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Showing posts from 2008

Kerpoof! This is cool...

My class had a new favourite website.... most of them spent a good part of the day creating their own digital version of this narratives.  What a fantastic site!  If you haven't managed to get here yet... TRY IT NOW.  There are so many different applications for this website in the classroom.  It's free to sign up for a teachers account, takes about 24 hours to activate then you're ready to go. 
Here is a great video I found on youtube from the founder, talking you through some of the fantastic features of the site

Today the children in my room and another classroom that joined us created a mind map using inspriation to plan their narrative then logged in with their new student accounts and created a movie to go with their mind map.  This was a taster activity and turned out great, most of them were able to complete a movie that detailed everything they had planned in their mindmap.  Then once they had finished their movie they were able to save it.  These sh…

Tutorials on YouTube

If you haven't discovered this channel on YouTube yet then get on to it.  The create people of from Common Craft has explained all our lattest web tools in plain Englilsh... The one below is all about social networking... something the children in my class have been keen to embrace and have done so through give it a go!

Imbee ... Safe social networking?

Does anyone out their use imbee?  I'm looking into changing the way we give our children email & blog access and trying to give them a space that they can make their own on the web while making sure we have a safe space that doesn't require a whole lot of teacher monitoring. 
Imbee struck me as being a little commercial but I'm open to ideas has anyone else used it? 
Thoughts please..

Favourites / Bookmarking

If you're like me you visit a website and think ooohh I could use that for... and then chuck it in your bookmarks in the hope that when that ... comes along you'll be able to access it again.  I've had the misfortune of having a few computer crashes over the years and loosing all those precious bookmarks.  So lately I've been trying out a few new ways of keeping them safe...
Delcious: been around for a while now and well worth a look all bookmarks are kept in date order and searchable through tags you have added when you place the bookmarks. 
Simplybox: looks like a relatively new kid on the block where you can actually select sections of a website to boxes and then organise the boxes into containers.  I thought it was a pretty cool little ap, unfortunately it doesn't work for chrome yet.
There are hundreds of others out there I'm sure.. I'll let you know if I try any others in the near future.  For now if you're into trying things out here's a pretty …

Not another crazy frog!

I loved crazy frog, I'm one of those people that can listen to those really irritating songs over and over again.  I remember being one of the only people who loved the peanut butter nutter add that sanitarium put out 10-15 years ago.  I've just been searching you tube for a few Claymation examples to talk about with the children in my class and came across this video.  Very similar to crazy frog but even more repetitive.  I wonder if it will catch on...?

I visited the website and noted that you can send the annoying video in an e-card.  I've been talking to my class about internet safety today, we watched another episode of Hectors World it's amazing how much trust children place in the websites they're visiting.  This one is a prime example no security just give me your email address and you're friends email address... wonder what they plan to do with those.  We had an in depth discussion about Mooshi Monsters as scholzone has recently blocked this site, we ta…

Encyclopedia Britanica Online

I haven't used encyclopedias online before as I have tended to rely on google and teaching children search criteria along with this. This site has potential though, and is safer than using google if you open filters on your web traffic. With my class working on getting to know their way around the olympics and everything that goes with it I was looking for information about China and the vast history the country has experienced. This site was easy to navigate and I managed to find a wealth of information including photos, videos and plain text. Well worth a visit if you haven't been yet..

The other great thing about this site is the children can build up the information they find by saving it as a project. As they find information they can save it to a project website, give the project a name and a password. Children can go back to the project and add more at a later stage.

New Zealand public schools can get on using the EPIC link from TKI and their digistore passwords. Other sc…

Excited about learning

I introduced my class to Tutpup this week in the hope that they might find something to engage them a little more in their basic facts learning. Basic facts seems to be one of the biggest things that are preventing the children moving from stage 5 to stage 6 when looking at them from the point of view of the numeracy project.

Well I can say with a huge smile on my face the Tutpup was a great success, the children spent almost all of their free computer time (before school and supervised lunch eating) playing the games and challenging each other to get better scores. I know that sometimes we shy away from creating competition in the classroom but this is one competition that I think was worth it.
One of the girls played it until she was at the top of the New Zealand table today, and proudly announced this to the class during lunchtime. Her classmates gave a round of applause and made plans to go onto the site when they get home tonight.

We have focused on the mathematics area of the …

Think Outside the Box

I have been off sick today and have resisted the urge to write new plans for next week. I have however become very bored and decided to try and set outlook up to check all of my email addresses. Well what a nightmare, who would have thought this would take so long. Turns out Telecom has blocked the port I was trying to access their outgoing server on so all sorted now.

It did make me think though how would the children in my class cope when faced with something they couldn't solve by using the help files in the program, how would they know to ask the question in a different way. I think it illustrates the importance of getting children to think of different ways to solve problems and find information. I use many thinking tools and teach many thinking skills in my classroom because I believe children need to learn how to look outside the box. However I don't often relate it back to real life, we have an opportunity as teachers today to help children learn how to do this and to c…

Artists in the Making

Another thing we started today was a team artwork. I show the children this video and talked about how we could do this in our classroom. I found this video linked from another blog, I can't remember who's it was, if it was yours please let me know and I'll credit the find to you :)

I'll keep you posted on our progress. I'm looking forward to what the children in my class come up with.

Another way of getting it done...

This blog started off with a couple of quick easy posts, since it was the holidays I was keen to get as much on here as I could. Now that the school term has started I'm not sure when or how often I will find the time to post on here.

Anyway my reason for my post today is because I have had such a great day with my students using the technology we have left after yet another burgulary. To cut a long story short I don't have a projector to use anymore.

We made do showing videos using our xtendas and all pressing play at the same time, I haven't done that for a long time! We are in the middle of a unit called 'Getting Around' that is foused on maritime history and exploration. I wanted to show the children what it would be like if a boat they were on sunk. So we watched this video using the method described above. It went perfectly. I didn't think I'd be able to sort out a way of showing all the videos I had found over the holidays but this works just as well…

More on Video

I've been having a look around at ideas on how to use vidoe on the web and in other areas of the classroom.  Mark treadwell reviewed this website that has a wealth of information on using video on the web.  I think I'll be using the field trip one when we go on our trip to the Maritime museum next term.  I plan on using it to help the children to talk about their experienes during the trip (we are going in on the train).  If you're new to video adobe have a great intro to digital video, obviously adobe products are mentioned here but there are many others out there :).  I was impressed with the amount of data they have available on there when they showed it at their roadshow recently.Well I'm off to keep warm in this cray weather hitting Auckland at the moment.  Have fun :)

First Post

Well after my welcome this will be my first post to my new blog. I intend to post ideas here that I'm using or planning to use in my classroom.

So lets get to it...

I've been working on Digital / E - Portfolios for the last two years with mixed success. Somethig I have found really powerful for the children I have taugtht recently is video, they love being in front of the camera. We've done videos on their oral presentations or speeches, group projects, them playing music during a music lesson.

We've also done term by term reflections using PMI as a starting point. It is interesting to see them really think about what they have achieved over the last ten weeks, and well worth a trial in any classroom. Towards the end of each term we (student, teacher and parents) set goals according to areas of need with each student. I use the SMART method to help them to set goals that can actually be achieved rather than just I'm going to improve my reading. When we relfect at the …