Futaba for the single iPad classroom

Ok, this is just a post to share a great iPad app I used in a rotation activity during maths today.

We are currently working on subtraction strategies (year 2) and  in the rotation activities I had

  • A dice activity (roll two dice and take the smaller number away from the larger number)
  • A calculator activity (worksheet with instructions, only use 5, 2, +, – and = to get to the answers listed on the sheet)
  • A super hero race game on the IWB for 3 students and on the laptop for 2 students
  • AND
  • Futaba – an iPad app that allowed 4 students to use one iPad (we have one in the classroom and my mentor lets the students use her personal one too) to play a subtraction game that displayed a problem in the middle and gave 4 multiple choice options, the person who selects the correct answer first wins the point!

Interestingly, the most challenging students in the class were so focussed on the calculator activity I didn’t hear boo from them (it was by far the most challenging activity)……. I also had no idea the students would have no idea how to use a calculator!! SO many of them told me their calculators weren’t working because the + and – didn’t show on the screen….

Hmmm! Lesson for me in assumptions! Good reflection point for the assignment but the purpose of this post is really to get Futaba out there for those in a single iPad classroom! 4 students to an iPad is a good rotation station for them to have a go and move on!

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ICTs I’m using that could be helpful to others

Karen mentions in her blog about National Simultaneous Storytime at her school.

We also participated in this experience and my mentor didn’t have copy of the book chosen this year which was “The Brothers Quibble” so we downloaded it and watched the author Aaron Blabey read it for us 🙂

I’ve learnt to use this clip converter to download any youtube clips I want to use in classes because the internet at the school is horrendously slow.

I learnt to import a powerpoint presentation into ActivInspire this week gone – only to find that in class, the interactive lesson on speech marks where the students had to click on the correct punctuation format from a list of three to hear either ‘applause’ if they got it right or a ‘scream’ if they got it wrong…. wasn’t going to work because the ends of all the sentences (including the quotation marks) were cut off……… I managed to work out to resize the display to 75% (problem solving on the spot!) to continue with the activity as it took me a fair time to put the resource together!

A potential ICT fail turned into a useful learning opportunity and success!

Next week I’m teaching a follow up lesson on quotation marks and plan to open with this little gem from YouTube to teach a new concept….. see if you can work out what it is?

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Two down, one to go!

So at the end of week two,:

  • There have been about 10 nights up past midnight
  • I have mostly lost my voice
  • I have some kind of sinus/head-cold/flu type virus (mostly likely due to exhaustion)
  • My house looks like a bomb has hit it
  • We have no food left in the house
  • I’ve barely seen my own child in two weeks and when I do, she’s grumpy at me for not being around much during the week and then spending most of the weekend planning….


  • The ochre I ordered on eBay for my science lesson on Wednesday next week arrived!
  • I have the opportunity to see a relief teacher in operation in my room next Tuesday
  • I have the opportunity to teach the whole day and get feedback from the same relief teacher on Wednesday (the more feedback from different teachers the better I think!)
  • Unlike Kara, my classroom is extremely ICT rich and barely a lesson passes when the IWB isn’t utilised
  • I have learnt to use ActivInspire, ActivExpression, become a little more familiar with iPads (as I am an Android girl myself) and scored a tonne of resources from my mentor
  • I am LOVING every moment of teaching I get to do!
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Washing dishes at midnight


As I predicted in this post, I have been up until after midnight for my first two evenings of PE! Last night, as I washed the dishes at midnight, I promised that tonight I would go to bed early or I was going to be a complete zombie tomorrow!

So here it is, 9pm and I’m off to bed after I finish this post and do the dishes!

I read Belinda’s post about Activ Expression in her PE context being used by a visiting health education program as part of the promethean IWB tools.

I am lucky enough to have these in my PE classroom and my mentor created a maths quiz to demonstrate their use! You should have seen and heard the students (year 2) when she said we were going to do a maths test with the Activ Expression!! Seriously! Maths test? GROAN!! Right?? WRONG!!! These kids LOVE maths tests because of these devices!!

