We go crazy with some sheep

ICT, nursery rhymes, Stage 1  Tagged , , , , , , , , No Comments »

This week, Class 2RB celebrated the end of our investigations into nursery rhymes by collecting white objects, from home and around school, taking photographs in the school library, and brainstorming some rhyming text to create a crazy slideshow on PhotoPeach!


Baa baa white sheep

Meanwhile, Class 2S worked on a different story about a lonely, brown sheep. The students took some inspiration from the picture book, Hunwick’s egg by Mem Fox & Pamela Lofts, and our current Chicks ‘R’ Us program.


Ewe and the egg

Chicks ‘R’ Us

Early Stage 1, news, Stage 1  Tagged , , , , , , , No Comments »

Pompon chicks

A slideshow of chick images: HERE

Class 1IW brainstormed the text to accompany a slideshow on PhotoPeach:


Chicks ‘R’ Us

The path to Federation

Stage 3  Tagged , , , , No Comments »

Stage 3 students have been learning about democracy in HSIE. Now we move on to the Australian arena. A rather irreverent look at the history of Australia, by Daven Bettridge, this animated video clip demonstrates several elements of persuasive texts.


A brief history of Australia

We then investigated the Youtube search engine and found that by adding the descriptor “Parkes” (as in Sir Henry Parkes, Father of Federation), with “Australia” and “Federation”, we could bring up a useful selection of short student assignments from other schools, and promotional clips aimed at tourists. We discussed potential problems and strategies for using such information, and ways to enhance our own learning. Two of the most useful clips, for an introduction to Federation in Australia, were:


The Federation Show with Henry Parkes and Smiley Smiles


Grave of Sir Henry Parkes, Faulconbridge, NSW

Colour blind!

library environment, T-L role  Tagged , , , 1 Comment »

At one of my past schools, the Principal kept suggesting that I abandon the Dewey Decimal System and create some colour-coded Key Learning Areas (KLAs) in the Teacher Reference section of the school library. Some teachers would complain that they “didn’t understand Dewey” or “couldn’t ever find anything.” This were the bad ol’ days of drawers crammed full of catalogue cards, but I never really understood the problem. My counter argument was always that Dewey is essentially in KLAs anyway, and so many books are useful for numerous KLAs. I was gone from the position for a year and the change to shelving in the TR section was done in my absence. I came back for a few visits: the colours chosen were definitely not good for a colour blind person. Lime, orange, red and green all side by side! And blue next to purple. Torture!

Speedminton Fun Speeder
What shuttlecock?

Interfiling TR with the main collection is a great idea for many items. A high school I visited during my initial retraining was creating a brand new library collection with no separate TR section. Almost everything was being interfiled with the main collection. Certainly, in a high school, many items hidden away in TR could be very useful in student assignments. A few years ago, at mu current school, I moved a lot of neglected art books (written for children but stored in TR and seemingly ignored/forgotten/overlooked by most teachers) into regular non fiction, where they are used more frequently by students. When I took over in the library, one of my first major reorganising jobs was to disband (barely-used) reading boxes that had been colour-coded with small, self-adhesive dots. When people came in asking for a particular set of coded colours, I would be beyond frustration trying to find the correct ones, usually having to open the lid of every box.

Actually, our non fiction resources now have little, square, spine stickers representing their ten broad Dewey categories – we use the exact colours of Syba Signs’ shelf labels, after my SASS person saw the system working well in another school. It was mainly to assist the library monitors with sorting and reshelving the NF section more efficiently, but the stickers are quite useless to me, colour blind as I am. (Luckily the PRC stickers colours are quite distinguishable.)

When I worked at Ryde State Office of the NSW DEC, I was often called in to look at various curriculum units’ website designs, and help them pick onscreen colours that worked better for red/green colour blind people.

Please consider that the alterations you make to your library shelves (and web pages) can have repercussions for those who come after you!

Four routes to Australia

Stage 2  Tagged , , , , , , , No Comments »

In their HSIE unit, British colonisation of Australia, Stage 2 students are investigating four different travel routes to Australia from Britain:

ROUTE TAKEN BY COOK (via Tahiti)
Plymouth (August 1768), rounded Cape Horn, Tahiti (observe transit of Venus), Pacific Islands of Huahine, Borabora and Raiatea (all claimed for Britain), unsuccessfully attempted to land at Rurutu, then New Zealand, then Botany Bay, then north along Australian east coast, then Batavia in Dutch East Indies, rounded Cape of Good Hope, then arriving at Deal in Britain (July 1771, almost three years later).


The first voyage of James Cook

ROUTE TAKEN BY FIRST FLEET (via Cape Town)
Portsmouth (May 1787), Rio de Janiero, Cape Town, through Great Southern Ocean to Botany Bay (January 1788), then Sydney Cove, Port Jackson.


First Fleet – Behind the news

BRITAIN TO AUSTRALIA via SUEZ CANAL (1900-20s)
Britain, Port Said (in Egypt), Port Aden (in Yemen), Colombo (Ceylon, now Sri Lanka), Fremantle, Melbourne, Sydney.


