Friday, May 30, 2008

We love our pets

Tell me about your pets.

Here is my lovely boy, Manny, taken this week on a walk at Resthills Park in Glenview.


p.s. I decided to be a good example and start using capitals properly because I have discovered that university students are showing up to study without any apparent idea how to write properly...and it IS important.

So there ;-p

Thursday, May 29, 2008

R.I.P. Fluffball

Fluffball was a lovely lively rat who passed away today and left us all feeling very sad at her passing.
Here is your chance to leave a comment to pay your respects to Fluffball...
We will miss her.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

science is for everyone - even our rats can do it

Do you think you don't have what it takes to become a scientist? well you're wrong!

read on...

Life lessons in science

What is the one thing everyone should learn about science? Spiked asked 250 scientists - here we bring you some of the most provocative responses

Seth Lloyd Professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

You do not have to be a scientist to do science; you can be a child, a computer, or an intelligent rat. As long as you can verify a result, it is part of science.

more here

Antony Hoare Senior researcher at Microsoft Corporation

I would teach the world that scientists start by trying very hard to disprove what they hope is true. When they fail, they have a good reason for believing what they hope is true, and can even convince others of its truth. A scientist always acknowledges the possibility of error, and is less likely to be mistaken than one who always claims to be right.

and specially for Marshall...

Peggy Lemaux Cooperative extension specialist in plant biotechnology at the University of California at Berkeley

I would nominate the basic formula for photosynthesis: CO2 + H2O + sunlight/chlorophyll —> O2 + C6H12O6. Why is this so important? Because without this chemistry, life on earth would not be possible.

and remember this site plus a few others to try...

space related stuff:

word study lists

please put the most interesting words from this week's word study list as comments on this post with their meanings.

D.A.R.E. - whoops

uh oh - something else i forgot to do was give you the preliminary DARE chat to set you up for your first DARE lesson. Typical...
As a result some of you can't even spell the name of the programme - how shocking.
How was it? What did you learn?
You can make comments here after each lesson.
Constable Jo is very cool, isn't she :-)

[b.t.w. - it's D.A.R.E., not dear, or deer]

[b.t.w. - b.t.w. stands for by the way]

Digital Learning Objects

Hello official research monkeys [that means students in Room5 who used the digital learning objects and were recorded by Annick and Rob] - can you please make statements here about your experience with the cartown digital learning object? I would like to know if it was fun, engaging, whether or not you used it properly, or just rushed through trying to answer things so you could get to the next stage, etc. Did it help you learn anything? Was it useful in relation to your inquiry studies about Hamilton? How did you enjoy working in pairs?
Please be honest so i can learn from your experience.
The more detailed your answer, the better.
Mr WOody - research monkey manager

p.s. the primate shown is a bonobo. bonobos are a type of chimpanzee and are apes, not monkeys. there is a difference and as scientists we need to be clear about our distinctions between different groups when making classifications. [put your hand up if you understood what i just said]

Monday, May 26, 2008

instructions for reliever

i will be away tomorrow and probably wednesday also.

please politely tell the reliever that i have left you instructions on the blog so you need to see it in class.

please also tell Seb that i won't be in to meet with his mum as planned. [don't worry - saying that won't get him kidnapped or anything]

everyone needs to look at the post about the famous influential people and put together a small presentation on their choice. it can be done anyway you like. perhaps as a fast fact card mobile like the ones hanging above my desk.
it IS compulsory.

name the person. say what their great achievements were. say why you think they are one of the most influential people to have contributed to human knowledge or understanding or technical ability. justify your choice. only a few paragraphs, a picture and some references are required.

info on the famous influential people as listed in the post i made earlier is available online or through our library. ask mrs kneebone if you need to find good reference books.
it is due this friday at 3pm. it doesn't have to be long, but it does have to be top QUALITY.
if you have any questions ask the reliever or a student who gets what i mean.
you can ask questions here also...

Room 5 has a wiki

Do you know what a wiki is?
Yes, you do, but please prove it here...

Also feel free to visit our class wiki and if you are a keen blogger I will show you how to use the wiki so you can write anything you like and make changes, add information, correct errors, etc.
You have to be trustworthy too :-)

Read the reasons why Room5ians rule, and check out the randomly evolving story which you may add to if you get the password from me at school.

Victory for New Zealander in Famous American Race

Scott Dixon has created history, becoming the first New Zealand driver to win the Indy 500 at the Brickyard:

This is one of the world's most famous car races.

Do you have a favourite motorsport event? If so, what and why?

Mars Mission

Read about the successful mission to Mars.

Does anyone have any interests in "space"? If so, what are they?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm going to be away tomorrow...

Please check out the blog in class, show everyone the latest posts, and schedule everyone a turn on Marvin to get used to it before beginning digital story telling which will start this week. Make sure everyone has images and a script written for their digital story on Hamilton - or some related personal story.
The first person to write a sensible comment on this post will be the official teacher [with assistance from a reliever]

writing inspiration

this is an interesting site that i found via a fellow twitterer...

ipods can be used to help inspire writing too....

