Showing posts from 2017

Introducing #T12: #TeachTechGoals

Last week, I travelled to London for the #ADE2017 Institute. I was incredibly proud of becoming part of this amazing community and I had such a fantastic time; learning so much and connecting with some awesome educators from all over Europe.

Still buzzing from the Apple #ADE2017 institute last week! Thank you so much to everyone for your support, it was quite a journey! Thanks to @princess_ak85 for dropping the award off! Plenty of ideas and blog posts to follow! #ADE2017 #adechat #teachtechgoals #t12 A post shared by Lee Parkinson (@ict_mrp) on Jul 23, 2017 at 12:43pm PDT

One of the many highlights was the project we started with a special group of teachers: introducing #T12 - @TechTeachGoals

The Team (from right to left) -- @Headdowneyesup@MrTullock@dunne_robbie@assthead_jones@rooie_smithy and myself. 
We were given the challenge of creating content together using the app Apple Clips (another blog about this app coming soon.) We decided on the hashtag #TeachTechGoals as a way…

Robinwood Residential

I was very fortunate to go on our Year 6 residential last week. We went to Robinwood's Dobroyd Castle complex in Todmorden.

We left on Wednesday and returned on Friday afternoon. We had an amazing time! I cannot recommend Robinwood enough. From the moment we arrived, the organisation, enthusiasm and effort from the staff was first class. The pupils had an amazing experience, as did the staff. The range of activities available to the children was great - click here to see.

I decided to use the trip as another great example of how social media can be utilised to share what we were doing with parents. There are so many reasons why I encourage schools to utilise social media and giving parents an insight into what their children were doing on residential is another. Our school has a blog, twitter, facebook and youtube channel. We find Facebook to be the best channel to engage our parents and we regularly update and share what we are doing through it. I particularly love the live featu…

I Didn't Know

No one forgets their first class. When my first class left Davyhulme, I was able to share this poem at the leavers assembly. I remember tearing up as I read it and thought I would share it as I am sure many followers of this blog can relate.

I found it online and have struggled to find the author. So if anyone knows please let me know and I will add it in. Here is the poem (I have adapted a few words):

I Didn't KnowI didn't know that years of school and a college degree would be of little consolation when facing a room full of bright little eyes on the first day of school. I thought I was ready,
I didn't know that five minutes can seem like five hours when there is idle time and an eight hour school day far too short for a well-planned day of teaching.
I didn't know that teaching children was only a fraction of my job.
No one tells you about the conferences and phone calls, staff meetings and committees, paperwork and paperwork...
I didn't know that it took so long to c…

Welcome to Davyhulme Primary!

My golden rule of teaching is 'Make Them Care.' Making sure there is a purpose to everything children do in class for me is imperative. Assessment is never the purpose, that happens due to effective and engaging teaching. I truly believe technology can add a real purpose in lots of different ways. Here is an example using one of my recent purchases - The UpAir One Drone.

I picked this up for around £300 from Amazon (click the picture for the link)
I have to say so far I have been incredibly impressed. The quality of the camera is amazing and it is very easy to use and set up. The battery lasts around 15mins flight time, which is probably the only downside. 
I knew the children would absolutely relish having a go with this and so my Year 6 digital leaders were able to fly the drone over the school grounds, recording their journey. Once we shared the footage to our iPads, the pupils wrote and performed a guide in iMovie adding a soundtrack composed in Garageband. 
Knowing this w…

A Lovely Poem for Your Leavers Assembly

I am always asked to put a little video together for our Year 6 show and end of year assembly. Each year, I always include a special poem that I finish the end of year video with. It is called Leaving School by Jade Hughes and it is beautiful:

We've now left school,
It's how the story ends,
Tears of happiness is what we recommend,
It's what we say,
But there's always a little pain,
Because once you've left,
It's not the same,
You could walk through school and you would see,
Your friends who have grown up incredibly,
But now you've gone,
It's not the same,
As you may never see them again,
Your friends who have grown up right beside you,
Who have helped you through your daily strife,
Will go ahead and leave behind them,
You who wants the same old life,
But you can not live your life in the past,
Hoping that the same memories will last,
You have to move on and just be glad,
That leaving has made you so sad,
As this just shows that you have loved,
Your days at school here with …

Homemade iPad recording booths

One question I am always asked on my training is how do I manage multiple children all recording on the iPads in the same classroom. Over the weekend, I decided to make some iPad recording booths to help reduce background noise when recording content on the iPad.

Each box cost approximately £10 each. I bought the materials to make 6 boxes which would be perfect as a class set. Here are the links for the materials:

Foldable boxes
Soundproof foam panels

Here is a video explaining how we put them together with help from my sons:

#BeLikeTheRenegade Another Adventure with Mrs May - The Joke Machine!


