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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Uplevelling Point System - Making Children Reflective Writers

After stumbling across the brilliant @deputymitchell's Punctuation points, I felt obliged to share a similar approach I have used with my classes for the past couple of years.

After a year or so of using Big Writing, I started to think about the whole writing process. It was advised that the next Big Writing session children should be given time to read back on their work, look at the comments and as a class decide on some “goal scorers.” This is a good way of revising but I felt it wasn't enough, also if it was a whole week or two later, the activity is long forgotten by the children. I am sure if you ask any author they will always say that the revising and editing part of writing is possibly the most important. But how can we teach this and instill a reflective approach in children? Timed writing sessions don’t provide this quality time to reflect on your writing. It led me to make a resource which I have found invaluable ever since.


I introduced the Uplevelling point system probably around 3 years ago. I have found it to be a clear and straightforward way to help children visualise and see the importance and need to check and edit their writing. Basically, it is a checklist of the following aspects - Big writing focuses on four main aspects of V-vocabulary, C – connectives, O – openers and P – punctuation. Along with this, I also have a Sentence of the Week, inspired by the great AlanPeat’s Writing Exciting sentences book. Each week we would focus on a different sentence of the week, usually it was picked depending on the text type. A ‘Noun, who/which/where,’ was a great one when focusing on Newspapers, Imagine 3 examples: was great for looking at story openers. After every new sentence of the week, it is added to the checklist.

Here is the checklist: 


I would edit the checklist to include exciting sentences that may fit that text type, rather than have all of them. You want to make sure children are not trying to force sentence types in, it is making sure they are choosing them for effect in their writing.

I wouldn't give the children the checklist as they did their initial writing lesson. If they finish I asked them to get a red pen and identify the VCOP and S for sentences of the week. This helped me see whether the children can actually identify what each aspect was.

After the lesson, came the part of this approach which was the most difficult. I made sure that I marked all the children’s work for the next day or at the latest the day after, I never left it longer than two days. This meant that the work was still fresh in the children’s minds.

The next lesson worked like this:

5 mins - Children are given their work back with my marking and comments. They then swap with their partners, read their work, magpie any words or phrases and leave their own comment using the two/three stars and a wish approach (3 stars – good aspects to the work, 1 wish – something that could be improved on.)

10 mins – Children are then given the uplevelling points sheet and with their partner, go through and count up their points. They discuss decisions with their partners, justify their reasons and total their scores which has to be verified by their partner. This sparks some really good discussions where children are having to talk using key vocabulary. When discussing the use of exciting sentences, the children really need to consider whether the sentence has been used correctly for effect, serving its purporse and not used for the sake of it. 
I then collect the children’s points.

10 mins – I, the teacher, then ask the children if I can use one of their examples. I put it under the visualiser and model how to edit and improve. I look at a sentence and decide whether I am happy with it or if I could change it to make it better. I look at the original sentence and see how many points it would get. I then improve it and recalculate the points this gives the children a clear visual image of how by using these techniques it improves their writing.

Here is an example-
Original Sentence:
The crowd of New York watch in giddiness at their famous superhero beating the bones or Metiorisa.
This sentence would get 6 points at a push – Capital letters, full stops and a couple of wow words.
Improved sentence:
Excited, astounded, stunned, the crowd of New York watch in awe at their famous Superhero punching, kicking and bending the bones of the dreaded Metiorisa.”
This sentence would get 15 points – 3 points for a 3_ed, 3 for each wow word in the 3_ed, 3 for the correct use of punctuation, 1 for in awe, 4 for punching, kicking and bending including the punctuation and 1 or 2 for the wow word dreaded.

Children can clearly see by the value of points how much their writing has improved. They see the impact carefully considering their work can be and are eager to have a go themselves. 

