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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Word Magnets

Nik Peachey recently blogged about Word Magnets, a site I was instantly attracted to for teaching MFL. Basically this site enables you to make movable word labels without needing to use an IWB. The main drawback is that you can't save what you have done.

I wanted to use this to practise the perfect tense with Year 8, so saved a series of sentences in Word, for quick copying into the Word Magnets site during the lesson. I started off with just one short sentence at a time, then by the end of the lesson copied the whole of the text in and got students to form their own sentences from the vocabulary available. By then, it looked like this:

Word Magnet Example

I love the fact you can make the labels larger and colour code them do easily. Although you need to set this up ready for the lesson as it can't be saved, it actually turned out to be quite an advantage to do it in front of/with the students, as they were involved in thinking through which words were to be coloured and why.

I'm looking forward to using this now with all my classes and letting them have a go themselves setting challenges for partners in the ICT room.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Gifted and Talented Blog

Long time no blog, I know. Well actually, I have been blogging, just somewhere else. I've been running an experimental after-school club for students identified as G&T in KS3 over the last half-term, and (of course) decided to plan and run the whole thing using a new blog (whose name may seem familiar) at
As ever, it has been really convenient to have all my resources together, all the more so because I am running the club in parallel with a colleague, so it is very convenient to be able to put all our ideas and materials in one place.
Parental involvement (or at least liason) has been high on our list of priorities, so we have contacted everyone involved with the blog address and are trying to encourage them to follow the sessions (lesson plans are on the blog as well as materials) and have a go at some of the activities themselves. I'll find out next week how many had a go at "Einstein's problem" over Christmas.
So far we have looked at values, and logical and lateral thinking, and our next session will be Russian/Japanese tasters. After that I plan to get students establishing their own blogs, and practising how to use online networks and communities to further their interests and learning.