Some E-Safety resources from my Facebook Live Video

Thank you to everyone who joined me on my recent Facebook Live video, if you missed it, you can watch it again here:

Here are some links to resources mentioned in the video:
SWGFL Digital Literacy Scheme of Work
Simon Finch - Twitter and Facebook
Pederosa's recommendation - #WordsHurt
Google's INTERLAND - Thanks to @GrahamAndre for sharing!
ReadWritePerform Packs
List of Mr P's Available Dates for training.
What Mr P can offer
Thanks for watching! 

Solvemoji - Great little Maths starters!

One of my eBooks - 15+ ideas for the emoji keyboard in the classroom explores how emojis can be used as a tool across the curriculum.

I recently discovered a great page on Facebook that provides a fantastic starter or activity for a maths lesson. You can follow Solvemoji on:
⭐️ Facebook ⭐️ Twitter ⭐️ Instagram 
⭐️ Website
 (here you can create an account and compete with others)
I follow on Facebook and every day they seem to post some of these challenges. The also differentiate the challenges too. Here is a sample of what they create and share:

I think it is a great way to challenge children applying their understanding of BODMAS and also introduce simple algebra. So give it a go! Stick one or two up on your whiteboard first thing in the morning, after break or after lunch and see how quick the children settle themselves into focusing and solving the problem.

Now That's What I Call Being A Teacher Vol.6 - The Heatwave Edition

If you have been feeling the heat (quite literally) in the classroom this week, I am sure you can relate to this:

Exploring 3D Shapes

Today I had the pleasure of working with Year 3. In maths, we were exploring 3D shapes. We discussed the different properties of 3D shapes such as faces, edges and vertices. The children were given the opportunity to explore the shapes physically and then were challenged to create a video sharing their understanding of different 3D shapes. We used the app Shadow Puppets Edu, which is quickly becoming one of my favourite apps for its versatility and simplicity. Here is a clip of what we got up to:

Year 3 worked really hard today exploring different 3D shapes and then sharing that knowledge by creating videos explaining the properties of each shape in the app Shadow Puppets, here's a little snippet: A post shared by Lee Parkinson (@ict_mrp) on Jun 15, 2017 at 7:44am PDT
Once completed, the pupils uploaded their efforts to Seesaw. Here is a finished example:

Now That's What I Call Being A Teacher Vol. 5 - The Writing Reports Edition


Now That's What I Call Being A Teacher Vol.4 - The Hip-Hop Edition!


A Seasonal Helping of the Renegade!

Here she is featuring in 'May Morning,'

Now That's What I Call Being A Teacher Vol.3

The Break Duty Edition:


Now That's What I Call Being A Teacher Vol. 2

Special School's Tests Edition:


Things teachers never say once the SATs have finished!

Can you relate?

Make sure you follow on Facebook and Subscribe on YouTube:

Mrs May in the Dragon Dance!

The latest adventure with the renegade, #beliketherenegade

TextingStory in the Classroom

So last week, I made this tongue in cheek video all about the struggles of dating a teacher using the app TextingStory:

I have been thinking about how to use this FREE app in the classroom. Here are a few ideas I have:
It is a great way to teach how to punctuate direct speech. Similar to this idea I blogged a while ago (click here.) The app will help children visualise that the words spoken including the punctuation goes inside the speech bubble, so they must remember to put the words and punctuation in our inverted commas. You also see that we start a new line whenever a new character speaks. The addition of emojis πŸ˜ƒ can also then help the development of adverbial phrases for the reporting clause.You can have a conversation between two characters to show shifts in formality. The app can be used to have a simple conversation in another language such as French or Spanish to enhance your MFL lessons.As you can see from the example above, the app allows you to think out a text without ac…

Mammals by TinyBop - Learn about different animals through play!

I am a massive fan of the apps by TinyBop. I have previously blogged about some of their apps here.

Their latest app is another fantastic addition to their range of high-quality education apps in the classroom. Mammals allows children to immerse in the world of incredible animals to see how they play, eat, see, run, fly, grow, and feel. Every animal is interactive!

Similar to their Human Body app, the app lets children explore each animal's anatomy — bones, fur, whiskers, and more. Designed for future zoologists to find out what makes mammals unique. My own children absolutely love playing, discovering and learning through play with this app.

It would link perfectly with the upcoming KS1 Read Write Perform pack, but would also lend itself brilliantly to the Planet Earth pack too.

This video shows you more of what the app contains:

The wonderful team at TinyBop have very kindly given me 5 FREE codes to give away through my Facebook and Instagram account. To be in with a chance of w…

Love is in the air in the next Mrs May adventure!

