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The Link Issue 1


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I've created The Link as a way to share ideas with my colleagues.


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The Link Issue 1

  1. 1. the link ISSUE 1 6TH OCTOBER 2009 hints, tips and ideas for techy and not-so-techy teachers focus on: games based learning … pages 2 & 3 One for the SMARTboard: jigsaw planet … page 4 teachmeet north west … page 4 WHAT IS THE LINK? Have you ever wished that we had with some really useful tools. The more time to share great ideas? main focus will be e-learning, but I’ll probably include other things as well. Have you ever been shown how to use a piece of software or a website, Some of us like paper, some of us but then forgotten about it, or like electronic versions, so the Link struggled to make it work? will appear in a variety of guises: Have you wondered how we can help - a paper newsletter our students to engage in e-learning? - an electronic version of the paper newsletter, accessible from our Have you wondered how you will school network and online find the time to use the learning - a series of blog posts—which platform effectively with our (unlike paper) can include audio and students? video I know I have. Questions? Requests? Feedback? Photo: Chain link by Sparktography on Flickr Want to collaborate or contribute? Used under Creative Commons Licence I can’t create time (sadly) and I’m not Just let me know, claiming to have all the answers. I can try a new way to share ideas—and Happy linking, here it is. My plan is to produce an Lois occasional newsletter, containing some hints and tips for getting started Did you know the Link is also available online? Go to
  2. 2. “Games can be used successfully with focus on: individuals, pairs or groups playing on the interactive whiteboard.” Birley CC has subscribed to Super Maths World. To access the site just use our school log in—it’s on posters in the maths classrooms. The site looks like a ‘real’ video game, with students fighting an opponent. There are games for every topic, although you may need to look at the kids section for some students. The only disadvantage is that there is no way to link directly to individual games—students have to go to the homepage and click through a series of menus. Students solve puzzles and compete against opponents from around the world. Each game is a race, first to the finish line is the winner. Register as a teacher to receive a class code, then students don’t need to give any personal details at all. To register, they select a colour, an animal and a number—for example, I set up a demo account as orangecat1810. Since they aren’t giving any personal details to the site and there are no chat opportunities, it is totally safe. Best of all, it’s free! THE LINK Page 2
  3. 3. games based learning WHY SHOULD WE BE USING GAMES BASED LEARNING? Games based learning can be The key is to balance the into the classroom, but highly motivating. It’s boy learning and the fun. All of the remember to check that the friendly and it’s fun. There’s sites featured here focus on game will actually run on the also a growing amount of the maths, but in the context netbooks before you try it with research that suggests that of a game. a class—they don’t have quite as games based learning can help much software as the desktop children with poor working Games based learning doesn’t computers do! memory to improve, provided have to be restricted to the that the learning is targeted. computer room. Games can be used successfully with individuals, pairs or groups Want to find out more? playing on the interactive This Teachers’ TV video features whiteboard. Netbooks (mini Dawn Hallybone from Oakdale laptops) can easily be brought Junior School, where games “Games based learning based learning is being used very can be highly successfully. motivating.” video/37337 “For me doing mathematics Students answer questions as part of an arcade style has always been like playing game. The games start off at a fairly easy level, but a game. At Manga High stick with it—they get harder! we've been working hard to bring out the playful side of The site is aimed at GCSE students, but could be maths while ensuring that used with younger students as well. students get the essential This is a free site, although students are encouraged skills to master this to register. It is carefully monitored, with no chat important subject. ” or user generated content, so it’s totally safe. Marcus du Sautoy ISSUE 1 Page 3
  4. 4. … and finally NORTH WEST On Friday 2nd October I People volunteered to offer Want to find out more? tried something new. presentations lasting 7 Instead of heading home and minutes or 2 minutes. These Tim and Moby from explain what a collapsing on the sofa, I presentations have to be Teachmeet is: drove to the BBC’s 21st about something that they Cenury Classroom in have used in a classroom v=SlSQYSnPUQY Salford to attend my first situation. (This was made for a Scottish Teachmeet, we didn’t Teachmeet. have bagpipes in Salford…) Anyone can join in, either as What is a Teachmeet? a presenter or just to listen Most Teachmeets are organised through this site: Basically it’s a group of and/or discuss. It’s not a teachers who meet up to formal session, in fact it’s so exchange ideas. Some of informal that it’s known as But Teachmeet Northwest has its own site: these people are actually an unconference. there in the room, others join in via an online I came away with loads of great ideas and resources— My summary of all the presentations, with links to some Flashmeeting— which is like really good sites is here: a combination of a video some of which are featured here. I’ll be passing more of http:// conference and a chat these ideas on as soon as room. teachmeetnw I’ve tried them out. ONE FOR THE INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARD: CLASSTOOLS FRUIT MACHINE The fruit machine is a fun Once a student’s name way of picking students has been selected, you randomly. have the option to remove them from the Just go to the website list, or you can leave and enter a list of names. them in for another You can copy the names chance to be chosen. This from a list made on a will definitely keep word processor or spreadsheet—then you students on their toes! don’t have to keep typing This is great for selecting TOP TIP them each time. students to answer Try inputting key words instead of questions or present names. Then ask As soon as you have results in class. It could students to explain entered the list, just click what the words mean. also be used to randomly the button that says ‘Fruit select pairs or groups of Machine’ and kerching— students. up comes a name. The Link by Lois Lindemann is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. THE LINK Page 4