NCTM Illuminations Maths Resources

Illuminations Maths ResourcesThe National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) in the US has produced a plethora of interactive resources to improve the teaching and learning of maths for everyone. The ITPS (interactive teaching programs) are available for both KS1 and KS2 maths and can be used by teachers and pupils alike. Each resource has a thumbnail, a description and a link to the relevant resource.

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BBC Teach

BBC TeachBBC Teach features more than 1500 clips from across BBC Learning to support teachers around the UK - completely free. On the Teach YouTube channel, which is updated daily, there are over 1500 carefully selected clips from the BBC archive, Learning Zone and School Radio, covering more than 20 subjects at early years, primary and secondary level, and across all national curricula.

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Coding Story Books

Coding Story BooksProblem Solving. Literacy. Maths. Coding. They're all here in the latest and greatest coding story books. From graphic novels to traditional picture stories, these engaging books get children really thinking about problem solving and how this relates to coding. These coding story books are available from ages 4 through to 12 and are lots of fun too.

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Maths Across the Curriculum

Maths across curriculumMaths skills are consolidated and enhanced when pupils have opportunities to apply and develop them across the curriculum. Poor maths skills hold back pupils' progress and can lower their self-esteem. Improving these skills can be tackled on a whole school basis by ensuring mathematical skills are used across the curriculum so that pupils become confident at tackling maths in any context.

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Handy Times Tables

Handy times tablesFor those kinaesthetic learners (the ones that learn by doing and can remember movements more easily than words) here is a handy method for finding the harder multiplication facts from the six, seven, eight and nine times tables. It involves memorising a routine but the routine is something to do, rather than something to say.

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Exciting Stimulus for Writing at School

Exciting Stimulus for Writing at SchoolWhen I first started teaching, I remember teaching a lesson about bonfire night where I got the children to close their eyes and use their imagination to sense what was going on around them. Fast forward a few! years and here we have a much more exciting stimulus to develop emotional writing: involving the children in their own disaster movie!

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Scratch Maths

Scratch mathsScratchMaths is a two-year computing and mathematics-based curriculum for Key Stage 2 pupils (Years 5 and 6). Its aim is to enable pupils to engage with and explore important mathematical ideas through learning to program, using the free online programming environment Scratch. The ScratchMaths curriculum is currently being used in over 50 schools across England.

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Problem Solving using Bar Models

Here in the UK, we have a myriad of different approaches in solving word problems in maths. In Singapore Maths, students use a bar model to solve word problems. They take the problem apart and then create a representation of it using simple blocks. This then helps them understand the problem better and creates a lot higher success rate in solving word problems.

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Getting Girls Programming

Getting Girls ProgrammingThere’s been a lot of talk about digital skills and preparing young people, especially girls, to be confident and thrive in a digital future, but where to start? The answer may be TechFuture Girls: a free out-of-the-box after-school club that has been specifically designed to encourage girls to stay engaged in IT and technology.

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BBC Megamaths

BBC MegamathsBBC Megamaths is a series of eight audio programmes which were broadcast on BBC radio in 2011. They are aimed at children aged 7 - 9 and the emphasis is on mental maths and problem solving. There are seven different themes covered mainly all to do with measure which include time, money, capacity, length, weight, fractions and decimals.

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Helping your child with maths

Over the years I've been asked "How can we help our child with their maths?" many times. There are lots of things that parents can do to help develop their children's maths skills. The activities included here are free and found in everyday situations, so no need to buy any books or spend money on expensive resources.

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Teaching Logic through Sudoku

Teaching Logic through SudokuSudoku is a great way for children to develop their logic skills whilst having fun at the same time. To solve a Sudoku puzzle, students needs to use a combination of logic and trial-and-error. Regular Sudoku is a 9 by 9 grid but these simpler puzzles are on a 4 by 4 grid, making the game easier to understand and beat, before moving onto the larger grids.

