Friday, June 30, 2006


ask your parents to create their own blog to leave comments on our class one and to query anything they don't understand on the reports or anything else. remind them of the rules of cyber safety and netiquette. teach them how to do it if they are frightened.
guide them to positive feedback of your posts on this blog to help them see a bit more about how well you are doing.
remember - you are the magnificent peachgrove yr 7 GATE class - you are the coolest!!!!
keep the standards high - improve. listen. ask. create. share. help each other.

other classes are joining in now so you need to raise your standards to keep ahead of the multitudes.


a reminder of our rules for blog use by room 9

i must say, a few of you have really taken up the challenge and are posting brilliant content to the class blog. your own blogs are filled with meangingful, interesting information and opinions. it is great!
but some of you are slacking or not following my guidance.

the rules are:

1. create a blog and fill out your profile using cyber safety guidelines.
2. respond to my posts, stay on topic and reference your own information - write it in your own words or post it in quotation marks.
3. give each other constructive feedback.
4. ask effective, interesting questions.
5. create a part of your own blog for me to leave comments, ideas and guidance.
6. DO NOT WIPE THESE COMMENTS - it is part of your evaluation and assessment to have a record of a dialogue between us relating to your school work.

take care over the hols everyone - you are a cool class - thanks for the lovely cards today. i hope you have a fun, creative, satisfying, relaxing, stimulating, inspiring, invigorating, fantastic holiday!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pitt Island challenge

I challenge you to find information on Pitt Island. Remember to quote your sources. If you are really clever you may find maps to post. I am particularly interested in how lifestyles for kids differ between Hamilton/Waikato and the Pitt Island environment. Please post your questions for the Pitt kids - hopefully they will respond here and a dialogue will be set up. We can then expand upon that once we get skype up 'n' running - if we can, that is.

Hi to Mr Whalley if you are reading this.

useful stuff - i think...

Greetings fellow educators of the 21st century. Please read for meaning and not just to look for typos.
The world has changed. So should we. At least, in my opinion and the Ministry of Education's and renowned educational experts from around the world. Let me begin by reiterating what it states in my profile - I am not a particularly skilled user of ICT. Like a laboratory rat, if something changes slightly, I am lost in the maze. Changing computers, rooms, a shift in temperature, Meddlers walking past my room, the presence of a room full of my peers are all more than enough to throw me off my track. Most of the time I can't remember passwords, recall urls or navigate back to where I want to be. However, I know that the tools available to us help engage children and allow them to perform powerful, complex and exciting functions that 20th Century method and technologies do not.
In Room 9 we either are using, or hope to use blogs, wikis, chatrooms, the LMS, mobile phones, skype, podcasts, forums, vi casts, skypecasts, digital cameras, webcams, the interweb and whatever else crops up that may be of interest or use.

You are reading this on our class blog, controlled and moderated by me on a daily basis [most of the time], and allowing ongoing communication, feedback, support and encouragement, whether the kids are at school or not.
I post topic starters, clues, hints, and hope to entice them into learning and sharing skills, attitudes and feedback.
This is a freely available tool open to all the horrors of the net. By being part of the real world they can learn to fend for themselves rather than being protected from real or imagined demons lurking behind every corner.
They interact with their peers and teachers - including other teachers I met on conferences - and children around the world - potentially.
We are currently setting up an arrangement with Pitt Island school to compare and contrast our lifestyles, with a view to incorporating the information into our "Hamiltron, City of the Future" inquiry. To do this, we need to use "skype", a free tool for making international calls over the internet. With the use of broadband internet, a web cam, microphone and speakers, we can see, hear and interact with the children on Pitt Island - easy peasy - hopefully.
For those of you who doubt the relevance of these tools, consider the success of Point England school in Auckland who have raised literacy levels, increased student engagement, attendance, enthusiasm and parental involvement using podcasting. In fact, they have gone from low levels of success to being world famous! It is inspirational.
[-search this blog for access to previous posts about Point England's "KPE" podcasting on iTunes and feedback from Dorothy, who is a blimmin' legend.]

i have found the blog on its own has enthused children who normally would be reluctant writers. They write their entries on their own blogs then feverishly seek out feedback from others. They are learning to give quality feedback and monitor each others' posts for appropriateness of content. It is not difficult for them or me. In fact, it is fun! We all love it.
Why don't you try it too? We will help you.

btw - none of them will read this post as it is too long. [to prove me wrong, kids, post a comment saying " Mr Woody, we can read you know..."]

other 'things' of use:

online bookmarking - save your favourites to the "delicious" site and have them available wherever you are - rather than at just the computer you saved them at.

