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SJSmith (UK)
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Using Social Media in the Classroom: A Best Practice Guide
Using Social Media in the Classroom: A Best Practice Guide
by Megan Poore
Edition: Paperback
Price: 19.14

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great teaching resource, 17 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I found this an easy to read and highly accessible book that is good enough to make any level of social media expert find something useful. Okay, in places some aspects should be obvious to education professionals about internet safety but I tried to read this with different stages of readers' careers in mind; realising some of the information might come down to how long people have been teaching and how much computer experience they have as well as the types of learners they work with. Therefore this wouldn't have been a reason for me to bring it down to 4 stars.

For me, chapter 10 on bookmarking and clipping were particularly useful as they'll provide a new tool I can use instantly at work. The next two chapters on educational games and productivity tools have also provided some ideas. Reminders were present throughout all the chapters about the professionalism of the teacher and to keep checking school policies, which I thought was a good addition as not everyone would know what was and wasn't allowed to be used.

A definite keeper for me and as I've said, chapter 10 is going to be useful right away. I'm certain I would have acquired this anyway had I not been lucky to access a copy to review.


Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar for GCSE, Complete Revision & Practice
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar for GCSE, Complete Revision & Practice
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great teaching resource, 11 Oct 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
CGP books can always be relied upon to provide good quality teaching resources and this one's no different. Now that SP&G is appearing for marks on courses other than English it is necessary for all subject teachers to be focusing on these key skills. Good for tutor time practice or even just at home with family. For me, as a teacher, this will provide a useful core of resources for starters within lessons during Y10 and Y11. Clear instructions for the children also mean those adults working with them who aren't sure of the SP&G rules can follow along as well. A worthwhile addition to any classroom at any age.


The Son
The Son
by Michel Rostain
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Tedious in places, 23 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Son (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I bought this as a kindle book and also took the chance to have a review copy as well. It started well and I had high hopes for what I'd anticipated would be an unusual and potentially quite emotional read. Unusual maybe, in that it is narrated by the son who has just died but emotional - well actually this what it was lacking. I felt like the son was (and I'm sorry if this sounds harsh) quite an unlikable character. I have a friend who read this (and that's what prompted me to buy the kindle version) and raved about it talking about the sadness and tears but I was honestly relieved when I was finished it. The funeral of Lion (the son who has died) was quite grotesque to read about becoming theatrical in its portrayal. I did think the ending was good though and provided some inspiration for the readers. It isn't a story I'll be recommending and it isn't a book I'll be hanging on to. For me, it was just okay.


The Bumper Book of Kids' Birthday Cakes: Hundreds of triple-tested cake decorating ideas to make every party memorable, for boys and girls, from ... and teenagers (The Australian Women's Weekly)
The Bumper Book of Kids' Birthday Cakes: Hundreds of triple-tested cake decorating ideas to make every party memorable, for boys and girls, from ... and teenagers (The Australian Women's Weekly)
by The Australian Women's Weekly
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Think it'll be shop bought next year, 22 Sep 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I chose this as a way to get ideas ready for when my son turns 5. Sadly there is just nothing in here that I'd enjoy making for him to have at his party, I'd rather by something from a local supermarket. Half of the designs look incredibly scary and just so old-fashioned. I'm 40 and I remember my mam making me cakes like this when I was just starting school. If, like me you're not really sure where you'd begin then I guess it is a good place to start but I would have been so disappointed if I'd bought the book instead of getting a review copy. The only good aspect is there's very little preparation to do as a high percentage of the recipes are from cake mixes and not actually having to prepare your own mix. Might be good for a play day at home, such as when I've offered my son a book day and everything is linked to one of his favourite books.


Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test  Dual Hormone Indicator- (Pack of 10)
Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test Dual Hormone Indicator- (Pack of 10)
Price: 19.69

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So simple, 22 Sep 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I haven't used these with the intention of getting pregnant, I've used them with the aim being to see if my stomach pains in middle of cycle are related to ovulation (and they were). Very simple to use, the instructions couldn't be easier. Take them out of the wrapper, pee on the stick and wait for the result to be displayed. Before using them for the first time take a look at what you need to do as otherwise you'll be holding that "first wee of the morning" in and you'll be fit to burst by the time you've fathomed them all out. The smiley picture is good as a visual. I think if I was trying to get pregnant I'd be using these to help but then again the spontaneity does disappear if you're using products - as happened with us when trying to conceive.


