About helipad

I love teaching with iPads! I believe that iPads increase creativity in our students and transform the way we teach. I have taught all year levels from early childhood to Year 7. Currently I am teaching a Year 2 iPad class | Apple Teacher | Digital Pedagogy Coach | School Website Administrator.

Using G👀gly eyes for division in Explain Everything

A couple of weeks ago we used G👀gly eyes whilst learning about arrays. As the kids loved them, we brought them back to work on division.


Shown above are the different ways we have been learning to represent division. In case you’re wondering, MAD T is an acronym for Multiplication And Division Triangle. The students were starting to understand the correlation between the hands on G👀gly eyes and the representations. So, we extended them by adding in a monster story to match the G👀gly eyes. The kids loved it.

Give it a try!






Home reading 📖 task with a twist 🌪

Sometimes, the best learning moments are not intentionally planned…

Every week I assign my students ebooks for their home reading using Sunshine Classics. However last week, for the first time EVER, I forgot. I had parents emailing me asking “where were this weeks books?”. I confessed that I had forgotten due to assessment week and quickly created a task for them, as I did not have 30 minutes to assign ebooks books for all the students.

The task > upload a selfie video of you reading a book from home onto Seesaw.

Seesaw home reading

It was great to see:

  • The kids relaxed whilst they were reading
  • How confident they were taking a selfie video
  • Wonderful fluency that entertained

AND most of all

  • Peers leaving positive feedback


I would definitely do this task again.

Give it a try!




iMovie Trailer – The Secret Life of Year 2

The Secret Life of Year 2‘ is the theme students were given to create an iMovie trailer to give the current Yesr 1 students a little idea of what Year 2 is like.


The inspiration for this project theme was the movie trailer for ‘The Secret Life of Pets” we watched as an introduction to the animal themed poetry we studied this week.


I went through the basic features of iMovie Trailers with the students and watched a couple that I had made previously.


Students were grouped into groups of four and had ten seconds to nominate whose iPad they would be using for this project.  By the time ten seconds was finished one child from each group was standing. Easy!


Next, they had 30 minutes to plan and take photos or videos. The only constraint they were given was that whatever they showed needed to be important for next year’s class. Now, the students were in control of the content. I was amazed how they all worked together and not one group required me to intervene. We discussed groups had to share iPad duties with acting roles to ensure everyone had a turn.


Making an iMovie is time consuming as there are many steps and decisions that go into making one. I suggest you try one yourself prior to getting your students to make one, so you understand what will be required.


After the 30 minutes planning time, students were given the opportunity to share their work and receive some feedback.


I’ll let you know how they progress in the 2nd session.



Give it a try


Multiplication arrays in Explain Everything

We’ve just started learning about multiplication and I wanted the class to use manipulatives and record their learning on their iPad. As one of the benefits of a BYO iPad is that children can reflect on their learning at home.

I gave the kids a container with 20 googly eyes and paired them with a buddy.  Who doesn’t love googly eyes right!


I told them that we were going to use the googly eyes to make multiplication array. Each person was to collect four googly eyes and discuss with their buddy how they were going to organise their collection.img_1378

The next step, was to take a clear photo to insert in Explain Everything and crop the photo if needed. These kids are amazing at multi-step instructions!  Here is where the kids demonstrated the various ways they could represent the array.


We continued with a few different arrays and then I gave them a backwards task. I told the class that the answer was ’15’ and they needed to show me the array. It was great to hear the discussion between the buddies on trying to figure out the array. There were kids who showed 3×5 and others who showed 5×3. Perfect lead into teaching them about turnarounds in multiplication just like in addition and subtraction.

img_1383 img_1384

I then told them that there is another array for the number 15. There were puzzled looks and lots of trial and errors and eventually one pair figured it out…


Now Explain Everything was the perfect App for the kids to flip the array vertically to demonstrate the turnaround. The perfect ‘light bulb moment’ that I love seeing in my students. To finish off the learning we labelled the document ‘My first array book’ to mark as their first learning experience with arrays. Here is an example of the finished product. My first array book

Give it a go!




