Britain’s Got Talent 2015 Week 3 round-up

I did a quick round-up of week 1’s audition amongst another post, which you can find here. For week 2, click here.

NB: This post gives a quick explanation of the golden buzzer. Remember too that this is just my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the view of the act or ITV/ Britain’s Got Talent. If you haven’t seen the acts below I’m sure you can find them on ITV’s website, or the app if you are in the UK, if not use that trusty search engine (looks a bit like the word goggle) to see if you can find videos of them. 


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What acts are noteworthy for me tonight? Here they come: 

Lisa Sampson – a very smiley, bubbly hula hooper. I never once noted a mistake in her routine, she obviously has come along way, as she told the judges that one day she picked up her daughter’s hula hoop to have a go and broke furniture. At one point it looked like she had a slinky around her. Lisa has a natural stage presence. She got a standing ovation from the crowd and judges. David saying “relentlessly entertaining” sums it up.

Isaac Waddington – an amazing piano player and singer. The camera a few times showed in the audience Isaac’s little brother watching his performance, and he had tears streaming down his face. No wonder, as his brother was doing so well the audience was silent, leading to a standing ovation once Isaac had finished with each judge saying yes.

IMD Legion –  a dance crew. The minute they started it was easy enough to see the quality was on par with Diversity (dance group who won BGT 2009). A group of 9-17 (or 18, can’t remember which) year olds who let their youthful energy fill the stage in a action packed routine. They even have in their dance crew, from last year’s BGT, Lauren & Terrell.

Revelation Avenue – a singing group who sang “Roar” by Katy Perry and got Amanda’s golden buzzer.

So another week of auditions over. Did you enjoy tonight’s show? Do you agree with my comments? Let me know your thoughts below and thank you for reading.



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Learning Logs

Bambi’s class now, like the older children’s classes in his school, does learning log homework and has been since the start of this year. If you’re like me you may well be saying “What is a learning log?” and “Is it a good idea for homework?”.

In short the answer to the latter is yes and no. I’m guessing for those who came across this post, while trying to find out what their child’s homework is all about and if it is a good technique for teachers to use, my answer of yes and no is maybe a teensy bit annoying. Sorry. I will however explain to the best of my knowledge about this homework technique and why it is good and bad, though to be honest it is mainly good.

Rather than assign a task and specify the ins and outs of how it is to be complete with a one-size-fits-all attitude, learning logs allow individuality and to accommodate different learning styles, abilities and levels. For example, one consistent feature of Bambi’s learning log homework is English. The teacher has a print-out of some of the common words they have been learning to spell and write that week or phonetic sounds, and encourages the children to learn them at home, and make at least one copy of each of the words or some words that contain the phonetic sound. Now they could simply write them out in their black pencil and have ‘done’ their homework, but the teacher also lists some other ideas they could do and encourages the parents and children to also come up with ideas and then use them in the learning log. For the example of the English common words, she suggests things like writing the words in coloured pencils, maybe a different colour for each word, or use cut-outs from magazines etc to spell the words (note: every time I read that when doing Bambi’s homework with him, I can’t help but have the mental image of mini hostages showing their ransom notes to their teacher). Bambi has been struggling a bit with writing the words as his hands get very tired and he lacks some co-ordination/ fine motor skills (thankfully this was picked up early when he started school and he was taken out of class, along with a few others who were struggling, a couple of times a week for some work on their fine motor skills). With Bambi struggling to write and seeing the way he was beginning to resent homework I came up with some creative ways for him to do homework. I suggest something to Bambi and if he wants to do fine, if not it’s okay, after all this is his learning log and he can do as little to meet the requirements that week or as much as he wants. (That is one of the good and bad things about learning logs – doing a little or a lot. If a child does the best he can but it is just a little that’s great but if he does a little to just meet the requirements of the task but has the capability to do more but just can’t be bothered then that’s where the bad part of this style of homework comes in.)

