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| January 28, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

taskclonelogo-blueTaskClone is one for those who have taken up using Evernote: Stop forgetting tasks – Start saving time! Automatically send Evernote to-dos to your favorite task app or Google Calendar. Useful for planning ahead…

Gosport Education Improvement Partnership INSET ~ Day 1

| January 28, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Elson Junior School

TGosport Education Improvement Partnershiphe first of three days, working alongside the children, and staff, from The Gosport Education Improvement Partnership. Today, we were at Elson Junior School for lessons with Year 4 pupils in the morning and Y2 pupils from St John’s C of E Primary in the afternoon.

This training followed from the Gosport Curriculum Innovation Conference in October 2014. It is open for all Gosport schools.

Joining us today were colleagues from schools in the Gosport partnership:Elson Junior, Gomer Junior, Leesland JuniorNewtown C of E PrimaryPeel Common Junior, John’s C of E Primary, St Mary’s Catholic Primary, Alverstoke InfantBrockhurst Infant, Leesland Infant, Peel Common Infant and Rowner Infant.

We have to build emancipated, autonomous, users of language. Phonic development is really important but not as a standalone, every now and then subject. It needs to be taught consistently, and in exciting ways, a development continuum.

Reading is an essential precursor to writing and writing is an essential precursor to reading. Teachers need to plan experiences that require an ever widening range of forms for an ever increasing range of purposes and audiences… and make it real! What is fascinating, about the experiences we offer, in these sessions with children, is that they believe in the locations, and become surprisingly passionate about recording their thoughts, and feelings.

Thank you to Joy Squibb, Headteacher of St John’s C of E Primary for sharing her thoughts:

St. John’s is a place where going above and beyond is the norm for the love of our children and their futures.  We aim to excite children about life and about learning.  Our pupils lead the curriculum, helping to build exciting enquiries and discover knowledge of the world together.  We love having visitors in school, and taking children out of school to learn – we all strongly believe there are no limits to our learning.

Thank you to Debbie Lewis, for coordinating arrangements with us for these 3 days. A lot of detailed planning.

Well done, to the Elson Junior School and St John’s C of E Primary children, and staff. More tomorrow…


| January 27, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

etherpadscreenshotEtherpad is a highly customizable Open Source online editor providing collaborative editing in really real-time.

There are many pads now (& we look forward to hearing of the one you use/prefer) but this was “an original”.


| January 26, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 


Schoology lets you manage your classroom, engage your students, find resources, and connect to other teachers anytime, anywhere.

Experience the power of a global learning community. Build connections and collaborate with your peers.

The basic package is “free for instructors”!

That’s not cool ~ Internet safety site

| January 23, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Thats not cooltnc_logoThat’s not Cool is an interesting site, dealing, as it does, with slightly older students, and their experience of internet, and mobile, etiquette, or the lack of it.

Your mobile phone, and online profile are all digital extensions of who you are. When someone you’re with pressures or disrespects you in those places, that’s not cool. Draw your digital line about what is, or is not, okay in relationships.

Swedish Educators in London for BETT Week 2015

| January 23, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Swedish Educators in London for BETT Week 2015

A hop across London, from The BETT Arena, for a Keynote presentation at the Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, alongside the Swedish teachers, who have joined Caperio, a Swedish IT company with world-class services, for a lot of visits around the city, and a trip to BETT itself.

Caperio-300x191Today, we explored a vast range of virtual worlds, stretching the concepts of travel, in to remarkable settings, & investigated the learning that flows from these flights of fantasy.

A huge thank you to all at Caperio, and Angelica Hedin, for coordinating our journey in to the real world of Scandinavian schools, and beyond. Thanks and well done all.

Amazing Space ~ a universe of learning

| January 22, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Amazing SpaceAmazing Space is a big site, with a lot of interesting learning opportunities centred on the universe, and much that lies within it.

Reveal the beauty and wonder of the cosmos to your students with this comprehensive listing of a lot of interactive activities, graphic organizers, science content reading selections, and more.

Mininininini planetA description, suggestions for using the resource in the classroom, and related materials accompany each tool.

Get the science behind the scenes with some Astronomy basics! From quick facts to tales of intriguing celestial phenomena, learn some fundamentals of astronomy … and find the answers to your students’ questions about many space-based themes.


| January 21, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

EdX offers free online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities.

Topics include business, computer science, finance, history, literature, maths, science, statistics and more. Courses are from some of the best universities in the world. Worth investigating for older students, or on a personal level.

Phrasal Verbs Machine

| January 20, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Phrasal VerbPhasal machineThe Phrasal Verbs Machine by Cambridge University Press, is helpful, as Phrasal verbs are complicated for non-native English speakers to learn and use… and for many English speakers.

The Phrasal Verb Machine is also available, for free again, for iOs machines, and also Android tablets and smartphones.

Enjoy animated illustrations of 100 phrasal verbs set in the circus world of the main character Phraso, and friends, with example sentences in English & translations into 5 languages.

Clatford CE Primary School, Clatford, Hampshire ~ Day 2

| January 20, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Clatford C of E Primary

Clatford C of E Primary SchoolOur second day working alongside the staff of Clatford CE Primary School,  (Goodworth Clatford, near Andover, in Hampshire) and their guests.

A morning with two classes of Y5/6 pupils and their teachers and visiting colleagues, and an afternoon with the Y2 children, exploring stunning landscapes and virtual worlds to extend vocabulary, confidences and writing.

It is our role, as teachers, to build skilled users of language and socially adaptable communicators. Now, more than ever, there is the need for a complex range of literacies in a constantly changing world full of a huge range of literacies, overt, and covert.

Writing, and, essentially, grammar, need to be taught in exciting, vibrant, contextualized ways. It was that inspiration for enhancing inventive use of language, that we explored today.

Writing is the way we communicate when we’re not there. When speaking, we can modify our emphasis and gesticulate. In writing we have to pick the right words, framed in a real context. Children need a real purpose in order to encourage engagement with writing ~ Teachers need, regardless of their route in to the profession, a real understanding of what grammar is. Not conjugating verbs, but understanding REAL structure for real needs.

A big thank you, to Jenny Rasbeary, a teacher at Clatford School, for initiating our visit, and looking after us today.

Vikidia ~ More simple research & in different languages

| January 19, 2015 | Add Your Thoughts 

Vikidia250px-Animatie400vikidia-es is an encyclopedia written for 8 to 13-year-old children and anyone seeking easy-to-read content on a subject. Genuinely useful indeed.

We have talked of Simple English Wikipedia before, Vikidia does a similar job, and also in French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Russian. Great for language lessons, or as a more understandable research tool. Keep it simple.