Showing posts from 2018

Making our own Interactive Avengers Story Cubes

Before I start discussing what we did, it is only right to share where the original idea for this project came from. This blog post by the brilliant @Joe_Moretti gave me the inspiration for this project - AR STORYCUBES PROJECT

I have been using my iPad with my children to support them with their reading journal homework for a while now. My boys struggle with their handwriting and find it very onerous to write even though they have some great ideas.

As discussed by @MrTullock at the Animate2Educate conference last week, technology should be used to enable children to show their knowledge and understanding even if they struggle with an element such as decoding or handwriting or spelling. I loved a quote he shared, and I have linked it in a poster to the story @CarolJAllen shared around the latest BGT winner.

I want to use technology so my children and pupils can create content to express themselves, their knowledge and their understanding.

Making our own Interactive Avengers Story Cube …

Reading Comprehension through World Cup Songs

So the World Cup is here! I'm sure many of your pupils are excited and can't wait to see their footballing idols in action.

A great resources to link to the World Cup, which helps raise standards in English but also embeds key digital literacy skills is the Read Write Perform Sports Manager Pack:

Buy the pack before England are knocked out and get my 15 iPad Lessons for the World Cup eBook for FREE!
There are also other ways in which you can use the World Cup to engage pupils in English. Music seems to go hand in hand with football, from chants in the stadiums to songs in the charts. This great article discussing the power of the football song -

Why not use some of the most popular songs from past World Cups and Euros as texts for comprehension? 
I have previously blogged loads of different songs you can use in class and you can read them all here: Songs for Reading Comprehensi…

More Emotional Literacy Through Music

If you have followed my blog for a while, you will know I am a massive fan of using music in the classroom, especially for reading comprehension. You can read about other songs I have blogged here.
Here is another example:

Here is a lyric video to the song:

“Praying” is a song by Kesha believed to be directed at her long legal battle with producer Dr. Luke. It is believed the producer sexually and emotionally abused the singer over a number of years. While I wouldn't share this sensitive information with the class, the song has a powerful message about being positive when bad things have happened. Kesha described this song as:
This song is about me finding peace in the fact that I can’t control everything — because trying to control everyone was killing me. It’s about learning to let go and realize that the universe is in control of my fate, not me.“Praying” was written about that moment when the sun starts peeking through the darkest storm clouds, creating the most beautiful rain…

Enhancing our Mini Beast topic with technology

Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of working in Year 1. Their topic for this half term has been mini beasts and so I wanted to share with you some of the work we have been doing through technology.

First, you may have seen the Hungry Caterpillar video we made, you can read about how we created this here.

The children have also been learning about different mini beasts, researching facts and information and then creating these videos using the app - Shadow Puppets Edu:

Last week, students were writing their own mini beast poems, focusing on the use of alliteration. To add an element of performance, the pupils recorded themselves sharing their writing using the app ChatterPix Kids. Here are some of their examples:

These are just a couple of example of how I try to promote the use of technology in the primary classroom. It is about children creating content through these creative apps. Each of these ideas can easily be adapted to any topic you are doing with your pupils. 

The Struggles for Teachers Administrating a Test

If you're in the midst of testing season, I am sure you can relate to these videos:

This also made me chuckle, this chicken has nailed it as a teacher!

😂😂😂 Tag a teacher who walks like this! #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #teachers A post shared by Lee Parkinson (@ict_mrp) on Jan 13, 2018 at 1:25pm PST

I am sure every Year 6 teacher can also relate to this video from last year:

Make sure you follow on Mr P on:

Why Teachers have no patience by 9am

Another video for you to enjoy. Can you relate?

Make sure you follow on Mr P on:

Which Teaching Avenger are you?

With the new film breaking all sorts of records, I’ve put this video together looking at what the Avengers would be like as teachers. Which one do you relate to most? Let us know in the comments and get sharing with your colleagues if they remind you of anyone too!

Make sure you follow on Mr P on:

Making Dreams Come True Through The Internet

I am always trying to promote the positive use of the internet. For me, it has changed my life in a way I never thought possible. Having my ideas shared and used all around the world is amazing and now to be able to visit and work with so many teachers around the country and beyond is brilliant. It is a tool I use a lot in class to add an authentic purpose to children's learning. Connecting our classroom to professionals and experts through social media has had an incredible impact on the quality of work we get from our students.

