Parachutes outdoors are great!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Keep on Moving Competition

Continued from previous post... today we tested 18 designs outside in the playground and woods...  Here are some of them

 This was the most creative - air pump used to create air pressure then ball exploded out with some water so if would flow along...worked quite well but water went into pump.  We tested it outside as it had water as part of it...

 This simple idea moved for a few seconds - a CD on a water bottle top.

 Once the balloon had a small hole made in it, it shot off but landed quickly due to the heavy basket - nice idea though.

Lots used capapult ideas but the stones landed quickly and didn't move for long.

The class found the challenge hard but fun.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Science and Engineering week

Yesterday we made contraptions which had to keep on moving for as long as possible - the one which goes for longest (after being started manually) and is most creative - wins.  We are sending our best entry into the Science and Engineering week competition.

8 pupils opted to do this inside, with pendulums and spinning tops etc.  The other 18 want to do theirs outdoors so on Monday we will test them outside.  Ideas range from stick catapult contraptions to an aid pressure powered contraption using a foot pump, lego, plastic bottle - filled with some water so once ball is fired from bottle by air pressure it should flow down a stream of water down a slope outside...

Photos on Monday.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Frog Spawn

Great excitement the other day when the Eco group and I went down to the wildlife area and saw the pond was full of spawn.  Spring is here.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Huts, mud, sticks and teepees

Made huts today - Aborigine group made a lean-to shelter, Amazonian Indians made a round hut, Maasai make the wall of a hut and plastered it with mud! and finally the Native American group made a teepee.

So much fun as well as building team work and problem solving skills.  When we were finished we toured all the huts before taking them down and leaving the woods as we found them.  Another good session outdoors.  This topic really lends itself to outdoor learning. 

Next time...see how we got on with a challenge for science and engineering week which is to make a contraption to make something move for the longest time...most of the class have ideas they want to do outside!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Outdoor Learning Course

This afternoon I went straight from teaching my P7 class to delivering my 2nd ever Outdoor Learning Course to a lovely group of enthusiastic teachers from 3 local primary schools. Thanks to you all for making the session so enjoyable and motivational.  I hope you will keep in touch and we can share some of the ideas you come up with.

Music in the Woods

Each group of pupils worked on recreating music from their chosed culture/tribe in the woods yesterday morning.  Having already listened to music from each culture and selected appropriate instuments, we set off into the woods. 

First we sat in a circle and I drummed a rhythm which pupils copied.  Then I played a Scottish song on my penny whistle while they drummed along, before thinking about the music of Aborigines, Amazonian Indians, Maasai (voices only) and Native Americans. 

With groups spread through the woods it sounded like a global tribal festival with amazing and sometimes beautiful sounds echoing through the trees and glimpses of people dancing and the sounds of laughter and enjoyment.

We finish with a performance from each group - I loved this morning....

Friday, 9 March 2012

Free Play in woods

Well, so lovely this morning I took my P7s outside to have 30 mins free play in the woods!  Interesting to see what they chose to do.

Some girls climbed onto some think bendy and bouncy branches and bounced up and down while chatting to their friends.  Others went to the spot they did some shelter building and mapping in a couple of weeks ago - interesting they felt an affinity for the place they explored recently. 

A mixed group sat round  a "pretend" camp fire made of sticks and stones (they had made this after putting up their tarp shelter a couple of weeks ago) and chatted.

A group of boys looked under stones for minibeasts and found a metal fence wire which they excavated to find out how long it was (5m!).

One girl wanted to climb as many trees as possible.  As they beech trees are aorund 100 years old they are easy to climb up around 1.5m up where most have a platform where they divide into 2 or 3 trunks.  She spent the whole session doing this on her own, quite happily, despite usually being very social.

One final group of boys were using a branch as a "trampoline" and throwing small sticks around.  They tried to hit a tree trunk with their sticks and eventually used a bendy stick as a kind of catapult. There was good team work as one bent the branch back and released as another dropped a stick just as the branch sprung up and then flew across to the target.

What was great was how safety conscious they all were and no one was silly with the sticks or wire.

The main thing I noticed were all the happy faces.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Outdoor Network Group

Had a good meeting today - the first of our local outdoor network group.  Great to see some local resources and best of all to chat to other keen outdoor learning practitioners.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Outside again soon...

Not been out for a week due to lots of in school activities such as our World War 2 Exhibition, First Aid etc.  Doing an exciting project on Indigenous people so have plans to go outside for a music and dance session soon...

We did make dream catchers out of willow twigs and string.
and Amazonian tribal head dresses out of feathers...

And Teepees...

Think we will  make larger versions of our Teepees outside