Mr Watson’s Place on the Web

Mr Watson’s place for ideas, resources and all things teaching!

Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category

Hiya People!

Posted by watseducation on December 13, 2009

I welcome myself back to this blog!

I have very sadly neglected it for a long time!

This is an update to say that Mr Watson’s New Place (The Newly Adjusted Blog) is now available!

Having left my previous job, I have transferred the contents of my old class blog to this new one (minus all the school references and photos naturally)

Check it out blog fans!

You might like it!

Mr W.

Posted in Cross Curricular, Fun Stuff, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Coughs, Colds, Flu and Feeling Urrrrgghhhhh!!

Posted by watseducation on January 8, 2009

OK, this one is just for fun!

I confess that I stole it from another highly reputable education blog – Sorry Andy!

But I thought it was really good – and definitely worth doing!

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Learn about germs and colds with the help of Suki Sneeze and Nathan Noseblow and find out how tissues can help prevent colds from spreading at Sneezesafe.

Order free tissues from Kleenex® to support the Sneezesafe programme!

Kleenex are happy to provide nursery and primary schools with free samples of tissues to give staff all the tools they need to teach correct tissue use.

You will receive a pack of two boxes of tissues and 30 individual pocket packs to give out to your pupils.

You can request free samples twice per school year.

Simply complete the online and press ‘Submit’ – your sample packs will be sent direct to your school.

—————————–

All in the name of product placement – I am sure they are concerned genuinely for our health, as long as we buy their tissues!

Mr W.

Posted in Fun Stuff, Science, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mind Soccer – Power Teaching Game

Posted by watseducation on January 5, 2009

Not my idea but I recieved it in an e-mail from Classroom Power – it has come from Chris Biffle via Teachmaster J at Classroom Power (See the link on an earlier post).

I just thought it sounded great fun and would share!

New Power Teaching Game- Mind Soccer!

The following is an excerpt from a post by Chris Biffle on a fantastic new learning game that can be used at any level:

“Mind Soccer is a hilarious new in-class game, inspired by Fred Jones, a classroom management expert, but souped up with special Power Teaching features.

Use Mind Soccer to review any course material. Your students will love the game so intensely that you can use it as a reward for good behavior (or as a reward that they earn on the Power Teaching Scoreboard.)

Purpose: Like soccer, Mind Soccer is played between two teams. The purpose of the game is to score goals. Goals are scored by quickly answering questions posed by the referee.

Rules: There is only one rule in Mind Soccer. Keep The Referee Happy. You’re the Referee.

Equipment: A blackboard, an eraser and a set of short answer, often one word, review questions that you have created. You will be reading questions from this list; arrange them in groups from easiest to hardest.

The Set Up: Draw a horizontal line, about six feet long, near the bottom of your blackboard. Mark off the line in 11 equidistant vertical marks. The horizontal line stands for a soccer field; each end of the line is a soccer goal; the vertical marks divide the field into units (like a football field). Place an eraser under the vertical mark in the middle of the field. The eraser is the soccer ball.

How To Play:
1. Divide the class into two teams. We’ll use boys against girls, but it could be right side of the class against left side, etc.

2. Each team chooses the other team’s captain.

3. To start the game, the captains stand face to face at the front of the room. You pose one of your review questions and, just as in “Family Feud”, the captains slap their hands down on a desk as quickly as possible if they know the answer. The captain who is quickest, gets the chance to answer. If the captain is right, his/her team gets the ball. Otherwise, the opposing team’s captain gets the ball.

4. Assume the girls’ team wins control. Picking one player at a time, ask review questions to the girls’ team. If the player’s answer is correct, loud, fast and with an energetic gesture, that counts as a “strong kick.” Advance the ball, the eraser, almost a full hash mark down the field toward the boys’ goal.

If the answer is correct but too quiet or slow or doesn’t have an energetic gesture, that is a “weak kick.” Advance the ball a short distance toward the boys’ goal. If the girls’ answer is wrong, shout “Turnover!” and now the boys’ team gets a chance to play. If you like a rowdy classroom, encourage teams to cheer when the ball is going their direction and groan when it isn’t. Thus, every time the ball moves, you’ll have cheering and groaning.

