Classtools.net

This week’s Teaching Tip is a website (http://www.classtools.net) that contains a wealth of resources that you can use within your teaching. From a simple countdown timer with music built in, to a QR Game Generator, this website has lots of templates that you can use or adapt within your teaching.
If you use one in your teaching, then please share how you got on, by adding a comment to the blog.
Thanks for the comments we have already received!

Displays and Presentations

This week’s teaching tip has been provided by Julie Miller and includes a series of websites that can be used in all subjects for displaying information in a different way, or or helping students learn independently.
http://www.fodey.com  creates documents that look like newspaper articles.  You can change the name of the newspaper, the date and the text and download it as an image –  great for homework tasks!
http://www.textivate.com creates a range of interactive browser-based activities based on any text, including matching up activities, flashcards, card games etc. – a nice way to create resources!
http://www.cueprompter.com/ enables the user to enter a script and read it our as it automatically scrolls from top to bottom – ideal for helping students with presentations!
www.socrative.com  is a student response system which enables teachers to engage their learners through a series of exercises and games with the use of mobile phones, laptops and tablets – perfect for motivating students!
http://prezi.com/   an online software that allows the user to produce presentations and include media, text, graphics, audio and video – a nice alternative to PowerPoint!
 

A huge thank you to Julie for sharing these

Stand up!

This week’s teaching tip is a great activity to use for any topic which involves pupils’ opinions.
Draw up an imaginary line in your classroom (it may be useful to have continuum signs stuck up.)
Pose the question or topic you a studying and ask pupils to line up along the line.
Ask pupils to share their opinions about why they are stood in a particular place along the line. You could do this in many different ways, either simply by getting pupils to offer their opinions from different places along the line, so that you begin to start a facilitated debate, or by pairing people up from different points along the line.
As the dialogue continues, allow pupils to move along the line, but if they move, they must justify their reason for doing so.
Haven’t got enough room to stand in a line? You could create a “washing line” string running across the classroom which can remain in place over a series of lessons. Pupils could be asked if they can give their opinions and these can be pegged onto the line and moved over the course of the lesson. It would be good to keep a record of how they have moved. (This variation was adapted from a in idea cited in The Citizenship Teacher’s  Handbook, (2009) by a Citizenship Teacher from what was then, Cedar Mount High School, Manchester).

Park it Here, Let’s find out!

The Holiday Teaching Tip is a continuation from last week’s tip and is about displays, questioning and feeding back on work.
Park it Here, Let’s find out!
This is an approach to ensuring questions that are asked during a lesson do not go unanswered. The idea is that when a question is asked that the teacher cannot answer or a question slightly off topic comes to light, it is written onto the “Park it Here” display. The teacher and the class can then research this question so that it does not go unanswered, but is answered at another appropriate time.
This is Good Because…
This is for the pupils in the class to provide each other with some public feedback and praise. When you come across a ‘good’ piece of work, take a photocopy or photograph of it and then put this on display. Write on it why you thought it was good and then ask the rest of the class can do the same. A little coaching in what to write is obviously needed in the first instance. When the piece of work is taken down the pupil gets to keep the copy of their work and the comment slips that were added to it.
An alternative is to do the same with a range of work, but put this around the classroom. Pupils move round adding “stars” and “wishes” to the work. The comments can then be collected by the pupil to help in redrafting the work etc. You can either name or anonymise the work, or you could swap work between classes.