20mins – For the next part of the lesson, children have a go at improving some of their sentences. I do not ask them to change everything, I ask them to leave a sentence they are happy with or have scored a lot of points on and change sentences that they feel need more work. It makes the children more independent and has them reflecting on their work carefully. Children have access to dictionaries and thesauruses to help them select more interesting words.
For higher ability children who may find it difficult to change much of their work, I set other challenges such as lipograms – change sentences so that it doesn’t contain the letter “o” for example, or hendecasyllabic – every sentence must be 11 syllables.

Plenary – for the last part of the lesson I ask the children to look at their new sentences and total up their points, who has made the biggest increase?
I had special rewards which I gave to children for their initial writing, I did not reward the children who had the most points. I compared the points to their last piece of work and worked out who made the biggest improvement. This means that it isn't the same high achievers winning the prize, they are competing against themselves. I then also reward children who have made the biggest improvement in the editing lesson.

The children love these lessons, they love the competitive aspect of the point scoring and I purposefully use this to try and engage boys. I sit the children next to others I feel will get a positive reaction with. Sit a Manchester United fan next to a city fan and challenge them to get the most points for their team. The deputy and Literacy co-ordinator observed one of my lessons using the checklist and thought it was outstanding, she was impressed with how self reflective and conscious it made the children and the impact it had on their writing.
After a few months of using this approach, the children were finding it harder and harder to pick sentences to improve. They were becoming more conscious in their initial writing and therefore accumulating lots of points – it does work. Don’t believe me – try it yourself. 

Some examples of children's work and how it has been improved:


Original piece                                                    After reflection lesson


                       
Original piece                                               After reflection lesson


Saturday, 26 January 2013

Augmented Reality in the Classroom

READ MORE RECENT BLOG POSTS ABOUT AUGMENTED REALITY HERE!

Since beginning the iPad journey in our school, I have been dying to use some of the Augmented Reality apps available on the iPad. I didn't want to dive in and use it with no substance I wanted to make sure there was real potential to enhance the learning in the classroom. 

For those people who are not familiar with the term "Augmented Reality," here is a web definition:
"Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality."

If that is a little too technical, Augmented Reality is a way of using a picture, known as a trigger image, to generate a video, slideshow or computer generated graphic. It seems that technology moving forward will be using a lot of AR and here is google's next project proving the incredible potential with AR:


How can Augmented Reality be used in the classroom?


I am always looking for ways to inspire, motivate and engage children. Augmented Reality definitely provides the WOW factor in the classroom. The reaction of showing the a class some examples of AR was that of utter shock, amazement and complete awe. Children are fascinated to see how a picture they have drawn or made can transform into a video. They are perplexed by how it works and definitely enthralled by the sense of magic that AR provides.


mzi.xgxvkslb.175x175 75 Augmented Reality   Bringing our Writing to life!!!
Recently I have been doing a lot of literacy work with a group of Year 5 based on the app "Epic Citadel," this is a wonderful free app that allows the children to navigate around a dynamic fantasy setting which is the backdrop to the game Infinity Blade. Without characters and storyline, the app lends itself to the classroom as it provides the setting but allows children to use their imagination to add characters and a story line.
To begin with I wanted to let the children roam the app and generate descriptive language and make a word cloud that can be then referred to later for more writing. - See the word clouds made by the class.

The next lesson I used slow writing to help the children write an introduction to the setting of Epic Citadel. But I didn't just want it to be written in their books I wanted to bring their writing alive. I decided to use Aurasma to make this happen.

Firstly the children needed to make an overlay - the animation/video that will play once a trigger image has been scanned. So once the children had completed their writing, they narrated it over some screenshots of the app to create a short video using iMovie. Children opened the Epic Citadel app and used the home and lock button to take screenshots of different scenery and then recorded themselves reading their writing. Once they had exported this is was time to bring their video to life using Augmented Reality!
Using Aurasma, children can upload their overlay - (their iMovie narrations) and then choose a trigger image - we used the children's word clouds from the last lesson. The children were enthralled to see their writing come to life when they scanned their picture with the app. The Aurasma app allows you to create Auras and scan others, but you can also sign up for Aurasma Studio so that you can make Auras on your laptop or PC. To see the children's examples please follow the following steps:




