DQ & Design in Y2 “… paint comes out of our fingers?”

Today I taught Y2 classes for the first time since we waved them goodbye as Y1s before the summer. They were as enthusiastically wriggly as one would expect after a long summer holiday! When students move up a year, they open the door to a heady mix of new routines, new classmates and a natural jump in challenge and expectations.

As a specialist, you bring a bridging perspetive into team teaching with class teachers, having seen student progress during their previous year. This is really helpful to reference as students are adjusting to the new environment and build into behaviour prompts.

Given the wriggly status, I began the lesson with some follow-me movement to observe who was learning ready and on task. Once everyone had refocused, we talked about how we used and looked after an iPad responsibly in Y1. Several students were keen to model how to carry, open, swipe and search through Home Screen. Great!

Next, a recap on what we know about letting an adult know if you encounter a message, pop-up or something on-screen that you are unsure about. Students readily volunteered their thoughts on this – interesting, and reminded me of the selfie conversation in More Than ‘Just A Message’ – Collaborative Messaging in KS1. Their answers indicated what they are able to do at home.

One student said, “You can always click message if it says ‘Luck’ in the message, because luck is a good thing.” A second said “You just click OK and it goes away. If you can read it [the OK] then that means you understand it, so just click.” As in the above post, this provided a perfect opportunity to recap on how we want them to respond to an unknown issue, by not clicking random messages, but sharing it with a trusted adult for resolution.

Also indicative is the frequent reply that “at MY house I can, I don’t need to ask”. This response elevates my concern that some children are allowed unsupervised, sometimes extensive access to mobile devices.

Post safety refresher, I demonstrated how to locate and open Brushes. Together we created a new page and found out where to collect ‘paint’ from the colour pallete. Everyone was asked to close their eyes and imagine a pot of paint  – I asked them to open their eyes and  tell me which colour paint was in the pot: rainbow, purple with sparkles, blue with stars, gold. What a wonderful paint store that would make!

We explored the colour wheel and made our own colour and where to activate that in the pallette. From there, we looked at brush stroke, point size slider and how to change and select each options. The extensive brush options caused big excitement.

A few minutes later, I noticed a puzzled face ..

Q: but WHERE do we get the [real] paintbrushes from, or [excited tone] paint comes out of our fingers?!?

A: Yes, it’s digital paint, you make marks on the (iPad) page when you choose your colour and choose the paintbrush style you want to use.

Response: His facial expression read a very loud ‘Cool!’

The task: each student in the team selects a single colour and their chosen brush stroke, each person is asked to use a different colour to create their design. Collaboration on the task fosters:

  • Negotiation – to decide who uses which colour, or if you are 2nd or 3rd to draw, select a colour that has not been used before.
  • Empathy – recognise that each element has a right to be on page.Students are encouraged to respect each others work, and to only adapt or erase something that they themselves have created. They can, however, agree to combine or merge ideas.
  • Curiosity – to explore the full range of tool options [open-ended task].
  • Turn Taking

Their project work creates content and demonstrates digital literacy, through their growing ability to navigate and manipulate the on-screen tools. They use transferable skills, i.e. they learn to use familiar actions that can be used across a range of applications [on iPad] and to navigate their way around a range of media.

In Computing, the learning behaviours and appropriate use we encourage ties in to class routines and for example, agreed listening cues. By reinforcing positive behaviours that enable listening, thinking, observing and creating to flow through lessons in an age-appropriate balance, students gradually learn to make choices which help them to organise their energy during lessons.

In upcoming posts, I’m going to be referring to the Digital Skills sets I wrote about in DQ – Developing Next Generation Digital Skill Sets. In doing so, I want to develop my thinking on which topics and activities promote skills in the 8 areas shown below:

DQ #2

Today’s lesson is the first of a series using Brushes to create landscapes and animals they encounter in the Polar Exploration topic. My initial thoughts are that this project links to the following DQ skill sets.

  • Digital Safety:

Content Risks: know what to do when you encounter an issue. Respond calmly and ask for help. Behavioural Risks: know how to appropriately use, navigate and interact with a mobile device.

  • Digital Rights:

Freedom of Speech: at a simple level, students are able to contribute their ideas via digital tools, contributing to collaborative content on a team design.

  • Digital Literacy:

Content Creation: open-ended task enables students to create content at their own ability level, within a small group. Critical Thinking: negotiate with peers and combine design ideas, adjust and adapt designs.

  • Digital Identity:

Digital Co Creator: as a team Brushes designer.

  • Digital Safety:

Content Risks: know what to do when you encounter an issue. Respond calmly and ask for help. Behavioural Risks: know how to appropriately use, navigate and interact with a mobile device.

  • Digital Use:

Screen Time: learning with an appropriate balance of interaction with screen, dialogue and lesson instruction.

  • Digital Safety:

Content Risks: know what to do when you encounter an issue. Respond calmly and ask for help. Behavioural Risks: know how to appropriately use, navigate and interact with a mobile device.

Although an intitial brainstorm, I can already see how the eight areas could be used to target focus areas for different age groups. More thoughts to follow …

To finish, here are a few examples of the design outcomes. It’s fascinating to see how the teams planned, and then interpreted their collaborative drawings. The fun of the project is that through a real design experience, they are learning to use tools effectively, without realising it.

This is what these designers said, when asked to describe their work.

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