My blog will share creative ideas to raise standards across the curriculum using technology. Mr P provides inset, keynotes and training to schools internationally looking for innovative ideas to engage, inspire and transform learning. Training is delivered by a real teacher with real ideas for using tech to enhance learning across the curriculum. For more info please email email@example.com.
Over the past term, I have been working with a group of Year 5 children, looking to boost their writing using the iPads. All the children were slightly below where they need to be in terms of their progress with writing, so it has been my job to try and improve this using the iPads. It has been tricky as I have only been able to work with the group once a week and even then, whenever a teacher has been ill or on a course, I have had to cover so missed the session. However in the short sequence of lessons we have had we have seen some incredible writing inspired by the use of iPads.
I have been using a lot of ideas from Inspired Mind's fantastic book - Developing Writing through Comics and decided to use a comic app as the inspiration for the writing project. The app 'Shifter,' is an interactive graphic novel with some incredible artwork, sound effects and an augmented reality partner app. The only problem with the app is that it has a 12+ rating on the app store as further…
Last week, I blogged about a few apps I have discovered that challenge the children to apply their understanding and knowledge in real life situations. YOU CAN READ THE BLOG POST BY CLICKING HERE.
Today I tried a couple of them with our Year 3 children who relished every minute using these apps!
In Numeracy, we used Motion Math: Pizza! This app is brilliant! The children were instantly hooked! There are so many aspects of this game that get children thinking carefully. They start with a budget of £50 have to buy ingredients, design a pizza and then decide how much it should be sold for in comparison how much it cost to make. They then have to deal with customers who buy different amounts of pizzas. They have to answer quickly before the customer loses their patience and leaves. The children may run out of ingredients, have customers who feel the pizza is overpriced. After each day the children are shown what profit they have made and can then buy more ingredients and make more pizzas.…
My eBook - The 12 iPad lessons of Christmas is available on the iBook store NOW for just 99p! On the first day of release it was the 3rd best selling eBook in the UK! Thank you to everyone who has downloaded a copy! If you haven't yet got one, be sure to give it a download as it will provide you with some fantastic and inspiring ideas in the lead up to Christmas! If you cannot download the eBook from iBooks, you can buy a PDF copy here.
Just to give you a flavour of some of the lesson ideas, here are a couple of finished examples children have created using lessons from the eBook -
Most of the training I provide is in the form of a whole school INSET for a day. This involves all the teachers and TAs having hands on practical training using technology to raise standards across the curriculum. The difference with whole school INSET and a conference is that you get a complete spread of confidence levels in teachers towards using technology. With my conferences usually attendees are ICT co-ordinators or teachers already confident in using technology. Sometimes with whole school INSET days some teachers do not believe technology can transform and improve learning beforehand so it is interesting to hear their evaluation after the training day.
I am often asked whether TAs should take part in the training and the answer is always YES! They are incredibly important in the support of children's learning and building their confidence is just as important as the teacher.
On Tuesday 18th November at the Kingsgate Conference Centre in Peterborough, 50 teachers attended my conference looking at using Technology to support and enhance the Primary Curriculum. The day was fantastic and the teachers were so responsive and enthusiastic! I want to thank everyone for attending and for the amazing feedback!
44 rated the content of the speaker as excellent
42 rated the delivery of the speaker as excellent
2 rated the delivery of the speaker as good
"Wow, excellent, creative and lots of amazing ideas to inspire hundreds of children! Thank you!""Interesting, enthusiastic speaker, who obviously believes passionately in his subject and importantly is still practising what he preaches as a 'real life' teacher." "A BRILLIANT day. Without a doubt THE best course that I have attended. Can't wait to get cracking!" "Very inspiring - thank you!""Was inspiring from the start! A lot to think about…
I am a massive fan of using real life situations for children to develop their learning in different ways. Having a real life stimulus makes learning relevant for children. The 'Mathematics Apprenticeship,' by Gareth Metcalfe is a perfect example of this. A fantastic resource for gifted and talented mathematicians to apply their skills into real word contexts.
I have previously blogged about the use of simulation apps as a stimulus in class here.
I have come across a couple of apps that have great potential for cross curricular real life projects. The first is KeyPlan 3D. This short little video will demonstrate what the app entails -
The potential to this app in the classroom is incredible! Children have to apply their knowledge of measurements if they were to redesign the classroom or create a replica of a room. They could use it for a project to design their own house, contact an estate agent to price up the property and even read then write some adverts for their creations…
I was very fortunate to be invited over to Dubai to run two seminars with teachers from all around the UAE in October. Working alongside ITTC, a newly formed company looking to provide quality CPD to schools across the UAE, I ran two training days sharing ideas, apps and strategies with some enthusiastic and friendly teachers. The feedback was incredible and I want to thank everyone who came to the seminars! I will be coming back over again soon no doubt, so if you are interested in further training please contact Shama here - firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 0508803995.