I have blogged plenty of examples of where the internet has created these amazing opportunities and experiences for our pupils, such as Blackfish, learning about our local area or a message for the England football team.

A couple of weeks ago, we had primary futures week where our pupils were learning about different jobs, had parents visit and talk about their career and discussion our aspirations.

I worked with Year 2 and challenged them to make some e…

Creatively Retelling The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Who doesn't love this book?

An absolute classic! 
With Year 1 doing their Minibeast topic, I had to make a link and explore the book. We had read it through and used some of the brilliant Talk4Writing techniques to help us retell the story. To engage the children further, we decided to create our own version of the story starring Year 1.
To do this we used the masking tool with the brilliant Doink Greenscreen app. This short video demonstrates the process:

Once all the children had created their video on Doink Greenscreen. We put it all together in Apple Clips where pupils could also add emojis for all the food. This was their finished video:

I can't wait to use this idea with other areas of the curriculum!

Creating Interactive Guides to the Human Body

You may remember a project I did with Year One last term:

I decided to do a similar project with Year Three for their science topic about the Human Body. 
We started with the Curiscope Virtuali-tee. This amazing augmented reality t-shirt never fails to create a lesson of awe and wonder! If you've not ordered one of their t-shirts, I would highly recommend it. Buy a t-shirt here.
As a class, we explored all the different parts of the body and used the guide to learn facts about how our body works and what each organ does. The children were then given a part of the body and given some more time to find other facts about it.
Using the app Chatterkids Pix, the children had to create animated videos sharing their learning.
The students also used Greenscreen to create images giving the illusion we could see inside their body. Using Seesaw, they labelled all the different parts of the body:

To link everything together, we used the app Thinglink. This allowed all the pupils to embed their…

Two Mr Ps in a Pod(Cast)

I've just returned from the best holiday with my amazing family in Florida. We had such an amazing time.

While having a chat at night with my brother we got onto the topic of making a Podcast. My younger brother works as a HLTA in a primary school and from sharing stories about life in the classroom, we decided to give it a go. And so I am proud to introduce:
Two Mr Ps in a Pod(Cast) The idea of the podcast is to share funny stories from the classroom. What makes teaching one of the best jobs in the world is that no day is ever the same, and some of the things that happen and what children say keep us laughing through the current stress and pressure of our profession. We want to use this podcast to bring humour back into schools and show its not all doom and gloom. 
We want to hear from you too! What stories do you have from the classroom? Please share them here:

So we have just released our first episode. If you have an Apple device, you can listen to it here:

It is als…

Bringing Picture Books to Life!

Ever since John Murray (@ReadingExplorer) visited our school around 5 years ago, our school's approach to reading has changed massively. One aspect of the training which has really engaged our teachers and students was the use of picture books as a stimulus in English. It is something we have embraced right from EYFS to Year 6 and every class do at least one unit of English based on a picture book.

Since then, there's been a wealth of resources and support for using picture books to inspire English. One of my favourite people to follow on twitter is Simon Smith (@SmithSmm) who, for me, is like the guru of children's fiction. I was truly inspired by his session at Reading Rocks around the brilliant Arthur and The Golden Rope picture book. Click the picture to read Simon's blog post on this:

Year 4 have started looking at the beautiful book 'Flotsam.' Having explored the first few pages, we decided to create short videos telling the story in our own words.

To do t…

Removing Barriers in Reading Comprehension by improving Oral Speaking

Recently, I was asked to write an article for Teach Primary magazine alongside John Murray (@ReadingExplorer.) The topic was to explain the pedagogy behind the Read Write Perform approach. You can read the article here:

A big focus with Read Write Perform is to get teachers to value oral speaking skills and demonstrate how much speaking and listening benefits other areas of the English curriculum. I see with many schools the constant accountability of work in books through Book Scrutinies is forcing many teachers to neglect this part of the English Curriculum. This was something I discussed in Episode 1 of Taking Teaching Back:

The obsession with work in books can create barriers for certain children if writing is something they struggle with. I have seen this in maths and reading especially. If the only way a student can show their understanding and reasoning is by writing it as a full sentence in their book, it may look like they are struggling if writing is challengeing. 
Through …