Creating ePubs in the Music Classroom

Book Creator is one of my favourite apps to use in my music classroom.

One of the advantages to using a general classroom app in music lessons is that the students already know how to use the app and therefore most times I do not have to spend time teaching them all the skills needed. On the flip side I have also worked together with their classroom teacher by introducing the recording side of the app in my classes while they have already learnt to write, type and insert images in class.

One activity my students love to do with Book Creator is make their own ePubs.

Below are 3 examples from my classroom that has served different purposes.

Whole Class ePub ‘The Animals in the Class’

First we looked at, and sang along to, a few nursery rhymes and songs that had been written into books e.g. The Wheels on the Bus, I’m a Little Teapot,  Old McDonald Had a Farm.

Next we rewrote our own version of The Wheels on the Bus using the title of ‘The Animals in the Class’.

Each student wrote and illustrated their own page on a piece of paper. Then in groups with a shared iPad, they inserted a photo of each students’ illustration on a separate page in Book Creator, adding their name. Next their group helped each person record using the ‘Add Sound’ audio tool in Book Creator, singing and playing instruments to their verse.

Each of the group Book Creator ePubs were then airdropped to my iPad and merged together into one class ePub.

Here is the result which they were extremely proud of:

Instrument Families ePub

To learn about the instrument families, My Year 1 (6 year old) students created an ePub showing each instrument family and recorded what each family sounds like.

Since the latest Book Creator update allows GarageBand files to be imported directly into a Book Creator page, this enabled my students to record their own track for each family using the virtual instruments in GarageBand and then inserting it onto the relevant page.img_1702

To save time I created a template for my students with the instrument family images already inserted and sent this to each child via airdrop.






I stepped the students through recording in GarageBand and then sending the soundtrack to Book Creator, inserting it as a button.

The students also took a screenshot of their GarageBand recording and inserted this from the camera roll.

Here is an example of their work.

Artist Project

One project I have done with my Year 6/7 classes is to review a song from their favourite artist.

The students inserted the lyrics of the song and then the song itself from their iTunes music.

The final task was to write a reflection on the meaning of the song, those that struggled with writing used video or audio to record their reflection instead.

Here is an example:

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Book Creator has allowed me to transform previous paper, pen and oral presentation activities into interactive projects, capturing my students performances into ePubs, creating an archive we can keep for years to come.

I hope these examples from my classroom inspire you to use Book Creator in your teaching too.



Teach to transform!


Gathering Video Assessment for Reporting

It’s that time of year again in Australian Schools with mid year reports due.

Now that I have finished and sent mine through, I would like to share with you how I use video observations to help me with my assessment.

Taking video footage in the classroom is really easy now that we have it readily available on iPads, iPods, phones and cameras. I have found that since taking footage of my students it is so much easier to assess, and I feel a lot more confident in the evidence I have gathered to back up my assessment grade.

There are 2 ways I gather video assessment in the classroom:


I record using either my iPad or iPhone and keep this for assessment.

This is an example from my Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 classes tapping rhythms using their magic wands (pop sticks with foam stars glued to them) and pipe cleaner notation.

This example is from my Year 6/7 class playing their arrangement on their own coded music instrument apps in Hopscotch


I ask my students to record themselves, or a partner records them on their iPad.

The files are sent to me via Airdrop or Dropbox.

Sometimes we combine this footage  in a Digital Portfolio using Book Creator or Explain Everything for parents to view.


This example is a Year 4/5 class creating a recorder portfolio.

Gathering video footage as evidence for assessment allows you

  • the flexibility to assess in your own time rather than grading on the spot
  • to view the students performance multiple times, especially helpful when there is more than one student in the performance
  • to review your original assessment for final reporting grades
  • to provide the evidence for parents if they question your assessment.

Are there activities that you can assess via video in your classroom?



Teach to transform!


List of Creative Commons Commercials


My current unit of inquiry with my Year 6/7’s is Media and Advertising, looking at the music in TV commercials.

I have created this blog so I don’t have to send my students to Youtube to search for Creative Commons commercial videos to use in their composing project.

Below are a few different type of examples I found. Where there is attribution information I have added it under the video.

To find more creative commons videos use ‘creative commons’ in your Youtube search term.

Look at the information below the video in Youtube (select ‘show more’) to view the type of creative commons license.

