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!
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!
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.
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.
On a Friday afternoon I often share teaching resources on Twitter, like many other teachers do, using the hashtag #PedagooFriday. The Zone of Relevance resource generated a lot of interest. I was contacted by teachers asking for further explanation and asking questions, which is understandable as 140 characters can be very limited!
The Zone of Relevance works best with GCSE and A-Level students because it is very useful to complete when preparing and planning an exam answer. However, it can be used with other year groups and across the curriculum. The idea behind this is that students recognise what information is relevant for a specific exam answer and essential to achieve exam marks. It also helps students prioritise information. This task supports students to understand what they should and should not include in their answer. This will highlight what information is irrelevant to that specific question to prevent common mistakes being made.
Classroom displays are a love/hate teacher thing. Some teachers take great pride in creating beautiful displays and enjoy creating their masterpieces. Other teachers can find it time consuming, especially when there is always a long list of other jobs that need doing, which are far more important!
Learning grids, also known as questioning grids, are brilliant! After experimenting with the resource I felt inspired to create learning grids that I could use with my classes. Learning grids appeal to students because they’re an enjoyable learning activity. The learning grids can be adapted for any subject and different key stages. Learning grids require a class set of dice. Students will roll the dice twice – to give them a number they can use for the horizontal and vertical line (for example 2 across and 4 down).
This is a resource I created after one of my Year 7 classes commented on how much they loved the emojis on display in my classroom. They then asked if they could do something with emojis in a lesson. It is well known that emojis are popular but obviously resources have to have a purpose or function to aid teaching and learning. I had used emojis before in various ways and as part of my assessment for learning strategies. I also tend to use exit tickets but I like to design different styles/types of exit tickets. I realised I could use emojis as part of an exit ticket to self assess and reflect on the lesson.
Firstly, to clear up any confusion Body suits are very thin, all in one work suits that can be easily purchased from a pound shop or DIY store. The purpose of these suits are to protect clothing when decorating. However, they can also be used in weird and wonderful ways in the classroom! Here are some suggested ways they can be used with your classes…
Keyword grids are so simple and easy to create, brilliant for teachers! There are lots of different ways the keyword grids can be used, again brilliant for teachers and students!
I created my keyword grids using the Moldiv app, with the photo collage feature and the text was created using the Typorama app. However, the grid can easily be created on Word, PowerPoint or Keynote.