book review: ‘The wild way home’

This book has been on my reading list for a while and I must admit, being a year 3 teacher and the fact that it’s set in the Stone Age – a year 3 history objective – was also a big draw. Major tip authors, if you can base your book around a school topic, you’re onto winner!

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as I did! I didn’t want it to end and regularly got annoyed with myself when I was too tired to continue reading! The story is really beautiful. At first I wasn’t convinced by the sudden transition to the Stone Age but then I was utterly transported and convinced by the adventure and turmoil the characters went through that I didn’t care. I LOVE the voice Sophie has given to Harby, the Stone Age boy and the utter pain the family go through really pulled my heart strings to a point where one page, a page that’s really stuck with me, I nearly cried. As a mum I could feel the mothers cries and Charlies panic.

I was very excited to learn that there’s a sequel coming and I will definitely be reading that one! Would highly recommend this book! off you go, go buy it!!

A word on 3D printing in the classroom

As computing and STEM lead in my school and owner of a 3D printer, I’ve found myself using 3D printed resources a fair amount. My first classroom resources we simple toilet pass medals for the children to wear as well as star of the week medals to take home and keep. I’ve slowly grown out of these, mostly due to the children often leaving them in the toilets! and after lockdown, I’ve found my classes ability to ‘hold on’ very low. So I just let them go now!

What I’ve really enjoyed doing is creating resources the children will actively use. In our year 3 science, we cover (albeit briefly) about teeth. So I enlarged an STL file of a full set of teeth and allowed the children to play about with them using play dough. It was a really great way for them to see what the different types of teeth do and created some lovely discussions and vocabulary. I’ll definitely be using this again and be on the hunt for other science resources I can make.

Over Christmas this year, I worked on a prop for the classes Viking topic in history. This long boat took a LONG time to make and paint. totally not worth the time taken but I enjoyed making it. We didn’t use it in the end as we went into lockdown and it just didn’t lend itself to remote learning.

One thing our 3D printer is being massively used for a t the moment, is printing mini robots. My husband is a secondary computing teacher and uses them as rewards. I’m thinking about now introducing them into my classroom too as ‘Reading Robots!’. I’ve tried Pokemon cards before as reading rewards but they ended up being a problem on the playground so at the moment I’m apprehensive about introducing these.

Honestly, we love our 3D printer and use it all the time. it really has turned into a great tool for the classroom and I’ve even introduced the children to the design process using Tinkercad. It’s a hit in my STEM club, as well as the 3D printing pen!

Trying to stay positive…

Trying to stay positive at the moment is hard. I think I’m doing OK then all of a sudden it hits – and I hit out on those I love. It’s like I’m trying to sabotage the good things I have. I liked this quote I found, it’s a good reminder to get on up and grow instead of sink.

Playing about with animation

Trying to learn new art skills at the moment and really push myself. I’ve always loved animation and the new feature in Procreate 5 is such an amazing tool! I had the idea to do a really short Gif – hand drawn to see what it would look like. I’m pretty pleased with the results and am already thinking about what I could do next…

Dream jars

My husband has been working with secondary school students in an afterschool computer science club. I’ve been helping him create some lights that the students have been learning to program on a Raspberry Pi.

I was a fun project for me too as I create a 3D design in Tinkercad and 3D printed the inserts for the LED strips, I then sprayed the mason jars with a frosting spray to defuse the light.

Here’s the end result, think I may make one for myself too 🙂

I’m Back!

I figured it was about time that I started blogging again and a lot has happened since i was last here, so here’s an update…

I’m now a primary school teacher. I finished my training last year and found myself a job in a wonderful school not too far from where i live. I have a year 3 class and i’m absolutely loving it! Every day is different, challenging and interesting. I was also made the ICT coordinator, which wasn’t what i had planned coming from an art background, but i’m so glad i said yes. I absolutely love computer science as a subject and love all the different technology and resources that can be used. My biggest challenge with the role is the current state of my school ICT equiptment, in that it’s extremely outdated and a lot of the times unusable, it’s very fustrating but i hope to help move the school on in such a way that we can make it a leading subject. I run an afterschool coding club too which aside from the prementioned challenges i’m really enjoying. The children in the club enjoyed doing stop frame animation this week and i’m looking forward to introducing more makerspace type activities.

So what about the illustration work? Well, I’ll admit that has taken a back burner a little. You can still get my book ‘This Bear, That Bear’, and I really would love to do another one, although I’d also like to turn my hand to chapter book based fiction. Who knows what the future holds!!

Half term homework

so every half term Grayson usually has some kind of object to construct relating to next terms topic. We’ve had a giant rocket and an awesome pirate ship (if I do say so myself!) Next term he’s learning about castles and I wanted to do something different to the usual cardboard construction so bought some air drying clay.