More Loom Band Maths!

June 22, 2014

Everyone is going Loom Band crazy in class!Don’t forget to make your bracelets look really smart, use a repeated pattern or a symmetrical pattern. Work out how many bands you need and then lay out your bands before you start. Here’s a couple of ideas that will also help you practise counting in 2s and 3s. Share your creations and how you practise your Maths while using Loom Bands as comments below.

How about using groups of 10? Here’s two ideas.

photo 1 photo 2

Basic Loom Maths

June 10, 2014

In Maths we have been making basic loom bracelets. We measured our wrists and then worked out how many bands we needed to make the bracelets. In the basic bracelet each band is folded over and measures slightly less than 1cm, we worked out that for ever 5 centimetres we would need 6 bands. Our bands are based on the colours of the World Cup country we are learning about. We all tried to create a pattern which was more interesting than a basic single repeated pattern. Just like when we learn to do other things in Maths, there are different ways to create the bracelet. Mrs Fisher demonstrated how to use a hook to create them and Finn showed us how to use your fingers to make them. Some of us found it extremely tricky, others found it easier and were then able to help a friend. Lots of us experienced what it was like in the ‘learning pit,’ but we persevered and kept trying. Next we are going to learn how to create the fishtail bracelet and then we are going to start to work out the costs of making the bracelets, as well as creating loom maths problems.

Loom Maths!

June 7, 2014

I have noticed that many of you are really keen on making loom bracelets at the moment! So next week we are going to use them to help us in our Maths.

Here is a quick problem to get you thinking. I have created the sum on the looms and then moved one band. Now the sum is wrong! Can you work out the band I moved and the correct sum?

loom maths_4

We will be creating more Maths problems like this and also designing bracelets for our World Cup teams!

Symmetry, shape and logical thinking.

May 23, 2014

It’s been a really busy week with lots of interesting booklets for the children to complete. The children have worked incredibly hard and they should all be feeling proud of their efforts and achievements.

In the afternoons we enjoyed PE outside in the sunshine and our tennis skills are improving with practise.

We also enjoyed an afternoon of Maths activities, exploring symmetry, shape and logical thinking. In the video below, you will see the circuit of activities we followed.

  • Building using straws and plastic connectors, looking at 2D and 3D shapes and working together to create a final huge shape sculpture.
  • Creating a symmetrical picture using 2D shapes and flipping them over the line of symmetry.
  • Using LEGO to create symmetrical sculptures.
  • Playing Rush Hour, a brilliant game for developing logical thinking. ( See the link in a previous post and also available as an iPad app)

I hope everyone has a brilliant Half Term holiday. I am not sending home the Learning Logs as I know quite a few of the children are going away on holiday; however, please do try to read daily, achieve your weekly Mathletics Certificate and enjoy Bug Club and Purple Mash, especially if you get a rainy morning or afternoon! You can post comments on the blog or email me, if you want to tell everyone about what you have been busy doing.

Have a wonderful break. From all Team 2F ūüôā

Making shapes with straws.

May 10, 2014

Using straws and thin garden wire the children explored shapes. They had to carefully cut the straws, thinking about how many sides needed to be the same length and how many sides the 2D shape had, or edges the 3D shape needed. First we worked on 2D shapes, creating triangles, rectangles and squares. Having made the 2D shapes, we converted them into 3D shapes, thinking carefully about how many edges the shape needed.
We used garden wire, so that it was possible to cut it with scissors and we could use our fingers to twist it together, but this made our shapes flexible, so we saw that if the angles (corners / vertices) were not right angles then the shape would not be a cube, cuboid, square or rectangle.
The children really enjoyed the activity, if you have some straws and thin wire at home, I’m sure they would enjoy showing you how they did it and seeing if they could create some more shapes or wire them together into a shape sculpture.

