28 February 2006

Education Media

If you're involved (or interested) in assessment at any level then it's worth checking out the new website set up by Chris McDonald in Liverpool. You need to register to use the site but once you do you can access the 'courses' which consist of useful resources, weblinks and forums where you can discuss all aspects of assessment.

27 February 2006

Targets and Activities Project

I've had an email from the Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust asking me to mention their new website...
Tower Hamlets PCT is launching a new web-based resource tool for Speech and Language Therapists and students, Teaching Assistants and Teachers.

Based upon the government's p-scales for children who are functioning below the Key Stage levels, the website www.commtap.org contains activities for children at these levels, in an easy to use format, that can be used both in the classroom and clinic environments. On this site you will find activities sheets for working with children at a variety of different levels and across a variety of curriculum and skill areas. The site uses the P-scales and the lower levels from the National Curriculum as a means for organising these documents in a way which should make them easy to find. These documents use a simple standardised format to make them easy and quick to read.

Professionals and students can also contribute to the site by uploading their own activities on to the site. We hope that through this, the website will become a valuable multi-disciplinary recourse with a wealth of shared activities for professionals to use.

24 February 2006

Google Pages

It's in Beta at the moment and it's also currently not accepting any new users (until they increase capacity) but Google Pages looks like it'll be something to keep an eye on. You'll need one of Google's free Gmail accounts to use it and it allows you to create your own webpages with the same ease that Blogger allows you to create your own blog. I'll hopefully post more about this when they open up the facility again to new users.

Half-Term Link #5: Gorman and Wallace

http://www.davegorman.com & http://www.dannywallace.com
Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace are two very funny guys whose books you should check out if you haven't already. They mix humour, world travel and the strangest situations you could ever imagine to produce witty, informative and brilliant reads.

They first collaborated on the excellent Are You Dave Gorman? in which a drunken bet resulted in Dave and Danny scouring the world for other people called Dave Gorman. Dave's second adventure saw him travelling the globe to attempt to meet a chain of googlewhacks in Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure (also now on DVD). What is a googlewhack? ... click here.

Danny's solo projects have included started his own cult (sorry, collective) in Join Me, creating and running his own country (as seen on BBC TV) and saying yes to everything in Yes Man.

Do yourself a favour and buy, borrow or steal (ahem... sorry, loan from the library) a copy of these books.

This is the last 'half-term' link before we get back to normal (which will undoubtably be a relief to those of you whose half term was last week anyway!)

23 February 2006

Half-Term Link #4: Picasa

Picasa is one of my favourite free software downloads on the Net. It's an image organisation program that keeps track of all your photos and makes it superbly easy to browse, print and share them. Download and install the program and it will get to work searching through your hard drive and rooting out all your photographs. You can organise them into folders, add captions and keywords and even send them off to be printed at online photo processing stores. It's definitely worth checking out for home use and it can really help organise things at school as well.

22 February 2006

Kayte's Kards Updated

A selection of new handmade cards have been added to our sister site including some great birthday cards. Click on the link to check them out.

Half-Term Link #3: Gadget Blogs

UK Gizmodo: http://uk.gizmodo.com/
Shiny Shiny: http://www.shinyshiny.tv/

If you like your gadgets then there's lots of great websites online that can keep you up-to-date with all the latest news and gadget releases. Two blogs that I keep an eye on regularly are Gizmodo and ShinyShiny.

Gizmodo is a huge site by the vnunet.com group and ShinyShiny has gadget news from a female point of view. Some of the gadgets and postings aren't suitable for children so teacher's only, please. :)

21 February 2006

Half-Term Link #2: NewsNow

NewsNow describes itself as the UK's number one news portal and I'm not going to argue with that description. It automatically searches over 20,000 news sources for articles. You can view a newsfeed for hundreds of topics and it not only displays articles from national newspapers but also from local newspapers and carefully selected blogs/websites. Check out the education newsfeed by clicking here.

20 February 2006

Half-Term Link #1: The Internet Movie Database

As it's the half-term break for many schools in the UK I thought I'd do something different this week and feature links to some of the non-educational sites that I use on a regular basis. The first is the brilliant Internet Movie Database.

