Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Spring is here!

Spring is upon us. Pastel colours adorn the dummies in clothes shops, the (very) odd day of sunshine promising us that we will be warm one day, and hundreds of different chocolate eggs (more than ever this year) in every shop you enter. This means one thing…Easter is nearly here!

For most people I know, this is always a pleasant time. Children definitely enjoy Easter…among my strongest childhood school memories are harvest festivals and Easter fairs. Whether students need to begin learning about the harder/more serious and complex side of Easter, it's a good time to do it now.. Another element that can make it more engaging and easier to build discussion, is them learning together, in true collaboration.

We have three ways:

  1. Get students to create their own activity about Easter or Spring.

    There are so many things we can talk about and learn at this time of year, whether that's the religious story behind Easter or the blossoming of so many kinds of life in Spring. It's also something that students tend to enjoy. So how about if they were to create an activity for their classmates to use/solve/do? This works well in two ways. It has a Project Based Learning strand. Students must plan, research and structure their own project – a task - but it also has the brilliant edge of helping all students see the topic from different perspectives. This multi faceted technique means they should learn, but also remember, more.

    We suggest Thinking Kit – activities tend to consist of one main open question or objective, then lots of ‘snippets’ – bits of information made up of facts, quotes, research and/or images. The creation side can be done on any device. Once the activity is created, you are given a short code. You enter that in the FREE app and the task downloads instantly.

    The Thinking Kit Creator has a 1 month FREE trial (no card details required) and the Thinking Kit App is free.

  2. Create an engaging activity yourself.

    You could create an activity with Thinking Kit too, then just tell the class your code, and they can instantly start using it on their iPads.

  3. Pre-prepared activity.
    A screenshot from Digital Mysteries: Crucifixion of Jesus

    Our dedicated app, Digital Mysteries: Crucifixion of Jesus is now down to price tier 1 (79p, 99c, AU $1.49) from price tier 2 (£1.49/US $1.99/AU $2.99). Students ideally work in pairs but can work alone or in small groups too. They're given little illustrated slips on screen, ranging from passages from the bible and Christian beliefs of the crucifixion of Jesus. They have to read and work through these together in order to answer, ‘Why is the crucifixion of Jesus significant?

    The app is designed for collaboration so there are plenty of discussion triggers and ways of expressing opinion, e.g. the group, sticky tape and note tools. It can be used with 11-16 year olds as it has three difficulty levels – as the difficulty level goes up, more slips are given, which may introduce complexity and a new strand to consider.

    For more information, please search ‘Digital Mysteries Jesus’ on the App Store or click here.

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