Posts Tagged ‘iPod Touch’

Puppet Pals app

February 9, 2011

Last week I showed my class possibly the best app I’ve used in ages: Puppet Pals. It is available for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. The free version comes with Wild West backgrounds and actors and with the paid version you get many other scenarios such as pirates, fairies, monsters, farm setting and fairies. You can buy each extra set of actors for 59p each or else buy the Director’s Pass which gives you all the extra actors and scenes. You can even make your own!

It is fabulous for storyboarding, character writing, speaking and listening as well as for just brilliant good ole fun!

Here’s a video one of the boys made independently after just a fairly basic introduction on how to use it.

What do you think of his work?

The film was made in three separate sections and I used iMovie to combine them into one video.

Here are some by the other boys:

QR code for app (iOS)

More Martian Stories

December 2, 2010

Here are some of the Martian stories other children in the class wrote last month using their iPod Touches, the app Make A Martian and the built in Notes app. When the children finish their writing, they email their work to me so that it can be printed off, edited and marked and then glued in their books.

Ty’s story

1st episode of Martians.
1000 Years ago there was a mysterious alien called a martian. His name was called Sloppy poe. He always slopped his saliva everywhere he goes. Finally he came to earth in his UFO. He was humongous to the Earth and the cities. There was a little girl called Mary F. She was the only person on the earth that calmed the beast down but she didn’t know at first.

2nd episode of Martians.

Soo then Mary F watched the news on television she saw the ugly beast. It was uglier than a witch. So her and her family went to the Market in the USA shopping centre and guess what Mary F saw? She saw the beast. She screamed to her mum and dad. She was screaming MONSTER. Her parents turned around and saw the beast. They was all scared!

What will happen to Mary F? They went somewhere that was safe. So then Mary’s parents was thinking to move to another city. Mary screamed NOO! So she ran up stairs and cried in her room saying I have to help stop the beast… Dum… Dum … Dum… This episode continues.

3rd episode of Martians

Mary F went behind a dumpster. She was whispering “I’m not gonna die.” Instantly so she began to be brave and went to help the USA army defeat the beast. She went to the big enormous beast. The beast raged and grabbed Mary F very angrily.

Mary started to scream. The USA army heard her,they shouted “WHO’S DAUGHTER IS THIS? WE HAVe TO SAVE HER!” “The soldiers shouted YES SIR!” They got there guns and blasters out of there secret dangerous brief case. They fired then Mary F said “stop” she said “let me calm him down.” That’s how she knew she calmed the beast down and then all of the people in USA were happy every after especially Mary F she had a pet- her pet was….
Dum …  Dum …. Dum…

Comments and guess who Mary F’s pet is. Thank you from Ty

(and yes the Mary F is me…. star and heroine!!!)

Farren’s story
One day there was a ugly and angry monster walking around the street. Then he went round scaring people. Then the next day he went back to space.

He went to visit his family but they had forgotten him. “It’s me, Freddy.” They all said “Oh Freddy!
The end

Joseph’s story

I am goo and I like chewing gum. I am not like other aliens. I don’t like pie and six packs of pepsi max. I only like tomatoes and chewing gum. Every time I walk past another Alien they die but I think they are uglier than a gorilla. I think that they are smellier than me but I don’t die when I walked past them . They laugh at me because I have chewing gum all over me. But I run into them with my little horn and spike them and they run home crying to there mum. My house is pretty smelly but I don’t care. I feel bad when the other aliens die when they walk past me.
(scribed by an adult but all his own ideas and choice of words)

My Alien by JJ

He lived on  the moon.
He was scared of people
The other aliens ignore  him.
He hates aliens.
He was very scared of people.
He likes flying.
He likes his food.
He is very rude.
He hates going to bed.
He is very nervous.
He hates going to school.
He hates detention.

Ro-Sean’s story

Years ago there was an alien which was taking over space but Ro-Sean stopped the bad alien.

