This Triptico activity will self destruct in…

Oh my word… how did I miss that! Create an activity in TripticoPlus and now the share options provide a way for you to publish your activities for preparation, review or as a practice/homework task in two simple steps. No need for students to sign-in to the website or create an account – just launch and learn.  Think Mission Impossible… create, share, and in 24hrs it is gone.

  1. Choose an activity to share from the ‘My Saves’ tab and click its ‘Share’ button:
  2. You will then see the following three share options:

Share Options

Click the button in option three: Publish My Activity.

Your activity will be published and you will be provided with a link and launch option, a link that will self-destruct in 24 hours (although I know David is looking at the potential to provide a range of time options moving forward. I shared with David that some of my students were not always able to access the activities within 24hrs, though it certainly adding some much needed motivation.)Open Published File Button

Let the prep or recap begin. If set as a homework task, students can then screen clip their responses. Tom Cruise, eat your heart out.

This just in…

We should be making the change to ’seven days’ very soon – and we can monitor this and perhaps extend it further in the future.

The not so secret teacher

I have bemoaned with The Guardian Twitter handle that the over riding outlook to the “Secret Teacher” blog is cloudy with a good chance of rain. Read the header and you are asked if you have an idea for an anonymous blog about the “trials, tribulations and frustrations of school life?”

Up until last night, I really didn’t have a good enough idea. There has been no a trial, there has been no suffering (at least not on my part), and this idea is far from frustration. I am left wondering, if I post it here on this blog first, will I even qualify as anonymous?

The not so Secret Teacher

It is Wednesday, mid-evening. The house is remarkably quiet. It is remarkably quiet because my wife and I, and our young three young children, boldly adventured to the Natural History Museum. We are exhausted. Our children, too exhausted to complain, have gone to bed almost willingly. My wife and I are watching a recorded episode of Vera. We hardly ever watch “live” television these days.

The quiet chime of an incoming email, too familiar during term-time, causes me to look down at my phone. From Xxxxx Xxxxxxx and the words “Thank you.” The name is familiar but not expected… A former student who was in my English class four years and two jobs ago. Maybe…

Hi Mr Still, haha [Definitely]

You may not remember me, [I do.] but you taught me at xxxxxxx, and came to visit me on my work experience at xxxxxxx xxxxxx veterinary [I’ll forgive her the dropped capitals. She probably thumb typed out the entire email]. I think I just wanted to say thank you, I’ve just been reading e.e Cummings poetry, and while still writing my own [brilliant], I remembered you had great confidence in me and always helped me in my writing. [Still writing. Can there be a better reason to teach? Not for the grade but for the joy. For the “want to.“] Being critical was a huge help [It was? I hoped it would be. But it was pretty radical back then.] I found a poem I wrote the other day about a mosquito – you assigned us to write about an animal I think [I did.] maybe a scary or deadly one, and while people wrote about lions and tigers I thought outside the box and went for something so tiny but so dangerous. [She did. I smiled. You see, she was often individual and insightful like that.] You marked it and gave me praise but also improvement pointers [Did I? My word, less controversial than critical though.] I remember doing GCSE poetry like it was yesterday and I hated school but I just wanted you to know that I loved poetry and secretly looked forward to it. It’s such a passion of mine. [My italics, not hers. Not that she loved my teaching then? Just poetry. I am of course joking.] I think it’s thanks to you partly as when I wrote that poem I knew I had a bit of talent which I never thought I’d discover! And you always helped us look so deeply into the words and people never really took it seriously but I totally loved it. [If only you could see me now; sitting so very proud of her.] I kept the “moon on the rides” book  I’m sure that was the title [Moon on the Tides and it was an anthology.] Still have it now and always look at annotations. Glad to see you’re doing well and just wanted to really say thank you for taking the job and poetry in general so seriously [That’s sounds more like me – a serious teacher.] because it was a good time in my life I thoroughly enjoyed it. Take care. [A big sigh.]


I was really taken aback by her kind words and I simply handed the phone to my wife to read the email. My wife smiled and handed the phone back. We talked briefly. I rewinded Vera and proceeded to half-watched and reply to the email.

I told Xxxxx that I was bowled over by her comments. I told her that I saw that poetry as a way she could express herself and you read it in her own words, a way for her to develop her self-confidence. I’d say she has had some success here. She tells me she has ambition to be an RSPCA investigator and is applying for a role as a PCSO.

I wonder if the Secret Teacher will like my idea?

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Greg Henderson # peaceofmind

I have been in awe of the Tour de France (Tour de Force) ever since I read Lance Armstrong’s autobiography. It’s Not About the Bike became the pre, pre-season reading for our college footballers (SIUE) leaving them little excuse to complain during our own double season pre-season, cold at the track in the morning, sweltering in the late afternoon Illinois heat. I continue to read about the pain junkies and their training programmes, and follow the larger tour races.

A few days back I read about a high speed crash at the TDF which lead to six riders retiring. The following day I read about how kiwi cyclist Greg Henderson completed the third stage with a broken rib and a hip wound needed stitching after the race.

Battered, bruised and determined.

Henderson battled to finish the 159.5km stage from Antwerp to the infamous Mur de Huy in Belgium, 14 minutes and 13 seconds behind winner Joaquim Rodriguez and ahead only of Australian Michael Matthews. I respected and recognised a sense of “determination to finish” as opposed to the “determination to win.” I went onto to read that Henderson was delaying his decision to retire from the race and whether or not to attempt the 223km fourth stage. Incidentally a stage that includes seven gruelling cobblestone sections, wretched if attempted with a broken rib. What was even more inspiring was his reasoning for considering this masochistic endeavour, shared via Twitter…

I will attempt to start today. Not ideal but the reason I try is in case I don’t make it… I can’t say I never tried. #peaceofmind Greg Henderson

Yesterday I woke  up with sore throat and felt a little aching. I really didn’t have a suitable excuse not to come into work. One of a future assembly on attendance no doubt. An assembly I anticipate @chrishildrew might borrow.

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Stolen from Primary

As with all schools, we are keen to show to acknowledge and celebrate those pupils that demonstrate an exemplary attitude to their learning. A Principal’s lunch, celebration assemblies and tutor awards form part of our termly recognition programme, plus we display their learning band on their reports to parents termly. This term we added a very simple Roll of Honour list to our website (in place of a personalised letter), congratulating all our pupils who achieved a clean sweep of GOLDs in all subjects and all pupils in the top 10% band. An idea, unashamedly stolen from my son’s Primary school. Simple and heartfelt. Well done to all pupils on that honour roll.


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