Showing posts from May, 2013

Using Music to Remember Maths Facts!

At the start of the year, our school had a full day inset with Anthony Reddy. His ideas were fantastic to help engage and improve children's calculations skills. One of his biggest recommendations was using music to help children remember certain number facts. The idea is that maths facts such as times tables are something that can be memorised in a similar way as words. If children can read they should be able to remember maths facts. Finding the easiest way for children to remember the facts is the challenge for us as teachers.

Anthony started each session using examples from the Number Fun Songs website. The website provides over 6 books full of songs that cover almost every aspect of the numeracy curriculum. Most have a catchy tune and dance moves to accompany the words and the children love to sing all about maths in their lessons. All the teachers were up dancing during the inset reciting maths facts! With this idea of using music to assist children in remembering maths fact…

What makes a true Champion? - The Derek Redmond story to inspire writing

I was asked by the wonderful Springboard Stories to write a article on using digital media in Literacy to inspire writing with a link to their latest issue - Sport.

Straight away I thought about a wonderful theme I used last summer in the build up to the Olympics. I am a big believer in using sport in the classroom as I find it a great way to inspire and engage boys but also to teach some of the life skills sport wonderfully promotes and encourages children to develop. I have previously written other blog posts about using sport for Literacy - Using Football and iPads to engage reluctant writers or Sport adverts to inspire writing and I also helped to build The Sports Shed on the Literacy Shed.

Sport has played an important role in the lives of children since the time of Ancient Sparta, where they saw sport as a necessary experience that mentally and physically prepared them for adult life. I completely agree that sport provides so many opportunities for children to develop key skill…

Utilising the iPad to enhance Primary Science lessons

Many of my posts look at ways to use the iPads in Literacy and Numeracy to enhance learning and engage, motivate and inspire children. But how can using the iPad also help children in other subjects like Science, History or Geography? Here are some ideas about how using the iPad can help the children show, share and develop their learning in these subjects with a distinct focus on Science.

Starting a Topic
Normally at the start of a topic, children will be asked to design a page in their books with the title and pictures relating to the topic. Or children may be asked to make a mindmap of prior knowledge, one which can then be repeated at the end of the unit to show the difference in the children's learning. One of my favourite mind mapping apps (available through the website too) is Popplet.  Another lovely way to see what the children already know and then contrast this at the end of the topic is using a Word Cloud. There are a few websites which will allow you to create word clou…

Examples of some of my ideas in practice

Here is a lesson implementing a few ideas from some of my recent blog posts. I think it is important to demonstrate the impact some of the ideas have.

I am always looking for interesting, different and engaging ways to capture the children's  attention and inspire them to write. Recently I put together some ideas for using music videos to inspire writing - read more here.

 I decided to use one of those videos for Year 4 to do some writing, in particular focus on a technique to develop characters in a story. I came across this technique from Alan Peat, whose resources have become invaluable in my teaching. This focus, one of his great free resources, looks at developing characters using a 'show not tell' technique which focuses on developing feelings through the description of a character's expressions, speech or movements - See the article here. This specific video really helps children grasp this concept as clues are given throughout about how the girl feels through h…