Special Post

If you’re a fellow teacher then you’ll not only understand, but I reckon you’ll sympathise, too. In Australia, this is term 2, the end of the first semester – report time! Boy, have the last few weeks been busy! As any teacher can tell you, when the work starts to pile up, on top of an already hectic and time-poor day job, prioritising becomes a very important skill. However, that doesn’t mean you simply forget things. Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth, the things we let slip simply lie at the backs of our minds, nagging us and making us feel bad that we simply can’t get to them. Sadly, this blog was one of the things that simply took a back seat, but I now can finally get back to work.

Below are a few photos of some special moments that I’ve been saving up: the students participated in one of Ms Svein’s incredible Art classes, this time outdoors; Denzel created DNA double helix treats for everyone in class to help celebrate his birthday; Lily brought in the medals she’d won through her gymnastics; Paige, Aimee and Kayla created an awesome brainstorm of Australia’s role in World War 1. So many great, special events to help me refocus my blogging efforts.

 

 

Blogs Of The Week

Choosing a blog of the week was something that I used to do on a regular basis, but it’s been quite a while since I last chose one. It isn’t that there hasn’t been a blog worth choosing, it’s just that this has been such a hectic and strange year that our blogging exploits have taken a bit of a hammering. However, that just means that to be a blogger of the week a student has to have put in an extra effort and this blogger has done that. The latest “Bloggers of The Week” are AimeeDenzel and Hannah. Click on their names and check them out.

Sports Stars

Last week the year six students from our school competed against another local school in a number of sports, including netball, football (Aussie rules), soccer and modcross. It’s fair to say we had a pretty good day with all our teams running out comfortable winners. I’ve had the good fortune to be the coach for the girls’ soccer team again this year and was so proud of their efforts in their match. We had an amazing 5 – 1 win, with Lily from our class scoring two of the goals. I know it’s not all about the winning, and that being a teacher I shouldn’t gloat, but WOO HOO! Sorry!

Blogging Task #3

Watch this short video from BTN which is all about “Web Secrets” and tell me in at least two substantial paragraphs what you think. Do you do anything that your parents don’t know about? How much would you be happy with your parents seeing? Why do you think parents want to check what you do? Do your parents ever ask to see what you’re doing and do you happily show them? You can answer all these questions (and more) and give reasons for your opinions and answers. What do you think most kids opinions are on web privacy and what are some of the things they get up to? What are parents’ opinions? Remember, parents have been around long enough to have experienced consequences of the actions they made as kids – you have not, you still haven’t experienced the full force of some really bad decisions (and you may not for years). So, who knows best? Also, is there anything that you’ve learned this year that you could teach your parents?

Maths Drawing

Recently the students tried their hands at isometric drawing. We started by creating simple models with wooden 1cm cubes, a little free creativity to just get the feel of making models with the blocks. The next step was to build a very simple model and draw a simple, 2D front, side and top view of it on graph paper. Finally, after several frustrating attempts to get to grips with isometric paper, along came a series of successful 3D style images. Check out the pictures below to see the results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool Surprise

Sometimes, being a teacher can be the best of jobs. This morning two of my students gave me an awesome surprise. Not only did they show how much they knew me, but they spent their own time converting some waste card into an incredible model of the TARDIS from Doctor Who. Being a big Doctor Who fan, I’ve previously blogged about my own DVD TARDIS cabinet that I made at home, so this one, from the student themselves, was a huge, cool surprise that made me feel so privileged and very grateful. Like I said, teaching can sometimes be the best of jobs, and this was one of those days!

TARDIS by Megan & Lily

Meccano

As part of our English activities we’ve begun 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. When finished they should have a great model with battery operated, working parts.

Carys & Nik

Josh & Jade

Ankita & Carter

An Eventful Holiday

Well, that was one eventful holiday. It’s quite incredible how much we are sometimes able to squeeze into such a small amount of time. This blog went very quiet over the recent end of term holiday, but there were a few excellent reasons for that. The first reason was that I took my amazing little MGF car on a trip to Margaret River. This was quite a nervous few days, mainly because the MGF doesn’t have a great reputation for reliability, but we made the 900 kilometer round trip without a hitch. The second reason was that I became a grandfather for the first time. This was such an amazing experience and thankfully both mother and baby (Lacie) are doing great. The final and least enjoyable reason was that I had to prepare a presentation to give to the whole staff on the new Digital Technologies curriculum; taking up 4 days of my holiday wasn’t great, but at least it was for a good reason. All in all I had one truly eventful break, but back to school now and back to reality.

My cool MGF

Proud Grandad

ANZAC Cookies and Coding

ANZAC Day is one of the most important days in the Australian calendar, and rightly so. One of the activities the students have been doing to commemorate this special day is cooking. We were incredibly lucky to have our neighbour, Mrs Harris, offer to make ANZAC cookies with all the year 6 students, a very generous offer indeed. The students had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed following the recipe to produce their goodies. In today’s curriculum, however, following a recipe has a new purpose – coding! Yes, a recipe has another term and that’s algorithm. The new Digital Technologies curriculum means that the language and concepts of coding can be applied to activities that the students are already familiar with, making it easier for them to comprehend. See, you learn something new every day.

Steven, Waris, Tristan and Dean

Blogging Task #2

Taikwondo, a visit to Sculptures by the Sea, gymnastics, athletics, our assembly, these are just some of the incredible topics the students from LA14 have been writing about. It’s been an absolutely fascinating few weeks in the  world of blogging, 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 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