Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Co2 Cars

Check out we have been up to this term... Making Co2 Cars! Yesterday we raced them against Room 5! Check this video out to see who won!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Life Changes Street

I bike to work now that I am working in town.

Everyday I bike down the street that I used to travel down when going to school; high school and intermediate. I experienced my first kiss down that street, my first fight. I felt I owned that street. I felt it went on forever. In the eternity that I spent at high school; it went on forever.

Now, it is empty by 5 o'clock and much, much smaller than I remember. The pavement is tired and the fence along the field is in need of a paint. I was the king of that street for 7 years. And now, coming up 12 years on, it is just a street.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pae Tamariki

Here is a little video with clips from today’s Pae Tamariki Performance at the Regent Theatre.
It was an awesome performance and everybody did Russell Street School proud.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Socialnomics is coming to getcha!

Have just watched "Steal this Film" and now this...

Yes, social networking and the way we communicate has dramatically changed. Who's along for the ride?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ken Robinson - I can't wait to see this guy!

This is one of the most inspiring things I have seen for a while! It has amazing animations and a crucial message especially for the NZ Education system in relation to National Standards. This is so worth a watch this guy knows his shit

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Maths, Keynotes and Word problems

This week we have been learning about adding in tens and about writing number problems into word problems. Here is my
Keynote presentation. Try to work out the answers before you click the button!

Science and forces

"What do you think will happen if I tip this glass of water over my head?" I asked my class yesterday.

Why did this happen? What is the type of force that prevented the water from coming out of the glass?

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Class Blog:

Here is a link to my new class blog! The name is the name they chose (hehe). I'm looking forward to being able to fill it up with lots of cool stuff next term!

Reading Comp Strats

From http://edte.ch/blog/ - Tom Barrett

This is pretty cool but I will need to follow-up again once I'm back in the class room. How could I do these with Year 3s?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coke + Mentos Experi-MINT

I had a rad at school yesterday...

Check out this video from the Manawatu Standard that tells you why:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Light Years - Steal My Kisses [Ben Harper Cover]

Well this is our second practice with the new line up: myself, dave, adam and tilly. Gig is one one away... let us know what you think.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I'm pretty impressed by these awesome class blogs!

Uber oosh!

I need to really begin to think 'outside' of my thinking because there is so much that can be done in a class blog... But I will start small; one thing a week (maybe fortnight) then I can gradually build up to a week/day etc.

How do others' feel about this? Is it a realistic goal?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Walking the Talk...

If you want to create an excellent, exciting, interactive class blog, you gotta...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I love my job!

I am one week in from an emotional change in my life. Leaving Coley Street was one thing, but when the Kapahaka came to hand me over I felt a rush of all sorts of amazing things. Chur Coley; it was a primo ride.

Anyways, one week in and I love it! There is so much to learn, so much to implement, so much room to grow.

One of my challenges will be to pick up 'elearning' and 'eportfolios' and creating a successful blog. So if there are any helpful hints let us know.

So in the words of Mc D's: "I'm Lovin' It"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New beginnings butterflies

"It has reached facebook status; i won a job at Russell Street School, digitally enhanced classroom!! 3 unbelievably awesome years at Coley Street but enough is enough - i need to be closer to home. I start on the 9th August - woop woop!"

This was my first announcement to the world, though my very close friends and family already knew about it, but 6 weeks on, I am feeling rather nervous!

During staff meeting we went through our new teacher appraisal system and I need to rate myself on each area of my practice. I remember doing this last year and the year before so it was really pleasing seeing the progress from "yes, I am beginning to do this" to "sweet, I am excelling at this now!!"

It doesn't take long. So despite my nerves and my slight disbelief in my abilities I am ready to kick some arse at RSS and dominate. (Don't worry, these are positive things).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Devil's Standards (Tehe) National Standards

Chris Braid: Keep an open mind; national standards.

Standards say that teachers should use "assessment evidence and making overall teacher judgements"
Ok that's not so bad: I can take, for example, book work, guided reading session, and test to make an evaluation not just one test.

Aspirational Goals = National Standards

Noun frequency level vs Reading Age

Well, I think I need to have these standards out with me during guided reading/writing etc. Plan to work on the Key Characteristics of a good reader/writer. This will overall help me to become a better teacher.

