Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL)

Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL)The Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) initiative was rolled out across the UK in 2005 and aimed to support children aged from 3-16 years to develop their personal and social skills. These skills involved self-awareness, managing their feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills. I've included the resources for this important initiative here as I've found them incredibly useful in the past.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

Promoting Pupils' Creative Thinking

Promoting creative thinkin in childrenWhat comes to mind when you think of creativity? People being imaginative, inventive, taking risks and challenging convention? Do you think about originality and the value of what people produce? Perhaps you think you can only be creative if you are artistic. What if that's not the case? What if we can develop children's creative thinking by promoting creativity in the classroom? How do we do this?

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Non competitive sports days

Non competitive sports daysHow competitive is the sports day at your local primary school? Do the children take part in activities where they compete against each other - where there are winners and losers? Or does everyone join in with all of the activities and there is no element of competition? Which of these approaches is best for the parents, best for the school and, most importantly, best for the child?

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3D Printing to develop Maths skills

3D printing maths skillsHere's an example of how 3D printing can be used in primary schools to develop mathematical skills. Recently, one of the children in my class brought in some 3D shapes that her dad had printed on his 3D printer at home. After chatting to her a bit about it, I got in touch with her dad and asked if he'd be interested in putting his 3D printer to good use for the benefit of the school.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

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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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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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.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

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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How Could Bingo Be Used in Teaching?

Bingo in teachingBingo is a game that many of us think about as a pastime or hobby, but it can actually be really helpful in the real world. From keeping the elderly mentally active to helping our kids to learn, there are many uses for this game you may not realise. In this article, we’ll be looking at how it could be used as a teaching tool.

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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.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

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.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

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?

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

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.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

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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What's the Learning Objective

Learning ObjectiveThe learning objective that you share with your class is not a description of the tasks they will complete during the lesson. Instead it is a reflection of what they will have achieved by the end of the lesson. In 2002 the DfES identified some learning objective starters (in their Training material for foundation subjects resource) to help write effective learning objectives:

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

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 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.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

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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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.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

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.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

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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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.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall

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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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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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.

Read MoreAuthor: Gary Hall