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Showing posts from October, 2013

How to ensure impact with blogging!

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The idea behind children blogging is simple - give them a platform to write for a real audience and this provides a purpose to write. When children have a purpose, it impacts on the quality of writing.

The most difficult part for teachers trying to encourage children to blog, is to create an audience for children to write for. There are a few websites teachers can sign up for an use to really help build an online audience:

100 Word Challenge -  Simply an amazing way to promote and showcase children's writing. Each week a prompt is given which the children need to write a blog post of 100 words about. The post is then linked from your blog to the 100wc.net website where it can be seen by the thousands of schools, teachers and children that visit the site each week. A group of willing volunteers have the busy job of trying to comment on as many posts as possible. As the site now gets around 1000 entries a week they are crying out for people to help comment on children's work. I t…

Beyond the Typical Multiplication App

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I am very fond of using different multiplication apps for children to practise their times tables and quick recall of number facts however very few apps allow children to develop their understanding of multiplication beyond this. However a new app, developed by Daydream Education, aims to cover all aspects of multiplication covered in the new curriculum. It covers the ability for children practise their times tables but then extends this by looking at methods for long multiplication, multiplying by multiples of 10 and useful tips.

(Click the picture to see the app.)


Having tested the app with a Year 6 class, I wrote this case study for the app which covers all the great features of the app - CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD:



After the lesson I interviewed some of the class, here are their thoughts:


listen to ‘Daydream multiplication app’ on Audioboo


At a price of £2.49, it is a MUST HAVE for all schools using iPads in the classroom.

SPEED LEARNING - MANCHESTER - Thursday November 21st

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If you haven't attended a Teachmeet or Speed learning event, you are really missing out! These free CPD events can be incredibly inspiring and will have you buzzing with new ideas to try in the classroom. After attending a speed learning event at St Silas last year, our school Davyhulme Primary, has decided to host a Manchester event on Thursday 21st November from 4pm - 5.45pm.

What is Speed Learning?
Knowing how precious everyone’s time is, Speed Learning aims to provide an intensive but fun learning opportunity after school. You will leave each event having picked up a series of top tips and short term strategies to support learning as well as one or two longer term ideas and thoughts.
When you arrive you will be warmly greeted by teachers, teaching assistants, heads and leaders – all of whom are part of the Primary Network – the largest school-led national network of primary practitioners. Running from 16.00 – 17.45, you can have a well-earned cup of tea and a few biscuits whilst y…

Writing for a real audience!

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This half term I have been working with a year 5 class on a Thursday afternoon. We have been basing our work around the theme from the Film Blackfish about Whales in captivity. In the first week back in September, after discussing the film with the class, the class created an awareness video, which supported the fight to free Orca whales in captivity. Here is the video:

The reaction to video was inspiring, to see some of the feedbackCLICK HERE.
From this reaction, it has provided the class with an audience and therefore a REAL purpose to write. I had to use this opportunity and the platform of the blog to share children's writing about this topic. 
The amount the children have been blogging about this topic has been amazing! The standard and quality of writing is clear to see as children know that their writing is being read by experts and professionals all over the world -You can read some of their work here.
I have seen this in the tasks we have completed in class based on this topi…

Pic Collage - More than just making posters!

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It is usually the first app that schools download when they have purchased iPads in the classroom and usually the most used app if schools only use iPads to a limited degree. I visit many schools that are full of posters made on Pic Collage, visually great but have no real impact on learning. As an app to enhance learning it is still one of the best, only if teachers use some of its lesser known features.

Firstly, using Pic Collage to create posters, eye catching topic covers, persuasive leaflets etc is an engaging activity for children but shouldn't become a regular lesson. Instead look at other ways in which Pic Collage can be used as a tool in Literacy and across the curriculum.

Take for example the frame layout option, where you can add frames arranged in different ways almost resembling a comic strip. This could lead to a variety of different tasks in which children can use the app. Children could create a set of instructions using the camera and then labelling each picture …