May 2009 - Posts
The Children's Museum
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis has a website with some very fun games and activities.
Our favourite is - Bones: An exhibit inside you.
There is also a good webquest on dinosaurs - Dinosphere
There are other activities on dinosaurs too Click here
Who's your Mummy?
Create your own Coat of Arms
Asks for a password. We would suggest a class access e.g. class 1 password 123456. Pupils can choose shape, colour and motif.
To see all the other games and activities visit www.childrensmuseum.org/games
Our Collection online - Artifacts
Search through hundreds of photos of artifacts online. Rotate and crop the photos
We have highlighted www.geograph.org.uk before but it is worth mentioning again. It has grown into a huge resource of pictures freely available under the Creative Commons Licence. (Many Flickr users have also chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through photos under each type of license.)
"The Geograph British Isles project aims to collect a geographically representative photograph for every square kilometre of the British Isles."
The photographs on www.geograph.org.uk can be accessed by clicking an area on the UK map or by searching keywords such as name of place, rivers etc. (The red areas contain photographs.)
Schools are using the site in a variety of ways including using photographs of the local area, coastal areas and UK rivers. When showing photographs of the local area, pupils often can identify where the picture was taken and how near it is to their house.
We would be interested to know if you are using www.geograph.org.uk and your own ideas of using this fantastic resource. Please tell us by leaving a comment below.
Tony Cassidy has created a fantastic powerpoint slide with multiple live streaming webcams. He has an example on his blog as well as instructions for making your own.
Image your students faces when they walk into the classroom to see this on the interactive whiteboard! Each picture is live. You can actually see people and traffic moving!
This resource has lots of uses including:
- comparing weather around the world
- life in other countries eg Egypt
- day and night around the world
Visit Tony's blog to download the powerpoint and instructions. pilotgcseradicalgeography.co.uk
We would be interested to know what you thought of Tony's great idea, so please leave a comment below and tell us how you used or will use this resource.
We thought we would kick off Term 6 highlighting again the amazing online Literacy tools published by ReadWriteThink.org. The site offers a collection of tools under the Student Materials Index that support literacy learning. They have even included lesson plans!
Eye on Idioms is a fun way to introduce students to idioms. Students go through a series of exercises, in which they view the literal representations of an idiom and then examine the metaphorical meanings.
Letter Creator is a fun way to teach or reinforce letter writing. Students learn the parts of a letter and are led through the process or writing a friendly or business letter.
Other online tools are Circle Story Plot Diagram, Comic Creator, Comparison and Contrast Guide, Persuasion Map,Timeline, and Venn Diagram. The above list just names a few of the wide variety available. Go and visit the site to see the wide range of tools they have available: http://www.readwritethink.org/student_mat/index.asp
Have you found a useful website to support Literacy lessons?
How good are you at parking a car?
The first of three Dig IT activities days has taken place. You can see the photo from the day and a short report on the Digit Microsite http://bit.ly/eHTR4
Dig IT is an History/ICT/Literacy project, with elements of other curriculum areas, being run by Kent and English Heritage. The idea is to give schools a more creative approach to visits rather than just filling in worksheets.
What are your top ICT tips?
My favourite include:
Using the F11 key when viewing webpage on the interactive whiteboard. It throws back all the navigation buttons and address bar so that you maximise the view of the webpage.
Using the Print Screen key "PrtSc" on the top right of a keyboard. It captures the screen you are working on. Useful for capturing webpages or a document which has frozen.
How to use the Print Screen key "PrtSc"
Press the key and then go into your IWB software, Textease, Word, PowerPoint ... and click Paste to drop the screen captured image.
www.bekonscot.com/virtual_village/ is great fun, and a welcome alternative to MyWorld Make a Town. It fits into the Modelling (Year 1) and Simulation (Year 3) units, and possibly has some relevance in Geography!
Click a building or feature, then click on the map to place it. Click on the train to send it on its way. NB On the Options tab, you can turn off the irritating background sound, but you have to do this each time.
Learning with ICT in a typical UK primary school consists of an ICT suite with on average 15 PCs. Katy Potts (Primary Manager ICT, Cambridge Education) suggests schools need to make a leap of faith away from the traditional ICT suite. To read the full article go to: http://future.ncsl.org.uk/News.aspx?ID=151
With increasing numbers of schools using mobile devices, can we really do away with ICT suites as she suggests? How will discrete ICT lessons be taught? Please do share your thoughts.
