Legbourne East Wold Primary School – Mr Watson's Blog

A place where we can share what we are doing in class, find out more and reflect on our learning!

Archive for March, 2010

Speed Grid Challenge – How quick are your mental maths skills?

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 23, 2010

Bethany asked for the link to these Maths Games.

So, as I am always happy to answer a request, here they are!

How fast can you do the addition and subtraction grids?

The record for the Addition game stands at a ridiculous 10 questions correct in 19 seconds – I wonder what Daniel is doing now?

Post your times in the comments!

Mr W.


Update: 24/03/10

Gridlock is another great game – this time for two players.

The instructions to play are on the page but the basic idea is to score the most points whilst preventing your opponents from scoring more than you – or can you “GRIDLOCK” them?

Hope you like it!

Mr W.


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Literacy: The Piano – Aidan Gibbons

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 23, 2010

Our next unit of Literacy is “Film Narrative”.

In it we will be using this short animation called “The Piano” by Aidan Gibbons.

We are going to use key points in the film to discuss features and themes in film narrative.

Explore the approaches made by the film maker to create moods, pace and viewpoint.

We will also try to develop your film vocabulary by identifying how colour, light, sound and camera angles have been used to tell the narrative.

The original music for Aidan Gibbons’ film is ‘Comptine d’un Autre ètè; l’Apres-Midi’ , (or ‘Rhyme of Another Summer; Afternoon’), by Yann Tiersen. The music formed part of the soundtrack to the film ‘Amelie’, by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (not
suitable for children, but a fabulous film.)

A version of ‘The Piano’, with its original music, can be seen on Aidan Gibbons’ own site. Aidan Gibbons Website
Other versions of the film, however, features music composed by Stephen Jones, especially for it. Both pieces have a similarly haunting quality, which adds greatly to the mood of the film.

Have a watch and comment with any thoughts, ideas, feelings, emotions, questions etc… that the film raises in you mind.


Mr W.

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Area & Perimeter

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 22, 2010

This week we are learning about Area & Perimeter in Maths.

To support that learning here are a couple of Online Games which you can have a go at:

Fun Brain – Shape Surveyor

Airlines Builder

There are varying degrees of difficulty in each game – have a go and perhaps the practice will help you in class!

Mr W.

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Should UFOs be taught in Schools?

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 22, 2010

After using David Wiesner’s book “Tuesday” as inspiration for our Literacy over the past few weeks – we took it a step further and decided to think about whether or not the topic of UFOs should be taught in school.

Initially we tried to use the Internet as a source of information, but we quickly realised that there is SO MUCH information, and no way of judging if that information is factual or made up, we had to try something else!

So, after a rethink! I provided the children with a selection of reports from this website: http://ufosinschool.blogspot.com/

Created by Chestnut Literacy Set – Year 5. A class from Wellington Primary School, in Hounslow, England in 2008.

We read these reports and used a checklist of features for Discussion Texts (Arguments): Balanced Argument Checklist

We could then judge the quality of these texts and use them as a source of information for our writing.

We then planned and wrote our reports over 2 days, ensuring that we used the correct text language and features, and that we had edited and improved them.

As a way of publishing these Discussion Texts, I created our own blog to share our writing: http://theufotopic.blogspot.com/

I hope you think that they are as good as we do!

Perhaps they might even persuade you that it would be a great topic to teach!

Mr W.

Posted in Children's Work, Literacy, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

“The Truth Is Out There!” – Reports into UFOs

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 15, 2010

This week in Literacy we will be finding out more about UFOs before preparing a report on the topic.


The Government Department for Schools, Children and Families (DSCF) wants to know if they should include a section on UFOs in the science curriculum –to be taught in schools.

They want a report on UFOs to help them decide.

The report should be as unbiased as possible.

It should seek to answer the following questions:

1. Are there such things as flying objects which are not of earthly origin – i.e. cannot be explained by our science or geography as we know it?

2. How good is the evidence? What are the most compelling bits of evidence?

3. Is there a good case for teaching this topic in schools?

Remember that you have 2 days in class and any homework time that you want to use (UFO Research is your Homework this week) to research information for the topic.

There are links in the “UFO” category on the right (some might not work in school).

REMEMBER: This should be an unbiased report! No matter what you believe, you must look at both sides of the arguement!

Good luck with the research and think about how you can help others, if you find a really useful website that you think other people could use – paste the URL into a comment and I’ll it to the link list.

Mr W.

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Publish Your Own Newspaper – Online!

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 12, 2010

MTN – Publish Your Own Newspaper

In Literacy we have been writing newspaper articles based on David Wiesner’s “Tuesday”.

We used the Tabloid Templates on the MTN (Making The News) Website to make them look like real newspapers.

We had to decide whether we were skeptical about the “Flying Frogs” or whether we were excited about it.

There have been some very “creative” results.