Word Work with Explain Everything

I am a strong believer that when students do any Word Work activity it must be collaborative for them to get any benefit. One activity I love is explain your ‘Silly Mistake‘ in Explain Everything. As a teacher you get a quick indication if students understand their sort when they are required to explain their thinking.

  1. Students initially do a Table Sort with their cards and make a ‘Silly Mistake‘. My definition of a Silly Mistake is only making one or two mistakes, any more and you don’t know if students have made a Silly Mistake or lots of mistakes!
  2. Next students take a clear photo of their Table Sort and export the photo into Explain Everything.
  3. In Explain Everything students use the laser pointer to keep the audience focused on their explanation of their sort and their reasoning for the Silly Mistake OR leave their reasoning for their Silly Mistake for the audience to guess.
  4. Once finsished recording their voice, students export their video to Photos and share with a buddy OR upload to Seesaw for peers to view and guess the Silly Mistake.

Give it a go!



Writing ideas in Kidspiration

We recently had our school’s community fundraiser event, so, what a great stimulus idea for writing!

All students went, so they all had a personal connection to the topic.

To ensure all students were able to write an entertaining recount, we collaboratively made a Kidspiration map about the rides and stalls that were there.

img_1322Including some images assists the visual learners and adding the feeling of ‘scary’ reminds all students to expand their ideas.

After we had our planning session, students went ahead to independently write their own recount.

I didn’t have any student saying that they didn’t know what to write!


Give it a try!


Word Work with Kidspiration

I’m always thinking of new activities to keep Word Work interesting for my students. My teaching partner and I were exploring making a Word Family Tree in Book Creator. However, it proved to be very time consuming and detracted from the purpose of the lesson.

We then thought about using Kidspiration to make a Hot Air Ballon using the movie “Up” as inspiration. The idea took off!

We added a collaborative aspect of students swapping hot air ballon maps as a “blind sort” for a buddy to identify the sort headings.


Give it a try!




Graphing App Smash

What was initially supposed to be a graphing warm up, turned into one of the most AMAZING redefining activities I have taught. I have always thought of using the Numbers App with my Year 2 students but then dismissed it as it might be “too hard”. Well was I wrong!


As a warm up the students were asked to look at the food pyramid and make a picture graph in Kidspiration using the “Food Group” template under the Science tab.

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Students then exported their Kidspiration picture graph into the Blackboard to Write and Draw on iPad App to tally the food items in each food group.


From there students were going to use that information and make a bar graph using grid paper in their Maths books….HOWEVER, change of plan… I asked the students if they were keen to try something brand new, using an App they have never used before and were they willing to learn with me.

They all gave a determined ‘ YES!’.

We inserted the Blackboard image into the Numbers App and made a table with the information we had. Great! That was easy. All kids were keeping up. Next we deleted any empty columns and rows. A little tricky for some. So the students who were quick to grasp the concept became “experts” and were available to help others.

From there ALL that you need to do is select the table and click the + to add a graph. It’s that easy!


The kids wanted to do another one. So, we read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the students created a table of the amount of fruit the caterpillar ate, which they converted into a graph.


Now we could have stopped there… however we didn’t.

The students took a screenshot of their spreadsheet and inserted it into Explain Everything to answer: which fruit did the caterpillar like the most and how do you know that? 


Give it a go!





Seesaw for Collaboration

Recently I discovered Seesaw! Up until then, my Year 2 students had created amazing work with their iPads but I had not ventured down the path of social sharing. I want my students to be digitally literate to prepare them for their future and Seesaw is how I am introducing them to this.



Here are the reasons why I like Seesaw:

  • It is easy to use.
  • Students’ posts require teacher authorisation prior to going live.
  • Any posts that are inappropriate can be declined and deleted.
  • Students are learning to engage in social networking in a safe and strictly monitored way.
  • It is a closed group.
  • Seesaw can be used at school and home allowing students to collaborate outside of school hours.

Some ideas:

  • Upload images as a stimulus prior to learning.
  • Uploading documents for students to download prior to class.


  • Class reminders.
  • Students uploading completed tasks that I can check later and provide feedback on.
  • Students uploading work for others to review and give feedback.


Give it a go!