Blogging Task #3

Shocking news broke this evening as it emerged the last chocolate biscuit had been taken from the fridge. This horrific event was met with stunned disbelief when popular local teacher, Mr Hope, decided to treat himself to a late night snack. “I don’t believe it, I’m stunned,” he was heard to say.

Mr Hope tried to get to the bottom of this shocking event but it just proved to be an impossible mystery to solve. He questioned his wife first but, despite her being a well known chocolate biscuit eater, she was adamant that she wasn’t the culprit. “I’m as stunned as you,” she declared, shaking her head as she returned to watching Coronation Street.

Mr Hope showed real tenacity and determination by refusing to give up the mystery and he confronted the last person in the house. “Choccy biccy?” questioned his three year old granddaughter in response to Mr Hope’s tough interrogation tactics. Despite his best efforts he could get no further with his investigation and his granddaughter walked back to her colouring book while licking her fingers.

This shocking, breaking news has shaken this normal family to its sheer foundations and this reporter fears they may never be the same again.

Lost a hairbrush? Someone drink the last cola? Something missing from your bedroom? Turn investigative reporter and write an exciting report about it.

Strange Times!

Ever hear the one about the teacher who didn’t have any students? Don’t worry, it isn’t very funny, in fact it’s really quite sad. It’s a very strange situation to be in for all teachers, it goes completely against the reason we all become teachers in the first place – to work with students. However, we know it’s all for a reason and we’re all working hard to find solutions where we can, technology being one of them.

It doesn’t matter how well we teachers think we work with technology, this new environment isn’t the environment we’ve been preparing for. I’ve worked hard over the years to keep myself up to date with current technology and with designing ways to integrate it into the classroom. Not only that, but I’ve made sure I’ve shared my knowledge and experience with anyone who was prepared to listen (and those who weren’t). However, the use of technology is completely dependent on having a teacher in the class. Concepts, ideas, knowledge and skills all have to be introduced, scaffolded, discussed, worked through, all supported and backed up, when necessary, with the technology. It’s an unusual position to be in where we need the technology first before we can do the teaching. However, this is the position we’re in and we’re determined to find solutions, break new ground and make it work. Hopefully, before too long, these times will no longer seem so strange after all.

Below are some photos from just before we all split up.

Just Bowled Over

Yes, the title is a bit corny, especially for those of us in countries that play cricket, but it’s still the right one. Once again, our amazing cricket teams have been super successful at the inter-school cricket tournament. The enthusiasm and energy that the students put into their sporting endeavours was great to see and ensured that ours was the most awarded school from the entire competition. The boys “A” team, the one which I was in charge of, won every one of their games and finished top in their division. In fact all the boys teams won their divisions – a clean sweep! The girls’ teams also played magnificently with even more division successes. The cricket competition is always a great day out and to say that we’re bowled over by the performance of our students would be a huge understatement.

Blogging Task #2

This blogging task is all for a good cause. If you’re anything like me there’ll be a number of issues in the world that cause you to get a little frustrated. Amongst the many that concern me are: climate change, deforestation, animal extinction, equal rights, plastic pollution, gender equality, whale hunting, renewable energy, puppy farms, child labour, poverty, slave labour, girls’ rights, freedom of speech… I could actually go on and on and on! These are, in my opinion, just a few of the most important issues of our time and are well worth fighting for. It’s a great thing to get behind a good cause, it gives people a sense of purpose and meaning in life, not to mention the satisfaction of knowing they’re trying to achieve some good in the world.

Do you have a cause that you’d like to be part of? Is there something happening in the world that makes you frustrated? Is there something you’d like saved? Is there something you’d like stopped? Use your blog to shout out for a good cause or a big issue.

How Do We Do It?

Is it an art? Is it a science? Is it even magic? Well, to be honest, it’s a little bit of all three, with a lot of hard work, patience and fun thrown into the mix. How else could we have fitted so much into the first five weeks of the first term? The list of concepts, ideas and skills that we’ve covered is huge, way too big to cover here, but a special, fun one that we did this week was to give a little technological twist to the simple topic of rotational symmetry. Once we’d learnt about the topic in class, I treated the students to a surprise, mini excursion; you should’ve seen their faces light up! The excitement wasn’t long lived as we only ventured as far as the staff car park. We snapped photos of the car wheels with our devices and uploaded them to store online. We finally used a new productivity app to produce the finished product. I’m sure you’ll agree that the examples look magic!

