Humpty was pushed?

Humpty on the wooden block wall

Our school has had a Humpty Dumpty mural on a classroom wall for many years now. It’s amazing how fast Humpty falls again when the three-year cyclic plan for K-2 comes around again.

As is traditional, the “Chicks R Us” and their incubator turned up this week. Only one egg to hatch now!

Chicks R Us

Chicks R Us 2

Chicks R Us 3

Meanwhile, the students suggested that a PowerPoint show about the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme, made three years ago, needed one more image to make it more interesting. So, this year, Easter egg Humpty shows some leakage after falling off his wall:

Humpty

iInquire… iLearn… iCreate… iShare

#242

A good news story in an attempt to counterbalance all the negative dragon-lady news articles (Sydney Morning Herald; The Age) today:

In the current “Scan”:
“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.

Many thanks to “Scan” editor Cath Keane. It looks great! Our students are going to be thrilled! And I look terrible in a twin-set & pearls anyway.

UPDATE: This afternoon, I returned to the library briefly after a staff meeting – and there was an urgent email telling me that ABC 702 radio commentator, Richard Glover, was seeking listeners to phone in and explain why they broke a stereotype. This segment was in response to the aforementioned newspaper articles about angry dragon-lady librarians in horn-rimmed glasses, cardigans, pearls and hair in buns. The suggestion was that I ring in myself, to explain that I broke that stereotype. I was sure I’d missed my chance, due to the meeting, but I did ring in and was put to air a few minutes later.

The call ended rather abruptly – no goodbye and thanks – so they must have only been after very brief sound bytes, like the ones I heard them playing while I was awaiting my turn. I wasn’t sure if they were wanted me for something meatier. I only hope I made some sense; it was all so fast. 15 seconds of fame, if that.

The new era of “sound byte” reporting, solidly with us these past few years, is certainly one of our biggest hurdles in getting a complex message (such as the points raised by the recent Parliamentary Enquiry) across – in any media.

Sheep thrills

Red Belly Station

Two of our Stage 1 classes have brainstormed a new digital story for a Photo Peach slideshow this week. We are still studying nursery rhymes this term and this week’s is “Baa Baa Black Sheep“. Again, one class improvised nearby characters, props and locations to recreate the nursery rhyme. A second class suggested the best order of the uploaded photos, sorted the captions and voted on the best music.

Please click HERE.


Baa baa black sheep

Thank you again Photo Peach!

(I feel like the Photo Peach ambassador, but it’s so easy a child could do it. In fact, we did!)

Also sample 1/2S’s wonderful sheep artwork, and SCHP’s vegetable sheep, presented as a VIDEO PODCAST.

#242
Timmy awaits his closeup.

Nursery rhymes: beyond the pail!

Jack and Jill

Stage 1 students today consolidated their knowledge of the nursery rhyme, “Jack and Jill”, by creating some digital stories. We brainstormed ideas, the students suggested suitable toys and props from around the library, we made scenery on the interactive whiteboard (IWB) and I then uploaded their photos to Photo Peach to create a new slideshow.

Jack and Jill title card

Tomorrow some other classes might suggest extra captions and ideas.

A wolf in sheep's clothing in a tree

And yes, Jack is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. In a tree.

Also see our 2008 adventures with “Jack and Jill” on our wiki page.


Jack and Jill

Time 4 Le@rning…

Time 4 Le@rning
NEW YORK, LONDON, PENRITH, AUCKLAND.
And the ellipsis (…) is extremely important!

Last week, I finally had the time (ho ho ho) to put up the last major installation in our new BER school library: the “newsroom” clocks with various world time zones represented. This is, essentially, my original vision for the previous library’s back wall, but the beautiful, proposed, professional signage (with purple lettering on a large, clear perspex rectangle, to show the green-painted wall behind) was way out of my meagre, less-than-shoestring, budget at the time. In the old library, I ended up making do with a simple, laminated sign, designed rather crudely in Word, and enlarged on the photocopier on green A3 paper.

