I am using this to show how easy it is to make a blog in wordpress.com
I have migrated my blog to www.robertfdrummond.com
You will find all new posts there and all of the content which is found here will also be found at that website.
I will post ’How to migrate to a self-host’ on the new site shortly.
Another popular low-tech starter is a version of the memory game ‘I went shopping.’ In the maths version children take it in turns to say
‘I went shopping with £x.xx and I bought something (let the children choose, it adds to the fun) that cost £x.xx, what change should I get.’
This activity lends itself to circle time maths and pretty much to any age groups which have worked with money. Older children could add the ideas of a % discount or price rises too. The children will really enjoy making up problems to extend their friends maths skills!
Just a quick post. I got reminded listening to my partner’s daughter this evening that the most interesting and effective things in teaching can also be the simplest.
Her maths teacher uses a variation of the ’11′ game to practice counting down, through hundred barriers. To play you would stand up all the class and begin with a random child and a number near a hundreds barrier (214 for example). Each child subtracts either 1,2 or3 numbers from 214 until some child says 197. The child who says 197 sits down and are out. So a sample game might go,
You play until only one person is left in.
You can also use an extension to this game. That is for the winning player’s table to get a reward of house points etc. The children then have to use a planning strategy to try to keep their table’s members in.
I’ll be giving it a go with my maths class tomorrow!
Online/cloud storage is becoming more popular with many services available, to store and sync my documents I have been using dropbox for around 4 months now and find it’s a great service which has never once failed.
I discovered dropbox via my Personal Learning Group on twitter.
Basically, Dropbox is a web based storage facility which allows you to drop files/folders/stuff into your dropbox on one laptop, and then access the same stuff via the dropbox on your other machines. The stuff in the dropbox auto-sync and immediately appear in the ‘box’ on any other laptops you wish to sync with.
I use it in quite a simple way. On both my school laptop and home laptop, I downloaded the dropbox install package and it placed a shortcut on my desktop. Open the shortcut and you can place files and folders inside and they will appear within a minute on the other machine also. Each time you save a version of a document, that new version is saved on you other machines too. It’s just like placing a file in folder on your desktop.
There is also a web login which means you can access your files which are saved inside dropbox on any machine with internet access, even if it hasn’t got the ‘box’ downloaded and on the desktop.
Dropbox is free for 2GB of storage, which in 5 months has proved ample storage for me (and is similar to many pendrives) and you can upgrade to 3GB by getting your friends to sign up. If you need more storage, you can upgrade to 50GB for $9.99 a month or $99 for a year. Or you can upgrade to 100GB for $19.99 a month or $199 a year. I would certainly consider upgrading if my current storage got used up. It can be downloaded onto more than two machines if you need to.
For collaborative working, you can share a folder with a colleague who has a dropbox account also. Again, this is a very simple, efficient process (and can earn you a bit more storage).
To read about the other online storage options, have a look at Doug Belshaw’s excellent blog which has a posting about what else is available.
I was introduced to Tutpup through Year Six Teacher’s Blog in this article. It is an online mental maths and spelling game in which the children play against children around the world, in realtime. It is also free.
To begin, the teacher needs to sign up first as… a teacher. Once this is done you can create classes for your pupils to use. I currently have two classes, one for my class and one for my maths class. You set a class code for each of your classes and the children need this when they sign up. It would be possible for one teacher login to run many of the classes in a school but I wouldn’t recommend this. Each teacher would be better creating a teacher login as they then have access to the data on how their children are progressing, and can move their children onto the games which will develop their pupils skills appropriately. Once the teacher has logged in and created a class or classes the children are ready to be introduced to the program.
The children create their own login using this simple interface. They choose a colour, animal and then a number and that is their playername. They then need to create their own password – on a side issue password creation, remembering and retrieval is a skill that our children need so much now for their lives inside and outside of education, do we discuss this enough with them? – and the enter the class login that the teacher creates in their login process.
You may find that some of the colour and animal combinations have gone (i.e. they do not have any numbers left), but the children in my class really supported each other in this. As soon as one child had found a colour and animal that had numbers, they told the class who then went to that combination and created their login.
I was teaching a lesson on Lent to my class, and was looking for an approach which I thought would motivate the class. I’m a bit of a fan of quizzes and thought the children might like to create their own quiz/comprehension activity based around a non-fiction text about Lent.
I created a text using simple wikipedia and then discussed the idea of making a multiple choice quiz. We also discussed making all of the answer choices plausible, so as to make the quiz that bit trickier.
Part way through the session I decided that it would be great to type up the quiz onto the class blog page, that idea developed into the more interactive idea of creating an online quiz and then embedding it into the page. A quick search on google led me to the ProProfs site.
Once on there I signed up (for free) and had a quick play with the software. It was very easy to use, so I shared the site with the class on the whiteboard and we set about creating our online quiz.
ProProfs has quite a range of styles for your quizzes as well as a range of endings to the quiz. These include creating a certificate for each entrant in the quiz.
The possibilities seem great. As well as using it with children creating quizzes for the blog, they could create one for their parents, they can embed them easily in a wide range of sites, as well as teachers being able to create them as a fun way to assess children’s learning.
My class certainly enjoyed making the quiz and entering up the questions onto the program and then seeing the results live, on the web, in a matter of minutes.
Have a look at the quiz so far here.