Monday, 28 October 2013

Welcome new students

As I work in an international school we have students joining all the time! This is a quick video I created for students to watch before their first day. When the join we set them up with their email account, iTunesU courses, required apps and Google Drive. We also spend time talking to them about the work students have been doing already, as well as some of the traditions and fun things we are doing!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Powtoon -Music Design Introduction

A video introducing my next grade 7 unit - music video production. I'm hoping the students make some pretty creative and weird videos! I'll post more as the unit progresses!

Friday, 18 October 2013

PowToon - Product Design Introduction

When looking at Google Teacher Academy application I saw a lot of people had used PowToon. I decided to have a quick play with it, creating a video to introduce a unit I am teaching to three grades next term. It is really simple and easy to use. The templates are great and it comes pre-loaded with lots of characters and icons. You can also import images easily. The above video took me about 15 minutes to make, so I am quite happy with it. I would never teach students to use it, but it works perfectly to make quick educational videos.

I am going to make some library skills videos using PowToon soon too!
[Watch this space]

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Pinterest - Google Education

Google Presentation Timings

A quick video about Google Presentation timings, as it is not obvious how you can set slides to change automatically or to play on loop. Hopefully this very short video will clear this up for you!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Google Presentation

This morning I received a panicky phone call from my dad. He no longer had Microsoft Office and my ten year old brother needed to create a presentation for school. I quickly made this tutorial to show him a much better and free alternative - Google Presentations!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Don't Say Swag!

100 Words You Could Say Instead of Swag - Watsky

I show this video to students often when they use to much slang, especially if they use the word 'swag.' I just showed a couple of our grade 9s and they have already chosen their favourite alternatives! Thanks Watsky!

Dickens, Sherlock and Schwarma

Ms. Jones organised an amazing trip yesterday for our Grade 8s and 9s!

We got students to download the Guardian's Dickens Walk podcasts over the weekend. The podcasts takes you all around the city, explaining to you why it is was important to Dickens and also including some extracts from his text. The students really enjoyed the trip and every single one of them listened to the podcasts at each location and contributed to our discussion! I was very proud. We didn't manage to do the whole thing, but will leave more time for it if we do it again!
You can find out more about the route and the podcast here.

We also went past the Sherlock Holmes museum and our grade 9s gave the grade 8s some mini lectures about Sherlock Holmes! We then ended up going to Chipotle for burritos, instead of for Lebanese, but obviously had no complaints!

Another rad event planned by Ms. Jones!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Google Forms Staff Learning Project

I am doing a project with a colleague to see if we can use Google Forms to help increase the amount of homework students do, as well as the quality. Here is the tutorial I have made, along with the proposal.

Proposal for PLP

Ms Dutton and Ms Dance

Students are not always completing homework and are often unprepared for lessons because of this. When students do complete homework they often fail to put in adequate effort.

Once a week or whenever homework is set students will need to fill in an accompanying Google Form. The homework could be the Google Form itself. Borrowing ideas from the flipped classroom this form will also have a space where students can raise any issues or concerns. The first questions for every piece of homework will be ‘My name is’ followed by a multiple choice question with a list of the names of students from that class.
As we are using Google Forms we will have a record showing if there participation increases or not. We can also compare the quality of homework over time.
This hopefully will increase homework participation and also provide a number of other benefits:

-This will create a uniform homework format that students get into the routine of doing.
-The first question ‘my name is’ will give us a clear view of who has and hasn’t done the homework.
-This record can be used as evidence if students are continually not doing homework.
-Students will become more accountable for their own work.
-Students will be able to raise any issues before a lesson, so we know exactly who needs support. This means we can give them help before the lesson,  either in person or digitally, (through email or sending them to websites or video tutorials) or we can give them targeted support at the start of class. If a lot of the class are having the same issues, we can change our lesson plan to resolve these.
-We will be able to compare student answers side by side.
-Students who have not filled in the Google Form will not be able to move on to the task in class, they will also not have the information and skills that the rest of the class have, so will feel left behind. This should include participation and increase students ownership over their own learning.
-Having all student responses in one document will help us when marking work.
-Having student work side by side should help us when providing students with ideas for improvement.
-Google forms produce two types of reports. One which shows one individuals answer to each question and another which shows all students answers to individual questions!
-Google Forms can be used for peer assessment.
-Google forms can be used to help students evaluate their own work, their peers and other artist’s work, developing more meaningful and insightful answers.


