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A Few of Our Favourite Things

Sometimes, a sense of excitement builds at Tooled Up Towers when we discover some hidden gems buried in the research papers that we come across in our work. Sometimes, we shop in bookshops, attend talks or see things when out and about that we really want to tell our families and schools about.

So here are five of our favourite recently discovered things that you can signpost to others or try, apply, download or buy for yourselves.

  1. Let’s start with two brilliant free, evidence-based tools that we have uncovered. How We Feel – a free, evidence-based app developed by the brilliant people at Yale University and designed to be used by older teens and adults. We all know the importance of emotional literacy and developing our emotional intelligence. Well, this app literally helps us pinpoint how we might be feeling and then evaluates our mood over the week. Enjoy receiving updates on how the week has felt for you and enjoy watching little nudge videos on how to make the most of your mood states and how to develop strategies to shift mood states.

  2. Recently, we enjoyed Neurodiversity Celebration Week. You may have seen our recent Wednesday Wisdom on this theme. When it comes to supporting educators and families in applying. There are brilliant researchers doing great things all over the world to support parents or work with children and young people. Dr Sinead Rhodes is one of them. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Child Life and Health & Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences and has created a series of downloadable and practical booklets for parents and educators.

  3. Next up is a fantastic book for everyone to enjoy – Random Maps by Simon Luestenmacher. It was recommended to us by several teachers, so high praise indeed. Normally, we might encounter topographic maps (showing the shape of the Earth’s surface), political maps (showing borders or countries or areas) and population maps. But in Simon’s book, we find maps of speed limits worldwide, details of where all flamingo populations live and understand the world from a dolphin’s perspective… that sort of thing. It is packed with the sort of trivia that you can proudly impress friends or families with. Did you know that Neil and Buzz spent a grand total of 2 hours and 31 minutes on the moon? Or that Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings map is based on the topology of Romania?
  4. Our next favourite thing is something from the Tooled Up library. We have co-created a number of resources with David Bowker, a meteorologist who happens to be a teacher and Classicist. Enjoy David’s fun and inspiring ‘Types of Cloud’ quiz, his amazing facts about storms or read about the Latin and Greek origins of supermarket features and foods.

    Did you know that in February 2022, the UK had three named storms in less than a week? Can you recall their names? Did you know that the word ‘pharmacy’ comes from the Greek,  ‘pharmacon’ which means a medicine, drug or remedy? Thanks, Mr Bowker!

  5. Last, but by no means least, we are obsessed with the fact that we can visit museums all over the world from the comfort of our laptops and living rooms. We were alerted to this fact by a lovely mum who was stuck in hospital for some time, but managed to see the Sistine Chapel from her sickbed. A helpful list of other available virtual tours is given here. Our favourite is a tour of Osborne House, where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert spent many a happy summer. You’re welcome!