Thursday, March 29, 2007
purposeful blogging is all i really want you to do, along with reading and finding resources to bring to school to help any projects you do.
what do you think? ask your parents what they think.
PROBLEM: next term is science fair - it is extremely difficult to do this at school, depending on what you choose to do. we must have a discussion at school about what is required for each different category and then decide how best to approach it.
the categories are:
1. scientific photography with a specific theme
2. observational drawing with a theme
[both yet to be revealed to me]
- both of these are too easy for you and can only be done in conjunction with another choice.
3. wall chart - also easy and depends heavily on research skills and presentation skills rather than scientific understanding.
- should be done in conjunctionwith one of th eother easier choices.
4. scientific investigation - hard to choose a decent topic and very challenging. extremely difficult to manage and a true test for a scientist. also a good choice for a motivated GATE student
5. technology - identifying a problem and developing a practical solution for that problem - as discussed in class - e.g. an early warning device for Mr Cocks' raids
start thinking ...
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
and fields of purply blue flowers? tiny little mushrooms? could they be of interest as well?
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Babel Fish Translation
C'est un emplacement utile pour traduire dans d'autres langues. Il est moins inconfortable que mettant un poisson dans votre oreille.
Bonsoir mes amis,
p.s. learn your French vocab for next week's quiz
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
"Mantos", a boy from my class two years ago suggested you guys have a go at this tricky problem.. the attached wikipedia link has the solution included.
and remind me to teach you about "petals around the rose" - another fascinating problem...
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
[from "Why professors don’t dance: Sir Ken Robinson on creativity", by Shelagh McNally.]
ken robinson speaks to us about creativity in education and what a legend he is - witty, insightful - the master presenter. he will have you hanging on his every word... unless of course you feel his message is somehow threatening [?]
;>) [Photo by Luigi d’Astolofo]
it's ideas like Sir Ken's that keep my passion for teaching alive.
and in relation to the business world, where Sir Ken is also a respected consultant, he has to say...
"Businesses everywhere have to compete in a world that's changing faster than ever. To keep pace they need people who can consistently generate new ideas and adapt to constant change. Many companies say it's getting harder to find these people. One of the major reasons is education. All over the world, formal education systematically suppresses creative thinking and flexibility."
it is a range of opinions aggregated from other sources.
hopefully teachers will agree these thoughts are worth a browse.
* I believe that "school 2.0" as discussed by David Warlick, [keynote speaker from the recent Learngin @ schools conference] is a necessity in our 'switched on' world...
* "personalised learning" - not exactly new, but an ideal concept for today's/tomorrow's learners.
paradigm change - new world, new needs, need for change - personalised learning
* wiki learning commons by Pam Hook
"Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge."-- Alfred North Whitehead
* "As schools struggle with the changed circumstances of the world beyond their gates, there has been a growing interest in and use of terms like real, authentic and relevant. In many instances their use in labelling routine classroom practices is more of an instance of wishful naming. That is the name is given to practices that gesture towards something beyond the classroom or may even involve activity that takes students to settings outside school but the design sensibility, the bias, if you like, remains one of doing safe or pretend work."
* “It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to rack and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the engagement of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.” --Albert Einstein
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
our minister of education has stated in policy that we need to "reorient away from the organisation to the learner". the school should not be about budgets, testing to show ERO data or telling kids they are not good enough. it should be about empowering them in the skills and attitudes they will need to survive in THEIR future world. not ours.
The world has changed. Teachers need to too. i heard that last year and this year it has been reconfirmed at the learning@schools conference in rotorua this year.
as noted by david warlick, our current yr sevens have virtually no formative recollection of the 20th century. we don't need to train people to sit down, be quiet and play guess what the teacher is thinking - we aren't training them for factories or offices anymore. in fact, we don't know what we are training them for because it will be different by the time the kids have left school. we need to teach kids to learn for themselves. they need to be able to deal with vast amounts of ever changing and growing information, in an often unreliable, yet powerfully connected and rich environment. in short, we are preparing them for a world of unprecedented opportunity; not a world of certainty.
Google processes 1 billion searches per day - that is a lot of questions! inquiry learning is a good start - helping them ask good questions is something we need to keep working on. we can't give up because one unit last year was hard for us. what would we say to them if they wanted to give up? if they kept finding excuses?
in 2003 5 exabytes of new information was generated.
i know what you're thinking... what the heck is an exabyte?!
that is equivalent to 37 Libraries of Congress filled with new tomes. 1/100s of 1% got printed...
we need to embrace 'the net'.
children learn in powerful ways at home every day without us in a vastly connected, responsive, exciting, ever changing, collaborative, problem based, world of instant feedback and challenges. online games.
the skills and attitudes of gaming promote the acquisition of skills and attitudes that are useful for people facing an uncertain informational future environment. [ i think david warlick may have said that.] we make them sit down, be quiet, perform mundane meaningless boring tasks - a lot of the time. many children are published authors of orignal content - how many of us are?
ask yourself when being in your class would excite you. ask how often the task is challenging and has multiple opportunities to try something, reflect on failure and modify strategies.
are we shortchanging them? do they feel they need to 'power down' when they come to school?
they need to learn how to specialise, evaluate, become experts by themselves. we need to be the guide on the side, not the sage on the stage - [as someone else has said before.]
