We may be on holiday, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped several students from maintaining their efforts on their blogs. I have to admit that Aarlyah, Abbey, Georgia, Aimee and Ritihia have put me to shame by posting way more than I have and they’re all well worth checking out. Also, in a “blast from the past”, one of my students from last year, Holly, has been putting in such an effort with her second year of blogging that she also deserves a bit of recognition. As for myself, I am stuck way up here in Kalbarri with limited wi-fi, so it’s a little tricky. However, here’s a photo of me kayaking and a one of my campsite and caravan which (sadly) has a couple of bags full of English and Maths books inside. Yes, poor me!
I think, for me, term 1 was one of the quickest I’ve ever had. I’m not sure why (perhaps I’m getting old and just can’t keep up anymore), but it may have had something to do with it also being one of the busiest terms I’ve ever had. Looking back I’m quite astounded that we managed to start and finish all the activities and projects in just a short ten weeks.
We discussed, planned and organised a geography walk around the suburb to help us develop an understanding of how we measure the livability of an area (some of the resulting in-depth project work was very mature). We learnt about the study of history and then completed the first part of our history studies by researching the Romans (yes, there’s more to come). We studied so many topics in maths that it would be impossible to mention them here, suffice to say that even with a busy timetable the students still claimed that all we did was maths. Our English included persuasive writing and narratives, both in part due to our NAPLAN preparation, and also spelling (“No, not spelling!”). It was the first time some of the students had used a saw and a drill and they overcame their fears and doubts to create a fabulous “surprise” gift for Mothers’ Day. We made several amazing artworks and integrated technology with blogs, art, podcasts and QR codes. Even cricket and basketball tournaments were squeezed in along the way with a music project on top. All this whilst working around a myriad of interruptions that seemed designed to throw us off track. We were lucky enough to finish off the term with an educational excursion to Kings Park which Abbey explains beautifully on her blog in her post entitled Naturescape Excursion (also check out Kianne, Blake, Aimee and Georgia).
All I can say is, “Well done LA19!” We all deserve our well earned 2 weeks off and you can all be proud of your efforts this year so far. I’ll keep posting here and checking your blogs, so keep posting, but remember to stay safe.
One way we’ve been able to integrate speaking into our English work is by creating podcasts. We’ve created several informal ones this term already, but this new one was a more formal podcast to explain our recent investigations in Geography. The students went on a walk around the area (see previous post) and completed several surveys. They then used this information to judge the livability of three of the streets. They have already completed a complex project on the topic, but the podcast was another way of presenting the work to a wider audience.
We’ve been doing so many things over the last few weeks that I’ve not managed to post everything. So, to remedy that this is a very short follow up to a couple of our more arty activities.
Our Mothers’ Day surprise (getting less surprising all the time!) started with the students measuring and sawing some wood before drilling a hole in it. I posted some pictures of the drilling, but the sawing seemed to pass me by, so below is a picture of Benn being helped by Aimee and Jerry. The students worked in groups of three for safety and took the precaution of wearing face masks to protect them from the dust.
Another activity I haven’t caught up with was our fabulous watercolour painting (you can read the explanation of the activity in a previous post). The results were awesome and I’ve included Jonny’s and Abbey’s pictures below. Click on the images to view them full size.
The students have been busy making a surprise gift for Mothers’ Day out of blocks of wood. Well, I say “surprise”, but due to the excited nature of a number of the students this is rapidly becoming a defunct adjective. Not that I can blame them, for many this is the first time they’ve used saws and drills to make something out of wood and the enthusiasm has been high. Some have been a little unsure about the drilling part, but they’re all pushing themselves forward in order to complete their “not-so-surprising” Mothers’ Day gift. Click on the images for the full sized version.
Today we had an end of term maths test and the students were absolutely thrilled. Yes, it does sound a little weird, but this was a test with a difference. Half the test was a conventional one, written on paper, but the other half was made using QR codes. If you’re not sure what a QR code is just scroll down this page and you’ll see ours in the right column (a square thing with squiggly patterns on the inside). They require a QR code reader which our amazing library officer Ms Higgs installed for us on the iPads. I created a number of QR codes which had maths problems on them that appeared when scanned. These had to be answered by the students before racing around the school to find the next code. Some of the answers to the codes gave clues to the next destination and the students had to use their maths knowledge to work them out. It was quite a task to create the test but the enthusiasm of the students made it all worthwhile. Thanks to Mr Avery for the inspiration (see link on “School Blogs”). Click on the photos to see them full sized.
This year’s students have finally got their podcasts up and running. It’s surprising just how easy it is to create the podcasts and just how enthusiastic the students are to do them. To get warmed up our first podcast was a very informal one, with the students talking about themselves (something of a natural talent with this group). The two I’ve included here are fun and easy to listen to and have such a relaxed style. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did and perhaps learn a thing or two about the students.
This new blogging task isn’t for the students, it’s for the parents. This is a great way for parents to have a look at and get involved with their child’s online life. Although, having introduced it as a “parent task” I’d be more than happy for any close, concerned relative of the students to get involved with our blogs. Parents (grandparents, aunts, uncles…), you can either write a post or comment on your child’s blog (I’m sure they won’t mind if you ask them nicely) or leave a comment on this one. The post could be about yourselves, your work, about your own school life, an event from your past, a hobby, pastime or skill, in fact anything you like. It could even be to do with a news story, something which may spark some thoughts for the students. A comment on this blog would also be welcome. Check out our Blogging Task #2 and read Mr Millar’s amazing musings, they may inspire you to recall your own meaningful lyrics. Make sure you first ask your child about our strict safety and commenting rules. Good luck and have fun!
This particular art activity took a lot of time and effort to prepare, but I think you’ll agree it was well worth the effort. Each student had to take around 30 photo’s of themselves before cropping them, copying some and and creating a collage for the background to the finished product. They then used the Brushes app on the iPads to create these stunning images. These are just a few, but the students are in the process of putting their own images on their blogs so you may find more there, check them out. Click on the images to see a full size version.
This week we had a visit from the local senior college who brought their performing arts students to display their amazing skills. The acts were incredible and left our students enthusiastically chatting about it for days afterwards. I’m not going to write about it myself, instead I’ll leave you to read about it on the students’ blogs.
A big “Thank You” to our music teacher, Mr Millar for organising the visit.