After teaching a maths lesson myself today I was able to see where the students are at with the concept I taught and I am able to plan a formative test using the Activ Inspire program to use with the Activ Expressions (At least, that’s my next plan! I need to learn to use the software by playing with it which I’ve done but can’t figure out a few things so I’m getting  a ‘one-on-one’ training with my mentor tomorrow so that I can figure it out!)

But it’s fantastic to use as formative assessment to gain instant data on who needs more support and who can be extended in their learning as well as being able to be used as summative assessment at the end of a maths unit with the results instantaneous!

Students LOVE the instant feedback they get as well as having a device in their hand 🙂

If you aren’t lucky enough to have these in your classroom – I found this clip to demonstrate them in use in a classroom with year 3 students doing maths… ENJOY!

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As we head out on placement next week, some of us nervous, some of us excited, most of us a mixture of both, and all of us bound to make some mistakes along the way as we implement not only the ICTs that often frighten, confuse or just plain dumbfound us, but also the classroom management, social interaction, running on time, planning lessons and units, brush up on our content knowledge, improve on our pedagogical content knowledge stay up until the wee hours creating resources for the next day and use the wrong terminology during lessons……. I’d just like to share this little guy and his message and say “Good luck” to all my fellow EDC3100 students 🙂

No matter how many mistakes you make or by symphony of love, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  symphony of love 
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CyberSmart and Connect.ed

Better late than never I always say!

I finally got chance to complete the Connect.ed modules and get my certificate.

I was impressed to know that I already knew and understood a lot about what went on and the terminology relating to the Cyber world we live in. Trojan was new to me though, I had an idea of what it was through my prior knowledge of the Trojan horse story , it was interesting to find that it was not actually listed in the glossary as we are directed to, to discover the meaning of the terms we did not know…. I wonder who I can give that feedback to?

At another point in the module however, it was revealed in a pop up item to be a form of malware in disguise as a good program – like a virus scanning program – but instead installs a malicious virus on the computer to damage or collect data depending on its purpose.

As I am specialising in the Early Years and thus, only working with students up to grade 3, I found it useful to have the CyberSmart website resources (which I have saved to Diigo) to use with such young children as I found most of the program is aimed at older children (for obvious reasons).

I have to confess – I was completely unable to taunt poor Billy in the simulation or encourage the use of a vacant block as in the teenage simulation…. and looking back on my behaviour at those ages, I wouldn’t have then either. I was always the kid who befriended those left out, being bullied or a bit different and as I got older, I became more and more selective of my friends as to be honest, drunken weekends on vacant blocks just were’t my cup of tea……. Everyone thought I was stuck up….. personally, I think I was just sensible.

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Devices in my Prac room

My observation day with my mentor gave me a number of reasons to be excited about this upcoming placement….

Without sounding like I am bragging, my mentor is known in the school as the “tech guru” and implements A LOT of ICT into her lessons.

In the room there is an IWB which was used in EVERY – SINGLE – LESSON yesterday in some way shape or form, an iPad (yes, only 1 genuine item), 5 small generic style tablets which apparently don’t work very well so are usually flat and unused, 5 smart phones and ActivExpression clickers on every desk and a bank of 30 iPads we can book and borrow from the library for lessons…. I have a feeling there will be more surprises when I get into teaching properly next week!

Watching the clip and reading the description of the ActivExpression student response system I am SO excited to see them in use and I’m sure (seeing that I asked about them) that my mentor will have planned a lesson using them for Monday or Tuesday and I can’t wait to plan lessons of my own with them once I understand how they work!

I also got a few great tips from other teachers (I’m returning to the same site as my last placement so I already know the site and a lot of teachers), about ensuring all youtube clips are converted to files which are not dependent on a fast internet connection as this can often lag and become disruptive of teaching.

Perhaps because I already have these developed relationships I am not so much nervous as a bit concerned about not being able to meet such high expectations with all the amazing resources available for me…. I’m pretty lucky really, but reading Sharon’s blog it seems I am not alone in this concern either, as Sharon talks about being worried about transforming learning enough….. and I had to laugh reading the comment about being hugged by hordes of children after transforming their learning with ICT!!