The MechBoy Initiative

Mech Boy has inspired me to post an assignment for you:

List here in the comments a person you think has been the most influential in terms of advancing human knowledge and technology. Please also say what they are noteworthy for and why you think it is so important. Justify your opinion.

More tasks later - let's see who we come up with first...

Here's a little help from a person on the net...

The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History
Revised and Updated for the Nineties
by Michael H. Hart

Mr. Hart's very interesting book contains biographies of all the following people, ranked in order from most influential to less influential, along with the author's reasons for so ranking them. The book is available at most bookstores and libraries.

The links will take you to a site on the Web about the person named
(not to a chapter in the book).

MuhammadIsaac NewtonJesus ChristBuddhaConfuciusSt. PaulTs'ai LunJohann GutenbergChristopher ColumbusAlbert EinsteinLouis PasteurGalileo GalileiAristotleEuclidMosesCharles DarwinShih Huang Ti Augustus CaesarNicolaus CopernicusAntoine Laurent LavoisierConstantine the GreatJames WattMichael FaradayJames Clerk MaxwellMartin LutherGeorge WashingtonKarl MarxOrville and Wilbur WrightGenghis KahnAdam SmithEdward de VereJohn DaltonAlexander the GreatNapoleon BonaparteThomas EdisonAntony van LeeuwenhoekWilliam T.G. MortonGuglielmo MarconiAdolf HitlerPlatoOliver CromwellAlexander Graham BellAlexander FlemingJohn LockeLudwig van BeethovenWerner HeisenbergLouis DaguerreSimon BolivarRene DescartesMichelangeloPope Urban II'Umar ibn al-KhattabAsokaSt. AugustineWilliam HarveyErnest RutherfordJohn CalvinGregor MendelMax PlanckJoseph ListerNikolaus August OttoFrancisco PizarroHernando CortesThomas JeffersonQueen Isabella IJoseph StalinJulius CaesarWilliam the ConquerorSigmund FreudEdward JennerWilhelm Conrad RoentgenJohann Sebastian BachLao TzuVoltaireJohannes KeplerEnrico FermiLeonhard EulerJean-Jacques RousseauNicoli MachiavelliThomas MalthusJohn F. KennedyGregory PincusManiLeninSui Wen TiVasco da GamaCyrus the GreatPeter the GreatMao ZedongFrancis BaconHenry FordMenciusZoroasterQueen Elizabeth IMikhail GorbachevMenesCharlemagneHomerJustinian IMahavira


St. Thomas AquinasArchimedesCharles Babbage CheopsMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinMohandas GandhiAbraham LincolnFerdinand MagellanLeonardo da Vinci

Biographies and other information about many of these people and their works may be found at Access Foundation's Encyclopedia Britannica's Great Books site.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

to our audience

I suspect quite a few people are checking out our blog [over 10,000 last year], but hardly anyone ever leaves us a comment.
We in Room5 would reeeeeeeeeally appreciate anyone taking time to contact us by leaving a comment.
Mr Teehan in New Jersey has been superb in this respect. Thanks to Mr Teehan and his class, who we now blog with and hope to share podcasts, etc, once we get out IT issues sorted at this end.
I know there are classes in NZ with great blogs so please contact us to allow a sharing of ideas and friendship. It seems odd that our only friends so far are all the way over in America. [cool though!]

Room5ians - would you enjoy blogging with kids from other schools in NZ? What sort of things could you do together to make learning more interesting or fun?

Prizes for the most innovative, creative, exciting ideas.

The trouble with ICT is...

Actually, I am quite passionate about integrating ICTs into our classroom programme, but I'm finding it quite difficult at present due to a whole lot of problems cropping up. Basically, we should have finished our Hamilton Inquiry unit already, but we can't get simple things to work and therefore we can't get our assignments finished.
Our Marvin digital stories would be great... if we could make them.

Please list here all the factors you can think of that are slowing us down...

Monday, May 19, 2008


Do any of you kids use this?

Second Life

[being old, i can't quite work out how to do it, but several teachers i know are having fun with it]

Story "hooks"

What is the "hook" in a story?
please share your ideas to help your classmates understand what is meant by the term

Matua Haami chooses his first mobile phone

Trying to send a picture...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

is this site of interest?

what do you think kidlets?

Monday, May 12, 2008


Work for Monday:

Figure It Out Series; Number - activites written in planning book for Mrs Barham last Thursday are what you should be doing for maths today.

Do your partner testing for word study and record your results.

Complete your anti-graffiti poster.

Work on your Kakepuku Catastrophe.

Order Hockey gear for P.E.. DO skills based activities with the Hockey kids taking each activity - rotate around the different activities in the dome.

Have fun in the sun!

