Tuesday, December 30, 2008

funny voice from the past

Today i got a message from a former student saying she knew one of the people in this year's class - she asked if that person had given me much trouble. that made me laugh. funnily enough it was someone who caused a few unsavoury issues ... but nothing too bad. sadly there was some nastiness from their parent but we expect that in our job [- and don't assume you know who it is please, but the person wrote a nasty letter to the principal about me]. there is always someone who has their own problems and tries to cause trouble at school. naturally this makes teaching a harder profession for people to stick with. fortunately the overwhelming majority of parents find me a decent teacher/person who genuinely cares for and tries to foster creativity and thinking skills in students. i reeeeeally appreciated the heartfelt messages from kids and parents alike at the end of this year. i could finish teaching now and look back fondly with pride having heard truly lovely words from the likes of Mojo and Roo's mums who came to see me in the last week. it was also cool to receive thanks and farewells from former students and their parents. Also the sincere affection and gratitude from the likes of DreamHuntress and Roo. It warmed the cockles of my heart to be invited to become a family friend of awesomo4000. How could i forget the battle with logon for the hand of my wife. and of course, i treasure the gift of tears when shed in parting. I will remember the love many of you shared for gardening. the way you discussed such big concepts like globalisation. the incredible projects produced by the likes of Gaboose, NeinaMarie and Mudpies. The awesome determination and successes of Kittymilo. your class connections with Mr TEehan's class in New Jersey. Hamiltron's fantastic general knoweldge about world events. your world fame via this blog. the partnership with the HCC and the youth council. mechboy's encoragemtn to read the Bill Bryson book [i have it by me now, Mechboy] your work with Microsoft Partners in Learning. Savvy's personal assistance. Snowy's undying commtiment to our class. Hilzy's fame in public. Ellabella's potatohead and forgetfulness. being called mum and mr woodcock sir and mr woodcock ma'am. your awesome cheerful greetings. hugs. playfights. french cricket. asian dub foundation [even though they left]! and so much more!
I find it reassuring that you kids avoided nastiness this year. in fact all of you were really good considering how things normally end up with people fighting in term four.
i did think it was pretty stink to have someone trying to record me in class with their cell phone with the idea of getting me in trouble. i suspect the aforementioned parent at home didn't help that situation. sadly it's behaviour like that that spoils trust and openness and risk taking in education. it also makes prinicipals ban cell phones from school. if everyone used technology responsibly it would be much easier to promote its uninhibited use in schools. students must remember that most teachers are less techno savvy than them and are afraid of what they don't understand. so, to allow teachers to step outside their comfort zone everything needs to be SAFE for everyone. to make it riskier for schools by doing silly things holds us all back. thankfully your exceptional use of this blog has been exemplary and allowed us to continue in an open way. one or two people posted some naughty things this year but i got rid of them quickly before others saw them. i know who did it and i am not surprised. [remember, everything you put on the internet is traceable and there forever...]
anyhow, Room5ians definitely RULE! there will never be another bunch like you guys. well done and arohanui!

Monday, December 29, 2008

pop up books

Here's a holiday project for you arty farty Room5ians...

Create a pop up cartoon/drawing/illustration/collage/painting book like JimWoodring has. See more of his interesting examples on his blog by clicking the link in red.

And if you're wondering what a moleskin[e] is [apart from the outer covering of a mole] it is an expensive visual diary made famous by various artists, writers, etc.:

Dedicated to Moleskine, the legendary notebook of Van Gogh, Chatwin, Hemingway, Matisse and Céline. [but please don't buy into moleskine snobbery]

The Cutest Blog on the BLock

try this out if you're into cute-ifying your blog :-)


Friday, December 26, 2008

xmas and boxing day

i think i like boxing day even more than xmas day. what do you think?
i had a lovely xmas with my family.
today though is about deep deep relaxation and blissful hedonism
what a perfect day it is
and thank you to candycane for reminding me how lovely you Room5ians are.
thank you to the wee group of stayers who shared some lovely stories of their year with each other as we counted down the minutes, playing french cricket world championship out by the old oak tree. incredible fielding skills shown by Cece, Roo n SebV - the eventual champion, winning in the last few seconds with a magnificent piece of fielding the likes of which one might hope to see on tv during a test cricket match.
so lovely.
treasured memories
love you kids

Monday, December 15, 2008

Why Do Room5ians Rule?

