Digital teaching tips & tricks, ideas, examples, and general thoughts and reflections. Follow my Inquiry.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Teacher Inquiry

This year at Pt England we are all beginning inquiries into our own teaching practice.  I have chosen to look at follow up maths activities, or "Developing independent tasks that require higher order thinking to increase cognitive engagement in maths" ...for short.

I have chose this idea because it is something I feel I could do much better from last year. I want to know what are some activities kids can be doing that are cognitively engaging when they aren't working with the teacher. Also, how can I facilitate this in the classroom without impairing my precious group teaching time.
Some possible steps I have outlined include:

  1. Networking online to find out what is being done for higher order thinking tasks.
  1. Visit other classrooms/schools to observe the impact different learning tasks have on student learning and engagement in maths.
  1. Use Khan academy model for students to create rewindable learning videos.
  1. Develop learning  activities that focus on problem solving and creating.
  1. Make students’ learning more visible (what they have learnt).

Thursday, 5 February 2015

How to make buttons for your site

Making buttons can seem daunting, but it's really not.  It's easy enough to make decent looking buttons using just your  Google apps.

Google Draw
You have likely been using these types of basic drawing tools since your old Microsoft Word days, and Google Draw tools are just the same, if not easier!

The Cropping-mask tool is especially useful, particularly if you are using images off the net for your button (free to use).  The mask tool allows you to crop an image into any autoshape, which can give your button the look you want (Square images are boring!). 

However do keep in mind the age old advice

"Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should "
 - Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park 

Here's a quick screencast to show you how easy it is, any questions just leave them below and I'll do my best to answer them.


  • Don't forget to save your image as .PNG this way the background will stay transparent, rather than having a white background.