Suez Canal time lapse mp.4

THE KANGAROO ROUTE
In 1935, the route from London to Brisbane had taken 12.5 days, which included a rail trip between Paris and Brindisi. QANTAS first flew the route in 1947, from Sydney to London, with stopovers in Darwin, Singapore (overnight), Calcutta, Karachi, Cairo (overnight) and Tripoli. Return fare was £585 = 130 weeks x average wage.

In 1960, fastest trip was 34 h 30 min with eight stops. In 1989, QANTAS set a world distance record for commercial jets when a Boeing 747-400 flew non-stop, London to Sydney, in just over 20 hours. From 2012, all QANTAS services began making Sydney-London stopovers in Dubai.


The longest hop – Qantas’ Kangaroo Route

It’s all the rain’s fault!

ICT, Stage 1  Tagged , , , , , , , No Comments »

More inclement weather on Friday meant that Class 1HB had another spare lesson in the school library, so we brought out the collection of puppets again and brainstormed a new digital story. A scary one this time:


A spooky story

We are surrounded by RED

Circle Time, ICT, library environment, Stage 2  Tagged , , , , , , , , , No Comments »

Class 3/4L recently had an extra session in the school library, so we decided to create a digital slideshow, inspired by the powerful cover art of the new picture book, One red shoe, by Karin Gruss & Tobias Krejtschi (Wikins Farago, 2014). The book, set in the war-torn Gaza Strip, features black and white illustrations through, with the dramatic use of spot colour on a US-style, Chuck Taylor All-Stars red canvas shoe, to persuade the readers and viewers with symbolism.


Surrounded by RED

The resulting, jointly-constructed text of this digital slideshow, created during a Circle Time brainstorming session, is quite reminiscent of the colour poems featured in the now-classic book, Hailstones and halibut bones by Mary O’Neill (1961), although the students were not exposed to that particular work. Yet. Red objects featured in the images came mainly from the school library environment, but also a few from my personal digital albums.

Australia’s place in the world

Stage 2  Tagged , , , , , , , , , , No Comments »

These video clips of Australian maps will enhance the lessons in which Stage 2 students invesigate Australia’s location on the world globe for their HSIE unit, British colonisation of Australia:


World map – Australia & Oceania


Australia’s geographic challenge

Climatic zones of the Earth: British colonisation of Australia

Stage 2  Tagged , , , , , , , , , , No Comments »

Despite the Equadorian slant and the misspellings of “Arctic” and “Antarctic”, this short presentation is a useful summary of information (“Equator”, “hemisphere”, “northern”, “southern”, “climate”, “temperature”, etc) already covered in HSIE lessons with Stage 2. It also introduces the terms “precipitation”, “tropical zone”, “temperate zone” and the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.


Climatic Zone – Logos Academy

Sea creatures on the IWB

Early Stage 1, ICT, Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3  Tagged , , , No Comments »

K-6PR created these murals yesterday on the IWB. Their current theme is “Sea creatures”.

Stage 2 group:

Sea creatures 1

Once upon a time, there was a mermaid. She was looking in her mirror to put on lipstick. A shark came to eat the fish swimming around her. The mermaid could see the shark behind her in the mirror.

The man caught a fish on his fishing rod. The man saw a dolphin jumping high. It was going up and down.

The crab is finding a pearl in the clam.

The whale is coming up out of the ocean to spray water out of his blowhole.

The seahorses were watching the shark chase the fish. They were hiding in the seaweed because they didn’t want to get eaten too.

Stage 1 group:

Sea creatures 2

The whale can move through the water by swishing his tail. It is looking for krill to eat.

The shark is swimming and wants to eat the turtle. The turtle is on the beach so he can be safe. He wants to go into the water to find food but he is scared of the shark.

The dolphin wants to make friends with the clownfish.

The crabs are digging lots of holes in the sand because it is time for bed.

The mermaid is cuddling a fish because he is her friend. The sunblock on the beach belongs to the mermaid. She uses it when she comes out of the water and her magical tail has turned into legs.

Early Stage 1 group:

Sea creatures 3

We can see a whale.

We can see a mermaid putting on her lipstick. She has a fish tail instead of legs.

We can see a fish with bubbles coming out of his mouth. There are five orange fish blowing bubbles.

We can see a dolphin swimming.

We can see some crabs swimming in the water. They are playing “Hide and Seek”.

We can see two fish swimming together.

The eel is chasing the fish because he wants to eat them.

The fat dolphin wants to eat the fish.

The blue fish is in a bowl.

Stage 3 group:

Sea creatures 4

Once upon a time there was a shiver of sharks. The sharks wanted to attack a seal because they were hungry. This is why the seal looks so worried.

Meanwhile, a dolphin was swimming towards a catfish. He was going to teach the catfish how to jump. This was so the catfish could get away from the sharks.

The crab was planning to use his nippers to catch the seahorse’s tail. The seahorse wants to make friends with the catfish.

The sea turtle is swimming towards the shallow water where the sun is shining through. She is ready to lay her eggs in the sand.

COLLECTIVE NOUNS:

When we were writing the above story we needed a collective noun for a group of sharks. We read that it could be a school, a shoal, a pack or a shiver of sharks. Here are some more interesting collective nouns:

A cast of crabs.

A pod of dolphins.

A school or shoal of fish.

A gam of whales.

A bale of turtles.

A bob of seals.


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