Another adventure with our hero, Mrs May! If you haven't already, please follow this link to read about signing your school up for the Superhero day.

Make sure you subscribe to my channel on YouTube to see every #BeLikeMrsMay video.

Education on Fire Podcast Interview Part 2

Recently, I was interviewed for the fantastic Education On Fire podcast. In the interview, I was asked about my journey into the consultancy world, my views on technology in the classroom and the importance of teaching digital literacy. I want to thank Mark for the opportunity.

The interview was split into two parts (I must waffle) and the second part is now available. Please click the link below to listen. I would love to know your thoughts about the discussion we had.

You can listen to part one of the interview here.

Make sure you subscribe to the podcast as it has some amazing insights and conversations from some amazing classroom practitioners.

Education on Fire Podcast

Recently, I was interviewed for the fantastic Education On Fire podcast. In the interview, I was asked about my journey into the consultancy world, my views on technology in the classroom and the importance of teaching digital literacy. I want to thank Mark for the opportunity.

The interview was split into two parts (I must waffle) and the first part is now available. Please click the link below to listen. I would love to know your thoughts about the discussion we had.

Make sure you subscribe to the podcast as it has some amazing insights and conversations from some amazing classroom practitioners.

Now That's What I Call Being A Teacher Vol.1

My latest VLOG, a teacher inspired music album featuring songs of all your favourite teacher catchphrases:

Thank you to everyone who have also suggested songs to feature in Volume 2. If you have any please do tweet or facebook them to me. 
Thank you so much to Emma who featured the video in an article for the Manchester Evening News. You can read it here -

Superhero Day on Friday 5th May

The next adventure with the renegade is here and we need your help!

We have teamed up with Cash for Kids and When You Wish Upon a Star charities for their Superhero day on Friday 5th May.

We want as many schools to sign up and get involved. I have a special challenge for teachers too, I want to see everyone embrace their teacher superhero and #BeLikeMrsMay.

The staff who dress up as our teaching hero Mrs May will win a copy of all my books!

For more information and to sign up visit:

I hope you and your school can get involved and help this fantastic cause to raise as much money as possible to help those who need it!

AutoDraw - Autocorrect for your doodles!

Now when it comes to the curriculum, I would never consider myself an 'expert' in any area. I am passionate about many areas and feel I can be creative through computing to benefit most of the curriculum. But I want to let you into a little secret... I am terrible at Art. My drawing skills are woeful, I appreciate the subject and see the wonderful benefits and creativity it provides but I usually start every art lesson like:

Even through technology, I have never been able to find an app or program that can take my dreadful efforts and turn them into something resembling what I had intended to draw. 
Yesterday, I came across this amazing web-based tool - AutoDraw. Here is a short video explaining how it works:

It is like an autocorrect for your doodles! Amazing!
The website works on every device and is a great way to quickly create an image to be used in lots of other apps or programs for presentations, infographics, videos etc. An easy and quick way to create an ima…

When teachers are hypocrites!

Another VLOG on #lifeasateacher!

Do you find yourself telling the children not to do something but then doing it yourself? If so, I'm sure you can relate to this:

The Singing Assembly!

How different teachers act during a singing assembly, the question is - which one are you?

More adventures with Mrs May!

If you follow and like my page on Facebook you will have seen the phenomenon of the #BeLikeMrsMay movement! Not only did we have teachers all over the country dress as the renegade:

You've got to love it when so many other teachers embrace their inner renegade on #WorldBookDay A post shared by Lee Parkinson (@ict_mrp) on Mar 2, 2017 at 12:33pm PST

I even received my own #BeLikeMrsMay coaster made by Vicky Hughes from St Andrews:

Thank you Victoria for making this amazing #belikemrsmay coaster for me! A post shared by Lee Parkinson (@ict_mrp) on Mar 30, 2017 at 12:38pm PDT
And as long as teachers enjoy the videos, I will continue to make them, so here are a couple of other adventures! If you know of a book featuring our hero, please drop me a message.

Song Lyric Flowcharts

Firstly, I have to start by thanking the fantastic @SteveBunce for this idea. He shared it a couple of year's ago when I saw him at Animate to Educate's Tech on the Tyne conference. I am very much looking forward to presenting their again this year.

So the idea here is that children take a song and break down the lyrics down into a flowchart. Using the repitition and patterns in songs, the children can start to consider the different symbols and links when creating a flow chart.

