Each week, I collect together a range of articles, apps, reviews and tips that I have curated, collected and culled from the Internet (mainly Twitter), and send this out to the staff at my school. Here they are for this week:
Use in class
The Learning Event Generator gives you hundreds of ideas for activities to embed learning. If you ever have trouble trying to work out how to get a concept firmly across and into your children’s minds (and for me this can be daily), this is randomised inspiration. (via @LearningSpy).
Kinetic Typography is a fancy way of saying ‘moving words’ and if you type that into YouTube, prepare to be blown away. I’m a big fan, so was delighted to find this site on Google. Type in words, and the site generates moving words automagically. I had a play by putting in a poem, and Lovely Louis read the poem over my shoulder in the same moving style – how fun would the children find this?!
I had great success using these Calvin & Hobbes cartoon strips to help teach speech marks within fiction writing this week. Worth looking at for the strips alone! I’m not sure I would be able to use the ‘Garfield Minus Garfield‘ strips, but they are incredibly funny!
There are two things I have bought on the fabulous eBay recently which I thought I would share here. The first is a motivational sticker set you can get online which would be perfect for school, have a look here. Yes, it’s cheesy, but my own children (as in offspring, not class) love and we regularly talk about them. Thanks @MissJLud for prompting me to mention these.
The other things are personalised stickers, also from eBay. This page is one I’ve used, and the company are very quick. I’ve been using stickers as incentives with my Year 6 Maths set to really good effect. The last set I ordered, I let the class decide the colour, logo, words etc. £2.20 for 96 stickers – bargain! Thanks to @rlj1981 for prompting me with this one!
Squishy Circuits is something I had read about last year – but a chance opportunity to teach Science reminded me of the site. It allows you to make a simple play-dough like recipe which can then be used to build circuits with – no crocodile clip hassles etc. Looks great, and may well be something I do during the holidays with my
monsters children, but thought it might appeal to others too!
I’m a big fan of Hattie, who has carried out some metaresearch into Education to find out what really works under the bonnet. His books aren’t too tricky to grasp, but for a ten minute taster, have a look at this Infographic. Warning – you may be surprised with what his research has found! (via @Pekabelo &@HuntingEnglish)
This article from The Guardian is probably more suited to Secondary teachers, but is from a sixteen-year-old complaining that schools are missing an opportunity by not using Facebook and Twitter as VLEs. I don’t necessarily agree with her, but it caused some lively debate online!
Last Saturday I again abandoned Gemma and the children, and instead headed to Berkhamstead for a Teaching Learning & Assessment Conference. Arriving at 7.45am, I didn’t leave until 4.40pm, and although very tired, was excited and inspired by everything I heard about! You can read my notes about the day here, or ask me and I will forward you what I have. I am definitely going to persuade you to come along next year – it was brilliant, and I hope that the influence it has given me will permeate through the school.
I came across all of these on Twitter, which is superb for getting and sharing ideas about teaching and learning. More info on joining can be found here. Have a good weekend!