Royal Australian Mint, Canberra, for Stage 2

Further to our unit on Financial Literacy, here are some useful Youtube clips about the Royal Australian Mint in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) for Stage 2 students.

A tourist interprets the displays and machinery at the Mint:

Royal Australian Mint

The current range of commemorative and collectible coins are showcased here:

Royal Australian Mint 2012 Product Launch

A tourism specialist has prepared this narrative-free, persuasive clip about the Mint’s experiences available for visitors:

Royal Australian Mint – grasshoppertravel.com

Although this clip is about the 2008 coin releases, it has several sequences which illustrate the processes of coin design and manufacture:

Royal Australian Mint 2008 Products Launch

The original tourist, from the first clip, mints her own commemorative $1 coin. (Spend $3.00 to create $1.00!)

Making Money at Royal Australian Mint

Now I feel old

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had renewed my motivation to go back to Taronga Park Zoo soon to attempt to recapture some views of the exhibits originally from my childhood photo album of b/w photos from 1968 and 1971. The result is here:

The original slideshow, of b/w material alone, is here:

I hope other educators find a use for this material! We tend to revisit “Old and New” in numerous HSIE topics.

This is cute: the Google Street View trike visits Taronga Park Zoo! (below)


Google Street View trike at Taronga Zoo

Zoo nostalgia

These old b/w photographs, taken during excursions to Taronga Park Zoo in 1968 and 1971, demonstrate how little visitors could manage to see between the bars of the old enclosures. The elephants’ view, through the window of the old concrete “temple”, is more recent. When the new elephant enclosure was unveiled in 2007, a static exhibit inside the “temple” showed their original environment, complete with a “saddle” for elephant rides.

Now I’m motivated to go back to the zoo soon and recapture as many pics, in colour, as possible. A few enclosures (and the floral clock) are still in the same locations but, thankfully, look very different today.

PS: I did it!

The Governor

Governor Macquarie's chair
Mister Macquarie’s Chair. 😉

This evening I braved the rain to attend a teachers’ preview of Sydney’s Governor Lachlan Macquarie celebrations. Although I couldn’t get into the CBD early enough to see whatever is on display at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, I did get to the quick tour of NSW Parliament House (many thanks Graham Spindler!) and the formal stuff at the State Library. A NSW DET representative demonstrated the Centre for Learning Innovation’s “Macquarie 2010Notebook 10 materials for use with IWBs.

The displays look to be very stimulating and I liked how the State Library’s physical exhibit, “The Governor: Lachlan Macquarie 1810 to 1821″, is labelled with separate, colour-coded display cards for adults and school children. Well worth a visit, as are their online archives!

I had to smile on the way out: here’s the new motto of the State Library:

Check it out at State Library of NSW

Looks familiar?

"Check it out!" - Shoestring makeover

Has someone been drawing inspiration from my shoestring makeover project?

“Fox” nostalgia

"Fox" mural

The mural above was a mainstay of our old portable school library, pinned along a difficult-to-fill strip of ugly wood-panelled wall, from 2001 till the end of 2008. Based on the award-winning picture book, Margaret Wild & Ron Brooks’ “Fox”, the mural was devised by teacher, Mrs Carol Bagnell.

I was inspired to seek out the old photographs because we have some groups of students attending local live performances of “Fox” by Monkey Baa Theatre! It’s been such fun revisiting the original book in recent days, preparing the students for a most colourful event.

UPDATE!

I accompanied a K-2, to the Joan Sutherland Centre at Penrith, to see Monkey Baa’s operatic production of “Fox”. This is based on the children’s picture book by Margaret Wild & Ron Brooks; the book was first published in 2000. The book examines the strong themes of friendship, loyalty, jealousy and betrayal. We had a great time watching the “Fox” actors and puppets and listening to the narrator, an opera singer. One of our young students even asked a question at the end, about Dog’s eye patch!

Monkey Baa's "Fox" poster

The students would like to share their artwork, drawn as a response to the show when we arrived back at school. SCLB are students from Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2. Click HERE to see their beautiful art, plus some posters from the show.

Introducing British colonisation

4/5P is studying the British colonisation of Australia. Here are four Youtube clips that should prove useful to introduce the topic.

1980s television commercial for Old Sydney Town:


Old Sydney Town commercial [1980s]

Here is Old Sydney Town in October 2001 (mere months before the famous historical theme park was shut down). Captured here in the form of digital stills, this presentation shows all the features of one of Australia’s longest running theme parks:


Old Sydney Town (digital stills)

Historic Houses Trust has uploaded several useful video clips on the early days of Australian colonisation to Youtube:

200 years ago, convicts at Sydney’s Hyde Park Barracks didn’t have lighters or matches to light their pipes. See how to light a fire the hard way:


A convict started a fire

Convicts sent to Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney weren’t always lucky enough to be issued with socks. And to make matters worse, their shoes weren’t even specifically made for the right or left foot. See what they did to ease the pain:


A convict without socks

Counting for Canberra

Our Stage 3 students are studying Australian government, to be topped off by a culminating activity: an excursion and camp to Canberra.

The educational activities on the Australian Electoral Commission website are proving useful. We’ve been using our votes predicting the CBCA Book Week award winners to practise

Counting the votes for the House of Representatives

and

Counting the votes for the Senate.

These video clips have been quite engaging!

The students have also enjoyed using the Practise voting demonstration on the library’s IWB.

Happy Anniversary, Apollo 11!

Wow!

I’ve spent the last few weeks demonstrating some of the joys of my school’s new interactive whiteboard (IWB), and browsing on Google Earth has been addictive for most of the school’s population.

But, in similar vein, NASA has just released some very cool pictures from their Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (or LRO), which has returned its first imagery of the Apollo moon landing sites, just in time for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. “The pictures show the Apollo missions’ lunar module descent stages sitting on the moon’s surface, as long shadows from a low sun angle make the modules’ locations evident.”

Apollo 11

The online comments added by moon hoax conspiracy theorists are hilarious.

I really liked the appended comment from a NASA Moderator: “This is just the first glimpse of many more images to come. When we’re in the operational orbit of only 31 miles, resolution should be two to three times better, and we should be able to get the right lighting conditions to identify the rovers.”

All images credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Arizona State University.

Boy, sitting in the school hall watching a fuzzy black and white television in 1969 (Year 5) at Arncliffe Primary School seems sooooooo long ago, but it also seems like it was only yesterday. It’s frustrating we are currently on vacation and unable to make use of the anniversary with students this week.

Apollo 14

Also worth checking out: The Moon in Google Earth