5. Use the following to add excitement to Mind Soccer:

Steal!: Whenever you, the Referee, want to reverse the direction of the game, shout “Steal!” This means the other team has suddenly gotten control of the ball. Of course, you will shout “Steal!” whenever you want to generate an intense amount of excitement … like when one team is very close to the goal and just about to score.

Foul!: Whenever one team or the other misbehaves in the slightest, complains about the ref’s call, anything, you shout “Foul!” As the Ref, you then have three choices. You can award control of the ball to the opposing team; you can move the ball up or down the field, penalizing one team or the other; or, most exciting, you can declare a Penalty Kick. (Encourage teams to cheer or groan as appropriate.)

Penalty Kick!: Move the ball to the first hash mark in front of the opposition’s goal. The attacking team chooses a kicker, usually the team captain. The defending team chooses a goalie, usually the team captain. Goalie and kicker face off in front of the room, like the initial kickoff. You state a question; the player who slaps a hand down first gets first try at the question. If the goalie is first and correct, the penalty kick is blocked. If the goalie is wrong, the penalty kick scores. If the captain is first and correct, the penalty kick scores. If the captain is first and wrong, the penalty kick is blocked. If a goal is scored, the scoring team shouts “Gooooooaaaaalll!!!” like Andres Cantor, the famous Mexican announcer.

Free Ball!
: Often in soccer, neither team is in control of the ball. When you shout “Free Ball!”, anyone on either team can answer. Fire questions at your students; when one side gets several questions in a row correct, point at them and say, “You won the Free Ball!” Then start giving questions to individual players on the winning team.

Read The Ref’s Mind Free Ball!
: For hilarious excitement, say, “I’m thinking of a key concept we covered. Free Ball! Read my mind!” Both teams shout answers at you, energetically covering enormous quantities of review material … give them hints as you wish. Award control of the ball to the team that reads your mind, or, failing that, that has the most attempts at reading your mind.

Your strategy
: You will use an enormous number of review questions in Mind Soccer; thus, it is important to have a list so you can keep the game moving along quickly. Use any question, addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, state capitals, key concepts from science, names of characters in stories, anything.

Keep the ball moving up and down the field. Make the game as exciting as you wish by shouting Steal!, Penalty Kick!, Free Ball! or Read The Ref’s Mind Free Ball!.

Never let one team get more than one goal ahead of the other. Many soccer games end in ties. Give the weakest players easier questions; stronger players get harder questions. If, like many Power Teachers, you believe in the importance of physical gestures that enhance learning, award answers that have a particularly appropriate, descriptive gesture a “very strong kick.”

Play for only a minute or two every few days. Make your class work hard to earn the right to play Mind Soccer. If you use Mind Soccer infrequently and briefly, the game will be a tremendous motivator for positive in-class behavior.

Think about that. Your class is working as hard as possible to earn the right to review course material! That, as we say in Power Teaching, is Teacher Heaven.

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For more information on Power Teaching – there are some links and videos on this blog!

You have to admit, your class will love this!

Mr W.

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Fun Stuff, power teaching, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Level Threshold Archives

Posted by watseducation on November 25, 2008

National Assesment Agency – Level Threshold Archives

A request from Katy.

I think that this is what you wanted.

You asked me where you get the levels from, so here is a link to the NAA website, which contains all of the level threshold data since 1999, KS1, KS2, and KS3

I hope this helps with what you were looking for!

Mr W.

Posted in Data Analysis, Resources for Management, SATs, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Memory Sticks 4 Teachers – FREE!!

Posted by watseducation on September 30, 2008

 
 

If you re like me and love the idea of something for nothing, then register with this site:

http://www.memory4teachers.co.uk/teachers_registration.asp

It is a new initiative where all teachers and support staff can get a free memory stick.

Cool!

Here are some of the details:

The project has been developed to support teachers and educators in addressing their ever-increasing workloads by funding the provision of 750,000 USB memory sticks across the UK. The memory sticks have a capacity of 1 GB and include free educational resources for teachers to utilise, through a user-friendly embedded interface that appears on screen immediately as the memory stick is plugged in. These free resources cover all major subject areas and include lesson plans and ideas, worksheets and much more.