LeapFrog Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil Learning Toy
LeapFrog Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil Learning Toy
Price: 13.50

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, 22 Sep 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First up is the packaging - how much?? Is it really necessary? Always a shame to see so much packaging when all you need is actually the amount to cover the pencil. However in a shop I guess they need this much in order to explain what the product does. Whilst it does state clearly that it is an app learning toy on the top and then on the bottom that it is compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch I just wonder if this could be much bolder and bigger so that any buyers aren't caught out; after all there is so much information on the packaging you might get caught out.

The product itself is great. My son has just turned 4 and started school just after turning 4. He's holding the stylus in essentially the same was as a pen/pencil but I suspect if you use this with a much younger child their hand grip may not be formed enough to hold it well enough and end up gripping it. Mind you, in my opinion if you're learning to form the letters and know that the grip isn't right then you'll adapt easy enough especially as you'll certainly be using a real pen much more than this stylus. The app itself is bright and cheerful and the user has three attempts at forming the letters and shapes needed in order to move on to the next part of the game. Motivational praise and encouragement is used throughout and I didn't find it too excessive.

My only request with products such as these is that if schools insist on using "baby" speak for alphabets would products come with this function so you can switch between the two. For example when he is taught the letter "a" it isn't by sounding "ay" it is by sounding "ah" and "b" is not "be" but "buh" (hope this makes sense). Either way it is still a good product. Much fun has been had with it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 21, 2013 1:41 AM BST


Sugarlump and the Unicorn
Sugarlump and the Unicorn
by Julia Donaldson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 3.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My son enjoyed it, 22 Sep 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My son is just over 4 months and he enjoyed this story. Since it arrived we've read it through about 5 or 6 times. After reading I asked if he felt if it was more for girls than boys but he said no as it had things in that boys like as well (he meant specifically the pictures of carousels as he loves them). The glitter on each page is fine and doesn't transfer to your fingers as you're reading - thereby not getting all over everything.

I'd cap this book at around age 5, possibly 6 but it is childlike in nature with the illustrations so I don't think it would appeal to an audience older than this. Some of the phrasing is a little strange but perhaps fits more with the idea of getting a good rhyme scheme for under 5s established. An interesting moral of the 'grass isn't always greener' to discuss with your little one as well. Overall a nice story that has elements for both boys and girls.


The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations (J-B Leadership Challenge: Kouzes/Posner)
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations (J-B Leadership Challenge: Kouzes/Posner)
by James M. Kouzes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is for very high level leadership, 15 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I approached this as middle management in a UK secondary school looking for leadership information and I'm really the wrong type of leader for this book. It is heavily biased towards running major US companies rather than being a lead at any level. I felt like I was sitting in a hall being giving a motivational talking to with an expectancy to make a donation or buy a product at the end of it. What I didn't feel like was that I could make notes, find something to inspire me or guide me in a role of leadership within a school.

If I was American I wonder if I'd feel any different about it? Either way I wasn't the target audience and I've been left feeling relieved that I didn't buy it and moving on in my search. I would be interested to know how this fifth edition differs to the previous four if their principles haven't changed.


Clarity: Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results
Clarity: Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results
by Jamie Smart
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Useful thoughts but nothing tangible, 15 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not sure what to do now I've read this book which sort of defeats the purpose of a book called Clarity. Each chapter neatly links via a QRcode to Jamie's own website but as I didn't want to sign up for updates I wasn't able to view properly. There is lots of information about how we think and our psychologies moving into what our desires and goals are but beyond this information there isn't a whole lot going on and to be honest I don't really know what the purpose of the book was for.

I'd approached this with the feeling that I might be about to read something similar to experiencing meditation in that I would learn skills for uncluttering my mind and becoming more able to think clearer and work better because my mind wasn't always wandering on to something else but it wasn't.

I think there is useful information if you just want to read about how we think rather than how to think better and bje able to do what the book says - clear mind, better performance, better results. I wish it had delivered what it promised.


Assertiveness: How to be Strong in Every Situation
Assertiveness: How to be Strong in Every Situation
by Conrad Potts
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple in style, 12 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A good book, closer to 4.5 stars. Simple to read thanks to the effective layout throughout the book and consistency in each chapter. Some useful tips, especially towards the end of the book in part two when they look at family friends and colleagues.

I like the chapters identifying what the difference was been being aggressive, assertive and non-assertive in a range of circumstances. Very readable and something of use that could be implemented immediately. A worthwhile addition to other books from the same publishers.


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