Useful and funny songs to help children learn and remember literacy and maths concepts. There are lyrics on the site itself alongside the songs. They've also a small range of online videos. The songs are below:
We showed some iPad apps to parents at tonight's parents' evening. In the near future, we'll run a parents' information meeting to demonstrate more of the apps and online subscriptions we've signed up to. For the moment, here are some reviews of some of the iPad apps we've bought for our school iPads. The reviews are aimed at teachers - so there is a bit of jargon! More reviews next week.
Pretty good comprehension app with twelve texts and eight activities around each text: comprehensions, spelling, punctuation, close, word & phrase definition/comprehension.
Use in flashcard or multi-choice mode - flashcard gives question & student/teacher can reveal answer, multi choice gives four possible answers - answers can be set to reveal immediately or at the end of the activity. Text can be referred to at any time. Gives a pie chart indicating success at each activity and you can return to any wrong answer to view the correct answer and the part of the text where the clue is.
Speliing & punctuation activities give multi-choice of four phrases for the student to spot the incorrect part of the sentence.
A simple but quite dense app, suitable for higher level Y5 children and Y6. Game Centre popup keeps appearing, click Try Again to ignore it. App can be reset to default to get rid of scores/answers for next student.
Teacher tips: Use with whole classes under a visualiser, with groups in guided reading, or individually/pairs. Note that there is will be no record of these activities, so you'll need to plan in a review with the group or individual to ensure you're assessing their progress in the activity - hence group work is probably the best way of using the app.
Multi-choice quiz app covering punctuation, spelling & grammar & writing choices. Three game modes covering the same content - quickfire, whack a monkey and flick ball. Split into old National Literacy Strategy year groups.
Not a thrilling app - a bit like an interactive worksheet that gives immediate feedback When students get a correct answer, they're rewarded by an amount of time to whack a monkey or score goals. Some of the definitions of grammatical terms are a bit off-the-wall, so check out that section of the app before you hand it over to students. For the spelling sections, the iPad's auto-correct gives the student the answer anyway, so avoid those activities! The app is pretty comprehensive, however.
Teacher tips: Use for revision and reinforcement of SPAG. Not great for initial teaching.
Mr Thorne Does Grammar
Covers adjectives, capitals, verbs, nouns, proper nouns, pronouns, compound words, homophones, prefixes & suffixes, questions, tenses, plurals, adverbs, prepositions, connectives & conjunctions, synonyms & antonyms, abbreviations, clauses, contractions, and punctuation.
Each part is split into four sections (where appropriate)
As with other Mr Thorne apps, the design is a bit clunky and limited but the content is useful when used appropriately.
Teacher tips: Use as reinforcement & practice activities, not as an introduction: e.g., a connective activity asks for the the correct connective from four choices but doesn't explain what a connective is or which is appropriate to use in which circumstance.
Comprehension - sentence level
Split into Easy, Medium & Hard sections. Complete sentences using the appropriate word from a multi-choice selection: e.g., one day, an ............ stumbled upon a time machine [remember, explorer, dinosaur, alarm].
Best used in partners or with an adult so that students can justify and discuss their choices (e.g., 'an' means word must start with a vowel, word must be a person or an animal because they stumble upon something, it's an explorer because that matches the time machine). With this oral explanation during paired talk, the thinking process of sentence comprehension is emphasised and reinforced; if the student works alone, the process isn't as obvious and is likely to be glossed over in a subconscious process.
Each section is marked at the end and students gain points for correct answers. Not a great design but does a niche job simply. Part of the Mr Thorne's app empire.
Teacher tips: Use with whole class, group or individuals when covering sentence level comprehension skills, covering context & word type. If using with a whole class, slide under a visualiser and plug iPad into IWB speakers; with individuals/pairs/groups, use portable speakers or headphones.
Mr Thorne Does Phonics
Series of short videos with Mr Thorne (sometimes he's wearing a hat, sometimes not) demonstrating letter sounds, graphemes and tricky words & demonstrating example blends. Not really games, more demonstration videos. Two parts: Letters & Sounds and Blends & Spellings.
Letters & Sounds part split into four sections:
Based on the Letters & Sounds phonics programme, so you probably wouldn't use this 'as is', but it has good resources to pick up bits from & use. Might be used alongside a visualiser, with IWB speakers plugged in to iPad to use with a whole class or with portable speakers for groups. Use headphones if using individually in class.
Blends & Spellings part split into four sections:
Introduction section in each part gives an overview of all phonemes. At no point does Mr Thorne pull out a ukelele to match the hats & glasses, but you can imagine him with one, can't you? Part of the Mr Thorne's app empire.
Teacher tips: Use to support whole class, group and individual phonics learning and reinforcement. Useful for SEN reinforcement work during English lessons, registration, group- or one-to-one work. Note that these are demo videos not activities.
Part 2 next week
Improve your vocabulary with Vocabulary.com's multiple-choice questions. Sets questions in contexts too. American... but never mind!
KS2Literacy.co.uk - A very nice, tidy site with a wealth of useful resources for literacy and the classroom. Music page and Areas of Study pages stand out but the whole site is a treasure.
Here's a scavenger-hunt activity for spotting/using organisation & language features of different text types. Cut up the sections & students label and example of the text with feature, purpose & description.
Find example texts & place on A2/A3 paper. Give students envelopes with cut-out boxes & they’ve to find an example of the element & put the purpose & description alongside. Could do activity with all three parts (element, purpose & description), just focus on one part, or join together two boxes to scaffold task (eg, give element & description boxes together & students match purpose).
Could also use for writing as prompts or success criteria.
Use these links for further text-type work: Skillswise, BBC Bitesize.
How do you get them to refer to the text when answering comprehension questions? Here's one method for linking keywords in the question with keywords/ideas in the text - best for level 3 & level 4 readers. Get them to write the letters on their hand & go through the RUFRFA routine - (Read, Underline keyword in question, Find keyword/key idea in text, Reread question, Find answer around keyword in text, Answer question). A bit like the RUCSAC method for answering maths word problems.
Want to add speech & thought bubbles to photos? Upload, search for or use stock photos with phrase.it. You can download the photos or share them on social media sites.
The best educational web links in Rotherham!