Shout but don’t burn out.⤴

from @ lenabellina

I can’t

I can’t

I can’t

I won’t

I won’t

I won’t

I won’t

I don’t

I don’t know what I’m doing here

I only know the pain and fear

I fear

I fear

I fear

I will

I will

I will

I will

Be ill

Be ill and feel my flame burn out

And so I raise my voice and shout

I shout

I shout

I shout

I can

I can

I can

I can

Live on

Live on have fun and turn things round

And so I carry on.

For you

For you

For you

And me

For me

For me

I can.

wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display 2024-05-22 20:44:26⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Bookmarked 20 outdoor bird games and activities (creativestarlearning.co.uk)
When learning about nature and wildlife, experiential outdoor sessions need to happen. We need children to play and to practice key skills so that observing and understanding birds is a key focus of our time. Over the decades , a number of outdoor educators such as Joseph Cornell, Steve Van Matre, T...

This and Creating Bird Friendly Schools and Nurseries | Creative STAR Learning | I’m a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here!

micro:bit fun and a bug⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

A gif of the micro:bit simulator

I just found this post in my drafts, last edit September 2023, the bug mentioned is still there and I think it is worth remembering the creativity shown by my class.

For the past couple of weeks, we have been working on a micro:bit project in class. One of the interesting aspects of working with a diverse group is the need to introduce new ideas and topics to the class, especially when some students already have experience in the area. This year, my class is Primary 5, 6, and 7. The Primary 7s have already had some exposure to micro:bit and other block coding environments.

I decided to focus on the virtual pets project from the makecode site for our first project. In my classroom, we use the micro:bit app on our iPads for coding, and it and the micro:bits has had a couple of useful improvements. Since the last session, the ability to download data to the iPad has been introduced, although we haven’t explored it yet, but I hope to do so soon. Another improvement is a simpler method for resetting the micro:bit when connecting via Bluetooth, making it more accessible for smaller fingers.

I introduced the topic by discussing Tamagotchi pets, which I remember being popular in my class over two decades ago. The virtual pet project is a lot simpler in comparison, with just two features: when a pet is stroked, it smiles, and when it’s shaken, it frowns.

The limited functionality left plenty of room for exploration for the 5 primary 7s with experience. Leaving plenty of time for me to make sure the others managed the basics, linking to. Micro:bit flashing code etc. I did drop the words food and health into the conversation but didn’t go any further.

We ended up having three sessions with the micro:bits and I was delighted with the results. Between them the sevens recalled variables from last year and were off. We ended up with pets needing fed to avoid death, being sick if fed too much and getting annoyed if they were petted too much. The younger pupils managed the basics and extended them in simpler ways, animating chewing and drinking or reacting to different buttons.
One primary six who had previous experience did just as well as the primary sevens, his pet had these features:

  • Sleep
  • Be happy if stroked (press logo)
  • Be sad if shaken
  • Die (wait long enough and don’t feed it)
  • Be sick if fed to much(can be cured using b)
  • Be scared (by making a noise/blowing/filling the red bar 180+)
  • Be fed (using A)
  • Get a health check (A+B)
micro pets on the Banton Biggies

The first three were part of the class instructions, taken from the make code site, the rest were pupil ideas.

Of course lots of mistakes were made along the way, but it was great to see solutions worked out, shared with neighbours and lights go on. Quite a few pupils used wee bits of free time to explore and test ideas completely independently.

On Friday we went to post on our e-portfolios about the work and embed your pets in the blogs. Editing the shortcode to do this is a bit tricky and we also ran into a problem with the simulator not embedding properly. Half the micro:bits were hidden. At first I thought this would be a problem with Glow Blogs, but later investigation showed it to be a problem with the makecode code. We workaround it by embedding the editor rather than the simulator. I do hope the makecode folk sort this out. Since it affects their documentation too I expect they will.

I continue to be a micro:bit fan and will be using them throughout the year, hopefully incorporating it into our makerspace projects too.

Image Accessibility Creator · Streamlit⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Webpage with description and image of a European Goldfinch on a branch against a blue sky.

Image Accessibility Creator · Streamlit

Impressive ai generated descriptions and alt text from images. I found adding even a one word helped.

Via Doug Belshaw: How to easily generate image descriptions and alt text | Thought Shrapnel

After taking a screenshot I fed it back to the webpage (too tempting) and got:

Image Description: A screenshot of a webpage with the header “asuo-ai-labs.streamlit.app” shown in the top center. The screen is divided into two main sections. On the left, under the heading “Image and Details,” there is a section for uploading an image. A placeholder box labeled “Drag and drop file here” or “Browse files” is visible. Below it, there is a thumbnail of an image labeled “IMG_9865.jpeg” which is 2.8 MB in size. The image thumbnail shows a European Goldfinch perched on a budding branch against a clear blue sky. Below the thumbnail, there is a toggle switch labeled “Add details about the image,” which is turned on. A text box is filled in with the word “Goldfinch.”