  1. Download the app “Aurasma” onto your Smartphone.
  2. Open the app and press the A at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Click on the search option.
  4. Type in Davyhulme and click the option.
  5. Press like to subscribe to our Auras.
  6. Open the app and scan one of our pictures, if it doesn't work from your screen you may need to print the word clouds.
  7. Watch in awe the amazing descriptions of the fantastic world of Epic Citadel.
  8. Using Augmented Reality in the Classroom from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.
I was asked that when I work with Year 6 on a Thursday could I use the iPads to help the children prepare for the controversial SPAG test. I found a few apps to use which the children really enjoyed but the biggest reaction was when I used Augmented Reality for the children to demonstrate their understanding of using different punctuation marks and parts of a sentence - you can see the punctuation lesson and examples here or click here for the parts of a sentence lesson. I am planning something very similar next week with the other Year 6 class but focusing on different word types - Nouns, Verbs etc.

Aurasma is definitely an app with lots of potential. I am truly excited by the prospect of using this app right through the curriculum and in different Key Stages.
Some other ideas I have had are:
  • Making a truly interactive display, rather than putting up work with explanations from teachers, examples of work could be used to trigger video explanations from the children.
  • Cross curricular opportunities can be used to link writing with art or drama by using a picture of a story to reveal artwork linking to that story.
  • When looking at an example of a particular text type children can scan it to reveal the features used or more of an in depth analysis.
  • In Numeracy, teachers can make an aura showing a particular method for solving a calculation that children can scan to remind them.
  • Science/History/Geography topics can be truly brought to life. Rather than just using a book children can scan an image to reveal videos and images packed with much more interesting facts and information. A chemistry teacher could make a fully interactive periodic table where all the elements can be scanned to reveal more in depth information.
  • Lower down the school, to help children with initial words for reading, auras can be created to associate a word with a particular picture. They could scan numbers to reveal pictures of the number - for example - the number 3, scanned reveals 3 apples. Making learning much more visual and engaging. 
  • Assessment - AR could reduce so much paperwork if an aura was made for a child to show a recording of them reading, or working on a particular maths objective. You would be able to demonstrate that children can meet certain objectives. Imagine scanning a picture of a child with a leveling sheet to then reveal examples that back up your judgement as a teacher. 
  • I have also seen Christmas cards used to make Auras to attach a personal message from the children. See here
Here is an interesting video about how a school have been using Augemented Reality through Aurasma:


Other Augmented Reality Apps

Aurasma is definitely a great app for generating, sharing and scanning examples of AR, however there are other Augmented Reality apps that can really spark some creativity in the classroom.



String - This app provides a teacher with some awesome Augmented Reality that would be perfect as a stimulus in Literacy.
The app has four different trigger images that generate some superb examples of Augmented Reality such as:
  • An Alien
  • A Dragon
  • A trainer that can be customised
  • Free writing.
The Year 3 class at my current school are using Space as their topic this term. Last lesson I used a fotobooth to turn themselves into Aliens - See the lesson here. Then we used the Alien from the String app to inspire some creative writing to describe an alien that landed in our class. Using the slow writing technique the children made wrote some descriptions and used iMovie to make a short video - read more about this lesson here:




The almost magical aspect to Augmented Reality really fascinates the children. I used the same idea for the Dragon image to inspire children to make their own comics about a Dragon in the classroom. - Read more about the lesson here.


It could even be used to inspire some art work. The trainer that can be designed by the children could be a fantastic stimulus for persuasive writing. See the examples in this video:


First News + - First News, the popular children's newspaper, now boasts that it is the world's first fully interactive newspaper. Using AR children can scan certain articles to reveal more content through videos and pictures. Having used this already, the children love being able to learn more about a particular news story.



Zooburst - This app allows you to make a fully interactive 3D pop up book. Children can import characters, setting, pictures and add sound effects or record their own voices. Once a book has been made a special code is generated which uses Augmented Reality to generate your story by scanning the code.
There is a cost to sign up for full access of the Zooburst but their is plenty of potential for some fantastic writing opportunities.