Or use this website:

Argos Christmas Advert 2015 – #JustCantWait


Published on Nov 6, 2015

The Argos Christmas Advert 2015. Immerse yourself in a world of colour, excitement and energy with the Argos Christmas ad, #JustCantWait for Christmas. Get free Same Day Delivery when you spend £50, or collect in store in as little as 60 seconds with Fast Track. Go Argos.

Argos TV Advert – Fast Track Collection

Published on Nov 6, 2015

Get set for new Argos FastTrack Collection! Now buy online and collect your order from Fast Track counters in store. We’ll have it ready in as little as 60 seconds. Go Argos.

Nike Hypervenom : Mirrors ft. Neymar Jr. (Nike Commercial 2014)

Published on Mar 15, 2016

As Neymar Jr. readies himself to return to the pitch, Nike has teamed up with creative agency Wieden + Kennedy once again for a new commercial entitled “Mirrors”.

Starring the Brazilian forward, the spot focusses on the the new Hypervenom boots that he’ll be playing in this season and draws upon Neymars ability to trick the opposing team’s defence. “This is Neymar Jr. in his Hypervenom boots,” says Nike. “This is what it’s like to try to stop him.” The Hypervenom Phantom is now available at Nike.

Directed by Johnny Green

Advertising Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, USA
Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke
Copywriter: Dylan Lee
Art Director: Bertrand Fleuret
Producer: Jeff McDougal
Agency Executive Producer: Matt Hunnicutt
Visual Effects: Dan Williams
Agency Producers: Jessica Staples, Endy Hedman
Production Company: Reset
Director: Johnny Green
Editors: Kirk Baxter, Scot Crane
Post Production Producer: Sean Costelloe
Music: Wu-Tang Clan with Kool G Rap

Easy Egg Advert

No details provided


Winx Club – Sirenix Dolls Commercial! Portuguese!

Winx Club™ created by Iginio Straffi © 2003-2014 Rainbow S.r.l. and Viacom International Inc. All rights reserved.

Design a Friend from Chad Valley – Available at Argos

Dress her, style her, be her friend. The DesignaFriend collection available only at Argos.

Chad Valley Summer and Winter Dolls House – As seen on TV.

The Summer Winter Dolls house offers two styles of play. On one side the house is full of warm colours with a summery background and on the other there are chilly icicles and frozen looking walls! These two contrasting themes will spark imaginative stories as your little one learns through play.

Danette Raffle TV Commercial Ad Iran 2014 (Danone)


Published on May 6, 2014

A Production of “FINAL TARGET” Production House. 2014

Director: Reza Milani
D.O.P: Hosein Jalili
Production Manager: Meysam Kaed
Creative Director & Copywriter: “EAMA NAGHSHINEH” Creative Team.
Amir Shahrabi. Alireza Soltani. Parisa Torabi. Shahrokh Moeini
Set & Costume Design: Farnoush Rangamiz Naieeni (Performed by Shahnam Rezayi)
Directors Asst. Casting & Arrangement: Mehdi Bahmani. Baharan Bani Ahmadi
3D Animation & CG: Majid Khademian
Video Edit: Amir mohsen Salmanizadeh , Ami Rad
Composer: Ashkan Dabbagh
Special thanks to all of the cast & crew & Final Target Client Service Dept.



Teach to transform!


Music and Media Advertising Unit of Inquiry – Best TV commercials for 2015

This post was written for my Year 6/7 class so that I could provide them with TV commercials to view in one place without sending them to Youtube. Feel free to use it as a resource with your students too.

Central Idea:

Media has the power to influence thinking and behaviour.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • The influence of music as a form of media.
  • The ways music connects with an audience.

Key Concepts:

  • Perspective
  • Responsibility
  • Form

Your Tuning In Task:

We Are Learning To:

Analyse how music connects with an audience using the elements of music to influence our thinking, emotions and behaviour.

What I am Looking For:

A description of how elements in the music make you feel, why you think the music evokes this response and what was the intent for this choice of music.

This Is Because:

Media has the power to influence thinking and behaviour.

Here are 7 of the best adverts for 2015.

Download this Word Document and open in Pages. Music&MediaAdvertising_TI_task

As you watch the adverts, record your response in the document.