Can you post your comments about what has been good about being a Room5ians this year?

Perhaps you might like to say something positive about specific members of your class who have made 2008 special for you in some way. Try to think of people outside your specific group of friends.

I know I have really appreciated your honesty and respectfulness on this blog.

Well done Room5ians - you are the last of your kind.

Let the world know how cool you are.

[and remember your togs for tomorrow]

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Last week :-(

This is my last week at Peachgrove with my beloved Room5ians...
I hope we have a splendid week and win the top class competition!!!
Remember its triathlon day tomorrow.

Bad news: I got Robbed yesterday! Blimmin' kids got in my car in my driveway and pilfered my belongings!

Good news:

Sasha handed in masters and had a party

I had my farewell at school and my colleagues said some wonderfully thoughtful things about me and gave me a wonderful taonga - a waka huia

Class party on Wednesday!!!

Excellence awards and top academic and class citizen awards on Thursday

Monday, December 08, 2008


reminders for the last two weeks:

be polite
show respect to each other
follow instructions the first time
bring in your completed assignments for presentation
return your permission slips and $10 for the team trip to Waterworld
team assembly tomorrow for merits awards, etc
enjoy your last days as Room5ians

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cat versus Kendo

darn it - just as I got past my first grading and have earned the right to wear hakama and gi, my poor cat Lionel got attacked and seriously injured, costing me HUNDREDS of dollars in vet bills. Now my kendo savings are spent on medical bills. This disappointing, but imagine how much I will love my kendo clothing and armour when I eventually manage to save up for it again.

Our next grading is in January and will be much tougher with a panel of five black belts.

This brings me to my hidden point:

Something you have to work hard for becomes much more valuable to you when you eventually succeed. Conversely, if you have things handed to you on a plate [so to speak] you may not appreciate them as much as if you had to earn them.

I am sure similar messages can be shared from some of you who work hard to succeed in your personal sports or hobbies. Please tell me your story here...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Last major assignments due this week

Get those projects in this week people - I recommend you show it to me first then make any changes necessary.
Look for QUALITY!!!
Remember to ask yourself, "Have I made it clear how my project relates to globalisation?"

Good Luck

Attenion seeking

Now I know all Room5ians are amazing and i dearly love you all, BUT, today many of you decided enough was enough regarding some annoying attention seeking behaviour. We can all work positively to make sure our end of year is filled with warm fuzzies - as it should be.
How can we help make our last three weeks together blissful and enlightening? Any suggestions?
Remeber to be polite and to consider everyone's FEELINGS because we are all friends - you squiddlers get on as a whole better than any other class I've had before so well done.
Positive suggestions?

Poetry competition

Today we learnt about Haiku.
How many syllables.
How many lines?
What are they usually about?
From which culture do they originate?

Here is an example Snowy and Savvy wrote in class after school. It's really brilliant...

Roses are red-ish
Violets are blue-ish
but who really cares?

Okay - so this isn't a very good example. Perhaps yr 7's can't write good poetry.
Can you prove me wrong?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Links from MIss ["Mrs" actually, but it doesn't rhyme] Twiss

The following two emails were sent to me by the fabulous ToniTwiss for your edification. The article on philosophy in the previous post was also from her.
Read on:

"You may have seen this but thought your kids might be interested


is very funny - and is along the lines of people getting frustrated with people (ie. the whole of NZ) giving Hamilton a bad name"

- Toni

"After reading your students' post about gravity I found this game


You are the little yellow ball that you have towards your goal. You have a knife and have a certain number of cuts you are allowed at each level. Some objects can be moved but not cut, so for example if you are on a piece of wood you can cut that and it will fall therefore because of gravity the ball will start to roll too. I made it to level 3 - but I am not very clever!"

- Toni

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Who is this character? He is a famous chinese philosopher.
What is philosophy?

Who does it?

Why do they philosophise?

Who are the most famous philosophers?

What can you tell me about Plato, Aristotle and Socrates?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Photo Competition


Our Room5ian trip to the gardens resullte dinsome finalists for our photo competition.
Here are some of the photos that made the finals.

Please vote for your favourite in the poll to the side.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Why can't we put out fires?

How come, if we can blow up whole cities, fly around the planet, go to Mars, unravel our genetic code, make machines smaller than pin heads, construct space stations and chat to classrooms in NZ from them, we can't put out bush fires???
Where do these terrible fires usually rage out of control each year?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Coolest Xmas thing ever!

