Friday, February 29, 2008

Dr Abdullahi's Human Body lesson

Our guest lecturer gave us a test today on the human body. Here is a site for you to investigate. Snowgirl found it for us - well done for sharing information and researching independently.

Who would like to disect a fish?



here is a resource for future use... guess when

Thursday, February 28, 2008

HamiltON - is it?

Is it?

Use this post to add info for the planning of our HamiltON inquiry unit.

This unit of work will be ICT integrated, but how?

This project will be interactive - how?

We will have an authentic audience for feedback - who? how? Why is that important?

[Any interested parties please comment.]

sunday movie

if we all work together, we can be the best class ever - the best in Hamiltron easily, the best in NZ, the best in the world maybe ! but we have to work hard, help each other and do our best - all of us.
like when you all ran with "Seb" in the beep test!
take up the challenge.

and here is your class horoscope for today:

“Limit contact with negativity. Thank the people around you who give you comfort, especially those normally overlooked.”

Monday, February 25, 2008

Who wants to be the teacher!?!?!

Not all things can be learnt from one person.
Who would like to teach the class specific skills?
The first task would be to teach Room 5 how to set up a blogger account in our ICT time.
The "teacher" would need to have the skills to do it, explain it, state learning intentions and the steps to follow.

Task two would be to explain and teach how to email photos, video footage or text directly to our personal blogs from a mobile phone or computer.
This skill would enable us to gather and send data whilst on a fieldtrip, while it's still fresh in our minds. There are other benefits I can imagine. Can anyone think of any to share?

Other teaching tasks will be posted in future. Let's see who the best teachers are!

eating for our brains

..which is quite different to actually EATING OUR BRAINS...although i'm sure they would be tasty if cooked properly.

The following is taken from Spectrum Education:
25 February 2008

Food for the Brain - by Karen Boyes

Children's blood sugar level cycles about every 45 minutes. In adults, it's every 90 minutes and in teenagers, about every 60 minutes. When their blood sugar levels are low, learning is difficult. Keeping your and their blood sugar levels up is important. However, what students eat is important. There are good foods for your brain and memory, and there are some not so good foods.
What is brain food? To begin with, one the best food groups for your brain is protein. The best sources of protein are unsalted nuts, chicken and fish. Fish, for many years, has been called brain food. Fish contains essential oils and amino acids that your brain uses directly. I'm not talking about the processed "fish and chips" fish, or takeaway chicken, but fresh good quality fish and chicken. Takeaway food looks quick and easy and even tastes good. On February 23rd 2002 I purchased a burger from a well known burger restaurant. I left it on a plate in my office. Four years later, this hamburger looks the same as the day I purchased it. The bread, cheese and meat hasn't gone mouldy. There are so many chemicals in it making it look good and taste good, and it doesn't have nutritional value for the brain and learning. Do this experiment in the classroom with your students - they will be amazed.
Another food group that is good for your brain is fruit and vegetables. Essentially, what your brain needs from fruit and vegetables is vitamin B and vitamin C. If you're not getting enough vitamins B or C, you may find it a little harder to remember things. In fact, research shows that when elderly people supplemented their diets with vitamins B and C, their memory recall went up 100%.
There is one other food that is absolutely fantastic for the brain, and you can eat as much of this as you like — popcorn. Popcorn is a complex carbohydrate giving you lots of energy without the sugar rush. It is best eaten plain and unsalted. Many teachers through NZ have popcorn machines in their classrooms, allowing students to eat throughout the day. Teachers and students are finding it easier to concentrate, comprehension is going up and behaviour challenges are lessening.
What should my students avoid?
Sugar creates an addiction cycle in your body that makes the brain work overtime. When you eat something sweet, your body starts to pump adrenaline and you feel good - the sugar high. However, while your body is using the sugar, your pancreas produces insulin to bring your body back into balance. This makes you feel worse than you did before eating the sugar. Then you think you need something else sweet to eat, and suddenly you've set up an addiction cycle. It's particularly detrimental for students around exam time and when they are studying because the brain focuses on the need for more sugar, rather than devoting energy to memory and learning.
Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, coke, pepsi and other manufactured drinks, cigarettes and chocolate. Smart drinks also have contain caffeine. Dr Batmanghelid, in his book "Your Bodies Many Cries For Water" states "It's an elementary but catastrophic mistake to think caffeine drinks are a substitute for water." He continues to say" It's true they contain water, but they also contain dehydration agents and use the water they are dissolved in as well as the reserves from the body." Caffeine is a diuretic and this means each cup or glass of caffeine that you drink dehydrates your body of up to three glasses of water. You may have a cup of coffee and then feel quite thirsty. You have another cup of coffee, become even more thirsty and have another cup of coffee.
Approximately 70% of our bodies are made up of water and over 80% of our brains are water. Not enough water can lead to dehydration which causes headaches, lack of concentration and focus and tiredness. Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water a day is important for health and success. Younger children should consume about 4 glasses of water a day. Allow students to rehydrate between classes. They do not need to be sucking on a drink bottle continuously in class. However at any time of stress the body also dehydrates. Have you ever stood up in front of a group to speak and your month suddenly goes dry? According to Dr Batmanghelid, the ‘dry mouth' signal is the last outward sigh of extreme dehydration. Dr Carla Hannaford suggests under any stress the body needs two to three times the normal daily amount of water.
What can I do in my Classroom?
Many teachers are beginning to allow their students to eat during class. You may like to give parents a list of appropriate foods. Talk to you students about the positive role of nutrition and how it affects their performance, thinking and reaction times.
Too much time between eating can cause a loss of concentration and decrease alertness. This obviously has implications for skipping meals, especially breakfast and students who eat early before school and have nothing again until 10.30am.
Many schools are changing their bell times to allow students to eat regularly. In primary schools morning tea has been renamed ‘brain food break' instead of ‘playtime' with the emphasis on students refuelling for the next session. In general Primary schools bell times look like this...
9-10 Class 10-10.15 Brain food break
15 -11.15 Class
15 -11.30 Brain food break
30-12.30 Class
30 -1.15 Lunch
15 - 3pm Class
A shortened lunch time in most schools has been welcome as most of the behaviour challenges happen in the last 15 mins. Cutting this out has resulted in fewer playground incidences.