Use these musical elements to help describe the music:

Tempo – fast/slow

Dynamics – loud/soft

Pitch – high/low

Tone Colour – the use of certain instruments or sounds

Texture – thin/thick, layers of sound

Form – sections, change in music, repeating sections

Style – a specific style of music chosen for a purpose

Ribena: You Can’t Get Any More Ribenary

A creative advert for the blackcurrant Ribena drink.

Android: Friends Furever

Pairs of different animals playing/roaming together. “Be together. Not the same.”


Nike: Short a Guy

Follows a normal kid through a series of games with professional athletes because they are all “short one guy”.


Atlantic Group: 37 Days

Electric heaters advertised by growing a garden in a glass room 8000 feet above sea level surrounded by -30 temperatures in British Columbia. Melting ice reveal seeds and garden beds, hibernating butterflies and vegetation which grows into a garden after 37 days.


Comcast Xfinity: Emily’s Oz

Comcas Xfinity is a verbal guide for people with visual disabilities. The Advert is a visual representation of a blind girl’s explanation to what she sees when watching the Wizard of Oz.

Lexus: Beyond Utility

Talks about their advertising campaign.


Dove: Choose Beautiful

An experiement by Dove where women had to choose between walking through the Beautiful Door and the Average Door. #Choosebeautiful


Answer this question:

How does music influence and connect with the audience?


Australian Curriculum:

Explain how the elements of music communicate meaning by comparing music from different social, cultural and historical contexts, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music (ACAMUR091)

Analyse composers’ use of the elements of music and stylistic features when listening to and interpreting music (ACAMUR097)


Coding Music Instrument Apps in Hopscotch & Tynker

Why should we bring coding into the music room?

Because not only is it cross curricular and ticking the STEAM methodology of teaching, it is also asking our students to think about the fundamentals of music. What is it we need to consider when making an instrument? Pitch, melody, and/or beat, rhythm, tempo and tone colour.


hopscotchThe best iPad apps I found for coding music apps is Hopscotch and Tynker. Hopscotch is a simple coding program with limitations on design and sound files and its userface is unique to itself. Tynker is a bit more like Scratch with it’s userface and coding blocks and has more options in the ability to design and create and more sound files are available. Both apps still give enough scope to create both a melodic and percussion musical instrument and an authentic unit of work covering these objectives:

Knowledge: Musical instruments are invented and designed to play the pitch, melody, and/or beat, rhythm, tempo, tone colour.

Skills: Code a music instrument which, when tapped, changes its look in some shape or form and includes more than one sound/tone/note.

Summative Task 1:

Play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together as a class, each student playing on a correctly coded melodic instrument matching the Boomwhacker notes and colours.

Twinkle TwinkleBoomwhacker _sample

Hopscotch example


Boomwhacker Piano

Boomwhacker Spin Piano Note Names

Tynker example

Boomwhacker Piano


Summative Task 2:

In groups, arrange a composition to perform a simple song using your own coded musical instrument app in an iPad Band.

Hot Cross Buns_4 part arrangement_Sample

Hopscotch examples


Hopscotch Hot Cross Buns Performance

Check out some Hopscotch instrument apps my students have created and yours can too!

Piano and Percussion App

Tap the squares to play the piano, tap the circles to play percussion/abstract sounds (N.B. this project is best played in the iPad app as it does not play so well in a web browser due to its complexity)


Sound Effects Pad App


Tap the emoji images to play the abstract percussion sounds (plays fine in a browser)

Drag to Play App


Drag the parrot on top of images to play sounds (plays fine in a browser)

Tynker examples


Tynker Hot Cross Buns Performance

Check out some Hopscotch instrument apps my students have created and yours can too!

Animal Sounds


Touch the animals to play the sounds

Winter Wonderland Percussion App


Touch the animals & objects to play the sounds


Purchase this Unit of Work from my

Music Room Tech series


  • Hopscotch Instructions (Tynker coming soon)
  • IB Unit of Inquiry
  • Australian Curriculum links
  • Step by step visual instructions
  • Charts
  • Scores
  • Arrangement worksheets

Have a go at coding instruments in your music classroom.


Teach to transform!




