Hello Ruby: Adventures in computational thinking

“The kids of today, they tap, swipe and pinch their way through the world, but unless we give them tools to build with computers we are raising consumers, not creators” (Linda Liukas, TED Talk). I’ve recently purchased a great little picture book for my school,  called ‘Hello Ruby’ by Linda Liukas. The book was  not written to teach coding as it doesn’t teach specific programming languages. It was written to […]

How might you help students understand pi?

Many students can tell you that the numerical value of pi is  3.14… But do they understand what it actually means? Before I teach students what pi is, (for my Y5 higher achiever students), I give them an investigation to see if they can work it out for themselves. Firstly, they need some back ground knowledge. I explain that the circumference of a circle is its perimeter or length. The distance […]

Ideas For Teaching Middle Years Drama

Drama is such a fun curriculum subject to teach but for many it can be scary, as it may be out of your ‘comfort zone’. Admittedly I felt this way for several years and tried avoiding it. Then one year, I decided to embrace it and learn how to teach it. If you have the same feeling I had, my advice is to simply give it a go, you will […]

Ideas for teaching length

There are many different activities for teaching length. In this blog, I’m sharing a few tasks which not only work, but students actually enjoy. Broken Ruler: Andrea wanted to measure the length of the leaf she had collected for Science. All she could find was a broken ruler. She lined up the ruler and the leaf as shown below. a) Can you say how long the leaf is using the broken […]

Motivating students to want to learn

Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like. Firstly, treat your students the same as you’d like to be treated. Each year, on the first day I tell my students that I am not going to clap , whistle, put my hand up, ring a bell or chant to get their attention because if someone did that to me, I wouldn’t like it. I let them know that there is one […]

The Computer Science Field Guide

The Computer Science Field Guide is an online resource for teaching Computer Science to students. It is a New Zealand based project, providing  content in the form of text (both for students and guidance for teachers), images and interactives.  The project was formed because people often confuse computer science with programming. “Computer science is about tools and techniques for designing and building applications that are very fast, have great interfaces, […]

Teaching Secondary Math? Get on board with Mr Woo!

Eddie Woo is Head Teacher Mathematics at a public comprehensive high school in Sydney, Australia. Recently he has become a YouTube hit! How did it all begin? Unfortunately, Mr Woo had the experience of teaching a student a few years ago who was very ill and in and out of hospital regularly. He noticed that what the student craved, was to just feel normal, to do normal things, not have appointment […]

Four simple array tasks, which don’t require much preparation

An array is an arrangement of objects, pictures, or numbers in columns and rows. In mathematics, they are useful representations of multiplication concepts. For example, 3 x 4 = 12 can be shown in an array of 3 rows and 4 columns equals 12 in total.  There are many ways to teach arrays but here are four activities which students really enjoy. Teaching arrays idea 1: When you ask students to sit on the […]

Australian bush fire unit using Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook

This term I had to teach a unit on Australian bush fires as part of the Year 5 curriculum. The content descriptor is: The impact of bush fires or floods on environments and communities, and how people can respond (ACHASSK114) . Previously I have taught this unit with the help of a Microsoft SharePoint page which I created for the unit. I use SharePoint as it is our whole school’s learning […]

Unplugged coding: Sandwich algorithm

Unplugged coding lessons, allow you to teach the fundamentals of computer science without a computer. This style of  coding lessons were very popular about 3-4 years ago when the term ‘coding’ became the hot topic in education, and many schools had limited access to devices. However, as schools acquired greater access to devices,  I found that teachers weren’t letting go of the unplugged activities. I recall being on yard duty two […]