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Ten interesting ways to use text in teaching & learning resources

By April 25, 2016 3 Comments

I recently had a conversation at TeachMeet London with Kate Jones, known for her innovative teaching and learning ideas in the classroom, about the app Typorama. She went away and had a play and since then has been using it a lot in her classroom. She got in touch and asked if she could share some of the ways that she has been using it in her classroom via the blog. Here is her blog:


I thoroughly enjoy creating teaching and learning resources. I’m also keen to embrace technology in my classroom and lesson planning. Through Mark’s suggestion I started using the Typorama app. This is a free app that transforms photos and text into amazing typographic designs on iOS. Images are provided on the app or you can upload your own from your camera roll. There are also over 40 different typographic styles available with photo filters, overlays and adjustment tools. I have used this app in a variety of ways. I wanted to share ten methods to use Typorama focusing on teaching and learning.

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PowerPoint presentation.

Typorama is a very quick and simple way to create visually impressive slides that can be included in your lesson presentations. Text is limited but I believe that is far better, because it allows the key points to be summarised.

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This doesn’t overload students with too much text or information at once on screen, resulting in more of a prompt for discussion. This is an interesting way to present lesson outcomes or pose key questions with relevant images too.

Plenaries.

I have used Typorama visuals with questions to help students reflect on the lesson, set future targets etc. This could also be a slide or a host of other creative plenaries. I created a set of plenary flash cards which I laminated so I can use them with different classes. The flash cards have questions on that are used to promote discussion in pairs, groups or as a class.

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I also used the same visual images and questions to create plenary dice and exit tickets that students can verbally answer or write on at the end of the lesson.

Praise Postcards.

This is a fantastic app to create fun, stand out praise postcards to send to both students and their parents. I have linked these praise post cards with my school reward system, Vivo.

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Another brilliant free app to create praise postcards, where you can also include photos of students or their work, is Photofunia.

Keyword cards.

In History, as all subjects, there are lots of subject specific terminology that are new for students. Key words and their meaning can be difficult for students to grasp, remember and use in the correct context.

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Key word cards have a definition and image connected to the key word. The cards can be used by students in the lesson, act as a useful revision tool encouraging students to become independent learners. These can be used across different key stages and could be very helpful for EAL students.

Secret Mission cards. 

This is an idea I trialled with a KS3 class, that proved to be very successful as well enjoyable for the students. Secret mission cards can be generic but I personalised the mission for each individual in my class.

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The purpose of the secret mission cards vary for each individual student. The cards can encourage students to participate in the lesson, answer or ask questions, improve effort or behaviour, focus on literacy, challenge more able students and much more. The secret mission cards did prove to motivate students and contribute to individual progress. Typorama again makes the cards look visually impressive for students but more importantly than that, they are very quick and easy to produce.

Support and challenge cards.

Similar to the key word cards, the support cards can be used with different students and classes. These cards include literacy and numeracy rules. 

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The rules/ strategies can vary from; using capital letters at the start of sentences to explaining when to use the correct there, their and they’re. If a student struggles with a particular SPaG rule then they can have the relevant flash card on their desk to act as a reminder. In my classroom I have a challenge jar, I have seen lots of variations of this activity from challenge sticks to a challenge wall. These challenge tasks involve a series of extension tasks for students who complete work early or can be given specifically to gifted students. The flash cards can be adapted with a series of tasks for students to carry out independently in the lesson.

Quotes.

I often notice teachers on Twitter sharing inspirational quotes. There are lots of apps to create these including Instaquote, WordSwag, Legend and again Typorama.

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In my subject there are so many wonderful and well known quotes from Historical figures. Quotes with an image of the person works well in History but this could work just as well in other subjects, especially English Literature.

Languages/ Bilingualism.

As a teacher in Wales I have a responsibility to promote the Welsh language in my lessons. Typorama allows the creator to include text in a different language.

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This app can have great potential for MfL, as well as the WordFoto app, both allowing text in another language with an image connected to the text.

Classroom Displays.

Typorama allows you to create lovely, images and text with key words, quotes, questions that can all go on display in your classroom. Creating a visually stunning and stimulating learning environment.

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And finally…

Basically, Typorama graphics can be added to any resource. I have included them in worksheets, plenary dice, learning mats and games. If possible, students could be encouraged to create a Typorama selecting the relevant image and individual text.


Kate is an SSAT Lead Practitioner for History, Head of Department and can be found on Twitter at @87History. You can download her plenary dice template on the TES here and her flashcards on the TES here.

Mark Anderson

About Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson, @ICTEvangelist. Click here to learn more.

3 Comments

  • Claire Chalcraft says:

    Thanks Mark and Kate – great post! I love using text too but so far I’ve only been using Font Candy
    https://appsto.re/gb/OioDN.i
    as my go to app. I am definitely going to have a play with the ones you’ve suggested. Thanks!
    Claire @CMCinSwitz

  • […] I thoroughly enjoy creating teaching and learning resources. I’m also keen to embrace technology in my classroom and lesson planning. Through Mark’s suggestion I started using the Typorama app. This is a free app that transforms photos and text into amazing typographic designs on iOS. Images are provided on the app or you can upload your own from your camera roll. There are also over 40 different typographic styles available with photo filters, overlays and adjustment tools. I have used this app in a variety of ways. I wanted to share ten methods to use Typorama focusing on teaching and learning  […]

  • […] Mark Anderson @ICTEvangelist sharing ten teaching and learning ideas using Typorama, can be found here. Teachers can download my secret mission cards but I suggest thinking very carefully about your […]

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