On the right side of the webpage, there is a section labeled “Image Description.” Below it, a detailed description of the image is provided, as well as a short alt text. The image description reads: “The image features a European Goldfinch perched on a budding branch against a backdrop of a clear blue sky. The Goldfinch displays vibrant plumage with a distinctive red face, a mix of black and white on its head, a warm beige chest, and brownish wings with yellow accents. The branch, adorned with small, white buds and green leaves, stretches horizontally across the bottom right of the image, while the bird is slightly right of center. The serene sky comprises soft, light blue gradients without any visible clouds.”

The alt-text reads: “European Goldfinch perched on a budding branch against a clear blue sky.”

Alt-Text: Webpage with description and image of a European Goldfinch on a branch against a blue sky.

Pedagoo Glaschu poem⤴

from @ lenabellina

Pedagoo

Me and you

Talking of the things we do

Things we love

Things we hate

Stuff that piles up on our plate

On our weekdays

More and more

Til we shut that Friday door

And escape away to here

Saturday

Away from fear

Where our voices can be heard

And we spread our wings like birds

Flying high and wild and free

Pedagoo

That’s you and me.

For Pedagoo Glaschu – 18th May 2024⤴

from @ lenabellina

Who’s right and whose rights? Exploring how we can get it right (enough) every child and adult?

• Who are you and where are you on your rights journey?

• What has gone well and what have the challenges been?

4 minutes with a partner

2 minutes each then swap

Hands up

How many of you work on a school that is on the UNICEF Rights respecting journey?

How many of you are confident that you know about the UNCRC and base your decisions in your work with children around acting in the best interests of the children in your care?

How many of you feel that your human rights are respected when you go about your work each day? How many of you know what your human rights are? (Usually in training I discover that very few of us do and that referring to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be really helpful: https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/udhr-infographic)

How many of you find it hard that you are committed to addressing and protecting rights but the world around you means that often it is hard to do so?

When I taught back in London in the early 90s we did a lot of work around building the self esteem of children. Back in those days, we didn’t call it nurture but we knew that a lot of children didn’t feel great about themselves and that this was impacting on their ability to learn and grow. We introduced things like mentoring and PSHE and “building self esteem” became a buzz phrase in schools and in London, it was particularly relevant to girls and black boys because statistically, they weren’t doing as well.

After a few years, however, the tide turned and we started to hear claims in the press that children suddenly had “too much self esteem” and where getting “too confident” and making things even more difficult for adults than they were before.

I smile sometimes nowadays when I hear people saying that children have “too many rights” these days.

Because it’s kind of the same thing isn’t it?

We go from collectively wanting to have children who are confident and feel good about themselves to, 5 years later or so deciding that actually they should be a bit less confident because they’ve got too big for their boots!

Or from collectively wanting children to know and enjoy their rights to, 5 year later on or so deciding that they have too many rights and need to get back in their boxes!

But of course, when we take a step back from the politics and the people who are cross that they put money into the AMAZING IDEA of building children’s self esteem or ensuring children’s rights…..but somehow it hasn’t worked after 5 years so it must be a RUBBISH idea and not an AMAZING ONE….

If we step back from that, we KNOW that wanting children to feel good about themselves and feel and be safe and confident is a GREAT idea, isn’t it?

In the same way that if you are an adult working in my school, you feeling good about yourself and feeling and being safe and confident is a GREAT idea, isn’t it?

In the same way that if parents trust me to look after their children every day, them feeling good about themselves and feeling and being safe and confident as parents is a GREAT idea, isn’t it?

I was the Children’s Rights Lead in my local authority for two years. I had the great privilege of working closely alongside the UNICEF RRSA team to help schools in my authority work through the journey towards becoming a Rights Respecting School.

I assessed schools at the Bonze action plan stage of the journey and was a joint assessor for schools at silver and even did one joint gold assessment.

Ironically, I have now been the head teacher of two small schools in the same authority for two years and we still haven’t got bronze. But being a school where the need to respect children’s rights drives adult decisions is not all about the accreditation with RRSA. We need to live this respect and not simply laminate a poster.

I can confidently say that in both schools, children’s rights and acting in children’s best interests drive all of our decisions as staff. Most of the time. And when they don’t we ask the simple question “why are we doing that?” Or “why did you do that?” and the answer is is usually “because I am human and tired and having a bad day” and we usually have a cry and a hug and say sorry (usually to the children) and move on….

And across both schools, where I line manage all of the 18 staff in our team, I make sure that the human rights of my staff are protected so that together, we can act in the best interests of our children.

Most of the time. And we don’t we ask the simple question “why are we doing that?” Or “why did you do that?” and the answer is is usually “because I am tired and having a bad day” and we usually have a cry and a hug and say sorry and move on….

And also across both school communities, where I am named person for 54 children, I make sure that we work closely alongside all parents* to ensure that we, the adults in each child’s life are communicating and listening and sharing information. This means that we know each child really well and can act in their best interests as individuals and not just in the supposed best interests of some non existent “average” child with two parents, a house, a dog and a random “P” or “S” identifier based on the date that they fell to earth.