Muchas gracias to SuzieVesper - the living legend. This rates up there with Tramp'o'Claus for fun factor and laugh out loudness.
Full credit!!!!

"Elf Yourself"

Gravity hurts my brain

Why can't we explain gravity?

Any ideas or researched answers [with references] that could help my poor brain cope with it?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maths lessons with Smarties

Post your discovered links to maths lessons involving smarties [or pebbles] and fractions, ratios or percentages, (or something like that) here to win the ultimate prize - chocolate!!!!
Oh, and a good report for ICT

Please also list the key competencies you have used by finding and evaluating these resources for use in class - here's the list:

Capabilities for living and lifelong learning

The New Zealand Curriculum identifies five key competencies:

  • thinking
  • using language, symbols, and texts
  • managing self
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing.

Kei hopu tōu ringa ki te aka tāepa,
engari kia mau ki te aka matua.

What is mathematics about?

Mathematics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in quantities, space, and time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

From the files of the splendid JaneNicholls...

- ring any bells, Room5ians ???

[found in JaneNicholls blog]

Miss Signal's insight

I was reading this very clever person's blog this evening and I noticed something you guys might enjoy... and it kinda sounds like you guys anyway :-)

"Class discussions based on what the kids wanted our class to look like brought on more and more gusto as they threw themselves whole heartedly into what they felt was an interesting classroom. This saw CDs being brought in, plants and other items that reflect my students and their interests. This has allowed for our gardeners in the class to take on board their interests. Same with the artists, the designers and so on…"
- Miss Signal

Athletics Day 2008

Retell your adventures here...
'Twas a long hot day in the sun putting a high jump pole back up every few minutes for me. However, I was very impressed by the sheer determination of one student in particular. 

Write on, MacDuffs... [don't worry - I'll explain it in class]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Musical congratulations

Hi kidlets - well done for raising money for your end of year trip in today's gala. I shall be sure to punish everyone who paid to have me "gunged" even though I escaped unharmed.

To reward you for your entrepreneurial diligence, I am sharing this on lin ecollaborativ emusic maker... try it out if you have broadband [but ask your parents first please].



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

two minute noodle scandal!!!!

I love my two minute noodles even though they're bad for me.
So does Neina-Marie, but, being a great GATE student, she investigated by going straight to the horses mouth!
Here is her post from her blog on what happened....

Maggi Noodles - are my curry-flavoured treats harming Orangutans?

Yum... once a weekend, I have 2-minute-noodles for breakfast. Unhealthy, I know, but tasty! However, mulling over the fact that these were listed in the "Use Palm Oil" category, I looked at the ingreidents. It did say quite clearly vegetable oil, but that just means it could use palm oil. The packet did not clearly state that it used PALM OIL. Vegetable oil, as I have now found, is just NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
So, contacting them from their website (http://www.nestle.co.nz/) I gave them a little email, which went something like this:
Dear Nestle,
I really enjoy Maggi Noodles, but would also like to know what you stick in 'em. You say you use Vege' oil. Is that oil Palm Oil? If so, can you please clearly state it on your packet? And is it from a sustainable source?
Here is the reply, fresh from my inbox:

Hi Neina-Marie,
Thank you for contacting us regarding the vegetable oil used in our MAGGI Extra Delicious 2 Minute Noodles.
All the noodles contain Palm Oil and this is listed on the ingredients panel of all our packaging (bar one which is the single chicken varient and this will be changed in the future).
Nestle does not use crude palm oil but rather buys products derived from crude palm oil from reputable manufacturers. About 95% of this oil comes from suppliers who are members of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and who therefore have a declared commitment to sustainable sourcing. Indonesia and Malaysia produce 85% of the world supply and Nestle agronomists in these countries world with suppliers to encourage suatainable practices.
We trust this information is of assistance.


Consumer Services Executive

WOW! I asked my mine of information (Dad), and he gave me SHOCKING news. One variety doesn't mention it uses vegetable oil! And, the oil they get... it's too hard to explain. You read it for yourself. All I have to say is...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Student Youth Council

Dileepa from the University of Waikato and Anaru from Hamilton Boys High School visited us on behalf of the Hamilton Student Youth Council today. They came to discuss the proposed developments in several of Hamilton's strategic growth areas. Our feedback was sought and we had a chance to have a voice in the city, once again.

