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Showing posts from May, 2014

15 iPad lessons for the World Cup

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I am proud to announce that my first ever eBook is now on the iBooks store. "15 iPad lessons for the World Cup," is the perfect companion for any teacher using the World Cup as a topic in a classroom with iPads over the next half term.

Although all the ideas are tailored to the World Cup they can easily be adapted to any topic or focus. You can download a copy of the eBook for the very reasonable price of 99p by clicking the picture below. If you like the book and find it useful I would really appreciate if you could rate and leave a review on the iBooks store - click here.

Thank you for all the continued support with this blog.


Update - 25th May - Just a day after release, the book is currently sitting number 8 in the iBooks chart for ALL books:

This fantastic achievement was then picked up and shared in the Manchester Evening News.
I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has purchased and downloaded the book! It means an awful lot! I also want to say to spe…

Enhance your end of year performance with the iPad

SATs are over! Well for at least the rest of this year! Most teachers will now be planning the BIG end of year production.

What some teachers may struggle with, is keeping their class engaged when they are not on stage. I thought it would be useful to share some ways in which the iPad can be used when rehearsing a school production. I have previously blogged about how to use a production as a focus for lots of cross curricular activities (READ HERE). All of these ideas relate to how the production can be enhanced using the iPad.

1 - Production Posters 

There are a range of different poster making apps on the iPad. My three favourites: Pic Collage,Phoster and Comic Life. Using the iPads, ask the children to research and look at different film, TV and theatre posters to create a checklist for what they would need to include on their effort. Being able to add backgrounds, images and choose from a range of different fonts and colours will encourage the children to be as creative as they ca…

Flipping the genre, altering characters... being creative with stories!

Another idea from one of my favourite books "50 ways to retell a story," by Alan Peat has been the inspiration for this blog post, along with my recent post about using Pixar in the Classroom.

Last Halloween, I decided to challenge the children to rewrite familiar fairytales as horror stories after watching a video shared by @SparkyTeaching :


This idea challenged the children in two ways - firstly, whether they could write a story using the features of a particular genre. Secondly, to show a thorough understanding of the original story. They had to use the same characters and loosely the same events in the story but tell it differently to create the haunted tale. Once the children had written their stories they recorded them using Audioboo to create a spooky podcast!

listen to ‘GoldieGhost - Eleanor and Libby’ on Audioboo
listen to ‘Megan and Marcus’ on Audioboo
listen to ‘Snow Bite ’ on Audioboo



The children loved creating an interesting spin on these familiar stories and the …

How Pixar can help develop writing!

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I am a massive fan of Disney, especially Pixar! Each film is always a box office smash and they continue to be at the forefront of animation and storytelling in the movie world.

Over the past few weeks, I have been talking on twitter with @pinkhev about ideas you can use in the classroom from Pixar. What I believe makes Pixar stand out isn't just that they have been one step ahead as far as the technology they use in their films but the incredible stories behind each one. I truly believe the approach they take towards creating stories is one that should be shared and used in the classroom.

I recently watched the film, The Pixar Story, which tells the story of the company and that itself is a completely inspiring tale about how you should never give up and follow your dreams.

There are resources online that share some of Pixar's wisdom behind the art of their storytelling. This clip, which @Pinkhev pointed my way is a great video to share with a class and use to develop storie…

Inspiring writing through the new Pixel Press App

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Prince of Persia - £335 million at the box office.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - £150 million at the box office.
Resident Evil - £200 million at the box office

What do all these movies have in common? They are all video games that were developed into films.

With other popular video games currently being made into films, such as, Angry Birds, Temple Run and Assassin's Creed, it seems Hollywood is exploiting the popularity and the storytelling potential of video games. Why not do it in the classroom?

I am a big believer in using Camouflage Learning as a technique to engage reluctant learners and 'trick,' children into learning. To read more about Camouflage learning Click HERE.

I have also previously blogged about iPad apps that allow children to create their own iPad games. To read that post, click here.

This week saw the release of the eagerly anticipated "Floors," app by Pixel Press.

This incredible free app allows children to design their own computer game by hand…

Improving locational writing using Minecraft

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It's simple, the more I use Minecraft in the classroom, the more I think of the incredible potential to this app. I have used it for a number of activities such as Area and Perimeter and designing a classroom. Teachers know what Minecraft is through how much their students will talk and talk about it. As a strong believer in Camouflage learning I wanted to again see whether the use of a game the children are obsessed with, would firstly enthuse the children to write and also inspire them to produce some quality writing.

A mindmap showing how Minecraft can be used across the curriculum.

Minecraft has two modes of gameplay- survival and creative. Survival mode is much more like a video game where players must survive against different elements, collect tools and resources and protect themselves against different threats. Creative mode gives players access to all the resources and allows them to build anything. This mode has big potential for use in the classroom, here is one way we u…

Grid Guru 2 - Guidance through the Grid Method

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I recently came across this app and have wanted to try it with a class for a while. Grid Guru 2 is an app from Primary Apps which looks at guiding children with their long multiplication through the grid method.

It is often difficult and frustrating for children when they solve a long multiplication problem when they realise somewhere along the way they have miscalculated and therefore got the wrong answer.

Grid Guru supports children through every step of the grid method by checking every calculation the children solve. The children can choose from a range of calculations such as TUxU TUxTU HTUxU or HTUxTU or even choose their own numbers.

The app then displays the calculation in the grid method. Children can then press the partition button which then partitions the numbers into the correct grid. It would be great if children could input this themselves rather than having it done for them. However by asking the children to discussing and writing how to partition the numbers they cou…