Monthly Archives: December 2009

‘Tis the season…

We’ve only got three more teaching days to go until we break up for Christmas, so we’re beginning to ease up a little. I enjoy finding puzzles and quizzes for my class to do in the run up to an end of term, so I’ve got a few websites with quizzes on to share today. has lots of quizzes, puzzles and paradoxes on it (although some have a U.S. bias as the site is from the States.) has links to many other puzzle and brainteaser pages on it. has hundreds of puzzles (including new ones daily) on it. There are many visual puzzles on this site. is another site with interesting puzzles on it.

And finally for now is very enjoyable as a whole class activity at the end of the day.The quizzes on this site are list quizzes (e.g. name all the countries of Europe in 5 minutes). The children may not get to the end of the puzzle but they are very ‘open’ quizzes for everyone to play their part in. This site is based in the US and members submit quizzes (sadly a few are of an inappropriate nature for the classroom) so it is IMPERATIVE¬† that you find the quiz (or quizzes) you want on the site and put those quizzes onto the whiteboard for use in the class, rather than browse the quizzes with your class watching you! – Take a look and see for yourself what I mean.

Hope you find some of these links useful.

Real Meals

Something my class love to discuss is the different foods they enjoy (or not!). The department for children, schools and families have released and revamped a book of recipes ideal for children to cook with. It’s free to download from the following link

This adds to the Real Meals series. Here is a link to the cold foods ideas booklet.

And here is a link to the first Real Meals booklet. Some of the recipes and ideas in this books have been used again in the second edition.


A spatial thinking game

My class are currently enjoying the game PHIT. It’s a bit like tetris.You have to fit shapes together in certain ways inside a yellow oblong (I think it’s yellow, I’m very colour blind).

I really enjoy using games like this as the children really get into it -it was the talk of the class this morning with children saying what level they had got onto at home. It also addresses an area which I feel many children need to develop – spatial awareness. Many children seem to have it, but often those who haven’t got a natural spatial awareness do not get enough exposure to activities to help them develop one. This activity, I feel, will help a lot.

I found it on the NCETM primary maths magazine edition 17 (which includes some great ideas about linking maths with the art of Andy Goldsworthy) and this version is hosted on the coolmath-games website.

Here is the link

Murderous Maths

I’m enjoying looking through all the educational links I’ve saved in my bookmarks and having a bit of clear out. I went back and looked at this site, There are some great quirky tricks and games on there on the surprisingly titled ‘Tricks and Games’ page. The guy who runs it also comes into schools and does a Murderous Maths show. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who’s had him in to find out how much the children enjoyed it.

Maths starters

A site I find really useful, with a range of activities my class really enjoy is Maths Starter of the Day. As the title suggests there is a maths starter for each day of the week and Saturday and Sunday. These weekend ones mean that you can choose a different one if the one for a particular day doesn’t suit your class. The activites are also categorized and sortable so that you can choose a few to match up to a particular maths topic.

The link is

Scottish Parliament

My class and the parallel primary seven class visited the Scottish Parliament today. We really enjoyed ourselves. Rhona Strachan was in charge of our group, introducing us to the work of the Parliament and a brief history of it. We then met MSP George Foulkes who did a half hour question and answers session with the children. George was great and held the children’s attention really well. Finally we went into the debating chamber and watched the MSP’s in action debating concessionary travel. The children really enjoyed it. I hope it inspires some of them into a career in politics.

Thanks Rhona and George for a great experience.

Relevant weblinks.

Scottish Parliament

George Foulkes

Scottish Parliament on Flickr

Maths Links Added.

I’ve added some links to maths websites I find useful and which contain activities, games and puzzles my classes have found to be good fun. Of course as I went through my bookmarks I found myself re-discovering parts of sites which I had forgotten about, thus slowing the process of adding the links down!

Hope you find something useful,



I’ve decided to create a blog as I use many other people’s blogs, twitters and websites in my day to day teaching career that I thought I could maybe put something back, sharing with people some of the ideas, websites, resources etc that I use in class now and that I have use. I am aiming to post links to websites, some resources in pdf format and maybe some pictures of things which seemed to go well.

To introduce myself (should this go in a separate profile section?) I am a primary school teacher who has taught for 16 years. I enjoy teaching all aspects of the curriuclum but particularly enjoy teaching maths and ICT. I trained at Uni specialising in music but I don’t appear to use much of that nowadays although listening to music of all kinds remains a love of my life.

In my postings I am not aiming to claim anything as my own unless clearly marked as such, and if I link to an article of yours or a website of yours without giving full credit please let me know.

I hope people find this as useful as some of the teaching websites I use on a daily basis.



First Post

This is my first posting on my wordpress blog. I’m currently watching and reading some tutorials which will help me to work out how to pilot this thing successfully