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Star Rating - 5 out of 5

Wednesday 22nd February 2012

Name:  Katie

 
From: University of Exeter

Fantastic Resources!

Fantastic teaching resources, thank you for creating and sharing them!

Star Rating - 5 out of 5

Wednesday 25th January 2012

Name:  Web Editor

 
From:

Spellathon - A Global Spelling Challenge and Championship!

Spellaton is an excellent way to focus on developing spelling across primary and secondary schools and the range of Key Stages. There are free interactive spelling resources that can help to make spelling fun and engaging within the classroom. For primary and secondary teachers, there is a downloadable guide and posters that can support using Spellathon in the classroom. Within the teacher’s guide are detailed instructions for how to access the online spelling resources and sponsored spelling event. A great feature of Spellathon is that it is presented in a digital universe that can be accessed online, via tablets and smartphones meaning pupils can access spelling games and activities within school and at home also.

Spellathon is intended to be a global sponsored spelling event and competition designed to raise funds for Mencap. On the website, teachers will find sample letters that can used to let pupils know about the event and what they need to do in order to participate. There is also information that parents and carers can access in order to support their children in participating in Spellathon.

The website and Spellathon event is recommended for schools who wish to promote the importance of spelling in an engaging way while, at the same time, raising funds for charity as well as generating some for their school.

Spellathon is supported by Stephen Fry who introduces pupils to the event and voices ‘The Professor’ in the online environment highlighting that the spelling championship will have a high profile! Pupils can also have the chance to compete live against Stephen Fry during a challenge to be held at the end of February.

For schools who may not wish to run Spellathon as a whole school event, there is an option for individuals to sign up to the event providing a way of encouraging pupils to still take part if they so wish.

2 people found this review useful

Star Rating - 5 out of 5

Monday 16th January 2012

Name:  Tom

 
From:

Effective and useful resources, across all subjects

The website offers comprehensive resources for any subject or topic you could wish to find. The modern interface is user friendly and easy to navigate, not over-the-top and easy on the eye. The site is very effective and using simple menus offers a host of resources at the click of a button, and the background information on the resources is a great idea. This way you don’t have to wade your way through loads of websites to find what you’re searching for! The briefs on each subject point you in the right direction and, despite the masses of resources at your fingertips, you won’t get lost. You are sure to find something worthwhile and useable on here, no matter what you’re looking for.

2 people found this review useful

Star Rating - 3 out of 5

Monday 16th January 2012

Name:  Tom

 
From:

Broad Ranging

A very broad ranging resource, you will be sure to find something worthwhile here. The site is simple and easy to use, and is very straightforward in its explanations of the sources. It gives a large number of lesson plans, which helps if you are planning a topic for a whole term or half term, and the range of different activities will keep children interested for the duration of the topic. There is some crossover with areas of learning and lesson plans, but everything is there once you know how to find it. Would be a good idea for an ‘RSPCA day,’ though, incorporating different subjects in the theme.

1 person found this review useful

Star Rating - 4 out of 5

Monday 16th January 2012

Name:  Tom

 
From:

Well structured and useful

Gives some great resources for lessons with the freedom of planning them yourself. The sources are easily indentified on their site and clearly marked out. The plans contain a mix of individual and group work, as well as using images and other aids to keep the students entertained while they are learning. All of it is detailed but broken down well so you can easily track where you and the children are.

1 person found this review useful

Star Rating - 5 out of 5

Monday 16th January 2012

Name:  Tom

 
From:

Excellent, modern resource

I was really pleased with this resource. The content is easy to find and the navigation is simple and effective. The interface is very new and modern, and the large variety of activities is excellent. The programme covers every area and makes it easier for children to understand each topic. The fact it uses other children in videos and gives certain scenarios in the activities makes it more realistic for the children learning, rather than having to read or just listen to a teacher speaking!

3 people found this review useful

Star Rating - 4 out of 5

Monday 16th January 2012

Name:  Tom

 
From:

Useful and Engaging

This is a very useful and comprehensive resource. The lesson plans are detailed and well set-out, and contain a good blend of interaction/discussion and personal work. The case studies and scenarios are very relatable and will help children identify certain themes and learn more about themselves through the activities. It is very child-friendly and visually based, which helps keep it engaging. The website is very well laid out as well, and the explanations for planning are well thought through.