Adding Tech in the Music Classroom – Photo Dice App


I used to dread making custom dice for my classroom, unless you are lucky enough to have wooden cubes to paste pictures onto, one step on a cardboard template dice from a
student and there goes your fabulous creative lesson.

photodicePhoto Dice by MachWerx iPad app is now my answer to this problem!

I use Photo Dice for games and composing activities in my classroom.


AddingTech_yahtzee  AddingTech_Bingo


Add 5 dice to the screen and roll. Lock the dice you wish to keep and roll again.


Roll the dice and place a counter on the bingo card on the corresponding note.

Download Music Note Yahtzee Template: AddingTech_Yahtzee

Download Music Note Bingo Template: AddingTech_Bingo qrcodeMusicRoomTech_Yahtzee

Download MusicRoomTech_Yahtzee
dice (scan the QR code to download directly onto your iPad)


I also use Photo Dice to compose rhythms.

Add 4 dice to the screen (all with one beat notes/rests) and select roll.


  • Ask the students how many different combinations you can make from the dice
  • Write the rhythms down or use notation beat cards
  • Play each rhythm
  • Compose a 4 bar rhythm pattern by rolling 4 times
  • Add a percussion instrument dice, roll to select which instrument to play.
  • Have 6 groups of students, each with one of the instruments on the dice, roll to see who plays and what their rhythm will be.qrcodeMusicRoomTech_1beatnotes

Download MusicRoomTech_1beatnotes dice (scan the QR code to download directly onto your iPad)


How to use Photo Dice

Create Custom Dice

  1. Touch the settings cog in the bottom right corner
  2. Select Photo Dice
  3. Select Create New Photo Dice at the bottom of the screen
  4. Name your dice
  5. Select Done in top right corner
  6. Touch the grey squares and select Photo Library to insert an image saved there, or take a photo
  7. You can email the dice you have created by selecting Email Custom Dice at the bottom of the screen (see Sharing Dice below for ideas of sending the custom dice to your students)
  8. Select <settings and then back in the top left corner to return to the app

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Add dice to your screen

  1. Touch the 3 squares in the bottom left corner
  2. Touch the dice in the bar at the top of the screen, there is no limit to the number of dice.



  1. Touch Roll or shake your iPad
  2. If you have multiple dice you can lock one or more from rolling by touching on them, a circle will appear around the dice you have locked in place


Sharing Dice

In the Custom Photo Dice template screen you can email the custom dice to your students.

Since my students do not have email, I email it to myself. From my email I save the dice template to Dropbox or Google Drive and create a QR code with the shared link for my students to scan and then open the file in Photo dice.

I would love to hear some more ideas on how you use dice in your classroom.



Teach to transform!



Digital Portfolios: Assessment in the iPad Classroom

digport_cover_400In 2015 I have been presenting this workshop around Australia and New Zealand receiving great feedback from those who
have attended.

At the beginning of October 2015 I launched the above title as the first in my series of Virtual PD publications. It is 90 Minutes of accredited Professional development containing video tutorials, step by step instructions on creating Digital Portfolios using Explain Everything, Book Creator, GarageBand, iMovie, Dropbox and QR Codes. All extra resources needed to complete the same examples are provided on a USB.

Below you can view the introduction video and read all about creating Digital Portfolios.

Being a primary/elementary teacher, the examples I use are straight from my classroom with real examples from my students. While the examples are music and at a primary/elementary grade level, having taught as a primary classroom teacher, I believe you can take the same structure and apply it to other subjects and grade levels too.



Digital Portfolios grew out of the following two needs:

The need in my music classroom to gather evidence of student work that I could assess after class and provide for parent viewing.

For gathering evidence I found in the lower grades that Book Creator was the perfect app for students to write, take photos, audio record and video record in, and now we can even insert the GarageBand songs we create as well. This gives myself as a music teacher a perfect way to gather evidence in a performance based subject. The evidence I gather I can view directly after the lesson and then later to assess for mid year and final year grades.

One of the best outcomes and feedback I’ve had from using Book Creator, is being able to provide parents with comprehensive evidence as to why their child has been given a certain grade.

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The a request from a teacher to display my Year 6/7’s music projects at their IB Exhibition

To achieve this request I looked at the apps on the student iPad’s and found that Explain Everything allowed the students to display on 1 screen:

  • a pages document showing their rewritten song lyrics
  • a screenshot of their GarageBand arrangement
  • the GarageBand sound file to play their recording for people to listen to

IMG_0969What this iPad set up in Explain Everything also allowed the students to do was have an interactive display on their Exhibition stall, where parents could play and listen to the student’s song.