we sometimes promote failure rather than opportunity. we are experts at ignoring talent. children have invented a new language, perfect for their needs and we tell them it's wrong and ignore it. we shouldn't stop them from using it - we should help them understand when to use it. we have history's most powerful ever information super highway at our finger tips and we tell ourselves its too risky to use when they use it everyday without us. how dare we contain them? without us they are capable of achieving amazing feats of learning. [i realise i am generalising, but i am not speaking purely from a GATE perspective - i've had kids who struggle to spell their name too].
so, discuss the games they play - bring them into conversations about topics you want to discuss.
use cell phones blogs and wikis to conduct collaborative, cooperative homework assignments with clues and covert operatives.
allow a celebration of the things they invent. give them opportunities to try, try again. teach them how to learn, not what to.
not ledger balancing.
listen to kids.
ask good questions.
but what do i know? good teachers take sports teams, take no risks, have no dramas, cause no fuss - don't they?
take it easy everyone - the world is alive with hope and dreams!
let's allow some to flourish
Here are some amusing examples...
"Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze." Chuck Smith, Woodbridge
Please post your own funny or weird examples.
I'll try too....
"The Room5ians explored kakepuku the way a teenage boy scours his face for zits to squeeze."
perhaps that's a bit yucky...
Monday, March 12, 2007
lost on Kakepuku, and having escaped from the subterranean cavern, the Room5ians stumbled upon a mystical nikau grove...
It was here that a group of boys spent the evening, one of them awoke in the night and made a magical discovery....
The next morning they heard the haunting sound of the horn again.
Soon after, one of their classmates stumbled gasping out of the cave, looking desperate and obviously in need of urgent assistance![photo courtesy of 'The Edge of the Land – The Coastline of New Zealand', Photography by Graeme Matthews]
Sunday, March 11, 2007
book cover for your new novel about your Adventures on Kakepuku
a poster to advertise the new movie starring you, of course, about your amazing adventures on the Kakepuku Catastrophe!
please post comments here to help each other think of all the things you need to do to make a successful poster or book cover - what are the design features that good examples better than boring ones?
i can think of at least five things...
[do this activity at school on moNday whilst i'm grovelling around at home wishing i could move properly. mr wilson knows nothing about it except its written in the daily planner - one of you will have to inform the class of this post. five team player points to whoever informs mr wilson and the class.]
the best artwork will be laminated and displayed
Friday, March 09, 2007
you can post your congratulations to classmates here....
and spare a thought for poor Mitchell who would've thrilled us all with his speed and grace in the water has itr not been for his broken arm...
right! i'm off to my dinner party - have a great friday night!
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
[The article i posted the other day was from the internet and i forgot to include the reference, so i have removed it. Remeber when using other people's material to acknowledge the source. infact, in some cases it's probably not okay to use it at all. we must investigate it as a learning experience.]
In my fantasy world, I would like to play flanker or mid field for the AB's - sadly being an old unfit, short, weak, teacher doesn't increase my chances... Mr Cocks wants to play hooker. Which position would you play? Whaea Debs said she'd like to play wing or fullback.
Or, which sport would you like to represent NZ in? Netball? Rowing? Table tennis? Running? Cycling?
Which sports do you play? I play golf sometimes and used to play soccer, cricket, inline hockey, do various martial arts. I now coach soccer for the school.
Monday, March 05, 2007
2. don't share personal information that could allow strangers to identify you. no photos of you, no address or numbers given out, etc.
3. know who you are dealing with.
4. use the blog for educational purposes - blogs are not like chat rooms - they are for expressing opinions, sharing resources, giving and receiving feedback, etc.
5. enjoy it sensibly and be creative
6. use word verification
7. use correct grammar, spelling and appropriate language - please use capitals for names
8. set up your blog to send you an email notification when someone comments on your blog. - you can even have comment moderation turned on so no one's post gets onto your blog without your permission.
9. SHOW YOUR PARENTS - they should be impressed by your skills and creativity
10. post useful links to information for others to use - we can work collaboratively
11. be positive - don't let the negative people get you down
12. remember books, dvds, librarians, teachers, family, friends, radio, podcasts and many more sources of information exist out there - the internet is not the only source and it is not always reliable.
13. bring flies for the frogs please
Sunday, March 04, 2007
you must also write respectfully at all times. remember - all of what you write is going to be read by someone else at some stage - it may not even be this year - one day it will be read - so be polite, respectful and say sensible interesting things.
if you are not sensible, you will make it difficult for any of us to enjoy the interactive world of blogging.
make the title of your posts eye catching.
please post comments about:
1. what you think "netiquette" might be.
2. any cybersafety rules you know
3. what the purpose of our blogs are or could be - [remember - this blog is for learning]
we will be completing a survey soon to investigate your internet usage and anything your parents do to help keep you cybersafe.
each of you will also sit with me in class to investigate your blog, check for cybersafety, and answer any questions you have regarding the set up of your blog.
for example, i would like yo uto have word verification turned on and disallow anonymous posts. if you are smart, you will have email notification turned on too. this means that when a post is made on your blog, you will be sent an email with the message and a link to it in your blog. this makes it easy to keep track of all posts.
and PLEASE remember - this blog is for school and i encourage you to use it - BUT, if your parents don't want you too, you must respect their wishes. all important school related material will be given out in class as handouts as i have already done with the kakepuku activities.
if your parents have concerns, please have them contact me directly.
p.s. if you read this all the way through, tell me the secret password at school - "the blue blog is bluer than the red blog..."
p.p.s. i know that at least one of you is not being cybersafe...