Friday, 25 January 2013

Improving typing skills on the iPad

One of the hardest tasks I have found for the children when using the iPad, is getting used to typing on the iPad keyboard. From working with KS1, I wanted to really encourage the children to improve their typing skills in a fun and engaging way. In KS1, the children put their typing and spelling skills to the test by using two different apps to help them improve their use of a keyboard on the iPad. The children loved the challenge and the game aspect to these apps. We started with the Typing Bee app which is great with younger children as it has different levels of difficulty. You can go against a timer, play with a full keyboard or only highlight the letters that are in the word and focus on where they are on the keyboard. You can also vary the difficulty of the word. We started without a timer for children to get used to the app and then introduced the timer, the children relished the challenge and were completely focused on beating the clock before the timer ran out.
   

  The next app we used was "Typing Class for iPad," which again varies in difficulty but completely focuses more on improving your typing skills. It engages the children through games and challenges that range from letters, to capitals and then words. The only downside is that the 'z' key moves to a different place when playing the game. This didn't stop our class challenging themselves and learning where letters are on the iPad keyboard. By the end of the lesson we could clearly see that the children had built up their confidence and started to remember where certain letters were.

 

 Thanks to Mr Simon Haughton (@simonhaughton) and his school Parkfield Primary for the suggested activity.

For KS2, once the children are more confident using the keyboard they can then test their typing skills using the Ghost Typing app.

The app asks the children to type a given text against a clock and counts the letters typed correctly and also any mistakes made. Providing a target/score for the children to improve on each time. The app also allows you to create your own lessons, meaning it can be used as a more cross curricular tool. Information about any topic can be used while the children develop and perfect their typing skills.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Using popular iPad games as a stimulus in the classroom!


From the first moment I walked in the classroom with the class set of iPads, I was mithered by the class to play their favourite games, "Can we play Angry Birds? Can we play Temple Run?" they would plea. A carrot to dangle may have been my first thought. "If you finish your work you can have a go at the end," would be the response of most, but what if these games became part of your lesson???

Needless to say these games are fantastically addictive and great fun. I have to admit, when I first purchased my iPhone 3GS, I had completed Angry Birds within a couple of weeks. Temple Run is still one of the games I regularly play when I have a couple of spare minutes. Most teachers may see these games as a distraction to learning, whereas I see them as an opportunity to harness and enhance learning.

I have found that the most engaging lessons I teach are when the children believe they're not working, when they are having fun and the focus is something that interests them. Recently I did a literacy topic using football as a focus. Although it was greatly successful; I had feedback questioning how engaged children, who had no particular interest in football, were. This got me thinking about finding a focus that all children can relate to. These games provide the perfect stimulus to enthrall and fascinate all children in your class.

So why these games? Well, both these games can be the perfect stimulus in most subjects. When I first started thinking about using these games I put together a little mind map of ideas, it was only after finishing and seeing all the ideas, did I realise the scope of the curriculum covered and the amount of time that could be spent using these games as a focus. There may be other ideas I haven't thought of yet and may pick up as I go along. Here are the mindmaps:


The main reason that these games lend themselves so well to many parts of the curriculum is that: a) There is a story behind both games and b) They involve scores which generates numbers, numbers and numbers.

Angry Birds has a very complex subplot that can lend itself to so many potential literacy focuses. Are the birds right to take revenge? Is destroying the pigs the right method? Are the pigs in the wrong? It would also provide some fantastic PSHCE discussions about anger management as well as other things.

Temple run has a story behind it but one we do not know. The game comes at the end of a story where he is escaping the temple, but why? What does he have? Why is he there? What is he running from?

I am currently in the process of trialing some of these ideas when I am working in the KS2 classes at my current school. I will still be trying to use the iPads to accompany the lessons and enhance the learning however I can. Any lessons I do, I will link them below to a more detailed explanation. 