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Ways to use the Counting Stick

Ways to use the Counting StickThe counting stick is a very versatile tool for teaching maths to primary aged children. Whilst sometimes seen as a tool for teaching foundation and KS1 children, it still has many uses when teaching both lower and upper key stage 2 classes. I've included here a number of techniques that can be used across different types of numbers including decimals, fractions, percentages and negative numbers.

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Reasoning in the classroom

Reasoning in the classroomA key skill in becoming fully numerate (and to becoming an independent adult) is the ability to make your own decisions and learn from them. This key skill is central to these activities: they have been developed to allow learners to choose their own methods and ways of recording, then present their findings in whichever way they decide.

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Logical Thinking Detectives

Logical thinking detectivesHere is a series of activities to develop logical thinking and listening skills for KS2 children. The resource includes 5 video interviews which the students watch to gather clues. They then use the database to input the information they have gathered and search for a culprit. They can also use the virtual PDA to examine the files of all criminals held on the database.

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Times table colouring

Times table colouringA great way to learn times table facts is by making it fun and getting children colouring. These times table colouring sheets are great for reinforcement and make a great starter or filler activity. Children enjoy working out the puzzles and use their times tables knowledge to do this. These sheets are suitable for use across a wide ability and age range.

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Maths SATs Organiser

Maths SATs organisersDo you struggle with identifying each child's areas of weakness in maths? Wouldn't it be great if you could let them decide on which topic they'd like to practise and then leave them to it. Child initiated learning at its very best! This fabulous tool from Mr Hammonds does just that.

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Blooms Action Words

Blooms Action WordsUsing Blooms action words to define what you want your pupils to achieve is a great approach to differentiated lesson planning. These verbs which are aligned to Bloom's Taxonomy help create discussion questions and lesson plans that ensure your students' thinking progresses to higher levels.

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Maven's Maths Mysteries

Mavens Maths MysteriesThe Maths Maven is always finding herself in the middle of a fun new mystery — and she counts on her "super sleuths" to crack the case. This website has 27 different audio visual maths puzzles for children across the KS2 age range. Each mystery focuses on a particular area of math reasoning and problem solving.

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Maffy's Best Numbers

Maffy's Best NumbersMaffy's Best Numbers was written and produced by the Resources and Learning Development Unit in Bristol back in the 1980's with the help of local schools and teachers. It consists of maths related puzzles, problems, investigations and games that are suitable for children in primary and secondary schools.

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Maths Starters for KS2

Maths StartersThese resources are really useful for the KS2 maths class. Each of the resources share three things in common: you can generate an infinite number of questions, you get all the answers and they are completely free! You can use them for maths starters, for revision, as part of a carousel of activities or to print out for worksheets.

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Classroom Posters for Primary Maths

Primary Maths PostersHere are a selection of fabulous maths posters for the primary school classroom. Based on problems from the nrich site, they are well suited for display around the school to challenge more able children and to embed mathematical thinking around the school. The maths posters are for both KS1 maths and KS2 maths.

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Brain Rules for the Classroom

Brain rules for the classroomIn John Medina's book, Brain Rules, he outlines 12 big ideas that science knows about the human brain. These rules can be applied to teaching and education in general. As a teacher, if we aware of how the brain works and then put these rules into practise then our teaching practise will be more effective, resulting in better learning outcomes for our little learners.

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Scratch Extensions for KS2

Scratch extensions for KS2The popular programming language Scratch has now got a sister site called Scratch X. Scratch X contains lots of extensions to Scratch which allow it to do such things as control hardware and talk to external services on the internet. With Scratch X you can get Scratch to speak, control 3D environments and play synthesised music as well as controlling Lego EV3 robots and Roamers.

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Teaching Maths Using Robots

Sphero is a robot ball with several features that can be controlled through mobile apps, including computer programs that the students build. Sphero can roll at a given speed and direction for a given amount of time and it can light up in any color. Its really fun for the children to program and includes mathematical concepts such as angles, distance, speed and shape.