2 people found this review useful

Star Rating - 4 out of 5

Thursday 5th January 2012

Name:  Andrew

 
From:

Google’s free www.sketchup.com

Sketchup is newly available, free, 3D design software, which is ideal for KS2 through to KS5. Google bought the company who wrote Sketchup and have made the free version available to everyone. There are no registration forms or restrictions and it is available for Windows and Macs.

Sketchup is amazingly easy to use, after a ten-minute introduction to the software, I have had Yr7 pupils building their own 3D play equipment and laying out playground designs. It is a small program that runs well on basic computers. Students find it easy to develop ideas and learn them, though those following the built in ‘self-paced tutorials’ learn fastest.
I have created short films on making an Ipod and a puzzle on my free website, www.ajbooker.co.uk, in the ‘Education>Free Software’ section. It takes only a few minutes to make a 3D pink Ipod, 30 seconds if you practise!

I am planning to use Sketchup with KS3 pupils, downloading bicycle models and getting pupils to design a secure bike rack round them in 3D. Sketchup is great for freeform design, but it can also draw and measure accurately, and has dimensioning tools like a CAD program.

The best thing about it is its sheer simplicity. Create a rectangle and then use the ‘push/pull tool to drag it up into a 3D box. Want to change a side? Drag it and see it move, following your mouse, in real time. Also, it helps greatly that the 3D model files Sketchup produce includes an image of it so you can see all your models from within the file browser.

Perhaps the only downside is the quality of output. You can save jpeg images at screen resolution, but there are ways round this if you are technically minded. Also, it will not export your 3D file in a format other 3D programs can import but I expect someone to add this function soon.

If you are expert in a 3D program already, Sketchup may still impress you because of its sheer speed and flexibility… If you can’t yet build your dreams in 3D, try it… you may surprise yourself and delight your pupils!

3 people found this review useful

Star Rating - 3 out of 5

Tuesday 13th December 2011

Name:  Rachel

 
From: St Cuthberts

Good Resources

The resource covers a wide range of issues that are not just suitable for careers education and guidance (CEG). it could play a major role in vocational educational programmes and specific cross -curricular activities. The life skills element is certainly one which could be used to help schools meet literacy requirements. The DVD could form the basis of an Enrichment Day activity or an alternative curriculum day without any real need on the part of teaching staff to produce a new set of resources.

The accompanying teacher lesson plans are a laudable addition to the DVD resource. They are ideal for the hard pressed teacher who maybe facing Ofsted or LEA reviews. The lesson plans would enable any non specialist to present the information to students at Key stage 4.The resource lends itself to whole class work or small groups. Most schools have interactive whiteboards to enlarge the screen image without any detrimental effect to quality. I’ve used this method in my school and the students responded well. The different menu of interviews and sections enables staff to customize their lesson to the needs of the audience as opposed to a one cap fits all approach.

BT have produced a high quality product that enhances their reputation as a company that provides excellent resources for the education sector. This along with other downloadable resources from the company put them at the forefront of free resource channels available to teachers

Star Rating - 5 out of 5

Thursday 1st December 2011

Name:  Anna

 
From: St John Fisher

“Exploring Shakespeare” focus on Much Ado about Nothing.

This website features interactive resources such as a live extract of the play, and includes an audio of questions and answers from the director. The teachers pack provides a comprehensive guide of ways to approach the text dramatically, using simple but effective exercises. It invites the students into the task by using anecdotes about the rehearsal process, to lead into a suggested activity. The content can be useful from key stages 3-5. It also makes some direct references to the set scenes used for Year 9 SATS.

Certainly when approaching Shakespeare this would be a useful resource, or even when looking into how to review a live performance this could be used as a starting point. The teachers pack alone could be written in to a scheme of work for a half term, if not more and the games are an interesting way of approaching the concept of interpretation. It’s a quick and easy way to bring ICT into the English/drama classroom. However the interactive activities are short lived and although they do create plenty of scope for extension tasks, some of the content is quite wordy and I have a suspicion that pupils would navigate all too quickly through the site without actually reading all the information and be sat twiddling their thumbs ready for the next activity. This leads me to believe that the site is therefore more a tool for teachers than a student resource.

The teachers pack teamed with the live extract is useful for highlighting significant points to your pupils. The teachers pack gives ways in which to approach the text dramatically, introducing techniques that are broken down so that any teacher can understand, not just a drama specialist. Overall the website is accessible and a useful resource for the classroom.

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