Ssshh, It’s A Secret!

I don’t always like to repeat an activity year after year, indeed, some of the activities I do repeat get changed and updated on a regular and often substantial basis. However, this is one activity I am repeating. This year I have the siblings of students I’ve previously taught and, while I was ready for a change, I thought it would be nice for some of the mums to have a matching set. I can’t say what it is (I’ve already said too much) as I don’t want to give the surprise away, but you can check out the photos to see how busy and productive the students have been. Only, if you do guess what it is, don’t tell anyone!

Tristan, Denzel & Luke

Shanelle, Jade, Hayley & Chloe

Josh, Ethan & Dean

Busy Bloggers

I’ve written about the many benefits to students from blogging here so many times in the past, in fact I have a very old page on this blog where I lay out some of my thoughts. However, I don’t think I’ve ever written about the down side. Well, there is one, albeit a very minor one, and even this has its positive side – it’s my extra workload! This, though, is the type of workload that makes the job worth it! Motivated, keen and dedicated students are what makes the education world go around, and we have heaps of them in LA14. Check out Paige’s recent podcast on the Stolen Generation; follow Georgia’s and Megan’s successes on the athletics field; read about Ankita’s experience of a wedding in India; learn about Nik’s amazing success at Taekwondo and see his fish-eye lens photo. Not only am I learning so much about the students that I would never normally know, but they are writing extra, using technology and staying safe and respectful online. The extra effort of setting the blogs up and checking them out is the best kind of extra workload for a teacher!

Blogging Task #1

This first blogging task is quite a complex one. You need to create your completed podcast by combining the three different parts you have already created using Audacity. I will give you only minimum assistance with this, as a major part of the activity will be reading and following the written instructions. Once you’ve done that you need to upload it to you blog and copy it into the correct podcast enclosure; I will show you how to do that part. A completed, edited podcast posted on your blog will be the measure of your success with this task.

Opie Art

The students have been busy this week recreating their versions of the artworks inspired by Julian Opie. Some may recall (if you’re as old as me) the artworks that Opie created for an album cover by the group Blur; if you don’t, then have a look here on the website of the National Portrait Gallery in the UK. The students learnt all about using different layers in Brushes on the iPads to create digital art, similar to the processes used in software applications like Photoshop. Below are three of our incredible results. Compare them to Opie’s works and you’ll see just how good they are.

Megan

Lily

Podcasts

I’ve been very lucky in the past to have had so many great classes and great students to work with and this year is promising to be just as good. The enthusiasm shown by the students in learning new concepts and new technologies has been really encouraging. We’re in the process of producing our very first podcast (which will be posted on their blogs), but to do this the students had to work in groups to carry out research and produce their scripts. For some this process may be a problem, but these students took it all in their stride; they were happy to work with each other and enjoyed speaking their parts. I can’t wait to hear the results. Below are some of the students working together.

Online Safety

One of the major focuses of blogs for me is to give the students the opportunity to practice online safety and security. Lessons, discussions, videos and activities are all important aspects of a comprehensive online education, but being able to practice the skills being taught gives the students invaluable experience and allows us, as teachers and parents, to see exactly just how clued up the students are. It’s okay to “talk the talk”, but we need to see our charges “walk the walk”. For me it begins with the header on this blog. As you can see, we all created mask to cover our identity, a somewhat symbolic gesture, but an important starting point in getting the message across and developing a greater sense of privacy and personal safety.

I’m sure this group of students will be just as safe and secure as all our previous bloggers – they’ve already made an awesome start!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

We may have only just completed our second week, but we are already well into our lessons and activities and are knuckling down to a very busy year. We’ve started our studies of 20th century Australian history and have completed a recount and a detailed character analysis. In maths we’ve explored place value and have begun converting between fractions and decimals. Technology has been integrated into our studies and the students have started their blogs, shared work on Google Drive and begun creating music and art with the iPads. All this and Sport, Science, Art and Music – busy, busy, busy!

Here We Go!

A new year begins and a new group of students will be calling LA14 “home” for a while. It will be a couple of weeks before the students get started with their blogs, as they first have to complete some research on the traits of a good blog and some activities on internet safety. I’m sure this year will be as great a success as previous ones, so remember to keep popping back to see what we’re all up to.

The Final Goodbye

In terms of world opinion, 2016 hasn’t really been a winner, but as far as I’m concerned it’s been an incredible success and that’s all because of the wonderful students who I’ll be saying my final goodbye to on Thursday. This class has been very special, indeed the whole year 6 group, 90 students in all, have got along so well together that 2016 has been a breeze. In particular, the students in LA14 have been so good and so close with each other that I’m expecting quite a few tears as they walk out of the door and wave their final goodbye to each other. They’ll certainly be missed by myself and the school, but they’ll also be very warmly remembered.

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First Skype

Today I tried my first live Skype with the students as part of our Health and Geography studies. We were incredibly lucky that Victoria from the amazing people at the charity Plan International took the time to talk to the students and answer their questions. The work they do is incredible and so inspiring and with a bit of luck the message of helping others less fortunate than ourselves had a lasting impact on the class. Some of the students were awesome and showed such maturity in the way they listened and asked questions. It was my first Skype and I’ll have to admit that if I was to do it again (which I will) I’ll take a little longer in the preparation of the students regarding what to expect. I need to say a huge thank you to Plan International and Victoria for giving us such an inspiring insight into their organisation.