extra homework

Hi Kids and Parents - if you require extra homework, try this site. Mrs Barham suggested it as a possible source of extra learning.

Mrs Barham supports our use of blogs for extending learning. I wonder if we can help her to become a regular contributor to our blog?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Clustrmap geography

Clustrmap analysis show that several places in the world have now registered over 100 viewers. can you tell me the names of the cities where we have more than 100 viewers?

speed writing

free association, speed writing is a way to warm up your brain for further more disciplined writing. sometimes people get stuck finding it difficult to start writing. what we did in class was an exercise, much like warming up before you enter a race.
not all of you would have enjoyed it at first, but could you make comments on how it was for you as a learning experience. i could tell that many of you enjoyed it. was it useful?
[this is where you can give feedback on what you do in class - have your say, share ideas, be interesting and constructive please]

[and yes, i know i am not using capitals - whoops]

Friday, February 22, 2008


Why does the date of Easter change every year???

Thursday, February 21, 2008


remember you have a real audience, room5... write sensibly please


fish n chips = death for seabirds ?

save the birds...while eating your fish n chips.

some fish species are caught in ways that lead to accidental deaths of rare seabirds.

what do you think?

emailing images to blogs

can you work out how to email images directly to the blog?
can you take that even further using mobile technology?
how could you use that for a field trip?
would that help you to learn more effectively? if so, how?
do you have tools at home we could use on such a fieldtrip?
can you devise a competition based around a fieldtrip between rooms 5 and 9? for example, a mini-documentary showcasing your learning from the "Mfieldtrip", using phones, cameras, video cameras, email, blogger, etc.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Super COMMA!!!

Why is the humble comma so powerful?
What can you do with it?
How can it change the way we think in the classroom?

please answer...

statistics week three

This week we are going to record what we eat to see if we can work out if we are poisoning ourselves by eating dodgy food.
Are we eating as healthily as our parents did when they were wee little tykes our age?
Is convenience food robbing us of good nutrition?

