101 ideas for using technology in the classroom


Sometimes it is difficult to put the technology in your classroom into an educational context.  This document contains many ideas for using a PC or mac in education.  

Unfortunately much of it was written prior to the uprise of the iPad so there is no reference to it but nonetheless there is plenty of relevant content for teachers and students. 

Many of the ideas come from the Victorian department of Education, Australia and can be downloaded here. 

10 great activities to break the ice with your students

Starting the school year or walking into a new room every day as a substitute can become pretty draining and confronting for both teachers and students.

Luckily, there are things you can do to break the ice and make the kids feel a lot more enthused and comfortable about learning.  Simply spend 10 to 15 minutes trying a couple of these activities listed below to help break that awkward tension.

These are a few of my favorite things.

Pass around a sheet of paper and some pens. Ask the students to write their name and their favorite TV shows (you can come up with your own topic for favorite things). Collect the papers and pens. Begin reading the answers, but have the class guess who wrote the response.

Birthday Lineup.

Call out any month of the year and have all students born in that month come up to the front of the room. It is up to the students to decide who stands first, second, etc., so they are standing from the first day of the month to the last day of the month. Now call out another month (don't call the months in order), and have those students try to position themselves correctly by day and by where they should stand as an entire month. This is a great way to get kids working together and knowing each other. Once all of the kids have lined up, test them to see if they are correct.

 The Snowball Activity.

Have students write three things about themselves on a piece of paper. Then have them crumble up the paper to resemble a snowball. Let the students have a snowball fight for about one minute. Now everyone grabs one of the snowballs and has to try and find the person who wrote on it. Once they find their partner, they have to bring that person up in front of the class and explain what they learned about their new friend with the three facts written on the piece of paper.

 The Observation Game.

Line up the students in two lines facing each other. If there is an odd number of students, you can play the game, too. Give students 30 seconds to look each other over really good, paying attention to all details about their partner. The students in one line now turn facing the other way while the other line of students changes something about themselves. For example, a girl might take off a hair bow, or a boy might un-tuck his shirt. When the kids in the first line turn back around, they have to guess what their partner changed. Now switch and let the first line make the change and the second line guess the difference.

Icebreaker Pictionary.

Have the students draw pictures about what they like to do, what their favorite foods are, and what is their favorite subject in school. Have each student come up and show their pictures to the class. See if the students can guess what each student drew that tells a little bit about themselves. For instance, if a student draws a yellow M, can anyone guess that she likes McDonalds?

 Show and Tell.

Don't forget about this old time favorite part of class. Instruct students to bring in something that they cherish, or just want to share with the class. Give each student a turn to come up and tell about the item that they brought in. This way the class will get to know each other and something that makes each student happy.


Have your students draw themselves. After they have done this, collect the papers and hang them up for the whole class to see. Now have students try to guess who the artists was for each picture.

 Letter Writing.

At the beginning of the year, write a short letter about yourself as the teacher. Tell the students where you live, what your hobbies are, and if you have any children, pets, etc. Hand out your letter to each student in your class and ask them to write you back with similar information about themselves.

The Mingle Game.

Give each student an index card. Have them write a question that they would like to ask the other students in the class. Examples might include, "What is your favorite song?" or "What is your favorite sport?" Next, have the students get up and walk around the room. When you say, "stop," students have to stand beside the person closest to them and ask the question that is on their own card. Both students have to answer the questions. Now have them mingle again and meet a new person.

The "What Am I?" Game.

Have the students get into a circle. Give each student a post-it note. Have each person write a noun on the post-it note. Then stick the post-it on the forehead of the person standing to right of them with the noun showing. Now have student take a turn to ask the group a "yes/no" question that will help them guess the noun on their forehead. If they do not guess correctly, the person on their right gets to ask a question. Keep going until all of the noun have been guessed, or your time limit has expired.

Get Set for London 2012: Teaching Ideas

Get Set is the official London 2012 Olympics Education site.  It is very comprehensive and contains a range of activities and resources to get students involved and enthused about the upcoming London 2012 Games.