They all liked the brilliant Ro-Sean. He was the best at beating the bad aliens by running at them and attacking them. All the other alien were good and went with Ro-Sean to fight the bad aliens  The end

and Chapter 3 of Alfie’s story (click here for the previous chapters)

Chapter3 the people got off their phone.
I’m so sorry about that those people are rude let’s get back to the story Dave’s message is that if the people don’t hand over there pizza supplies he would do something beyond horrible to the president. It was to dip the president  in a pot of meat feast pizza. If you ask me it is just plain stupid; I mean a small alien comes down from a planet called Urine and kidnaps the president and demands pizza. The sacrifice was about to begin. They covered the president in apple pie and pepsi. Dave was exited about the sacrifice. So happy that he called all of his home planet and the sacrifice began but no one really cared about the president because he robs everyones money by doing get rich quick schemes like turkey farming and hotel investment and now owns a little hotel so small that a fly would think it’s small. Any way Dave and the people of Urine watched nervously and Dave lowered  the rope. The president said how about a double bubble chewing gum and five dollars and Dave said okay or did he……

The Martian Story continues…

November 2, 2010

In a previous post called What Comments Would You Say?, I shared a story that a boy in my class had written. After posting it here a number of fabulous people (thank you!) left comments. I shared these comments with my young and now ‘famous’ author (well at least in the eyes of our school) and he was truly impressed as were his classmates.

Click on the Martian for the next installment of The Martian Story by Alfie… he hopes you enjoy it ……as do I!!

Martian Story updated

(image from the iTunes Store)

Making iPod Touch stands

October 30, 2010

Towards the end of the last academic year I read on @seomraranga school’s blog that his class made iPod socks. Click here to see what they made. I decided to have my class make something to hold their iPods.

Doing a quick search on Google I came across a French site that showed a paper iPhone/iPod Touch dock or stand with a very easy to follow tutorial. This was my mini DT project for last half term.

has a design for a dock for your iPhone which can be printed off on a PDF. template_iphonepaper

You can make your own dock in a few steps

Print the template in a heavy (220-270gm) A4 paper
Cut and fold according to the instructions in the template

We in fact laminated the card as the 1st attempt was not strong enough to hold the iPods.

Here are photos of some that we made:

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What comments would you say?

October 15, 2010

I have just read what I think is the funniest and most creative start to a story ever, from a boy in my class.

To set the scene

Yesterday the class (year 6 age 10) were asked to create a Martian using the Make a Martian app for the iPod Touch. I explained that we were going to be using the Martian they created as the basis for a story next week.

After creating and saving their Martian they had a grid on an A4 sheet of paper that they needed to fill in describing each of the body parts chosen with as much description as possible.

Child A finished his work and was allowed ‘Choosing Time’. Unbeknown to me he used the Notes app (don’t think I had ever shown him it before) and he wrote the following and then emailed it to me. I only saw and read it this morning.

Martian Story

What comments would you write/say if you read this?

Comments INSPIRE!!

October 13, 2010

I want to say a HUGE thank you to all who left comments for my class about their Lune poems. I showed them this blog 1st thing this morning. Most of them had not seen the Lune poems turned into a video as they had been at an away football match yesterday (They won!!!) so after reading what I had written about their writing I showed them the video. They wanted to see it over and over again to listen to theirs and each others work.

and then I started reading the comments………they were SO pleased…truly beaming faces!

Some of the boys were keen to write a comment back and then WOO HOO!!!! wanted to write some more Lunes…. so out went the planned lesson and a far more exciting one took place.

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So may I once again say thank you for helping to raise the self-esteem of a unique group of boys!

To create your own Lunes using John Johnston’s web app enter/or email the following url to the iPod Touch.
In order to save as a picture we needed to press the two blue arrows >>

On John’s site there is a great step by step picture that my class found helpful to start writing the Lunes.

Writing Poetry with an iPod Touch

October 12, 2010

Back at the beginning of 2010, in the dark days before I had iPod Touches in the classroom, I came across a blog post by John Johnston (@johnjohnston) It told about an app that he had developed using Creative Common searches in Flickr and how he used this with a class of children in Scotland.

I was greatly impressed with how simple it was to write a type of poem called a Lune (Lune (poetry) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and how interesting the result looked.

Every year my school gets involved with a poetry competition and this seemed the perfect opportunity to try this app out ourselves.

