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!
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.
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 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 the use of
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 (letboys!) and use technology appropriately and effectively.
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