Updated - The Impact

  I was always a little apprehensive with this approach as to whether the game aspect would distract children and leave them more focused on the game than the learning objectives. However using these games has had the opposite effect. I have never seen the classes so focused and enthused to learn. They are relishing in the fact that either at the start or end of the lesson they get 5 minutes to play their favourite game. I have yet to meet a child who doesn't like the games. 

I recently had a student work within the classroom and he was astonished at the level of concentration and the eagerness to answer questions. The added incentive of using the iPads as way of presenting some of the tasks has also helped with behaviour and engagement. I feel having a focus which has ALL the children's attention rare and so it has to be harnessed and valued in the write way. The children can relate to the learning more and it is something they can all access. I don't honestly think I would get the same level of engagement, enjoyment and concentration from the children using some of the ideas I have done in previous years. 

Please read some of the children's thoughts and ideas on using this topic:

Thanks to @StephenConnor7 who has shared what his class did with Temple Run and the impact it had - Read about it here.

Angry Birds

Literacy

2013 01 16 11.16.18 295x300 Generating Wow words about Angry Birds!
2013-01-16 11.43.43

2013-01-22 15.14.45
     

Numeracy
Other Curriculum areas

2013-01-14 14.11.55

2013-02-05 16.03.40


Temple Run

Literacy
2013-01-08 11.46.49


Other Curriculum areas

  • Thanks to Mr Chippindall (@DrChips_) who has put together a step by step guide where children can make their own version of the game Temple Run - see the lesson here.
Obviously you wouldn't expect to do all these activities with one class and some will suit certain year groups better than others. One thing is for sure, the children would be completely hooked by having these games as a focus in the classroom.




Thursday, 17 January 2013

Apps that will make practising Grammar and SPAG more enjoyable!

With the introduction to the controversial SPAG test, I am currently using some ideas/apps through the use of iPads to help the year 6 prepare for this test. 


Whether you agree to whether the test is right or not, the fact is, it is looking very likely children are going to sit it. In my personal opinion, I think if children can demonstrate correct spelling, punctuation and grammar in their writing they clearly know how to use it properly. You can't accidentally spell and punctuate a piece of writing correctly! Either way, SATS preparations will be underway to make sure children are fully prepared to get the best result possible.


Using these ideas/apps for Grammar helps the fact that I only have each year 6 class for 40 minutes before swapping over and then finishing with an assembly.


Mantle of the Expert SPAG games


Year 6 became the teachers this week by making their own SPAG quizzes!
Using the Mantle of the Expert approach giving the children the responsibility of being the teacher had the children completely focused. The ‘Mantle of the Expert’ is a drama technique that was developed and refined by Dorothy Heathcote. It is based on the belief that children learn best if they have a relationship to the subject matter being covered that is more akin to that of an expert than a pupil.
Children used the app Tiny Tap to make their games. Tiny Tap is a free app that allows children to use photos to generate questions. They record themselves reading a question and then circle the part of the picture that is the answer. Within the app, you can import pictures from the camera roll, use the camera, use the web or the in built drawing tool. It is such a child friendly app that I have previously used lower down the school in KS1. - See here.
Giving the children the responsibility of using their knowledge of SPAG to produce these games certainly gave a purpose to the task. We discussed the different types of questions we could ask, most of which were very similar to some questions they will be answering in  the test.
Questions such as listing different types of words and asking: which is the noun? adjective? adverb?
Listing different spellings of the word and asking which is the right one.
Writing a sentence with punctuation missing and asking where it needs to go.
It gave me a real indication of where the children are up to with their spelling, punctuation and grammar while providing a more engaging and enjoyable context for them to showcase their understanding. Here is an example of one of the games:
Augmented Reality Grammar
We have also used Augmented reality to provide a more stimulating way for the children to demonstrate their understanding of grammar. One class made some punctuation explanation videos which were then overlayed some punctuation posters- See the lesson here. While others made videos to explain different sentence parts such as nouns, verbs etc - see the lesson here.






