Latest teaching and learning ideas

The Latest in Tech, Tools and Toys for Teachers.  Lesson Plans, Classroom resources and ideas for busy teachers.  iPad Apps and Android Apps for teachers and students.

Create a crafty Halloween spider with your students out of egg cartons

Are you throwing a Halloween party in your classroom?  If so these spiders will be a great addition to the look and feel of your room and your students will find it fun and simple to create them.

Once again this activity has come from my crafty wife Belinda who regularly contributes to the site.

 

As these are so easy to make your students can make plenty of them in weird and wonderful colors to hang around the room in the least expected places for your guests to find.

What you will need...  An Egg Carton, Craft Glue, Black Paint, Paint Brush, Scissors, 2 x 5mm Googly Eyes, 2 x 15cm black pipe cleaners. Tip...You can substitute googly eyes with white paper, with a black dot for a look which is just as good.

Step One... Using your scissors carefully cut out an egg cup from your egg carton as shown.

Step Two... Using your black paint, grab a paint brush and paint your egg cup.

Step Three... While you are waiting for your egg cup to dry, cut your pipe cleaners into pieces and bend them over as shown to look like little legs. These legs are 3.5cm in length. Tip...Make sure there are no sharp ends.  Although not visible in this picture I have actually bent over the very tip of the wire slightly to create a rounded end. 

Step Four... Using your craft glue stick the legs onto your black egg cup as shown.

Step Five... Glue your googly eyes into position.

20 spooky writing prompts for Halloween

Halloween is a great time of year to showcase your writing skills.  Literally anything goes, fact, fantasy, horror and mystery.  What is there not to love if you are a young writer who is full of great ideas?

Sometimes those ideas are not as easy to find for some, so we have put together twenty writing prompts to cover both fiction and non fiction aspects of writing.

If you have any other suggestions or ideas we would love to hear them in the comments section below.  Enjoy.

  1. Write a spooky story to tell around the campfire. Remember, you want to build suspense and fear within your audience.. Don’t forget to have a big climax to scare everyone who is listening.

  2. The best Halloween costume I ever wore was…

  3. Write a recipe for a magic potion. Next, explain what the potion would do if someone drank it.

  4. It was a dark and stormy night when….

  5. Describe how to make a great Halloween costume using mostly supplies you have around the house.

  6. You are about to throw the best Halloween party in history! Describe your preparation, the event itself, the aftermath, and the cleanup. Did you enjoy yourself? Did your house almost destroy the street?

  7. Write a poem about ghosts. Make each line of the poem start with g, h, o, s, t and s

  8. Explain your most memorable Halloween of all time: from the treats you received, the costume you wore, the environment of your neighborhood (if you trick or treated) and why it was so amazing.

  9. I was counting all my candy when all of a sudden…

  10. The mad scientist was creating a new monster that could…

  11. Funny now, but not then? Share a frightening experience that you can look back on and laugh about... now that it's over.  

  12. Write a story about a kid who goes trick-or-treating. Start from the minute he or she puts on his or her costume and finish when he or she gets home and put on normal clothes again. Tell me everything that happens.

  13. Write a ghost story. It can be one you have personal experience with or completely fictional.

  14. Something in the closet was making a strange noise, so I opened the door and…

  15. You won’t believe this story, but it is true…

  16. If you could design a haunted mansion, what would you name it? What types of rooms would you have? Describe, in detail the best rooms in your haunted house.

  17. Everybody said the old Warwick mansion was haunted…..

  18. The zombies staggered through my front lawn…..

  19. Do you think our modern Halloween traditions still have value? Why or why not?

  20. A film company is sponsoring a nationwide Halloween script-writing contest. Write a brief summary of your prize winning movie plot.  

 

The top 100 tools for learning in 2014

Jane Hart, who I respect greatly for her contributions to learning and technology throughout the last decade has recently published her top 100 tools for learning in 2014.

This is the eighth incarnation of this list since being introduced in 2008 and was put together with the contributions of over 1000 teachers globally.

It is a genuine snapshot of what people are using in education.

Twitter, Google Docs and YouTube top the list which is hardly surprising.  

PowerPoint at number 4 was quite a shock as I would have definitely considered this and 'old favourite' when comparing it to a plethora of presentation tools that have hit the scene in the last eighteen months but it is a solid tool and for some old habits are hard to break.

There was no interest around Google Classroom as yet.   It didn't even crack the top 100 which is sure to change over time as this product continues to evolve.

My favourite iPad app of 2014 Adobe Voice did notmake the list either which makes me wonder if I am a little out of touch with Jane's Audience.

Jane's top 100 can be seen below and if you visit her site you can download the top 100 guidebook which is really useful for developing an understanding of what these tools are and where they all fit in the bigger picture of teaching and learning.

I'd love to hear your thoughts around this list too.