Room5ians, please state your ideas, questions and input here. No doubt HCC people will take note and maybe even leave you comments.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Fun School

games. polls, etc - enjoy


can you read? do you write?

Is your brain engaged in your reading and writing activities? Room5ians brains are - they do all these things when reading actively....

  • Summarize: Every once in awhile, you should stop, look at a portion of text you just read, and try to summarize the content in your own words. This is a good way to test your understanding of the material.

  • Make Predictions: To keep your brain fully engaged in the text, you should make predictions about what you think might happen next based on what you already know. It's always fun to see if your predictions are accurate.

  • Formulate Opinions: We have opinions on everything from the weather to politics. When you are reading, allow yourself to form opinions about the characters, the plot, the style of the writing, etc.

  • Make Connections: A good way to understand something that is new and unfamiliar to you is to connect it to something you already know or have experienced. Can you connect the text you are reading to a personal experience? Does it remind you of something else you've read or seen?

  • Ask Questions: Don't expect that you are going to understand everything in the reading with complete clarity the first time through. What don't you understand? What confuses you? What words are unclear to you?

  • Analyze the Author's Craft: As you are reading, you may notice certain things about the writer's style. Is there a lot of description? Is there too little description? Is the reading easy to follow or difficult in some way? Does the author use a lot of literary devices like similes and metaphors? Do you understand how and why the author is using such devices?

  • Reflect/React/Comment: What do you notice? What surprises you? How do you feel about what you are reading? What do you think about what you are reading?

  • Look for Patterns/Repetitions: What do you notice about the way the text is structured? Do you notice some kind of pattern? Is there some element in the text that is repeated? What is important about this pattern or these repetitions? How does the structure contribute to the overall meaning?
[- as described in Angela Maiers blog]


And thoughts on actively engaging with a txt:


Lets kill creativity

Does that sound like a good goal for educators?
I didn't think so either. So what are we trying to create?

Angela Maiers asks, as have others, if we are killing off potential "Leonardo DaVincis" in our school system. Read some quotes and other info i discovered on her extensive and interesting blog....

Kris Bradburn says:

"We kill the spirits of our up-and-coming da Vinci's. These ten things are the most commonly cited characteristics of highly creative people… and they’re heavily discouraged in the early years by the education system and social climate of adolescence. This is why we won’t see another da Vinci for a long, long time - or why, if we do, he/she would not have come from the system we currently have in place. At every turn schools and society are set on pushing back the most creative individuals. Their common traits are not welcomed nor encouraged, and certainly not nurtured. This must not persist, because I think the world is long overdue for another da Vinci-type right now..."

Albert Einstein himself said [and I agree]:

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."


get some perspective

thanks to the two kiwi bloke principals who fwded this clip to each other and via their interesting blogs, to me, so i can share it with you...

teachertube clip

Teachers need to learn too

teachers need to be learners to be able to help students be better learners - see Angela Maiers quote:

"Teachers need to be great learners to lead great learners. I believe that learning is a lifelong journey, an ongoing exploration and way of life. I challenge myself and others to always be striving to find and share big ideas in every million dollar conversation."

Her blog is a repository for some interesting thoughts and resources... enjoy

Saturday, November 08, 2008

What can we do with computers?

Having seen the results of your Aussie Rules computer skills test, I realised there might be some fundamental 'stuff' you kids should or could know to help you develop your computer literacy.
I looked at the wise and wonderful Suzie Vespers ICT wiki and found a page which has someones list of what US 7th graders should be able to do. You will not know all the software or applications, and that doesn't matter, but you coudl checkout what you can do off the list. Maybe you will investigate some of the other things online and report back to us all if they seem useful or interesting.
Enjoy ;-)


Friday, November 07, 2008

Cool organic gardening resources

Here are some resources to check out relating to organic gardening...


check it out - there are little videos and info

Thursday, November 06, 2008

FW: Looking for Focus Group participants

Let me/Amy know if you would be interesting in participating in this campaign to help raise awareness about water conservation in Hamilton


Hamilton City Council is launching a water use awareness campaign, part of this campaign will be involving members of the public to take part in a summer-long water conservation campaign in their own home.