We are doing a level three statistical investigation:
-gathering, sorting and displaying data.
-identifying patterns and trends

We are developing statistical literacy:
-evaluating the effectiveness of different displays in representing the findings of our statistical enquiry.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A nice letter from Orangey

Hello Mr. Woodcook,

My name is Orangie and I am a very well behaved, quiet, little to medium sized orange fish – commonly known as a gold fish (but my mother has always told me I am not common in any way).
I currently reside on the Westside of town in a humble but lovely home known as Newcastle heights with my Mum & Dad and brother Kola ( who I knows loves me but sometimes freaks me out by staring at me for long periods of time ). I really love my family, especially my Mum, who is sooooooooo pretty, funny and really intelligent, but sometimes I get a bit lonely in my little corner of the lounge with my one current which only goes around and around.
Mum said that you may know some friends that may want another flat mate. I’d sure like to live with other little to medium fish like me, so I can swim, frolic and shoot the breeze all day & sometimes all nite long. Mum also said that you would make a great guardian as not only are you great friends of my great parents but you also are a school teacher so are very reliable and trustworthy.

If you think you and your little to medium sized friends would like me to move in, my Mum say’s that my Dad could drop me off this week….

I promise I will be no trouble…. But Mum say’s I can’t pressure you, so please don’t feel like you have to adopt me... ( Geeze I think I will miss Mum & Dad but … )

Lots of love “ Orangie “ gup gup gup gup gup gup

Secret pig farming at Peachgrove

Hi kids. I want to raise rare breed pigs, chickens and sheep on a bushclad lifestyle block near Hamilton. If I was drought affected and needed more grass for my stock, could I sneak them onto the school field during the holidays?

If I have ten Auckland Island pigs who require one hectare of grazing area per week to be happy and well fed, is the school field big enough to cope with them during the school holidays for two weeks?

This is a measurement exercise. You need to measure distances around the field using metre long step [use the metre ruler to gauge how big your steps need to be] and calculate the area of the field in sqaur emetres. Add comments to convert hectares into metres. Comment regarding what you need to subtract from the overall area to make your calculations more accurate.

Once you have worked out the area, if you believe it is too small for ten pigs over two weeks, work out how many pigs I could sneak on - I can always leave the others at home.

Draw a tidy scaled diagram in your maths book. Include your measurements. Show your calculations and findings.

Have fun.


Be nice to pigs and chickens [DONT SUPPORT BATTERY FARMING]


Our maths for Term One is to do with measurement. I have attached some hyperlinks to NZ Maths online, digital learning objects, and TKI's eLearning sites...

Phew! That was a mouthful.

This is to backup what is being learnt and covered in class. You can find extra homework here if your parents want it. You can revise issues covered in class if you didn't understand. You can do it for fun if you really love maths.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Professional development conferences

Our blog was discussed at a recent educational conference looking at innovative ways to use ICTs, social software, collaborative learning environments, etc.
See Thusrdays presentation to findour blog being discussed:

Thanks to Jenny from Breathe technology for sharing our blog and getting feedback on whether or not we should be allowed free access to the web for learning.


Monday, February 11, 2008

rules of our blog

rules of our blog need to be discussed in class and agreed upon together. we must commit ourselves to sensible worthwhile blogging behaviour. it is for fun and learning but not for silly behaviour or attention seeking. we will need to use correct english, show respect to other bloggers and set a fine example fo rothers to be inspired by.
i am proud to be your new teacher - i hope we will enjoy our online learning adventure together.
please post ideas for blog rules and cybersafety ...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

ideas for ICT integration please

Hey educators, parents, Room5ians, kids from other schools - how can we use mobile phones, pda's, digital and video cameras, interwritepads, and so forth, meaningfully in class? how do we deal with the costs? does anyone use p.d.a. phones or use mobiles for remote learning, sending info to a class blog or anything? i'm imagining using a powerful mobile phone to video something off site, like at an art gallery or museum, add narration and send it to this blog for class use. how do we do that?

ideas please.

Does anyone want to do joint class projects with us?

[Are you still out there Pitt Island school???]

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

a warm welcome to the brand new shiny Room5ians!!!???

