Showing posts from 2018

Enhancing Learning in Geography through Technology Lesson 2

Last week, I blogged about the work I had started in Year 2 linked to their Geography topic:

Enhancing Learning in Geography through Technology Lesson 1

After the students had labelled the continents on a world map:

The next step was to focus in on the UK. The first step was to create a similar labelled map through Seesaw. However, this time we discussed improving the formatting and style:

The next step was to look at finding out about each country in the UK. First, we generated a series of questions to help us with our research, some of the suggested questions:

Where is it?How many people live there? (Population)What is the Capital City?What does the flag look like?What is the national anthem?What famous landmarks are there to visit?Who is the patron saint? The pupils were then given some time to research online and try and find the answers to these questions. After writing a script using their facts, they created a short video about their country using Adobe Spark Video. This tool has…

Taking Teaching Back Episode 2 - The Fear in Education

The response to the first Taking Teaching Back Episode has been amazing! Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to watch it. The comments have been great and it has been so encouraging to hear of teachers who have taken the discussion into school and are actively looking at ways to change what they were doing in a way to help reduce workload. This is EXACTLY what I wanted from these videos. So here is Episode 2 and this one looks at one of the biggest reasons for the workload crisis in schools which is... FEAR. As always, please let me know what you think.

In case you missed Episode 1, here it is:

Enhancing Learning in Geography through Technology Lesson 1

For the past few weeks, I have been working with Year 2 in my school. I have been team teaching with the staff to help build their confidence in using technology more in class. Along with English and Maths, we have been looking at ways in which technology can enhance learning in Geography. The topic is all about learning about their local area, but to start with, we look at the world and gradually work in.

Around 4/5 years ago now, we did the same topic in Year 2 and I blogged about the tools we used then. You can read that blog post here - Using iPad to give children a better understanding of the World. 

This time, we have used some different creative apps. As I discuss a lot on my training, this is how we should be focusing our use of technology in schools: allowing students to use tools to creatively demonstrate their knowledge and understanding about the chosen topic.

I understand the pressures teachers are under, especially in Year 2 when SATs are looming. English and Maths take …

Taking Teaching Back Episode 1 - Book Scrutinies

I am in an incredible position where I am able to visit schools all over the UK. On that journey, I try to inspire teachers with ideas for how best to utilise technology in their school. One part of this is looking at ways in which technology can be used to help teachers work smarter, not harder. There are still so many schools who are struggling to effectively manage workload for a number of reasons. This is something I am passionate about changing. Being able to address some of these issues when visiting schools is great however it is only a small amount of schools compared to amount throughout the UK and beyond.

Thanks to the unbelievable support I have through this blog and social media channels, I am able to reach thousands of teachers, which is why I have started this new series of videos.

Taking Teaching Back will be a series of videos that look at addressing a number of issues within education that I feel contribute to workload. I cannot guarantee that I'll be able to provi…

Our New Interactive Display on Never Giving Up!

In my sessions each week at Davyhulme, I have been working on a project with my Digital Leaders. As a school with a motto 'Reaching for the Stars,' I wanted the pupils to create a display that would inspire children to persevere and not let failure stop them achieving their goals.

The idea was inspired by something I saw at Candleby Lane School in Nottingham. They had a display featuring stories from teachers talking about how they have failed and how they overcame that failure. So we did the same, we asked teachers to share stories of times when they felt they had failed and how they worked through it and didn't let it stop them from achieving their goals. I feel this is a really powerful thing to share with our students to make them understand that everyone will have ups and downs including their teachers. Here is my example:

The Digital Leaders also researched famous people who had also struggled in their journey to reach their goal. To share what they had learned, they…

Mrs May is back! #BeLikeTheRenegade in The Steel Band

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow the #BeLikeTheRenegade playlist for every adventure with Mrs May.

Morning Settlers with Thunks!

I absolutely love Ian Gilbert's Thunks. This book "The Compleat Thunks Book" is described as 'A collection of classic Thunks from a number of his books, as well as hundreds of new ones, all designed to make your brain hurt as you think, question, debate and argue your way to a better understanding of how to survive in a world gone dangerously bonkers.'

To give you an idea of what a thunk looks like, here is a screenshot from the book:

Thunks can be used as a great discussion tool in class. Sharing one on the board at the start of the day and encouraging children to talk and listen to each other's ideas can be a great way to settle children into a lesson. JUST BE AWARE, not all the Thunks would be appropriate for the classroom.
You can also use apps like Seesaw to record and evidence children's thoughts and ideas about a Thunk. If I create a question like this:

Within the explain and reflect option of Seesaw, pupils can add labels. These can be initial tho…

Another song for Comprehension with links to Growth Mindset

I love using music in class for a number of reasons: remembering facts, teaching narrative structure and improving comprehension.

 Another song that I came across recently is Grace by Rag'n'Bone Man. The message of the song is powerful and lends itself well to PSHCE and growth mindset discussions.

Here is a description of the song I read recently:

You know that feeling when you've just made a wretched mistake and you want the whole world to swallow you up? When you don't want to talk to anyone, you feel like you've let yourself and the people you value down?

It hurts right? But with enough strength, humility and willingness to stand again, you realise that mistake isn't the end of you. More so, that 'mistake' could be the very thing you needed in your life to become a better person. To change or let go of parts of you that aren't empowering or positive. Some people call it grace, when you experience something in your life exactly the way it was meant to…

Seesaw Activities - Another brilliant addition!

Ok, so I am a little late to the party! Seesaw introduced activities a good few months ago, but I've only just got around to really investigating this fantastic addition to what is my favourite app to use in the classroom.

I recently blogged my top 5 apps of 2017. Seesaw was at the top of my list. For me, this app is a no-brainer for the primary classroom. The endless benefits for how it can enhance teaching and learning, save teachers time and money and embed key digital literacy skills for your pupils has meant it has become the app I use most and one I regularly share on my training sessions.

I have recently been contacted by a number of teachers who have been told by their local authority that they can no longer use Seesaw as it will not comply with the new GDPR guidelines that will take effect in May 2018. I contacted Seesaw about this and this was their response:

GDPR goes into effect in the EU in May 2018 and Seesaw is preparing to be compliant with it.
If you are concerned …