Skype - an easy download for free international calls, webcamming, chat, skypecasting

Flickr is a site for free and easy sharing of photographs and images. It is a social networking tool with heaps of potential for engaging children and teaching about photography and giving meaningful feedback - also for encouraging appropriate "netiquette".

wikis ["What I Know Is"] - a way of sharing information via the net - it is something which others can add to. e.g. wikipedia which i edited to add relevant information to for a project we started in Term One.

Also there are heaps of free tutorials online that you can direct kids to or use yourself. Webmonkey is useful. I found free tutorials to learn how to use "Flash" there. Macromedia Flash is a great tool for animating. It is widely used on the web and is something advanced students can tackle as extension work.

This is something i just whipped up last night to show you the capabilities of I.C.T. in the classroom...

[just kidding - the author is credited within]

Have fun - laugh at yourself - give the kids a chance to run with the tools available.

Mr Woody 8>) [p.s. that's a smiley]

Monday, June 26, 2006

macromedia flash

use macromedia flash to make animations.
i challenge you to have a go and stick with it. you will be able to achieve amazing results if you show what Mr Stevens calls "grit'.

see the cool "animator vs animation" here:

use webmonkey to get free flash animation tutorials.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Changing gears with Marc Prensky

Marc Prensky says....

Listen to the Natives

Schools are stuck in the 20th century. Students have rushed into the 21st. How can schools catch up and provide students with a relevant education?

Marc Prensky

School didn't teach me to read—I learned from my games.
—A student

Our young people generally have a much better idea of what the future is bringing than we do. They're already busy adopting new systems for communicating (instant messaging), sharing (blogs), buying and selling (eBay), exchanging (peer-to-peer technology), creating (Flash), meeting (3D worlds), collecting (downloads), coordinating (wikis), evaluating (reputation systems), searching (Google), analyzing (SETI), reporting (camera phones), programming (modding), socializing (chat rooms), and even learning (Web surfing).
We need to help all our students take advantage of these new tools and systems to educate themselves. I know this is especially hard when we're the ones floundering, but teachers can certainly ask students, “Does anyone do anything on the Web that is relevant to what we're discussing?” or “Can you think of any examples of this problem in your computer games?”

As educators, we must take our cues from our students' 21st century innovations and behaviours, abandoning, in many cases, our own predigital instincts and comfort zones. Teachers must practice putting engagement before content when teaching. They need to laugh at their own digital immigrant accents, pay attention to how their students learn, and value and honor what their students know. They must remember that they are teaching in the 21st century. This means encouraging decision making among students, involving students in designing instruction, and getting input from students about how they would teach. Teachers needn't master all the new technologies.

All this and much more interesting reading is available via the links above. I find it inspiring.

fieldtrip feedback

On Friday you were lucky enough to be treated to a trip to the University of Waikato, courtesy of a lot of generosity and hard work by Barbara's parents and their colleagues. I thought it was an amazing opportunity to get to design computer games and use $30,000 microscopes to look at micron thick slices of rocks that changed colour! WoW!
If you show some interest in what you did you might get to do something else up there next term....

So, give me some fieldtrip feedback please - what did you learn? What did you enjoy? What else would you like to do up there? Are there any topics you would like to study next term as a result of your experience?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Vi Casting

what is it and how can we use it?
how can we find out how to do it?
can you find the Point England website and get access to info from there? [there is a link in this blog somewhere] or would going to iTunes be a good way to investigate it?
look for "KPE" and "KPEtv"
[ask for permission first and don't download things that cost money]

consider your ideas about designing fashion and having a fashion parade.

consider the Hamiltron Project

consider whatever you want to consider - be creative!


Alliteration for the Riverside Cluster...and more!

Hi kidlets - Mrs McCullagh just gave me a good idea. Since you are now alliterative linguists, why don't you put your powers to the task of writing sentences on the HamiltON theme? You could be funny, poetic, positive negative - whatever!

We will see what you come up with, review the entries in class and choose work to post on the Riverside Cluster LMS writing cave.

Go for it!

Master Yoody

p.s. why stop at alliteration - use the other partsof speech to express your cleverness. just make sure yo ustate what it is you are using. e.g. similes, metaphors, hyperbole, etc.

p.p.s. don't forget to find out what limericks are and try to write something to win Ms Marr's weekly chocolate challenge. if you don't like chocolate i know a teacher who two who do.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


you guys complained about not having somewhere to post alerts to visit your own sites. logan correctly suggested that you should answer questions in other posts then go "p.s." and write your alert.
but, since you asked, here is a random post to let you invite others to your blogs to read interesting information. don't use it foolishly....
or punish i will...
[who does that remind you of?]

Monday, June 19, 2006

Right, said Fred

you are grappling with alliteration, simile, metaphor, onomatopoiea [sp?] and the like.
show me that you understand some of it. post some funny, clever or poignant examples.
i dare you

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Get the basics right

Not only is it important for the All Blacks to get the basics right [like scrummaging, lineouts and passing], you people need to use basic english correctly.