We would be;

    • Fitting a water meter in your home (at no charge and no charge for your water usage)
    • Having the end of November as a control period with the conservation of water/changing of habits beginning on Dec 1 2008.
    • Providing a tool kit of water saving products to use in your home.
    • Arranging media interviews with the newspaper and morning television to update Hamilton residents of the actions being taken and progress made.

Does this sound like fun? Is your household up for the challenge?

Please call Amy van Garderen on 07 838 6679 or email amy.vangarderen@hcc.govt.nz 

Amy van Garderen
Communication and Marketing Assistant
Communication and Marketing
Hamilton City Council
Floor 1 Council Building Garden Place
Private Bag 3010 Hamilton 3240
DDI 07 838 6679
Fax 07 838 6761

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Other Enviroschools in action

St Joseph's school also has an interest in sustainable gardens and chickens.

Here is their website:

Checkout the links in the sidebar menu - they have many similar interests and have been making things happen.

Can you find websites or blogs from Hamilton schools that also have similar projects ?

I hear Hukanui is a cool school and I saw another school on TV who have sustainable gardens and their own flash kitchen for the after school kids to make food in.

Monday, November 03, 2008

online tutorials with "Woopid"

Try this out to learn how to do stuff with computers...

will show you how...

Thanks to twitter friends Heymilly and Sujokat for the tips
It pays to learn online as part of a personalised learning community. This is what kids are doing when they play collaborative games, etc. And they learn fast! [- or should i say, 'quickly'?]
For me, Twitter rocks for sharing stuff like this.

Forests of Life

Forests of Life is a NZ website dedicated to the collaborative learning of students teachers and scientists in relation to forests and the issue of sustainability.
Check it out...

some more 21st Century Education in NZ...

[For my ICT PD group...]

Here is an example in Wellington... At least, they seem to be heading in the right direction by integrating ICTs into their learning in a fluid and natural manner. It remains to be seen how they approach the context of their learning, but by being in partnership with Te Papa, it sounds like they too are trying to break down the barriers and get kids out of the classroom. I like the way they mentioned allowing kids to choose how they presented work and were using tools like Google Sketchup to model projects 3Dimensionally.
Notice they said computers, etc, are just tools that are part of their learning. They don't go off to "do ICT". The Internet is a normal and necessary part of their learning world and allows them to develop critical thinking and to become discerning "filterers" [my word] of information.
Today alone our learning was restricted by lack of access to Google tools [Google calendar to plan our week with M3 couldn't be done because we can't access gmail], Youtube [to support our research into Globalisation, deforestation, palm oil production and Orangutan extinction] is blocked, and of course, we still can't make posts on our blogs after three years of trying. Instead we went to the library where the kids discovered 25 yr old text books that had outdated information. Mind you, we were able to then compare and contrast, think critically, learn referencing techniques, etc. So libraries are still VERY important. And of course everyone loves Mrs Kneebone and her amazing wealth of knowledge and willingness to help people out by finding resources.
Anyway, here is the Wellington school that has taken the initiative:

21st-century-education at Brooklyn School in Wellington - in conjunction with Hewlett Packard and The Ministry of Education.

Orangutan Conservation

I have always been passionately interested in primates. Perhaps it's because I resemble one so closely. Or perhaps it is because they are such amazing animals.

Here are some sites to investigate:

Globalisation assignments

Let's clarify our globalisation assignments here....

1. Homework - Personal, creative, high quality, "model" project [not necessarily a model, but something physical, and representative of your learning in globalisation]. Must be extremely high quality so you are proud of it and everyone else is amazed by your brilliance.

- due week middle of week 8

2. Paired Youtube documentary project - done collaboratively with your pair of M3 students.

Includes a story board and a record of your timetabled interactions with M3 - Using Small-World wiki, Edmodo microblogging, our other blogs, Skype, telephone, and email.

3. In class group projects such as developing a globalisation newspaper, magazine or website. Perhaps something creative projects like a drama, song, dance, musical piece, Marvin animation, etc.

4. To regularly interact with the class blog and to develop an e-portfolio of related resources and opinions on your own personal blogs.

5. You may use Glogster also, but it must be linked to the class blog and your personal blogs. It is my preference that you continue to use blogger to keep a record of your learning.

6. We will also be doing a letter writing campaign to try to convince politicians to put a stop to destructive palm oil plantations in places where orangutans should be living.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Poverty sucks - do you understand what it means and how millions of people around the world miss out on basic things we take for granted every day?
One of my cool teacher friends showed me this site - it's a game that helps you understand a bit more about poverty in our globalised world....


