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321 Go!

  1. Published by YDance (Scottish Youth Dance)

  2. KS1 (Years 1 & 2)

  3. PE

KS1 Content Evaluation by Terry Holmes

321 Go! is a multimedia application designed to be used by teachers and youth workers training children aged 4-7 in dance activities. There are seven discrete sections, each dealing with a different topic. The program does not need to be installed and works directly from the CD-ROM.

Supporting Documentation
The software comes with a Help section and help and advice are available from a link to the Scottish Youth Dance website. There is also a link to contact the publishers by email for feedback or requests for help.

Technical Support
The program is very user-friendly and does not really require any added instructions, further tutorial or introduction beside the information provided on the disc. Technical tips and information are available on the CD-ROM. There is also a technical support email address and website.

Curriculum Relevance
Purpose of the Program
The program is intended to allow teachers to create lesson plans and provides hints and tips for teaching, ideas for warm-ups and games. A section entitled 'Gorf's Groove Machine' enables children to make music and there are music tracks to use during dance activities. The CD-ROM is aimed at improving and/or developing dance skills and making music for 4 to 7-year-olds.
The program covers the National Curriculum areas of Knowledge, skills and understanding of Music through the following:
1)Controlling sounds through singing and playing – performing skills, rehearse and perform with others (for example, starting and finishing together, keeping to a steady pulse).
2)Creating and developing musical ideas – composing skills
a. create musical patterns
b. explore, choose and organise sounds and musical ideas
3)Responding and reviewing – appraising skills; explore and express their ideas and feelings about music using movement, dance and expressive and musical language
a. make improvements to their own work.
4)Listening, and applying knowledge and understanding music is used for particular purposes
Breadth of study during the Key Stage, pupils should be taught the Knowledge, skills and understanding through: a. a range of musical activities that integrate performing, composing and appraising.

The CD-ROM comprises seven sections. 'Warm Up' shows the children how to move safely and warm up individual parts of the body. The 'Workshops' include five individual themes with video examples. The 'Games' section contains four games with useful notes and tips, some of which are related to the workshop themes. I found the 'Notes' which contain hints and advice particularly useful, and it is possible to print these notes to use as an aid during lessons. 'Gorf's Groove Machine' is designed to let the children have some hands-on experience of creating their own dance tunes and is very easy and fun to use. The 'Video' examples give the teacher and the children something to look at in order to stimulate ideas of their own. Finally, the 'Images' are useful to show in order to create a starting point for starting or ending a dance sequence. The program also includes nine pieces of original music to use in dance sessions.

Analysis of Contents
The content and visuals are appropriate for the purpose they are designed for.The pictures are very simple and are unambiguous.

The quality of the images and sound are good. The animations are of a high standard. The pictures could not really be said to support inclusion as there are no representations of ethnic monorities and/or those with disabilities.

Children with special needs are not specifically catered for in either the pictures or the videos. However, the ideas throughout are good and many of the activities would be suitable for encouraging children with specific needs relating to behaviour and attention. I thought it was a shame that no children from ethnic groups or children with physical disabilities were shown on any of the pictures. Many of the ideas are really good and could be adapted with a little thought.

A really useful item of software designed to allow children aged between 4 and 7 to develop and improve their dance skills. It is especially good for those who need fresh ideas for dance lessons. The program is presented by 'Gorf' (the dancing frog) who shows children how to do safe warm-ups and make music with his 'Groove Machine'.321 Go! includes seven original pieces of music which can be used for classroom activities and performances. These are not copyrighted and are free to use. The CD-ROM can be played on a standard audio CD player (or from the PC if you have a sound system) to hear the music tracks. I would recommend this software to anyone who, like myself, could use fresh ideas for dance lessons!

KS1 Classroom Evaluation by Samantha Colledge

Installation & Access
The clear instructions enabled me to easily install the software directly onto my laptop. The software was also quickly and easily installed onto the school's computer network by the technician. It was possible to uninstall the program using the Add/remove programs icon in the control panel. There were no issues in relation to the program's speed or screen resolution. All the pictures were clear and at no time did we have to wait for a task to load as access was immediate.

Planning Classroom Use
What This Product Offers
The program gave the children an opportunity to see short demonstrations of each warm-up activity performed correctly before they copied them. This helped them to create their own warm-ups for the class to follow. The program offered a range of facilities that could be found elsewhere, e.g. music, video clips and pictures. However, the advantage of this program is that children are able to connect these different features, through specific PE-based topics.

Purpose of Using This Product
The program focuses on the physical education area of dance and contains a variety of dance themes. We chose to focus on the music of the 'Carnival of the Animals' and also on the children creating their own warm-ups.