 

There are many other benefits too:

  Teachers can save work to take home easily and efficiently.
 Free embedded Educational Resources
 A calendar that teachers can utilise and update.
 Education Directory
 Links to select websites
 Link to a supporting web channel with additional resources and downloads.
 Ongoing savings for schools as use of consumables drops dramatically.
 Reduced threat of theft as teachers no longer need to carry laptops.
 Environmental benefits of reduction in waste.
 Teachers can share resources easily with colleagues.

 

This initiative is provided completely free of all charges to schools and teachers. There is absolutely nothing to pay. To find out more about the initiative, please have a look around the rest of the site or contact us.

To receive your FREE USB memory stick simply complete the form and we will dispatch your memory stick to you ASAP.

It really is that simple!

Posted in ICT, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A little bit of Self Trumpet blowing!

Posted by watseducation on September 23, 2008

I am well impressed with myself!

Kent LEA ICT people seem to like me!

They feature my class blog as an example!

OK I admit it I am showing off a little – but hey, you take a compliment where you can get it!

This post is perhaps of no real interest but I just thought I share!

I am getting alot of traffic here now with the Google search “mrwatsonsplace” so somebody somewhere is using my site.

Thanks to you all – your visits are appreciated – I just hope you find what you are looking for!

All the best

Mr W.

Posted in Updates | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Escapa!

Posted by watseducation on September 19, 2008

WARNING! Addictive!

I was looking for something quick and fun to fill 10 minutes today and tried this out on my Y3’s, they LOVED it and got really competitive! I thought that some of you might like to have a go!

Escapa!

Click on the RED block

Now move the RED block to avoid crashing with the BLUE blocks. Simple!

Don’t touch the BLACK edges.

If you can manage 18 seconds, you are a genius!

US Air Force pilots are expected to last 2 MINUTES!!

“My best is 61 seconds” – Mr Watson

I was thrilled when Bailey, a 7 year old scored an amazing 10.871 seconds?

WARNING!! This game is seriously addictive!!

Play Escapa now!

Mr W.

Posted in Fun Stuff, ICT, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Power Teaching

Posted by watseducation on September 18, 2008

Thanks to Jeff for this one.

Jeff is a Power Teacher and he has a site with loads of detail and ideas! Great!

http://classroompower.com/

Stop by and have a look if this interests you! It does me!

Cheers Jeff

Posted in Creative Curriculum, power teaching, Primary School, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Making HUGE posters

Posted by watseducation on September 11, 2008

Have you ever wanted to make your photos wall-sized? Here is a totally free website to upload a photo and then create a saveable .pdf file with all you need to print, cut and stick your own.

http://www.blockposters.com

Amaze your class with a 6ft picture of you!!!! – or make a walk-in landscape.

(Thanks to the Kent ICT Blog again for this one!)

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Cross Curricular, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

KS2 SAT Results Released!

Posted by watseducation on September 6, 2008

The KS2 SATs results have been published today amid lots of controversy about the way that they were marked. Schools Minister Jim Knight says he has confidence in England’s Sats results, despite the embarrassing problems with the return of this year’s papers. The tests taken by 11-year-olds show a slight improvement – and Mr Knight says the sample size, in excess of 90%, makes them statistically reliable.

The results for 2008 are:

  • English up 1% to 81%
  • Maths up 1% to 78%
  • Science stays at 88%
  • 72% reach expected level at English and maths
  • 61% reach expected level at reading, writing and maths
  • 12% achieve highest grade, Level 5, in all subjects
  • 36% of girls reach Level 5 English
  • 23% of boys reach Level 5 English
  • 460 schools waiting for results

But Knight emphasised that difficulties with delivery did not undermine the validity of the results – that these were separate issues. “The problems have been difficult, we’ve all heard the reactions of head teachers, and we’ve heard the apologies from the QCA and their contractor, and they’ve acknowledged the reputational damage. But it still remains the case that Ofqual are advising us that the quality of marking is as good as it’s been in previous years. There are always reviews and appeals, that happens every year. I have confidence in these figures that we are putting out today.”

The overall improvement in English and maths results, continuing an upward trend, was welcomed by the minister. “Compared to 1997, 101,000 more 11-year-olds are now achieving the target level for their age in English and 93,000 more in maths,” said Mr Knight.