Reporting back to parents? What does this look like? What should it look like?

Bold parts to follow up on.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My First Staff Un-packing Session

Yeah, so today I gave my first mini-staff meeting thingie about Laughton King's Dyslexia seminar from last week. I was pretty sure I knew my stuff well and I was prepared and all but there was this split second at the beginning where all knowledge and preparation escape my head totally!

Anyways, a deep breath saw me to the end and once I got going it was hard pressed to keep to the time limit! Lol! What made it for me was that my colleagues were so receptive and I totally got the feedback I deserved!

As for Laughton King, man what a legend this guys is! He's getting his word out there! And the thing is - it makes perfect sense! There wasn't a colleague that saw him that said they didn't agree with him! If you get the chance to see him I would erge you to jump at the opportunity.

Parents, Teachers, Caregivers, Learners; there's something in there for us all!


Check out his webpage.

Now off to band practise - Ciao

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What happens when the world around you starts crumbling down?

It's weird how subconsciously, your mind knows what's going on before the penny drops.

We are week three through the term, and ERO are visiting us. Our DP left us last year and now at the end of term 1, so is our leader and fill-in DP. Our entire management are leaving us, to tackle new challenges for sure but where does that leave us, our school, our community, our kids?

It feels dire.

One side of me is telling me that I have done my time at Coley Street and that it is time to move on. The other side is telling me that this could be my chance to shine; to embrace leadership and ensure a faster ladder climb.

I've been having all sorts of dreams and that is uncanny because I never remember my dreams. The recent is me trying to find different coloured lollies, which match the Key Competencies but there are witches, who are my colleagues, that keep changing the colours on me so I don't collect them all. And I am running and running and jumping to get away from their trickery.

I don't know what it is trying to tell me but something big is going to happen and I am writing this down to say: I'm ready, bring it on.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dorothy Burt - Heating Up 21st Century Learning

Heating Up 21st Century Learning with Dorothy Burt
This woman knows her stuff when it comes to ICT in the classroom and she had a really humble approach. Her lecture wasn't all "this is amazing and you have to do it!"
She talked about "Futuristic ideas" which was a poster on her class wall when she was a kid. Burt would daydream about the poster but now some of these ideas are a reality.
The bit which amazed me was when she asked everyone to ponder what they were doing New Year's Eve 1999? This straight away sparked a very energetic feeling in the room while everybody made connections to feel good memories, or maybe not so feel good memories and they've turned into one of those timeless funny stories! But shit, in ICT terms, I had just set up my hotmail account, computers were something that only my rich friends had and you had to go away and wash the dishes to wait for the web page to load!
But how have things really changed since 2000?
  • Airports (especially security!)

  • Blogs – Cameron Slater (blogger)

  • Cell phones Celebrity culture

  • Google GPS

  • Imacs ipods

  • Reality TV (Goodness!)

  • Twitter

  • Wikipedia

  • Y – 2005 – Pivotal change – YouTube

Blog early blog often – Bebo definition: random but interesting.

To be a 21st Century Citizen children need to be 'A Digital Citizen' - to participate and contribute, relate to others Digitally Literate - to use language, symbols and text, to use thinking skills

Dove evolution – a video about what you see on the internet is not always true.

Murray Gadd

I was lucky enough to sit in on Murray Gadd's workshops when he took College Street School on their journey to become better reader teachers. So when I saw his name on the conference speakers list I jumped at it!