The Education Show NEC March 22nd 2014

March 23, 2014

For years a weekend camping at Kingsbury Water Park and evenings at the Dog and Doublet have been part of the visit to The Education Show, but this year with Sports Relief on the Friday and my friends from The Puppet Company making the decision not to show, it was a quick day trip. A hectic, but fun day at school had left me needing my stick to walk and having virtually no voice, but the trip was definitely worth the effort.

A twitter friend, @TaffTykeC described the show as ‘Toysrus for Teachers!’ I think that is a good description, not a penny of my birthday cash was left by the time I got my bags back to the car and I wondered if I really did need to buy all those green gel pens!

The former seminars, that once you had to book and pay for, have long gone and now they are open and noisy to present in. Most of them on the Saturday were organised it seemed by Scholastic, but they were excellent seminars to listen to information about the new 2014 curriculum. I sat and took in the sessions on Literacy, Maths and ICT, at the end of each session we were given a bag with a copy of the National Curriculum and a Planning Guide for the subject.

The Literacy Session focused on the higher expectations around grammar and punctuation and was led by Babcock Education. I was impressed enough to have bought the Sentence Toolkit book on Amazon this morning!

The highlight for me was listening to @stevebunce presenting his seminar on ICT and the 2014 curriculum. It was such a whistle stop tour of information that I only managed to jot down a few notes, but every sentence had another fascinating link, website or app.

The gems I noted were –

This is a brilliant video that Steve shared to talk about algorithms! Actually made me feel that they could be fun.

All in all it was a brilliant day out and it was good to see it busy. I have to say that the Memorablia / Comic Cult exhibiton in the next hall looked equally fascinating and the array of costumes worn by the people going to that made the teaching crowd look very tame! Hobbicraft was on as well! I really could have done with a weekend at the NEC!

Today – feet up, keeping quiet, marking and planning and looking through all my carrier bags with yesterday’s goodies in! (and blogging!)

Partitioning and place value.

March 8, 2014


We have been looking at how we can partition (split) numbers in different ways. Like everything we learn, some of the children have grasped this concept and were partitioning 3 digit numbers (hundreds, tens and units) whilst others just needed a little more time to really understand our learning. We found using our LEGO 10s and units really helped us to SEE what what happening. Here we have selected 6 tens and 5 units and recorded the number 65, we have partitioned 65 into 60 + 5.


The children then moved a 10 LEGO piece across to join the units and could see that 50 + 15  also made 65 when they pushed the bricks back together. You can see we then went on to split the number 65 in lots of different ways.

This is a simple Maths resource you can make at home by sticking LEGO bricks together to create a 10 stud (2×5) piece.

We have also created some 100 plates to help the children visualise their work with 3digit numbers! ‘SEEING’ and ‘DOING’ our Maths really helps us to understand it.


Education Innovation Show. #EICE

March 1, 2014

Last year this show was on for 3 days, but this year it was condensed into 2 days, but I was lucky enough to be allowed out of school to attend on Friday. It’s very different to BETT, much smaller but the seminars that I listened too made the journey to Manchester well worth it. The show is less busy and the less hectic atmosphere gave me time to reflect on my practise.

Here’s a brief synopsis of my day.
10.20-10.50 – Whose Curriculum is it anyway?

This was a presentation about the new computing curriculum. Basically the message seems much the same as what I have found when I’ve looked at the Maths. It gives scope and flexibility, it is less prescriptive but it does drive us to have higher expectations. It sets out the objectives – but without the structures. Never having learned anything about computers or ICT when I was at school (Maths with a slide rule!) it’s a steep learning curve to be tackled, but a challenging and exciting one.
The changes in terminology make somethings sound more complicated than they really are, for example using Bee Bots is an example of algorithms. (I had to leave this seminar before the end, to get to the next one!)

10.40 -11.10 – Latest Technology Enhancing Learning.
Mat Walker (NFER),Paul Hynes (SSAT),and Professor Richard Noss. (IoE)

With 3 speakers in 30 minutes, my notes are sketchy! But I know it was good stuff and I will google the presenters.

