Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Disney in French

I have two toddler daughters. In recent years, I've become very familiar with the plots, characters and songs of 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Frozen' in particular. One day last week, one daughter wanted to dance to 'Build a Snowman'. So, I searched for it on my phone. For some reason, the French version came up. It struck me that this could be another way to access a language in a classroom. A hook, a stater, game or just for a bit of fun...

La Reine des Neiges - Je voudrais un bonhomme de neige

Friday, 15 March 2019

Bonza Vocabulary

A few weeks ago, I came across an app. Bonza is its name. Cheers Alex for the Tweet about it. So, it's a word game. The parts of the puzzle need to be put back together to form a crossword. Before the puzzle comes up, there is a hint as to what the puzzle's topic may be.

Gave the game a go. Enjoyed it. Thought about uses in school. After investigating the app a little, found it is rated 12+ due to some of the vocabulary and subject content within the app. However, here are some ideas for using Bonza and/or Bonza-style puzzles in class...

1. Create a puzzle and then project to a screen from your own device. Complete the puzzle together. We've blogged about this approach in the past.

2. Create a puzzle and print it out to be cut and stuck, or the answers written out.

3. Create a puzzle and the. Recreate it in Word, PowerPoint or similar.

What could the puzzles be about? A spelling rule, verb tenses, topic-based vocabulary, revision and, well anything that involves words really.

Another tool to add a bit of variety to a classroom and learning. Age rating of the app just a tad irritating. NB, puzzles can only be completed in the app and not through a browser either...

Here's one I made to go with our Year Five's rivers topic (also pictured above).

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Revision Badges

We spotted a Tweet...
It got us thinking. As we're both now teaching in Year Six (together - I know!), could we do something similar for our learners?

So, we set to work. We looked at some Question Level Analysis, asked pupils, teachers and TAs and then created a bank of items the current Year Six could do with some reminders of.

A bit of work in PowerPoint, adding the information to circular templates, before printing and putting them through the badge maker, and we'd got some badges!

We've created 40 of them. The idea being that we dip into the pot of badges each day between now and the second week in May and wear the badges for the pupils to see.

We've been wearing them for four days so far. The pupils ask adults what their badge says and ask questions about them. We currently have no proof if they are working. But, the signs look promising and they can't have a negative impact! 

Our badge machine is a 55mm badge maker and therefore our templates are for 55mm badges. If you think we've missed a fact or facts, please let us know. And, of course, please help yourself to a copy of our templates.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Place Value and Receipts

As it's the Half Term break, my family and I took in a spot of lunch out earlier today. We were in a well known pub chain that have an app that allows orders to be made from the table...

A receipt we received, contained various numbers. All the numbers need to be read in Key Stage Two. Grab a load of receipts. Can the children in Year Four/Five read all the numbers on them?

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Vocabulary of Testing

Here's an idea from a colleague...

We do tests (not the official ones) to find out what children do/don't know, to give them practice of what a test is like and to teach test technique.

Good practice is to review the test with the pupils. What did they get right? What did they get wrong? Why?

Something we've recently learned is to ask the children for 'the words they did not understand'. Then, spend some time defining these words and then display them for all to see. Can't do the test if you don't understand the vocabulary...

Monday, 3 December 2018

Advent Maths

So, this year (2018), 1st December was on a Saturday. Doors opened on Advent calendars all around the land. Go to church on 2nd December and they're lighting their candle and saying that it was the first day of Advent.


There are four Sundays in Advent. The four Sundays leading up to Christmas Day.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

#Taskmaster - Estimate of Perimeter in...

Calculating perimeter can be a bit, er, repetitive.

Estimating can be a bit, er, repetitive.

So, you've been studying perimeter. You've measured, you've done 2(A+B), the trundle wheels have been out, you've costed a new fence for the school field and more...

You've tried and tried to convince your class of the virtues of estimating, but they think you're just balmy.

Well, we like this task!

In the task the contestants have to estimate the perimeter of the caravan in baked beans. So, perimeter of the field in beans, the perimeter of the school hall in paper clips, the perimeter of a maths book in dice and so on...

Same learning, same objectives, but in a different way. Mix things up and get 'em thinking! Let us know how y'all get on...