Grammar Apps

Today, I used two apps that did have the children engaged and they were covering aspects of the test in a more interactive and fun way. My worry is that having to teach this material separate from normal literacy lessons can really cripple creativity and the imagination of some and in fact turn them off. 

Today's lesson, which lasted around 40-45 minutes started with the children working in pairs and playing games to remind them of examples of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, connectives and prepositions. 


The games which lasted 2 minutes used the Kagan structures of rally robin and round robin. For nouns and verbs, the children had to name a noun and then their partner name another as quickly as they can, the first person to hesitate or take too long or repeat a word loses and the other gets a point. 

With adjectives and adverbs, the children worked in fours. Player 1 names a noun and then  state adjectives that could be used to describe that noun. Again, anyone who doesn't answer quick enough or says an adjective that doesn't relate (for example, if the noun is iPad, furry wouldn't be an adjective that relates) they are out the child who lasts the longest wins. For adverbs, player 1 states a verbs and they then state related adverbs.

 Apps to challenge Childrens understanding of parts of a sentence.Once the children had played the game they then put into practise these examples. To do this they used the app "Shake-a-phrase." The app focuses on having fun with words and has 3 different games and interactive challenges, the first a story starter – where children will be given the starting sentence to a story, the second SHAKE IT – which creates a new random sentence every time you shake – great for discovering new words and finally QUIZ ME: testing their skills with adjectives, verbs, nouns, prepositions and conjunctions.

We focused on the quiz me challenge and children were given sentences which they had to highlight examples of different sentence parts. Some started by just pressing any word and only realised after they were being scored and wrong answers cost points! It was also good for children to get instant feedback, click on a wrong word and it highlighted it red. It was a useful starter to our Literacy lesson and the children definitely had the chance to really further their understanding of nouns, adjectives and verbs. I found that this was an exercise that really engaged the boys as they received that instant feedback but also with the competitive elements of levels and scores.



Year 5 using Shake a Phrase app from Davyhulme Primary School on Vimeo.

The children also had time to use the app “Mind over Monster,” again a really interactive app. The game boasts 5 levels of increasing difficulty that works on punctuation, grammar and spelling. The aim is to bash the monsters back in their box! The app also has a monster mart that allows you to cash in the points earned to buy things like cake cannons which make playing the game more enjoyable. The children loved this app and it made practising these aspects of grammar much more enjoyable and interactive.


777 1 mad libs Apps to challenge Childrens understanding of parts of a sentence.
Although I have yet to use these apps with the Year 6, Year five had fun using the apps  ‘Mad Libs‘ and ‘Wordventure,’ two free apps which will have your class in hysterics. Basically the children make some really silly stories by adding examples of nouns, verbs and adjectives. Again this only works properly if children have a sound understanding of these features and the children quickly realise if they have done it right, if their story reads right. It also asks for plurals and specific types of nouns. Some of the texts that we produced had the class in stitches and they all wanted to share their humorous stories without realising that they were furthering their understanding of sentence parts.





If over the next few weeks, I use any other grammar apps I will add them to this list. 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

One Second Everyday - A positive reflection tool for you and your class!

A week ago I came across a news article that caught my eye. It featured Cesar Kuriyama, who saved up enough money to quit his advertising job at the age of 30, and planned to take a year off to travel and spend time with family.
To document the year, Kuriyama filmed one second of video every day. The impact this had changed his outlook on life forever. You can watch the report here.
It got me thinking about how I could use this in school. Would it have the same impact on myself as a teacher and my children as it did with Cesar?
The way "1 second everyday" works is that you record 1 but no more than 2 seconds each day of absolutely anything, so that when you put the days together you would have a 7/15 second video of a week, a minute video for a half term or a 5 minute video for the school year. 