Paul Hynes spoke of his experience at George Spencer Academy where their pupils bring their own devices to school. he shared with us the pros and the cons and gave great food for thought. His students bring any device, they have an open wifi and his teachers have control of when the devices are used and the pupils respect this. A good piece of advise was to conduct a survey to get a clear understanding of what devices the pupils actually have and might bring into school.

He talked about how focusing on Apps can be limiting as not all pupils will be able to use them on their devices – look for websites that do the same or similar things.

Matt Walker from NFER gave us a whistle stop tour through some of his research. He discussed the Games Based Learning report which shows an increased level of confidence, motivation and engagement and also helped to develop skills for problem solving. However the evidence was mixed in terms of impact on attainment.

Following these 2 talks I wandered round the stands, obviously taking time to enjoy the LEGO education stand and the 2Simple stand! (My personal favourites) I gathered a good selection of freebies, pens, highlighters and more impressively  , a clock, rubrics cube and best of all a small bag of LEGO, complete with a few witches hats, cats, spiders and people! A quick stop for refreshments and back to seminars.

1.00 – 1.30 An audience with the world. ‘Deputy’ David Mitchell.

I’ve listened to David Mitchell talk on several occasions, so I sought of know the rhetoric, but still it inspires me. He speaks with such passion that I always come away wanting to do more with my blog and to learn more. His point about getting an audience is hard, is very true, and yet it is the belief that there will be an ¬†audience that makes blogging so powerful in inspiring children to write.

With the hype around the Tour de France, I had missed the fact that the World Cup is on this year, and was really interested in the way he had used this in his blogging.

So this morning, fired up, reinvigorated and inspired – I’ve put a QR code on our class blog and I’ve set up a class Twitter account! @2F-FFPS ! Thank, David ūüôā

Following this I found a seminar that I hadn’t even spotted in the guide!

iPad inspired – with Craig Rulton, an Apple Educator from JTRS. (Journey to realise solutions)

This was a real whistle stop tour through some brilliant APPs – even those that I knew about, he showed in different ways. He talked briefly about the work of Rubens R Puentedura, and a quick search this morning points to some very interesting reading to be done – also around TPACK, which he skimmed over.

Here are quick bullet points from his talk – each one really deserves some time spent on looking at the idea / APP in more depth, everything that Craig showed was inspiring and he could talk about how it actually worked in a class environment.

  • Quixey¬†– a search engine for finding APPs by functionality.
  • Paint a wall green for a green screen area – simple, but awesome idea. Use Greenscreen Movie Effects (iPhone) app
  • Book creator – I’ve used it, but again it was modelled by an expert!
  • Explain Everything – I have it and haven’t used it – now I must!
  • Tellagami¬†– what an awesome APP – downloaded it and ready to play now!
  • ImotionHD¬†– APP for time lapse pictures.
  • Puppet pals – we have this – I must use it!
  • Make Dice¬†– editable dice – so many ways to use this.
  • Decidenow¬†– a spinning wheel to edit.

After the seminar I visited the jtrs stand. They will come and lead a staff meeting for 1 hour for FREE!

On their stand I watched a demonstration of

  • Nearpod – children sign in and you can share a session.
  • Slice – free video editing – simpler than iMovie. (apparently)

I finished the day of with a final seminar by Russell Prue.

3.15 -3.45 Survival PLan for educators wanting to use the latest Tech in teaching.

This final keynote speech was by Russell Prue, I was so engaged I could hardly jot anything down, but brilliantly he told the audience he was going to share the presentation, so I just relaxed, listened and was inspired.

Here is a link to his presentation at

It was a brilliant talk to listen to at the end of what was a throughly enjoyable and inspiring day.

