Students Creating their Homework

In our second Smack Down the brief was ‘share an App or Program or Website that assists you with your home learning’. One of 6 x 7the websites that was shared was a French website called Apprendre Memoriser that that was made up of  short clips of cartoons or animations that told a story of each time table with the goal of helping children remember difficult times tables. While most students thought it was just a funny cartoon, I could see real connections with helping dyslexic students learn their timetables.

One of the kids said “Can we make some?”

“We just don’t have the time this week”

“It could be our homework”, said another.

So I replied, “Sure, but it is an optional homework task and you can choose how you want to present your stories”.

So far we have had two movies, a poster, a story and a picture book all telling the tale of a times table. It has been great to see the class challenge themselves to make improve animations, apply their creativity and to drive their own home learning.

The story below is…

Two cars were traveling too fast and lost control. The first car hit the 3 squashing it into a 2 and the second car hit the 7 causing it to break off and form a 1, thus 3X7 is 21.


iPad at interviews – Demonstrating Maths level through Apps

Just copied this from my class blog. It was a follow up blog post to share the Apps that we talked about at interviews.  Using the iPad, especially the Math Slide Apps, really demonstrated their place value and basic fact knowledge and have the parents a better understanding of their child’s level and next step.

Taken from

Maths Apps that we talked about at Interviews

Hello there all,
The other night at interviews there were a couple of iPad apps that we shared that I said  would add to the blog for reference so here we are.  Most of them also have the ability to be added to iPods and remember that the competition component of some of the apps can be removed by single player option and this will remove any stress around the new learning.

The there are 6 Math Slide Apps, four are free and all are fantastic. They are on the iPad and iPod/iPhone and are great visual ways to really understand what each number looks like ( in money, fingers, blocks or bundles of sticks) and they range from early stages to more difficult.

Maths Machine is free for Maori Language Week and is great for consolidating your counting in English and Te Reo.

Then we have School A-Z where I really like the Spelling Bee Component as you can add your own words and record your own voice reading the word for the test.
Mathletics is the last App and our passwords that have been sent home apply here – sadly this is an iPad only App.

How to learn about the Census with 7&8 year olds

It seems that every year when it comes time to ‘learn statistics’ we would survey the class and they would survey each other and the the data would be drawn into bar graphs and line graphs and pie charts and Excel graphs and colour pencils and Felt tip pens would add to the aesthetics  Words like sample and data and tally chart would all be part of the learning.

photo (43)

This year there was a change and an opportunity.  the opportunity was the news on Monday morning that a lady visited with a piece of paper to colour in called a centus (after a very quick discussion it was a form to fill out and called a census) and secondly we had been playing with the creation of Google forms.  Our first Google Form was shared with over Google+ and Twitter and was filled out by over 150 people; we learned things like…

  • 6% of the world do not like to read.
  • 3% live in a house (46)
  • No one is older than 69

…and lots of other facts that we eventually decided we not actually facts because our sample was not broad enough.

We talked about the census and why we have one and why it is important that it happens every few years and then one child asked if we could do one at school.  I replied “Why?” and then “How could we do that” and that set the challenge for them.

Through brainstorms, group discussions, voting and a Google form created on the IWB we came up with a survey or census that we were going to ask the whole school.  The reason why we would ask the whole school is so that our data would be real and be able to tell us something about our school like amount of boys in comparison to girls or ways we get to school and so on.

So then began the logistics and disruption (I love the word disruption when referring to learning) of taking a Netbook loaded with the survey into classes or under trees or where ever to survey the students.  We decided pairs so one could ask the student and one could record the answers.

It took a day to get around the 7 classes and we have missed a few kids, but the discussions and connections that were made by both the interviewers and interviewed were brilliant. The way they supported 5 year olds, and proved their ability to 11 year olds, built their confidence and the growth in the classes explanation and oral language was worth it alone.

Now that we have the data, it will be tomorrow challenge to take meaning from it and hopeful get some ideas of possible actions that could be taken as a result like consuming of fruits and vegetables or modes of transport to school, but that will be the kids
connections to make in the morning.census3