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Showing posts from April, 2013

Music Videos to Inspire Writing

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Sat on the couch, clicking through the endless music channels to find the One Direction song that my daughter loves, I stumble across a video that had me hooked. No it wasn't 1D or the latest PSY hit, it was a video that had a story, no words spoken just the visuals and the song. It got me thinking that it would be a great focus to use for some writing. I am always looking for interesting and unusual hooks to get the children inspired to write, when I started thinking to some of my favourite music videos I found that many tell a story that has a lot of potential for writing activities in the classroom. 

After looking into this a little further I discovered that most music videos are one of three different types - performance, conceptual and narrative (read more here). It is the narrative which really lends itself well to the classroom as these are music videos that tell a story with most not having a single spoken word. Meaning children can interpret the story in many different wa…

The Dropbox Trick to create great Speaking and Listening opportunities

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Dropbox has become possibly the most valuable app since using iPads in the classroom. Linking them all up to one account and enabling automatic uploads has meant it has been a life saver as far as saving children's work to one location on my laptop without using any wire.

As a teaching tool it is great to take a picture of a child's work, upload it to Dropbox and have it appear on my laptop within seconds so I can display it on the IWB. As a teacher is a great way to store files and means wherever I am on whatever device I can access my files. But there is another nifty trick Dropbox offers which provides great potential to using videos in the class to help children with speaking and listening and aiding the writing process. 

The trick is that Dropbox allows you to download videos straight to your camera roll, meaning they can then be imported into iMovie for endless amount of different tasks.

How to do it?

First, you need a video and I have heard a rumour that there are websit…

Why Twitter is essential for every teacher

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I firstly joined Twitter in an educational context when I created a class account around a year ago after reading an article about how it can be used to share work with parents and friends of the school. I had my own personal account where I followed friends, sports stars etc but had nothing to do with teaching - I had no idea the power of twitter as a teacher.

The class account shared examples of pupils work, homework, class news etc and received some good feedback from parents. It was only when I came out of the classroom and took on the roll of covering PPA with the iPads did I change it from a class account to a school account. Along with this I started our school blog - http://davyhulme.primaryblogger.co.uk. I was able to set up the blog to automatically tweet new posts to help spread our work and build our audience. We quickly started picking up followers when examples of the iPad work was being shared. Through the school account I was following others and gathering loads of id…

Utilising the Emoji Keyboard in the classroom!

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For anyone who has an iPhone or iPad they have probably added the Emoji Keyboard. A set of images and emoticons which you can add to email, tweets, messages and notes. Whenever I ask children to complete a piece of writing on the iPads there is always one who uses the emoji keyboard to add little pictures to their work, whether I ask or not. For some reason, they absolutely love using it and to be fair I do enjoy adding them to a text or message as they seem to add extra character to a message as well as humour. So it got me thinking - how could I use this in class? How could asking the children to use these symbols and pictures make them think more creatively and challenge them in different ways? If you don't have emoji - here is how to set it up:

How to set up emoji on your iPad


To enable emoji from the keyboard settings in iOS: Tap Settings > General > KeyboardTap InternationalKeyboardsTap Add New KeyboardLocate and tap Emoji

Once this has been completed, open the keyboard a…

Why should it only be children's work celebrated in Assembly?

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On Thursday 4th April, I joined in on the @ukedchat discussion which was:


It's 8pm. Time to join @actionjackson for #ukedchat tonight. How to deal with stress as an educator. Enjoy :-)
— ukedchat (@ukedchat) April 4, 2013
I really enjoyed some of the ideas shared to help reduce stress and I also shared some of mine. To read some of the fun ideas to reduce stress as a teacher - click this link to see some of the ideas shared during the chat, and click here for relevant links.

I wanted to share in a little bit of detail an idea that many found intriguing and wanted to know more about. As it was too long to explain fully in a tweet I will explain in a bit more detail here. Here was my original tweet:


#ukedchat we have inspectors in our class who announce in assembly all the good things each teacher has done that week, can't help but smile
— Mr Parkinson (@ICT_MrP) April 4, 2013
The idea is that a celebration/good work assembly not only celebrates and acknowledges the children'…

Using Twitter to provide some quick and interesting lesson starters

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I am a big fan of using multimedia as a way of stimulating children in discussions and writing. As the saying goes, 'a picture is worth a thousand words,' and using pictures and videos can really help children develop ideas and give them a purpose and focus for their writing.

One website which is great for providing videos, pictures and other media that can be used in Literacy is the Literacy Shed. Started by @Redgierob, this amazing resource provides so many amazing resources to cover every aspect of the Literacy curriculum.
Click here to read more about using videos and pictures in Literacy.




Many teachers are now starting to realise the massive benefits of using twitter as a way of building a learning network, sharing ideas, connecting with other great teachers and learning how to improve as a teacher to enhance the learning in their classroom. Most teachers will follow other educators however I want to share some other types of accounts which are great to use as a focus in cl…