I used this Onomatopoeia clip in my placement last year and I STILL have children approach me for hugs in the shopping centre and make an “onomatopoeia” sound for me 🙂 It was a fun lesson!

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Observation Day

Yesterday I had an observation day with my mentor.

It was fantastic! Knowing that I am there for an ICT placement, she had created an activity for the IWB using ActivInspire which is Promethean software for the IWB (I think).

I’ve downloaded the software myself from the link above so that I have it on my own laptop to create flip charts and activities on the IWB when I am teaching… how cool!

I also am exceptionally glad I used the History Year 2 content descriptor:

The history of a significant person, building, site or part of the natural environment in the local community and what it reveals about the past(ACHHK044)

for my assignment 2 unit plan as that is going to be the focus during my placement AND there is an excursion built in to the unit (just like in my unit plan) but the teacher’s planning the unit – 2 x classroom teachers, the librarian and the art teacher planning in unison (It’s an IB school and this is a Unit of Inquiry) had very limited content knowledge of the local history but thanks to my assignment research, I DID!! I was able to be helpful instead of a hinderance before I even began placement!

I’m taking my unit plan in on Monday so that we can use it to plan the unit further and I will not only get University feedback on the unit plan as an assignment, I will get practicing teacher’s feedback on its practical use as well! How exciting!

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Googling myself

So after writing this post about my squeaky clean digital footprint, I googled myself……


My seven year old daughter has been accessing youtube on the laptop in her room that is set up with my gmail profile (I have to confess here, I have three google emails and I actually have no idea how they all work together or separately) and after she does her Reading Eggs homework online, she is allowed to watch youtube music clips, cake decorating tutorials and make up tutorials…… aparently she has been clicking ‘like’ and subscribing to channels without my knowledge….

Consequently, anyone googling me would think I “liked” Justin Bieber, a young girl called Samantha singing about ‘that boy’, another woman singing to her “Dear future husband” and how to make a converse shoe cake among other halloween candy reviews and overtly over the top women reviewing all kinds of random items….

It took me AGES to work out how to delete the likes and watching the tutorials and using the help guide were actually to no avail….. directing me to the “playlist homepage” to “select the playlist settings and click delete” when there IS no playlist settings is INCREDIBLY INFURIATING!!

I have settled for the next best thing and ‘hidden’ the likes from view….

This is going to be trickier than I thought….

Who knew my squeaky clean digital footprint could be sabotaged by my own child……

I sure didn’t!

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Digital Footprint

Reading this post about how we each create a digital foot print, many thoughts went through my mind.

Firstly, is there anything about my shared photographs, online purchases, sites visited or how I spend my dispensable income (um… I don’t have any of that) and even that, I don’t mind anyone knowing, that would make me seem less credible as a teacher or even, a human being?

Well, I thought, I do buy wine occasionally….. but even that is occasional and certainly shouldn’t be reason for concern. If anything it makes me look reasonably human! I’m pretty sure dog worming tablets, snow boots and kids track suits wouldn’t give me too many black marks in the big scheme of things…… although, on the wine front I admit I have made a mental note to pay with cash when I make future purchases….

On the whole though, I’d have to say I am exceptionally tame and don’t really have any offensive comments, photos or well, anything that I wouldn’t want anyone to see. Perhaps an ex or two I’d rather forget, but who doesn’t have those!? (And definitely no inappropriate pictures for them to share!)

After reading Natalie’s post however, I started to wonder if anyone else has footage or images of me that I am completely unaware of…. like Natalie, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to take embarrassing footage of another person and post it online…. and also like Natalie, after watching the rate my teacher clip, I too am glad I am specialising in early childhood!!

Implications of our digital footprint aside from inappropriate or embarrassing footage though had me thinking about this TED talk about the way in which google filters our searches to show us what it THINKS we need to see based on our previous digital footprint, and in doing so actually limits our access on the World Wide Web to being a significantly more Selected Snapshot of the Web.

It’s well worth a watch. It’s only 10 minutes but it was one of those eye opening moments for me. Mostly I don’t mind marketing that tells me when Panoramis dog tablets are on sale, but when I’m searching for scholarly information, I have to say, I want it ALL!

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