Teacher’s Pet

Teacher’s Pet launched in March 2010, and is definitely a site to watch.  With its clean, crisp design, Teacher’s Pet already has over a hundred KLA specific resources to use in your classroom.  The best thing about them is that …. you guessed it ….. they are FREE! :-) (although there seems to be plans to release curriculum packs you can purchase in the future)

As well as the usual free printable PDF’s. Teacher’s Pet will also house interactive resources for you computers and IWB’s as well as music. Whilst many sections still bear the ‘coming soon’ message, the quality of the resources that have been uploaded to date seems to be quite high.  Definitely one to keep an eye on ;-)  Join Teacher’s Pet on Twitter or Facebook to stay up-to-date.  Don’t forget to check out Dexter’s Doghouse blog for the latest news as well.

Twinkl, Twinkl – What a fabulous resource you are!

I am pleased to announce that there is another Sparklebox alternative called Twinkl.

Twinkl picks up where Sparklebox left off, and has a huge range of resources that will delight the lower school teacher.  The resources are all very colourful, well set out and visualy appealing to their target audience.   From classroom labels to word study resources, there is a growing list of timesaving resources for your classroom. 

 

As the site is still in Beta version, there are some ‘holes’ in the site where resources are still under development.  But don’t despair ….. another great thing about the site is that you are able to suggest a resource and also sign up to the page to be notified when new resources are added.  How fantastic that the resources will come to you! 

Have a look today and see what FREE resources you can find to brighten up your room! ;-)

Move over wordle … Tagxedo is here!

As you may have noticed I am quite a fan of the wordle site, and the ways of which it can be incorporated into the classroom. Recently, I was contacted by the creator of another word cloud site to trial their version. The site is called Tagxedo, and whilst similar to Wordle in some aspects, it takes word clouds to a whole new level.

With Tagxedo, the creator can now select a shape or word to help form the word cloud. You can even upload your own images for full customisation. The possibilities for use in the classroom just tripled!!! I am so excited with what can be created now. Below are just a few examples of what can be created for use in your classrooms:

Why does Tagxedo stand out:

  • Highly interactive (no server round-trip)
  • Fast cloud generation time
  • No registration required
  • Custom shapes
  • Image as shapes
  • Words as shapes
  • Powerful layout engine (very nice shape hugging)
  • Lots of fonts
  • Accepting user-uploaded fonts
  • Save to image files (Png or Jpeg)
  • History view (see all “versions” and pick the one you like)

Below is a classroom display I made for my husbands year 6 classroom this morning that incorporated 3 fantastic resources (all listed in this blog!):  Tagxedo, Block Posters, Punched Out Font.  Quite effective so far!

As always, please add comments on how you used Tagxedo in your classroom so we can share our ideas and work smarter – not harder!

Build Your Wild Self!

This fun site, Build your Wild Self, allows you to create a picture of your self ….. if you had gone wild!  Before you get too excited, we’re not talking about THAT kind of wild :-P

This site, by the New York Zoos and Aquariums, allows you to create a version of yourself with wild animal body parts.  You could have the ears of an African Elephant, the tail of a leopard, the wings of a butterfly etc etc.  Here is an example that my four year old created (of himself):

My little man had great fun being in-charge of his ‘wild self’, and questioned me about every animal part that he selected (quite the work out for mummy!).  It struck me that this would also be great to incorporate into the classroom.  You could:

  • Create characters to include in narratives
  • Create a class display board eg:  ‘Year 1M – Where the wild things are!’
  • Make characters and stick them onto paddle pop sticks to make puppets for students to create stories with (great for improving oral literacy!)
  • Students can use their ‘wild self’ picture to create all sorts of identifying things in the classroom (eg. book labels, chair tags, job chart characters etc)

When you finish creating your ‘ wild self’, the site gives you a name based on your selections, and a brief description how each of the animal parts will help you. 

Great fun for kids of all ages!

Punched out font – Classroom Display

Looking for a fun, new way to create a display in your classroom?  Why not try this ‘Punched Out‘ font to create 3D titles for your display board?  They also look fantastic just standing up on a desk/bookcase/shelf, or up against a window. 

Note from the author
This font is a set of cut-out layouts with which you can build 3D pixel style letters. They should all work. Just cut along the solid lines, fold along the dotted lines, put some glue on the shaded flaps, stick them together and there you go…

 

Suggested uses (apart from the obvious display board!):

  • If you are doing some stop motion animation, you could create your own Hollywood sign to have on your ‘set’!
  • Hang your letters from a wire to create a floating 3D display
  • Make a letter of the week display in the lower school
  • ummm ….. I think I’ll need some help.  Please leave a comment telling me how you would use the punched out font!

SparkleBox – Classroom Printables

**  PLEASE READ THE COMMENTS 
Then make your own decision about this site.  **

 

Though I am sure many of you have probably come across this great site previously, I thought I would mention it again – just in case you hadn’t!!  :) 

SparkleBox is an excellent site that provides high-quality downloadable resources to enhance your teaching, classroom displays and school environment.  All of the resources can be downloaded completely FREE (…don’t all teachers just LOVE that word!)!

Initially there were only resources for the UK’s  ‘Foundation’ and ‘KS1′ stages, but the site has been further developed recently to include resources for ‘KS2′ as well. 

An example of the resources available (KS2) are:

Take the time to have a look around.  There are literally thousands of resources to save you time!

Block Posters – Classroom Displays

Starting a new unit of work?  Want to engage the students straight away? Then consider the block posters website to help you out.  I first came across software such as this many years ago on a lifestyle program on pay tv (of all places) on a home makeover show.  They used a similar program to create a brilliant wall display where a picture of Yankee stadium was enlarged and each A4 sheet was put in a different frame – the frames then hung about a cm apart.  The result was stunning!  From then, I have always used the software to create displays in my classrooms. 

What the software does is basically enlarges any image you upload to whatever number of A4 pages you select.  You then generate a PDF document to print out and piece together like a puzzle. Simple – yet so effective!

Why not think a little outside the box about what you could use the site for in the classroom.  Some ideas I have done include:

  • Blow up an image to have as a background to a wonderings wall
  • Choose and image of the class to print out and stick on windows where you need to block light or view (ie. the teacher offices at my school)
  • Use an image of a mind map (eg. done in Kidspiration) to display in the classroom
  • Create an image of a blank mind map (with colourful blobs etc.) to hang and fill out later
  • Create a huge poster to be labeled as you progress through your unit (eg. picture of human skeleton)
  • Upload a BLM and hang to work on as a whole class
  • Create banners for special events such as sports days
  • Use the software to create backgrounds for school plays

The list goes on and on….

If you think of any new ways to use this software, please include them in the comments section so we can all share!

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