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Showing posts from June, 2015

Reading into Writing using Padlet!

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On our recent conference 'Developing Writing in the Modern Classroom,' Alan and I stressed the importance of a reading into writing approach. Making sure that when you teach fairytales, children would be reading a range of fairytales in lessons, guided reading etc. I am planning on writing some Sci-fi adventure stories soon with a Year 4 class, so to try and gather examples of different features seen in similar stories, we used padlet to collect examples.

Padlet is a web based tool, that allows a teacher to create an online notice board that anyone can contribute to. It is absolutely free and can be used in SO many different ways.

I decided to make four different padlet walls, one for a different feature - Openings, characters/settings, key words/phrases/sentences and problems/ending. I then shared these with the children through QR codes -

We then discussed what to look for to see whether a book is in the Sci-fi adventure genre. We listed -looking at the title, blurb and image…

Improving Reading and Writing Through Popular Children's Movies and Media....Friday 19th June 2015 Dudley

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Big thanks to all that came to the first day of our new conference yesterday. John and I, had a great day sharing ideas on improving reading and writing through popular children's movies and media.


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"This has opened my mind completely! One of the best CPD courses i have been on!""Loads of ideas that I will be using in school. All great for learning and child engagement. Just thanks - best course i've been on in a long time!""Fabulous! Brilliant ideas to take back to try in the classroom. Thank you!""Excellent speakers, fun, informative, knowledgeable! Thank you for a fantastic day with lots of ideas to use in school.""Fantastic, inspiring, practical advice, clearly child centred.…

Math Shake - Brilliant for Word Problems!

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When it comes to assessments in maths, it can be tricky for some children to be able to extract the number sentence from a word problem before they solve it. It is also hard for a teacher to be in 30 places at once to make sure the pupils have got it right. An app I have been using for a while now helps with both these problems!

Math Shake from @TopStoreyApps is a brilliant app to use in Maths. The app has six levels of difficulty and children can choose which operation to focus on or do all of them. They are then given a word problem and have to press on the key facts to build their number sentence. If they do not get it correct they are instantly told and, therefore made to check their answer. 
Once they have figured out the correct number sentence, they are automatically taken to a whiteboard with a range of maths tools they can use to solve the calculation. The app also has a record feature to allow children to record the screen as they calculate the answer. They can then enter th…

Jurassic School!

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I have been recently using the children's enthusiasm for the latest blockbuster - Jurassic World - to inspire writing.

With one class, we created guides to Jurassic World using Adobe Slate and then created films where we entered a dinosaur infested jungle!

With another class, we used greenscreen to bring a real-life dinosaur into our school. There are plenty of greenscreen apps on the app store but Doink Greenscreen is easily the best one I have used. This task was slightly different. We first started by downloading stock footage from youtube -


We were then able to film the dinosaur in different locations around the school. The children then used the greenscreen in our new media suite to film themselves in the scene too. 
The finished video was then used to inspire a short narrative about a dinosaur in the school. The children were so engaged having the visuals of them with the dinosaur. The added element of acting the scene out first also helped children describe their feelings a…

Making the most of our space!

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We have recently embarked in a project to try and turn one of our ICT suites into a media suite. At the beginning of 2015 we had a KS1 ICT Suite and KS2 ICT Suite. I felt this wasn't the best use of the space and decided to reduce it to one whole school ICT suite.

I am often asked about whether schools should keep an ICT suite and I would say yes. I feel children need the opportunity to learn and use as many different forms of technology. If you replace an ICT suite because you now have iPads you will be deskilling children from using traditional PCs or laptops. In my experience, children are exposed to mobile technology more nowadays but it is still crucial for children to learn basic skills such as creating a file and saving it to a folder on a PC or laptop. Sometimes the iPad is more like a cheat machine and while it can do wonderful and marvellous things and save you time we still need to teach children the basics of using computers.

We still have a computing lesson one hour a…

Exploring our own Jurassic World!

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Last week, I blogged about working with a class and writing our own guides to Jurassic World using this website -

http://uk.jurassicworldintl.com/

You can read the blog post and see some of the children's guides here.

