Smartboard Goodies is a great blog that is packed with ideas, links and resources to use on a Smart Interactive Whiteboard. The site is the work of an American teacher and includes some American history resources but it’s worth delving a little deeper as there are some great links and downloadable files for different curriculum areas. The site is aimed at primary teachers but there are some items that Key Stage 3 teachers may find useful such as the Facebook Smart Notebook template.
Planet Foss is an amazing websites that brings creativity and technology into the science curriculum in an incredibly simple and meaningful way. Students are encouraged to take photographs of a range of different scientific concepts in the real world and upload them to share with others. For example in the Force and Motion category students are asked to upload images showing motion, gravity or speed. In addition to uploading images students can also search for and view images taken by others.
How can I use Planet Foss to enhance teaching and learning?
One of the most tricky aspects of science can be relating it to the wider world and the fact that science is a key part of everyday life. Through using the challenges on the site and developing your own challenges you can really get your pupils thinking about science in a new and exciting way. Why not set the activities as a simple monthly homework challenge via the VLE or use a blog to share some of the best images from the site or your students work?
Many of the images from the site can be used as a stimulus for discussion- for example choose an image and ask your pupils what they think it represents. How is it showing the concept? You could also print some of the images and ask the pupils to sort them into categories- a simple thinking skills activity that can be highly effective at provoking discussion.
Google has partnered with CERN, Lego, National Geographic and Scientific America to create an exciting global science competition- the Google Science Fair. The competition is open to students all over the world who are between the ages of 13 and 18 and runs from 11 January to 4 April 2011.
Whilst the idea of a Science Fair is distinctly American don’t let this put you off. Your students build and submit their project (either alone or in a group of up to 3) entirely online using Google Sites.
Taken from Google Science Fair FAQs
A science project is an in-depth investigation of a scientific question that involves forming a hypothesis, testing your hypothesis with an experiment, making your observations, drawing conclusions and presenting the findings.
While there are different ways to break down the steps of the scientific method, the Google Science Fair asks students to complete the following sections:
- Project Summary
- About Me
- The Question
- Works Cited
For further information visit
Big Schools Birdwatch 24th January- 4th February
The RSPB is hoping that schools nationwide will take part in the 10th annual Birdwatch. This free, fun and simple activity only takes an hour to complete, is rich in curriculum links, and is open to all UK schools and youth groups. It’s also a great way to get to know more about the wildlife visiting your school grounds, or a local park.
To take part is relatively simple, watch birds for a total of one hour, keeping count of how many birds of the same kind you see at any one time. You only need to record the birds actually in your grounds or in the park, not those flying over. Once you have done this submit your results to the RSPB- simple!
The RSPB site also contains a number of resources for teachers from Early Years through to the latest member of the birdwatch family- Really Big Schools’ Birdwatch, which is designed specifically for Key Stage 3. There is a lively community where teachers can share ideas, including a great one to have hot chocolate and biscuits whilst counting!
In addition your pupils could choose to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch on January 29th and 30th. This follows exactly the same format as the school birdwatch with the only difference being that it is done at home. A great way to promote home school links.
To register or find out more visit
This is the latest in the very popular Young Science Investigators series (see the other resources in the series here: www.bp.com/bpes/ysi) of free teaching resources for 7-11 year olds. YSI: Cool Creations is an online set of materials to teach Science through exciting Design and Technology projects. The materials include skill-builder videos, animations, worksheets, photos and detailed teacher guidance notes – including extensive curriculum and cross-curricular links for Key Stage 2 (KS2) and the Second stage Scottish Curriculum for Excellence.
How can I use Young Science Investigators to enhance teaching and learning?
The short skills builder videos are an excellent way of demonstrating a range of skills such as ‘How to use wire and change its pitch and tension’ when making a guitar. They can be used with a whole class through the interactive whiteboard to introduce a key idea or as reminder sessions for homework or individual study. Each section is divided into real life visuals, skills builder videos, example images and animations. The animations are particularly useful for prompting planning and suggesting key questions that need to be covered. The resource would work with the whole class or as a topic based approach to homework.
Numpty Physics is a cross platform drawing puzzle game in which the objective is to use your trusty crayon to draw shapes and lines that will help you to solve the level. It’s a great tool for demonstrating the power of gravity in helping to move objects. Imagine the power of your physics diagrams actually coming to life in the classroom!
Check it out HERE
YHGfL has funded a new weather station, which has been installed in Doncaster North CLC as part of the National Weather Project. The project enables learners from local Primary schools to record and monitor data, and to understand how a weather forecast is made.