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Maths Problem Pictures

Maths Problem PicturesMaths Problem Pictures are about bringing mathematics to life with photographs. Striking photographs are combined with original questions and problems to challenge students at all levels. Although they are aimed at more able students, some of them will be accessible by primary maths students.

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Teaching Finance at Primary School

Teaching finance at primary schoolAccording to research, the average age that children start to purchase items online is 10. So we need to teach them about finanical matters. Luckily, there are resources available to allow us to do this. Cha-Ching is a financial education resource, designed to equip primary school children with the knowledge, skill and attitudes they need to make informed money decisions.

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Best Drones for School Use

Further to my article about using drones in schools, I've had a number of questions about which is the best drone to buy. Here is a look at the best drones on the market at the moment (2016) and their suitability for using in schools. Their prices range from £150 to £450 so there's something here to suit every budget and need.

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The Importance of Questioning

The importance of questioningQuestioning is the key means by which teachers find out what pupils already know, identify gaps in knowledge and understanding and scaffold the development of their understanding to enable them to close the gap between what they currently know and the learning goals.

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Problem Solving Activities KS2

Puzzleboxx is a collection of puzzles and problem solving activities suitable for upper KS2 children. Well suited for maths groupwork, they are arranged into visual, word based, practical, logical and lateral problems so there's something here to suit everyone's preferences and learning styles.

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HTML Projects for KS2

HTML Projects for KS2Those fabulous guys at Code Club have created some great resources to help KS2 children learn how to program in HTML and CSS. HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a language for describing and structuring web pages and CSS is used to style them. Young coders can save their code online, allowing them to access their webpages both at school and at home.

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Intel Primary Maths Resources

Intel Primary Maths ResourcesHere are a 24 interactive maths lessons, created by Intel, covering many areas of the KS1 and KS2 programme of study including number, statistics, shape & space and measure. They have also been added to the Primary Maths Resources section and sorted into the correct year group objective. The lessons include three elements - learn, test and review.

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Scratch on ipads

Scratch on ipadsAlthough Scratch isn't officially available on ipads (unlike its little brother Scratch Jr) there is another app that is based on the Scratch source code and runs on ipads. Pyonkee looks exactly like the Scratch interface, reduced to fit on the smaller ipad screen with a different set of characters.

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3D Pens in the Classroom

3D Pens in the ClassroomForget 3D printers in the classroom that take forever to print anything out. Imagine getting children to create 3D shapes immediately in a maths lesson by drawing them in the air! Or drawing 3D musical notes and passing them round to children to look at in a music lesson! All these things and more are now possible, at a reasonable price, thanks to the development of 3D pens.

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Laying the Foundations for Algebra

Laying the foundations for algebraAlgebra is about putting real life problems into equations and then solving them. Although formal algebra does not really start until Key Stage 3, primary schools can lay the lay the foundations for algebra in Key Stages 1 and 2 by providing early activities based on algebra from which later work in algebra can develop.

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Reading Bingo

Reading BingoGetting children to read for pleasure can be difficult. Reading seems such a passive activity, and they can quickly become restless and bored. The idea behind Reading Bingo is that they put these bingo cards in their home reading books, and when they've read a particular genre they get an adult/teacher to sign it off for them. If they get 4 in a row, they get a special prize!

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Making E-textiles At School

E-textiles at schoolImagine making a monster badge that had flashing eyes or a bookmark with a light? The idea behind e-textiles, or wearable electronics, is to use electronics with different materials to add functional or decorative effects. All you need to achieve this are basic sewing skills and a limited knowledge of circuits. The materials and electronics are inexpensive and a full detailed guide is provided to create lots of fabulous e-textile products.