Since the release of the film Jurassic World, the website has updated to collate with the events of the film!


Today we continued to use the theme of Dinosaurs with some narrative writing. We first started by exploring the app Dino Park VR.

This free app works best with a Google Cardboard headset, but will also work in 2D mode on an iPad. You can read more about Virtual Reality by reading this blog post and this blog post. 

The app takes children on a short tour of a virtual dinosaur park and allows them to take a full 360 degree view of the surroundings. Children were instantly immersed in this world and discussed what they could see, hear etc. 
Using the record feature on Airserver, I recorded one of the journeys the children went on in the app. This was shared and us…

Alan Peat presents... Using Technology to deliver the New Primary Curriculum 4th June 2015 North Yorkshire

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Thanks to all that came to the Swaledale Alliance conference on Thursday 4th June 2015. I had a great day sharing ideas and strategies to enhance the new curriculum using technology.

Thank you for all the positive feedback and lovely comments - 





OMG! I knew it would be good, but wow! I was emailing my headteacher by 11am, asking to set up a blog, had planned next weeks Literacy by 2pm and been inspired by Augmented Reality for transforming displays by 3! Thank you so much and keep up the great work!Excellent and inspirational. Would love to go into more depth and have more hands on time to play! I will talk to head re; cluster training. Thank you!Lots of great ideas and practical tips/pointers. Entertaining, interesting and will definitely (i hope) improve how we use iPads in the classroom.Very informative, inspirational and most of all enjoyable.Very inspiring - Hope i can begin to use these ideas with my class soon. Will feedback at school for further training on the suggested apps so…

Developing Writing in the Modern Classroom Conference 12th June!

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On Friday 12th June, Alan Peat and I led a BRAND NEW and UNIQUE conference - Developing Writing in the Modern Classroom.

It was the first time in over 15 years Alan had worked alongside someone and I was extremely grateful for the opportunity. We were both amazed by the response after selling out the venue in less than two months of advertising. I knew after planning with Alan that the day would be both practical and useful for all that attended. However, I did not expect the overwhelming response and feedback from all the teachers who joined us. We were even trending on twitter during the conference with our '#2Ps' hashtag.

I want to thank each and everyone for making the day fantastic and for all of the positive feedback. Along with Alan, I want to thank Julie and Simon for all her hard work in organising the great day.

The approach to this conference was simple - create a whole school approach to engaging and improving writing in the modern classroom. Combining low tech wi…

Exploring Jurassic World!

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If you are anything like me, today is a special day! Today sees the release of the much anticipated 'Jurassic World,' film. As a huge fan of the original movie, I hope this new film will live up to the hype and expectation.

It seems many children in my class are also excited about the film. So it was only right for us to use it as a stimulus in class!

The team behind the film have created a website that allows you to watch live feeds from the park.

http://uk.jurassicworldintl.com/

It gives the illusion that the park is real and open!



This convinced most of the class as they explored. The website also shares lots of information about the park that children can read and enjoy.

After giving children some time to read and explore the website. I challenged them to make their own similar website all about the park in a similar style. We used the app 'Adobe Slate' which is a fantastic tool for creating content with images and text in a stylish and eye-catching way.

It was fant…

Talking about our Dream Jobs on the iPad

One of our topics in Year 1 is '9-5,' where children learn all about different jobs. During the topic, I was working with a Year 1 class and tried to utilise the iPad to really bring this topic to life.

Here are some of the lessons and ideas we did through the topic -

As part of the topic, the children went on a trip to the local Krispy Kreme store. The children created recounts using the app Flipagram. I have previously blogged about using Flipagram in the classroom here.


The next session, the children went around the school interviewing different members of staff to find out about what their job entails. To demonstrate what they had learnt, they animated pictures of the staff using the app Morfo. It didn't do the staff any justice but was a fantastic speaking and listening activity for children to share their learning.

The next session, we looked at what we wanted to be when we grow up. Using the app Pic Collage, we edited pictures to show what our dream jobs will be in …