Archive for 2013

Pins I Love Part 1

Just thought saying as I use it a lot more id share the things I love on the blog. Hope they can create ideas and be of some help!

The first is an idea I am planning to use for our ICT day at the end of term to be displayed in the entrance way of the school. The second pin is an idea for our 3 Little Pigs topic in art, a nice collage of materials.

For these and more be sure to follow my pins below using the button :)

iPads in Primary Education - Persuasive Writing

Here is a 'guest' post I have found on iPad's in the classroom and how they can be used for persuasive writing at Key Stage 2. Definitely an idea I'm going to pass on to other teachers at school.

iPads in Primary Education: Using the App Store for Persuasive Writing: CONTEXT  This year all the pupils in year 6 are using their own iPod in lessons, and they all have their own blog space ( http://6aclas...

Using Apple TV and an iPad, the App Store was mirrored onto the Interactive Whiteboard. A screenshot of FIFA 2013 and The Room was opened in Skitch. The pupils were asked to highlight and identify language features of persuasive advertisements as the iPad was passed around the children used the highlight tool in Skitch to identify persuasive words, phrases and rhetorical questions. 

FIFA13: Persuasive language in the App Store

Buried Treasure

This is a fairly familiar game for most Early Years Teachers and one that is very popular with the children. The focus here is to sound out, read, sort in to real and fake words and discuss meaning of words. This is a very useful game in Year One leading up to the Phonics Screening Test and a discrete way of introducing those fake words.

Personally and excellent resource is PhonicsPlay which has a different game for each of the sounds meaning you don't always have to be thinking of words with today's sound. This particular game is free on Phonics Play but subscription is only £12 and I highly recommend. Below is a flash video of the game :) Enjoy!

Alternatively, you can download from Twinkl a custom version of the game that a group of children can work on or be set up as an independent activity.

Or to be even more impressive, get into character, grab a few resources and dress up as a pirate and get the children involved for some role play!

Rhyming Sing Along

With the new school term (fast) approaching, I found this awesome video for a rhyming pig song. The children enjoyed it. Excellent for The 3 Little Pigs topic!

Also another on Jolly Phonics from the big book.

Beginnings: How To Teach Phonics

Here is quite a useful early strategy I have found from another blog. Definitely worth a look, some excellent resources and ideas!

The blog can be found here and the article here. Fantastic work tamarind!

The following describes how I am teaching my boy phonics at home.

1. Arrange the at, an, ap, at in a row.

2. Teach the child how to read each of the 2 letter words. Then mix up the words :

I say a word "at", then ask my boy to pick up the correct word for me. I continue to say one word at a time until he picks up all the cards.

2. Then give the child one word, for example, "cat". Teach him to read the word, c - at, cat. Read this web page Make a word : AT to learn how to teach.

3. Then ask him to put the word "cat" in the same column as "at", as shown in this photo.

4. Then give him another word, for example, "fan". Teach him to read f - an, fan. Read this web page Make a Word : AN to learn how to teach.

5. Then ask him to put in the same column as "an".

6. As the child becomes more confident, give him a word, and let him put in the correct position without helping him.

7. You can mix up the words. Then say a word, like "can" and ask him to pick up the correct word. Continue until he picks up all the words. In this way, you can make sure that he is really paying attention and learning.


Some ICT resources for the masses!

This has been a recent discovery of mine and very time saving in the classroom. From previous experience it takes time making lollipop selectors, setting random groups, setting a group tally. Well this app, for your computer does it all with very little setup.

"A simple desktop app, packed full of innovative resources to enable you to quickly create engaging interactive learning." Triptico
One of my favourites in this app is the student selector, which with a swipe of the screen selects a random child. Very effective in a plenary to select a random piece of work! Also pretty helpful is the circle timer (does what it says on the tin), group scoring app and student group selector which quickly splits your class into groupings of your choosing! Very useful app from a fellow teacher, top work!

Site Footer

It is completely free to download the Triptico Plus app from this site. Many of the resources on the app are completely free for everybody to use, but there are some which are 'bonus resources' for Triptico Plus subscribers. Also you don't have to register! :)

Jolly Phonics Actions

Widely used in schools this poster may be of use to parents and other educators in order to match sounds to movement. Very useful for children at an early stage of development.

Give these guys a look up on their webpage or on twitter for further information.

Phonics Sounds

A useful video clip showing the correct pronunciation of phonemes from DfE.


Just a new post from me ... well really its from a favourite webpage of mine. Class Dojo (as mentioned before on here) is a revolutionary behaviour management software for the classroom that works. From personal experience it has made such a difference to both my classes I have had the pleasure of teaching.

These guys have just released a competition to get us back to school with a smile on our faces. 

We'd love to hear how you plan on using ClassDojo this school year! We're sending an iPad mini or Nexus 7 tablet to our favorites! Just answer the following question via Twitter, or a public Facebook post, and include the#ClassDojoLove hashtag, by Friday August 23rd: What learning habits, behaviors, or skills do you want to build with your students this year?