For the first few weeks we may need to go over the forms together at the start of class. Often students fail to answer in full sentences when filling in surveys. By discussing the answers and what we expect from them, we should not only see an increase in the amount of homework being done, but we should see an improvement in the quality.


When looking at the summary of responses this is the first result to show up. This means at the start of a lesson we can see who has and hasn’t completed the work. This could also be used the day before to remind students who have not completed the work.
Here we can see all the students results to one individual question. Here students can compare answers. This is also great for collaborative work, for example if you asked students ‘name one thing which creates a successful poster’, this would be followed by a list of all the students responses.
This is very good when doing peer feedback, for example ‘The thing I like most about Ms. Dance’s art is’ , would then be followed by all the results from all the students. This can be used by the student in the evaluation of their product or art work.

The other type of feedback shows individual's responses. Here you can scroll along and see the persons answers for each question.This can be useful for students to refer to when writing an evaluation. Also it is good for teachers to refer to when speaking to a student, or their parents, about their work. The problems column is also useful as you can quickly see who is having problems and what - these issues can be built into your lesson plan and dealt with at the start of class.

If successful we would like to share this with other staff, hopefully getting them to adopt this method too.

VideoThis tutorial hopefully explains our plans and should also help anyone who wishes to adopt these methods.  

Friday, 11 October 2013

Google Forms and GTA Application

I'm still working on my application for the Google Teacher Academy, but have finished my video. It is on Motivation and Learning andI have decided to focus on Google Forms. I think most videos made by other applicants are about Google generally, but I wanted to focus mine down to one of the many tools I use. When I receive training I enjoy getting practical tips and suggestions for something I can work on straight away - something more focussed, like one Google App. When I deliver training I also like to focus on practical tips - this is why I have decided to focus on my video just onto Google Forms, as I can give examples of how I apple them to my teaching.

I am also working on a research project at school with another teacher. We are going to be using Google Forms at least once a week for every class we teach as part of their homework. This will help us flip the classroom, but will also help us increase student homework participation and also increase the quality of the work. We will be able to compare student work side by side and use the forms for peer assessment. Each form will also have a question allowing students to express any issues or areas of concern they are having. I will post more on this project as we move on with it - we are just in the stages of drawing it up right now.

Wish my luck with both the application and the research project!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Good Reads Book Group

A cute widget for our school's Book Club on Good Reads!
Halcyon Book Club
Halcyon Book Club 40 members
A digital hang out and reading group for member of the Halcyon London International School Commun...

Books we've read

View this group on Goodreads »

As we work in a 1:1 iPad school we decided to deliver all of our courses through iTunesU. I also created a course with resources for staff and one for the library. The library course has lots of information about local libraries, GoodReads, Apps for getting free e-books and audio books, links to author websites and loads more.  I have divided each of my tech classes into the five units, a section on assessments and a section with the MYP tech outline. In each unit students will get an introduction to the course, they will then have work for every lesson and homework set on iTunesU. Here I can also upload any useful PDFs, video tutorials, websites and other documents. Most of them are full of tutorials for the different apps we will be using as well as links to the students' homework in Google Drive. I really love using iTunes U and know the students love it too. It also helps that all students are using it across the school, as students are very familiar with it. Although you need a code to enroll we happily let parents enrol on our courses, so they can see exactly what the students are doing in class and for homework and get access to all the materials to help support their child. Every time you make an update it pushes through a notification to the student, this is very useful when sending reminders, such as letting students know we are going on a trip, have a test or they need to download an app. We also save useful websites in the course, as well as log in details for places like BrainPop!

If anyone would like to take a look at any of the iTunesU courses or wants to find out about setting it up, feel free to message me on here or on Twitter.

More details about iTunesU here.

Green Screen Experimenting

Today Grade 8s are setting up the Green Screen to film some news broadcasts. We bought a really cheap green screen kit from Amazon, but it seems to be doing the job pretty well.