Soungle is a free site, developed by Southern Codes, for finding all kind of sound FX and musical instruments samples from their mega online library. As different from most of similar sites, Soungle is NOT a Web search engine. It only searches in their growing monster database. Our goals are to keep it simple to use (search, preview and download) and to keep it free. All sounds, their sound effects and samples, are royalty free for downloading.
Keyword searches are performed by entering any word or phrase in a search box. The retrieved results of a keyword search are displayed ten to a page. Clicking on play icon allows you to preview a file. Download button instantly downloads the sound effect or musical instrument sample file. A short description of the sound appears on top of every sound , followed by the frame rate, duration and bit rate.
Please evaluate any searches fully before you use them with your students. Children should always be supervised by a responsible adult when using the Internet.
ActivInspire is the latest software from Promethean that can be used on ANY interactive whiteboard.
There are two versions:
- Free 'Personal' version for teachers and students.
- Professional version - free to users of Promethean, but £99 per board for non users.
Want to find out about ActivInspire and the benefits to be had with ActivInspire?
Thursday 18 June 2009 or Tuesday 30 June 4pm - ActivInspire Roadshow run by Promethean expert
Come and experience the power of ActivInspire software. The venue is yet to be arrange but is likely to be a school in the in the Tonbridge/Paddock Wood area. Further information will be publishd after half term.
Friday 10 July 2009 9:30 - 3:30 - Start creating resources with a Promethean expert to guide you.
From September schools in Kent will have the chance to borrow a set of Activexpression (voting handsets for any make of board) for 4-6 weeks. Watch this space!
The Kent Dig IT project is an exciting opportunity for Key Stage 2 pupils to investigate and write about the people and events associated with some of Kent's most famous historical sites. Schools on the project have chosen to take part in an activity day at one of three sites:
Richborough Roman Fort
Theme: Invaders at Dawn
The Fort - The fort and the Arch
Daily life of a soldier - The end of the journey for Marcus
Looking at artefacts - Roman Artefacts and Relics
What did the fort look like? - Living in the fort
Maps and the local area - What happened to the sea?
Archaeological Activity - Learning about the Past
Theme: The mystery of the missing relics
The abbey church - Getting to know the building
Daily life of a monk - Meet a Cannon
Looking at artefacts - Medieval Artefacts and Relics
Words and Places - Literacy Activity
Archaeology- Learning about the Past
What did the Abbey look like? - Past and Present
Lullingstone Roman Villa
Theme: The strange death of Ludicrous Cantiaci
The Villa - Where did Ludicrous eat/sleep?
Daily life in the Villa - Life of a wealthy Roman
Looking at artefacts - Artefacts and Relics
What did the villa look like? - Art Activity
Clues in the coffin - Meet Ludicrous
Mosaics - Sketching
Before each activity day, project schools are using the diary of a Roman soldier or diary of a monk, to prepare their pupils and pupils are asking the soldier or the monk questions about their lives, using the project forum.
Following the “Activity Day” pupils will be taking part in an online FlashMeeting with Ian, History Advisor (an opportunity for pupils to ask further questions linked to the event) and to take part in an online Workshop with Marion Green (Canterbury Archaeological Trust.)
All schools on the project should have received an email by now with details about each day. If your school hasn't, please email Philip Bracegirdle or Mandy Barrow at the usual Kent email address.
Follow this link to read more about the project
Congratulations go to the year 6 team at Madginford Juniors who have got through to the final of the Jaguar Cars Maths Challenge for the second year running. They are off to Warwick next month to compete with other finalists from around the UK. Good luck to you all :)
Over the last few months they have been engaged in an exciting and motivating mathsbased project and have been inspired by what they have been doing. The challenge involves children working in small teams on the setup of a virtual formula 1 car which they use in competition in a bid to become UK champions in their age range. It encourages children to use and apply their mathematical skills in a setting where accuracy has implications – they use percentages, measuring, estimation, modelling, multiplication and division, risk management, trial and error, data handling, graphical interpretation and a range of other skills to setup and refine their virtual car.
To find out more visit
is a brand new website for teachers who would like to link with teachers around the world. It provides an easily accessible interactive space to share, discuss and evaluate changes to the multitude of literacies that teachers and students engage with and how they might be integrated into effective classroom practice. It also offers a portal to projects, professional development and resources to stimulate discussion and promote effective practice. It is free to join.