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National Numeracy Strategy ITPs

NNS ITPsThese National Numeracy Strategy Interactive Teaching Programs (NNS ITPs) were developed in 2002 to help with the teaching of maths in UK Primary Schools. There are 32 NNS ITPs in total and many are still useful for maths teaching in classrooms today. They are ideal for class or small group teaching and cover many areas of numeracy incuding number, shape, measure and statistics.

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How To Be An Enthusiastic Teacher

How to be an enthusiastic teacherTeacher enthusiasm (and the perceived competence that it conveys) usually leads to greater student achievement. Children are more engaged, more willing to contribute in class discussions and more willing to discuss any problems or concerns that they may have. The question, then, is how can teachers become more enthusiastic? What tools and techniques can you learn to convey enthusiasm to your students?

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Persuasive Ideas For Schools

Persuasion with a purposeTo round off our persuasive writing unit, my year 5 literacy class produced video adverts using Adobe Spark for our favourite brands. We uploaded them to YouTube and contacted the CEOs or marketing department for each brand/organisation and asked them to feed back on them. We were staggered with the positive feedback that we received (not to mention the freebies!). Here's how we went about it.

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Gamification in Education

Gaming provides players with an immersive experience, one that engages them on all levels. The power of play in the classroom opens up children's imagination and ambition. Creating a game where players progress based on their achievements in the classroom makes learning a positive experience for all children.

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How Technology Motivates Children

Technology has always had an effect on its user. Whether it buzzes, flashes, beeps or lights up, it attracts its makes you want to do something. Due to its interactive nature, it can motivate children in many ways by allowing them to learn from their mistakes, giving them rewards, helping with problem solving and allowing them to be creative.

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Mathematics Problem Solving Strategies

Anyone who has taught maths for any length of time will know how difficult it can be to teach pupils to solve maths problems out of context. Present pupils with a familiar setting or a sum that they've tackled before then they're usually fine, but turn it into an unfamiliar problem then it's a different matter. However, in the same ways that we teach strategies for other areas of maths, we can also teach strategies to solve maths problems.

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Creative Writing using Minecraft Edu

Minecraft Edu Creative WritingWe've spent a really productive afternoon today with year 5/6 children from the local area using Minecraft Edu to inspire creative writing. The children were set a series of tasks to perform during the course of the 2 hour session and then asked to write notes about what they could see, who they met and how they felt along the way. These notes were then used in literacy to develop their creative writing.

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Progression in Mathematics at Primary School

The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) have published a series of videos, powerpoints and supplementary material to demonstrate the progression of mathematics teaching and learning at primary school. There are 60 short videos, filmed during 2012-2013, which demonstrate how to teach mathematics at primary school.

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Business Skills For KS2 Children

I was lucky enough to be invited to an event today with other KS2 and secondary teachers to play the logistics board game entitled "Business on the Move". The purpose of the game is to develop business skills in children (and adults too). The game challenges players to run a business that must respond to customers’ orders, moving different products around the world as profitably as possible.

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Uses of Drones in Schools

Uses of drones in schoolsWe have a drone at school which is linked to an ipad. The ipad controls the drone and stores the videos that it captures. We use these videos for making movies about events around the school calendar, such as maypole dancing and sports day. The footage has been really useful for the children to see our school from many different angles.

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Printable and Editable Scratch Blocks

Printable and Editable Scratch Programming BlocksHere is a fabulous collection of Scratch programming blocks. They are editable and available in a number of formats, including svg, png, Smartboard and Powerpoint. They are useful for display purposes and for teaching with. The blocks can be edited by using a free vector editing program such as Inkscape.

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Lexile levels for UK book bands

Book Band Lexile LevelsSometimes school reading schemes are a little restrictive and you'd like to put well known books in there too. To help with this is a table that I've put together that correlates between age, national curriculum level, Oxford reading tree book band and lexile level. It can be used in conjunction with the search tool at Lexile.com to fit any non-reading scheme book into your reading scheme.