Does anyone have any tips for using this? If so, please tweet me @missedutton

Next term I will be working with students to create a news story for the BBC School Report. 

Here is the report I made in my last school:

ClassTools - BURGER BABY

I love a good burger. I even went on a burger tour of the east coast of America and had a pet African Pygmy Hedgehog Called Burger. Here's evidence of both:

Here's ClassTools cute Burger Story Planning tool. I know a good friend of mine uses this a lot in English and History classes and I've used it once very successfully. I am enjoying looking through the ClassTools resources today, as a few I haven't used for a while. It's helping inspire me!

ClassTools - Source Analyser

A quick tool to get students to assess if a website is reliable or not. I used this with some of my KS3 students when working on different projects. It's pretty simply, but very effective! Check it out here.

ClassTools Countdown

Another tool I use on ClassTools is the countdown. At the moment I am using this almost every lesson. As it is the end of half-term students are working independently finishing off their projects. The countdown allows them to know how long they have left - also I 30-1.30second song at the end, so students can tidy up and all get together again. This is when we share what we have been working on with the rest of the class.

ClassTools Random Name Picker

I have started using the ClassTools Random Name Picker again. I find that I have a couple of students who are very quiet in class and don't contribute as much as I would like them to, to class discussions. Using the random name picker means all students get a chance to contribute. They also get excited when I use it, as it is almost a game! Although ClassTools is a pretty garish clumsy looking website I actually use some of the tools it provides on a daily basis! Check it out here.
Next term I am doing a product design course with the students. The products they design will be sold to parents and teachers and we may even create an online store. Students will get a small budget, but will have complete freedom with what they design! I created two Pinterest boards to help inspire them.

Classroom Management Tips

This is where I share some of my classroom management tips and strategies:

Writing Prompts

Images to get students writing! I love visual story starters - students always come up with the most interesting, diverse stories.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Google Search Tricks

One of the first videos I made - Google Search Tricks!

Creating Educational Videos

I was invited to speak at The Librarian TeachMeet event - CILIP ARLG Eastern
Saturday, 15 June 2013 from 14:00 to 17:30 (BST)
Norwich, United Kingdom.

As I couldn't make it, I was asked to create a video.  This video talks about creating educational videos. Following this they showed one of my Stop Motion Animations. I was available on Twitter to answer any questions!

Word Taboo

I made this game of Word Taboo for my Debate Club. My Debate Club are a group of highly intelligent, wonderful students...however they do not have the best communication skills. As they are very bright, they have tons of ideas, and have difficulty not talking over each other. I created this game to help combat that!

If you are not familiar with taboo the rules are very simple - the class split into teams  - one student sits in front of the whiteboard/TV, so that they can not see the screen. A word and an image pop up on the screen, along with a few other 'clue words'. Students on that team must try and get them to guess the correct word, but they must not use any of the clue words. They are also not allowed to leave their seats, to shout, to point, to do voices, to sing songs or to mention any names at all, (this includes places and people)! The teams not playing must help moderate and must look out for cheating! I usually give students 30-40 seconds to guess the word.

Spelling Taboo

A twist on the game of Word Taboo. Students must also spell the word correctly before they get any points or can leave the hot seat! I used this with our nurture group, (students with SENs and EAL issues). Download the powerpoint from TES.

International Quiz

A quiz I made for International Week. Students were really good at this, guessing most of the flags correctly! The food students found a bit difficult. I was also surprised by how many students didn't recognise landmarks from England! Download the quiz on TES.

Science Trivia Quiz

A quick trivia quiz. This was done during tutor group time during Engineering week! Download it from TES.

Westminster Libraries

As members of my school we are able to become members to any library in Westminster. We can then register our cards with any library in the Hammersmith and Fulham or the Chelsea and Kensington borough. This gives students access to a huge amount of books, e-books, e-magazines, DVDs and other resources. I created the video above to show students the resources available to them.

Granny Cloud

Today students in grade seven are taking part in the "Granny Cloud'. They have set up Skype interviews with older relatives from around the world, and will be asking them a series of questions about identity. In case there are technical issues or students cannot get hold of someone, I am substituting as a granny. Students will be calling me through Skype and asking me a range of questions, using various sentence structures. I even have my biggest glasses and a headscarf for a disguise!

