QuadBlogging with 4 year olds

Quadblogging in Foundation Stage
Hi I’m Nicola Fitzpatrick and I am very giddy about writing a guest blog for Quadblogging.net!
So a bit about me and my school. I have been teaching 17 years and currently lead a very busy early years unit for 3-5 year olds at Athersley South Primary in Barnsley. Our school has 300 on roll and serves a very deprived area. A large majority of our children come to school working below national expectations, especially in literacy.

Almost 2 years ago now our school looked at developing it’s own website and our amazing ICT co-ordinator (Vanessa Johnston) had the huge job of dragging all of our teacher bottoms into ipad territory! My Journey began there, so determined was I not to be left behind by the ‘young’ ones that I set about improving my techknowhow!

After putting off the inevitable (plus I am so nosey I just had to check it out) I finally joined Twitter. I watched for a bit, made a few political tweets, laughed at a few celebs and then started to follow the odd teacher. I clicked on Deputy Mitchell one day (mainly because I liked the pic of his funky pink glasses)
I read all about Quadblogging and thought I might sign up to see what happened.

At this point we had only been blogging as a school for a few weeks. So imagine my horror when I read on Twitter that Quad96 was now live and I was the co-ordinator! I am so glad I was thrown in at the deep end that night on Twitter, because what a journey I have had.

I told my class all about it the next day and informed them I was a bit worried. They loved this and immediately offered to help. They had great suggestions about what we could put on to our blog to share with our new friends.
We got more adventurous, finding new apps to help us present our work. Our 4 and 5 year olds began to think enthusiastically about the wider world, they asked questions about other countries, they wanted to listen to other languages, have a go at doing the register in new languages (so they could say Hi to new friends)

Quadblogging led to an amazing ‘Around The World’ topic. The children wanted to know more and more about their new friends, “let’s google it” and “let’s blog it” are phrases you hear a lot in our setting and both have become intregal parts of our daily practice.
Our children know the world is a huge place and that we can use the computer to talk to friends who live far away. We use Twitter too and they will tell you that the little bird will take small messages to our friends.
“I think we should send them a Tweet Mrs Fitzpatrick” is also something you will hear a lot from my class.
Mostly, they love to show off! They have really responded to a wider audience and the chance to share their explorations, discoveries, play and learning with other children globally has had a massive impact.
They are confident, active and enquiring learners and they want to find out what other little bloggers do at their school. We are even meeting the teacher that we blog with from Australia this summer- amazing!

Quadblogging has led to other connections and we are now part of early years projects in America and Canada (our class bear is currently in NJ, then he visits Ontario- a whole other story) These connections have had huge benefits for me. I get to share best practice with teachers globally and my ‘techknowhow’ is now fit for 2013!
Would I recommend Quadblogging in the EYFS?
YES,YES,YES! sign up now and start your journey.
Our journey has been incredible and gets better with each new connection, friend and project we discover.
So thanks David, so glad I spotted the pink shades 🙂
Nicola Fitzpatrick
@blamehound
http://foundation.athersleysouthprimary.net

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