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Maths races

Maths racesHere's a variety of numeracy and PE games to make maths more active and to help those kinaesthetic learners do what they do best - learn by doing. In these games, the class is split up into two teams and they run races against each other based on the maths questions that you call out. The games can be adapted many different ways and differentiated as you see fit by pairing children of similar ability against each other.

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Scratch Jr tutorials for English and Maths

ScratchJr is a graphical language for young children (KS1/Elementary) to create their own interactive stories and games. We've been using it with our Year 1 and Year 2 children and have recently tried to incorporate other elements of the UK National Curriculum into our programming, such as creating letters and counting.

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Small Basic tutorials for KS2

Small Basic is a programming language, designed by Microsoft, to make programming extremely easy, approachable and fun for beginners. Small Basic’s intention is to bring down the barrier and serve as a stepping stone to the amazing world of computer programming. Its a lot more advanced than Scratch but certainly something to challenge the more able KS2 programmers.

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Virtual Reality in Education

Virtual Reality in EducationAccording to educational psychologists, we remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear and 90% of what we do. So learning in an immersive virtual environment which has been created to meet the exact needs of the learner could be very succesful. Learning would be a lot easier for students of all ages and there would be potential for our brains to remember it for a long time. But how close are we to virtual reality really making an impact in education today?

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Google Classroom: Announcements

In Google Classroom, announcements can be made to your class to remind them of an upcoming event or as a general notice for the class. They appear in the class stream and can be commented on and made sticky (i.e. They stay at the top of the class stream). Anyone can add comments to announcements, which are visible under the announcement.

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Google Classroom: Grade questions

In Google Classroom, you can ask quick questions to your students and these questions can also be graded and the grades returned to the student. The questions can be seen in the class stream and the answers can be viewed on the Student Answers page. Also on the Student Answers page you can see a quick overview of pupils who have or haven’t answered the question.

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Google Classroom: Grade and return assignments

As students begin working on assignments in Google Classroom, you can view their progress and add comments or make edits. When they have submitted the assignment, you can grade and return it to the student. After the08PaigePickering assignment has been returned, students will be notified by email (if your school has email setup for students) or will receive a message the next time that they login to Google Classroom.

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Google Classroom: View work

When you've created assignments and questions in Google Classroom and the students have submitted their responses, you can view their work in the Work page. Here you can review student work/assignents and questions as well as any grades that you have allocated and comments that you have made. Student's work can be organised by class or you can view all work across all of your classes.

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Google Classroom: Ask a question

The 'ask a question' feature in Google Classroom is a great way to get feedback from your class on a particular issue. It can be used for a quick straw poll on a current issue in the class or as formative assessment on a topic that you're studying. Asking a question is done in your class stream and can be done at any time. When you've asked the question, you can see how many students have and haven't answered. You can decide whether you want students to be able to edit their answers and/or reply to other student's answers.

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Primary computing questioning

Primary programming questioningHere is a list of questioning prompts, based on Blooms taxonomy, for teachers to ask pupils in programming sessions. The questions can be used by teachers and support staff to deepen children's understanding through questioning. They are categorised into knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation and there are around 5 or 6 questions for each category.

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Google Classroom: Create and modify assignments

Now you have your class set up, you're ready to start giving work to your students. In Google Drive this is done by creating assignments. Assignments are created in your class stream. You can attach documents in the form of templates, worksheets and so on to the assignment and when your students turn their assignments in, you can grade them and return them to your students. This is all managed for you by Google Classroom.

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Google Drive: Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of two or more keys that you can use to perform a task that would typically require a mouse or other pointing device. An example of a keyboard shortcut is pressing ctrl and S together on a Microsoft Word document to save your work. For those Google Drive power users out there, here is a list of keyboard shortcuts for Google Drive on the web. Note that these do not apply for Google Drive on tablets or phones.

