Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Timez Attack

One of my colleagues sent me the link to this fantastic times tables website called Timez Attack! It is totally free and the format is very similar to a PS/Xbox game. When Judy and I attended an ACEL conference earlier this year the importance of learning through gaming was discussed at great length and the research showed that students who are regular gamers have better memory retention.

The only downside of this game is that you have to download it on to every computer (but we can arrange that). I like the way that you can set up your class and monitor their progress as they work through the different levels. I intend to use it as a drilling exercise for year 5 and 6.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Top Tips for a Differentiated Classroom

I found this resource online. It has some great ideas for integrating technology into the classroom while ensuring that differentiation is maintained. The links are easy to follow. I will certainly be using these in Literacy groups!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


What is Kerpoof? The answer to that is not so simple. Kerpoof is all about having fun, discovering things, and being creative. Here are just a few ways that you can use Kerpoof:

Make artwork (even if you aren't good at drawing!)
Make an animated movie (really! it's easy!)
Earn Koins which you can trade for fun things in the Kerpoof Store
Make a printed card, t-shirt, or mug
Tell a story
Make a drawing
Vote on the movies, stories, and drawings that other people have made

There is also an educators page with great ideas for using Kerpoof in the classroom.

Turn Your Pics into Puzzles

This is a cute website for students to play with. Picture Dotscan take any photograph and turn it into a dot-to-dot puzzle. I had a bit of a play with it on the weekend and it's lots of fun!

Scribble Maps

This website is an excellent resource for classrooms. The maps can be scribbled on, text can be added, countries can be highlighted and routes can be traced. Scribble maps is a versatile tool that the students should be able to use very easily. Let me know if you give it a go.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Need to Choose a Student at Random? Try this!

I found this amazing web 2.0 tool called "The Hat".
Here's the information from the website:

"I'm first!"
"No I'm first!"
"No I called it!"
"Well I'm second!"
"OK then Dusty is last because he's youngest!"
"That's not fair, I'm always last!"
Sound familiar? If you are a parent of two or more children, the answer is most likely a resounding "Yes!". Never fear, help is here!

The Hat is a simple but handy little utility that offers a fun and easy way to automatically determine a random order from a list of any amount of names. You can even use it to pick individual names for raffle and sweepstakes winners, etc. or pick pairs of names for deciding random partnerships, complete with cool animation and sound effects.

Features at a Glance
Simple, easy-to-use interface.
Add any amount of names you wish.
Import names from a text file.
Export names to a text file for later use.
Optional special effects while shuffling names.
Pick individual names one at a time or pairs of names.
Cool animation. Actually shows names coming out of a hat when picking individual names or pairs.
Fairly settle arguments between kids about "who goes first", etc.
Print or save results to a file for future reference.
Optionally saves name list between sessions.
Absolutely free!

Let me know if you try this in class. I'd love to hear about it in use.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Good Idea for a Project

I was researching articles to read regarding the ideal arrangement of a classroom to promote collaboration and I stumbled across this little gem!

It's called "Design an Classroom!" and it allows you to have a go at rearranging your classroom space. What a fantastic idea for our students. Wouldn't it be great to see what they came up with by way of design? You can even place a budget restraint on them and use this as a maths exercise. Happy designing!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Eating The Elephant (that is ICT) and eating it one bite @ a time!

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

This presentationw as created by Twitter friend of mine. She is also a part of my Professional Learning Network through the PLP (Powerful Learning Project). Thanks Rachel.... I love reading your work!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Literacy Resource

Here is a website that I have used in the past with Years 5 & 6. It's called FFFBI - Fin, Feathers and Fur Bureau of Investigation.
It is a series of stories and challenges based around a crime that has been committed. The activities are interactive and involve online quizzes, printable worksheets and puzzle solving. There is a fair amount of reading for the students and if they don't read all the instructions they cannot move forward.
Each crime takes the students about 40-45 minutes to solve. Every time I have used this website the engagement level of the students is very high.
I will be using it with Yr 6 Literacy this Tuesday if anyone is interested in taking a look at it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

If I Ruled The World

I was emailed this website this week by Frances Manning - AP at Holy Family Luddenham. It is an online collaborative site that allows students to answer the "big questions" that are important to them in their lives.

If I Ruled The provides a safe classroom environment packed with
FREE interactive whiteboard resources which enable your class to discuss the
hottest topics - from environmental issues to politics, privacy rights to
school lunches. The site also allows your class to socially network with
other classes through discussion, debate and query.
It is hosted by Promethean and could be a very quick talking and listening activity for Literacy groups. Groups could choose the topic for the day, discuss their responses and deliver their responses online.
There doesn't seem to be any age limit for the respondents so it could be used from K-6... how good would it be for even our littlies to voice their opinions?

The best thing about this site is that if you comment often enough we have the opportunity to win a REAL set of activexpression devices for your classroom!

Remember to share any successes, thoughts and challenges with the group so we all find out how valuable this site is.

Friday, February 13, 2009


The International Association of School Librarianship has created an innovative and exciting project called GiggleIT

The idea of the project is to help students aged 10-14 to improve their literacy skills through an online collaboration. Children from around the world are invited to contribute to an eBook that will contain poetry, stories, jokes and cultural stories. The only rule is that they must be humourous.

It sounds like a fun way for our students to connect with others around the world, improve their literacy and have fun in an online environment. Registration is free so I think I might register my Year 5 and 6 Literacy groups. Let me know if you are interested.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

This website is one I found a few weeks ago. It's called Primary Lesson Starters and is run by a great group called It has lesson starters designed for interactive whiteboards for primary maths, literacy and science.

Let me and others know which ones you have looked at or tried in your classroom, and share which ones are good value!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Great Free Maths Resource

Last week Julie showed me this fabulous free maths resource called Smartkiddies. It is an Australian made resource that supports K-6 maths syllabus. I had a bit of a play today and quickly realised that the potential for this site is big. I registered my Year 5 extension maths group and I will be able to track their progress as they play interactive games based on whatever concept we are focussing on for the week. I excitedly emailed several colleagues with the URL and guess what? Most of them have been using it for the last 6 months. Seems I was the last to be let in on a great secret! Post a comment if you explore this site and possibly make suggestions for other teachers about activities you have tried, successes and failures.
Thanks again Julie!