At Beechview we have a strategy to develop children's understanding and use of IT. We use IT as a primary support for learning in the classroom as well as a resource for home learning. Our main platform for this learning is Google Classrooms. Teachers often plan lessons using google classrooms, and we endeavour to support our children to become confident users of this widely available platform. In the event that a child needs to stay at home for a prolonged period of time, we will often use one or more of our digital platforms. These include two that are focused on mathematics: Times Tables Rockstars and Mathletics. For developing computing skills, including programming, we use Purple Mash, and to support children's spelling skills we use Spelling Shed. All of these are used in all year groups by every child on a regular basis, and they might also be used to assign home learning. Other platforms, such as the Learning Village and Nessy are used to support individual learning needs. If a teacher uses any of these to support your child's learning we will send you additional information about the specific resource.
Here is a useful guide for parents on how to use Google Classrooms:
Times Tables Rockstars
A Parent's Guide to Times Tables Rockstars
Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help your child/children to master the times tables!
To be a Times Table Rock Star you need to answer any multiplication fact up to 12×12 in less than 3 seconds!
The goal is for all participating rockers to be Times Table Rock Stars after 20 weeks!
Message to Parents
World famous rock musicians are the best at what they do because they've spent hours practising guitar chords, writing music or playing on the drums. It's just the same with times tables – all Times Table Rock Stars need to practise and practise and practise. It's absolutely essential that your child does a little bit of times table practice every night. In our experience, short bursts of practise on a daily basis are more effective than spending hours once a week.
And this is where you come in. For your child to be fully motivated and for them to get the best out of the practice, they need your help - your praise, reminders and support will help your child feel confident and motivated.
Over the course of the next few weeks and months, your child WILL get faster and more accurate with the times tables. All your hard work and theirs WILL make them a Times Table Rock Star!
It’s helpful to understand that the quicker your child can answer a times tables question, the higher their Rock Status. Use this list as a guide to help your child work out their Rock Status:
≤ 1 sec/question = Rock God
≤ 2 secs/question = Rock Legend
≤ 3 secs/question = Rock Star
≤ 4 sec question = Headliner
≤ 5 secs/ question = Support Act
≤ 6 secs/ question = Breakthrough Artist
≤ 7 secs/ question = Unsigned Act
≤ 8 secs/ question = Gigger
≤ 9 secs/ question = Busker
≤ 10 secs/ question = Garage Rocker
> 10 secs/ question = Wannabe
Garage - the questions will only come from the times tables the teacher has set for the week. As pupils start to answer questions, TT Rock Stars works out which facts they take longer on and will give them more of these questions to answer. The Garage is best for getting quicker at a few facts. Players get 10 coins per question.
Studio - the questions in the Studio can be anything from 2x2 up to 12x12.
TT Rock Stars calculates each the mean speed from their last 10 games in the Studio and translates into a Rock Status:
Under 1 second per question to become a Rock God
Under 2 seconds per question to become a Rock Legend
Under 3 seconds per question to become a Rock Star
Over 3 seconds is a Busker
They earn 1 coin per question and the Studio is the place for them to set their best time across all the tables.
Rock Arena - The Arena allows players to compete against all other members of their Band (their Bandmates would need to join the same game in order to compete together). A new Arena game starts every 15 seconds and once the clock starts they race to answer more questions than the others. In the Arena, questions will only come from the times tables the teacher has set for the week, similar to the Garage. They earn 1 coin per correct answer.
Rock Festival - The Rock Festival games are open to players from around the world. Like the Arena, there is no limit to the number of players who can join a game; however, unlike the Arena, questions are selected at random from 2x2 to 12x12. Pupils might choose the Rock Festival if they were playing at home (and therefore couldn't easily synchronise playing against a classmate) or wanted to compete against others not in their Band. They earn 1 coin per correct answer.
A Parent’s Guide
Mathletics is helping children at Beechview to enjoy maths and increase their breadth and depth of mathematical understanding. Mathletics has many aspects from quick fire calculations, times table music videos and interactive tutorials in line with the maths topics covered in the primary curriculum. This page will show you how you can support your child in using Mathletics at home.
All children in year 3-6 have access to Mathletics through their own username and password. This gives them access to all the mathematical games, resources and activities. If your child does not have a username and password please contact the class teacher who can organise setting one up for them. Mathletics activities may occasionally be used as exercises in school. In the curriculum maps displayed on the school website you will be able to see what is being covered in maths in school to best choose activities to play together at home.
Throughout Key Stage 2 Mathletics activities may be set by the class teacher for homework. Once logged on, your child will not have access to all the games and activities until the given homework activities have been completed. It is important that children do their best in these activities as the scores are stored and can be viewed by the class teacher. For children who do not have access to the internet at home, the school will provide photocopied resources, as well as opportunities to use the web based resources in school. Please contact the class teacher for details.
Mathletics also requires a modern browser and an up-to-date version of flash player (free from Adobe). Full technical specifications are on the Mathletics website. A Mathletics app can also be downloaded, but at the present time does not seem to have the full functionality of the website. One tip when navigating the website is to avoid pressing your browser’s ‘back’ button. Rather use Mathletics’ own buttons within the webpage.
Parents’ user guide
We use Purple Mash to support your child’s learning of computing. It covers a whole range of knowledge and skills, as can be seen from their website: www.purplemash.com
Your child’s teacher will often set tasks as a ‘2Do’ to be completed. This work can be accessed by logging on to their Purple Mash account. These are activities and tasks which your child can access either via the notification bell or by clicking the red 2Do icon at the top of the screen. 2Dos can have a ‘due by’ date (specified by the teacher) which you will be able to see in the 2Do menu. After the due by date has passed, your child will not be able to complete or hand in their work if they haven’t already done so. Contact your child’s teacher if they need an extension on the due date.
There are a variety of activity types in Purple Mash for children to complete. Many of them require children to create things like pictures, written work, posters or design games etc. If these activities are set as 2Do for your child, when they start it, they can stop at any point and return to the 2Do menu and complete another time using the ‘continue work’ button. Once they are happy they are finished with their work, they can ‘hand in’. When they do this, they are prompted to leave their teacher a comment as to how well they got on. If they wish, they can record a voice message for their teacher to listen to, by selecting the red circle.
Some activities in Purple Mash have a different hand-in procedure. Quizzes, games and tests will automatically be handed in once completed. Their teacher is notified of this and can view scores and other relevant information about how well each child got on with the task.
Your child needn’t worry about where to save their work when they complete a 2Do, it is stored in a temporary folder for their teacher to access, view and comment on work for the class collectively. When the teacher has finished checking all children’s work, they will “close” the 2Do and each pupil’s work gets sent to their Work folder, in a sub-folder named ‘Done 2Dos”.
For a guide for parents and carers on how to use Spelling Shed please click on the link