(Sorry girls! No matter what I do – I can’t get it to name your work! I will persevere and sort it as soon as I can!)

(Ben & Luke – There seems to be a problem with the images which you edited and they won’t load – I am on that case too!)

(Once I sort the problems – I’ll upload your work as well)

In the meantime if you want to create your own newspaper here is the link (requested by Stephen):

MTN – Publish Your Own Newspaper

Mr W.

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Leapfrog Game

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 11, 2010

Here is the link to the “Leapfrog” game that we used in Maths Club.

Leapfrog Game

Leapfrog Game

Can you swap the 5 Blue and the 5 Green to the opposite sides?

There is a pattern/method to follow – can you work it out?

Challenge some Grown Ups too!

Can they work it out?

Have fun and comment to let us know how you get on!

Mr W.

Posted in A Bit of Fun, Maths | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mean, Median & Mode – Types of Average

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 10, 2010

Today’s maths was learning about the different types of “Average”.

We did quite alot in a short space of time, so if you are still unsure, or a little confused, or just want to go over it again, try out this:

KS2 Bitesize – Mean, Median & Mode

This game is on the BBC Bitesize website – it might help you get it clear in your mind.

After you have done the activities you might like to try:

The Mean, Median & Mode Quiz

Or if you prefer to read information:

Mean, Median & Mode Information

Hope you find it useful!

Mr W.

Posted in Learning Resources, Maths, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Yahtzee! The Game of Chance, Risk & Probability

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 9, 2010

In Maths this week, we are looking at Probability and Chance!

This dice game is incredibly popular in the Far East and was a popular game in Britain a few years ago.

It involves using your number skills and knowledge of chance and probability.

Play “Yahtzee!” at Ambleside Primary School

Playing Yahtzee:

You roll the five dice by clicking on the ROLL button.

After each roll you have to click on the dice to select them and you can roll them again up to two times.

When you have had all your rolls click on a score box to add the score for that combination of dice.

After each roll you MUST select a score box – even if it means you get zero!

A SMALL STRAIGHT is 4 scores in order e.g. 1 2 3 & 4

A LARGE STRAIGHT is all 5 dice in order 1 2 3 4 5

A FULL HOUSE is 5 dice all the same

A YAHTZEE is 5 sixes.

A CHANCE adds up all the scores of the dice.

Want to play at home?

Download the Yahtzee Scorecard here!


Mr W.

Posted in Maths, Mr Watson's Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Second Blogging Landmark!

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 7, 2010

Congratulations to everyone who has visited us!

We have reached our second “Blogging Landmark!”

We have passed 1000 views to our blog and we’ve only been online since January 4th 2010!

Roll on 2000 hits – that’s the next landmark!

Mr W.

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The Haka – A Traditional Maori War Dance

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 4, 2010

After today’s start to PE, I thought I would share some information about the Haka with you.

Rugby fans will recognise it as the dance that the New Zealand All Black perform before every International match.

There are many slightly different versions and each Captain does it slightly different, including me, my version differs a little from the video which you can watch below..

In this video from 2004, it is led by Tana Umanga, one of the most famous All Black captains of recent years.

Some people asked what the words meant.

It is the story of a Warrior Chief.

Ringa pakia,
Uma tiraha,
Turi whatia,
Hope whai ake,
Waewae takahia kia kino,

English Translation:
Slap the hands against the thighs
Puff out the chest
Bend the knees
Let the hip follow
Stamp the feet as hard as you can.

Ka Mate! Ka Mate!
Ka Ora! Ka Ora!
Tenei te ta ngata puhuru huru
Nana nei i tiki mai

Whakawhiti te ra
A upane ka upane!
A upane kaupane whiti te ra!

English Translation:

It is death! It is death!
It is life! It is life!
This is the hairy person
Who caused the sun to shine
Keep abreast! Keep abreast
The rank! Hold fast!
Into the sun that shines!

If you are feeling up for it – and you need to be, because you can’t do it half-heartedly!

I’ll teach you the full Haka.

Mr W.

Posted in Mr Watson's Updates, PE | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Theseus & The Minotaur Puzzle Game

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 4, 2010

Theseus & The Minotaur Puzzle Game

How To Play

  • Guide Theseus (the red circle) to the exit.
  • Avoid the Minotaur (the black circle).
  • The Minotaur moves two squares towards you (if possible).
  • The Minotaur always prefers left/right moves (when available).


  • Cursor keys move Theseus.
  • D = Delay (choose not to move).
  • R = Reset maze.
  • N = Next maze.
  • P = Previous maze.
  • S = Toggle sound on/off.

Robert Abbott invented the rules for Theseus, and designed the first maze. Take a look at his excellent Logic Mazes site for lots more information on this and many other puzzles.

Can you escape the mazes before you gt eaten by the Minotaur?

Some tricky puzzles here!

Even Ben found some of the hard! (Even though he’ll deny it!)

Mr W.

