Blogs as school-wide e-portfolios

Having just been involved in an inspiring #whatisschool Twitter chat hosted by Craig Kemp (@mrkempnz) and Mark Weston (@ShiftParadigm), where the topic was ‘Social Media in the Classroom’, I got chatting about an idea I want to implement with my school…… Blogs as e-portfolios While this isn’t  a new idea, this year I have been…

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How and why I encourage Inquiry-Based Learning with my class

  I am a huge fan of Inquiry-Based Learning. I have been developing an inquiry template over the last two years that I am forever tinkering with, and I use this with my year 10 students. We generally do one inquiry per term (approx. 10 weeks), so the students are able to look into a…

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How technology supplements our Positive Behaviour For Learning (PB4L) approach

My school, Tarawera High School, is a PB4L school. Put simply, that means that our focus is on rewarding positive behaviour rather than punishing negative behaviour. This works on the premise that positive behaviour can be learnt, and a safe and caring environment that supports positive learning behaviour needs to be created. We push this…

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Wattpad – a great free resource for reading and writing

One of my students recently introduced me to the amazing free resource Wattpad. If you haven’t seen this resource before, Wattpad is a  free community for readers and writers. It uses many aspects that are common on social media today, such as being able to have followers, and to be able to ‘vote’ (similar to…

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How and why we let our students create their own timetables

Student agency plays a huge part in how my two colleagues and I run our MLE. I have previously written about how we use student licenses to encourage self-management. In addition to this, we have also created a system that allows students to create their own timetables each week. We believe that by allowing students to…

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Student agency through Student Licenses

Student agency is about creating an environment  where students are encouraged to take control of their own learning. A big part of this is the ability of students to self-manage. Last week my school moved into a new MLE, and my two colleagues and I really wanted to push the idea of student agency in…

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The how and why behind our Innovative Learning Space

Recently my school (Tarawera High School) has made the exciting move into our brand new Innovative Learning Space (ILS). With the students about to start on Monday, my two colleagues and I have spent some time organising our equipment and furniture into what we think will best serve their learning needs. We have a group…

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Why and how I teach my students to code

Recently I read a great post on Craig Kemp’s blog (mrkempnz.com) written by Kim Vernon, called The Key to Coding. It is a great read about the benefits of coding for students, and I couldn’t agree more with the points that Kim makes. Importantly, Kim notes that the main skills that coding develops in students…

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Use technology to help you teach PE like a boss

Many teachers (especially at primary level) do not have the luxury of having a specialist PE teacher to take their class for PE. Below are my top three ways for how technology can help you run PE lessons like a boss! 1) Teaching Dance Teaching dance can be a daunting task for a lot of…

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My favourite tools to flip the classroom

Creating online instructions can be hugely advantageous to both teachers and to learners. Below are my reasons why I like to create online instructions: For teachers, one of the main benefits of creating online instructions is that it is time efficient. Many teachers tell me they don’t have the time to create videos. I like…

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Why Kahoot is one of my favourite classroom tools

Kahoot is one of my favourite tools to use in the classroom. Students love it, and they are always engaged when I use it. For those of you that have never used Kahoot before, Kahoot is a platform where you can create quizzes, discussions and surveys. The Kahoot is displayed via a TV or projector,…

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Fostering a learning triangle through technology

I believe that wherever possible, teachers need to involve parents in the learning process with their children. Research shows that parent involvement can improve students’ behavior, attendance, and achievement. Therefore, teachers should be trying to create a triangle between themselves, the student and the parent(s), where the teaching and learning is open and transparent. If…

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App smashing using Aurasma and Explain Everything

As part of my endeavor to create a classroom environment that encourages self-directed learning, I have created posters that are brought to life using the app Aurasma. Aurasma is an augmented reality app, where the user hovers over a trigger image (in this case my poster), at which stage the content appears. In my example,…

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Using Twitter in the classroom

As a teacher, Twitter is hands-down the best tool I have used to further my professional development. Having a PLN of like-minded professional sharing resources and ideas has improved my teaching immensely. After seeing the benefits of Twitter for my own development, I decided at the beginning of this school year that I would use…

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Motivational Posters with QR Codes

In my class, I really try to push the concept of Growth Mindset. Earlier in the year I created some posters of famous people with some motivational quotes to put up around the room. To do this, I used Google Slides. I knew that the students were likely to ask who the various people in the posters…

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Self-directed learning in a 1-1 environment

I am lucky enough to be in the situation where my class is 1-1 with Chromebooks. In saying this, I also believe that we are not too far away from having the opportunity to be 1-1 in every class in the future. The reason I say this is because: 1) Technology is getting cheaper and…

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Grammarly – a great tool for students and teachers!

Recenlty I have been using the tool Grammarly, both for my own writing and to help students improve their writing. Grammarly checks your spelling and grammar either through their website or within your social media posts if you have installed the Grammarly extenison. The picture above shows how Grammarly works when you are are writing…

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The Basics of Google Docs for Teachers

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Creating Individualised Learning Plans

My two colleagues and I teach Year 10 homeroom classes. Numeracy is one of our main areas where we are looking to really engage our students so they can excel. We are also on the verge of moving into our new modern learning environment, so between the three of us we have been experimenting with…

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Great Maths App – PhotoMath

Recently I discovered the app PhotoMath. It was described as the following on the app store: “PhotoMath is the world’s smartest camera calculator! Just point your camera to a Math problem, and PhotoMath will instantly display the answer. Join millions of users worldwide and make your learning progress faster and more enjoyable. Use it to…

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