How can it impact on your teaching?
Well, as Cesar says "self reflection is never a bad thing," which is always an important message for teachers. Can you go a week, half term, year without repeating the same video? Can you always provide an opportunity to capture a special moment each day you teach? Could it be used to record achievements of all your children in the class, regardless of ability? Would you use it to record your class' learning journey? or as a way of documenting successful lessons so you always remember them? It is a task that would definitely make you conscious of your approach in the classroom yet one that would provide a wonderful opportunity to reflect and remind yourself of the great lessons/moments you grant as a teacher. 
Watching back after a term or even a year it would also remind you of the incredible journey you (as a teacher) take and the journey and development your class go on. I think it would be a fantastic way of providing a unique and special keepsake for all your children at the end of the year. 

The beauty is that just one second can trigger a memory that would otherwise stay at the back of our minds. As a teacher can you remember every lesson of everyday you teach? I definitely can't but using this approach I would always be able to remind myself of those moments that may only have remained a distant memory. I would have it documented forever.

As a class teacher it would be a perfect way to discuss with your class and reflect on the day. You could record a few snippets through the day and as a class decide which one you would use. After a recent conversation with another teacher we said how amazing would it be if a class were recorded in Reception and every year throughout the school leading to a 20minute video showing everyday of their Primary Education! The potential is amazing!

There are different ways in which you can record your one second everyday video. First would be to video yourself and then edit it using iMovie or similar software. Problem - far too time consuming. There are iPhone/iPad apps that do all the editing for you:

The app 1 second everyday is the official app from Cesar Kuriyama. The app is 69p and has a calendar to keep track of your videos and allow you to make a video from any given point. You can then export them to a number of different outlets including Facebook and YouTube.




Life in Seconds - Free - Very similar to One Second Everyday - The only downside to this app at the minute is that it doesn't record sound which I feel is so crucial with this idea as sound plays such an important role in reminding us of special times and occasions. I do think that they are trying to change this as soon as possible.








So a lot has been said about New Year's resolutions and nothing could be more effective on your teaching in the classroom than using the "One Second Everyday," approach. Stay tuned to see how I use it both personally and professionally and the impact it has...

UPDATED JULY 2013: I have now shared this idea at a couple of recent Teachmeets. Here is my presentation from TeachMeet EastLancs:




 Here is my presentation at Teachmeet Wirral:



JULY 2013 - UPDATED!!! Well I have done it, two terms all in 2 minutes! I can confidently say it has had a massive impact on me as a teacher. I start everyday thinking what moments will I create. I am constantly looking for moments to capture and I now have a video forever that captures some amazing moments that remind me I am in the best job in the world!




APRIL 2013 - UPDATED!!!! Here is my first term - roughly 9/10 weeks since January, finishing at Easter - lots of great memories, some enjoyable lessons, assemblies, Easter performances, after school activities, sporting fixtures! Never forgotten now, always remembered - see what you think:





Feb 2013 - UPDATED!!!! I have now completed my first half term - 5 weeks in 30 seconds! All my colleagues loved this video when I shared it and think it is a great way to document my teaching and keep particular moments kept forever! See what you think:



Jan 2013 - So my first week! I did it! Filmed as many snippets of lessons and chose one for everyday. Does it make you reflect? Yes! Does it remind you of the special moments within a lesson? Yes! You may watch it and think, it is 5 seconds of very little, but to me it holds memories of some great moments in my role. 

Monday - My girls football team competing at a local league meeting. They won 2, drew 2 and lost 1, which should move them second in the league.

Tuesday - Using Angry Birds as a stimulus in Literacy and Numeracy and making great perspective pictures.
Wednesday - Having a year 4 class in stitches as they used the app Mad Libs to make a silly story.
Thursday - Training the Skittleball team in the freezing cold in preparation for a local tournament. Their skills constantly improving and confidence building.
Friday - A dance lesson in Year 1 where the children learnt more about Native American culture, me being blown away by their imagination and creativity!

Nothing spectacular but a week I will never forget. The prospect of having a whole year documented in five minutes that would give you personal memories and trigger specific events is fantastic. I recommend this for any teacher who wants to be able to reflect and remember all the wonderful moments the job of teaching provides. 






For all those interested here is Cesar Kuriyama's original video that documents a year in his life: