Zeeko and the waving golden frogs

At today’s Musica Viva performance, the members of the musical group Zeeko sang a song that featured a species of endangered toad, the Golden Frog, the males of which have a call so soft (and obscured by the noise of running water in its homeland), that it has delevoped a unique hand wave when approaching other males:

Attenborough: Golden Frog: fighting & mating – Life in cold blood – BBC wildlife

National Simultaneous Storytime: The wrong book

Penrith Public School students are about to share a fun tale of Nicholas Ickle’s challenge to share his story, in the wonderful picture book, “The wrong book” by Nick Bland, as part of ALIA’s National Simultaneous Storytime 2013.

The wrong book Auslan version

Wrong book: National Simultaneous Storytime 2013
“My name is Nicholas Ickle and you’re in the wroooooooooong book!”

The ugly duckling

This weeks fairy tale for Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students is The ugly duckling by Hans Christian Andersen. We will be using the picture book adaptation by Masumi Furukawa (Flip up fairy tales series by Child’s Play, 2006).

Ugly duckling
The ugly duckling

Hans Christian Andersen bust
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) bust

Hans Christian Andersen on Observatory Hill
Hans Christian Andersen on Observatory Hill, Sydney

Digital stories:

The ugly duckling, an assembly item by Class 2FR (from the year 2010)

The ugly caterpillar, a digital fairy tale by Class 1K (also from 2010), loosely based on “The ugly duckling”

Cockatoo and Tiger, a digital narrative by the other half of Class 1K (2010), also inspired by “The ugly duckling”.

Next week, the work will be followed up with an investigation into the attributes of ducks. The books, What is a bird? by Feana Tu’akoi (Scholastic, 2007) and Amazing facts about Australian birds (Steve Parish discover and learn, 1997) by Pat Slater, will be contrasted with the fictional ducks featured in Duck in the truck (Picture lions, HarperCollins, 2000) by Jez Alborough, Vote for Duck (Pocket, 2004) by Doreen Cronin & Betsy Lewin and The goat, the duck and the bale of hay (Viking, 2004) by Rachel Flynn & Tom Jellett.

QR codes and MANTLE conference

Workshop 1:

QR codes – those now-ubiquitous, distinctive, square barcodes – are on advertising posters, business cards and websites. For last year’s MANTLE conference, I made use of a QR code phone app, I-nigma, from iTunes. Apart from a few tests, I haven’t really done very much with this aspect of technology. But the possibilities may be endless!

I have created QR codes for the websites I am referencing in my MANTLE talks this week. For example:

QRCodeBooked Inn blog



GoldQuest blog


Penrith PS Library wiki

Penrith PS Library wiki


Penrth PS rappers and bloggers

Penrith PS rappers & bloggers



My PhotoPeach profile page


PMBW TL professional learning group

QR codes Kaywa generator

NSW DEC CLIC raps and book raps


Endangered animals

Stage 3’s Endangered animals: beyond the rainforest


Workshop 2: This workshop will look at how to make book trailers and their use in engaging students in literacy and reading activities. Applications used to make trailers will be looked at and discussed, also how they can be used as a resource in a school library and in classrooms and how they can help promote literacy and reading. Ways to engage students in these resources to augment their learning experiences will be modeled and discussed.

* Brainstorming (using Circle Time) – consider audience, theme, length, 30 images
* Storyboarding (using a book rap template) – small groups
* Will you use photos (“Creative Commons”), drawings, cutouts, puppets, toys, claymation, or actors in dress-up box clothing?
* Upload – to Photo Peach or other Web 2.0 facility – Flickr slideshow, PowerPoint/Keynote, podcast/Youtube, IWB Notebook software?
* Edit, adjust timing to the selected music
* Share with wider community – monitor incoming public comments regularly, or close them off.

