Computing Thunk Questions – Get em Thinking?

Screen Shot 2013-06-01 at 21.44.15 Start your lesson by getting students to THINK and discuss these THUNK QUESTIONS.  There are no right or wrong answers.  Why not get your students to create some of their own thunk questions too.

The discussions are quite interesting depending upon different year groups!  They are available to upload from the box widget on the right-hand side.  So get thinking, I mean thunking!!


“A2” ICT Quiz Cards for Revision

A2 ICT Revision Quiz Cards After being inspired by @_jopayne who produced a set a Geography quiz cards for a year 11 revision   session, I decided to create a set of 24 A2 ICT quiz cards, based on the WJEC specification.  I plan to print them out on card next week at school, and give each of my “A” level students their own pack.  They can then have a go at asking each other the questions. I might even include one or two joker cards to add a bit of fun to their revision session!

I also plan to produce a set of cards for my year 10 GCSE ICT students – maybe some students could produce their own questions based on past exam papers.  If you use the cards I have created, or produce your own, please let me know, and likewise, share.

Here is a dropbox link, or alternatively the cards can be downloaded from the box resource on this website.

Circle, Triangle, Square

Circle, Triangle, Square – differentiation methods.  Easy tasks or questions are represented by a CircleHarder tasks or questions are represented by a Triangle and even more challenging tasks or questions are represented by a Square.  The more sides a shape has the more difficult the task or question.  Students make their own choices, according to their ability, or can “have a go” working through each challenge.

A colleague at work (@ldufty) has recently been trialling this in the classroom with great success.  She has provided a googledocs PowerPoint. Please check it out.  Your comments would also be appreciated!

Learning Journeys using Praise Action Response (PAR)

Well this is my first post since last year!  The Summer term.  The new term seems to be busier than ever, hence my lack of blog posts.

One of the many new initiatives that have been introduced into our School this year (from September 2012) has been the introduction to PAR, Praise, Action, Response.  I have recently trialled it with a year 7 class.

What is PAR?  (Well apart from more work!), it is a way of formatively assessing students’ work.  As a teacher you write down 1 or 2 praise comments in the “P” box, followed by some action points in the “A” box.  Students then reply, using a green pen!, in the response box “R”.  You have to then check student responses because if they have asked a question, it will need a reply.

I decided to include my PAR responses onto a Learning Journey sheet, and in addition asked students to write down 3 key points.  1 point on what they had learnt, 1 point on what they could remember, 1 point on how they would use use this skill outside the classroom.

My learning journey sheets have had a positive response from SMT, although the newly implemented PAR initiative, in my experience, is a time consuming task – the  only positive to this was that I was able to get students to copy and paste comments into each box, from a bank of comments that I made available to them!

If you wish to trial my Learning Journey year 7 PAR sheet, it is available to download from the box widget.

Have you got a similar initiatives in place at your School?  Comments welcome.

Hopscotch Programming

Hopscotch Programming Kits  suitable for 10 to 14 year olds, is a great introduction to programming and code generation.  I found it through Computing at School (CAS), of which I am a member.  I have had a go with it and think I will try it out tomorrow on my year 7 students (11 – 12 year olds), even though it is the last week for the Summer hols – I want to see what they make of it.

Here’s my “dogpup” that I created!  Have a go yourself – it is suitable for all abilities, allowing for some differentiation, and paired for lower ability students.


Origami in an ICT Lesson!

Origami in an ICT lesson!  Learning is fun.  My year 7  (11 – 12 year olds) students found it fun today and were totally engaged throughout the lesson.  My group of 26 students are a mix of all abilities from SEN to Gifted and Talented students.  So I thought being the last lesson of the year, I would try out something new, with an intention of using it, if successful next year.  I got the idea from Innovate My School.

As you can see from some of the examples created by my students it was a successful lesson.  Firstly, students followed instructions step by step on how to make the origami puzzle.  They then spent about 10 minutes researching the Internet and their looking through their folder to see what work they had done in ICT during the year – this helped them find suitable questions and answers.  For example, some students focused on spelling ICT words.

On the outside flaps were either numbers or colours.  Inside were numbers to chose from, and then the ICT questions.  The lesson lasted an hour and all students were engaged and buzzing!  They tried out their puzzles on me and the Teaching Assistant, and demonstrated a lot of learning throughout.  I would definitely recommend this 1 lesson project as an excellent Teaching & Learning Resource and/or Revision aid.  Suitable for all ages.

Games Console Design Cover

Xbox, PS3, PC, Wii.  My year 8 students (14 year olds), are currently working on a fun ICT project for the Summer Term.  Their task is to design and create a modified version of an existing Games cover, or to design and create a new Games cover for any Games Platform of their choice.  It is a 4 week project – well that’s all the time we have left to work on this task!  They have been provided with a net that they will use for their cover.  Print it out and make up the net when finished.

Rather than use the Graphics programs available on the school network – Macromedia Fireworks, Serif DrawPlus, PaintShop Pro, and PagePlus, I have encouraged them all to try an online graphics program namely Pixlr.  They spent today’s lesson working on their design and learning the program for themselves by sharing ideas and tips.

There was a lot of excitement at doing this Graphics project, especially as the focus was Games!  “Games” is filtered at school, so I directed the students to the Amazon, Games website to get some ideas.  I think this project is one to be revisited with other groups!

Leap into new Technologies

I came across this link on Facebook today through a friend, and thought wow! I’d love to have a go at that!  It allows 3D interaction with your computer and allows you to control software, by sensing individual hand and finger movements independently, as well as a pen.

As an ICT teacher who is currently looking at new technologies which support students with Profound Multiple Learning Difficulties and other complex needs, this nifty little gadget would so enhance their quality of life.

I wonder when it will be in schools?  Read more about it here …

Staying Calm during Exams

Well it’s the Exam season again, and the last few weeks have been very busy for all teachers.  Preparing students for exams, marking endless coursework, both GCSE and A Level!  So I have put together this little PowerPoint, Staying Calm during exams (available from the Box).  It could be playing as students are entering the room – why not add some music! 🙂