(* here denoting parents and/or other adults who may care for and protect children in the place of their birth parents).

It has taken two years to get to where we are in our schools and we still don’t get it right all the time.

Is it always easy? No

Is it important to keep reminding ourselves that we need to consider children’s rights differently to the way we consider adult rights in education?

Yes

Why?

What is the difference between you having your rights addressed as an adult and a child having theirs addressed?

Because children are (and are legally recognised) as still developing and potentially vulnerable and often do not have choice.

Right up to the age of 18.

Adults are legally deemed responsible and have choice.

Of course some adults are also vulnerable and so need additional protection under the law, provided by other adults. That is where, as a line manager I need to be aware of the equalities act and of protected characteristics. I need to consider the extra things I need to do for some of my staff, or the extra supports that some of our parents* may need, so that our children can still get what they need from us as adults and so that we are still acting in our children’s best interests.

To end with a few borrowed words by Rozalla:

Brother and sister together we’ll make it through

Some day a spirit will lift you and take you there

I know you’ve been hurting

But I’ve been there waiting to be there for you

And I’ll be there just helping you out whenever I can

[Chorus]

‘Cause

Everybody’s free to feel good

Everybody’s free to feel good

[Verse 2]

We all are a family that should stand together as one

Helping each other instead of just wasting time

Now is the moment to reach out to someone

It’s all up to you

When everyone’s sharing their hope

Then love will win through

Source: Rozalla – Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good) Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

We know that we aren’t all free and we don’t all have choice but we should be free to feel good, shouldn’t we?

If some of us had been give the knowledge of our rights as children, the confidence to be ourselves and the voice to know and ask for what we NEEDED, rather than what we WANTED, then maybe now as adults we would be more able to know and ask for those things, rather than constantly being confused and frustrated about what we need or should be entitled to.

It isn’t too late to go back and work out how we can meet the needs of both the children we serve in our schools and the children we once were, who maybe didn’t have our rights respected.

Some additional information about the UNCRC, thanks to UNICEF below.

Source:

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – UNICEF UK

The Convention has 54 articles that cover all aspects of a child’s life and set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The convention is universal—these rights apply to every child and the convention entitles every child to claim them. It also explains how adults and governments must work together to make sure all children can enjoy all their rights.

Every child has rights “without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status” (Article 2).

We should think of the Convention as a whole: each of the rights enshrined within it are inter-linked and no right is more important than another. Therefore, the right to relax and play (Article 31) and the right to freedom of expression (Article 13) have equal importance as the right to be safe from violence (Article 19) and the right to education (Article 28).

But we can’t always address the rights of all individuals in the same room at the same time.

Four articles in the Convention are seen as special. They’re known as the “General Principles” and they help to interpret all the other articles and play a fundamental role in realising all the rights in the Convention for all children. They are:

1. Non-discrimination (Article 2)

2. Best interest of the child (Article 3)

3. Right to life survival and development (Article 6)

4. Right to be heard (Article 12)

Glimmers⤴

from @ lenabellina

I had a really tough week.

Some of it was down to external factors but some was down to:

– having ADHD

– trying to be everything to lots of people and taking care of lots of other people

– not focusing on being everything I need to be to me and taking care of me

– encountering people, sensations and memories that are linked to a period exactly three years ago when I had a terrible time.

I work in a hard job taking care of children and families in a world where lots of people are struggling.

And sometimes it all just gets too much. Sometimes even the swimming, the yoga, the singing, the internal family systems work and the breathing don’t help and I get overwhelmed by big feelings which no amount of masking can keep down.

On Thursday night they decided enough was enough. They all came out in a terrible mix of anger, sadness, despair and panic, along with physical pain in my neck and shoulder. I think they found a chink in the armour when I stopped and let my guard down at a fabulous guitar concert.

I was ready to quit. To resign, to move, to run, to do whatever might make it all stop.

But luckily Steve listened patiently to my declarations of “I just can’t do it any more….” and reminded me that:

a) I have options

b) I have people who don’t agree with my assessment that I’m not worth being around (including him, most of the time 🤞🤞)

c) I should probably just focus on getting through Friday, rather than the rest of my life…..

So I did. I asked a few very trusted people for help and nailed Friday.

I went for a Friday swim, had a good night’s sleep (sorry Aurora) and have got up today with a focus on getting through Saturday.

So far it’s going ok.

This is my life with ADHD.

I don’t write this for sympathy or because I am looking for help….because you all probably by now that trying to help me when I’m like this isn’t easy as I mainly want to be left to work it out of my system.

I write because for me, the writing is part of the work.

Today’s glimmers:

⁃ a lovely morning clearing the school garden and catching up with some of our fabulous parents

⁃ pictures of Daisy and Molly on the beach in the sunshine

⁃ a bath of bluebells on “peak bluebell day (according to the master)

⁃ a fab greyhound walk and catch up with Fiona

⁃ a pile of new books arriving