accessed from here is thematically linked (childhood, for example) and has ideas for key questions to discuss whilst using the footage.

If you are a teacher in Scotland you can use your GLOW login to access the archive, if  you are not on GLOW yet you can still login and use the materials, but I think you have to register first.


I’ve been using wordle with my class this term for our class assembly.
It is a program which creates word clouds for text entered into the program. You can copy and paste text in, or type text in directly to the program. I find typing into word and then saving the list a better option as the program crashed a couple of times when being used on our school network.

Primary Pete @primarypete_ has created this video tutorial on how to use wordle.

Wordle from Peter Richardson on Vimeo.

I liked the program as I feel it highlights the design element of using IT in class. I like the idea of children selecting carefully their typeface/fonts that they work with for different projects and purposes.

Tom Barrett’s site edte.ch.blog has this interesting ways to use presentation created on it.


And Ann Carnevale has ideas about how to use it in class also on her blog. http://anncarnevale.edublogs.org/2009/09/23/website-wednesday/

Finally, here are the examples from my class’s blog page of the wordles we created about our favourite foods.

The Whiteboard Blog

The whiteboard blog is a blog I’ve been following for about 7 months. It has introduced me to loads of free software to use in class with my children and also posts great videos and images to show on the interactive white board.

It’s creator is Danny Nicholson who is also on twitter @dannynic.

The link for the blog is http://www.whiteboardblog.co.uk/ It’s well worth scrolling through and picking up ideas.

A couple of the favourites my class enjoy working on are flockdraw – a collaborative art program, and quizbusters – a program based on the old favourite TV show Blockbusters

Links for those are http://flockdraw.com/ and http://www.teachers-direct.co.uk/resources/quiz-busters/index.aspx are the links for flockdraw and quizbusters respectively.