It was a recent, chance discovery of the chain store Typo (in Parramatta, but now also in Centrepoint in the CBD) that secured me the lettering I decided I wanted to do the job properly, and they were pre-painted, and on special! The new library even comes with a ledge – at the right height – for the letters to stand upon, secured lightly to the painted wall with Velcro dots. The ellipsis was an afterthought… While placing the letters last Monday, I had to move a few and the very last Velcro dot removed a tiny bit of paint off the wall, so… I raced back to Typo on Thursday night to get three matching full stops (at 95 cents each). Luckily for me, the first full stop sits over the offending paint glitch. As if it was always meant to be there… (Shhh! Don’t tell anyone I ruined the new wall!)

The black clock (easily recognisable as the local time) doesn’t show up as clearly on dark blue as it once did on pale green, so I superglued a thin, green satin ribbon around its edge, and that helps the rim show up.

What's the time in Penrith?
What’s the time in Penrith?

During the rebuilding of our BER, I happened upon some very cool, extra clocks in the shape of Superman‘s insignia and a Doctor Who Dalek, and accumulated those, too, to join the “Time 4 Le@rning” clocks. While in Typo, I also found a very nice, cubic, digital clock for my office (scroll down to final photo); as close to a “Star Trek” stardate clock as I can get at the moment. The “Superman” clock is numberless and the Dalek clock is deliberately “one handed” – and they can be challenging to interpret, but bound to be discussion starters, like so much else in this new library. Almost every artifact has an anecdote and the stimulating environment is getting conversations between students really buzzing.

The day I was putting everything up, I realised that six clocks in a row defeats the pun in the signage, so I found new locations for my new, novelty clocks, leaving the “newsroom” part of the library with a more serious tone.

What's the time on Krypton?
What’s the time on Krypton?

Frames & clocks

What's the time on Gallifrey?
What’s the time on Gallifrey?

The clock with the mouse represents “Hickory Dickory Dock”, of course, and dates back to when the newsroom clocks in the old library began to run down on their first batteries. It took me a while to work out that “Auckland” didn’t need constant repairing and resetting, just a new battery. This old clock, from the original library office, had never kept good time, so now it sits permanently at one o’clock, complete with mouse:

What's the time in Nursery Rhyme Land?
What’s the time in Nursery Rhyme Land?

Digital clock
My office clock from Typo. (With Nicholas Ickle’s elephant!)

Little Miss Muffet and cheese making

Our Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students are studying nursery rhymes. Here are two animated versions we found, plus a Teletubbies parody and a useful video on cheese making (from curds and whey, also known as junket).

Little Miss Muffet – animation:

Little Miss Muffet – animation:

Teletubbies perform Little Miss Muffet:

How it’s made – Cheese:

(from “The Discovery Channel”.)

What should you do if you meet a Goliath Tarantula spider?

(from “National Geographic”.)

What time is it when the clock chimes 13?

Answer: Time to get a new clock.

You may recall my emergency repair job on the library’s “Auckland” clock, part of our set of “newsroom” clocks in the revamped library? Well, the clock mechanism has failed again. I can’t get it to run longer than a few minutes. I very much doubt I can buy a matching replacement for a clock bought six months ago “on special” – and, rather than put up with a clock that was always giving a totally random time, I decided to go back to an idea I used a few years ago when I was teaching Stage 1 full time.

I’d realised that many students in that had no concept of a longcase grandfather clock, so I created one with corrugated artboard on the classroom wall, utilising the regular schoolroom clock that came with the room. We added a mouse to the clock when we were studying the nursery rhyme, “Hickory Dickory Dock”, and the students were shocked one day when the battery ran out right on the dot of one o’clock!

Anyway, “Auckland” has now been officially replaced by “Storyland” – and that clock’s time is permanently striking one, so to speak:

Revised clocks

At least it’ll also be the right time every lunchtime!

I also took the opportunity to make a better version of my laminated “Time 4 Learning” signage, and changed the “Library Rules” chart to match the green colour of our core values signage. Previously, it had been white.

Clocks x 4
(Click photos to see larger versions)