Advent Calendar of iPaddery – 4th December

Activity 3 (all phases): Personalised green screen Christmas cards

Green screening is a great technology that children love. You just need a bright green (or blue) plain background.  If you have Do Ink’s Green Screen app that’s probably the easiest way to get a still image; however, as of this summer you don’t need a specialist app any more for video as Apple’s free iMovie app now does it beautifully.

Get your children to select a great Christmas backdrop (or photograph their own work), if you have Christmas costumes get them to dress up appropriately then use the Green Screen app to photograph themselves in their chosen Christmas scene. Here’s one of many we made at Blackmarston:


The finished photograph can be turned into a printed Christmas card using whatever software / device you are most comfortable with.

You could go on and create a piece of video in the same scene with the child giving their own Christmas message and attach that to the card with a QR code to bring the card to life. More about that to come.

Advent Calendar of iPaddery – 3rd December

Activity 2 (Year 3-6): Christmas e-card in Scratch

It’s great that children can now code in Scratch on an iPad, it means that so many excellent lesson resources that are out there can be used even if you don’t have laptops any more (though you need to avoid anything that involves keyboard presses or mouse / pointer following behaviour). You need to create a teacher account in Scratch and then create logins for your children.


I had a bit of fun with this lesson at Credenhill this morning in Year 4. Here is the inspiration for the lesson: We first decomposed this example by talking through the sprites and what their coding might look like. The children then searched through backgrounds and sprites (there is next to nothing unfortunately) but we then learned about .png  files (transparent backgrounds) and they quickly found plenty of material online. A bit more time spent particularly on repeats and repeat loops and forever loops and they were away.

Jane is going to show them how to copy the link from Scratch to Seesaw, so that a QR code can then be created. These will be printed out and stuck onto the back of the real life physical cards the children will create later in the term so that the recipient can scan with a smart phone / tablet to see the e-card too.

Here’s one of the children’s cards

Advent Calendar of iPadery – 2nd December

Here’s the first offering for this year’s Advent Calendar of iPad activities for Herefordshire primary schools (and anyone else who drops by).  There will be one more for each school day from now until Christmas. Some of them will be new others recycled from previous years. Happy Advent! Mark

Activity 1 (Year 3+4): Advent Calendar using thinglink 

Thinglink is a website (, so no need for any app install (though there is one) and of course you can use it on computers too.  Just get a teacher to create an account for their class (it’s free) and get going.

You add a picture to create your “thinglink” then share it with the class, via a web link or by creating a QR code to display on the whiteboard (children will need a QR code reader on their iPads to read a QR code) they can all add tags to the picture (after research). Take a look at the Settings – you can open it up so that anyone with the link can edit and keep it “private” so only those with the link can see / edit it.


Here’s one I started. (or scan the QR Code below).


It’s open for editing and private to the people with the link. Try adding your own fact about Advent (it’s anonymous unless you choose to add your name!) If you’re really pressed for time just invite the children to contribute to my one. Don’t forget to share what you make with me.

Space VR at Lugwardine (Y1)

Here’s a book we made this afternoon with Year 1 at Lugwardine Primary School. Earlier in the week they used Google Expeditions on a mix of Google Cardboard headsets and iPads t explore the Solar System. We also looked at a VR app and used the new iOS11 screen recording feature to create video of our voyage through space.

Through the seek the children wrote sentences about each planet and rehearsed them. This afternoon we used a green screen and Do Ink’s Green Screen app to film them in space. Each planet has a page in the e-book we made in Book Creator.

We hope you enjoy it.

Christmas iPad Activities

For the last couple of years, through December, I’ve been sending out daily Twitter posts with a Christmas iPad activity that might be used in class.

This year I’m sending you the lot in one go. I’ve updated them to make use of (you’ll find these three on the “any year group” sheet):

  • The John Lewis “Moz” advert
  • VR – Google Spotlight Stories: Special Delivery
  • Christmas Tree artwork in Pic Collage (great for Christmas cards)
  • And one or two more …

If you have digital leaders working in your school you might like to use them to help you deliver a lesson. Happy Christmas – enjoy the last two weeks.

Christmas iPad Activities Any Year group

Christmas iPad Activities R,Y1,Y2

Christmas iPad Activities Y3+4

Christmas iPad Activities Y5+6