The Wheel of Everything

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Recently a company called Barefoot Coaching came into our school to deliver an INSET session on coaching techniques. We learnt a range of techniques but it was the Wheel of Everything that stuck most in my mind and I have since used it in the classroom as an effective way of students providing peer assessment and providing their own steps forward as a result. Also, it is entirely student led so it is definitely what I would consider a high impact (on the student) and low stress (on the teacher) activity.

Below is an image of the worksheet that I have adapted from the Barefoot activity that they carried out with us. I will then explain how it works.

Wheel of Everything 3

When students have completed a piece of writing, they then work in pairs to decide on the factors that make up a good piece of writing (or indeed, it could be used to assess a speaking piece). They then write the factors (e.g. use of opinions) on the outside of the circle, one per section. Students then swap books and complete the evaluation of their partner’s work on the wheel, by drawing a line that connects the two sides of that one section. The closer to the centre of the wheel signifies that the chosen factor is an area for development, and a line draw to the outer edge of the circle shows that the particular factor is a clear strength of the text. Obviously, you can shade or represent it as you like, no need to be constrained by what I’ve suggested!

Once this has been completed, the student hands the book and the sheet back to their partner. Their partner then fills out the rest of the sheet with their three weakest areas for development and devises their own independent steps forward that will improve their writing, as seen below.

Wheel of Everything 2

I have attached the sheet below so please feel free to download, use, adapt or chuck in the bin. Why not comment on the article saying how you’ve used it?

Wheel of Everything for students_1

News Booth – read all about it.

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Report on key events in history, deliver news stories on new scientific breakthroughs (in and out of the classroom), report school sports match results or even deliver the school news letter through the new FREE iPad app called News Booth.

With a range of themes available –  the modern, big news corporation look or even a more retro looking design to name just two – pupils can create professional looking news reels in seconds. You can also purchase more themes in the in-app store. Pupils can then adapt the headline text and subject text to suit the story on which you are reporting. When your news reed is created, save it to your camera roll so that you can share it with others via email/vle/Google/youtube or play it for others using Apple TV. Try the following activities with it:

1. Report on historical events that you’ve learnt about in class as a more creative way of pupils showing they understand what happened for example in the key events leading to World War One.

2. Create a news/weather report in a foreign language and play for others. Pupils could come up with their own questions to their own reports so that it could be treated as a more interesting listening activity, created by the pupils, in true lazy teacher style.

3. Deliver news reports on scientific developments in and out of the classroom i.e. the results of an experiment could be delivered in a more engaging way by students OR even new scientific developments such as events at CERN.

4. Pupils keen on extra curricular activities could use the App to deliver school wide news on the school’s YouTube channel (which if you don’t have, you should get…now!). This could include book reviews for book club, sports match results for the school and even have the school newsletter delivered through this medium.

5. Pupils could use the App in English to summsarise poems, plays and literature; perhaps work in groups of four and all report on parts of a larger text to lighten the load.

6. All reports could be mirrored on the Interactive White Board using Apple TV for the whole class to watch or be uploaded onto the school website, YouTube channel, class blog/website for others to view; why not have a welcome message on your school website delivered by pupils?

Socrative 2.0 update.

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Socrative is a fantastic classroom tool that enables teachers to carry out formative and summative assessment through online quizzes that are marked in real time. The announcement that Socrative will release an updated version (Socrative 2.0) has some welcome revisions. It has been announced that Socrative 2.0 will have the following features:

  • Teachers will be able to ask quick questions to all students in class, allowing for more effective questioning and allowing the shiest of pupils to engage in class discussion.
  • Students will have the option to work on questions in any order that they like when they are completing student-paced activities.
  • Students will be able take part in ‘Space Race’ games, which allow pupils to work in a team or individually, with their progress being shown by space rockets.
  • Teachers will be able to input pictures and quizzes into the tests.
  • Teachers will be able to issue pupils with exit tickets.
  • You can now rule true or false questions.
  • Questions are now graded in real time in teacher view and a final report is given that you can share with pupils.