Really it's about knowing geography so Hamiltron is th eman to beat.
On my first go I got donated 137 cups of water but i missed the first choice cos i didn't know what to do. See if you can beat me. :-)

Famine is another terrible thing, hence the highly distressing photograph - sorry if it's too awful for you, but ignorance is bliss and people need help.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Educon 2.0

I like the sound of their principles for 21st Century Education...

The Axioms

Guiding Principles of EduCon 2.0:
1) Our schools must be inquiry-driven, thoughtful and empowering for all members
2) Our schools must be about co-creating -- together with our students -- the 21st Century Citizen
3) Technology must serve pedagogy, not the other way around.
4) Technology must enable students to research, create, communicate and collaborate
5) Learning can -- and must -- be networked.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Globalisation and Peace

Hey kids - how important do you think world peace is for Globalisation?
I just read this morning that US soldiers and Apache attack helicopters just wasted some supposedly civilian buildings in Syria - no doubt the military knew more about the intended purpose of those buildings as potential points of operation for some potential terrorist activities [or something like that].
This raises my tricky question: Is violence and small scale military activity justifiable in order to help contain greater threats ? Or is that just an excuse for certain countries to do what they need to do to protect their own interests and keep themselves at the top of the pile? [- think about America's outrageous attack on Iraq against United Nations advice...]
The reason I find this interesting is because I once went an international relations lecture by Doctor Lou Fretz at the University of Waikato. I found it incredibly interesting to hear about the history of military intervention in different countries in order to maintain overall peace. There is a concept known as "The Balance of Power" which is worth trying to understand.
The threat of nuclear war was a very real fear that hung over us as people growing up in the 70's and 80's. Some claimed that that very real threat meant peace was assured as no one would dare to risk war with nuclear weapons. Globalisation was well and truly underway then. It is firmly entrenched now and means the world needs to develop new ways of interacting.
What are our moral reponsibilities in a globalised world? First we need to try to understand how the world works. That isn't easy and it also depends on who you ask. Hence I try to help you to become independent, self-reliant, critical-thinking, open-minded, curious people who are keen to learn.
Here is a peace for kids site that may have interesting stuff in it.
Tell me what you think about peace.
How about fair trade?
Have you considered your moral responsibility in terms of your "carbon footprint"? [calculate yours here]
What else is relevant to this discussion?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

PE at the "Wonderschool"

Kerli made a comment about more PE but of a specific kind - she hasn't elaborated yet but will hopefully do so here. Please add your two cents worth....
My fave PE thing this year has been teaching scrummaging, rucking, mauling, passing and kicking for rugby. Cece was my most inspirational learner cos she was right into the rough stuff due to her dad having been a prop once upon a time.  Very cool. 
At my new school PE would be based around achieving the skills and fitness levels necessary to achieve cool goals like walking a gnarly tramping track, or sailing, kayaking, fishing, tenting, fire making, etc to be able to manage ones own needs on a long distance over night trip somewhere. Bush survival skills. Navigating. Trying something different like a range of martial arts. Snorkelling and then SCUBA diving when old enough. Building things. Making and racing fast things.  Entering a school team in something with tournaments far afield.   
Quidditch? [i guess that's stretching it, as i really am serious about the other stuff]

Friday, October 24, 2008

Enjoy your Camp

I hope you all have a really cool time on camp.
Please don't break yourselves or annoy your adults.
Remember you are representing Peachgrove.
Be positive, try new things and push yourself out of your usual comfort zone.
Come back to Room5 safe and sound after next week with loads of stories to tell.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This post is only for people who want to be involved with the new school thing...


and what do you imagine?

[p.s. you can't be wrong]

Twitter question

post your questions here and Room5ians may answer them.

or not. it's an experiment really...

what would you really like to find out about ???

