Busy Things – NEW features and content

Today, we are pleased to announce that the updated version of Busy Things, packed with NEW features and content, has been released to LGfL schools.

N.B We suggest that the Computing Leader/Head teacher (or the Network Manager, if you have one) ensures they are the first person in your school to log in – whoever completes the initial set up steps will then be required to take responsibility for disseminating the teacher log in password etc.

In order to help you manage this process we have produced a guide called LGfL Busy Things 2019 Update’ and further information can be found on the Busy Things summary page.

Below is a brief summary of the updates in Busy Things.

Get the most out of BusyThings with a host of help!

BusyThings is packed full of powerful content and versatile features. To help you discover what’s available and make sure that you get the most out of it please do utilise the help button found in the teacher bar.

NB: The teacher bar is only visible when lyou have logged in with the school’s teacher password.

Within help there is a comprehensive user guide and a brand NEW videos area hosting ten tutorials covering the many features of Busy Things and how to get the most out of this resource.

NEW Teacher Tools Area (REMEMBER: Teacher tools are only accessible with a teacher login)

A brand new welcome screen has been designed to help you get the most out of Busy Things! The dedicated teacher tools area will house your search features, resource maker and other useful tools. Teachers can also customise BusyThings throughout the year with a range of seasonal and topical theme backgrounds!

Curriculum browser

Speed up your lesson planning with easy to find curriculum aligned content -use this powerful curriculum search tool to find exactly what you need to match the objective for your lesson plan, quickly and easily! You can add activities that match your objective to the  favourite area for quick access during your lesson too.

N.B The Curriculum browser is only available in Teacher Mode. You will need to use your school’s teacher password to access this.

Search tool

The search tool is great for quickly finding activities for particular topics and events – from the Romans to Rainforests, there’s a huge variety of writing and picture templates. Just type in a search term and filter down your results by selecting an age range, subject and activity types.

NEW Filters in menus

Finding content is now even easier! Within activity menus you can now hide or display activity types by using the filter buttons in the top right.

The NEW assignments area can be used with content from all age bands. It is located within Teacher tools on the welcome screen.

Test KS2 knowledge with NEW quizzes – 60+ available!

Have fun testing children’s knowledge with Busy Things’ NEW quizzes – perfect as a front of class resource or for children to independently try to beat their previous scores! Teachers – you can assign quizzes too, giving great visibility of how children are progressing.

 

The quizzes cover the majority of the KS2 maths curriculum with quiz topics broken down into year groups to match the curriculum objectives.

There are also some fun grammar quizzes testing knowledge of nouns, verbs, subjects and objects, plus a Shakespeare and Tudor clothing quiz (and more topics on the way!)

 

NEW Maths Games for ages 5-11:

Miner Birds – Addition and Subtraction

The popular Miner Birds suite has been expanded to include NEW Miner Birds – Addition and Subtraction with a wide variety of calculations customisable for children between the ages of 5 and 11. As with all the Miner Birds games, the aim is to be the first to collect twenty worms by correctly answering maths questions – so not only will children have fun practising their maths skills, they must also employ strategy and logical thinking to succeed!

 

Splash Dash

Help children to improve their addition and subtraction skills with NEW Splash Dash; starting with simple number sentences and progressing right up to 5 column addition and subtraction, the game can be played with children between the ages of 5 and 11.

 

Busy Code – a whole NEW programming area:

The funky Beard Man character is sure to create pupil engagement as children learn to program him to walk, dance and collect stars – or in more technical terms they will learn coding basics through to repeat loops, conditionals, events and variables! They’ll be creating their own “call and response” game in no time!

Busy Code programs are built by linking simple blocks together – drag and drop the blocks to assemble a program, they will snap together like jigsaw pieces!

 

Religious Education area expanded with NEW Judaism resources:

Busy Things now includes a comprehensive set of resources all about Judaism!  Six NEW labelling activities are available to you and twelve NEW writing projects covering many different aspects of Judaism including Yom Kippur, Shabbat and Passover.

See below for the titles to the labelling activities:

 

100+ NEW Interactive worksheets across the curriculum

There are over 100 NEW worksheets available across the whole curriculum; children can label diagrams, classify and categorise items and put things into order. Teachers can assign worksheets giving you the ability to test knowledge and monitor children’s progress AND all the interactive worksheets can also be saved as PDFs for use away from the screen.

Project work made easy with NEW Busy Paint and Publisher

Children will love creating project work with the NEW Busy paint and publisher. There are hundreds of templates to choose from with lots of new, easy to use features.

The brand NEW set of paint tools includes a wide range of brushes and effects enabling children to easily create imaginative pictures.

 

Children can now import photographs of their own, utilise the Busy Things photobank or the comprehensive clipart library! Clipart can be rotated, scaled and flipped with the NEW easy-to-use interface. Even more exciting – Busy Paint and Publisher can now be used on tablets as well as desktops and laptops.

Make fabulous charts & graphs with the NEW Busy Graph Maker

The Busy graph maker lets children quickly enter data they have collected and see it displayed in a colourful chart or graph. Children can easily switch between chart types to see their data displayed in different ways.

More options become available as children get older.  Start with simple pictograms, then move on to bar charts, line graphs and pie charts. Older children can even compare up to four data sets.

  

Graphs can be saved and edited in a later session. Save as PDF and print options are available for creating classroom displays. This tool is so easy to use – teachers you will have your pupils creating wonderful graphs in no time at all!

French and Spanish Flashcards and Interactive Worksheets

60+ Flashcards and interactive worksheets covering vocabulary and simple sentences. Topics include animals, body parts, classroom objects, colours, food and drink, months of the year and numbers.

Quickly find resources for special events

Looking for some topical inspiration? Check out the NEW special events calendar with cross-curricular activities grouped under a selection of festivals, day, week and month long events – from National Storytelling Week to Halloween, Christmas to the European Day of Languages!

Find inspiration in the Top 40

Want to know what other schools are using? Get a glimpse of the most popular games and activities across the thousands of schools using Busy Things in the NEW Top 40 area.

We hope that you enjoy all the new and exciting features in Busy Things. Please provide us with feedback, or should you require any support, at lgfl@busythings.co.uk or trustnet@busythings.co.uk.  Alternatively, you could call the Busy Things office phone number on 01332 364963 (8:30 to 16:30)