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!!


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!

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.

Thoughts and Crosses (Blooms)

OXO. Thoughts and Crosses.  Remember noughts and crosses the game?  Well this is an Educational Teaching and Learning resource using Blooms Taxonomy.

Using the Template (available from my Box), create your own squares on any topic, my example was “A” level ICT Human Computer Interfaces.  Choose a keyword in each square and link it to your topic task or question.  Students then choose any 3 squares using the different higher order thinking words.

A tried and tested resource with my post 16 students.  (My HCI example above).

How do you Spell IT? Literacy matters.

Literacy across the Curriculum is an important part of students’ learning, and for a lot of students these skills are poor.  They are not very good at capital letters when typing their own name and nouns.  Is this because they text most of the time?  Although research says otherwise. Student’s also need to proof read their work and should always be encouraged to use the built-in spell checker  before printing out.  I also try to encourage my ICT students to use the thesaurus to extend their vocabulary and learn some new words.

To help with literacy within our school, I introduced Spelling City and the English Faculty became very interested in using this within their department.  It is a program that we regularly use within our ICT Faculty.  Students’ have their own individual accounts and their progress can be tracked as they work through the exercises, tailored within each subject, for their needs.  SEN students can also practice their handwriting skills, using the printable handwriting sheets.  It is a program that is very popular particularly with year 7 and 8 students.

Another program I have just read about, thanks to @chickensaltash is Read, Write and Think.  There seems to be some very good resources available on this website to check out.

This week we are working with our English Faculty and year 7 and 8 students to partake in the Global online Spellathon, which is a spelling bee aiming to raise money for Mencap.  Why not check it out and perhaps enter the Competition too!

Which Mobile App is best?

Spoilt for choice.  There are so many Mobile App programs now available I don’t know which to use with my students!  Our College has recently been approached by a local Zoo to create a Mobile Phone App.  One of their requirements is that the App could be sold to visitors and is suitable for families.  In order to help me find a suitable App program, I have enlisted the help of our Student Counsel, and have provided them with a list of programs to trial.  These programs are available on my blog for you to have a look at and trial too.  I would appreciate your feedback and/or experience of them please, or others you may suggest 🙂


Blockbuster Quiz at Key Stage 5

It’s a while since I used this Quiz program in my lessons, but I am just planning tomorrow’s “A” Level ICT lesson and came across an old quiz I had created for another year group, and thought because my lesson is focussed on revision on Artificial Intelligence, Expert Systems and ICT in Healthcare, I thought I would use it again.

I think if you check out the program it has many uses in many languages – it certainly gets students thinking and is encourages competitive teamwork, especially if their are prizes!

Below is the link to my “A” Level ICT Quiz.

Getting Students to Think!

I have recently received a set of 6 coloured foam dice, each with a different set of unfinished questions on them.  Thinking Dice.   I have trialled them twice this week with my Year 13 students, and it was a very good lesson.  All students were engaged and really challenged each other in their questioning.

The Thinking Dice are based on Blooms Taxonomy of thinking – Higher Order Thinking.  I asked a colleague to trial them with his year 7 students, and he was easily able to differentiate using the different colours.  His feedback was very positive and the students had lots of fun with them.  The yellow dice starts with Remembering questions and moving towards the higher order questions are the Analyse, Create and Evaluate questions, the green, purple and blue dice.  I have been asked to talk about them at the next Teaching and Learning session this week, because they are creating a buzz with some colleagues!

Anne Frank’s Hiding Place in 3D

I just wanted to share this brilliant interactive 3D website with you.

My fourteen year old daughter is very interested in Anne Frank and is currently reading her book.  I have discovered this online 3D interactive website that is very informative and interesting if you enjoy history.

Discover the rooms where the family stayed for two years before they were betrayed, and where Anne Frank wrote her diaries.  You can pan around the rooms, and listen to stories of how they lived in such cramped conditions.  There is also historical archive material about the war.  Why not check it out for yourself and turn up the volume!  The Secret Annex.