Category Archives: Teaching Resources

Yoga Xrays and more

As a recent convert to Ashtanga yoga this video has me totally enthralled at how our bodies bend, twist and what various yoga poses look like from a skeletal point of view.

From another perspective, this Youtube channel is brilliant resource for teaching from looking at the various bones, locations of organs etc in Keystage 1 science to looking at types of joints and movement in Keystage 3 to much more advanced and in-depth physiological study. There are also immunology, cellular biochemistry and microbiology videos too. The videos are amazing, prepare to lose a few hours…..

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Plickers – Instant Assessment Inside and Outside the Classroom

I met a teacher at my very first Dubai Teachmeet who was speaking about the use of Plickers in the classroom. At first, I loved them just for the name but as he explained how they are used I was amazed by how many different ways teachers and educators can use them to collect real time formative assessment data in a simple, low tech, low cost, child friendly way. 

These are Plicker cards. Each student is given a card with a unique visual code. The code has 4 sides, each lettered A, B, C, and D and the corners are numbered 1 to 4. The student holds the card so that the letter they choose to answer the question with is at the top of their card. The teacher uses the iOS or Android app on their smartphone to slowly scan the room. The app recognizes the cards and captures the answer that the student chose.

The results appear live and in real time on the teacher’s device, or they can be projected on a large screen for the whole class to see on the Plicker’s website if needed. They can be individually assigned to a student or you can use a class set to give you a general overview of where the class is at.

wpid-screenshot_2015-03-14-11-53-022-jpgDue to the fact that all you need is a smartphone and some paper, it’s an app that can be used anywhere from inside the classroom, inside the wildlife garden, to class trips and beyond to monitor the students’ understanding. Another aspect of Plickers that I really like is that is so inclusive and encourages every child to be engaged. As each student has a card and will be scanned, every child must consider the question and give an answer. All Plicker cards are different shapes with tiny letters in different positions so there is no possibility of copying the answer of the student next to them. Also, it’s a hell of a lot fun!  Sign up here

42 STEM iPad Apps for Kids

Ready for the some fun STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) iPad apps for primary?

Many apps, with a few exceptions, won’t tell your child how to do a particular method or xactly what is needed so will require some guidance in the first instance . They will however, give him or her practice, repetition, and reinforcement.

42 STEM iPad Apps for Kids (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

Snap Science- free primary teaching resources

The Snap Science programme has been designed to cover the new primary science curriculum with enquiry, exploration, investigation and true progression at it’s core. Every lesson is already differentiated and the lessons aim to make challenging concepts meaningful for students.  At £100 a Year Group it’s affordable enough but to check out the kind of resources and ideas that are presented Collins Connect have made the Year 3 – Plants module available here Collins Connect – free primary teaching resources. Being a plant biologist, I like the way they are approaching the topic in a questions based way. What is this for? Are all roots the same? Why are petals different colours? This is in stark contrast to the labelling parts of a plant on a worksheet which I have seen way too often in the primary clas

sroom. There is also a lot of scope to develop child-led investigations out of the lessons and easy to put in different types of enquiry in experiments such as pattern seeking and classification.  See what you think!

Freddie the Fart Machine and your Portable Chemistry lab…

Stefan Gates is famous for Gastronaut Live: food, science and adventure shows that are staged at major events, food and science festivals, theaters and schools across the UK.  I saw him most recent show at The Big Bang Fair UK 2015 and was hugely entertained throughout. Some of the children who I brought along were so inspired that they introduced some of his fun demos into a mini lecture for school!

Timstar have been given access to a range of exhilarating science demo worksheets, videos and much more from Stephan. There are lots of ideas to show you how to inspire people with fascinating food science. Over the next few months  videos accompanied by demo worksheets, non-video demo worksheets and features will be published. Keep a look out for updated content right on this page.

MOOCs for Sixth Formers

futurelearn-logoFutureLearn is the UK’s platform for online courses, with more than 50 partner universities and institutions such as the British Museum. Three free online programmes, aimed at helping sixth-formers bridge the gap between school and university, are launching this summer.The university-led “massive open online courses” (MOOCs) will be available on the FutureLearn website.

Sheffield University is providing two courses on applying for jobs and courses and succeeding at interviews.The first includes writing covering letters and personal statements.The second is on interviews, covering how to research organisations, what to wear and how to deal with commonly asked questions.

The third, from the University of East Anglia, includes advice from lecturers and undergraduates on the skills new students will need.This focuses on critical thinking, data analysis and how to sustain a supported argument as well as coping with the university environment.

Courses are free, open-access and can be completed at your own as they are super flexible and lend themselves towards a more relaxed style of learning!

Curious George – STEM Classroom Resources for EYFS and KS1

Active learning begins with curiosity! The Curious George STEM Collection is a great way to help young children understand science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts, such as measuring, building, and simple machines. Lesson plans with Curious George videos offer hands-on investigations and exciting new learning opportunities that will inspire children to explore the world around them. As students ask questions, predict outcomes, share observations, and formulate theories, they establish the science skills and “habits of mind” that lead to academic success and lifelong learning. 

 

Curious 

George STEM | Classroom Resources | PBS LearningMedia.

Android Apps for STEM Creativity

A pet peeve of mine is the fact that many apps for education are Apple only or simply just work better on apple devices.  This is a good article on some android apps that promote good dialogue including my favourites Tellagami, Pic Collage and Explain Everything. In a science lesson, these apps are good for recording and annotating equipment, methods, results, decisive conclusions in a digital environment.  This in turn promotes good use of scientific language and provides a platform for concise and insightful discussion.

12 Excellent Android Apps for Unleashing Students Creativity ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Kitchen (& Shed) Chemistry

kitchen chemWorking in primary science it’s very important to recommend products and equipment that is readily available and accessible to a primary teacher. That means unless there is a super friendly secondary school lab technician nearby, a lot of primary science experiments are resourced from the cupboards, under the sink, in the garden shed, and in the fridge. Now that opens up a whole world of kitchen chemistry which can be just as fascinating as reactions and investigations using chemicals from a “real” lab.

So, I was thrilled to find this infographic on twitter. The chart summarises the reactions and products of 16 cheap household chemicals. It was made by James Kennedy of this blog and you can also find lots more cool infographics there! Please read disclaimers and warnings before use!

MOOC Fever

CE9W1oBW0AAAgEuI think I have MOOC Fever…. MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses which are open to anyone to join and learn. Recently I have taken part in and Assessment in STEM MOOC and a Community Journalism MOOC so I was delighted to find a MOOC being delivered by the University of Northampton called “Let’s Teach Computing”. I have worked with Helen Caldwell and her team at the Uni before on a creative computing project where science, tech, and art met in a wonderful array of collaborative ideas and resources. So, knowing the fab stuff that her dept is up to I’m really excited about this course and what I can learn for my own personal development but also to see what new ideas I can adapt and introduce into primary computing initiatives over here in UAE.

I’m mostly looking forward to learning about ways to integrate tech into EYFS and KS1 curricula and also ways of improving confidence for teachers delivering the new computing curriculum.  My fave thing at the moment is Augmented Reality apps and using them to embed and integrate learning in a multimedia platform.