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Google Classroom: Multiple teachers in a class

Just like your local school classroom, in Google Classroom you can have more than one teacher in the class to help coordinate class activities. There are just a few things to bear in mind before adding extra teachers to a Google Classroom. Firstly, the primary teacher will own all class materials and the primary teacher's class and assignment folders will be shared with the additional teachers in Google Drive (which underlies all Google Classroom file sharing).

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Google Classroom: Class resources

In your Google classroom, its handy to have resources available for your students to use, just as they would in a traditional classroom. Here you can post any materials or instructions for the class, such as a classroom rules or links to often used websites. These and more resources can be all be added in the class resource page and accessed by all students and related teachers.

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Google Classroom: Setting up your first class

Once you have your Google Classroom account (a Google account on a Google for Education domain) then you can log into Google Classroom and set up your first class. You can set up as many classes as you want but before you do, take a minute to work out how you're going to name them. I've settled on using the Year and Class as the class name (e.g. 2015/16 Year 5) and then I use the subject as the section. So I have 2015/16 Year 5 Maths, 2015/16 Year 5 English etc.

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How to set up a school radio station on the cheap

We've just gone live with our school radio station this week. The children (and staff!) have worked really hard to get it up and running and we're all really pleased with it. It broadcasts over the internet so children and parents can listen to it on their computers, mobile devices, TVs, etc and we've managed to do it on a very tight budget. This article documents how to set up your own school radio station cheaply.

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Google Voice Typing in School

A lot of pupils are great at telling stories orally but when it comes to writing their ideas down, they really struggle. If you're using Google Docs within your school then your pupils can make use of the Google voice typing function, which allows them to dictate their work directly into a document. We tested it out recently and it recognised all the common words that we spoke as well as more obscure ones such as ‘coelacanth’, ‘octogenarian’ and ‘disestablishmentarianism'. It even added asterisks to swear words too which could be useful if you have some 'live wires' in your class.

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Google Classroom: Introduction

Google Classroom is a free web-based platform that helps to manage planning, resources, assignments and communication between yourself and your class. If your school, doesn't have one already, you'll need to sign up for a Google Apps for Education account to use Google Classroom which will give you all the Google Apps services including Drive, Docs, Sheets, Gmail and Calendar. Google Classroom is available on tablets, phones and desktops, making it mobile for both teachers and students.

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Interactive stories with Google Apps for Education

Creating interactive stories teaches children creativity, language, computer skills and logical thinking - all at the same time! I first got excited about the idea after an inspiring workshop at a local secondary school a year or so ago, which showed pupils how to create interactive stories and so we started writing our own at school using twine which was really successful. I've recently been looking at other ways to write interactive stories using Google Apps for Education including YouTube, Google Forms, Slides and Docs.

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Assessment Without Levels at Primary School

At my local primary school, we've been using a new primary assessment tool to assess children's work. The system, called TAP Assess, has given the children more ownership over their learning in the time that its been in place. Not only does it allow teachers to assess children's achievement and progress, but it also allows children to assess too, against the 2014 primary curriculum. Furthermore, the children can also set their own targets for literacy and maths, and receive certificate rewards when they hit certain milestones.

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Google Sheets for Primary School Maths

Since the last time I wrote about using Google Drive in the primary (elementary) classroom, things have moved on - as they always do in education ;) We've made improvements to the login system that the children use, have done lots of collaborative writing in literacy using Google Docs, have set avatars up for the children, made presentations with Google Slides and have started to use Google Sheets for practising basic operations in maths.

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Experiences of Google Drive at Primary School

We're in the process of moving the children at school onto Google Drive instead of storing all of their work on the local network. The benefits are that the children can collaborate together on projects, they can store work created on ipads on their drive and I can mark their work from anywhere at any time :) They can create a digital portfolio of their work which they can share with their parents/carers.

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Texts for Guided Reading

Reading Comprehension ResourcesIf you've ever struggled finding guided reading resources for use in your classroom (I know I have!) then you may find this site useful. It has hundreds of reading texts on it, ordered by US Grade, Lexile level, text type and skill/strategy. Each resource has a reading text, along with comprehension questions (which can be used to differentiate) and the all important answers.

