EDTECH, EDUCATORS, HISTORY, LEARNING, RESOURCES, SOCIAL MEDIA, TEACHING

Using Green Screen in the classroom! 

What is green screen?

Green screen is often associated with big blockbuster Hollywood films including many of my favourites such as Marvel Avengers and Harry Potter . However, many teachers have been using this engaging and innovative technology in their classrooms, adding a new and exciting dimension to their lessons! Green screen (or blue screen which works in the same way as blue and green are regarded as the best colours to use as they are the furthest colours away from human skin tones) allows the editor to remove the green background and replace the back drop. Read more

AFL, HISTORY, LEARNING, LITERACY, RESOURCES, TEACHING

Getting to grips with keywords!

I recently read an interesting article on the TES online by Alex Quigley, English teacher and Director of Learning and Research, entitled ‘How to plan for and teach tricky vocabulary’. Introducing pupils to new vocabulary takes place in all subjects and as Alex explained it is essential to the success of pupil progression. Grasping subject specific terminology naturally increases vocabulary and provides pupils with a deeper level of subject knowledge and understanding. In the Humanities subjects I teach pupils are regularly introduced to new vocabulary, it is a key feature and skill within the subject. Subject specific vocabulary can often be very challenging for pupils. Difficulties can occur with reading and pronouncing the keywords, which is why modelling is an excellent starting point such as repeating the words for pupils. Also, understanding the terminology in a contextual setting can be a struggle. Alex offers a lot of great advice and strategies. I wanted to share some resources that I have created and used with pupils, across the curriculum and with different key stages, to help expand their vocabulary whilst linking to their subject knowledge and further developing their Literacy skills. All of the resources in this post can be used and adapted for different subjects, as shown with my examples. Keywords within our subject area can also be particularly challenging for both SEN and EAL pupils. A useful strategy with EAL pupils is to encourage them to translate the word, using a dictionary to check if they are already familiar with the term in their first language. I am also working with the EAL department at my College, they offer so much support and have a wealth of experience working with pupils understanding of  keywords. I have differentiated the resources to suit the needs of my pupils or seen differentiation by outcome in regards to level of depth, detail and understanding. Read more

EDUCATORS, LEARNING, POUNDLANDPEDAGOGY, RESOURCES, TEACHING

Back to school – Ice breaker activities!

In addition to my teaching role I am also a House tutor. I thoroughly enjoy this pastoral role as it provides a great opportunity to build positive  relationships with my pupils, not just focusing on the academic elements. Being a tutor allows me to take part in tutor and whole school activities that differ to my teaching role. The start of year is a very important time for teachers to get to know their pupils and as mentioned build those crucial positive relationships. It is also very important for pupils to get to know each other, as well as feeling comfortable and confident in school. Read more

HISTORY, LEARNING, RESOURCES, TEACHING

In their shoes…bringing empathy to the classroom.

To be empathetic in life can be difficult. To be empathetic can also be a lovely quality to possess. As teachers we often feel and show empathy towards colleagues and pupils, as well as in our own personal lives. Many educators have blogged about the importance of empathy as a teacher and a leader. Empathy, compassion and kindness are important qualities that most, if not all, teachers demonstrate on a daily basis. However, the purpose of this post isn’t to explore or discuss empathy in the workplace. Empathy like creativity and curiosity is very important but how do you teach this? Instead we promote, encourage and create opportunities for pupils to be creative or curious and show empathy. I wanted to share a resource I created for pupils that has helped them to understand empathy, in different contextual settings. Read more

AFL, LEARNING, RESOURCES, TEACHING

Different ways to use emojis in the classroom!

Most pupils love emojis – that’s obvious! There was a recent debate online about using emojis in the classroom. I can understand how using emojis can be viewed as a “gimmick” but I do embrace emojis in the classroom…to help engage pupils and aid learning, if appropriate. In my opinion a gimmick distracts from the subject content or serves no purpose therefore I do think carefully about the resources I create and when I use them. Here are some examples I wanted to share! Read more

CLASSROOM DISPLAY, HISTORY, LEARNING, POUNDLANDPEDAGOGY, RESOURCES, TEACHING

My favourite #Poundland Pedagogy ideas!

I have written about #PoundlandPedagogy ideas before and more recently I collaborated with Mark Anderson writing about #PoundlandPedagogy of apps, which can be found here. This post contains some of my favourite ideas that have worked really well with my students, that I wanted to share and explain. The idea behind this is very simple; using cheap objects in the classroom in a creative way to aid teaching and learning. Isabella Wallace created the hashtag #PoundlandPedagogy. I am regularly inspired by and gain/adapt ideas from teachers on Twitter, sharing their Poundland resources, so hopefully  these ideas can be used by others too! Read more

HISTORY, LEARNING, LITERACY, RESOURCES, TEACHING

Snapchat starters…

Snapchat has become a popular phenomenon with young people. For anyone who isn’t familiar with this app it is very basic, it allows people to send pictures/selfies to their friends but the picture can only be viewed for so many seconds before it disappears forever. The snap can also include a caption with the picture. I know how much students enjoy using this app so I decided to bring something they liked and were familiar with into my classroom.  A simple way to engage students and link to learning. Read more

LEARNING, RESOURCES, TEACHING

Walkabout Bingo!

There are lots of different versions of Bingo that can be played. Walkabout Bingo is a favourite with my classes and this game encourages students to interact with each other and use/consolidate their subject knowledge.

Walkabout Bingo is a simple yet effective idea for the classroom. To play this game there needs to be a series of boxes, the amount of boxes can vary depending on class size or time dedicated to the activity.  In each box there will be a question, focusing on the topic or lesson. In the same box a space to write the answer and underneath, still in the same box, it will say ‘name’. The aim of the game is to have all the boxes filled with correct answers but students must get their answers from other members of the class. They cannot answer the question on their sheet themselves;  they can only answer for other people. Also, they can only ask someone a question once – hence the name in the box. So a student will go up to someone in their class, ask them the question, write down their answer and write down the name of the person who told them the answer then find someone else to answer their next question. Read more