Monday, 18 September 2017

Large Numbers

In maths, we're required to order, round, calculate and so on with numbers up to millions. Where can we find such numbers?

House prices
Sporting event attendances
Phone numbers
Social media follower numbers
Car mileage
Geographic values (mountain heights, distances, water depth)

[In coming days/weeks, we'll update above with some examples...]

Got any other ideas?

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Flightradar & The Skies Above

Over the summer, I've spent some time sat outside, particularly in the evening. With the clear skies for viewing and no cloud to mask sounds, I've notice how many planes and how frequently they pass over my home. I'm located in the home counties, within easy reach of many of our major airports - its a busy air space.

After watching plane after plane passing over, I started to wonder where they'd come from and where they were going to. Step forward the Flightradar24 app. I could now find out about each plane.

Then an idea came to me:

At school, download the app or use the website. Go out onto the playground. Look for a plane of two. Go and research the origin location, the destination, the flight (frequency/duration etc), the airline, the aircraft and more...

After looking at the Flightradar24 site, I came up with another idea too. Zoom the map out. Simple question: What do you notice?

That's just for starters. It intrigues me the more I look at it. Maybe it could be a writing prompt too? I'm sure there'll be a maths link. Have you seen the map shows night/day? Comment below if you come up with any further uses...

Friday, 25 August 2017

'We Make Use of...' Charanga

For over a year now, we have used the Charanga website to aid our delivery of the music curriculum across the school. The scheme is used by adults who are 'not musical', those who have a decent subject knowledge and those who play instruments and are very knowledgable and confident in this subject area. All find it a useful resource (in different ways).

First of all, it's more than just a scheme. There's loads more too!

The scheme is useful and split into six units of work per year group (one per half term). Of course, in school you could juggle some of these around, but there is progression built in. The units come with lessons planned and resourced, but the teacher still needs to teach with them and possibly even adapt the lesson and resources for their class. Each unit is based upon a song or composition and builds up an understanding of it and the way it has been produced. The image above shows units for the autumn term for Year Four and Five. There's sheet music, backing tracks, interactive videos...

In addition, there is:

Music World is a Charanga programme especially for children to use themselves. It’s a safe online space where children can learn more about music and practise their instrument if they are learning to pla.

Song Centre is 100s of songs to enjoy with your pupils + singing courses for younger children.


Freestyle Resource Centre is a bank of songs to be used as you wish. 

There's planning to support SEND pupils too and an assessment tool.If you're interested in it, sign up for a free trial and give it a go...

Charanga is provided to our school through our LA. We have not been asked to write this post or received anything for it. This is, as always, the view and opinion of two full-time class teachers about something we use in the classroom. We hope it is useful for others to read. 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Gifts / Cards - Word Clouds

Bit late for this year UK teachers - sorry. But, you can start planning for next year...

For two and a half terms this year just gone we actually taught the same class. Mates, assistant heads, bloggers and job share teachers. Think we drove each other a little crazy at times. Anyway, come the end of the year we were thinking of a gift for the pupils in our class and this is what we came up with: 

Again this year, we undertook the summing up of each day in three words. At the end of the year we therefore had 190 X 3 words. We stuck these words into a word cloud generator, purchased some picture frames and hey presto, they look rather good. They certainly look like they cost more than 80p each to make! And, they're full of the children's thoughts, word choices and experience whilst in our class.

I hope that most of them will keep it and look back upon it fondly. And, as for 'english', we decided it looked good as a design choice - but it bugs me the more I look at it! There's the off typo/spelling error too... However, look which word came out top!

We'll three word blog again next year and may even use word clouds on Christmas, Mother's/Father's Day (and so on) cards too.

Word clouds from some previous years too.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Classroom Design: Sit in the Pupil's Seats

So, you've set up your classroom. There are displays a plenty, a Working Wall, room for you to move around, it looks good from the front: symmetrical, perpendicular and organised... WAIT! Sat in any of the children seats yet?

Can they see the board from where they are sat?

Can they actually read those displays?

Is there space when the chairs are slightly out with someone sat at them?

Can 30 children make their way around the room?

Remember: when you set up your room, think about the 30 small children who will use it. Walk around it, try to select items from drawers, sit in seats and look at displays. Can you pick up any issues before they find them?

Then, do this throughout the year. I often mark in a different child's seat each day, and while there, I look round the room at what they see.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Edit Your Friend's Facebook Posts

Some of my friends on Facebook and contacts on Twitter write beautifully and accurately, others (like me) have the off (:-)) typo here and there, while others just write with errors all over the place (your/you're - grrr).

This is a post by a friend of mine on his Facebook page. I took a screen capture and asked my class to correct it. We did it as an Exit Ticket activity.

So, spot an awful social media update, copy it, anonymise it, and give it to your class... 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Times Table (Ball Pit) Relay

After seeing something on Facebook, I did a times table relay with my class. On Twitter, Mr Dyson saw it and liked it. He challenged one of his teachers to 'do better'. That set me thinking!
And, today this is what we did...


I filled two recycle bins with ball pit balls;

Outside, I stood the sticks against a wall;

I put the Velcro numbers for a times table in each of the ball pits;

I then got the class, in turn, to run and collect a number, work out the times table and add it in the correct place on the stick. 


It. Was. Great!