I showed my class the video of John’s Lunes and we then discussed what pictures they would use. Initially the boys were going to search quite different groups of things but it was decided as the final plan was to turn it into a film as well using my new MacBook! that it would be better for the Lunes to have a common theme.

The children quickly got the hang of the app and took care in searching for ‘just the right picture’. I even learned something… there is an animal called a Liger (Liger Wikipedia)

After choosing the picture, writing the Lune and saving the picture the children shared their work with me using the app Bump.

Here are the children’s first attempts at writing Lunes and my first attempt at using iMovie on a Mac. Many thanks need to be added here to John Johnston not only for his great app and blog but also for his very helpful How To movie about making a Lunes iMovie ;o)

Please comment on the children’s work if you have a minute. They loved it last year when people did this ;o)

Using the iPod Touch in Literacy.

September 26, 2010

This year I have 8 boys in my year 6 class. Their abilities in Maths range from Level 1c to 3a/4c and they have reading ages ranging from 5.3 to 11 yrs.

We have started to use the iPod touches in the last couple of weeks and not surprisingly they absolutely LOVE using them.

In this post I’m going to primarily focus on how we are using them to support Literacy learning.

One of the first activities that the class did was to make a personalized screen saver for the lock screen (The screen that you see when you first turn on the iPod).

We took head shots of each child and emailed it to their iPods. Each child has an email for their iPod using the system in googlemail of the same address but adding +1, +2 +3 to the end. One child’s email wasn’t working for some unknown reason so we transferred his photo using the Bump app (FREE). Looking forward to using this app more this year.

They then opened the Comic Touch lite app (FREE) and imported their photo and added a speech or thought bubble with some writing to their picture. Most chose comments such as WOW! an iPod Touch.
I then showed them how to do a screen capture by holding the home and power button at the same time. They then went to the photos folder and chose the use as wallpaper option. Now it is extremely easy when handing out the right iPod touches to each child at the beginning of the day.
Here’s the example I showed of one I made.

We have begun to use the iPod Touches throughout Literacy in a variety of ways.


Each day, the children have a number of activities that they practice  to help develop and reinforce their Literacy basic skills. What is great about the iPod Touch is that it doesn’t matter the level each child is working at as whereever the gap is in their learning as the ad says, ‘There’s an app for that!’ and  many of the apps can be set up to individual settings to match the child’s levels.

Whereas before it would be a bit of a struggle to get those with the greatest gaps to practise those skills which they saw as ‘babyish’ now they are more than happy to have a go using the iPods.

Those  needing work on knowing their long and short vowel sounds are using abc PocketPhonics (lite version FREE/full version £1.19) You can see a YouTube video about it here.  You can set the voice to either UK or US.

There are also some children who have difficulties ordering the alphabet correctly and they are using ABCD (FREE), a puzzle app to help with this.

KidsWordFind is great for those in the class who already have a good grounding in their basic skills. When it is set at the hard difficulty setting it features a 9 by 9 grid and includes words up to 9 letters long. As it says on their website ‘It’s great for teaching new words to kids that can already read. In later levels words appear upwards and backwards to help stimulate perception and problem solving.’

Chicktionary is a favourite with those who are more confident in their spelling ability and with a good understanding of spelling patterns and rules. I’m not sure if there is a difference but there is 2 full versions offered in the app store. One is the original Chicktionary (free lite version & full version £1.19) and Chicktionary by Bing (full version FREE)  I’ve gone for the Bing version.

USING eBooks

As well as using apps from the Apple Store we are also using the iPod Touches to read eBooks.

I have been HUGELY lucky to have been sent a number of eBooks from the publishers Rising Stars to try with my class. Thank you @andreacarr1!

Click here to see the eBooks that are in the Rising Stars Library.

We have started with the The Interact series of plays. The Rising Stars website says that ‘this series is designed for high interest/low reading age plays that  have been specifically written to engage and motivate struggling and reluctant readers, particularly boys.’ I 100% concur with this! My class are loving reading Astro Man and they can easily relate to the issues of peer pressure.Click here for a preview of the book

We generally read the eBooks using the IWB but some of the children are also choosing to read the books on their iPod Touches during their choosing time. They do this via the app iBooks (FREE). This just shows me again how much they are enjoying reading books specifically designed for BOTH their chronological as well as reading age!