Some ideas I have came up with for Bambi’s learning log were, using fridge magnets to spell out some words that had the sounds he was working on that week, for example we came up with the word photo for the ‘ph’ sound. I let him set up the magnets on the fridge, I took a photo of the words he made on my iPad then went and printed it off and included it in his learning log for that week. Another idea was when he was asked to make sentences with the common words, he just put all the words he had that week in a one big list. He couldn’t grasp the concept of making a sentence out of those words. I recalled that before going to school Bambi used his imagination. A lot. Bambi could tell such convincing stories others would believe they were real. Once he told his ‘nursery ladies’ (the staff at the nursery/pre-school he went to and where Cinderella still goes) mummy and daddy took Cinderella and me out in the car. (Note: some parts I can’t quite remember but am doing my best to retell this story) We were driving really fast and the car fell down into a river. The car went under water and mummy and daddy had to get out the car and they struggled to get the door open to get out me and Cinderella. I was scared but mummy and daddy got us out the car (Note: he had the staff all really worried and fussing over him by this time and they were even more concerned as Cinderella was only about 4 months old at the time but he made them realise in the next line that this story was just that, a story) and then the sharks came and tried to eat us. Yeah the sharks was his downfall in his convincing story. Anyway I reminded Bambi how much I loved his stories and asked if he could make one up, but he had to include at least one of the words from his homework list. He readily agreed and it became a bit of a feature of his learning log for a while. I’d remind him which words he could use, then recorded him telling a story on my iPad, I’d spend about 5 minutes playing then pausing then writing what he had said until I got the whole story down on paper, sometimes he’d write one of the sentences he had made other times I ended up copying the whole story myself into his learning log, while he went and watched TV because he was finished homework. Still I was happy I’d helped my nephew to overcome a challenge in his homework, even if I was doing quite a bit of it for him. On a side note, I also love the quality time we spend together doing his homework and it results in our bond deepening.

So all the above was just for a small section of English homework, but hopefully you can see how the principle is applied to various topics and age groups. I think in a world were we now know more about learning difficulties and how people can having different learning styles, such as some people are verbal learners (they learn from what they hear and read so a teacher at the front of the class talking about the subject would help them learn), others are visual learners (give them graphs and pictures etc and they will learn) and there is a few more type of learners and some might learn in a combination of styles. My point though was with what we now know I think learning logs are a good idea as it allows the child to do homework in a way that is going to be best for him/her. Learning logs also allow for creativity and if it is fun they are more likely to remember what they are being taught. I often think I didn’t take much in of school as it was often a teacher at front of class discussing something, and as willing as I was to particpate (I loved putting my hand up trying to answer questions even if I got it wrong), what I’d been taught wouldn’t stick around for long in my mind, why? Because I wasn’t much of a verbal learner. If I’d had learning log homework when I was in school I’d probably have remembered more as I would have be able to tackle the homework and school work in a way that was fun and that fitted in with my learning style. In summary if your kid is getting learning log homework I think it will be good for them as it is flexible and easy to adapt for your child’s needs and learning style. 

For the first time I’m more positive, because if Bambi (and Cinderella once she starts school) gets learning log homework for the majority of their school life then learning will be fun for them and they are bound to remember more of what they learned. I think teachers have found the point where learning and fun meet.

  

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

I hope if you came across this post as you were trying to understand learning log homework that I’ve helped explain it a bit for you. If not feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer, but I’m not any teacher etc to explain it properly it would be based upon what I’ve read and researched and my experiences with helping my nephew do his homework. Feel free to leave a comment.

P.s. I’m happy I’m finally publishing this post as I started it back on 21st of January, but in some ways I’m glad I hadn’t finished it until now as when I first started it Bambi had only had a few learning log tasks. Whereas now he’s had well over 10, I have had more experiences of learning log homework to be able to share to help explain learning logs. If you want to find out more about me read more posts here.

Britain’s Got Talent 2015 Week 2 round-up

I did a quick round-up of week 1’s audition amongst another post, which you can find here.

NB: This post gives a quick explanation of the golden buzzer. Remember too that this is just my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the view of the act or ITV/ Britain’s Got Talent. If you haven’t seen the acts below I’m sure you can find them on ITV’s website, or the app if you are in the UK, if not use that trusty search engine (looks a bit like the word goggle) to see if you can find videos of them. 

  

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tonight my stand-out acts were: 

Boyband – a group of 5 male dancers, not singers as their name may suggest and they had a lot of energy. Once again I found I wasn’t excited by them but just like last week when Simon hit his buzzer for Calum Scott, Ant and Dec must have been excited because Boyband are Ant and Dec’s golden buzzer act this year.

Becky O’Brien – a wonderful singer. Before she began singing we got a bit of her life story, she shared that she is a single mum to 5 kids, including premature twins which meant she had be putting their life first. She escaped an abusive marriage. It was her eldest child Jack, who is 11 years old, at the end of last year’s BGT told his mum to audition and said “why don’t you show Simon how it is done?”. Even without her back story I’d love her, as she is a true natural singer. You should definitely try to hear her singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow. All through her performance I kept thinking what or who is she reminding me of, and I think Alesha got it right when she commented “Your voice, it’s like it’s from a different era”. I think Simon’s comment summed up her performance though with a simple “Wow”. I’m not surprised she got a yes from each judge but I am surprised she did not get the golden buzzer.