[Or should that be 'English'?]

Please learn when to use "there", "their" and "they're" in sentences.

Kia kaha,
Kia manawanui.

Hasta luego, amigos.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

All Blacks

the All Blacks rule

worth it

this post is worth re-posting. the cool thing about it is that it is valuable inside information from experts who are actually involved in the "topic" or issue. you get to know things you might not ordinarily realise from looking it up on the net or something. so, think about the other rich sources of information that are all about you every day - people - life - experience.
value personal experience.
ask someone.

" Hey Mr Woody!!! Jess and I are probably going to the Humane Alternative shelter this weekend and interviewing Norma. Great post Zuleka!!! Anyway, My mum and I donate time and money, not food. The money is used for medical reasons and the time is, do I have to say, GREAT because then they get to do displays. TIP FOR CATGIRL: If you want to help, see if your mum or dad can help out at the stalls. It's great fun and you get to hug them all you want! But you have to make sure that their over 16 years old. OK? " - Sog on the blog


wow! yeah! marvellous things being posted by some people - well done everyone - good to have people coming on board and getting into making some interesting statements, asking questions, producing meaningful outcomes!
i am also most impressed with the wonderful language, creativity and humour that surfaces from time to time. i marvel at your artistic renderings.
when you treat each other well, show good judgement, act with reponsibility, and demonstrate skill or tactical cunning, it makes me feel so proud. well done people!
go you good things!

[go the all blacks! whooops - that just slipped in]

Monday, June 05, 2006

term three topic generator

this is a topic generating post - please post ideas for topics for inquiry units for next term.
see if you can suggest things that have some potential depth and aren't too broad. or, if they are broad - like some eejits last year who suggested 'space' after i asked the same question - try to narrow them down with juicy questions based on the topic. the best topic and questions will be what we do next term.

for example - Leonardo - is "The Mona Lisa" a self portrait and does this mean he was a weirdo? Or, what was Loenardo's greatest achievement and why?

See how those questions are more interesting than - where was he born, when was he born, when did he die, what did he do?

p.s. "La Giaconda" is the real name of the Mona Lisa [please correct me if i'm wrong]. Why do you think we change the names of foreign things that are perfectly pronounceable as they are?
e.g. Why change "Roma" to "Rome"?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Leonardo revisited

Leonardo da Vinci - was he the most talented artist and inventor ever?

Explore the website link below and answer the questions I have posed for you.

I would prefer you to come up with your own ‘fat’, ‘open’ questions, or perhaps even ‘fat’, ‘closed’ ones. So please post any sensible suggestion on this blog and we will evaluate each others questions as well as learning about Leonardo.

Qu. 1.
Which trait of Leonardo as a child do you think lead to his interest and skill in drawing and understanding anatomy. Explain Why.

The same interests and skills allowed him to study nature and experiment with human flight. Explain further and quote from the text to back up your opinion.

Which of Leonardo’s talents probably allowed him to excel in his studies of how things worked?

vocabulary to understand:


mega maths!

For those of you who do find maths interesting and are looking for a challenge, see these sites. there is one on Leonardo daVinci's works also. I think we will look at it in class, so if you want to get a head start....

if you find interesting sites with activities you would like to do in class post them on the blog. pick a topic, get your search terms right and 'google' it!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Tiger jnr

Tiger Junior is the little tigger who lives at my back door.
he has a snuggly hut made of boxes and a woollen blanket i got from the opshop.
He is cool, needs a visit to the vet and a good loving home.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

nickname rule

right - too many people are changing their names and being tricky about their identity - if you want to post here you have to have a nickname and profile which makes it possible for me to tell who you are.
that's the rule.
2nd rule - you all have to join up and have a profile and blog unless you have a note from your parents forbidding it.
everyone who needs it will be given time on the computer during the week to read and post to the blog.
the almighty teacher has spoken!

new school idea

how about if school was in a nice house in the country, near hamilton, with gardens, native bush, animals, rugby posts, a scrum machine, etc. and while we were there, from 10 'til 3, we decided amongst ourselves what we REEEEALLY wanted to do, then worked out how to do it. then we could keep in touch by internet, socialise at school, do a bit of planning, have work experience, talk to experts, be taught different things by people who were passionate and knowledgeable, play games, keep fit, make and grow stuff go on field trips whenever we felt like it in our magic school bus, make movies, save the world, etc.
waddaya reckon? what would your ideal 'school' be like?
please answer thoughtfully. it would actually have to be 'educational'. not just play time.
monsieur woody

p.s. there would definitely have to be chooks there.

p.p.s. onyl self-motivated people would be allowed to attend.