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50+ ideas for using QR codes at school

QR codes at schoolQR codes are everywhere nowadays: on cereal packets, posters, adverts, TV, websites, etc, etc. More and more schools are using these little codes to enrich the learning experience of their pupils. They are free to create and the software to read them is also free. They can be read using tablets, phones and laptops and can contain text or link to any online resource. Here are 50 (and counting...) ideas for how to use them in your school.

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Scratch Jr programming with KS1

ScratchJr Ks1This week, we started introducing KS1 children to Scratch Jr, a new simplified version of Scratch designed for younger children from age 5 through to 7. Scratch Jr is an ipad coding app in which children snap together graphical blocks of instructions to make characters move, interact, speak and transform on the screen. However, its not just a coding app - it lets children run wild with creativity as we found out :)

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Primary Maths Resources

Primary Maths ResourcesThese Primary Maths Resources, which are based on the current UK National Curriculum Year Group objectves, are fully searchable and sorted into different categories, including number and place value, the four operations, fractions, measurements, properties of shapes, position and direction, statistics, ratio and proportion, and algebra. It is a useful companion to my other APP maths objective planning tool.

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Using Google Maps to teach Maths

Google Maps is a great tool for children to explore their local area. Here is a maths map of Hull where the children can navigate to local landmarks and then answers maths questions based on what they can see. For example, how many lines of symmetry can you see in the garden at East Park or draw a pictogram of the different coloured cars parked around the stadium.

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Game based assessment

Game Based AssessmentWith Kahoot, primary school teachers can create quizzes for children to play on in a social environment, using any device with a web browser… including a laptop, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android, Chromebook or PC. The children can can take part in fast paced quizzes against each other, giving instant feedback and both formative and summative assessment. The multiple choice quizzes are simple to set up and simple to play and the results are available to analyse in Excel or Google Sheets.

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Self marking assessment using Google Forms

Self Marking Assessment Using Google FormsWhen you've finished testing, does it take you ages to collect the data, input it into a spreadsheet and then analyse it to work out where each student is with their learning? I've just started using a really productive system that takes a lot of the hard work out of the post-test analysis using Google Forms, Google Sheets and an add-on called Flubaroo.

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A 5 year old writes

a five year old writesThis handwriting was given to me by one of my old headmasters years ago and I couldn't find it on the internet so wanted to share it. It shows a 5 year old child's handwriting from 1909. The child was educated by italian educator, Maria Montessori, whose focus was on not being taught writing, but discovering writing by being exposed to certain conditions and experiences, and then developing the fine motor skills needed to write.

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Creating interactive Greek Myths using Twine

Using Twine with KS2"Choose your own adventure" books were really popular for children in the 1980's. These interactive books allowed the reader to make decisions of where they wanted the story to go and, depending on their choices, this would shape the outcome of the book. Budding authors can now write their own interative story books and publish them online using a fabulous website called "Twine". My year 5 (aged 10 - 11 years old) literacy class have just created some wonderful Greek myths using this method.

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Mirroring ipads in the classroom

Imagine teaching a maths lesson where the children are using their ipads as interactive whiteboards, working through a problem that you've set them. When asked for their answers, the children simply press a button on their ipads and their work is shown on the interactive whiteboard for the whole class to review. This is all possible now using the AirPlay feature on your ipad, along with some inexpensive software for the PC.

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Scratch Projects for KS2

Scratch Projects for KS2These scratch projects from Code Club are fabulous for giving the children step by step instructions for how to code their scratch programs. They also include online instructions that the children can open in another browser tab to follow and cross off while they are coding.

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Maths games without computers

If you do an internet search for Maths Games you will find lots of maths games that can be played on a computer. But what if you don't have a computer or if the children in your class are all "computered out"? Here is a collection of maths games that can be played using either no resources, or simple resources that are around the classroom.