This project started me on a journey to implement Digital Portfolios for all my classes.

So what are Digital Portfolios? 

Digital portfolios, electronic portfolios or e-portfolios, are the latest trend in education. They are a way of collating or presenting digital work samples.

The positive outcomes of Digital Portfolios:

  • all work samples and files can be placed in one spot for assessment and viewing accessibility
  • students have different modes available to them for creating/collecting work samples; word processing, photos, images, audio & video recording
  • they provide the opportunity for assessment samples to include not only written samples but also visual performances of their work or skills in the subject areas that require demonstration of skills (such as The Arts, Physical Education and Science)
  • students with learning difficulties can engage better in their assessment opportunities due to the multiple options available to them
  • sharing files via email or apps such as dropbox and google drive means that not only can the teacher and school have access to them but parents can also have access
  • they provide students the opportunity to increase their technology skills in every subject area
  • they provide educators a wider scope for integration of general capabilities across the curriculum

Digital Portfolios have different uses in the classroom. They can be used for formative and summative assessment and to present work.

Formative Assessment Digital Portfolio

To collate and show the student’s progressive learning throughout the unit of work.

This is used to inform your teaching and planning for subsequent lessons.

Summative Assessment Digital Portfolio

A collection of work samples and files for students to be assessed by, at the end of a unit of work, against the learning outcome and curriculum used. This often results in a final mark for reporting.

Presenting Work to an Audience

Digital Portfolios are a great way of presenting work for display or sharing with parents.

Collating work into one app by sharing files into the one presentation allows for easy sharing of the entire project without the audience having to move between multiple apps.

The types of work samples you can gather are

  • written/word processed work
  • photos
  • screenshots
  • audio
  • video

There are many ways teachers and students can create digital Portfolios. Here are some apps that are available.

Collect/Collate Files

Class Management (LMS) Apps

Presentation Apps

When using the presentation type of apps in the classroom there are 3 different types of Digital Portfolios.

Individual Portfolios

In a 1 to 1 device or BYOD classroom, students create individual portfolios of their work. If you have shared devices, e.g. 1 between 2 or 3 students, it is still possible to do individual portfolios. Pair students up to work always on the same iPad. Some activities allow for working together on the same task, e.g. videoing each other. Alternately have 2 tasks on the go, i.e. one student on the iPad; one student performing another set task.

Group Portfolios

Use the portfolio method to share and record group work, e.g. group compositions.

Class Portfolios

Instead of students creating individual portfolios for a project, the teacher can create a class portfolio for a specific activity or a summative task with a sample of work from each student on each page/slide.

In My Classroom digital portfolios have transformed the way I gather evidence. They have also made assessment and reporting so much easier as I can review the work samples multiple times. Another positive outcome to gathering work samples in this way has been when parents have questioned their child’s semester grade. In this instance I have been able to email them the Digital Portfolio for them to view and my assessment along with it, the parents really appreciated it as it gave them an insight into their child’s development.

If you would like to learn more about how to create Digital Portfolios in your classroom go to my Music Room Tech page at Bushfire Press.



Teach to transform!


Help I lost my video & photo assessment on my iPad!