My sincere welcome, new Peachgrove Students. Last year a wonderful thing occurred - a class full of vivacious, innovative, passionate, kind, thoughtful, creative, wonderful young people came together to become something special - Room5ians.
It is my hope that you new yr 7's will strive towards the goal of filling their shoes. I hope you can prove to be even more inclusive, creative, hardworking and amazing than your predecessors.
Listen carefully to my message on your first day at school, as it will hold the key to a year of HAPPINESS and exciting LEARNING and LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES.


Sincerely yours,

Mr Woodcock Sir

Monday, February 04, 2008

cultural perceptions

With one of our most important days of th eyear comign up - WAITANGI DAY - I find myself reflecting upon the nature of Maoridom, the state of our nation, our cultural values and so forth.

What do you think about Waitangi Day? What does it mean to you?

What do you picture in your head when someone brings up Maaori [two a's to show the long vowel sound] culture?

No doubt there will be many haka, wero, etc on show at various events around the country this week, but is that the only important expression of Maori culture we could be experiencing?

Read this article for some interesting opinions.

Theologian Dr Jenny Te Paa has been critical of what she sees as male aggression - "staunchness" - becoming celebrated in Maori culture, as evidenced by the haka.
Other features such as kindness, gentleness, hospitality and integrity did not get nearly the same attention as the haka or taki, she said.
"The question is, how do we want to be for ourselves first and foremost? Dr Te Paa said.
"We're not alone in this world and I think it does matter how we behave and how we perceive ourselves and therefore how other people will see us."

I would like us to think about this significant day. No doubt some of you have been bored by studying it year in, year out. Some of you may have extreme opinions based on what you have heard adults saying. Some of you may simply not care and resist engaging in a discussion about our history. I believe it is important and would like to find a way to bring the subject alive for you without making it tedious.

Any ideas?

Here are some facts...

The signing of the Treaty
The Treaty of Waitangi was first signed at Waitangi on 6 February 1840. It represented an agreement between the British Crown and over 500 Māori chiefs of New Zealand.
There are a number of reasons why a treaty was seen to be needed. These included the increasing lawlessness of traders and settlers necessitating some form of governance, and the interest of other countries such as France and America in colonising New Zealand. The Crown recognised New Zealand as an independent nation after the signing of the Declaration of Independence (1835); consequently, any issues regarding governance needed the formal agreement of Māori.
This agreement took the form of the Treaty.

More info about our history here:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

digital story telling

as a means of self expression, summarising, presenting outcomes, evaluation, reflection, etc, digital story telling* is a potentially powerful tool for learning and one that teaches technical and thinking skills, covers many key competencies and engages 21st century learners...

"Children see things in very unique ways. Capture that special view by allowing them to tell the story. Give them the chance to use photographs, videos, and audio recordings to create projects that will combine art and history, as well as reinforce reading, language arts, and research and technology skills."
- Christine Paradise, a 3rd grade teacher at Steed Elementary school

[found in...]

* digital story telling uses digital cameras, still images, sound recording, narration, basic editing to make a concise anecdotal summary of an experience.

social, collaborative learning online

Sounds great - obviously with issues to be considered?
It's tempting for me to gloss over the potential negatives, but in responsibly educating our students, we must consider and discuss them - but with an open mind!

see these links to other blog discussions and an online documentary:

please add to the discussion adn have a look at these interesting blogs for educators:

Friday, February 01, 2008

brilliant summer!

its been great...unless you are a dehydrated, hungry sheep in a dried up paddock, or a half starving dairy cow, or the farmers who are trying to scratch out a living [in inappropriate environments i might add] you are probably loving th ehot dry non-windy NZ summer. swimming is so much more delicious when the sea is warm. the body surfing has been great! my poor wife has seen my manic face bearing down on her from the top of a Hahei wave many a time this summer, and caught me trying to sneak up from beneath her in the Whangamata estuary as the tide rips out. All great fun, although hot sleepless nights, millions of flies [i blame our new chooks for smelling irresistable] and a brutal, burning sun are the down side.
what do you former Room5ians think?
And are you out there Gwe Le?
but who dares sit in a sweltering February classroom this month???