The Teaching Ideas website is run by Mark Warner, a teacher at The Downs Primary School in east Kent. Mark runs the website as a hobby and started it when he was at university as a way to share his own teaching resources with others. It now also contains resources shared by teachers all round the world.
The ideas, activities and worksheets on the website are organised according to a number of subjects (those covered in the English National Curriculum).
Mark also runs other websites too in his spare time (what spare time?):
- More Teaching Ideas www.moreteachingideas.co.uk
- Display Photos www.displayphotos.co.uk
- The Teaching Forum www.teachingforum.co.uk
- Welcome to the Web www.welcometotheweb.org.uk
- Teachr.co.uk www.teachr.co.uk
- ICT to Inspire www.ideastoinspire.co.uk
It feels great to share :)
If you find Mark's website useful, why not share a resource? The majority of the ideas and resources on Mark's websites have been contributed by teachers from all around the world. If you would like to help other teachers by contributing your ideas, please see the Share Your Ideas page.
The Fido Think of a Number Puzzle from 7-up will grab your students attention.
(click the little guy in the bottom right to proceed to next page)
Do you or your students know how it works? If anyone would like to tell us please leave a comment below.
Make IT Happy is the 3rd annual competition for 9-11 year olds that celebrates the technology talents of the UK's primary schools.
12 regional and national winners across the UK will each win £1,200 and the chance to compete for an additional £4,000 October awards ceremony held at the Houses of Parliament.
Judges, including representatives from Google, BBC, DCSF and BT, will be looking for original ideas about how students would use IT to make people smile.
Register online now for your free happy kit and find out how to use your schools technology talents to Make IT Happy and win up to £5,200!
Leading ICT Teachers who saw Russell Prue in action at our November conference might be interested in reading his suggestions for technologies he believes could impact on teaching and learning in the 21st Century. These include:
- Virtual PE Teacher and Dance Exercise Instructor
- Dane-Elec ZPen
- VIPRO Glass-Hardscreen
- MS Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000
- ACER DX900
- Ultra Mobile Personal Computers
- Apple iPhone
- Wireless Broadband USB devicesWii Fit Balance Board
To read more go to http://www.andertontiger.com/technology
BBC's new revision game Questionaut, by Amanita Design, attempts to combine video games with sats questions. The goal of Questionaut is to track down your friend's hat, but your balloon can't reach that high until you answer enough questions correctly. On each of 8 levels, you must solve an environmental puzzle by clicking or pointing at hot-spots, and then answer 5 multiple-choice questions to inflate your balloon, so you can float up to the next sky island.
After guiding the Questionaut to his goal, head over to Amanita's site for their Samorost 1 and Samorost 2 games, two brilliantly imaginative adventures with more puzzle pictures to solve. (No sats questions to answer this time).
Press f11 to go to full screen whilst playing
Year 6 at Benenden Primary school have been looking at non-chronological texts, and have used the website for Sark (www.sark.info) to inspire them to design a website for J'nanin, one of the worlds in Myst 3. The children always look forward to each visit back to the world of Myst with great enthusiasm, and it has stimulated their literacy, thinking, speaking and listening skills, particularly in the area of exploratory talk ("Could it be...", "Maybe..." "Perhaps...").
The children have imagined the island as a real location, and thought about what visitors would need to know. They have learned about creating a website; how to write clear, interesting text for it; how to link pages and insert images. I have learned a lot as well!
Benenden's J'nanin website
Mark Warner, Teacher at The Down's School in Kent, has dived in to Myst again, this time exploring Myst IV (Revelation) with his class in the run up to SATs. Mark has blogged about his experiencee and ideas on his blog.
(see also Mark's previous experiiences using Myst III week one, week two and week three ).
The Kent Myst writing project
ICTgames.com is run by James Barrett, Kent ICT Project Teacher. The website contains many numeracy and literacy games created by James in his spare time. Although mainly aimed at early years and key stage 1 pupils, some games suitable are for key stage 2 pupils too.
Have you seen?
Day and Night - new resource
Funky Mummy - hugely popular
Multi Bounce - times table
Put the red x close to the answer
(James also creates the games on the Kent ICT website. He creates the Kent ICT games during working hours in between teaching in primary schools around Kent.)