Researching Museum Railway Station

City Circle Loop
City Circle Loop signage, Museum Station, Sydney, NSW.

3 Museum Station

A Flickr slideshow about Museum Station, Sydney, is HERE. Stage 2 students are researching underground railway systems as part of their science and technology unit, Buildings and Bridges.

And on through the underground stations (and Circular Quay) of Sydney’s City Circle Loop:


City Circle hi def hi speed

Winter – and the Rainbow Serpent

In Term 3, our Stage 1 and Early Stage 1 students will be investigating the topic of Winter, and then moving on the Aboriginal Dreaming Stories.

I had promised to share a childhood favourite winter book from my own collection, Snow by Roy McKie & PD Eastman, which is a hard title to find, Down Under, in Dr Suess’s classic Cat in the Hat Beginner Books series. I bought this particular copy during my White Christmas 2012 trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, where, way back in 1984, my penpal had taught me how to make snowmen and snow angels, just like in the book I’d read in 1966!

Next week, we will be comparing this book to the more recent, There was a cold lady who swallowed some snow! by Lucille Colandro & Jared Lee. The school library’s resident artifical snowman is actually a stage prop from my 2006 Stage 1’s assembly item performance of this book. This was also when I learned, via Wikipedia, about the inate and significant differences between British and American snowmen. (Count the bodyparts!)

3D Snowman
Snowman built by Mr McLean and his penpal, Ann Arbor MI, USA, January 1984 (Three body parts)

Snowperson
Snowman built by Mr McLean and his class, November 1996 (Two body parts)

Penrith snowman in a hailstorm
The artificial snowman finally experience a real hailstorm, Penrith NSW, December 2010


Penrith PS in December: a white Christmas?
Please click HERE if the music track doesn’t play.

Day 5 Snowman
Miniature snowman in Ann Arbor MI, USA, December 2012 (Three body parts)

Snowman
Even artificial snowmen must do their research! Penrith NSW, December 2010

Our first Aboriginal Dreaming Story, in Week 3, will be about the Rainbow Serpent. Past Kindergarten students, now in Year 3, made some great artwork last cycle and it is preserved in a Flickr SLIDESHOW. We also made good use of a Youtube animation, located HERE.

Back to Antarctica

Antarctica icebergs

Stage 3 students will be undertaking a Guided Inquiry exercise this term on the topic of Antarctica. For most classes, the science & technology aspects will be part of the work taught by Ms Stockton, the RFF (Release-from-Face-to-Face) teacher, so the library sessions will emphasise the achievement of HSIE (Human society & its environment) outcomes, and will complement the field knowledge being developed in S&T.

The following useful resources were invaluable the last time the curriculum cycle visited “Antarctica”.

Antarctica (Flickr slideshow), images courtesy of Mrs Coote’s brother

Introducing Antarctica (Youtube clips)


Mawson 100421 around station

Antarctica: Being there (TaLe)

As with last year’s Guided Inquiry units, the brief clips and links will be discussed and consolidated after considering the students’ “Plus, minus, interesting” matrices, which will continue to develop the students’ note-taking skills.

Preparing to celebrate

Happy Chinese New Year!

Our K-2 students are about to start investigating Chinese New Year, as a part of a HSIE unit, “Celebrations”. Libby Gleeson & Armin Greder’s “Big dog” will be a feature picture book, as will Di Wu & Kathy Huang’s “Are you a dragon?”

Year of the Rabbit
Rabbit float on display near Central Station, 2011.

2011 Chinese New Year flagwhite2011 Chinese New Year flag
Rabbit pennants in George St, Sydney, 2011.

Chinese dragon and lanterns
Chinese dragon and lanterns, SCHM.

Zodiac animals
Chinese Zodiac animals, SCHM.

lanterns
Chinese lanterns, SCHM.

Emperor Robbie
Emperor Robbie Rules in 1/2S.

lanterns
Chinese lantern in 1/2S.

2011 Chinese New Year flag
2011 Chinese New Year pennant, George St, Sydney – notice
the numerals 2, 0, 1, 1, making the shape of a rabbit.