The idea is a great unplugged activity that can develop some computational thinking skills:

Here we are decomposing, abstractin, writing an algorithms with patterns.
We started by considering some other examples such as:

So my digital leaders gave it a go today and they loved it. Here are some of their examples. Once created, the children then snapped a picture of their efforts and using the app Shadow Puppets Edu, recorded a short video alongside the music following the flowchart they had created:

Planet Earth: A Nature Documentary - The Latest ReadWritePerform Pack

It is finally here! Both myself and John Murray have been working very hard on the latest pack. We apologise that it has taken a little longer than hoped but we are so proud of this pack.


In this pack, the children read, deconstruct and then write their own information text about an animal which they perform by making their own nature documentary just like the legendary David Attenborough.
In fact, an excerpt from one of David's fascinating documentaries is featured as a comparative text. 
The Unit of Work is aimed at Key Stage 2 & 3.  The aim of our packs is to cover all elements of the English curriculum in an engaging and purposeful way using a variety of media.  
With an additional focus on  Fluency for Meaning, this pack will help your learners appreciate the role of the narrator more fully. It will support them as they gain a better understanding of the narrator's role when reading aloud and help them to reflect upon how their voice can be used effective…

(No one knows me) like the piano - Emotional Literacy Comprehension Lesson

I have previously blogged about using different songs for developing reading comprehension. I am currently working on a top secret project with John Murray where we will be developing this further by creating something very special which should be ready by the summer (fingers crossed.)

However, I had to share this beautiful song I recently came across by Sampha - (No one knows me) like the piano. 
Here are the lyrics:

No one knows me like the piano in my mother’s home
You would show me I have something,
Some people call a soul
And you dropped out the sky,
Oh you arrived when I was three years old
No one knows me like the piano in my mother’s home

You know I left, I flew the nest
And you know I won’t be long
And in my chest you know me best
And you know I’ll be back home

An angel by her side,
All the times I knew we couldn’t cope
They said that it’s her time,
No tears in sight,
I kept the feelings close
And you took hold of me and never,
Never, never let me go
Cause no one knows me like the piano in my…

AlbertClock for extra maths practice!

Thanks to @Gareth_Metcalfe for this new app AlbertClock you can download on your devices! See it in action here:

The AlbertClock app, worth a look for some extra maths practice! Thanks Gareth for sharing! A post shared by Lee Parkinson (@ict_mrp) on Mar 13, 2017 at 12:10pm PDT

Some thoughts and ideas on #WorldBookDay

Here are some thoughts and ideas about World Book Day from my latest VLOG:

As mentioned in the video, for some tech-inspired World Book Day ideas, visit this link. 
I also mentioned the fantastic work done by @TheDistrictCE through their Year of Reading. 
Click here to read what they did month by month. 
A quick breakdown of some of the impact:
Reading attainment improved in all year groups, significantly so in Y4 +12% more pupils at ARE, and Y6 +30% more pupils at ARE.Comparison of KS2 pupil surveys (before and end of YofR) found more pupils were sharing books at home and there was approx. 20% increase in pupils going to the library out of school.Comparison of KS2 pupil surveys (before and end of YofR) found approx. 20% increase in confidence of how pupils feel about themselves as readers. Some other case studies:

I had to also share this poem about World Book Day written by Michelle:

T’was the night before World Book Day and all through the town,
Parents were pacing, their faces a frown…

Sentence Tree from Foxtype

I blogged about the app sentiopiary (now known as grow grammar) a while ago. This quick video explains how it works:

Grow Grammar - Create - The Beautiful Apple from eeiioo on Vimeo.

Now the app is priced at £4.99 and while it is a great way to revise SPaG, with school budgets tightening it may not be affordable for some.

However, I have recently discovered a website that does a very similar thing. FoxType's Sentence Tree is a free website where you can type in a sentence and it will define every part, for example:

Having this open on your laptop and checking the odd sentence as a quick reminder for children and can be a really useful revision tool.

Visit the Sentence Tree Website Here.

Creating our own VR with CoSpaces!

Embracing Social Media as a teacher has completely transformed my teaching. In fact, it has taken my career on a path I never dreamed possible. I love how many ideas I pick up from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. This is one app I spotted recently:

@HelenCaldwel@ICT_MrP@SchPrehistory@DoInkTweets@WulfgarTheBard CoSpaces for VR Stone Age monuments. Video walk through for green screen😎 — Ms Weston's Class (@vweston8) February 17, 2017
I have been wanted to find a way to create my own VR for a while and CoSpaces seems to be a great tool for this.

The website and app both allow you to create your own VR environment. It is free to use and just needs an email and password to get going. This week my digital leaders gave it a whirl and they absolutely loved it.

To begin with they were given some tinkering time. I gave them 15 minutes to simply play, experiment and discover the app and the way it works.

We then looked at focusing on using the tool to cr…