Here is a video showing some of the highlights from the event -
I also want to say a huge thank you to Steve from iPadEducators, who really helped spreading the word about my visit and has supported a lot of what I have been doing! I recently did an interview with him which you can read here -
The latest app from the fantastic team at Shiny Things (the team behind the great Quick Math bundle) is Shape Lab.
This app is fantastic for children learning about different shapes, their properties and measurements.
When looking through the new Numeracy curriculum and the objectives for properties of shape and position & direction, most can be covered using this brilliant app.
Children can simply draw their own shapes using their own fingers and the shape will appear. Children can choose from a range of backgrounds include centimetre paper, four quadrants, dotted papers and triangular graphed paper.
When shapes are created, they are filled in a colour which can be made transparent making it easy for children to work out the area of the shape with the cm paper as the background.
Images can also be added as the background meaning children can clearly identify a range of different shapes within a picture.
Children can easily create Tangrams and then also work out the perimeter or …
Another amazing advert was released in time for Christmas, which can be used as a great stimulus in class! Here is the video -
The video tells the story of British and German WW1 soldiers stopping the trench warfare for one day - Christmas Day.
This advert reminded me of a short story written by Michael Morpurgo, which you can view HERE.
The links that can be made here to the recent Remembrance Day celebrations along with the 100 year centenary.
This resource from the British Council may be useful - CLICK HERE.
As well as this fantastic Football Remembers pack, click the picture -
The writing opportunities in this pack are fantastic so do please have a look!
Please share any work you produce with your class with me and I will link it on this post.
Here is a padlet wall with more ideas from @Watsed -
Top Trumps is a popular game enjoyed by millions worldwide! The new free app 'Top Trump it,' give you the ability to make your own set of Top Trump Cards. This can be used as a tool in so many different ways! I want to share a few!
When you load the app you have to create a username and password, you can then make a top trump by adding a picture, using the camera or choosing from the photo library. Then you can add a title and add three stat and values. It would be great if you could add more, but it is just limited to three currently. There is a range of different backgrounds you can pick from before saving the card to the camera roll.
Here are a few quick ideas, that came to mind when playing with this app:
Why not test children's understanding of a story by asking them to make Top Trump cards for characters in their reading book -
I am so grateful for the help and support people have given me since starting this blog and the journey it has taken me on has been incredible!
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If you have found inspiration, useful ideas, help and support through my blog, I ask to take a minute to vote. It would be amazing to reach the next stage and see where it takes us!
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The Year 5 topic in Autumn is the great Michael Morpurgo book 'Kensuke's Kingdom.' In the past when I have worked with Year 5 we have done plenty of lessons on this topic on the iPads including - Researching the author. Creating Kensuke's Kingdom iPad games.Advertising the games.Creating comics based on the story
Today we used the iPads to create some of our own islands based on the story. First step was to create a replica of the island. To do this we read a passage from the story. The children quickly sketched out an image of the island based on this extract.
Then I asked the children to create a more detailed version in Minecraft. Minecraft is a fantastic tool for children to build and create anything! I have previously blogged about the potential to using Minecraft here. And also as a writing stimulus here. Today it was used more as a guided reading task where children had to recreate the setting based on reading part of the story. Here is a short video explaining e…
The John Lewis Christmas advert is becoming as much as a Christmas tradition as mince pies and mistletoe! These fantastic short videos are usually accompanied with a great soundtrack and lovely story. This year's effort doesn't disappoint! It is all about Monty the Penguin!
I have previously blogged about the use of John Lewis Christmas adverts which feature on the Literacy Shed here.
Here is the advert -
Straight away what immediately jumps out to me is the direct link to the story 'Lost and Found,' by Oliver Jeffers.
Although in the book, the penguin seems to be more attached to the boy and it is the other way round in the advert, there are definite links that can be made and discussions about the advert and book.
Here is a short trailer to the film based on the book -
Discussion about the video -
Before starting the video pause at one second, ask the children about the setting? Where is it? What clues tell us it the bedroom of a young boy? What hobbies interests may …
I am very excited to be hosting the upcoming Teachmeet in Stockport, Manchester. The event will be hosted at Cheadle Heath Primary School (SK3 0RJ) on Wednesday 19th November at 4.30pm.
There are plenty of places for people to come along to pick up some great ideas and tips! You can also sign up to present if you have something useful to share. The teachmeet has a focus on enhancing learning through the use of iPads so make sure you come along for some great free CPD. Teachmeets are great FREE events where teachers can network, pick up some useful ideas and have a decent brew!