There has been a slight improvement in children’s attainment in English and maths tests in England’s primary schools, provisional results show. The proportion reaching the expected standard in English was 81% compared with 80% last year. In maths it was 78% against 77%, while the science score was unchanged on 88%.

2008 KEY STAGE 2 RESULTS
LEVEL 4
English: 81% (80% last year)
Maths: 78% (77%)
Science: 88% (88%)
LEVEL 5
English: 29% (34%)
Maths: 31% (32%)
Science: 44% (47%)

The results also show the proportions achieving the next level – which are down this year. The fall is most pronounced in English, with 29% reaching Level 5 compared with 34% last year. In maths it was from 32% to 31% and in science, from 47% down to 44%.

DCSF statisticians point out that comparisons with previous years are skewed by a change in the marking process this year. This involved removing the practice known as “borderlining”, which involved double checking all the test scripts with marks just below the benchmark level (but not above it), to see if they warranted any extra marks. The effect is particularly significant in English, in which the marking is more subjective. See blog post which explains this here.

The figures show that the proportion of children attaining Level 4 in reading, writing, maths and science was 61%. So almost four in 10 children did not reach the expected level in all subjects.

The proportion of higher achievers in English national curriculum tests this year fell by five percentage points – from 34% in 2007 to 29%. Yet the proportion achieving this Level 5 in the reading component stayed the same, at 48%, and the proportion doing so in writing went up, from 19% to 20%.

Read more about the SATs results at:

The Daily Mail

BBC

BBC

BBC

The Times

I always find it interesting that the media always have to take a negative perspective of the results instead of praising the children for their effort and determination and the schools for their praise and encouragement.

 

Posted in Data Analysis, Resources for Management, SATs, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Class Blogs – Why not start one up?

Posted by watseducation on September 1, 2008

Have you considered setting up a class blog?

You should give it a whirl!

Using wordpress.com you can set up blogs for free! It is quick and easy to do, register, choose a name and away you go!

You can have as many as you want and can set them up for every class, teacher, TA, and even the school council!

It is a great way to encourage writing – Boys love it! (Mind you so do the girls!)

It is something new to most children and because it is ICT and Web based it gets them where they live!

You can set homework, give activities, webquests, communicate with parents and children, post resources, weblinks, newsletters, almost anything you can imagine!

Once you build it up it is amazing how many hits you can get from all across the Web!

If you want any advice, get in touch or comment here – you DO NOT need to be a computer whizz to be successful!

Have a Go!

Mr W.

Posted in Cross Curricular, Primary School, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Calling all Y6 Teachers!

Posted by watseducation on September 1, 2008

Welcome to Wiki!

Yr 6 Teachers @ Wikispaces

This is a GREAT link for teachers of Y6 or UKS2 – lots of planning and resources!

Well worth a click!

Posted in KS2 Planning, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Great for Topic Plannning

Posted by watseducation on August 29, 2008

I was searching…as we do at this time of year for someone elses planning on which to base mine!

I stumbled, literally, across this site:

Brendan is Teaching

You have to be logged in to browse and download and you gain credits for download by uploading your own stuff – but found some really nifty stuff!

I recommend a look!

Mr W.

Posted in KS2 Planning, Primary School, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

End of the Holidays!

Posted by watseducation on August 20, 2008

Well the end of the holidays are in sight and so I am back to the planning!

I am trying out some new formats for planning as given to me by my HT, and am finding them rather laborious!

Hopefully things will get quicker!

I am on the lookout for places to find topic planning – cross-curricular, or if you have any you would like to share with me and or with this site it would be appreciated!

Please send me a message/leave me a comment – whatever is easier!
Thanks

Take care for now

Mr W.

Posted in KS2 Planning, Uncategorized, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More SAT Science Analysis

Posted by watseducation on July 15, 2008

I stumbled across this site tonight – still looking for English and Maths Analysis.

If you know of any PLEASE share!

There are loads of Science materials that will be really useful

Haringay KS2 Science

Posted in Data Analysis, KS2 Planning, Resources for Management, SATs, Science, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are you bringing back the Nature Table?

Posted by watseducation on July 14, 2008

The Country Living Nature Table Campaign

I must confess I feel strongly about this one.