You can search for ideas by year level or teaching area.  A great starting point for London 2012 in the classroom.

Implications for Teaching

We really should try to get our kids enthused about the Olympics as it really embodies the sense of trying to achieve a personal best, dealing with success and failure and finally it encourageses health and wellbeing.

Lesson Plan Search Engine

We have recently added a number of new education sites to the Ultimate Search Engine for teachers.  

It has a database over 100 non commercial teaching websites full of great teaching ideas and lesson plans.

Be sure to check it out here.

Preschool Lesson Plans for Peter Rabbit:

A very quick post for the weekend.  Thanks, Colleen from Devon in the UK for this link to a series of teaching ideas for younger students based on Beatrix Potter's famous series about the adventures of Peter Rabbit.  Access them here and have a good weekend.

ESL Lesson Plans for teaching your first day of English

It can be tough knowing where to start with a new group of ESL students.  thankfully, Village Volunteers have put together a collection of starting points to get you started on your first day of teaching English.

They are quite effective in the manner that they are not overbearing to the students but more importantly will give you the teacher a really good understanding of where to start with them in your next session.

Download them here.

Lesson Plans and Teaching Ideas about Toys

Fact:  Kids love toys.  So I have found a collection of lesson plans from schoolsnet.com about Toys that will hopefully engage and inspire our students.  Take a look below and let me know if you have found any other great lesson plans.

Lesson plan 1: Our favourite toys

Children will be able to describe the characteristics of modern toys. Children will be able to describe how their favourite choice of toys has changed as they have grown older. Children will be able to suggest who might be able to tell children about toys in the past.

Lesson plan 2: Toys when our parents and grandparents were young

Children will be able to describe the characteristics of old toys. Children will talk about toys that belonged to our parents and grandparents. Children will be able to ask questions about toys in the past.

Lesson plan 3: Toys and the more distant past

Children will develop historical enquiry by finding out about the past from a range of sources of information. Children will be able to identify different ways in which the past is represented.

Lesson plan 4: The Punch and Judy show

Children will be able to understand that oral sources and traditional displays can tell us about the past. Children will be able to ask questions about the way people spent their leisure time in the past. Children will be able to infer information about the past by experiencing a traditional show first performed over 400 years ago.

Lesson plan 5: Teddy Bears

Children will understand that design, materials and technology can indicate whether a toy is old or new. Children will recognise similarities and differences between old and new toys. Children will be able to use the language of time.

Lesson plan 6: Story Bears

Children will be able to recognise that events in people's lives can influence what they do. Children will understand that changes in everyday life can influence the way things are represented. Children will learn about some significant children's writers.

Lesson plan 7: Dolls and Dolls Houses

Children will be able to describe the characteristics of a range of dolls. Children will recognise similarities and differences between old and new toys. Children will understand that artefacts like dolls can help us to learn about the past.

Lesson plan 8: Making a class museum

Children will learn how a real museum organises its exhibits. Children will be able to sort and group objects and explain why they have grouped them in particular ways. Children will be able to make a classroom museum and construct a time line. Children will be able to produce labels and captions for the toys on display

LEGO Teaching Ideas & Lesson Plans

LEGO has to one of the most universal and creative toys in existence.  It still captivates and inspires children of all ages think like an engineer and build something functional or simply fun.

As teachers we probably underestimate toys such as LEGO as powerful educational tools to help students learn.

Thankfully the good folks at LEGO education have put together a huge collection of lesson plans for teachers to use in the classroom covering all age groups and key learning areas.

Below is a simple idea based around 'The Hungry Catepillar' which uses LEGO to explain the lifecycle of insects.

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest Entry
By Moriah Slagell, One Day at A Time

1. I built a small caterpillar with just a few LEGO bricks to represent food 2. I added more bricks to the caterpillar and more food in front of him.(repeat 3 times) 3. Then, I took part of the caterpillar apart so I could build a cocoon then I slid the  caterpillar inside. 4. Finally, I took apart the caterpillar and cocoon and made a butterfly out of the bricks.

Access the entire collection of  LEGO Teaching Ideas here