Ever wondered who was in a particular film? Want to know where you've seen a particular actor or actress before? This site has all the answers. The heart of the site is a huge database of what must be nearly every film ever produced commercially. You can search for film titles, actors, directors etc. Click on an actor/actress and all the films they've ever been in will appear.

Advanced searches allow you to do useful things like find which films two particular people have starred together in. It's great to answer those niggling questions you get on occasions and even covers TV programmes as well. I use it all the time!

18 February 2006

Primary Teacher UK

Andrew Ross' teaching blog is one of the sites that I check every day and if you haven't paid it a visit yet then now is a very good time. Andrew has put together a copy of all the spellings in the KS2 SATs test which will be very useful for Year 6 teachers. His Simpsons target cards have been going down well with visitors to his site and he's also done a review of our 'Labours of Heracles' teaching pack.

13 February 2006


Bob Leake's produced this site that allows you to easily create your own webquests (where students visit sites you've chosen to find out particular pieces of information). It's free to use and there's lots of activities already online that have been produced by other teachers. As with any activity of this kind always check out the sites before your students use them.

10 February 2006

Fonts for Kids

Looking to brighten up your wall displays, certificates or worksheets? Then check out this great little site that has tons of super fonts to download and use.

09 February 2006

Site Update: 9th February 2006

Over 50 new resources have been added to the site in this, the last update until after half term. The new resources are marked with a green NEW symbol. Full details are below.

MATHS: Reading Scales - Capacity (Smart) / Capacity & Time Word Problems (Smart) / Area of Shapes Made from Rectangles (Smart) / Perimeter (Smart) / Tardis Timetable (Smart) / Using a Protractor (ppt) / Ordinal Numbers (Smart) Rec/Y1 / Recognising Right Angles / What is the Time? / Colour the Fish: Subtraction / Colours the Fish: Addition / 9x Table Wordsearch / Angles on a Straight Line (ppt) / Mental Addition (Smart) / Information Handling (Smart)
ENGLISH: Suffixes: ing (Smart) / Plurals: -s or -es (Smart) / Cindersmella (Jumbled Sentences) / Useful Adjectives for Story Settings / The Beach Story Setting / Apostrophe Words / Comparing Disney's Hercules with the Greek Myth of Heracles / Collins Literacy Scheme Support Sheets x15 / More Arthurian Legends Activity Ideas
SCIENCE: Healthy Eating (ppt) / Keeping Warm (4c) Lesson Plans / Keeping Warm (4 Lessons) (ppt)
HISTORY: The 6 Wives of Henry VII (Smart) / The Golden Hinde Poem / The Norman Conquest / Which Strategy is Best? (Addition) / My Timeline
GEOGRAPHY: Australia Project
PE: PE Starter Survey
FOUNDATION: Lesson: Animal Masks
MUSIC: Brass Instruments / Percussion Instruments

08 February 2006

Roller Coasters Revisited

Back in September I posted a Blog entry about different Roller Coaster Simulations that I'd found online but I mentioned that I couldn't find the one that I'd actually used in class! (I'd lost the link)

I stumbled across the website completely by accident when I was exploring some other sites, so here it is... Click here to try out the 'Roller-Coaster Designer'.

I came across a lot of other simulations as I was wandering around, some that I've not mentioned here before now. They ranged from the bizarreness of the Morphases Faces Editor to the out of this world experience of Discovery.com's International Space Station Walk.

The Teacher's Homepage

John Duffty, a senior lecturer at Chester University has set up this site to promote teaching related websites and raise money for Cancer Research UK. It's based on the idea of the famous Million Dollar Homepage where people can rent space on the page for a set price.

It's only recently gone online but is filling up quickly. It's worth checking out (and coming back to periodically) as there's lots of sites of interest included.

If you know anyone with a teaching related business or website then pass on the web address to them and suggest they take out an ad. Hopefully we can help John raise lots of money for charity.

07 February 2006

Rainforest Maths

This great Australian education site has lots of brilliant online maths activities. You can choose the difficulty level to match your students and there's material on all the major areas of primary mathematics. A super site.

