Thursday, 27 November 2014


Just stumbled on these Garfield Apps. Thought they might be useful for some of you

Also...boredom cures:

When you take Garfield out of the comics they are just depressing!

Someone has made Garfield costumes...they act out the comic strips...with lots of fake applause and awkward pauses...then makes it into a music video... one of the strangest, but most entertaining things I have seen on the internet! 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

CYOA Gothic Stories

Here are some incredible stories created by my Grade 6 students.
This gothic stories will sit inside the Gothic apps they are currently making in Design class.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Board Games

Students have almost finished their survival board games and I have to say, I was pretty impressed with them! Last week students sat either side of a long table and would spend 4 minutes with the person opposite, showing their games, explaining the rules, asking questions and filling in an evaluation form, (I used the TAG* system for this). One side then moved along, so that eventually each student had shown their game to half the class. This 'speed dating' style show and tell worked really well, and let me embrace their chattiness! At the end we had one of our liveliest and most positive class discussions about their creations.  Students then selected four games they wanted to play and then rotated from table to table trying out the four games. During this time the games creator stayed with the game, so they could guide the players. This really was one of the most fun lessons I have taught in a long while and it was pretty much student led...meaning I got to try out the games too!

Here are some photos of their survival games:

During this game you had to get to the present day. You had two dices, one related to 'eras' and one related to spaces. You'd move through various historical times, missing a turn for catching the plague or learning strange facts about the Romans. I loved this game and it was highly educational and fun. Also the pace of the game was great and you could quickly go from being in first place, to last place, then back to first place again! 

This game had students visit all different eras of a globe, collecting cards and learning about different places. The student had bought a metal globe and created magnetic pieces to go onto the different continents!

This was a role playing Zombie game, set at our school. You could collect weapons and health points, but often had to battle zombies, (I think Kenny Mutton may have been based on me, Lenny Dutton). Zombies and weapons had damage points and you had to role a dice each to see who attacked first. When you made it to the school door you had to draw a card and go on a special mission to another part of the school, to find a tool to help you escape. This was very clever and I have encouraged this student to make it again, using a computer, and a few improvements, so we can have a copy to play in the library!

This was a very stylish game all about survival skills. This two played game had you answer multiple-choice questions about survival in order to move forward. Students loved this game, because the questions were interesting and challenging.

I was very impressed with the variety of games made and the creativity and intelligence that went into them! This week we will have a chance to see a few more games, then students will be working on an evaluation. 

T = Tell them something you like
A -=Ask a question
G = Give a question


Last week I was invited to an event at the Southbank Centre by a friend who works for the ODI.  As it was a bit of a last minute thing I had to run around the school like a headless chicken to get approval from all the right people, to get accompanying staff and to make sure I wasn't taking students away from anything unmissable. I was so glad that everyone was supportive and organising the trip actually ended up being very easy! Hurrah! This was a once in a life time event and it was truly wonderful to be in a room full of so many passionate people, as well as many influential, notable people from a former prime minister to a Nobel Peace Prize Winner! Here's what I wrote for our newsletter. 

"Grade 9 and 10 attended the Our Future, Our Rights event at the Southbank centre run by the Oversea Development Institute.  This event had incredible speakers including Children's rights activist and Nobel Peach Prize winner Kailash Satarthi, former prime minister Gordon Brown, alongside Malala Yousafzai's school friends Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan, Camfed founder Ann Cotton, ODI Executive Director Kevin Watkins and was hosted by Ade Adepitan, the British TV presenter and Paralympian. We also heard stories from several children across the world and had a video message from Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General for the United Nations and Anthony Lake, Executive Director or Unicef.
The event was on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child and celebrated the great success of this, but also pointed out where it had fallen short. The event was aimed at getting people to sign a petition to help put pressure on governments to make changes to fulfil the plans of the Convention. 
This was an incredible event, students were engaged and enthused by the speakers  and it sparked some fantastic conversations. We would like everyone to sign the petition, #UpForSchool to ensure that children across the world have access to education. You can sign this petition here:"

Monday, 17 November 2014

Resource Lists

I've been a bit quiet on here while I've been working on updating our Library Website.
I'm pretty pleased with the content and how the site is starting to look. I thought I would share some of the documents I have been working on, so others can use them too.

Feel free to use any other resources from the library site. 
I'll be working on it a lot over the next two weeks and will have my app spreadsheet to share soon too!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Connected PenPals

I love Connected Classrooms and Skye Classroom, but so many of the classrooms I want to connect with just don't work out because of time differences. Has anyone tried a digital pen pal approach? I would love to work with another class and send each other short videos daily. These could be used in my advisory group and would really help my students feel connected to people on other sides of the world. You could either go for the 'Guess where I am in the world' approach - each day sending clues and questions - similar to long distance chess...or you could simply talk about important issues in the world, share cultural stories, etc.

Send me a Tweet if this is something you would be interested in?
I teach Grade 6-10 students and have an advisory group made up of a mixture of age groups. We'd happily work with younger students and am happy to link you up to our Mandarin, Spanish or French classes.

Google Art Project

Google Art Project is another fantastic tool created by Google which many educators are unaware of. GAP allows you to properly view art from all round the world - but properly I mean you can view art in fantastic detail, you can also see how the work is exhibited and you can also learn more about the work and the artist.

You can search for incredible works of art and you can zoom in to see them in amazing detail!

You can see collections curated by Google, users and by museums and galleries.

You can create your own galleries! This would be incredible for students looking at a certain movement or for creating galleries of work that have inspired them. 

You can see the work in the galleries and have a look at the work exhibited along side.

This tutorial shows you how easy the site is to navigate - I show you some rad art too!

I think this is incredibly powerful and allows students to see work they wouldn't otherwise see. I remember having a sketch book full of badly glued in, badly printed images, with badly scribbled annotations and can see how this would instantly solve those issues, and could have made my GCSE art work more compelling! Art Project allows you to see the work properly, in a way curators have chosen to display the art and in incredible detail - students can create their online galleries and can even use them to create presentations, where they describe the work and why they like it. They can also take you around their favourite galleries!

I think this site is incredible and has a huge amount of potential. I am not an art teacher, merely an art enthusiast, so I am sure they can see even more ways that it would be useful! The Project is on-going and I am hoping more and more galleries will submit work, (my favourite painting, An Experiment on a  Bird in an Air is not on there yet). I also hope that they add some features to make your user gallery look like a physical gallery and maybe some features to allow you to record gallery tours!

Google Art Project is one of my new favourite tools and I could happily spend hours playing on it!