Blogging Task #1

“Get yourself sorted out!” Your blog, that is, get your blog sorted out. This week we need to start getting serious with our blogs. What I want to see this week is a new page added, an “About Me” page which explains all the information people may need about you and stays in place permanently. The difference between a page and a post is that a page stays as it is, whereas the posts change each time a new one is added. Next, make sure you’ve deleted any widgets you aren’t going to use and that you’ve added the Class Blogs widget. Finally, I’d like everyone to post a comment on any of my posts from this year and post on the blogs of two other students (not just your besties, though). Keep to our blogging and commenting guidelines, if you don’t the comment will be trashed. Have fun!

A New World

I can still remember it now so clearly despite it being so long ago. The excitement, the buzz, a sense of wonder as the teacher wheeled the television into the room for us to watch an episode of a programme called, “How We Used To Live“. This introduced me to my everlasting love of history. Then came high school. I still recall the day the school got its first computer – the one, the only one that it still had when I left. That, in a nutshell, was my whole educational exposure to technology.

Times have changed a bit since then. Over the first thirteen days of this year the students of LA14 have consistently used technology: they’ve learnt about the importance of maintaining an online presence; they created safe passwords; established their blogs and started using an online production suite; they completed online quizzes; they’ve even created a group podcast and started editing it with editing software. The thing is, though, none of this is done just for the sake of using technology, it’s all used in an educational way. The technology we use in LA14 positively assists students with their work and helps them to develop their own personal online future. Strangely, looking back on my school days I feel they could be from one of those episodes of that programme from my primary school years – it really is a whole new world!

2020 Vision!

The number of times I’ve heard that totally un-hilarious line already this year..! Not from the kids, though, but from adults who should really know better. Perhaps I’m just not “dad joke” oriented (I am really), but the 2020 vision thing is really wearing thin. If you haven’t heard it then you most likely aren’t a teacher. I’d have to admit it, though, 2020 has gotten off to a flying start in LA14 and the students have been hard at it learning new concepts, new skills and trying to absorb a new style from their new teacher. Maths has begun with revising old concepts before we dive headlong into the year 6 curriculum. In English we’ve looked at symbolism, completed character analyses and discovered that the texts we read can have multiple depths. We’ve even dipped into history and started looking at the Stolen Generation, a tragic part of our history and one we must learn never to repeat. We’ve also worked hard at our group collaborations and started working with numerous new IT tools. Any way you look at it, even without 2020 vision, our vision for 2020 is coming along nicely (sorry – I couldn’t resist).

 

Welcome to 2020

Here we go again! It’s the beginning of a new academic year and a whole new group of students have walked through the LA14 door to embark on their final year of primary school. It’s a little less congested than it was last year with 28 students (I had 30 last year), however, a year’s growth will certainly squeeze the space more tightly by the end of the year.

The blogs will soon be open for business (watch this space), but there are a few housekeeping measures to get through first. The students will be completing some essential activities on privacy, safety and blogging conventions as well as learning what it takes to produce and maintain a quality blog. Hopefully this process won’t take long and our new students will be up and running very soon. The header image above was our first step as the students made masks to symbolically hide their identities.

On Your Marks…

It’s surprising just how quick a six week holiday can actually disappear. That may sound a little gloating, especially to the majority who don’t get the same holidays as teachers, but really it’s just an observation. Time flies, it really does. I remember when I was a kid and I’d think about the day I would finally leave school behind and set off into the big wide world and it seemed a lifetime away. I remember calculating how old I’d be in the year 2000 (not saying) and thinking that it would be forever until it came around. I think it probably all comes down to perspective. If you’re waiting for something to happen, excited for it, it seems that time slows down; you become the donkey, trudging after the carrot dangling from a stick, never getting closer. However, if you’re in the middle of something and are so enjoying it you wish it could last forever… Poof! Up in smoke it goes in the blink of an eye. So, back to my holiday and… Poof! However, like I say, it’s about perspective. We often hear parents saying they can’t wait for the holidays to be over, and for those parents I suppose the six weeks may have dragged. But, a new time is about to begin. The final year of primary school for my new class of students! Maybe at the end of the year I’ll hear comments about how quick it’s all gone, or perhaps the comments will reflect the opposite. Whichever it will be, the end is a long way off (or is it?) and the journey is only about to begin. Will it be a sprint or a long distance slog?

On your marks…