Definitely worth putting EICE in the diary for next year and hopefully the number of stands will grown, but for now, the speakers alone make it worth going to. Many thanks to all involved. ūüôā


BETT 2014

January 26, 2014


This is the 4th time I’ve been to BETT and each time I’ve been I’ve come away absolutely ‘buzzing.’ I jotted notes down on my iPad throughout the days, so here they are with a few links added in. There was so much more than these brief notes can possibly cover and much of the time I was simple too absorbed to record anything. Loraine came with me but we wandered the hall separately and then would keep meeting up to compare notes and listen to speakers together.

Of course 2 days of the show had passed so we had missed many other great sessions but I shall check some of them out online. Gove’s opening speech is here¬†


The 1st session we attended was Let’s get ‘appy- How the ‘app generation’ use apps to extend learning.

A superb presentation by Tim Handley and 4 of his pupils, Adam, Emily, Bayleigh and Cameron. These year 5 & 6 children spoke so eloquently about the apps they used and the slides with examples of their work were very impressive.
Here are most of the apps they mentioned-
Pic collage
Brain pop
Glow burst
Number run.
Operation math
Daydream education times tables
Motion maths
Story starters
Shake n’tell
Action movie fx
Sumo paint, be funky, pixlr
Storybuddy 2
Explain everything.
Sound cloud

Most of the apps listed were enthusiastically talked about by the children, while some were also added by Tim, but I was so engaged by their presentation that I simply jotted the list down for me to explore later.

Also mentioned were the links below
YouTube for school.

They also talked about home engagement through apps and the children were asked about which apps they choose to use at home. Apps such as Minecraft were mentioned – but the children also said that they enjoyed using the apps they used at school at home too.


Later in the afternoon I went to listen to the Ketnote speech by Randulph Fiennes – Beyond the limits.

I was just too enraptured by his talk to actually jot any notes down. But finished the session with just a sense of awe at what a person can achieve with determination and drive. A truly inspirational character, it felt a privilege to listen to his speech.


In the evening we attended the World’s largest Teachmeet.

I love teachmeets and am always inspired by what I hear. This was over 650 teachers together on a Friday evening to share their learning, experiences and inspirations.
It was impossible to take many notes, again I was just too absorbed – but the list below I will explore and expand on in ¬†time. I’m sure there will be links to some of the talks that will appear on twitter over the next few days and I’ll add them in then.

Classtools – lots of useful tool for teachers.

amplified impact -through the use of a blog.

Mark Anderson – socrative, Edmodo, showbie, class dojo, class, NearPod, Padlet, Linoit,
Record tripping
My pop studio
Alligator algorithms

Check out these links for more from TeachMeet ( I’ll add more as I find them)

Always when I attend a Teachmeet I sign up to talk – it seems that when so many people share such brilliant ‘stuff,’ I should try and give a little back. The speakers are chosen at random and this time there were more speakers than the time allowed so I never got to share my stuff ¬†– but here’s the link to the bit I was going to use on the screen and I was going to talk about the fact that in this world of exciting technology we mustn’t forget the importance of building relationships and the simple things which mean so much – like a welcoming smile.

Time at the end of a long day to eat, drink, relax and have a good natter with Loraine. SO good to have a friend to share thoughts of the days with.

Saturday – back again for more inspiration!


Went to a session on BYOD to school  by Drew Buddie. @digitalmaverick

A really informative session and the offer of more information which Drew will email on.

Notes jotted in session below –
Scoop it Рapp    Integrate this with twitter

horizon report 2012 k-12 report  MNC
Shows you what they think is going to be important in schools.
Whole host of rational behind why  device use is important

Kobe Catholice College – Australia
1st school in the world to have mobile 1:1 devices.

School reputation is everything – and on rotten apple can spoil it- so it needs careful planning and monitoring.

V strong e safety policy.

When not being used- ‘apples up’ they kee p it on the desk but with the ‘apple’ up.
Diversity of technology –
Microsoft devices can decide to update, apple you have control of when you want to update.
You would need to be planning ahead and letting children know that the apps they would be using.
Can you insist on iPads?
Explain everything – nothing as good on tablets other than iPads.
Good lighting in an area of the classroom for taking photographs of children work. Use a black paper behind or use a scanning app.

