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.

No Time!

Different to many other countries, Australia’s educational year runs from February to December, which means we are closing in on our final 4 weeks! Yes, very soon our year 6 students will be walking out of the school gates for their final time to embark on a whole new chapter of their lives. However, that doesn’t mean the pressure’s off; as any final year primary school teacher will know the opposite is much closer to the truth. Lately we’ve been very busy getting to grips with an assortment of technological challenges. We’ve experienced coding with Lego, used the activities on the world renown Code.org, created podcasts about the great work done by charities around the world and we’ve been making stop-motion style animations with I Can Animate on the iPads. So much done, so much to do, so little time!

Joe, Owen, Kyza

Joe, Owen, Kyza

Maddie and Cumorah

Maddie and Cumorah

The US Election

As far as I can remember I don’t think another election anywhere in the world garnered as much attention as the recent one in the US between the Democrats and Republicans. My own Twitter and Facebook feeds were constantly full of the often hostile debates between the two presidential nominees, along with their opposing stances. But the interest wasn’t restricted to adults. The discussions amongst the students showed that this particular election had reached places usually reserved for sports stars, pop stars and friendship chatter to a level never achieved by our own home-grown politicians. The conversations were serious, the opinions well thought-out, and the concerns genuine. As the results came in, the discussions flowed and the students proved they are a generation with their own beliefs, their own values and a depth of hopes and fears for the future that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Blogging Task #8

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? While you’re thinking, check out the translator here and be sure to read the whole article.

Cricket

Last week the year 5 and 6 students took part in the regional cricket competition. Last year we did so well in the same competition that the girls’ team won a trip to the national finals in Melbourne; unfortunately this year we didn’t quite make it. Strangely, the girls’ team was technically better this year than last year, but the standard of girls’ cricket has risen dramatically and we missed out by a frustrating ten runs. The boys also missed out, despite having some fabulous individual cricket players. Check out the photo’s below of the girls (unfortunately I don’t have photo’s of the boys as I spent the day helping coach one of the girls’ teams).

Maddie

Maddie

Emily

Emily

Cumorah

Cumorah