Showing posts from September, 2016

An Assembly on Selflessness, Thanks to the Brownlee Brothers

If you are stuck for a quick assembly idea this week, look no further than the following clip:

This inspiring finish to the race demonstrates why sport is so important not just for exercise but to teach us so many vital life skills.
Play the video but don't play the sound. Discussing the video, some questions to consider:
When in the race does this event happen? How do you know?What event are they participating in? What makes up a triathlon? 15km swim, 40km bike ride, 10km runIs the race taking place in somewhere hot or cold? How do you know?What might have contributed to Jonny struggling to finish the race? The humid weather.As Jonny, turned the corner, how do you think he was feeling? Can you think of some words to describe it?How do you know the boys are related? Both have the same name of their shirt.Which brother is older? Why do you think that?What was the choice Alistair had when he turned the corner?Why did he make the decision to help his brother? What would he lose by mak…

Bedtime Stories - The Latest ReadWritePerform Teaching Pack!

I am so proud to announce that the latest teaching pack from Read Write Perform is now available to download. The feedback from teachers all over the world after using the previous two packs has been fantastic! Both myself and John are so happy to see the impact the packs are having on children's learning! We are so excited about the other packs we have in the pipeline. We have another 20+ packs planned and hoping to have one released each half term.

The latest pack - Bedtime Stories: A Dragon's Adventure - challenges your pupils to write and then retell their own bedtime story all about a dragon. The pack follows the Read Write Perform overview:

The pack guides teachers through with plans, questions and ideas that cover every element of the English curriculum in a cohesive and meaningful way. Far too often I see the writing process in classrooms not reflecting a real writing process. In many cases, reading is separate from writing and performance isn't even considered. As…

Guided Reading with Justin Bieber

Texts can come in many different forms: books, newspapers, magazines, film clips, animations and music. Giving children a mix can be a great way to improve a range of reading skills.

I have previously blogged about how music can be used to practise comprehension skills and you can read the blog here -

While I would encourage you to use these ideas and lessons, I think it is important to make sure you have a balance between these shorter texts and longer whole stories.

My work with John Murray has certainly inspired these posts, so please check his website out and also look at the READWRITEPERFORM resources for more of these ideas and strategies to teaching English.

So love him or hate him, Justin Bieber is one of the biggest stars on the planet, he has dominated the charts in 2016.

Having listened to his latest songs, I had some great ideas for developing comprehension skills. Unfortunately, out of …

Facebook Live in the Classroom!

From the moment we started using iPads in class, I saw the potential for them to help capture and share pupil's learning and achievements to parents and the world. This is what kickstarted our school blog and then twitter and Facebook pages.

On all my training, I discuss how powerful social media can be for schools to share work with parents, teach children the importance of being responsible, positive digital citizens and how inspiring it can be for students when they know their work is being share to a global audience.

I know how important it is for parents to feel involved in the school life of their child but many are unable to attend assemblies, performances and sports days. I have tested a number of live streaming apps and tools and previously blogged about them (you can read them here and here.) Over time new tools such as Google Hangouts and periscope have made this easier but the one tool I am very fond of is the Facebook Live tool.

A lot of schools are very cautious and…

Get Seesaw Plus for FREE!

I am very proud to announce that I am officially a Seesaw Ambassador! For well over a year, I have been sharing the fantastic ways in which Seesaw can be used in the classroom on lots of my CPD. I have dabbled with other similar apps like Google Classroom and Showbie, however, for me the simplicity of Seesaw has made it the one we have chosen to go with in my school. The impact from using Seesaw has been instant and as part of my CPD I share all the ways in which it can be used to help the 'working smarter, not harder' approach.
I have also benefited massively from the parents app as my children's school has also been using it and the discussion it has encouraged in our house has been amazing.
This year, I am continuing to share and build on the great things already happening with Seesaw. A perk of being an ambassador means I get the Seesaw Plus features for FREE! But I have found a way in which you can also get Seesaw Plus for FREE!
The cost for Seesaw Plus is around £90…

Let's Do Spelling From Andrew Brodie!

I have previously blogged about some of the great apps from the team at Andrew Brodie. The Let's Do Mental Maths and the Telling The Time apps are great consumer apps to use in the classroom. Now they have released the Let's Do Spelling Series with an app for every Year group from Year 1-6.

The apps are all tailored to the English Curriculum and has plenty of activities to help children develop their spelling.

With three different activities, including progress tests, the app is easy for children to navigate and use where they can challenge themselves to match their own ability. Their is even the option to create your own spelling lists and activities.

I really like the audio element and how each word is put into a sentence and read aloud before the student then spells the word.

The app uses the tried and test 'learn, write, check' approach in the practice section and each activity has three levels of difficulty. For a quick demo of some of the features, check out the …

15 things teachers dread about going back to school!