Murray had 3 'work shops' (seminars); one specifically about writing, another specifically about reading, and the final about the links between reading and writing. I did not choose all three but after going to the first workshop, I was so amazed that I needed to go to all! Here is my thinking:
What is quality writing and how do we know if students are producing it?
Oh, you’ve got to be passionate about the writing. Murray uses strong feelings towards all writing samples his energy is infectious and I want to transfer this into my own practise.
Quality writing, as written by students, is generally writing that:
  • Has clear authentic purpose
  • Meets its purpose clearly
  • Is written in a voice/register that is appropriate to its purpose and audience
  • Is rich in ideas, infer thoughts or feelings. Including details that directly related to the purpose
  • Is precise in its meaning
  • Is sincere in tone
  • Is structured or organized well to meet it’s purpose
  • Flows well and has a satisfying cohesion or coherence. Often means an engaging beginning and a satisfying conclusion. “An engaging beginning and a conclusion that makes me go wow”
  • Makes use of appropriate vocabulary and language features
  • Suggests evidence of thoughtful reflection and re-crafting
  • Is presented thoughtfully and meaningfully in terms of surface or technical features (grammar,/syntax, spelling, punctuation)
  • Is planned and written to have an impact on the audience
  • Stimulates the reader’s interest, ideas or imagination.
What is needed for students to produce quality writing?
  • Personally significant for intended audience
  • Topic-specific knowledge
  • Literacy knowledge
  • What achievement or success looks like
  • Organise yourself and plan
  • Using the best vocabulary for that specific time
  • Reflect on and make changes
  • Makes goals has feedback
  • Takes risks
  • Faith in their ability (self-effacacy)
Develop readers who can understand and make use of what they read and who are motivated …

  • Decode
  • Understand vocab (Gadd thinks this is super important)
  • Comprehension stratigies
Requiring students to re-tell or discuss text is a good way to check understanding.
The man who walked between the towers - Monrbical Gersteim; Man on wire – DVD; To the clouds – Philippe Petite
What feat did Philippe Petit performs how he does it and why he does it?
· Self-fulfilling
· For the challenge
· To be the first to be famous
· Rebellious
· He wanted to be free
Writing after he did when you put their selves into his shoes/police shoes/ spectators shoes?
To do this we will need to:
Infer: you had to put yourself in his shoes make connections to find out what’s going on
Make connections how hard would this be to do in 1970?
Prior knowledge: balance, twin towers, street performer
1. Making connections between prior real world and literacy related knowledge and the text
2. Forming and testing hypotheses about texts (predicting in comprehension)
a. Use clues to make links to prior knowledge
b. Read to check hypotheses
c. Reflect on hypotheses and revise new thoughts or learning.
3. Asking Questions of themselves, others and text
a. Focus on selected part
b. Form a questions that relates
c. Keep question in your mind as they read so that they recognize and bring together clues as they arise
d. Reflecting on what they have found out and how this has changed their thinking or helped their comprehension
e. Asking new questions in light of what they have found out
4. Creating mental images or visualizing from the text
5. Inferring meaning from sections of the texts
a. Draw awerness that real meanings isn’t just in the word
b. We find clues in pictures
c. Make lnks with their own knowledge experience in relation to the clues
d. Deciding what is really meant based on the clues
i. “Stormed into the room with a face like thunder – how was I feeling?”
6. Identifying the authors purpose and point of view in the text
a. Who is writing is for
b. How does this stance affect the position of the writer
c. Search specific indicators
7. Summarising the main ideas of the text
a. Think about organization of the text identify main points main/subsidiary points
b. Stating each main point succinctly
c. Ordering mainpoint in a way that makes sense to the reader.
i. Background
ii. Getting ready
iii. Tight rope
iv. Arrested
v. Tight rope in park
8. Identifying the theme of the text
a. Thin of themselves as a writer who has a main idea to convey
b. Look for evidence
9. Analysing and synthesing ideas and information
a. Take things apart then put them together what do they tell us?
10. Evaluating ideas and information from the text
How do we teach comp strategies?
Give feedback about use of the strategy. Need to do more of this!!!

Dr Anne Davies Inspired Impact 2010

Anne Davis is a Canadian Lady, who is a a beautiful and inspiring woman, I really tuned into her story about when she broke her ankle. When she went to A&E the doctor made the initial assessment on her injury but did not give her steps to recovery. It was her own personal doctor who made another assessment and gave her a list of criteria for her to do to heal her ankle. Therefore, it is not enough just to assess kids without giving them explicit criteria to achieve to ‘heal’ or in this case learn or to better our final piece.
Writing assessment in Hawaii for Year 12 students where they got into groups to read previous essays to find out what is good writing? The teacher was amazing. I'm not sure what school it was.

In summary: Students need to know the destination so well so that when the teacher is absent they can self-monitor themselves.
What’s important so that my classroom is engaging for everyone?
Self monitor your way to success!