Sometimes you’ve simply got to pause and take a breath. Unfortunately, even though we’re only into our third week we’re moving so fast, doing such great things and starting some cool new projects that there’s not a pause anywhere in sight anytime soon. We blasted through place value, decimals and symmetry in maths; we’ve started podcasts, created character analyses and developed viewing skills in English; we’ve begun to integrate our technology by learning to make music, editing images and audio, developing our online safety skills and starting Google Drive and Classroom. This is just a part of what we’re doing! Is it too soon to start thinking of the end of term break?
During my time as a teacher I’ve been very lucky to have worked with some great classes and some wonderful students and this year is certainly no different. I’ve been bowled over by just how nice, well behaved and hard working my new group are; I have to keep pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. If you’d like to know what they look like then check out the new header.
We’ve been very busy during the first two weeks making sure we get all the usual routines and processes sorted and in place. We’re using Google Classroom this year, along with Google Drive, Edublogs (of course) and so much more. We’ve been busy changing our old, simple, not-so-private passwords to secure, personal and private ones and getting used to our new technology. Of course, we’ve also been doing the usual English, maths, art, sport… All I hope now is that we maintain this incredible start, but the more I get to know these students the more I’m sure we will!
Here we all are again, the start of a new school year with a new class of students and new blogs to start. Our school calendar is different to that of some of our visitors from all over the world (particularly North America and Europe) whose school years begin and end mid year, but hopefully we can still make some international connections as we have done in the past. Over the next few weeks we’ll begin the process of learning about the essentials of blogging such as privacy, safety, posting and much, much more. Once we’re ready we’ll begin posting and, hopefully, make some new friends along the way. Just to be going on with, here are some photo’s I took from my summer holiday – see if you can guess where I went. Oh, just in case any of our old class pop by, I hope you have a great new year at your new high schools!
Not long now! We’ve passed the halfway mark of this, the final term of the year and are on the big countdown to the end. We’ve now only got 5 weeks to go (a little less, to be honest) and, while that sounds exciting, it’s also scary at the same time. The students have so much to think about, not merely their graduation ceremony, but also their friends, about leaving them and the safe, supportive surrounds that have been like a second home for years. The emotions are running high and often all of them at the same time; there’s sadness, a little uncertainty, bubbling excitement and a growing sense of adventure all simmering away in 11 and 12 year old melting pots. Not that it’s any easier for we teachers, with reports looming, excursions, ceremonies and assessments to organise and finish (not to mention those simmering melting pots to manage), but I’m sure it will all be okay in the end. It always seems to work out in the end – somehow!
As you can see, I’ve changed my header photo. My stunning little MG F isn’t only my car, it’s my hobby, my interest and a thing that I thoroughly enjoy. I suppose part of it may lie with the fact I used to be a car body repairer, dismantling smashed vehicles and fixing them up like brand new. I’ve still maintained a great interest in cars and I’m always looking to tinker with my MG and improve it (although it does drain my bank account a little). This new task is to take a photo of your pastime or hobby and post it as a new header with an explanation of what it means to you.
This is a first for me. For this post I’m giving up the reigns of this blog and I’ve invited a guest blogger to present some of her work. This blogger is no ordinary guest, but none other than our wonderful school leader, Megan! Take it away Megan.
Hi this is Megan!! In class we were told that everyone had to create our own stop motion animation. Stop motion animation is where you use small figures take a photo, move them and take a photo again, this is repeated until you are left with a short, interesting film! I did mine with my two friends; Lily and Carys; and created the cool and interesting film, Snail Love Story! This is why the amazing , Mr Hope, wanted me to be his first guest blogger to show you my animation. This animation is about a boy snail who is sad and a girl snail finds him, falls in love with him, and then mid kiss, gets squished by an big shoe! A broom sweeps her away while the boy snail hides. The boy snail is so sad that he walks off the screen; but that is just what you think until a big shoe squashes him too! He pops back up from his squashed self as a beautiful angel. Along comes his former girlfriend snail and they both float up to heaven. Then it’s just the credits. I bring you, Snail Love Story!
For the first few weeks of this term the students have been busy creating stop motion animations using the I Can Animate app on the iPads. The students got into groups of three and planned out their ideas. They first jotted down their ideas in their rough books, then they had to create a storyboard to sequence the ideas and to draw the representations of the scenes. Finally came the modelling with Plasticine, although not everyone used Plasticine, some used Lego, toy cars or other props. This planning formed an integral part of the process and is as important as the filming and the final video. However, it didn’t stop with the video, the students also had to include titles, credits and music which the either created themselves on Garage Band or downloaded from Bensound.com. The results so far have been very impressive and I’ll post some here later when they’re all finished.
Have you ever had a great idea for an invention that could make a massive difference in the world? Well, one company has not only had a fabulous idea, this idea will soon be in the shops. Waverly Labs have created an amazing new gadget, a gadget that I reckon just about everyone will want to rush out and buy; they’ve created a language translator that fits in your ear. I know, this isn’t a new idea (if anyone has read The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy they’ll recall the Babel Fish) and that Waverly Labs aren’t the only company with the idea, but it’s one with the potential to bring the people of the world much closer together. If you had the chance, what would you like to invent that would be of great benefit to mankind? What would your invention do and how would it make a difference? Check out the video below to see what Waverly Labs are doing.
Holidays are awesome! That wonderful, relaxed sensation you get when you know there’s no pressure to get up in the morning is one that all teachers recognise. Sadly, it doesn’t last forever and that screaming, stress inducing buzzer has blasted its way back into our daily lives. However, I did have a pretty good time on our last break: I managed to finish a lingeringly bad part of my scruffy garden; I took my fabulous MGF convertible for a few sunny drives (see below); I had a lovely meal at a rotating rooftop restaurant (can’t recall the name); and I got the results of my Ancestry DNA test. The DNA test was the most exciting, especially considering that, besides being 47% British, I’m 20% Irish, 15% Western European, 7% Scandinavian and 6%Iberian (with a few other bits and bobs). All that fun now seems just a teary, distant memory as we embark on the final term. the final ten weeks of our time with the fabulous students of LA14. This will be very exciting!
Well, the title of this post is a little misleading, as we don’t do playtime or free-time in LA14 (mean teacher, yes, I hear that a lot), but this playtime was for an important educational reason. Next year the Australian Curriculum will include the subject of Digital Technologies and nestled within the subject will be the topic of coding. The school has already been given a number of hands-on resources that will enable teachers across the year groups to deliver practical activities to support their lessons, but we first need to learn how these resources work. This week the students were given their “toys” to have a go and report back what they found. It was an incredibly useful activity and I learned an awful lot from them. I now have a much better understanding of how the resources work and which age groups they are more suitable for – all thanks to the students and their playtime.