The site's creator, Jenny Eather is also behind the wonderful 'Maths Dictionary for Kids', an A-Z of mathematics illuminated by great animations and simple activities.

06 February 2006

Newsletters For Teachers

This is an interesting site. A Canadian teacher (I'm presuming he/she is from Canada) has used the Yahoo groups service to create a page full of newsletters from different teaching websites. There's newsletters from all around the world (including our own Primary Resources one) and there's plenty of interesting links and information included in them.

One of the first sites whose newsletter I looked at was the Geography Zone which features some fun geography-based challenges where you are ranked against users from other countries. Unfortunately when I took part I decresed the UK's score by quite a bit so perhaps someone else can make up for this!

05 February 2006

Paperless Printer

This is a great little piece of software that enables you to print out from any program (that allows printing) to a jpg or bmp image file.

It's useful for producing images of things like printable worksheets and websites for use in presentations. It also prints to pdf and html as well as several other file formats making it easy to share documents and other material.

It's free to download and use for personal use although you'll need a (very reasonably priced) license to use it beyond home use (I'd suggest that you'd need one for school use).

03 February 2006

Site Update: 3rd February 2006

Over 60 new resources have been added to the site in this week's bumper update. They're all marked with an orange NEW symbol. Full details are below. A lot of the subject areas have been tidied up and reorganised slightly this week and there are some new downloads on the Primary Extra site for registered customers.

MATHS: Around the World (ppt) / Make a clock face / Tessellation / The Best Deal (+n) Y4 (Smart) / Heavier or Lighter Y2 / Numeracy Vocab / Multiplication Trios x3 / Multiplication Trios x4 / Numeracy STP / Place Value in Decimals Y4/5 / Percentages Y4/5
ENGLISH: 'sc' and 'sk' / Hercules Poem / Reading Bookmarks / Literacy STP / Guided Reading Planning Frame / Storyplan / Prepositions / Speech Writing / Phonics Test 'o-e' 'ow' 'er'
SCIENCE: Earth, Sun & Moon / My Science Investigation / The Water Cycle (Writing Frames) / The Planets Y5/6
HISTORY: Queen Boudicca / Boudicca Questions
GEOGRAPHY: High Street Survey / Grid References (Smart) / Palmer Isles / St. Lucia Quiz (ppt)
ART: The Life of Andre Derain
RE: The Destruction of the Temple and the Western Wall / Inspiration People
MLF: French: Animals 1 / French: Animals 2 / French: Animals Flash Cards / French: Animal Domino Cards / French: Rooms / French: Rooms Flash Cards / French: Room Furniture / German: Animal Matching / German: Animal Wordsearch / German: Animal Flash Cards / German: Colour Matching / German: Weather Activity / German: Wordsearch / German: Weather Flashcards / German: Greetings and Goodbyes / French: Colour Flash Cards / French: Bedroom Match Up / French: Menu / French: Weather Match Up / French: Class Things (ppt) / French: In Town (ppt) / French: Weather (ppt) / French: Fruit (ppt) / French: Countries (ppt) / French: Shops (ppt) / French: Transport (ppt)
FOUNDATION: Lesson: Animal Prints
OTHER: Book Labels

01 February 2006

Primary Extra News 4

I've added some updates to the downloads section of Primary Extra for those people who have bought The Labours of Heracles teaching pack.

The additions are ready-made Smart Notebook, Easiteach and Activboard presentations that you can use for sequencing each of Heracles' labours. You'll need your username and password to access the new resources. If you have any ideas for additional resources you'd like to see then please let me know.

BBC Schools Newsletter

Do you get the BBC Schools newsletter? It's quite a useful way of keeping up with the latest additions and changes to the excellent BBC education sites.

For example this month's newsletter mentions the launch of BBC Jam, which everyone should've checked out by now. It also highlights interesting sites for every age group, such as the Livings Things site by BBC Scotland. One of the most useful parts of the newsletter is the forthcoming calendar dates section with links to BBC Newsround lesson plans. February's resources are linked to Unicef's Day for Change, Valentine's Day and 'Pancake Day'.