Showing posts from June, 2013

Introducing Stop Start Animation with KS1

Thanks to the people over at @appsgonefree  I stumbled across the app Easy Studio , a week or so ago. Usually £2.49, this app was free for a limited time and so like any teacher having to work on a budget, I snapped it up as soon as I could. Sometimes these apps can be hit and miss and I tend to only go for apps I have seen being used in the classroom. At the beginning of our iPad journey, I downloaded endless amounts of apps with some being a complete waste of time. Now I am much more selective and really need to see something in practice before considering rolling the app out to every iPad. This app, Easy Studio, is a real gem!  The app is a stop start animation app using shapes. Children can create animations by creating shapes, photographing them, moving them, taking another photo and repeating the process so that when all the pictures are played in a sequence an animation is created. The app has two sections; an easy and expert mode. The reason that this app is fantastic for in

Camouflage Learning - Remove the barrier of "Learning being boring!"

I have found I use iPads in two major ways within the classroom: as a tool to engage and as a tool to create. In most of the projects I have completed with the children this year, I have tried to combine both these elements to get the best work from the children. Firstly, using the iPad to provide a focus to use in lessons has had a massive impact as far as engaging children, motivating them and leading them into a "false sense of learning." I recently attended and presented at a Speed Learning event as St Silas Primary in Liverpool. I provided a staff inset at the school where I shared different ideas of how I use the iPad to get the children engaged and then to create. I am always pleased to see some of those ideas being used. You can see the great work the school is producing on their school blog - . It was during the keynote presentation from  @digitalroadtrip  at the start of the Speed Learning event that the phrase "Camouflage Learnin

Simulation games - a school trip without the Risk Assessment!

When I was younger, I was an avid fan of simulation games. From Championship Manager to Sim City and from  Tamagotchi to Theme Hospital. Many hours spent immersing myself in these fantasy worlds. Imagine my delight when I stumbled across an app of one of my old favourites - Theme Park.   Theme Park allows you to run and build your own theme park, adding rides and different attractions to make money and keep customers happy. As always I looked at this game thinking of ways to use it in class to engage the children - following the idea of Camouflage Learning. The app is free however lures you into those dreaded in app purchases, so making sure these are disabled is a must. The app allows you to build your park in very small steps over days or even weeks. I didn't really allow the children play the game as it is intended, instead used the Master Theme Park that the children can roam around and see all the different parts, rides and attractions.  As a focus for Year 3 we used the a

Some fun with Shakespeare!!!!

I love Shakespeare! From first performing and learning it at school, I have enjoyed many of his sonnets and plays. As a primary school teacher, I often wish that the curriculum had more Shakespeare in it. I have dabbled before with some of his work, for the Year 5 Narrative Unit 4 - Older Literature I covered Romeo and Juliet with some amazing results. The children absolutely loved it! We also did a school production for Year 5 which was a modern twist on A Midsummer Night's Dream, again with fantastic results. I know that Shakespeare is covered at Secondary school but I don't see any harm in children familiarising themselves with some of his work and having fun with some of the older Shakespearean language at Primary. Most teachers may feel that the older language would really tricky for the children to understand but here is how you can overcome that in a enjoyable and engaging way. I came across this idea after stumbling on the twitter profile of  @Shakespearesong . A