Thursday, 10 April 2014

Television - Beaming Ideas into your Livingroom!

"Don't watch the TV, it'll make your eyes square!"

"Sitting there all day will do you no good."

Indeed those are good points. Although, the first may not be scientifically accurate. We blogged a while ago about using an idea from a BBC show and we're confident most classes have had a go at the Countdown numbers or letters game.

Recently, we've made use of some ideas from School of Hard Sums. This was aided by some excellent resources from Stuart:

This made us thinks a little more. How about a classroom activity using Blankety Blank, Pointless, Eggheads Catchphrase and more...

Give it a go and as always. Let us know how you get on.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Apps for Your Primary Classroom Huit

For the eighth and most recent time, here are some apps we've been making us of. Other bloggers may offer more information about the apps, but we've chosen to do it this way. Again, they're all apps we've actually made use of and although the link is direct to the iOS store, some apps may also be available on other devices too.




On this occasion, we feel it would be good to point out that some above developers allowed up to try their apps for free. Please note that this in no way influences their appearances on this post. 

Missed our other app posts? See them here.

Monday, 7 April 2014

4 Pics 1 Word in Your Classroom

On Saturday, I was sat near a child on a train who was playing 4 Pics 1 Word on his father's phone. Then, when I returned home, my other half was requesting help with a puzzle she was stuck on. In the way it often does, my mind struck up and started to ponder how this could be used in a classroom. 

Idea 1: Children create their own puzzles for others to try to solve. Possibly using homophones or where the same word (eg stamp or smoking) can fall into a number of different word types:

Idea 2: During a topic of work (eg in geography or science), use the puzzles to introduce or recap vocabulary: 
Idea 3: Use it as a method of introducing new vocabulary.

Note: We have not seen this idea anywhere else. Well done if you've come up with similar. As far as we're aware, 4 Pics 1 Word as a concept is not copyright - please inform us otherwise if it is. Finally, the pictures used in our example all came from a Creative Commons Image Search - you should do the same (or take your own).

On this occasion, at the time of writing, we're yet to try this out with our class. We'll update further when we've given our classes a chance to try it out. In the meantime, feel free to let us know if you've had any successes with this idea.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Use YouTube with More Confidence

Here we go, a follow up to a previous post. Everything in the previous post is still relevant, but since, we've learned more.

We have found more ways of 'de-cluttering' YouTube:

1. QuietTube (via Julian);

2. SafeShare.TV (via Ben).

Also, we've found more ways of downloading from YouTube:

Short. To the point. Want to know more? Read the first post.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Crowdsource - Who Else Wants to Share?

In the past, we've contributed to other people's crowdsourcing. We decided to give it a go ourselves. Often, on social media, the term PLN (Personal/Professional Learning Network) is used. What is often not mentioned is that on Twitter, someone had two PLNs: The PLN they follow and get ideas from in their feed and the PLN they are followed by and can therefore ask for help. The two PLNs are very likely to be different!

This crowdsourcing focuses on those a Twitter user can ask for help. Your followers. In my classroom, we were preparing for some project based learning around the topic of Space. I decided the groups in my class would all produce a video, that could then be attached to a photo using Augmented Reality and share it with the world. I had some ideas, but wanted more...

So, I set up this document: 'Video Ideas'

I Tweeted it a couple of times and got responses. All of these responses were valuable and offered to the class as options for their video outcome. That document can now be kept and also shared with others. 

Tweet and Tweet often. Direct it at users you know will have ideas. Ask / hope for ReTweets. Share it on other social media too. Send it to friends, colleagues or someone in a certain sector of work. If people add, that's great. If someone has no ideas or can't contribute, nothing's lost. Of course, this does rely on having numerous followers or others choosing to share it further. Ensure you're direct about what you want to find out. It'll allow more space than a Tweet allows for someone to share an idea. 

Having a go? Let us know, we'll respond and, you never know, we may even help to spread the word...

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Create Your Own Interactive Resources

So, the curriculum's changing. Lots has been said, lots has been discussed. Some like; others don't like. Maybe you're a teacher very able when it comes to computational thinking, however you may be less au fait with this aspect of primary education.

We've both got an interest in computing. In recent years, we've run a Code Club and also ensured the coverage of computing in our junior school. 

Our latest development is to begin creating our own games and activities in Scratch to use in our classrooms and others across the school. Creating the resources yourself means they can the tailored to your own needs. Also, if you've got to teach and support children in computational thinking, it's a good idea to develop your own skills. Whilst developing those skills, create something that's useful to you!

We're using Scratch because it's a reasonably easy place to start, projects and easily shared online and others can 'remix' the project to adapt it for their needs or wants. Other languages can of course be used too.

We began by creating this project to support this blog post. This uses Alan Peat resources and if you're using them too, why not remix the project to show the sentences you're wokring on?

Next, we created this project to accompany this blog post.

We're sure they'll be more to come from us. Our Scratch projects can all be found here:

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Two Sentence Stories

We saw a Tweet from @Bennett31:
We thought it was an excellent idea! So, we gave it a go...

Stasy: Silently, I crept down the stairs- bare feet freezing cold on the hard, stony floor... My heavy breathing totally drowned out every other sound,except the strange, banging thump from above, I was petrified...

Owen: When I turned the light on, I still couldn't see anything.

See the rest here:

Next, we plan to have a go at Two Sentence Romance, Sci-Fi, Action...