The day #NinjaMonkeys attacked our schools by @PaulYB37

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Imagine the scene…  Glorious sun once again warms a quiet, secluded village in Leicestershire, not far from the home of Stilton cheese and pork pies, where nothing much happens. Horses and tractors compete on the road through the village and everyone knows everyone, partly because they’re all related!

“…Stilton cheese and pork pies, where nothing much happens…”

Not the sort of place you’d imagine an evil genius would rent a flat above the local Co-op and breed #NinjaMonkeys… but you’d be wrong!

At least according to James, a reluctant writer in year 5.

Red.Ninja.Monkey

The concept of #NinjaMonkeys was invented by James to explain how a cash machine was stolen from the wall of the local Co-op during a spate of similar thefts in the area.  In a bid to encourage a small number of year 5 boys to write, we seized upon this real life drama, visited the scene to take photos and gave them ‘permission’ to use their ‘boyness’, to be as creative as they liked.  Thus, #NinjaMonkeys were born.

This mini project was a great success.

By combining real life stimulus, allowing the boys to be boys; about their writing and the use of Google-docs. to collaborate, this group of boys showed enthusiasm for writing never seen before and produced some great work.  For me though, the most impressive element was the discussion and collaboration generated by using Google-docs.

“…And for them to choose to miss playtime football to carry on reflected the impact of this…”

To hear these boys, who had little interest in writing, commenting, advising and discussing each other’s work, including adding comments, virtual ‘post-its’ and emailing their work to me in my office for comment, was incredibly powerful.  And for them to choose to miss playtime football to carry on reflected the impact of this.

To finish off we used our mini studio to record a news broadcast in front of a green screen and played the films on the plasma TV in the school entrance for all to see.

So, what are the implications of all of this?…

Make learning real and relevant and seize opportunities; give the children permission to explore it in their own way (let boys be boys!) and use technology appropriately and effectively.

In honor
“Long live #NinjaMonkeys!”

Long live #NinjaMonkeys!

Biography: Written by Paul (@paulyb37), who is a Headteacher of a Primary School in Nottingham. He is loving the job; enjoying bringing buzz to learning and changing lives through empowering staff.  Posted by @TeacherToolkit

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

One thought on “The day #NinjaMonkeys attacked our schools by @PaulYB37

  • 29th March 2013 at 8:15 pm
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    Love this!! We did something similar at Eastfield Academy (primary school) in Northampton- have a look at #eastfieldegg where a ‘faberge’ egg went missing. Year 6 created twitter accounts, websites using google sites for 4 imaginary characters who were all suspects. The whole school right from Nursery got involved… eastfieldegg.eastfieldblogs.net
    Would love to know what you think!!!

    Reply

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