Small Steps

Just a quickie...

I have just passed 1000 views for the blog and as the title says its small steps to what I want to achieve. Here is to all that have helped and shared with the world!

Thanks again!

Purple Mash

Back Again!

Decided after the light of the BETT Learning Technology Event at the weekend I want to make you all aware of a piece of cloud software I have loved using in the classroom.

Became aware of this software a few years back as an individual CD-ROM through 2Simple To Create A Story which I have used in a Year One class to create a class story. Now this and much much more has been put online as a cloud software meaning schools can purchase for around £600 and access a wealth of applications which will cost much more on CD-ROM. Lets face it, its the way most ICT is heading nowadays!

"2simple was started in 2000 by teachers and IT professionals with a common mission: to make software that really helped children learn. Their software is simple, easy to use and relevant.

Their first program, the Infant Video Toolkit, was written specifically to help children from the ages of 4 to 7 develop basic core computer skills. The suite of six programs contains simple painting, publishing, counting, graphing, direction and branching database programs that are now used in schools across the UK as well as internationally.  Since the release of the Infant Video Toolkit they have created many more programs based on the same principles."

I recommend this software to anyone and I am looking into fundraising in order to purchase for our school. I particularly love the 2 Publish app, very good for basic computer skills in typing, mouse control and paint.

My only downside is that the font can sometimes be confusing with the Arial font - the 'a' bringing the most confusion as we tend to write it differently.

All in all an excellent piece of software!!


All Things Phonics #4 Parents


Recently we decided in school over the Christmas holidays to send home some phonic resources to parents. This included a letter explaining about what we do, a phase appropriate sound mat and a set of tricky words. I figure this is the best place to start blogging, so giving it to the world!

What is Phonics?

Phase 1 - 5 Sound Mats (

Combined Phase 2 & 3 Sound Mats - Sound Mat, Letters and Sounds, DfES Letters and Sounds, Phase 2, Phase two, Phase three, Phase 3, Foundation, Literacy, Mnemonic Images

Tricky Word Bookmarks (

Phase 4 Tricky Word Bookmarks - Bookmark, Phase 4, phase four, Tricky words, writing aid, DfES Letters and Sounds, Letters and sounds, bookmark template, gift, present, reward, achievement


Avatar Ani-me!


Just wanted to share this, been looking at these for ages and really wanted one for myself. Those folks over at Twinkl have these avatars on their blogs and now they have an Avatar Creator! YAY!

Check me out! Now go and create your own!

Will be posting a lot more over the coming weeks from the folks at Twinkl. An excellent resource site for all Key Stages!

Enjoy :)

All Things Phonics #3 Mr Thorne


Another post from me, this time on a resource that I have found so useful. I have decided to break these websites down into individual posts in order to give them their limelight!

First up is Mr Thorne Does Phonics. This is available as both a website and a selection of inexpensive iPhone/iPad apps. I'll break these down and give you an insight.

Basically these have helped with my subject knowledge around phonics with certain letter sounds and also is a alternative medium for children to learn both during independent times in classroom or at home with parents. For teachers, this could also be an alternative medium to introducing a new sound, especially with those younger children through 'Geraldine the Giraffe'.

Thanks for reading.


Snow Day!

Well by my surprise, got out of bed this morning, then my phone rang, turns out it only had been snowing over night and school was closed! Specific instructions that teachers use the day as PPA time. Ill settle for that and proceeded to plan for next week, so literacy and phonics have been planned. 

Starting a Literacy unit that I don't enjoy ... poetry! Ahhhhh but think I have got it scouted out. Phonics is rather nice as were are beginning to look at alternate spellings. Really enjoying seeing the progress so far with my bunch of children!

All Things Phonics #2 Planning


This one is for all the teachers out there, but hey if you are a parent and this is useful, feel free to make use. Just thought I'd provide some sample planning that I use in my classroom. In Year One we do Phonics on a daily basic in quick 20 minute sessions. Usually takes place after registration in the morning. We make use of our shared TA but using her for a support group of children consolidating Phase 3 sounds, while myself and the other Year One teacher work on our Phase 5 group.

Below I have share an example of Phase 3 and Phase 5 group planning for the week.

Phase 3 Planning

Phase 5 Planning - Split Digraphs

All Things Phonics #1 Introduction


Think I am goings to do a bit of focus on Phonics. Being just qualified phonics was quite difficult to teach with very little input given at university other than a little theory. But what once was a little difficult I am now beginning to shine. Big focus being in Year One with the new reading test in Summer term, but alas it has made me see how children learn phonics and put it in to phonics.

Of the next few posts ill try to post some of the things that have helped me along the way, bit of planning and useful places to have a look. Feel free to get in touch with any suggestions!

Anyone else just have this book thrown at them?

Happy New Year!

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