Here is an example of pupil exit tickets.


Here is an example of progress screen in Space Race mode.



An example of automatic marking report that could be shared with the class – pupils could be given a number so that their answers remain anonymous but so that they and the teacher know their marks and responses.



Socrative 2.0 will go live on the 7th of October 2013.     Click here for a video showing the new features.


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Pinterest is a fantastic app for searching for good practice. Pinterest is a tool for collecting and sharing articles on the topics which are most important to you. All you need to do is search a given topic (I searched for ‘iPads in Education’) and a whole host of articles from the web, a vast majority of the time written by teachers, are there in front of you; it’s like a Teechmeet on your iPad or smart phone. The articles that you find most interesting you can then pin onto a board in Pinterest (much like adding articles cut from a newspaper, to a scrapbook) where you can keep all of them saved and catergorised. Pinterest


Screwed Up

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Normally when pupils throw screwed up paper and paper aeroplanes around the room, it’s because they’re messing around. However, today I asked my pupils to do that, as part of my review. 

Today, pupils learnt nine new infinitive verbs as part of a revision of the present tense. In the review, I asked them to take a piece of lined paper and write their name at the top. Using their verb tables, they created ten conjugated verbs based on the infinitives that they had learnt. Pupils then closed their books and put their verb tables away (this is the review part). Pupils then had to screw the piece of paper up and throw it at another pupil in the room (I didn’t mind that they had 20-30 seconds to throw the pieces of paper around…it broke up the lesson and allowed them to blow off some steam). Pupils then picked up the nearest piece of paper to them, wrote their name at the top of the paper and translated the verbs into English. I then asked them to throw the pieces of paper into a box in the middle of the room. 



If you wanted to differentiate the task, you could set pupils into groups by NC level and give them a set criteria  by which they create said verbs (all in the Yo form, a mixture, some with ready printed verbs and just the endings etc…). What I really liked about this activity though, was that each pupil did it, understood it, it gives me a way of knowing exactly how well each pupil has learnt today’s topic and, for them, it was good clean fun; a nice way to brighten up lessons on conjugation. However… do have a set of verbs ready on the board… in case one plane/ball of paper goes array. 


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One free iPad app that effectively supports student centered learning is ShowMe.

ShowMe is essentially a digital mini white board, on which the user can draw using a range of colours; add in pictures to be annotated and even record their voice. However, this has many possibilities to enhance Teaching and Learning and here are those which I’ve used.

Firstly, ShowMe can be used as a replacement for mini white boards for plenary activities. This replaces the need to hand out mini white boards, pens and erasers, which can be time consuming, especially as pens have to be check regularly and exchanging them can really slow down the pace of the lesson. Pupils can then peer assess each other’s answers by choosing a different colour (green is available, in keeping with the FHS pupil marking policy). Students could then link their answers to the Interactive White Board using the iPad’s mirroring application via AirServer.

 ShowMe Colour   

Secondly, pictures can be imported (including PDFs of exam questions) from the iPad by selecting the ‘choose photo’ icon. Work can then be shared via email/Google drive/mirroring and assessed by others. Pupils will need to sign up and make an account, which is free, but once they have it, they can use it for all subjects.

ShowMe pics

Finally, pupils and teachers alike can record any processes that they have created on ShowMe (much like Jing – a screenshot and screencast software). Pupils could use the app to create a ShowMe video to show what they have learnt in a given lesson. Furthermore, teachers could use ShowMe to input information, that could potentially be personalised to each pupil’s learning or even serve as an extension activity that explains further information on a learning point from the lesson (this could be linked up via QR code posted on the wall that pupils simply have to scan with the iPad to access the content).

ShowMe VoiceShowMe erase

ShowMe is available for free on the Apple App Store, click here to see and iTunes preview.

Further Reading:

AirServer –

Jing –