Tag Archives: infographics

iPad Time!

As a class we have decided it is time to update our system of iPad access in class. Up until now the teacher has had control over when the students have access to their iPad’s. Increasingly students request their iPad’s for a range of tools (spelling, translation, research etc.) and I realised it is time for me to let go of the control. I asked myself ‘Am I hindering my students’ learning?’

Previously, I have been concerned about device distraction, lack of social interaction and an overload of screen time. Common sense media recommends one hour per day for primary aged children. We have six hours of class time per day. Does this same amount apply to supervised educational use? There appears to be limited research that applies to our specific situation: a small class of motivated Grade 5 students who are encouraged to independently make the right choices about their learning.

Are we hindering student learning by restricting tech use?

I proposed to the class my idea for allowing them to use their iPads at any time in the classroom. Surprisingly a quick vote showed me that students wanted a list of rules that they could follow. They explained that having some guidance made it clearer to understand what was acceptable.

When deciding on these rules the following points came out in a class discussion:

Encouraging self-management skills.

We conducted a ‘think, pair, share’ thinking routine to analyse these results. We narrowed these ideas into four workable class rules that addressed our concerns. A student also suggested we review these rules every month. Another student suggested that they monitor their own daily screen time – if we use the iPad’s a lot at school – play outside at home.

Class designed rules.

I look forward to the monthly review!

A Mid-Year Tech Review

As I am approaching the half-way point of our school year I want to assess my ‘Tech Targets’ to review my plans for the remainder of the school year.

Flipped Learning

The Flipped Learning Model is a practical way for teachers to maximize class time. The excellent Flipped Classroom Infographic by knewton.com provides an easy way to see the benefits. This is a useful tool for front loading information and allowing students to prepare questions in advance.

In an inquiry-based PYP classroom I rarely prepare lectures for my class. I want to be part of their learning journey to assess prior knowledge, address misconceptions and plan the next day of learning depending on student understanding and ideas. However, using video reminders after a lesson has been very useful. I decided to design my own infographic, based on Knewton’s, to target the specific needs of my flipped classroom.

Below is an example of how I have begun to put these ideas into practice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC7ACLOrNL8  (video no longer available)


Every now and then in education you stumble across something that has a big impact in the classroom. Kahoot.it is a simple idea and very easy to use. It is attractive, fun, engaging and has seeped into all curriculum areas of our classroom.

Kahoot excitement to liven up a shape quiz on a Thursday afternoon #sislearns #kahoot pic.twitter.com/b3kt4YcagI

— Amanda (@ALMcCloskey) October 15, 2015

My class are constantly requesting more Kahoot quizzes. We even have our own style of chair dancing emerging thanks to the catchy tunes. If you haven’t tried Kahoot yet I recommend it!

Minecraft Mania

It is clear that Minecraft is currently a major influence on primary-aged children. The excitement of even mentioning a mine, and the many conversations in class that can be related to Minecraft is impressive. I first saw it used in the classroom by @donovanhallnz in 2013 and began to realise the potential of Minecraft. I now feel ready to launch an ECA and have just received approval for site licenses and a server. My research has now begun and I have found some excellent information on some coetail blogs including @davidc, @wayfaringpath @chezvivian, @holtspeak. My new project awaits!

Image from Flickr by Mike Cooke

Infographics in the Classroom

According to Wikipedia Infographics are defined as:

“graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly.”

Nathan Yau’s website, ‘Flowing Data‘, has some excellent tutorials on how to read and understand infographics. He also offers a four week course for Visualization in R (a coding language). The infographics on this site are visually appealing and the data is easy to read. The graphics are aesthetically pleasing. My favourites include the ‘London Underground Rent Map‘ and a well explained ‘Venn Diagram Tutorial’.

In the Classroom

I have been searching for relevant infographics through the lens of a teacher. How can I incorporate this vast resource of visual data into my teaching? As I am currently teaching Year 6 (Grade 5) I wanted to find something they would understand easily and enjoy analyzing. I decided to use this lego venn diagram by Stephen Wildish. The maths learning outcome is to to introduce our own methods of sorting and classifying.

lego venn

Image used with the permission of Stephen Wildish.

I introduced this image without any introduction and asked the students to explain the information. They then had to reflect on what the ‘rules’ of Venn Diagrams are using googledocs.

Lego comments

A student’s analysis of the information.

The follow up task was then for students to create their own venn diagrams. They will design and photograph it and provide an explanation of their sorting procedure (using book creator). We will spend the next few weeks ‘tinkering’ on infographics in our unit lessons. My summative assessment tool for Maths can then be ‘create an infographic to demonstrate your understanding of the properties of 3D shapes.

Visual Data in the Classroom

In our previous Maths unit (place value) my students began an independent inquiry into the Indian number system (the Vedic numbering system) and how this differs from the international number system. We spent some time brainstorming and comparing the different language and systems used. Eventually our discussion resulted in a shared understanding and we were able to record this quick conversion chart.

rupee Amanda

In the verdic system numbers over a thousand are grouped in two’s (not three’s).

Following on from this inquiry I wanted to present my class with an easy to read visual conversion chart which summed up their findings- however we were unable to find one. So now I am experimenting with trying to create one. Here is my first draft:

Indian Number System Infographic

I can see that even my initial attempts on Piktochart produce a more effective method of presenting information than my paper version. The information is clear and more aesthetically appealing. I look forward to seeing what my students can create!