Bringing Technology into the Classroom

I love bringing a bit of technology into my lessons, I find it encourages me to think of something fun and quirky to engage my students each time. Of course these tips and tricks loose their effect if used too often so save them for special occasions when lessons need a bit of razzle dazzle. Here are a few of my favorites:

QRStuff.com  I am already a big fan of using QR codes for links to homework or further learning. They are so easy to drop into the bottom of a hand-out or blow up on a power point presentation and students are often so eager to use their phones that they are encouraged to access the information.

PollEverywhere This is another one that will get students using their phones constructively in the classroom. Ask students a question and they can vote for the answer by texting in anonymously on their phones. You can watch the results appear live. Its a fun way to assess learning or a class attitude. Student responses can be as open or closed as you like and it is all free!

Sporcle.com  This is free to set up an account and you (or your students) can use existing quizzes or create your own on a whole range of different topics. I find they are great for assessments although you will need to ask students to screen shot their results as evidence.

Something similar is PlayBrighter.com In this you can make a game, create a class list with individual student log in and look at the results. Students seem to enjoy this too as they are playing a game and answering the questions as they go along. This is great for theory based lessons / homework.

ThingLink.com  This is free and so simple to create. It is an interactive image with embedded information. Its great for a fun way to pass on key notes from a lesson for SEN learners.

I am a huge fan of TED -Ed and creating ‘flipping’  a lesson through this is really handy if you have cover or to use as an extended homework / further learning.

GoogleDrive isn’t one I have used yet but it has a ‘big brother’ feel to it. You can monitor your students as they write the work allowing you to give them tips as they go along. Also you will know who is working and who is handing it in at the last minute. I’ve been told this can be great when combined with QR codes to create a treasure hunt assessment quiz.

The last useful website I have to suggest is Gapminder.org/world  This uses real statistics and makes them kinda cool if you need to compare a pattern through time or country in pretty much anything. If you teach a Humanities subject I think it is worth exploring.

Hope some of these inspire you. Do let me know if there are any other websites you think are worth using in the classroom.

Property Pressure

My boyfriend and I have made the decision to invest in a house. Whilst the idea started off as a mixture of excitement and nerves I have quickly found myself no longer considering our rented home as, well, home. I am in home limbo.

Evenings are spent on right move – I am pretty sure I have an unhealthy addiction to the app, or wandering round a strangers home deciding how you would feel about living there. It is so strange. This weekend we actually jumped out of our car after spotting an estate agent taking pictures of a cute cottage and invited ourselves into some poor ladies home! I am convinced that I spend more time talking to estate agents than my friends these days. Property hunting seems to have got the better of me.

house hunting

DIY : Personalised Frosted Vase

I love making stuff, especially when it is a gift for someone special. It is such a great feeling to hand over something that is unique and been made with love especially for them.  It was my sisters 22nd birthday recently and I decided to make her a personalised vase using frosted spray paint and instead of making a pattern use window stickers to write her name on it. I think it turned out rather well so I thought I would share it with you.

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My supplies:

  • A Plain Glass Vase
  • Letter Stickers (I used window ones, but any stickers would work)
  • Frosted Spray Paint
  • Masking Tape

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 1. Place your stickers on the vase. (If using normal stickers put the sticker on some fabric and remove a couple of times to loose some of it’s sticky quality – otherwise you may damage the frosted effect when you try and peel it off.)  I didn’t need to do this with window transfers as the letters peeled off easily and had a jelly consistency that made them easy to pick off. I recommend using masking tape to make guidelines for the top and bottom of your name or phrase. This helps you to keep in straight when you are adding the stickers.Peel off your guidelines.

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2. Use the masking tape to tape of the top edge of the vase. This gives it a clean finished line where the frosted spray ends.

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3.Place the vase upside down on cardboard and follow the directions of the spray paint. I found 2 thin coats worked well with a hour (touch dry) in between each coat.

4. Peel off your stickers once dry and you are done!

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I couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was yet it looks great! My sister really appreciated the gift and I can not wait to make another. Although the next one may have to be for myself.