Category Archives: fun

Doesn’t music enrich our lives?


For the last couple of weeks, I have been reminded hos much music enriches our lives. I have been to a ukelele workshop with a musician called Mike Jackson, whose voice I recognized, but couldn’t remember where from. Then it dawned on me, he sang a song called ‘Jollity Farm’ on a CD I used to play in the car when my kids were little. I hadn’t actually played a ukelele before but it was actually really good to go back to being a student and trying to learn something new in a big group. Reflecting on it, I took the whole thing very seriously – I realise I put a lot of pressure on myself to do things ‘right’. Sure lots of kids do the same.

This afternoon, I went to see a dress rehearsal of ‘High School – I enjoyed watching the faces of the year 4’s I went with and the embarrassment of some as the main boy and girl sang to one another. Stories in musical form …stories in written form…stories in visual form…we all love a good story.

From one of my favorite sites to find great video, The Kid Should See This, here is a video that I watched this morning putting technology and music together, called SIGNAL STRENGTH. It is an amazing concept.




Re-posting: Using #HatBack to Teach Point of View from Colby Sharp


I’m not sure how to re-blog a post from email, so when I saw this in my inbox, I wasn’t sure of the etiquette and even method of adding it. So I have copied the URL to share with you.

This particular topic, of encouraging young students to be able to think from different points of view, was a skill that the year 2’s are going to tackle in the coming weeks. I was talking with the year 2 teachers and their idea was to use fractured fairytales, because these stories are often the fairytale, but from another point of view, eg. the wolf in the 3 Little Pigs, the bad fairy in Sleeping Beauty …you get the idea.
This afternoon, I got this email fresh off Colby Sharp’s blog, who is a 3rd grade classroom teacher.
He has used the picture book ‘I Want My Hat back’ and also ‘This is Not my Hat’ (which is quite a funny and quirky story), both by Jon Klassen, to develop his students understanding of point of view and then using this knowledge  to create their own story. Click on the image for the link to his excellent blog post which lays out how he went about this in his classroom.


Visual Timers for your iPad classroom


Visual Timers for your iPad Classroom

Here is a selection of timer apps for classroom use, shared from the Apps In Education blog I subscribe to.


VisTimer Free: $1.99

The VisTimer was developed to provide a gentle implementation of time imposed limits. It utilizes an animated shrinking pie chart to depict elapsed time.Visual thinkers often have difficulty conceptualizing time. Being able to see the changing pie chart as time passes makes it easier to understand time.




visual timer HD

Visual Time HD: $2.99 
Visual Timer HD is a timer which slowly uncovers a stunning photo over time. The time chimes when the time is up. The timer can be set quickly by controlling a slider and/or plus and minus buttons for adding or subtracting minutes and it includes a digital representation of the remaining time.


Visual countdown timer

Visual Countdown Timer: $2.99 
A digital timer that shows the elapsed time clearly and is easy to use. You can countdown from any duration. It uses the full screen of the iPhone/iPod touch without any additional clutter while running. It helps to better visualize the concept of time, useful for example during an oral exam or to teach time to kids.





Kiddy Timer

Kiddy Timer: FREE
Kiddy Timer is the perfect time management tool for parents, and teachers to monitor children’s daily activities. This is a beautiful, easy-to-use, functional timer. Simply add child’s photo, name and select up to 4 timers that fit your child’s age and daily schedule.



waitstripsWaitstrips: $0.99 
The Waitstrip provides a concrete visual representation of increments of time, amount of steps to be completed, number of minutes to work, number of math problems to be completed etc. It is a visual guide that allows an individual to remain on task or focused for a duration of time.

Hope you find one that you want to try out!

Maths apps for primary schools


Following on from my last post, passing on what I have learnt from Kelly Rexine’s blog, he posted about some Maths apps that I thought could be useful as our school is getting more and more into ipads.

Although if they all cost to buy, the apps will need to be very good to purchase and install on multiple devices!!

Mystery Math MuseumFUN MATH PRACTICE: Your mission: Help a friendly and curious little ghost rescue the dragonflies that are hidden in Mystery Math Museum. Players use math skills to unlock rooms and Mystery math museumpassages on their epic journey. Along the way, you can also earn talking portraits for your Gallery. Every picture has a story to tell and the colorful cast of characters in the museums have plenty to say. Costs $2.99




Alien Buddies – (for pre-school) – Packed with four engaging activities (matching, puzzles, dot to dot and stickers) with varied difficulty levels and visual and audio modes to reinforce colors, shapes, numbers and letters for ages 3-7.  Cost $1.99alien buddies app





Marble MathSolve a variety of math problems by collecting numbers as you roll or drag your marble through a series of fun mazes for ages 9-12 and up. Costs $2.99 marble math app

Marble math Junior Solve a variety of math problems by collecting numbers as you roll or drag your marble through a series of fun mazes for ages 5-8 (with audio questions for emerging readers). Costs $2.99

Marble Math LiteSolve a variety of multiplication problems by collecting numbers as you roll or drag your marble through a series of fun mazes. For ages 6 and up. Costs FREE

marble math lite app