Kinect Calculations

A quick post for Sunday. Last week I started using the Kinect system with my XBox in class. I've only got Kinect Adventures but that it has more than enough options for use in many areas of the curriculum.

I used the Reflex Bridge activity to generate the numbers required for our mental calculation work in class. The game can be played by two players which involves lots of jumping, ducking and swerving to avoid oncoming obstacles whilst trying to collect pins. The total for each player is displayed at the end of the game which lasts approximately 3 minutes.

The two 3 digit numbers provide a wealth of mental calculation possibilities.

• Add both 3 digit numbers together
• Subtract one 3 digit from the other 3 digit
• Use the first number's 3 digits to make the highest/lowest number you can
• Use all the digits to make the highest/lowest number you can
• Find the total of all the digits
• Create 5 calculations involving the digits of the first set of digits
• Round the totals up to the nearest 10/100
• Add both totals together and round to the nearest 10/100
• Multiply the digits of the first total/second total
The list can go as far as your imagination or the objectives for the year take you.

How to use proxy setting with Linux Mint

The dreaded proxy server has reared its head again. If you read my post about Linux OS for old tech you would have found me advocating Ubuntu, Elementary and Linux Mint. Unfortunately, I have found Linux Mint to be problematic if your school server uses proxy settings to get online. Ubuntu and Elementary also require changes to the network settings if you use a proxy, but this only involves a simple change in the Network Settings panel. This doesn't work in Linux Mint, the settings can be entered but will not remain saved.

So, here's the 'how to' courtesy of the askUbuntu Q&A section - if you're not keen on using terminal commands I suggest you either don't bother using Linux Mint and stick to Ubuntu or Elementary (or any other Linux distro) or swallow your fears and give this a go.

Use terminal to open /etc/environment using a text edit app as superuser - e.g. interminal type sudo gedit /etc/environment     (enter password when asked)Add the following line…

The depressed teacher

For many years I have been recognised, in the main, as an 'outstanding teacher' by my peers, the LA and Ofsted. I learned from my errors, I listened to advice from those more experienced and I strove to improve my pedagogy through CPD and reading literature. In September 2012 I was recognised as an 'outstanding' teacher, one of only two in the school, by Ofsted yet only one month later I was deemed 'requires improvement' by the newly appointed headteacher. Why? What happened to my teaching? Where did I go wrong? How could I have let this happen? I questioned it yet found the reply insane- I didn't meet the new observation checklist. A descent into ill health and depression followed with two emergency visits to A&E with suspected heart attacks.

It's been a long time coming but I feel ready to tell this side of my teaching career so that others may recognise the signs and do something about it. My first visit to A&E happened during 2014. The atmo…

My latest lesson observation feedback

This was the outcome of my latest lesson observation - I received Good with Outstanding features (whatever that actually means). The form is based on the 2013 Ofsted criteria for a whole school observation, such criteria is not meant to be used to grade individual lessons so why are schools doing exactly that?
To achieve an Outstanding grade on this form I would have needed to do the following in the length of time the lesson observation took place.  Almost all pupils make rapid and sustained progress across the curriculumMarking and feedback from the teacher and pupils is frequent and of consistently high qualityTeaching of reading, writing, communication and maths is exceptionalUse of well judged and often imaginative teaching strategies that match individual needsTime taken to develop skills in other subjectsAppropriate and regular homeworkNow to pick some of these apart. No teacher can possibly be expected to ensure all pupils make sustained and rapid progress across THECURRICULUM