Cramlington  learning village  Рfantastic examples of using technology.

Biggest nightmare can be wifi – never under estimate the importance of a really strong wifi.
All staff iPads must have passwords on their devices and it must be in the policy.
Robust E- safety policy essential for BYOD

Mixed devices is a problem.
List the functionality of the apps you need and will use in class.

The final session I attended was-
The Great Education Debate – Can technology ever replace the classroom?

Again it was time for listening rather than note taking, the panel discussing the subject were really engaging and I know that they will post about their ideas on their websites.

Tim Rylands – check out his site for a good summary of the debate. 

Futurologist – Anne-Lisa Kjaer (Kjaer Global) – check out this link for an interesting insight into the key trends that will influence education.

Maggie Philbin
Tech should make individual learning possible.
Uk digital skills taskforce – goes live next week & will be seeking to find out about how technology is used.

Best teaching¬† doesn’t always use technology.
Lots of technology doesn’t necessary mean its good teaching.
It’s about how it’s used.
Deep human connection.


Beyond the presentations there is of course a huge hall of exciting products and companies to visit and I wandered up and down the aisles until my feet ached. It was amazing to see the 3D printers churning out some intriguing objects, but I didn’t even stop to enquire about the cost of them!
All sorts of projectors and IWBs – ¬†projectors that beam the image onto the floor as an interactive mat, tables that acted as huge screens and all kinds of tablets and storage devices. So much ‘stuff’ that you imagine that some schools must have won the lottery or something!

My top three stands 

  • ¬†Mathletics / 3P learning – no surprise there! Spoke with Jane Warburton the CEO in UK and Tim Powers the CEO from Australia – it was like meeting Mathletics royalty. As always they are right on the ball and their Maths Curriculum is upgrading to reflect the 2014 curriculum.
  • LEGO– again no surprise! Loved their new story writing sets for KS1 If I had the purse strings I would definitely invest in this – but I can feel a visit to the LEGO shop coming on and I shall have to devise my own version! National Schools Partnership has produced an excellent resource for story writing based on the new LEGO movie which is being released over half term. We were planning to use these resources in class and seeing the LEGO store has just added to my enthusiasm¬†
  • 2Simple/ Purple Mash¬†I’ve missed not having Purple Mash SO much- but now I’ve seen the advances that have been made to it in the last couple of years and it is more awesome than ever! It gives children a complete package of creative tools which would enhance every area of the curriculum. All their work is saved on the cloud so children can work on their work at home and at school. Most of it is ipad compatible and there is a coding program that would take children on a progressive journey from Yr 1 through to 6. Teachers can now leave feedback online for the children. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†All in all it is just a truly amazing product… ¬†I SO want at least a 30day trial of Purple Mash and I would lead a staff meeting on it, while we book a session for the Purple Mash expert to come in when there’s a space in his diary.

2 inspiring days and now I need to look at lots of the links, try out new apps and reflect on what I’ve learned….. and visit the LEGO store today!

Maths for Breakfast.

January 18, 2014

We have had lots of fun estimating how much a bowl of cereal weighs and then carefully weighing the cereal in grams. We estimated how much milk went on a bowl of cereal and then used the measuring jugs and cylinders to find out how many millilitres we actually used. The children then ate the cereal and measured the milk left. We used rulers to explore the height and width of the different boxes. Everyone filled in a voting slip about their favourite cereals and the children used this information to create tally charts and bar charts. On the final day of our project ¬†we weighed all the cereal we had left over and then the children enjoyed some cereal together. We then worked out how much cereal we had left at the end of the project. We’ve learned a lot about measuring and the different units we use.

I’m sure the children have been exploring the weight, length and capacity of items at home to complete their Learning Log tasks.