Guest post: Playing games online with my granddaughter

Guest post: Playing games online with my granddaughter

This post was written by retired Headteacher Linda Rafferty.

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I haven’t seen my six year old granddaughter, who lives in Beijing, for over three years but at the beginning of China’s lockdown in January 2019, I would regularly devise short teaching videos for her based on the early stages of literacy and numeracy. This was fine at the time but it didn’t allow the personal interaction that was needed for her learning.

Then along came the HUE HD Pro Visualiser! What a superb piece of equipment – easy to use with an ability to get up close using its flexible neck. My granddaughter thought it was great! As a result, our weekly ‘Zoom’ story sharing sessions have allowed us to talk in a more meaningful way about the detail of the pictures and for her to follow simple text in English, especially helpful as her first language is Mandarin.

This has helped in preparation for her return to the UK and a new school system. Being able to use the camera is so much better than holding the book in front of the screen, though I did become quite proficient in reading upside down!

The HUE visualiser is also perfect for playing games; some homemade but also those classics such as ‘Snakes & Ladders‘. Fun games such as ‘Kim’s Game‘ or ‘My Auntie went to the shops and bought‘ proved to be very enjoyable as my granddaughter and I would fill up our shopping baskets to see who could remember the most items. Another favourite was placing a dice under one of three cups and then moving the cups around to find the final location of the dice. My granddaughter used her visual skills very well and it was very difficult to catch her out!

I am helping to develop her mathematical vocabulary (so hard for bilingual learners) by using pictures and objects to show positional language; looking at pattern sequences by drawing the shapes; and learning about analogue and digital time. We have been using simple number lines and 100 squares to support the KS1 curriculum and I have been able to demonstrate the techniques for addition and subtraction in a fun way. I can also teach her early phonics using pictures, letters and sounds to show the importance of blending phonemes.

As we both love art, and my granddaughter is very good at drawing, I can use the camera to share our work or draw pictures of each other. Only when we say ‘1, 2, 3… show!’ is it clear that my granddaughter’s art is so much better than mine!

As a retired headteacher, I can see the enormous benefits of using this camera in school settings and for home education. Whether in the classroom, or assemblies, or with meetings with parents and governors, it provides a very useful resource to demonstrate and interact with pupils and adults. It’s such a shame that it has arrived 20 years too late for me! 

UPDATE: Linda has recently been reunited with her granddaughter who is now settling in well at school in England.

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