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Monthly Archives: July 2015

  • Make the Most of Your Classroom Space

    classroom no nos

    Having to look after 30 Children at a time throughout the working day is no easy task, and there’s no denying that a classroom can get pretty messy in a very short space of time if it isn't kept organised.

    Perhaps your classroom is smaller than what you’d like, making it difficult to store students’ workbooks, activity sheets and stationary.  Not to worry, Daydream Education have compiled a set of ideas you may wish to borrow from teachers from all over the world, demonstrating what they have done to make the most of their classroom space.

    Milk Carton Pencil Holders

    Pencils

    It’s great to see teachers using their creativity to offer something a little out of the ordinary for the classroom. By simply cutting away the bottom section of a milk carton will allow you to store a lot more pupil stationary such as pens, pencils and erasers rather than using the usual, uninspiring cylinder tub.

     

    Ice Cube Tray Marker Holders

    ice cube markers

    Not sold on the idea of cutting out milk cartons for storage? Try these. They are ice cube trays designed to fit in bottled drinks and make an ideal means of storing marker pens. Using these means that it is easy to find the right colour and also to spot those that are missing the caps.

    IPad Storage

    ipadclassroom

    We all know how out of hand wires can get. With schools embracing technology more than ever before, it’s important to keep things organised to avoid 30 iPad charging leads get tangled up into one giant ball. An effective solution is to purchase a portable iPad cupboard, one that is designed specifically to stop the chaos of multiple wires. The cables are fed through small holes for each iPad, meaning that pupils don’t have to pull out cables from different chargers or touch electrical sockets.

    ipad trolley

     

    Perhaps you’re looking for something a little smaller for your classroom? In that case, it might be worth looking at iPad classroom trays which are a lot easier to carry around and store in the staffroom or a work locker after a class lesson.

    Pegs!

    pegs

    Glue some thumb tacks to pegs and pin them to the notice board in the classroom. This will allow you to hang multiple classroom displays and work from the pegs, and change them very quickly without having to hurt your nails pulling out the thumb tacks each time.

    pegs display

    Do you have any creative ideas in getting the most out of your classroom's space? Let us know in the comments section below!

  • How to Create Interactive Classroom Displays

    children scanning QR codes

    With the summer holidays now upon us, teachers across the country now have the chance to relax, go somewhere nice abroad, sip on piña coladas on a warm beach and not have to think about going back to school for a whole six weeks. Being a teacher does have its perks, right?

    However! We all know how quickly the holidays will fly-by, and before you know it you’ll have a new group of bright-eyed pupils sitting in the classroom in no time, come September. Therefore, we thought we’d give you just a few ideas and insights into of how creating interactive classroom displays can have a big impact on a child’s development ready for next term – and hopefully having you think about the purpose and level of engagement each of your classroom displays currently has. Is there any way they can be improved, perhaps?

    There are so many different types of classroom display these days, each with different purposes. Some interactive displays that we have seen are rather impressive, but require a significant amount of time to create. Perhaps the scariest question that looms upon some teachers is “How can I be sure that children will engage with what I have created?” and “Will they really benefit, and learn from them?”

    It goes without saying that many teachers have a lot of control over what they can put up on their classroom walls and most have fantastic displays on show. Displays of Pupils’ work, colourful homemade artwork and themes covering the curriculum for core topics and subjects.

    It’s quite amazing to see these displays being so prevalent across classroom walls in schools, but there are some very good reasons for it - and it’s all in the name of science. Did you know that as a teacher, everything you say to a pupil, only 13% will be learnt? Interestingly, we learn things a lot quicker by sight (75% to be exact). This means that it is important to have a visual element to learning such as interactive displays that are engaging, helping to reinforce learning and what teachers have spoken about in the classroom.

    how we learn

    They also have the benefit of being in the classroom as a point of reference. This is great because we all know how children do not always have the best attention spans, and can sometimes look around elsewhere other than at the front of the class (where they are supposed to). So if they are looking around, it definitely helps to capture their attention with engaging, quality displays in the classroom. They will become familiar with the displays, posters and learning resources throughout the school term, even on a subconscious level.

     

    Making Interactive Displays Even More Fun

    With the more recent developments in technology and with schools adopting the use of iPads and tablets in the classroom, many teachers have really embraced them and have been able to provide valuable lessons to children in the classroom that are memorable and often very exciting.

    maths wall QR codes

    This Maths Working Wall Display shows what students are learning each week. It can be easily changed and updated in no time, but the main benefit is that pupils are able to scan the QR code using a tablet which will link them to a Maths based game. The teacher would only allow pupils to scan the code once they had answered a question correctly in the classroom. A simple idea, yet effective.

    Using Makey Makey http://www.makeymakey.com/, the class at Willows High School have been able to hear the exact sound each instrument makes when interacting with their music posters! This tool has some great features and can make a lesson a whole lot more fun for the entire class.

     

    Another interesting idea is the use of augmented reality. This really does bring a pupil’s imagination to life. It also creates an entirely new level of learning by using an environment that has been partly created by the pupil.

    There are a so many educational apps on the app stores ready for the using augmented reality, and they definitely make this concept worth exploring for classroom use. Some of the apps are even free to download - we’ve tried Quiver 3D colouring app (http://quivervision.com/), which allows pupils to colour in the printed sheets and watch their creations come to life. The pupils are then asked to create stories based around their drawing.

    Our Tips for Creating Classroom Displays

    First thing’s first, it’s worth mentioning that It is very easy to get carried away in your creativity. When creating displays for schools, we always try to keep these key points in mind:-

    • Limit the colours : Having bright and colourful displays is great, it’s a sure way of grabbing a child’s attention but it’s so easy to overdo it which will mean that colours will clash with certain texts and make the content difficult to read. Therefore, we would always recommend using a colour scheme and sticking to it whenever you can to keep things a little more structured. There are many useful tools out there to help give you an idea of colour schemes that work well together to use for your classroom display, and we’d recommend trying some out if you’re feeling adventurous enough. http://colorhunter.com/
    • Don’t have too much information: Running along the same vein as your colour scheme, less is sometimes more. Finding the balance between having enough information without compromising the design is something that will take time to get used to, but should always be taken into consideration. Remember, it’s always a good idea to have the ability to change the designs with ease for next time too, so overcomplicating things can make it harder for when it’s time to switch things around. As long as you believe that the content is presented in a way that is engaging and can be learnt with your teaching style, it should be a good lesson and experience for the pupils.
    • Use Augmented Reality & QR codes when appropriate: As we’ve seen in some of the examples above, QR codes are becoming more and more popular in the classroom and are a good way of reward children for getting involved and excelling in the classroom activities. They are easy to set up and bring something extra to your display.

    We would love to hear your thoughts on how you’ve used interactive displays in the classroom. Have you adopted the use of QR codes and augmented reality? Let us know in the comments section below!

     

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