My photo (above) inspired a quick and easy craft activity for the students in our 2-6 hearing support unit yesterday:

2011 rabbit

2011 rabbitwhite2011 rabbit
2011 Chinese New Year rabbits by SCHM students.

Relive The Year of the Tiger (2010).

Relive The Year of the Rat (2008).

Relive The Year of the Rooster dragon parade (2005) on Photo Peach.

#203
Images of Dragons! on Flickr.


Dragon parade!

Entering the literary garden of delights!

Frog Prince & golden ball
Student comment: “I saw the Frog Prince and his golden ball in a bowl, but I think that is the same bowl Chook used last year when he was being an astronaut!”

Today, the students at my school had their first experiences in our newly built school library. I’ve spent three weeks unpacking the book stock (from long-term storage) and decorating with new and nostalgic elements. The students were full of questions, but I used Circle Time to maximise and equalise all the the talking and listening. It was a great day. The looks on their faces, as they explored (hands free) all the new nooks and crannies made all the planning and hard work worth while.

Archeological dig
Our historic school milk bottles are now enshrined in a shadow box.

The quote from a framing store, to have the bottles placed into a customised shadow box was $200 but I did it for about $40, thanks to parts bought from Spotlight. The inside text reads: Penrith Public School’s library stands on the site of a portable library building, and before that a previous portable building. In 2010, workmen excavating the foundations found these “school milk” bottles buried deep in the rubble. One is embossed “1/3 PINT PASTEURISED MILK”. See the original blog entry of our archeological find HERE.

48 more photos of display elements ready for today’s opening are HERE.

Across the story bridge – a video podcast!

Here is Stage 2’s latest “Book Week” video podcast, which works best with the latest version of Quicktime. Click HERE to view the podcast.

Billy goats

I was able to play this new trailer to a group of students who were contributors to a brainstorm, only a week earlier, for many of the sequences, character suggestions, dialogue snippets. But the final shot list and script had been developed by a different group. It was such fun watching individual faces light up when “their” suggestion was suddenly up on the screen, as part of the cohesive whole. The power of collaborative writing, producing a final work which is greater than the sum of all the already-great smaller parts.

Penrith PS podcasts

If you have trouble viewing Quicktime podcasts, please try the Flickr slideshow instead. When the slideshow opens, click “Show info” to read the captions.

Bears and chooks iiiiiiiin spaaaaaaaaaaaace!

#184

Bear and Chook’s space adventure: fun with Kindergarten book rappers in the school library today, as part of the Bear and Chook books rap. During Circle Time, the students created three new adventures for Bear and Chook and we uploaded the photos as a Flickr slideshow:

Please click here!

They (and I) hope you enjoy this digital story. You can request to read the captions while the slideshow plays.

On show

On the weekend I updated my Flickr slideshow of highlights of the library’s shoestring renovations.

I also created a more involved PowerPoint presentation, in preparation for an ASLA professional development on Saturday at my school. It’s going to be a little strange showing slides of the shoestring makeover of a wall – on the actual wall that was made over!

365 photos

A few weeks ago, I happened across two different references to a blogging project that was called “365 Photos“. The concept is to use a digital camera to create one photograph per day, using an almost-impromptu, aim-and-shoot technique. Some days, one finds oneself putting a lot of thought into a photo, or at least the subject matter. Other days, a surprise opportunity just presents itself. And other times, it might reach 11.58 pm before one realises that the day has almost slipped by without a suitable photo opportunity. The family dog is useful for such moments of panic (even if he’s asleep).

I’ve been uploading the resultant shots to my Flickr account, and assembling them as a cumulative “set”. This also means that I can create a slideshow, as I did a few minutes ago, by requesting an automatically-generated URL from Flickr. eg:

Click here

The slideshow presentation will get longer and longer as time goes on, of course. And there is an option to display captions – or not.

Although I’m doing this as a personal blogging exercise, over on my other blog – and it has certainly ensured that I have no shortage of things to talk about on that blog – I’m beginning to realise there are endless ways to adapt this project for use with a class of students. Not to mention the potential for using it to discuss visual literacy!

I found a great online explanation of “365 Photoshere, and the reflections of its first advocate here.