Thursday, 3 August 2017

Gifts / Cards - Word Clouds

Bit late for this year UK teachers - sorry. But, you can start planning for next year...

For two and a half terms this year just gone we actually taught the same class. Mates, assistant heads, bloggers and job share teachers. Think we drove each other a little crazy at times. Anyway, come the end of the year we were thinking of a gift for the pupils in our class and this is what we came up with: 








Again this year, we undertook the summing up of each day in three words. At the end of the year we therefore had 190 X 3 words. We stuck these words into a word cloud generator, purchased some picture frames and hey presto, they look rather good. They certainly look like they cost more than 80p each to make! And, they're full of the children's thoughts, word choices and experience whilst in our class.


I hope that most of them will keep it and look back upon it fondly. And, as for 'english', we decided it looked good as a design choice - but it bugs me the more I look at it! There's the off typo/spelling error too... However, look which word came out top!

We'll three word blog again next year and may even use word clouds on Christmas, Mother's/Father's Day (and so on) cards too.


Word clouds from some previous years too.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Classroom Design: Sit in the Pupil's Seats

So, you've set up your classroom. There are displays a plenty, a Working Wall, room for you to move around, it looks good from the front: symmetrical, perpendicular and organised... WAIT! Sat in any of the children seats yet?

Can they see the board from where they are sat?

Can they actually read those displays?

Is there space when the chairs are slightly out with someone sat at them?

Can 30 children make their way around the room?



Remember: when you set up your room, think about the 30 small children who will use it. Walk around it, try to select items from drawers, sit in seats and look at displays. Can you pick up any issues before they find them?

Then, do this throughout the year. I often mark in a different child's seat each day, and while there, I look round the room at what they see.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Edit Your Friend's Facebook Posts

Some of my friends on Facebook and contacts on Twitter write beautifully and accurately, others (like me) have the off (:-)) typo here and there, while others just write with errors all over the place (your/you're - grrr).


This is a post by a friend of mine on his Facebook page. I took a screen capture and asked my class to correct it. We did it as an Exit Ticket activity.

So, spot an awful social media update, copy it, anonymise it, and give it to your class... 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Times Table (Ball Pit) Relay



After seeing something on Facebook, I did a times table relay with my class. On Twitter, Mr Dyson saw it and liked it. He challenged one of his teachers to 'do better'. That set me thinking!
And, today this is what we did...

video


I filled two recycle bins with ball pit balls;

Outside, I stood the sticks against a wall;


I put the Velcro numbers for a times table in each of the ball pits;

I then got the class, in turn, to run and collect a number, work out the times table and add it in the correct place on the stick. 

video

It. Was. Great!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Numenko for Maths

Earlier this year I came across Numenko one day on Twitter. You know, things just pop up and you click on them! So, I got in contact with Tom about packs for schools, but initially just decided to buy a set for me to use at home - my money, my game. :-) I fancied getting a game as I really enjoy Bananagrams and rather enjoy maths, so this looked great to me. I played at home and enjoyed it and I took my pack into school and found it useful...

Image credit: numenko.com



The game is good. It gets children doing maths, thinking, playing. So, that was good.




But, it's more than that! Above is algebra: I asked two pupils to create calculations with a :-) (freechoice) tile in them and then get their partner to work them out. can you?




Above and below, I asked two children to make as many calculations as they could that were equal to 9. Not all their calculations were correct and it raised some interesting discussion points.




The key is a multichoice. It's rather useful for discussing maths, making calculations, looking at patterns and raising discussions.



On his site, Tom has a number of free resources you can make use of.




I've found it really useful! You may do too. It's reasonably priced, and there's discount on offer for multiple purchases. If you try something out, let us, and Tom know what you've been up to. 


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

#Taskmaster - How Much Would You Give?

Yep, another one from the most recent series of Taskmaster!


Each episode, the contestants are asked to bring something. In this particular episode, they were asked to bring a sum of money. Whichever contestant brought the most money got to keep the lot.




Now, it's unlikely our primary-aged pupils will want to bring all their hard-earned pocked money to school, so we thought of a way round that...


We've created 10 fictional people and written how much is in each person's bank account. Split the children into groups of 4 or 5 and get them to decide how much of their money is going to go into the pot. Then, get them to share their decisions and see who would have taken the loot! The footballer? the teacher? how much, or little will the highest amount be? who takes risks and who doesn't?

A bit of estimating, a bit of guess work, a bit like Top Trumps. A great oracy opportunity to discuss people's thoughts and choices.