We go crazy with some sheep

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

We are surrounded by RED

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.

Download free Teachers’ notes for One red shoe.

Sea creatures on the IWB

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.

Hicketty Picketty: preparing for Chicks R Us

This week, students in Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 will be learning the nursery rhyme Hicketty Picketty. We will also be reading Out of the egg, by Tina Matthews, which is a variation of The little red hen fairy tale.

The inclement weather last Friday gave Class 1HB another chance to brainstorm a digital story. This time they ended up with an Easter theme, which will prove useful with other classes as the term progresses:


An Easter tale

The subsequent week consolidates the learning with this digital quiz on PhotoPeach, which draws upon images and information gathered in 2011 after a unit of work based upon the annual Chicks R Us experience:


What’s in the egg?

Another picture book favourite is Clifford’s happy Easter by Norman Bridwell, which features a North American (spring season!) Easter egg hunt and the dyeing of boiled eggs.

And our PhotoPeach digital story about Clifford the Big Red Dog’s last visit to our school library:


Clifford & Phoebe at Penrith PS

Jack and Jill and friends

This week, our Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students were investigating the nursery rhyme, Jack and Jill. The following digital slideshow dates back to 2011, and was created during the previous three-year cycle:


Jack and Jill

HooplaKidz TV present two Youtube videos about Jack and Jill. Note that, in the first one, Jack breaks a crown fit for a king, rather than his actual head.


Nursery rhymes for kids – Jack and Jill – nursery rhyme


Jack and Jill – Olive & the Rhyme Rescue Crew

We read two books on the theme of friends, Eight by Lyn Lee & Kim Gamble, about a lost toy octopus, and Brave Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby. Coincidentally, both picture books feature a thunderstorm. The students of Classes 2RB, 1IW and 2S then brainstormed the following digital story about friends:


We are friends!

UPDATE: I found a different slideshow about friends on Facebook, also by Year 1 students, at another school:


We are friends! by Mrs. Burnett’s First Grade class

New PhotoPeach celebrations

Here is a new PhotoPeach digital slideshow which archives some of the photos and craftwork of this year’s K-2 Chinese New Year celebrations:


Year of the Horse at Penrith PS

The inclement weather on Friday gave Class 1HB an additional lesson in the school library, so we brought out the collection of puppets and brainstormed a new digital story:


A lemur’s tale

Robbie Rules: My first day at school

This digital story is especially for author Meredith Costain, with many thanks for sending Penrith Public School the signed copy of her wonderful new picture book, My first day at school (Windy Hollow Books, 2013). The book’s illustrations are by Michelle Macintosh.

Stage 3 students have recently been working as “buddies” for Kindergarten Orientation, and they enjoyed having Meredith’s book read to them in a library session, and then reminiscing, brainstorming, storyboarding, photographing, and suggesting possible text for a joint construction to create a PhotoPeach presentation. We anticipate our incoming Kindergarten students, future buddies and staff and students at other schools to get some useful tips from it.

Special thanks to Ms Stockton, who allowed Robbie Rules – our oldest “student” at Penrith PS, who’s never graduated from Stage 1 – to visit the library for the last few weeks of Term 4, 2013.


Robbie Rules: My first day at school

Creating digital stories for PMBW TLs

My workshop: This session 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.

When I presented the above worksop at a MANTLE conference, earlier this year, 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:
boyslife.org/about-scouts/merit-badge-resources/robotics/19223/robot-jokes/

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:
www.yodaspeak.co.uk/

More fables: The magic fish and The town mouse & the country mouse

Stage 1 and Early Stage 1 students are studying fables this term. These Youtube videos will support the reading.

The magic fish, or The fisherman and his wife, is often categorised as a Grimm’s fairy tale, but it also has an obvious moral.


The fisherman and his wife

Two parodies of the same tale:

The magic fish – Fractured Fairy Tales


Fractured Fairy Tales – The fisherman and his wife


Aesop: biography of a great thinker


The town mouse and the country mouse – Aesop’s fables


City mouse and country mouse


Мышь vs. Печенька (Mouse vs Biscuit)

After reading several versions of the famous Aesop’s fable, the students created their own interpretation of “City Mouse & Country Mouse” as a PhotoPeach slideshow. A combined effort of brainstorming, storyboarding, set creation, photographing, and joint construction of text!


City Mouse & Country Mouse