It’s that embarrassing & sickening moment when you realise that even though you may be seen as tech savvy by your peers, you make the mistake of deleting a file before confirming you had a backup. Really it has been a miracle I haven’t made this mistake earlier! I got a new iPad last week and set about transferring all my files from my old one to my new one. I used iTunes file sharing and thought I had transferred all files before deleting them, however one Book Creator file, the one with 4 weeks of video assessment in it somehow didn’t make it to iTunes before I deleted it. Red faced I had not double checked it was there either, nor had I exported the ePub to iBooks, so no backup and no way that Apple themselves could retrieve it. So I hit Google, note this is not endorsed by Apple themselves as they do not encourage the download of ‘third party software’. What you need to google is “iPad backup extractor”, you will find lots of hits to wade through. Almost all I looked at had a free download trial, that allowed for scanning your iTunes backup to show you what files you could recover, however to actually recover the files you need to pay for the software. NB Each software had differing levels of ability to recover files so if you are going to do this it is best to do the research. After quite a number of hours searching and downloading many trial versions of software I realised that there was no way to recover my actual Book Creator file as I had never saved it as an ePub outside of the app, however I found that the videos I had taken within the app I could recover. Cost wise, I always look for a bargain, but also because I am in Australia the exchange rate right now is crazy, so the more professional looking ones with more features and higher levels of file recovery, were going to cost me in excess of $60 AUD. The best one I found for recovering the most data was Wondershare Dr.Fone for iOS $79 USD ($100+AUD at present) This I was not willing to pay for just recovering video footage. Maybe I’ll buy it later when I lose Explain Everything files, however I finally found one for $20AUD, it is not a fancy looking software and for me it did the job of recovering all my videos and photos taken and so now I can reconstruct my assessment, sometimes simple is all you need! ThMSB4_256e software I bought is MobileSyncBrowser. It safely installed on my Mac (also available for PC) and I am very happy with the results. Lesson learned for me is ALWAYS back up your most important files on an iPad via cloud storage such as Dropbox. Because while you ‘Backup’ and ‘Sync’ your iPad, unless the actual file is saved elsewhere, it is a costly exercise to recover something!



Teach to transform!


iPads and Dropbox in the classroom

This month I presented my first ever Professional Development workshop at the Music Technology in Education Conference in Melbourne, Australia, on using iPad’s in the music classroom.

I had really great feedback from the participants and hope to do more presentations around Australia in the next 12 months.

dropbox_229x128iPad’s and Dropbox

Part of my presentation was on using Dropbox to provide files and information to students and to gather work samples from them.

Where I teach, students don’t have individual email addresses so to ask them to email me files for assessment is impossible. I also have the problem that not all iPad’s in the classroom are airdrop compatible so that option to collect work is also eliminated.

I came up with the idea of creating a class dropbox account that students can log in to (and out of) on their iPad.

The iPad app allows you to log in and out of  different dropbox accounts, so if you have a personal one it is quite simple to log out of that and then into the class one to upload or download content.

This has worked extremely well for me and my students as it allows me to

  1.  access their work samples to assess at home
  2. upload files for them to download to their iPad

Below is a set of instructions on 3 different ways you can set up Dropbox to work in your classroom.

Alternately download a pdf of these instructions here dropbox_instructions_10_2014.

Description: Dropbox is a way you can share files between devices and computers. Upload templates, music tracks, videos and photos for students to open in apps on their iPad. You can open Dropbox accounts in the internet browser on your computer to upload files from your computer, or on your iPad, directly from any apps that allow files to be opened in Dropbox.

3 Different Classroom Uses:

  1. Have a class Dropbox account that everyone logs in and out of.


  1. Download the free Dropbox app onto all student iPad’s
  2. Create a dropbox account with a class school email address or create a free account such as yahoo
  3. Go to the class email inbox and verify the account
  4. Open Dropbox app and Login to the account you created.
  5. Go back into the app you were working in select your file/project, select ‘Open in’, in the app options select Dropbox. This will take you to Dropbox
  6. Select ‘Choose a different folder’
  7. Select the specified folder
  8. Select choose (down the bottom)
  9. Select Save.
  10. Wait for document to upload
  11. If you don’t want the students to have access everyday to this account ask them to log out before leaving the classroom and change the password.


  1. Each student has an individual account and shares the download link via email to you.


  1. Download the free Dropbox app onto all student iPad’s
  2. Each student creates a dropbox account with an individual email address
  3. Go to their email inbox and verify the account
  4. Go back into the app you were working in select your file/project, select ‘Open in’, in the app options select Dropbox. This will take you to Dropbox
  5. Select ‘Choose a different folder’
  6. Select the specified folder
  7. Select choose (down the bottom)
  8. Select Save
  9. Wait for document to upload
  10. Select uploaded document (wait for the preview to come up in the window)
  11. Select the export button above the preview window
  12. Select mail and email link to teacher