"FindOut RedOUbt"

From Twitter:

mrw00dy i find asking questions is a good way to find things out - let's try an experiment... http://peachgroveroom5.blog...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

can we hold back the future? Actually it's already here [for teachers]

Are you a visionary, an early adopter, a blocker, or something in between?
What are your fears/hopes/dreams? Do you have ideas on how to move forward with the meaningful integration of ICT into learning so we can engage our students in their world, with their future in mind?
Please feel free to share here, and don't be afraid of the fact that my students will be reading this - it affects them too, so they may as well be part of the debate. It's their learning afterall...even if they don't always get it [- do you Room5ians!!!] ;-)
I have been inspired by "Tonitones" [eFellow of Twitter fame and insightful blogger] to work towards a positive goal, rather than being held back and disheartened.
Hold on to your passion. Find solutions. Be positive. Set some achieveable goals and work towards. Share and celebrate your achievements - don't be shy. Take a risk - you may inspire someone else.
It's a pretty cool challenge actually - almost like being a learning activist - LoL :-)
Hooray for Tonitones!!! A young woman with much wisdom.

[- get the feeling I'm talking to myself here? C'est la blog vie ;-) ]

Edmodo groups

For your collaborative project with M3...
Sign up to Edmodo groups with your new codes. Use Edmodo to communicate with the M3 kidlets.
Edmodo is microblogging


Also use our Small World wiki to collate and share information.

Your first step is to understand what Globalisation is and to help the M3 students ... or maybe they will help you understand!


Sunday, October 19, 2008


Mrs R is going to arrange for us to have Youtube unblocked for me to use so we can continue with our collaborative assignment with M3.
I have created a class account for us to use - "Room5iansRule" - I will give you the password in class so you can access it to post your work once it is completed.
I have been enjoying watching kendo movies on there - You can use Youtube to learn so many things.
Please get your parents permission before using Youtube and follow normal cybersafety rules.
Have fun Learning!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Public Speaking

Well done Room5ians for being masters of public speaking!
You have achieved an incredibly high standard and I was delighted by the broad range of topics and the quality of delivery that was displayed. We have some dark horses in our class who really know how to perform when put in the spotlight!
I was very imprssed by the sharing of speeches with M3 class via skype - what a neat idea! And many thanks to M3 for being such an excellent audience and providing feedback via our various speaker's blogs :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Are we aliens?

Is there such a thing? Can we prove it? Are mitochondria evidence of alien intervention in our cellular make-up?

What on earth is mitochondria? Have you heard of mitochondrial d.n.a. ?

Next week I shall propose that aliens helped make the pyramids...

Is Mechboy correct? Have we already discovered single cellular organisms on other planets?
Please write your opinions here and also create links to some facts that you believe are reliable.
OOOh! Miss Lewthwaite just dropped in and told us that today is supposed to be an alien visitation day - how coincidental!! Can you find any evidence of this theory on the net or in the papers?

Monday, October 13, 2008


Who is correct?
Yes, though it may depend on whom you ask!

Dearly beloved, let us take this day our dose of gramamatical edification...

Can any of you explain the correct time or manner in which to use "who or "whom"?

I can't explain it, although I think I usually use them correctly. Well, at least some times.

I asked my clever Twitter teacher friends to help and within minutes two of them came up with this:


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Its a small world afterall! - globalisation

Term Four collaborative project with M3. Discovering what globalisation is all about and how it affects us...
Also, check out their Kenyan project - very cool to actually make a difference.
Maybe My Teehan's class might join us, and perhaps the Teaching Sagittarian's new class in Bangkok could be involved? Anyone else keen?
Let's change the world a little bit at a time!

We will work together using blogs and wikis, Edmodo for microblogging and much more

And don't worry Mudpies - we will work out how to mummify chickens in relation to this, i promise!!!

Check out the Movie - The Corporation - and how it got some students interested.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Marvin session at Ulearn08 by moblog

This is a mobile blog of our session done while we worked... sent from Miss Perry's phone

Visit PXT World to find out all about PXT and create awesome picture messages!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Interface Blog Comp

Cool! We Room5ians have made it into the Interface top blog competition!!!

Go to the site to vote for our blog so we can win a prize :-)

And Vote for Erin Freeman in the other section - she is an innovative and talented teacher. Her class is collaborating with the blessed Room5ians on various assignments.

It's great mag and features our school and some of our achievements and things that we are doing.

5,000,000 hit challenge

Hey kids - try this out. Watch this guy's video on Utube and then create your own video, post it and see who can get the most hits. Sound easy? You will have to come up with an idea that really grabs the imagination and attention of a potential worldwide audience.

Is anybody up for it? Make some magic happen...

