Thursday, 27 April 2017

Hand Facts

Got a fact you want your class to remember? Try Hand Facts...

By the entrance to your classroom, place a hand and each week, below it, place a fact (we've used it for maths, but there could be one for English too, or the fact could change between subjects). 


As the children enter and leave the room, they place their hand on the fact and say it. This repetition helps them to remember the fact. Fact.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Visualiser and Mistake Annotations

Today, I had some of yesterday's maths work that I wanted to show the class. So, I decided to use the iPad stand, an iPad device with the camera app on and AirServer. This allowed me to show the child's work on the classroom projection, where all the children could see it. In addition, I laid a piece of OHT paper over the work so I could annotate it as I spoke about the work. As you know, we love OHT here at PI Towers! Go to your school office; they'll have loads of the stuff in a dusty corner and will be happy for you to take it away! Child's work, visualiser, projector and transparent paper. Was very effective. 


Here's what the children could see.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

What I Wish Me Teacher Knew About Me

Over half way through the year, and now working as a job share (with each other incidentally), we decided to ask the children to write down something they wanted us to know. We've gotten to know them quite well, some more than others, but there's always more to find out. 


Some wrote down things we already knew, others wrote about school or home, and some were really surprising:

- a boy whose parents have separated;

- a child who had recently overcome a fear;

- someone who had taken up a new sport;

- a girl who pointed out she'd like us to stop getting her name wrong.

So, if you get 5 minutes, ask your class, "What would you like your teacher to know about you?" 

It'd make a really good transition day activity, first day of term task or, as we did just ad hoc...

Saturday, 25 March 2017

5 Gold Rings in Class

Have you been watching ITV's new quiz show, '5 Gold Rings'? It's great, we really like it. Watched the first episode, shouted at the TV, discussed (little left, bit down, bit more up...) and decided we'd watch again. Then, second episode, we discovered the app - we could play too while watching the contestants! Then, of course (like we do), we thought of a way to get it into class...

The uses are endless. Here's how it works: there's a picture of something with part missing or covered up. The person playing the game has a ring and needs to predict where something is. For example, finding the number 4 on this clock face:
Print out the picture with a missing part on paper, provide children with a pen and something circular and ask them to draw a circle where they thing the target is located. To allow children to check their work, have the answer printed on a piece of OHT paper that they can lay over their answer to see how they did. 


                 Guess                                                                  Compared to Answer

Both, Side by Side

As I said, the opportunities for this are endless. But, here are some example questions and answers. Included there are: the clock face shown above, 'find Northern Ireland', 'locate the amber traffic light' and 'Where's the top of the A?'.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Could Papa, Actually Get The Moon?

At the weekend, I watched an animation of 'Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me' for the first time. As I watched it with my own children at home, it struck a chord with me as my class are currently studying a unit in science about the Earth, Sun, Moon and our Solar System. So, today, I played the animation for my class. After I'd played it, I played it a second time and asked the children to write down anything in the video they thought was fictional rather than scientific fact.



Made with Padlet

In future years, I might use this task as a pre and post assessment. What do they think is fictional before some teaching and then afterwards. Nice story, nice animation and some good science learning...

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Slow / Fast Motion Video Task

Again some inspiration from the TV series Taskmaster. We've had success in the past with the 'Backwards Video Task'. In the most recent series, the contestants were asked to film something that when sped up or slowed down made it more interesting or amusing.


Again like before, use it as a group work and/or ICT task. Both iMovie and Movie Maker allow speeding up or slowing down a clip and apps can be purchased to do the same too.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Twitter for Parts of Speech

Find a Tweet or two (with no swearing or major punctuation/grammar errors*) and ask the children to identify the parts of speech contained in it. They'll be short texts as they've got to be within 140 characters.

  In this example, I found a Tweet with the word 'stamp' in it:
Here's another...

* It's a challenge!  

You could even write your own, or get the children to

Friday, 17 March 2017

The Story of the Rugby Match

In rugby (union and league), points are earned in various different ways during a game. 

Here's the scoring system in rugby union:
- try, 5 points (and then the opportunity to kick a conversion for 2 points);
- penalty, 3 points;
- drop goal, 3 points (not frequent).

So, looking at a scoreline from a game, can pupils work out how the teams achieved the scores they have? These could be mid-game (like the ones below), full time or even fictional.






Are all scorelines possible? Can any scores only be gained in one way?

Friday, 3 March 2017

The Shoe Shop is Open

Here's an idea to help with those practical lessons. Particularly art, DT and so on...
 

You know, sewing where half the class want their needle rethreading, DT where everyone needs to use the glue gun and similar occurrences.

It uses the system I first came across as a child in Clarks. You go in the shop, take a ticket with a number on and then wait. In an orderly fashion, those with tickets are seen. The shop assistant decides when they next see someone.

In the classroom, put up five Post-It Notes with the numbers 1-5 on them. If someone needs help from the teacher, they take a number and see what else they can get on with. In order, the teacher calls out which number they will see next (in a "Cashier number 4 please" voice of course!). When the child has been seen, they put their number back for someone else to use. If there are more than one adult in the room, each adult has their own coloured Post-It.

It works quite well. Give it a go.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Weather Tree

Another post that is in response to a Tweet we received.



So, here's something we did a fair few years ago...



To start with, the tree is empty and each day a leaf is added. The colour of the leaf is dependant on the temperature outside. On the leaf, other observations and readings about the weather can be added. 


What is creates is a very visual display of the temperature changes across the year. On closer inspection, further information about the day's weather can also be seen.


The leaves were kept in coloured pouches at the bottom that had the key written on them to explain what the colours referred to.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Some Quite Interesting Numbers

Watching last week's QI on the BBC, they had a feature that I thought would be useful in school to ignite some interest in maths. 

What's interesting about these numbers?


The picture is the Mayan zero.

The '2 to the power of...' is the largest known prime number (at the time of writing).

If someone wrote out the numbers 1 - 10 billion in words and organised them in alphabetical order, 8,000,000,085 would be the first odd number.

142,857 is a cyclical number: multiply it by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 and the product (each time) is an anagram of it!

Frobenius number - Chicken nuggets are sold in 6s, 9s and 20s. 43 is the largest number of nuggets that can't be bought.   

There you go. Share them as they are, or even make an investigation out of some of them. Quite interesting.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Christmas Countdown Problem



The above shows a Christmas countdown that we have on a window in our kitchen at home from the 1st of December. It's designed to be used like an Advent calendar and only in December (hence having 2 lots of 2 for '22 days to go' and 2 lots of 1 for '11 days to go', but not 2 lots of the other numbers). Today, I noticed that someone has begun a countdown towards Christmas 2017 (don't worry, it's coming down shortly). However, if we were to continue, how many days could not be shown with the numbers available and what 'days to go' are they? For example '222 days to go' can't be shown as there are only 2 lots of 2, but 357 and 356 can both be shown.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Órlagh's Birthday Riddle



It is true, I know 'cos it's my daughter. I'm going to give that statement to my class this week to see if they can figure out how it can be true.


In case you hadn't already worked it out... She was born on 31/12/2014. She therefore spent sometime (not much) in 2014, also 2015 and 2016. As it's now 2017, that's a fourth (calendar) year. The years are actually irrelevant as the answer is she was born on New Year's Eve and two years and one day later, it's now New Year's Day.