  1. Each student has an individual account and has shared folders with you.


  1. Download the free Dropbox app onto all student iPad’s
  2. Create a dropbox account with an individual email address
  3. Go to their email inbox and verify the account
  4. To create shared folders, on student iPad,
  • select the 3 dots
  • select create folder
  • name your folder (ie students name & subject)
  • select export (which is next to the 3 dots)
  • ‘invite people to folder’
  • type email address of dropbox account you want them to share to
  • select invite
  • Teacher logs into their account on the internet, not in the app (the app doesn’t yet allow you to accept invitations within the app)
  • Select the ‘sharing’ tab down the side, it will have a number in a red box showing how many invites you have to accept
  • Select the ‘folder invitation’
  • Select ‘Accept’ the folder will now appear both on the internet and in your app.
  1. To save a file from the iPad to Dropbox, ensure you are logged into the Dropbox app.
  2. Go back into the app you were working in select your file/project, select ‘Open in’, in the app options select Dropbox. This will take you to Dropbox
  3. Select ‘Choose a different folder’
  4. Select the shared folder
  5. Select choose (down the bottom)
  6. Select Save
  7. Wait for document to upload then it will be accessible on the teacher’s dropbox.

To invite students to a folder you have created just follow the above steps and ask the students to log into their Dropbox account online to accept the invitation.

How to open the student files on your iPad

  1. If it was emailed select the link in the email to open it, follow the instructions in Safari. Tap the top of the page to ‘Open in’.
  2. If saved to Dropbox, open the app on your iPad, and either open the shared folder or log in to the class account
  3. Select the uploaded document
  4. Select the export button (above the preview window)
  5. Select ‘Open in’
  6. Choose the app you wish to open it in



Teach to transform!


Music as Non Verbal Cues in the Classroom

Do you grab kids attention without having to speak?

music_teacher_poster-r58d48b53b63c41418316df56c0b436b3_w2j_8byvr_324As music teachers our voice is our instrument, we need to care for it and therefore we need to be diligent in finding ways we can communicate using non verbal cues to conserve the use of our voice. Not only this, but it lightens the mood in our classroom and creates positive behaviour cues.

before I get to the use of music here are a few VISUAL CUES I’ve found helpful:

  • hand in the air and count down from five using your fingers (my students know if they do not have their attention on me by the end they get a warning)
  • hands on heads
  • using actions – pat head, roll hands


Have you tried RHYTHM PATTERNS to grab attention?

  • clap a rhythm and the students repeat it
  • use an action song – without singing it e.g. Heads, Shoulders, Knees & Toes or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • as students come back from grabbing instruments teacher plays rhythms & students copy until all students are seated every so often changing the rhythm or playing the side of the instrument or even stopping and placing mallets or instruments on head or shoulders and eventually on the floor in front of them to indicate it’s time to listen


My Favourite – use a MUSIC TRACK as a cue for a specific task

Sit Down Songs

To come back from a group activity play a song it could be any song that you have told the kids to listen for and when they hear it they need to be sitting on the floor by the end of the song or extract. For example:

  • maybe the latest popular song like Katie Perry’s “Roar”
  • The theme song for the lesson you are teaching – “12 Bar Blues”
  • A ‘sit down’ song  you establish for the school term. Some examples could be:
  1. Stand Up, Sit Down” from Roar Like A Lion by Patty Shukla
  2. Stand Up, Sit Down” from Action Songs: Wiggle and Shake by Tumble Tots

Pack Up Songs

Havin fun with Bert & ErnieAt the end of my music lesson I have a pack up song: “Put It Away” from Havin’ Fun With Ernie & Bert – a 1972 children’s classic. It goes for 2min20sec and the kids love it – and are always finished packing up by the end & sitting down singing along. Unfortunately this song is extremely hard to get hold of and I picked it up on Ebay as a cassette. It is not available to download in mp3 so I converted it from cassette to mp3.

some other songs you could use instead are:

  1. Clean Up, Pack Away” from Let’s Learn by Debbie Doo
  2. Pack Up Time” from Cave Baby by The Mudcakes

How to cut an extract from a song

I use a free software called Audacity:

Audacity is available for both Windows & Mac it is a fantastic tool which I use all the time to edit songs.


It’s features include

  • Record live audio.
  • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
  • Edit WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis sound files.
  • Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
  • Change the speed or pitch of a recording.

learn more about it:

You could also use other programs like Garage Band on Macs & Apple devices.

Have some fun creating non verbal cues for you students and see how it brightens your classroom.



Teach to transform!