Communication devices: plus, minus, interesting

This lesson is to build field knowledge for a Guided Inquiry unit. Brief Youtube clips, supporting the Stage 3 science unit of “Made environments – Information”, will be discussed and consolidated after considering the students’ responses on a “Plus, minus, interesting” matrix, to encourage/develop note-taking skills.


Morse Code


Morse Code Alphabet – By G4JNN


W48 rotary phone overview and ring


Voice quality – iPhone 5 vs antique rotary phone


The making of information age: Enfield Telephone Exchange

Made environments – information

This term, Stage 3 students will be completing a collaboratively-taught unit of work in science on Made environments – information, with particular emphasis on early and modern communication devices, types of codes, digital citizenship and eSafety. This week, the students completed a pre-test survey sheet from the SLIM toolkit (Guided Inquiry) to provide some baseline data, both qualitative and quantitative. We also revisited the Orbit interface of our OLIVER library system to familiarise the students with its capabilities.

We aim to communicate our cumulative findings as entries on a blog, which can be shared with each class and beyond the school.

Coincidentally, today is International Safer Internet Day 2018. “Celebrated globally in 130 countries, Safer Internet Day is coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and national Safer Internet Centres across Europe.” This year’s SID theme is “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you”.


1.1 – Stone Age to Modern Age – evolution of communication


What is communication


16 famous logos with a hidden meaning (that we never even noticed)

More about light for Stage 3

For the Stage 3 science & technology unit, “Light me up”, here are some more Youtube clips that may prove useful.


What color is a mirror?


3 easy kids’ science experiments with magnifying glass


The science of rainbows


How a prism works to make rainbow colors


Special LED lights in infrared and ultraviolet spectrum


Rainbow walking water – easy kids science experiment

Light me up

This term, Stage 3 students are studying the Physical World in Science & Technology. In the unit, “Light me up”, activities concerning electricity will be done in classrooms and activities concerning the properties of light will be done in the school library.

To introduce the “light” concepts (including shadows, absorption, reflection, refraction, transparent/opaque/translucent, researching with secondary sources about reflection/refraction science understandings, discoveries and/or inventions, such as mirrors, magnifiers, spectacles and prisms, that directly affect people’s lives), here are some Youtube clips that may prove useful.


Shadow | The Dr Binocs Show | Educational videos for kids


Why do we have shadows?


Science – light – shadow – Advanced – English

Research projects: Progressing with Oliver and collecting evidence

At Penrith Public School, the transition to Oliver (from OASIS Library) and the students’ interface, Orbit, had to be delayed slightly due to long-service leave. It has been a very busy year: in addition to volunteering to be a Lighthouse School – demonstrating implementation and integration of Oliver through action research – we have been celebrating our school’s Sesquicentary celebrations. We have also been adapting from a complete Collaborative Planning, Programming and Teaching Program (CPPT) K-6 to the teacher-librarian providing one hour of Release-From-Face-to-Face (RFF) teaching for each class teacher.

Despite these hurdles, I am committed to continuing to involve most Stage 2 and Stage 3 students in the Guided Inquiry approach and collecting data on student learning with the tools of evidence-based practices.

Because the RFF program had to commence in Week 2 of Term 1, and it was not yet decided on just when the Oliver transition would occur, it was essential that I continue to collect quantitative and qualitative data using the SLIM tool kit survey forms (School Library Impact Measure, designed by Todd, Kuhlthau & Heinström, 2005). I highly recommend the collection of such data for all Guided Inquiry activities.

SLIMtoolkit
^ SLIM toolkit template (Todd, Kuhlthau & Heinström, 2005)

Surveys (as adapted for each unit from the template) are routinely filled out by students at pre-, mid- and post- intervals, even if not all data is tabulated immediately. I know that some teacher-librarians prefer to use an abbreviated survey (the so-called “Skinny” toolkit, as adapted by Lee FitzGerald and others), I do like to have all the data on hand simply because one often doesn’t know what evidence might be required/requested in the future.

For the two Guided Inquiry units started earlier this year – Stage 2: Built environments (science & technology) and Stage 3: Global connections (HSIE) – it became obvious, but too late, that the best way to integrate an introduction to Orbit would have been when locating relevant websites for research. By the time Oliver had arrived at Penrith PS, we unfortunately had already progressed past the Initiation and Selection stages of Guided Inquiry. (For the next time these units are taught, I need to ensure that all of the new and useful websites we found the hard way are represented in the new catalogue, so that students will achieve scaffolded success in their early searches).

For the purpose of today’s presentation, I am drawing my examples of a previously-taught Stage 3 unit, Endangered animals, for which a full set (pre-, mid- and post-) of survey responses is already available.

SLIM1
^ Question 1 responses (Click on the image to download)

SLIM2
^ Question 2 responses (Click on the image to download)

SLIM3
^ Question 3 responses (Click on the image to download)

SLIM4
^ Question 4 responses (Click on the image to download)

SLIM5
^ Question 5 responses (Click on the image to download)

Above extracts (pp 31-33) are as featured in McLEAN, Ian. ‘Research columns: Taking the plunge: Guided Inquiry, persuasion and the research river at Penrith Public School’ in Scan 30(4) Nov 2011, pp 26-35. (Stage 3 students used a weblog to showcase their learning journey in Guided Inquiry, and to share their persuasive multimedia slideshows on endangered animals with the extended school community – and beyond. This action research paper is peer reviewed.) Download the whole article as a PDF from HERE, courtesy of NSW DoE’s School Libraries & Information Literacy.

Todd, R.J., Kuhlthau, C.C. & Heinström, J.E. (2005). School Library Impact Measure: SLIM: a toolkit and handbook for tracking and assessing student learning outcomes of Guided Inquiry through the school library, Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries at Rutgers University (CISSL), New Brunswick, NJ.

* Banks PS teacher-librarian, Julie Grazotis, has a wonderful ClassMovie video clip about their Oliver journey HERE. Other links to local preliminary Lighthouse School Library System projects are HERE.

Stage 2 students investigate local government

This term, Stage 2 students will be using the Penrith City Council website to learn our about local government.

Which of the images featured in the clip below are looked after by Penrith City’s Local Council?


Penrith NSW Australia – things to do – places to see

Services of local government include:

* Sustainability:


Sustainable Cities 2012 Overall Sustainable Council – Penrith City Council

* Recycling and waste management:


Penrith recycling

Investigating Australian birds

Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students have been reading the Aboriginal Dreaming story of Pheasant and Kingfisher, in a big book version by Catherine Berndt & Raymond Meeks.

We used a Google Images search to locate online photographs of Australian pheasants and Australian kingfishers. The additional descriptor of “long tail” helped us find images of kingfishers “with firesticks stuck in their bottom”.

We discussed why images of peacocks (not Australian!) and lyrebirds turned up in the pheasant image seach, and why kookaburras turned up in the kingfisher search. We then used Youtube to locate examples of a pheasant saying its name, “Bookbook”, as in the story, and a kingfisher saying “Bered-bered”.


Common pheasant making quick repeated sounds while taking a walk


Pheasant – common pheasant bird call


Pied Kingfisher catching fish in split second – BBC wildlife

The next week, we moved our investigations into factual information on Australian birds:


Aussie beauties – a tribute to Australian birds