We are hoping to create a podcast of the play which will then be uploaded onto the school website for other classes to listen to and possibly even make a video of them acting out the play.

Improving Reading Fluency

Another way we are using the iPod Touches in Literacy is using them as a tool to improve the reading fluency for those with the greatest gap between their chronological age and reading age. I first tried this for half a term last academic year with good results and am hoping to see even better results this year! I wrote about this Reading Project in an earlier blog which you can read here.

Using Voice Memos, one of the built in features that comes with the iPod Touch, and headphones with a microphone, the child reads to an adult for 1 minute whilst recording themselves. This recording is then emailed to the class account so that the reading can be analysed for the strategies used/not used and for the number of words read correctly in a minute and is then charted on a spreadsheet to show progress.
The child is also encouraged to listen back to their reading and assess themselves on their reading using the chart below. This chart was compiled from a number of fluency charts which I read about from various American sites.


Give yourself a score of 1-4 with 4 being the highest and 1 being the lowest.

1.     I didn’t understand what I read at all.

2.     I tried hard, but most of the words were hard.

3.     I could read most of the words and I used expression.

4.     This was easy and I did my best.

1st try

  • I read smoothly. ___________________________
  • I paused at full stops. ___________________________
  • I read with expression. ___________________________
  • I sounded out the words. ___________________________
  • I asked someone how to pronounce a word. _________________

2nd try

  • I remembered more words. ___________________________
  • I read more smoothly. ___________________________
  • I read with much more expression. _________________
  • I read faster. ___________________________

Last year a child made huge improvements in his expression, number of words read (from 49 words read correctly in a minute to 94 in less than 6 weeks!) More importantly than any of this though, is that his self-confidence grew immeasurably. I look forward to others  making this type of improvement.

I spoke about using the iPod Touches and reading fluency at TeachMeetBev which took place in August in Pembroke, Wales.. truly a beautiful place to visit. I want to publicly thank the fab bevevans22 for not only providing ME with a place to stay and fabulous company from her and her  lovely family but also letting my pooch stay as well (who turns out to be her dog’s identical twin!)  It was great meeting many fellow Tweeters and I look forward to the next time ;o)  You can see the video of  TeachMeetBev here (my 1st ever presentation begins at 02:28) and here.

Coming up in the next blog…. apps in Maths

iPod Touch… Getting Ready for September

August 11, 2010

Here are the apps and eBooks I have loaded onto each of the iPod Touches ready for September.

Many, many thanks to Rising Stars for sending me some eBooks to use with my class… they look great on the iPod Touch!

When less tired I’ll add a little info about how I’m hoping to use the eBooks and apps with my class of year 6 SEBD boys (age 10-11 yrs)

Lesson Observation and iTouch

May 22, 2010

On Tuesday I have an observation (for my Performance Management) during a Literacy lesson. I want the iTouches to provide an effective addition to the lesson.

In my class, and school, we focus on  developing the children’s Basic Skills in many Literacy lessons as many have gaps in their learning. The lesson on Tuesday is going to revise parts of speech and increase & extend the children’s vocabulary.

For their independent work the children are going to use their iTouches and the app Mad Libs which I’m hoping will be a fun and effective way to allow the children to practice and reinforce their learning.

As a child I used to look forward to getting a new Mad Lib book. Mad Libs consist of a book that has a short story on each page, but with many of the key words replaced with blanks. Beneath each blank is specified a noun, verb, place, or a part of the body. One player asks the other players, in turn, to contribute some word for the specified type for each blank, but without revealing the context for that word. Finally, the completed story is read aloud. The result is usually comic, surreal and somewhat nonsensical.

This great activity has come to the iTouch as a free app. (The full versions are on sale for £2.99 each).

The children will need to come up with examples for each of the parts of speech as required.

If you click on the hints button you get examples of that part of speech scrolling across the screen. This will expose the children to words they may not have thought of themselves.

You can still purchase the books from Amazon or click here to visit the US Penguin site. (I’ve just order 3 for nostalgic reasons) You can also find imitation Mad Libs online, though in my opinion, these are not as good as the originals. Here are links to some of these sites. Wacky Web Tales and Crazy Libs.

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