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Jo Payne

Jo Payne is a Deputy Head Teacher. Although she specialised in primary languages during her teaching degree, she is particularly interested in how technology can enhance pupils’ learning. She writes a blog, MrsPTeach, on which she shares ideas about many subjects within education, including: feedback and marking, whole-class reading and maintaining a healthy work–life balance as a teacher @MrsPTeach.


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http://www.mrspteach.com/

Publications by Jo Payne

Making Every Primary Lesson Count

Advocates an approach designed to cultivate a classroom culture of…

Author Blog

10 Uses for Google in the Primary Classroom

January 02 2018

Since starting my teaching career, I have - so far - worked only in schools with Google Apps.  As I move to a new school which has a different cloud-based system, I wanted to pull together some things which I have found useful about the Google Suite.  I am sure I'll find, as I settle, that many of these things are possible with other cloud-based software as well.  Google Apps for Education is free and, after some set up, is fairly easy to manage.  I have always had a set of Chromebooks available. As Chromebooks are powered by Google, the Suite links flawlessly and logging in for pupils works a treat. 



1) Peer Assessment
Introduce pupils to the idea of showing their work to a friend using the Share option just once and they'll want to do this each time you use the Google Suite for work.  Pupils can control how much access their friends have using the "View only" or "Comment only" features.  It's important to show them the differences between "Suggesting" and "Editing" a document as this can cause confusions when pupils start to share documents with each other. 

2) E-Safety
Google Classroom forms a huge part of e-safety lessons.  We generally have two classrooms for each primary pupil: their class name which is for work and a "chat" classroom which is for their year group.  In the classroom for work, only teachers can post but pupils can comment. In the "chat" classroom, pupils can post.  This prompts discussions about what is and isn't useful.  We come back to only posting if something is necessary, kind or true.  In KS2, this is an ideal replacement for show and tell - rather than bringing in a trophy, pupils post a picture of it with an explanation on Google Classroom.  Teachers monitor the comments and posts and we regularly discuss these with pupils. 

3) Collecting and Organising digital work
Google Classroom makes it really easy for pupils and teachers to store and access digital work.  All "assignments" are saved in a folder in Google Drive called "Classroom".  One thing worth knowing is that, once pupils have handed an assignment in, they no longer have editing rights - it is passed to the teacher.  For this reason, I encourage pupils not to hand work in but to complete it and leave it so we can both continue editing later on.  

4) Learning essential skills for word processing
As well as regular use allowing practice of touch typing - an essential skill if you ask me - the Google Suite is organised in a similar way to Microsoft Office.  This means that pupils are practising the skills required to be successful in creating digital documents of different formats.  Ultimately, this means they can be flexible as they leave school and are ready to use different software. 

5) Questionnaires and quizzes (Forms)
The Google Forms app is great for collecting information and setting quizzes for the class.  Results can be views in a summary, which includes pie charts and bar graphs, or in a Google Sheets document.  I've used Google Forms to gather information from my pupils but I've also used it as an easy way of parents signing up for something - for example, requesting tickets to a show or booking a place on a workshop at school.  

6) Questioning
Google Classroom allows teachers to collect a huge amount of information from pupils almost immediately.  Children can comment on a post and read and reply to each others' comments.  They love doing this but it is so useful as a teacher. Rather than hearing from a handful of pupils, you can gauge the ideas of the whole class.  This is particularly useful for open questions or opinions. 

7) Gathering data (sheets)
Having a template Google Sheets document with the names of the class down one side makes it very easy to gather data quickly.  Children simply fill in the row which has their name on.  We've had 35 people editing the same document giving ideas and opinions.  They can all see each other's edits so it's important to consider when this is useful and appropriate. 

8) Collaborating
Pupils (and teachers) can work collaboratively on documents at home and at school.  I've found that this works best in pairs and is particularly useful in non-core subjects, when you want pupils to pool their thoughts and ideas with a finished outcome.  For example, in our Wisdom topic in R.E. last term, pupils collected quotations useful for life from their families and various sacred texts into Google Slides.  Doing this in pairs meant they could discuss the quotations and consider how to explain their meaning. 

9) Teacher Assessment
Providing pupils' work is shared with the teacher (this is automatic when it's set as an assignment in Google Classroom), the Google Suite is a great tool for assessment and feedback.  Teachers can use the "preview" option in a folder to quickly flick through the work of the whole class.  They can then provide feedback in the next lesson before pupils continue.  Alternatively, teachers can option the document and leave comments.  I use both options depending on the task, my expectations and how much time I have.  In my experience, children love getting comments on their work and are quick to edit and resolve any changes that are required.  Once a comment is "resolved" it is then archived but is available to view if anyone wants to see the trail of feedback for a document. 