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“Tuesday” by David Wiesner

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 1, 2010

Our latest Literacy unit is Non-Fiction texts – Recounts.

This week Y5 will be taking the role of a Detective investigating the strange occurrences in the night in David Wiesner’s Tuesday.


Today’s task was to gather evidence and take notes for a Police Report on the ‘incident’.

Thinking about:

Witnesses, who claim to have seen ‘things’.

Potential Witnesses, who might have seen or heard odd things in the night.

Evidence, things that have been left behind.

Other Strange Happenings, things that people might have reported which could be connected.

There were lots of good pieces of information taken from the wordless text and some very creative ideas dreamed up by the children!

I was especially impressed with Philippa’s work. So here it is!

I was really impressed with her organisation of her work.

She has used great word choices to fit the style and purpose, as well as including loads of really good ideas for her to ‘investigate’ later.

Well done – I thought I would celebrate your work on here!

In this video David  Wiesner talks about how he was inspired to create his latest book – I think the art work is amazing!


I today’s literacy we played character’s from the book and some not from the book but from our imagination!

We used “Sound Recorder” in the ICT Suite to record the ‘Police Interviews’.

One person took on the role of the investigating detective and another, took on the role of the witness.

We were able then to collect them together as evidence for our case report that we will be writing later in the week.

There were all sorts of ‘interesting’ interviews, from the Sleeping Granny and The Man eating his supper, to fishermen, astronomers and even a recording from RAF radar stations (very creative Luke and Ben!)

Tomorrow we will look at changing the direct speech, in the recordings, to reported speech in the form of a Police Interview Report.

Mr W.

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Do you have what it takes to build a planet from scratch?

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 1, 2010

Planet 10 – World Builder

You get to decide everything about your new planet!

Gases  in the atmosphere, water, land, tilt of the planet, moons, rings, life from bacteria to humans!

Can you build a stable planet or are you building a planet doomed to destruction!?

You choose!

I have always liked this activity, and I find that adults and children alike enjoy it too!

Have fun and I hope your planet works out how you want it to!

There is also the chance to investigate our solar system too – find out about each of the planets. (I am not not sure if they still include Pluto as a planet now it has been reclassified)

Mr W.

Posted in A Bit of Fun, Learning Resources, Mr Watson's Updates, Science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

David Wiesner – The Art of Visual Storytelling

Posted by eastwoldblog on March 1, 2010

It is time for a new topic in Literacy.

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be looking at some of the work by the American author David Wiesner.

He writes his book in an unusual and I think really effective way!

We will be doing something unusual too! But I will save that for a surprise!

Here is some information about him.

From: Houghton Mifflin Books

Mr W.


David Wiesner

During David Wiesner’s formative years, the last images he saw before closing his eyes at night were the books, rockets, elephant heads, clocks, and magnifying glasses that decorated the wallpaper of his room. Perhaps it was this decor which awakened his creativity and gave it the dreamlike, imaginative quality so often found in his work.

As a child growing up in suburban New Jersey, Wiesner re-created his world daily in his imagination. His home and his neighborhood became anything from a faraway planet to a prehistoric jungle. When the everyday play stopped, he would follow his imaginary playmates into the pages of books, wandering among dinosaurs in the World Book Encyclopedia. The images before him generated a love of detail, an admiration for the creative process, and a curiosity about the hand behind the drawings.

In time, the young Wiesner began exploring the history of art, delving into the Renaissance at first — Michelangelo, Dürer, and da Vinci — then moving on to such surrealists as Magritte, de Chirico, and Dalí. As he got older, he would sit, inspired by these masters, at the oak drafting table his father had found for him and would construct new worlds on paper and create wordless comic books, such as Slop the Wonder Pig, and silent movies, like his kung fu vampire film The Saga of Butchula.

Wiesner has always been intrigued by and curious about what comes before and after the captured image. His books somehow convey the sequence of thoughts leading up to and following each picture, and that quality explain why they are frequently described as cinematic.

David Wiesner has illustrated more than twenty award-winning books for young readers. Two of the picture books he both wrote and illustrated became instant classics when they won the prestigious Caldecott Medal: Tuesday in 1992 and The Three Pigs in 2002. Two of his other titles, Sector 7 and Free Fall, are Caldecott Honor Books. An exhibit of Wiesner’s original artwork, “Seeing the Story,” toured the United States in 2000 and 2001. Among his many honors, Wiesner holds the Japan Picture Book Award for Tuesday, the Prix Sorcières (the French equivalent of the Caldecott Medal) for The Three Pigs, and a 2004 IBBY Honour Book nomination for illustration, also for The Three Pigs. Flotsam, his most recent work, was a New York Times bestseller and was recently named winner of the 2007 Caldecott Medal, making Wiesner only the second person in the award’s long history to have won three times.

Wiesner lives with his wife and their son and daughter in the Philadelphia area, where he continues to create dreamlike and inventive images for books.

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