Thursday, 23 May 2013

Revision Lesson - Hop Around Cards

Here is a great kinesthetic-type revision activity to go with the MindMeld project I have been working on. Hop Around Cards is an idea I picked up after spotting something similar on the teach-ict website. Click on the image to download the pdf. Instructions on how to use the cards are contained within. Please let me know if you get around to using them.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Badges, Stickers and Achievement Points

During the course of this academic year I've become increasingly unhappy with the way I'm using rewards and praise. So I decided a complete reboot was required!

A few years ago I used @SchoolStickers. Looking back, I see that if pester-power is the gauge of a good rewards and praise system, then stickers were a great motivational tool. At the moment, my school uses Achievement Points which are logged on SIMS. The problem is, I am experiencing zero pester-power which, I believe, is a reflection of the effectiveness of SIMS-based achievement points.

So, what to do about it? Looking around, there's some interesting stuff on Open Badges and  Class Badges but I've been unable to see how I can easily integrate these into my teaching. I've been inspired by the way @MissPhilbin is using digital badges with Google Apps and @MrAColley has some great ideas for badges in his blog.

What I'm describing here is very much a work in progress - something which I'm looking to put in place for September 2013. What is emerging is a system which tries to take the best of Digital Badges, Stickers and Achievement Points. Firstly, I will get the @SchoolStickers (I have no affiliation to them) design team to produce a set of Achievement Point stickers/badges. All stickers contain a unique code which students can log online - a key motivational element. Rough drafts are shown below:
Achievement Points Badges/Stickers
In addition, each half-termly unit of work will have its own bronze, silver and gold badge/sticker - bronze for Year 7 and gold for Year 9. Below are some rough drafts for the Blogging sticker. This would be given out to students who produce the best Google Apps e-portfolios describing their work for a particular unit:  
Gold, Silver and Bronze Stickers/Badges for Blogging
As I've stated, this is a work in progress. Please let me know if you have any ideas or opinions on the kind of rewards and praise system that is evolving here.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Connections Word Wall

Just like the Missing Vowels game, this Connections Word Wall game was inspired by @VictoriaCoren and @OnlyConnectQuiz. The activity also started as an attempt to promote literacy in Computing through a targeted DART (Directed Activity Related to Text) activity.

There are a variety of ways of tackling the Connections Word Wall with a class:
1. Delete everything except slide 2, then let the class sort the wall individually using PowerPoint
2. Print multiple copies of slides 2 and 3. Cut up slide 2 so that all the words are separated. The class can then sort the wall individually or in pairs.
3.Print slides 4-19 and tape them under random seats. Draw a 4x4 grid on the whiteboard. Let the 16 students with the words work as a team to sort the wall at the front of the class.
4.My favourite gets everyone in the class involved. Start by drawing two 4x4 grids in the room - use whiteboards, pinboards, flip charts, the floor etc. Print 2 copies of slides 4 -19 and share them amongst the class. Students can then work as a team to sort the 2 word walls.

The Connections Word Wall is great as a starter or plenary. It is easily adapted to any subject. Take a look at the activity and let me know what you think.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Converting Between Binary and Hexadecimal

Here is the latest in my series of 60 second Computing videos. This is a short tutorial on how to convert between binary and hexadecimal. To see the full list of videos mapped against the OCR GCSE Computing syllabus go to 60SecondMindMeld website.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Missing Vowels Game

This missing vowels game was inspired by @VictoriaCoren and @OnlyConnectQuiz. The activity started as an attempt to promote literacy in Computing through a targeted DART (Directed Activity Related to Text) activity. It does just that by removing the vowels from the 10 key words displayed, leaving students to fill the gaps. Great as a starter or plenary. Easily adapted to any subject. Take a look at the activity and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Adding Binary Integers

I've been continuing my look at the OCR GCSE Computing syllabus and specifically 2.1.4: Representation of Data in Computer Systems. Here is a worksheet and video that I hope you'll find interesting. For further videos, worksheets and posters, and to see them mapped against the OCR syllabus, visit the 60SecondMindMeld website.