* Rap resources (NSW DEC) for making digital stories and book trailers

* Bear and Chook PowerPoints

* Flickr slideshow repositories – and with captions added or Explore Creative Commons

* Commercial book trailers on Youtube, eg:

In the lion book trailerJames Foley

* This year’s CBCA Book Week theme is: “Read across the universe”. A starting point?

Further reading (articles by Ian McLean):

* ‘iInquire… iLearn… iCreate… iShare: Stage 1 students create digital stories’ in Scan 30(2) May 2011, pp 4-5.
Stage 1 students narrate how they inquire, learn, create and share with ICT and Web 2.0 to produce online Photo Peach slideshows at Penrith Public School. View the article online HERE.

* ‘Have blog, will storyboard!’ in info@aslansw Issue #2, May 2010, pp 5-8.
Stage 2 students at Penrith Public School created storyboards and PowerPoint digital stories as resources to support Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students working on the Bear and Chook books rap, which ran during the subsequent term.

* ‘Circle time: maximising opportunities for talking and listening at Penrith Public School’ in Scan 26(4) November 2007, pp 4-7.
Circle Time is a structured framework for social and emotional learning which promotes a positive class ethos. Moving from class teacher back into the school library, I incorporated Circle Time and information skills into a range of collaborative literacy and ICT activities, including book raps.

UPDATE to Workshop 2:
During the above presentation, members of the audience suggested a few possible captions, in keeping with Book Week’s “Read Across the Universe” theme, and my intention was to get the Stage 3 students, back at school, to complete the brainstorming of the rest of the captions during Book Week. As the events of that week overwhelmed us, I filed away the groups’ A3 planning sheets, but dug them out again this week – and was thrilled with their results. A reminder to those on iPads: the latest version of Flash is required, so you’ll need to use a regular computer to see Photo Peach slideshows.

As promised, here is the finished slideshow:

Read across the universe by 5/6E

and an additional set of bookish/SF images that got the students’ conversations going:

Book Week 2013

By the way, we found “Robot jokes” during a Google search:

and we were surprised to find that there are interactive “Yoda speech generator” sites (it started out as a joke that there might be one – and there were several!), such as:

Goldilocks and porridge

Three bears
The three bears at Penrith PS!
(These bear toys are from the picture book, You’re all my favourites by Sam McBratney & Anita Jerum.)

To enhance our Term 2 study of fairy tales, Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students will be using the picture book, Goldilocks and the three bears (Picture lions series, Collins, 1990) by James Marshall, and these Youtube clips this week:

Goldilocks and the three bears – Kids Stories – LearnEnglish Kids British Council

From the BBC programme “Nigel’s simple cooking”, host Nigel Slater meets the 2008 World Porridge Making Champion, Ian Bishop, to find out the secret of perfect porridge:


Digital stories:

The three bats, a digital fairy tale by Class 1/2H (in the year 2010), loosely based on “Goldilocks and the three bears”

Mr E and the three bears, a digital fairy tale by the other half of Class 1/2H (2010), also based on “Goldilocks”.


In support of the CBCA shortlised information book, “Lyrebird!: a true story” by Jackie Kerin & Peter Gouldthorpe:

Anglo Saxon lyre

The sound of 3000 year old lyre strings (2 of 5)

Ten cent coin – Australian – from 1966 to present today

Lyre bird mimicking voices (Healesville Sanctuary)

In 2010, author Jackie Kerin and Malcolm McKinnon created a video about Edith Wilkinson and James the lyrebird, who are now featured in “Lyrebird!: a true story”:

Edith’s lyrebird

Space school!

Our Stage 2 students have commenced a unit of work in science & technology, “Space”. These Youtube video clips will be useful in our initial brainstorming activities.

The Solar System – Space School

Space School – The Sun

Star size comparison HD

Space School – The Moon

Day and night on Earth

First Moon landing 1969

Here are two websites for online research, Planets for kids and The nine (8) planets: just for kids (now updated to reflect Pluto’s change of status)

Evidence of water, which was once flowing on Mars, recently found: HERE.