As a person who teaches in the city and lives in the country, near a riverside, woodland and farmland. I am still saddened to meet Year 6 children in my school who have never been in woodland, or seen a cow! Milk comes from the supermarket (I have been told so by a bright 11 year old).

We need to get children out side and back in touch with nature. I have taken children to a village in the country, a new experience for many. From where we base ourselves we are  5 minutes walk to woodland, 10 seconds to a field and 5 minutes to the river.

The village farmer takes the children around the farm yard, to see the crops, both growing and harvested, the machinery and the animals. They are always fascinated, and talk about it for ages afterwards, it is such a positive experience for them.

Every year the trip has been a success, every year the children and parents thank me and every year I try do it again.

I have taken this from the Country Living Magazine website – join in, it is a must wherever you teach, town, city, village or rural:

Country Living Nature Table Campaign

country living nature table campaign

It’s important for children to connect with nature, which is why we’ve launched our Bring Back the Nature Table campaign. We want to see one in every primary school and for parents, grandparents and guardians to take children regularly to parks, fields and woodlands.

Can you create a winning nature table?

Country Living online 15.04.2008

While you’re out and about with your children, help them to create a winning nature table at school or to put together a nature project at home

children at nature table Country Living's nature table

The Best School Nature Table (open to primary and junior schools in the UK) will win a Nikon Fieldmicroscope Mini (worth more than £500, see www.nikon.co.uk), plus a Nikon Pocket-type Loupe magnifying glass to help the winning class study their nature finds and a bird-box webcam. Our competition is open to schools that already have a nature table or are starting a new one.

The Best Home Nature Project created by children and their parents, guardians or grandparents) will win a pair of Nikon Sportstar EX binoculars (worth more than £100) to take on nature walks, plus a family (max. six people) visit to Pensthorpe Nature Reserve. Runners-up will receive a Jordans hamper. Children can be as creative as they like – their project could be a scrapbook, a collection of photographs from walks, or even an art installation!

For both categories, the judges will be looking for seasonal changes and an emphasis on native plants. (Remember to follow the Countryside Code). The winning entries will be featured in the December issue of Country Living.

How to enter

For Best School Nature Table, send photographs of the table and an explanation of no more than 200 words, along with the school/class name, address and tel no.

For Best Home Nature Project, send photographs and/or the project, along with the adult and child’s/children’s name/s, address and tel no.

Send all entries to: Nature Table Competition, Country Living, 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP. Closing date for entries is 1 September 2008.

Click here to find out more about the nature table campaign

Country Living

The Country Living Nature Table Campaign

Posted in Cross Curricular, Nature Tables, Science, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Film Education – Film Club

Posted by watseducation on July 14, 2008

I found a link to this website on another Blog.

It told me about Film Club.

FILMCLUB offers its member schools something you won’t find anywhere else – free access to a huge range of fantastic movies from every era and corner of the world, made for every age group.

Once you join, you can instantly start choosing movies from FILMCLUB’s collection of 1600 titles.

Simply pick which film you want to watch, order it and we’ll deliver it to you.

Visit the site to find out more.

I don’t know any specific detail but it is worth a visit – there is some very interesting stuff!

Mr W.

Posted in Literacy, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What do you want to see here?

Posted by watseducation on July 14, 2008

I was thinking tonight about what to post next. I am trying to steal myself some moments to get the blog up and running and get the sort of materials here that people want to see, find and use.

I realised that I could post all sorts of stuff and if it is of no use then people mightn’t come back!

Traffic is increasing daily already and that is great – perhaps you have even added it to favourites! Or perhaps that is wishful thinking?!

Anyway I thought I would ask you – is there something you are looking for that you can’t find or something specific that you think I might be able to help with.

I am, after all, here to help. So if there is something you are after, would like to see or are just interested in then let me know here.

If I can help with resources or with links to places I think might be good, I will.

All that remains to be said is thanks for stopping by, and I hope you like what you see – comments and feedback to help me to improve the site are welcome.

All the best

Mr W.

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Welcome to My Place!

Posted by watseducation on July 9, 2008

Welcome visitors – to my place on the web!

There is nothing much here right now but in time I hope that there will be a wealth of ideas, resources, links and other things that might be useful in that scary and rewarding world we know as teaching!

Mr Watson

Posted in Updates | Tagged: | 1 Comment »