$1000 to M-Learn

Kidz Connect - Imagine it done - Unisys

How would you use $1000 in your classroom to make E-learning and M-learning possible or more effective?

State here why you think mobile blogging is a useful learning experience and what you need to be able to do it...

[Important people may be taking note...]

What other E-Learning or M-Learning activities can you imagine? What would you need to do it?

[sensible, creative, innovative answers please]

Friday, May 09, 2008

Anti-graffiti visit

We recently decided that graffiti was a problem in our city as part of our HamiltON inquiry project. Constable Berquist and Mr Molloy from the HCC gave us a talk about what our city is doing to fight the problem of graffiti.

They invited us to participate in a poster competition with prizes supplied by the HCC. A very interesting thing happened to a couple of our classmates this week. As they went to the ICT suite to print out a colour copy of their posters, another teacher stopped them saying "Your poster should say anti-tagging, not anti-graffiti, because it's tagging that is bad, not graffiti." Was she right? What do you think?

Please add comments regarding interesting things you learned in the talk.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


I use twitter to keep an eye on what some of my friends and colleagues are upto in education. maybe some of you kids might want to try it out and suggest how it could be used for school...

writing and grammar

We need to learn about grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, paragraphing, etc...

See this link for "Grammar Rock":

Can you find any other cool sites to help each other learn about written language?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Have you read SunTzu ?

Sun Tzu

From Wikiquote

If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles... if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles... if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

Sun Tzu 孫子; Sūn Zǐ; (c. 6th century BC) was a Chinese General, military strategist, and author of The Art of War, an immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy; also known as Sun Wu (孫武; Sūn Wǔ), and Chang Qing (長卿; Cháng Qīng).

The Art of War

Quotations from translations of the book The Art of War (6th century BC)
  • 知彼知己,百戰不殆;不知彼而知己,一勝一負;不知彼,不知己,每戰必敗
    • It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Story of Stuff

this is a 20 minute movie of "the story of stuff"
it is probably quite important that you watch it...

[we will watch this in class so don't waste your bandwidth at home unless you really want to - i suggest you try to watch it with someone else so you can discuss it and ask questions]

Room5ians Rule!

I love my class of brilliant second generation Room5ians!

[N.B.: if you or your parents would like your image removed from this blog please let me know a.s.a.p.]

p.s. If you would like your image added, just let me know :-) I couldn't put everyone up as it makes the post too big

Riff Raff TV

Television coverage of the Riff Raff statue is now on
Direct link -

[please be aware there may be some subliminal bike promotion in this post]

bikes are cool bikes are cool bikes are cool bikes rule bikes rule bikes rule

HCC Expo video

Hi people - NeinaMarie and Rosiegal - if you can get your parents to confirm it is okay, i can post the video here of your expo experience. The documentary was made by Annick from PiL.
It is a very cool ten minute video, mostly of Rosiegal explaining the blogging and inquiry learning concept to Agent S. There are comments from the public, etc, as well.
Bring a note to school on Monday if you're allowed to have it shown.

Term Two projects + "managing self"

Hi kidlets - here is the explanation of when work is due and what we will be doing in Term Two:

1. Kakepuku Catastrophe! - draft should be written already. Finished version due Friday week two. Class time will be given every day. No extensions

2. HamiltON inquiry Project - this is mainly (a) the digital story relating your personal story or your promotion of HamiltON. It will be completed as a powerpoint-style [powerpoint, Marvin, or imovie] presentation with your own digital images, narration, text and some use of animated Marvin characters. You will do it in class time.

There is going to be a major competition run my Microsoft Partners inLearning to select a winner for this competition between Rm5 and Rm9 - a VERY EXCITING prize will be up for grabs... [think of a letter from the alphabet and think of a small cubic container]
- the entire HamiltON inquiry project must be completed by WEEK FIVE

(b) Anti-GRaffiti Poster COmpetition - run by HCC and Hamitlon POlice, we have one week to design and create a winning poster, [colour, A4] - prizes include book vouchers.

(c) Extras - design of City Heart features such as Garden Place, Wintec Wall, Claudelands Bridge Clip on walkway, etc. - this part of the project can best be presented as a Google Sketchup type presentation with text. Other ideas welcomed.


P.E. - Football, Netball, Hockey, fitness

Languages - Te Reo, English - grammar, word study, transactional writing

MAths - number stuff using Numeracy project methods [like playing with blocks! COol!!! I love blocks]

Possible project for Term Two - opinions, debates and arguments

TERM TWO is going to be DYNAMIC - your management of time and work habits is going to make or break you. It is a 9 week term. Lots of very important work needs to be done. Reports are being written this term. Candidates for top academic, most diligent, and excellence in science, language and the other curriculum areas will be scrutinised this term....

Kia kAha tamariki ma - you have the skills, intelligence, creativity and time to produce some amazing work this term. You now need to apply the personal work and organisation skills to achieve excellence!

READ THIS CAREFULLY before you ask questions that have already been answered.