The focus of my teaching objectives in the main part of the PE lesson were to use movement imaginatively, to respond to a stimulus (the Carnival of the Animals music), and to encourage the children to change the rhythm, speed, level and direction of their movement. The teaching objective of the warm-up sections was to repeat simple skills and actions with increasing control and coordination. The ICT objectives were to gather and retrieve information, to try things out and to explore what happens in real and imaginary situations.

It was possible to achieve all these objectives by using this program. The PE objectives were achieved by using the Carnival of the Animals music and the video footage of other children completing this work, both of which are found in the program. The ICT objectives were completed when the children created their own warm-up sequences, using the program to find different examples of warm-ups for all parts of the body.

The key questions I put to the children related to how many warm-up activities would be needed to warm up all parts of the body. They had to look at a variety of sections in order to answer this question. The children were asked to find out as much as they could about the different animals they could use in the dance and how they moved. Again, this ensured the children searched the video, pictoral and map footage available on the program.

The children were focused as they had been given a set of tasks to do when using the program – to create an all over body warm-up and to modify their own Carnival of the Animals dance by exploring other movements from the examples given.
There was very little differentiation offered by the program. The screen can be made bigger which would be useful for the visually impaired child, although once the screen has been made larger there is no icon that can be clicked to reduce it back to the standard size; this has to be done using the Escape key.

Classroom Experience
Classroom Organisation
The title was originally used as part of an ICT lesson to give children a chance to explore the CD-ROM. Initially the children and I went through the different aspects of the program while we were in the ICT suite. The children then explored the program in pairs. The second lesson was more focused and the class were given a specific task to create their own short warm-up. Their warm-up had to focus on each part of the body to ensure a well-rounded warm-up. In the first lesson we allowed the children to use headphones as music was available for the warm-up section. In the second lesson we turned the sound down although if a child wanted to hear something they had the option to use headphones.

We then used the school's new digital projector to show and perform the children's warm-ups (we now have enough warm-ups for 15 lessons!). We listened to the music from the Carnival of the Animals and tried our own movements. During the next ICT lesson the children watched the video of the children showing their different movements and the class were asked to write down the interesting things they saw. They also looked at the workshop section which featured a world map showing different animals. Because PE followed straight after the ICT lesson, the children were able to immediately use this information.

Context of Use
Before the program was introduced to the class I previewed the program and chose the Carnival of the Animals as our focus for the lessons. The context was set by the fact that we were also doing animals as our Science topic for the term. I used the program to blend our ICT and PE lessons more closely together. To follow up the lessons the children explored the animals more closely by using an encyclopaedia program we have at school.

Ease of Use - Design & Navigation
The title was used as part of the ICT lesson for children to explore the CD-ROM and gain greater mouse skills. They initially were shown the program as a whole class and then worked with their computer partner to explore more independently. Once the children had had the class discussion most were able to use the software independently with a minimum of support. Some children still needed support due to their lower ability and SEN status.

Children are partnered by choosing one child who has a better reading ability than the other. This was useful as the children needed to be able to read the different parts of the body that the warm-up was showing and also what type of activity they could do for that part of the body. It would be more useful if only the parts of the body being demonstrated were labelled, rather than the whole body. This would especially help children with poorer reading skills.

All the children working on the computers were using headphones. When the children were designing their warm-up sequences it was more important that they recorded their designs on paper rather than listening to the music. Sound, therefore, was not really necessary once the children had listened to it once.

Monitoring & Assessment
The children's progress was monitored by observation and discussion with the children when they used the program on the computers and in the improvements they made in their movements during the subsequent PE lessons. There were no facilities on the program to monitor children's work or what parts they had visited. The outcome I was hoping for was an improvement in the children's movement to the music of Carnival of the Animals.

Feedback from Pupils and Other Staff
Pupil comments:"Gorf's really funny to watch.""His dancing is really cool.""I liked watching the other children, I got really good ideas."

Other staff:"I never would have thought about using ICT in PE lessons – a really good idea. Especially since we have our ICT suite next door to the hall and we do ICT then PE during lessons."

Ease of Use
The program is easy to load and start using. The most children have to be able to do is use the mouse to point and click on what they want to use. The icons used in the program could be improved, for example, in the warm-up section all the different parts of the body have the same icon and children have to rely on their reading skills to locate what they need.

Classroom Experience
The program was used with a class of 30 Year 1 children in both their ICT and PE lessons. The children used it to create their own warm-ups for the class to use at the beginning of the PE lessons and these were displayed using a digital projector. They also used it to hear the music from the Carnival of the Animals and to create their own animal movements. The children improved on these movements by exploring what other children did through the video clips provided and by finding more animals in the activity section.