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Inspiring Children to Program Computers

Inspiring ProgrammingHere are some great inspirational videos to inspire children to get involved with programming computers. There are clips here featuring Mark Zuckerman, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and will.i.am, carrying powerful messages as to why children should learn to program computers.

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Progression in Programming at School

Progression in programming at schoolTeaching programming to children - where do you start? How can you make it fun and interesting, but at the same time develop the correct skill-set? This video shows the progression of visual programming from Primary school through to Secondary school, using both iPads and desktop computers.

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National Curriculum Android App

National Curriculum Android AppDo you ever feel the need to read the English National Curriculum whilst on the move? Well now you can with my new and exciting Android App which brings the National Curriculum to your tablet or mobile device! With an easy to navigate interface and extra resources such as spelling, grammar and a glossary, you will never be bored again :) Ok... its not that exciting, but it does include all the curriculum for all the statutory subjects from KS1 through to KS4.

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Kodu Programming Resources

Kodu Programming ResourcesKodu is a visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. I've been working with a group of KS2 children for the last few weeks developing games so I've put together a list of resources which I've found useful.

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Gordons Numeracy Teaching Resources

Gordons numeracy ITPsHere are over 100 simple Flash resources to support the teaching and learning of Maths. These are produced by the Coventry Primary Numeracy Team for use by teachers and pupils and are known as Gordons (due to the little superhero character included within them). They are ideal for class or small group teaching and cover the majority of areas of the primary maths curriculum.

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Missing money grid

Missing Money GridA printable worksheet which helps to develop KS2 children's monetary skills. The children have to work out what the missing coins are which add up to the totals of all the columns and rows. Teachers can click on the coins themselves to remove them and generate their own worksheets using random coins. This can be left on the whiteboard screen whilst the children have printable copies themselves to work through. When the children are finished, they can mark their own work by revealing the missing coins on the Interactive Whiteboard.

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Teaching KS2 children how to write scripts on the Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Scripts Last week I worked with a group of 10/11 year olds at the Raspberry Pi command line, using my speaking weather script to show them what can be done with the Raspberry Pi at the command line. This week I went a step further and got them to write a script to create a menu which incorporated the speaking weather forecast and also showed them some other cool things that the Raspberry Pi can do at the terminal.

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ipad apps for teaching programming at primary schools

ipad apps I went to an IT conference for Primary Schools today organised by the hard working team at Wawne Primary School and discovered a lot of information about using ipads to teach children programming concepts, from early years through to upper KS2. When you're looking for apps it can be really time consuming so I thought I'd put them all in one place for an easy reference to save people time and effort.

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KS1 and KS2 Computing keywords display

Computing curriculum display images I've just come across this website which has a set of downloadable posters containing key words from the 2014 computing curriculum for KS1 and KS2. The posters are in "pupil speak" and contain computing keywords such as algorithms, debug, process and program. Very useful for the computing area in your primary school.

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2014 Primary Computing curriculum guide

Computing curriculum booklet Computing at School, in association with Naace and other partners have published a guide which explains how primary teachers can get started with the new 2014 Primary Computing curriculum. It provides many pointers to excellent resources and ideas for building an innovative and exciting curriculum and can be used in conjunction with the Government's publications on the new 2014 Primary Computing Curriculum.

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Primary KS1 and KS2 Sublevelled maths objectives

Maths objectivesThis Maths planning tool, which is based on the UK National Curriculum APP levels, is fully searchable and categorised into different assessment focuses, including number, fractions, decimals, percentages, problem solving, shape, measures, time, angles and data handling. It gives you the sublevel for every single Maths objective and is useful to ensure coverage of the UK national curriculum.

more ...Written by Gary Hall

Gary Hall Gary Hall is based in East Yorkshire, England, and has a background in education, marketing and technology. This site is a collection of ideas and resources on these topics.