Posts

Showing posts from February, 2015

Decorating my house with Augmented Reality

Image
To say I am a fan of Augmented Reality is an understatement! I feel it is a very powerful tool to enhance and transform learning in many ways, from inspiring writing to sharing and displaying children's work.

You can read some of my previous posts on Augmented Reality here -

Augmented Reality in the classroom

Using Augmented Reality to inspire Augmented Reality

Can Augmented Reality improve Writing?

Mr P is abducted by Aliens!

Interactive Reading Display

Multimedia Digital Stories

Giving Children Super Powers

After months of worrying and stress, we have finally bought our first family home. This half term we have taken baby steps in decorating our house and decorated one wall as a way to keep memories of all our precious holidays abroad -




We bought a world map wall sticker and framed a picture from every holiday we have been on since we met. Obviously it is a work in process and hopefully we will be able to add more to it over the years. 
I felt that one picture wasn't enough and wan…

More Disney in the Classroom!

Image
This lesson was inspired by a recent trip the see the incredible theatre production of Lion King in Manchester. After chatting to John Murray, he told me about a lesson he has done based on the Lion King.

I have previously blogged about using Disney in the classroom, you can read it here.

The following is what we did with his lesson. John Murray visited our school last year and delivered some reading training. I was extremely impressed and immediately brought him on board with the Literacy Shed. I would not advise schools to invest in training with someone I didn't highly recommend myself. John is the author of the fantastic "Reading Explorers" book series, which is having a BIG impact in our school. His training is practical, accessible, engaging and his ideas work in the classroom. As you will see from the following lesson we did today!

Show this picture of Mufassa and Scar.



 Who do they think the King is and who is the villain? Why do they think this? What attributes …

Using Virtual Reality in the Classroom!

Image
I recently purchased a Google Cardboard Virtual Reality headset. Placing your smartphone into the headset and loading a compatible app, the lenses create an impressive and rich 3D environment.

Most compatible apps are available on Android, as the concept for this headset was created by Google. There are however a few iPhone apps and YouTube videos you can use on your iPhone. Possibly the best app for the headset on iPhone is - Dive City Coaster.



And this is what we used in class today to inspire some writing. Today I was working with a Year 2 class and I asked them if they had every been to a theme park before? We then discussed what we find at a theme park. Once we identified Rollercoasters as a feature, I asked how many have been on. Of course no-one had, as they are too young. However I told them today they are virtually going to ride a rollercoaster.

Before children immersed themselves in the rollercoasters, we discussed why people ride them and why they are popular. We listed wo…

Dino Tales! Immerse children in a Dinosaur filled world!

From the creators of the great app, Hakitzu, comes this new and impressive app - Dino Tales. This fantastic prehistoric environment will have children hooked as they navigate and explore this dino invested landscape. Filled with different challenges, children will love using this app as a stimulus for topic and literacy work and is sure to get them engaged and inspired with their learning! Watch the video below to see the app in action!

I know many classes use Dinosaurs as a topic and this app would fit nicely as children will learn all about different dinosaurs while playing this impressive 3D game.

What I love about this app is the clear links with literacy. Children building up questions to ask to find out more about Dinosaurs to then writing their own storybook, recounting the gameplay. The parent tools allow you to control how long the gameplay is meaning you can keep it to a short snappy task before using it as a stimulus for more writing.

You can download a copy of the app - HE…

Interviewing the "Big Bad" Wolf

Image
One of the best writing opportunities when looking at traditional fairytales is writing alternative stories from different points of view. Using the children's knowledge of the original story but trying a put a creative spin by looking at a different side.

There are a couple of videos that can help with this, including -


Which would be great for KS2. Today I was working with KS1 so decided to use this as our starting point - 

A great little video that provides a fine example of a traditional tale told from a different perspective. We discussed the video - the wolf's reasons, whether we believed him or not and whether if this was the true story would have been as interesting/memorable. To test the children's understanding, I asked them to interview the wolf using an app on the iPad. 
There are plenty of apps that allow children to take a photo and animate it. Morfo booth is a favourite, but today we used another. Yakit Kids allows you to animate a picture by adding animated …

FIRST CLASS MATHS: WHERE CURIOSITY MEETS CHALLENGE - Guest Blog by Gareth Metcalfe

Image
I can’t think of two more appropriate words to describe First Class Maths than curious and challenging. It’s been designed to truly stretch the most able primary mathematicians, and also to captivate the imagination of these young learners. I believe it fulfils the vision of mastery within mathematics, giving children the opportunity to apply learning in deep and non-standard contexts.
The resource is comprised of 24 tasks, from extended mathematical problems to complicated logic puzzles. The tasks are quirky, designed to surprise and intrigue as much as to challenge and extend. For example, one task asks the question ‘What percentage of the water in the pool is inside of the bodies of the swimmers?’
Here are some snippets from a range of the tasks. Each card starts with a context-based prompt. ‘The Supernest’ task, for example, explores number systems with different bases by bringing to life an argument between insects who count on their legs:

The children are then presented with an…

Enhancing Speaking and Listening in EYFS

Image
I have been working in Nursery over the past few weeks. I have been looking at ways in which the iPads can be used to help enhance learning in the EYFS classroom. We have been focusing on using the iPads to help children develop their speaking and listening skills. Here are a couple of the activities we have done:

Children created a fact sheet all about polar bears, using the app Thinglink, we then recorded children sharing their facts and linking these to make an interactive fact poster -




Last week the children were learning all about the story - The Three Little Pigs! They listened to the story and using some talk for writing techniques were learning to retell it. To help with this, we used the iPads to turn the children into the characters from the story. Using the app 'Animal Face,' children took a picture of themselves and added features to transform them into one of the three little pigs or the big bad wolf.


Here is an animoto slideshow we made of the children's pictu…

A Fun Alternative to Bookmarking - Guest Post by Alex Jones

Image
Bookmarks have long been a tool that people have used to keep track of the items that are the most important to them. Unfortunately, bookmarks are very manual and after you have saved one, they can sometimes be difficult to recall especially if you have a lot of them. Not only do you have to be on the same computer that the bookmark was saved on, but you are also not able to share these bookmarks with others. In the teaching world, there can be a great benefit when teachers are able to share particular items with other teachers as well as students and their parents. Treycent has been designed to help with this issue. You first upload links to your favorite documents, presentations and video to the website (treycent.com). These items can then be recalled using any mobile browser or your Google Chrome desktop browser. This means that teachers will no longer have a difficult time uploading presentations to a device other than their computer. They can also share them easily with their stude…