Jeffrey Drayton – Jeffrey describes himself as a magical entertainer. I’d personally call him a comedian. He’s one of those people who has a talent for making others laugh while being oblivious that what he is doing or saying is hilarious. Jeffrey was on roller skates and had a puppet through which he did such awfully bad ventriloquism it was actually very entertaining. He had Ant and Dec select a card before he went on stage then they had to throw a pack of cards containing the one they selected in the air as he shot the puppet out of a canon. If you’re struggling to understand what I just typed as it seems bizarre, don’t worry, it was the bizarreness of the act that if you get the chance to watch will, am sure, make you love it too.

Well that’s another week of auditions over. Did you love this week? What acts did you enjoy? I’d be very happy to read your thoughts, so go ahead and comment and thanks for reading this post.

So much to write

I have more than enough to write about, yet I don’t seem to write about it. Mainly I guess it’s the effort of forming the words, editing a post, etc which is a lot for me (yes I will write about my illness, some day, not sure when, which will hopefully explain all). So there you go an example of material for at least one post, my illness, another is I’ve been meaning to provide a 3D shapes pack for preschoolers, I have another post started a couple of months ago about Bambi and plenty more to write about.

One thing which is fairly easy for me to do is blog about BGT, as I have a sort of template from last year’s Britains Got Talent. Yes it’s back. I hadn’t realised until the day it came on TV, I mean I knew it was coming up I just hadn’t known how soon. It started back on Saturday (11/4/15) and a lot of my family including me were away for a weekend break with the kids. The place we were staying was a holiday park that has caravans to rent, places to pitch tents/ caravans/ motorhomes etc and had a kind of clubhouse on site that had things like a swimming pool, soft play area, arcade games, a bar, a restaurant etc. When I was a kid we went to these type of caravan parks at least once a year and I loved the clubhouses on site (it was a chain of caravan sites owned by same company so similar set-ups at each site). The kids seemed to love it too which am glad about, that said it could just be that they loved their time away with family that took up 3 caravans, meaning lots of places to run up and down and play hide and seek lol.

  
Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Anyway in the restaurant at the clubhouse they provided free wifi, but I never went there (on the last night the rest of the family did but I was on dog-sitting duty for 3 dogs- my dog and both of my brothers dogs). As I had no internet access expect via data on my phone (which I only used to check emails etc as the connection was poor) I couldn’t blog about BGT. I would then have blogged when I got back but alas my illness combined with a cold (I’m sniffling and coughing as I type) meant I didn’t, but ahead of this Saturday’s BGT episode I wanted to mention the couple of acts I did enjoy. I don’t know if it was just last Saturday’s episode line-up or if it’s going to be the standard for this year’s BGT but the general standard of acts was bad. Last year per episode I was able to find 3-5 acts I enjoyed but not so far this year, oh well.

 
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 NB: This post gives a quick explanation of the golden buzzer. Remember too that this is just my opinion and does not necessarily reflect the view of the act or ITV/ Britain’s Got Talent. If you haven’t seen the acts below I’m sure you can find them on ITV’s website, or the app if you are in the UK, if not use that trusty search engine (looks a bit like the word goggle) to see if you can find videos of them. 

On Saturday my stand-out acts were: 

Billy and Emily England a dancing brother and sister act. They danced on roller skates and reminded me a lot of figure skating, they even did a version of the head banger. You then hear Dec saying “I don’t like it. Make it stop.” as he squirms and looks the other way. They definitely have a talent for dancing on roller skates, but sadly they are giving the judges and viewers heart failure from some of their moves.

One man & his dog was a dog act. The owner, David, claimed Max could sing and the act was comparable to Ashleigh and Pudsey (the dog act that won BGT 2012). In fact he said they had been doing this act for 5 years. We will never know whether this act was great though, unless they come back next year as the dog had his own agenda. What was his agenda I hear you wonder, and quite simply it was growling and barking at the co-host Ant. I’m sorry Ant if you’re reading this but I couldn’t stop laughing, every time David tried to talk about the act to Ant, Max voiced his dislike. When David did get in front of the judges, and tried to start his act Max ran off the stage to again voice his opinions of Ant and kept doing so, again cue my laughter. The first time he ran off what made it more funny was Dec saying “Ant it’s coming for you”. If you do get the chance to see this I’m sure you won’t be disappointed and will indeed laugh as well.

Calum Scott was a singer who auditioned straight after his sister who did not get through. I think he was good but not great, but Simon must disagree with me. Why do I say that? Simon hit the golden buzzer.

So did you enjoy the return of BGT? Do you think standards have slipped a little? Do you agree with my opinions? Or are you just glad to see that I’m blogging again, or not as the case may be?