10) Publishing work (Blogger)
Google's blogging platform, Blogger, is one I use a lot as it's so easy to publish posts and to create a collaborative blog.  Work can be embedded from Google Drive into a blog post with a basic understanding of HTML.  I learned this by searching "how to embed Google Slides in Blogger".  When pupils have a public audience for their work, it gives it purpose.  Blogging is the perfect means by which to do provide an audience and the great thing is, because it's a website, that audience is global.  Parents and governors can leave comments to further motivate pupils.  My favourite blogging moment was when a child's father, who was in Afghanistan with the army, commented on his son's work to congratulate him.  Pure joy! 

I'd be really interested to hear what you've done with Google or any other cloud-based system. Please leave a comment if you've got anything to add. 

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Say Yes To New Adventures #Nurture1718

December 29 2017


Last December, I sat in the leaving assembly for our long-standing deputy head teacher, Sue Smith, and I promised myself I wouldn't leave my school.  This year, that same assembly was one in which the staff, parents and pupils bade me farewell before I start at a new school in January.  

This candle was given to me by a pupil and her parent recently.  They informed me that they had bought it for me before I'd announced that I was leaving and said it was quite apt for it to be my Christmas/leaving present. 

Isn't it funny how the world works?

These "Nurture" posts have been quite therapeutic for me each year as a way of reflecting on the year that's passed and looking forward to the next 12 months.   This one will be 7 things for 2017 and 8 things for 2018.  Many of the highlights of 2017 have come about because I've had to say YES to opportunities I could have easily let pass me by. 

2017
  1. Family - Once again, cancer has played its part in the year my family have had, with chemo appointments and regular check-ups being normal.  Managing the emotions of this has been interesting but, with the support of family, friends and colleauges, we've made it to now still smiling.  We enjoyed a family holiday to Mexico between treatments which was really special. 
  2. Teaching Awards - I was fortunate enough to be nominated for the Outstanding Use of Technology Award this year.  Being awarded the Silver and getting the chance to meet many other teachers was wonderful.  The ceremony was really special and I'm glad that my head teacher and some family members were there to join in with the celebration.  
  3. Making Every Primary Lesson Count - This was such a great highlight of the year.  The whole book-writing process was really interesting and enjoyable.  We had a book launch event in a local pub to celebrate the new releases and I won't tire of seeing our book on Amazon! (P.S. If you've read it, please leave a review. We love reading the reviews!) 
  4. NAHT Conference - I had such a wonderful weekend with the NAHT Edge Advisory Council at conference this year.  It left me with renewed hope for our pupils and our profession.  You can read about this in my reflective blog post here.
  5. Moving house - We finally got around to moving into our lovely new house this year and we haven't really looked back.  Only recently have we put the final bits on the walls from our travels this year and I've loved getting it all dressed up for Christmas - it's so pretty!! 
  6. Applying for a new job - This was such a surprise to me but something I'm so glad I did.  There were lots of factors involved in this, including incredible support from my husband and parents.  One thing which really encouraged me to apply was the continued stream of advice I hear, see and read from Sheryl Sandberg.  Her book, Lean In, has stayed with me since I read it years ago and gave me any extra encouragement I needed to apply for this leadership role in a great school. 
  7. Going LIVE - I've enjoyed completing a couple more Livestream events this year. You can watch the one on whole-class reading lessons here and on supporting struggling readers in secondary schools here.  This is something I hope to do more of next year.

2018
  1. New Job - Well this is the big one! I'm so excited about getting started as deputy head at a new school in January.  There will be lots to learn, especially in the first term, with names being my first priority! I can't wait to teach children across the school, get to know the families and be a part of such a great team of staff.
  2. SRocks18 - Earlier this year, I was delighted to be asked to speak at Southern Rocks in February and run a workshop.  It's going to be a wonderful weekend as it's be so well-organised by David and Kristian.  I can't wait to meet fellow presenters and attendees, some of whom I've been tweeting with for ages! 
  3. Travels - We have some overseas adventures planned this year which involve a lot of new countries - we'll see how many we can visit in 12 months! 
  4. Music - With Taylor Swift, Nashville Concert, Hamilton and Kerry Ellis tickets already purchased, I'm looking forward to seeing which other gigs and shows we can get to. 
  5. Reading - Recently, I've joined GoodReads to keep track of the books I read. I tend to flit between literature for kids and that of the crime/thriller genre, while also keeping an edu-book on the go.  You can follow what I read in 2018 here
  6. Primary Deputies Network - Kate, Fliss and I set up this Twitter account after a brief discussion.  I can't wait to see what we do with it. At the moment, it's just facilitating discussion with like-minded primary deputies. 
  7. Moving to big NAHT - I'm a little sad about leaving NAHT Edge and the advisory council.  I've really enjoyed getting to know James and all the team.  I'll be joining the big kids in NAHT from January and am hoping to get involved as a deputy when I have the chance. 
  8. Saying YES to other new adventures... - watch this space.
You can read my previous Nurture posts here.

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