[from "YouTube's greatest hit: One man and the web's most watched video"]

- idea courtesy of Tony Ryan - inspirational Aussie conference speaker and author

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Raglan Area School Enviro stuff

I'm at a cool presentation about doing inquiries about environmental education.
The following site is their knowledgenet with interesting resources to check out.
username "teacher3" password "a"

There is info to make you think about issues relating to the recent Olympic Games

Monday, October 06, 2008

Ulearn08 Inquiry Learning with ICT Integration

This is for the teachers at Ulearn, kids... but you are most welcome to leave relevant comments.

"...compared to that, we (bloggers) are just a cult.
I think that what we are doing is extraordinarily important. We are drilling through barriers that insist on keeping things the same. But the barriers persist. Too many schools still can’t view blog pages, podcasts, or other social sites. Most teachers have no time built into their work schedules to participate in these conversations. Way too many children do not have access to the technology they need to become in any way acquainted with today’s information landscape. The concepts of Web 2.0 remain couched in tech-speak that is either to esoteric for many to understand or it down-right turns people off."

But back to me - I find blogging to be incredibly valuable as a tool that provides my yr 7 GATE students with a forum for their discussions, an outlet for their passions, ideas and creativity. Within the online forum it provides the students get to feel their work and ideas are important, valued, interesting and worth sharing.

By not making it private and "secure" students are able to experience the thrill of making new friends, sharing thoughts and questions with an exciting and fresh audience. We now have friends all around the world who add interest and vitality to our blogging world. Our Clustermap has registered nearly 8000 hits worldwide since March this year.
[See example: Mr Teehan and his class in New Jersey - blogging, skype]

In our inquiry unit we used our personal blogs to compile information and images which were relevant to our study.
[See Mudpies, Kittymilo, Snowgirl, Hamiltron, Roo, Rosiegal, etc. for examples]

The HCC communications manager, Agent S, as she is known to us, was delighted by our use of ICTs and became our very own mobile blogging agent during the Hamilton400 street races.

As we took field trips and attended City Expos as exhibitors, we noticed we have a graffiti problem. We met Constable Craig and competed in an anti-graffiti poster competition.

We met the directors of the city museums and libraries and discussed ways in which we coudl become more involved in creation of 21st century spaces and exhibitions.

Digital story telling - MARVIN

Interwoven threads...
Kids use Blogger, and Glogster to create and share content. They embed polls, hyperlinks, mobile blogging images and text. They debate, argue, support, affirm, question, share, create, enjoy and work things out.
Why stop them? If you are not an expert, it doesn't matter.
Remember what Prensky told us - they are the Digital Natives...let them play :-)

Room5ian Blogging Tips:
How to get a Clustermap in your blog
How to mobile blog

Friday, October 03, 2008

Marshall's Photo Entries

Marshall has used Glogster to showcase his field trip photos - check it out and keep in touch with him...


Room5ian garden in spring

Well, I better go into the greenhouse today to check your seedlings.
Mine are not spouting at home becuase its too cold. I will take some to school to compare the results when placed in the greenhouse. It will be a kind of fair test as I have used the same seeds, same soil and seedraising mix. I'm trying to start a crop of really hot chillis and delicious old-fashioned [heirloom] tomatoes.
Have you seen Rosiegal's amazing Room5ian Garden Logo?
Here it is:

See if you can match it. Let's make it a competition. The winner gets used as our class garden logo. Maybe the newspaper might publish a wee story about us and use the winning image...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

finally Flickr

Hey ROom5ians - get your sociable selves out of glogster and come check out our field trip photos in flickr...

Also - who can tell me who the dude is represented in the maori carving photo I took - you can find it - he has his name written beneath him. He is VERY important.

Charlotte's Web

I've seen many very cool spiders this week and dreamt of them too.
When I was younger I really loved Charlotte's Web. Here is Mrs Freeman's class book review site thingy...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

fabulous field trip

I really enjoyed our field trip to the gardens to visit the sustainable backyard, the theme gardens, the cemetery, the river path, etc. It was cool to go tui spotting with you and to find the whole family of three at the gardens. I loved seeing the giant frog in the English garden. I'm glad you enjoyed running through the bamboo in the Chinese garden. Too bad Hamiltron got sick rolling down the hill.

I will post more pics to flickr and put a link here once i've managed to do it.

Keep taking shots for the photo comp - Mrs Freeman's class is snapping away too during the hols.

opinion versus fact

the argument continues...