As part of our English activities we’ve been using Meccano in the classroom. Meccano is such a fabulous tool with a huge educational value. Besides helping the students develop their problem solving skills and their construction skills, it is also great for their literacy development. The students are having to cooperate in pairs (boy and girl) as they attempt to read, decipher and follow the fairly complex instructions. The instructions are all visual, the type that Ikea tend to use, but a lot more detailed and complex with steps having to be followed in clear stages. As well as requiring good reading skills, the students have to use clear, polite and constructive conversation skills to overcome any difficulties they encounter. This activity also has connections to the topic of robotics and digital technologies, which some students will be choosing to follow in high school. The instructions are very similar to an algorithm and must be followed closely. When finished they should have a great model with battery operated, working parts. The photos below show a couple of finished models.
The title pretty much sums up my class (well, most of them) and lately they’ve been very spoilt. A couple of weeks ago the girls took part in an inter-school football competition (Aussie rules football) and ended up winning the trophy. Then last week some students from the special football programme at the local senior high school came to hold a football clinic with the girls and the boys. They had an absolutely great time and showed off their trophy winning talents. Check out the photos below (apologies for the poor quality, it was a pretty dull day).
Once again here I am, writing about how I rarely write a post giving a shout-out to a student who’s been pulling out all the stops on their blog. I think I’ve written more “Blogger of the Week” posts this year than ever before and I guess I’ll be writing many more. This time the blogger in the title is You Jung. Her posts are varied and really interesting, especially the recent podcast she did with her friends, Hayley and Lexie. Check her out and leave a comment.
This blogging task is all for a good cause. If you’re anything like me there’ll be a number of issues in the world that cause you to get a little frustrated. Amongst the many that concern me are: climate change, deforestation, animal extinction, equal rights, plastic pollution, marriage equality, whale hunting, renewable energy, puppy farms, child labour, poverty, slave labour, girls’ rights, freedom of speech… I could actually go on and on and on! These are, in my opinion, just a few of the most important issues of our time and are well worth fighting for. It’s a great thing to get behind a good cause, it gives people a sense of purpose and meaning in life, not to mention the satisfaction of knowing they’re trying to achieve some good in the world.
Do you have a cause that you’d like to be part of? Is there something happening in the world that makes you frustrated? Is there something you’d like saved? Is there something you’d like stopped? Use your blog to shout out for a good cause or a big issue.
Guilty! Yes, it was me. I was the one who did it, who sentenced the students of LA14 to a term of hard labour. Not that they’ve done anything wrong (not criminally), they just happen to be the victims of a cruel circumstance – the cutting short of the term by one week! Unfortunately our (usually) ten week term is having to be squeezed into an itty-bitty nine week term; thank goodness swimming was cancelled or it would be even worse! I now find myself having to crack the whip, metaphorically speaking, as we crack on apace and try to serve our time. Who knows, if they keep their heads down, do their bird and finish their porridge the students (and myself) may just find themselves enjoying a well earned bout of parole at the end.
Now and again (very rarely to be honest) I post about an exceptional blog, one that isn’t just regular with lots of posts but is actually really interesting to read. This time the blog belongs to Tahlia. It’s an exceptional blog that gives the reader a great insight into Tahlia and her fabulous family and is well worth having a look. Check it out here.
“Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt!” That’s a typical saying from where I originally come from (Manchester, England) and it’s perfect for this post. I’m sure you get the gist even if you’ve never heard it before. Well, in this case it’s very apt as the year 6’s aren’t just year 6 in name, they’ve now got the leavers tee-shirt to prove it and they look great. Check out the photo of Callum, Malleiah, Imani and Maddox.
Anyone who watches this blog will have noticed that it went quiet for the last couple of weeks. There’s a very good reason for that – we were on holiday! That’s not to say that this is the natural order of things, in fact it’s very different from the way I’ve done things in the past. Previously I’ve taken my work home with me to such an extent that I never really had a break. However, this isn’t really a sustainable way to live, even to exist, so I chose to make a change. At the beginning of every break the principal would always tell the staff to go home, relax and do no work. “Yeah,” I thought, “that doesn’t really work.” But he was right! Turns out he always has been. I feel much more refreshed coming back from the break, even if I do have the usual teacher thing of the nagging doubt in the back of my mind that I haven’t really done enough and I’m now behind. Still, it was worth it. But here we are, at the start of a new term, so I’m right back into it. The kids are hard at work and having fun (which always helps) and so am I. Check out these photos of us doing Meccano, a subject heavy in collaboration, social growth, language, reading, problem solving, coding…
Easter holidays, Girls’ Brigade, Ready Player One, iPad art, Immigration, these are just some of the incredible topics the students from LA14 have been writing about. It’s been a fascinating few weeks reading the students’ posts, but now it’s time to get down to the more serious side of our blogging – the Blogging Tasks. Our second task is a bit of fun and gives a little direction to those bloggers beginning to run short of ideas.
Some song lyrics, for whatever reason, strike a chord in our minds and end up having an impact, or at least stay in our memory. This line from Big Country’s hit In A Big Country has always stayed in my mind:
“I’m not expecting to grow flowers in the desert,
But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime.”
I’ve never been a particular fan of their music, but when I first heard these lines they just made such an impact that they’re still in my mind. Maybe it was because they convey a message that I can totally relate to, almost like a personal philosophy, one in which we need to appreciate the everyday riches in our lives rather than striving for something unattainable or unreal. Other songs have stuck too, but these lyrics are more meaningful than most. The task for LA14 this time is to tell the world about a song or some lines from a song that, for whatever reason, have stayed with you. What are the words? What do they mean to you?
This task is also open to any parents who wish to share their favourite lyrics or meaningful song.
I look forward to your completed tasks