This is an excellent lesson organised by Ms. Jones, our wonderful English teacher! Very impressed!


Photo Evidence! UH OH!

Basically Reading is AWESOME

A Stop Motion I made about the benefits of reading!

Another Book Quiz

Another quick book quiz! This should be suitable for students of mixed ability who enjoy different types of books. I generally get the students to answer these questions in a Google Form or on paper and I get them working in a group!

Opening Lines to Famous Children's Books

Here is a quick quiz using opening lines from famous children's books. I have done this as a video and delivered this myself. This has been done for individually classes and also as a school wide competition! I used Sock Puppets to create this sweet video.
Have a listen - how many will you guess?


Who doesn't love poetry? In my last school we had some fantastic slam poetry competitions. I ended up being on the judging panel twice - a very difficult job.

Google Apps Tutorial

Another tutorial I created to show colleagues the basics of Google Apps. 

I shared this with the School Librarians Network and got some great feedback!

Good Reads Tutorial

All students at my school use Good Reads. We add reviews for any books we read in English class. We also have a book group for all students, staff and parents. This is a tutorial I made to show students how to use the website. Each advisory group also spent some time in The Hub (our library) looking at the app and signing up to the site.

The Dewey Decimal Classification System

A video I made for the start of year introductions to the library! 
A quick video to explain the Dewey Decimal Classification System!

Pinterest - Books Worth Reading

QR Codes

An old video I made about using QR codes.
Before I left my last school I covered all the toilet doors with laminated signs. These signs would have a quote from a book, with no details telling the author or title, but just a QR code linking to the Good Reads site, or a YouTube book trailer!
Now that I work in a 1:1 iPad I am able to use them in a range of creative ways. Mostly I have been putting them in books to enhance them  - so either linking to videos and other resources to support the books, or linking to our book club or to an authors website. I am also going to start using them for new students, so that they have QR codes for all of their iTunesU courses!

On Pinterest I have pinned lots of ideas for using QR codes in school too.


I love Twitter. I don't think I would ever have a personal one, but as a tool to network and share ideas it is fantastic. I follow a lot of authors, publishers and others well as some funny Twitter accounts, like Snape's! I find it to be a place for constant inspiration. Even just scrolling through my homepage, I will easily see a dozen links to blog posts, lesson plans, tutorials, app reviews, competition and a whole range of other inspiring resources!
A lot of teachers are a bit sceptical about Twitter and do not know where to start. I have showed a lot of colleagues and other educators how to use it and have got them hooked. I will have a tutorial posted on here soon too!



I share a lot of resources on TES. Most of these resources were made when I was at Evelyn Grace Academy. A lot of them are for students with SENs and EAL students. There are lesson plans as well as one off lessons, like international quizzes and Word Taboo! Click the image to view my profile and my resources.



I love Pinterest and use it a lot to get inspired and to share my ideas.
Recently I have also been using it as a teaching tool, by creating inspiration boards for projects students are working on. Next half-term I will be getting al my students, (who are over 13) to create Pinterest boards to help them when researching and planning for their technology projects.

I've created this video to show students before they use Pinterest:

I am going to re-make my video for educators using Pinterest. I'll post it here as soon as it is done!


I realised that all the resources I share online are spread out online between TES, YouTube, Pinterest, SLN, Fronter, Google Drive and Twitter. I think it is finally time to pull them all together!

I have recently moved on from being the Librarian at a school in Brixton to become the Digital Librarian and Technology Teacher at a new international school in central London. This is the second new school I have worked in and I am really loving it. I am getting to grips with the international baccalaureate MYP course and enjoying teaching technology lessons. Currently I have students working on iBook, Movie and food tech projects.

The library itself is mostly digital and we use resources from Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Chelsea and Kensington Libraries. All of our courses are delivered through iTunesU. Teachers here have created their own resources and books for our students. I even have an iTunesU course all about libraries and online resources.

This blog will aim to show videos, lesson plans, app reviews and will let me show off some of the incredible work my students are producing.


Ms. D