Dux - Daily Telegraph

Wow! Thanks Maralyn Parker and our mystery nominator!

31 March 2011: “To Penrith Public School students and teachers, especially teacher-librarian Ian McLean, hearing support teacher Kerrie Mead and kindergarten teacher and Student Representative Council organiser Lacey Ingle, for the wonderful slideshow in support of the Christchurch earthquake appeal. Creative, clever and deeply moving.”

Note that the article says “sideshow” (sic).

All Black Day: Christchurch earthquake appeal, 2011


World's largest Humpty Dumpty
Above: This is supposedly “the world’s largest” Humpty Dumpty, as he sat on his wall in Mildura in January 1986. (Now located in Yackandandah. Thanks Darren Morgan!)

Giant egg

Every few years, our K-2 students get to experience “Chicks R Us“, in which a dozen eggs come to visit for a fortnight, and the eggs are incubated until they hatch.


One year, I played a practical joke on the staff and students by waiting till most of the chicks had emerged, then placing a mysterious, large egg in a small perspex aquarium, into the room with the chicks. A note read: “Please look after this egg, thank you.” It caused a huge amount of discussion and several students were convinced a dinosaur, an elephant or a fully-grown hen would emerge from the egg. One morning, I snuck in early, upturned the (already-cracked) egg, and placed a plastic, fire-breathing dragon into the empty shell… of the ostrich egg.

Again, a huge amount of discussion took place as each class discovered the mystery hatching. This year, enough of the students have moved on that I could replay my practical joke. To follow it up, next week, we’ll be using this new slideshow on the IWB. I’ve experimented with using the “quiz” facility of Photo Peach and produced a more interactive, online resource!

What’s in the egg?: an interactive quiz

A huge array of possibilities is now presenting itself, as our Stage 2 and Stage 3 begin to grapple with how they will be formalising their Guided Inquiry research into the human body and endangered animals.

A dragon hatches!

A slideshow for the Garden City

Flowers collage, All Black Day, 2011
This artwork was created by our school’s Student Representative Council, who painted their hands to resemble flowers of New Zealand and Australia. The photographs were assembled into a collage. This was part of a fundraising venture for ALL BLACK DAY, Australian schools’ contribution to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal of 2011.

Our Photo Peach slideshow for Christchurch, New Zealand, is HERE!

All Black Day: Christchurch earthquake appeal, 2011

Among the viewer comments added to the slideshow was a haiku, written for us by Room 5, Our Lady of the Assumption School:
“Earthquakes come and go
But ANZACs never give up
May the flowers bloom.”

Kaiapoi Borough School sent our community a blessing: “Kia manawanui, Kia manakitia e hoa ma.”

A student at South New Brighton School wrote, in a poem:
“… Some buildings may fall,
but we are Cantabrians and we will stand tall.”

The students and staff at Papanui School, in Christchurch, said, “Kia kaha te menemene – Keep smiling.”

UPDATE: Only one day online and we are officially #1 – “Today’s most viewed” – of over 103,100 slideshows! Over 650 visitors. Truly amazing.

This Youtube video response to All Black Day comes from Russley School, New Zealand, near Christchurch’s airport:

Waiting for the other tentacle to drop

Tree Octopus website
http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/ website

If you’ve never used this website with students, please have a go when next studying endangered animals or persuasive texts. I had a great science and technology lesson about The Endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus with Stage 3 today.

In preceding weeks, the students had already viewed selected Youtube video clips of rainforest animals, “The Dodo” episode of the TV program “Extinct”, and an array of fiction and non fiction books about endangered animals. We had already discussed concepts such as authority, reliability and publishing dates of the books and clips. Today, in groups, they were asked to explore the Tree Octopus site, reporting on ways the web composer had used persuasive images, design features and text.

For a disturbingly long time, no one questioned the factual content, authority or reliability of the site. It took some students a full 45 minutes to realise they were being fooled by a bogus website. A few remained confident right to the end. Some great dialogue ensued and I know this will be a memorable, cautionary experience which will support their ongoing research in the weeks to come!

Time to exterminate?

Dalek clock
What’s the time on Gallifrey?

I’ve had a few people ask me about the library’s Dalek clock from “Doctor Who”. Now, I’m an avid “Star Trek” fan, but I couldn’t find a suitable Stardate clock (although there were some around in the 1980s, usually liquid crystal displays and probably too small as an effective wall clock). The Dalek clock is quite challenging to tell the time with – even for my adult patrons – as it only has one hand.

A great conversation starter, as indeed are almost all my eclectic artifacts in the new library.

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.

Timmy awaits his closeup.