Friday, 18 June 2010

Purple Mash - Online tools from 2Simple

(First of all my apologies for my lack of posts recently, writing reports has taken over for the past couple of weeks but I have found lots of great things to tell you about so keep checking back!)

This is a site I've known about for a while and wasn't really convinced until I saw a demonstration of some of the tools. 'Purple Mash' is the online cousin of the 2Simple software you may have in school. Most of the content you will need to subscribe to but as a KS2 teacher I think the most valuable bit of this site is free!

2Publish Projects gives a variety of templates to support writing. Examples include: A factfile about one of Henry VIII's wives, letter from an evacuee, describe a fairground ride, weather report... The list is vast! I was told at the demo I went to that some of this content was exclusively for subscribers but I've not yet found a project I couldn't access and more are being added regualrly. The great thing is children can access it from home too.

Each project starts with a prompt, this can be a picture, text examples or video clip to give children a flavour for the task. In every project there is a space to add a picture and a bank of appropriate photographs and clipart images to create an image as well as basic drawing tools. What I really like is the prompt box which gives children some ideas as to what to write about as well as a sentence opener (not the most imaginative sentence openers ever but a useful start for lower ability). I would definately use this for my less able children a fantastic support framework. With my SATs head on also great for practicing short writing tasks. 

Down sides: 
As a free user you are not given the option to print your finished work. You can, however, save it as an image file (PNG) which you could then upload to a learning platform or insert into a Word doc for printing.
You can't save your work for editing later which is a shame, I would think you can with the full license but as a freebie you wouldn't expect to be able to do that anyway.
I dont' know how long they'll let you continue to use these fantastic resources for free, before they clock on that this is probably the most valuable part of the tools (for KS2 anyway!) so take advantage while it lasts!