More on Australia’s global connections

Further to last week’s Youtube clips for the Stage 3 students studying Global connections:

World Food Day 2011 – United Nations

Welcome to Amnesty International

Pirates of the Pacific busted by Greenpeace Australia

World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature, Australia – Adopt a tiger

Sydney 2000 Olympics Games Venues: Olympic Coordination Authority (OCA) and Olympic Roads & Transport Authority (ORTA) – International Olympic Federation.

More about frogs

After experiencing many versions of the fable, “The exploding frog“, our Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students are studying factual information about frogs. These Youtube video clips (below) will support their learning:

Inside Taronga’s Corroboree frog conservation container
(with Michael McFadden, Mrs Brisco’s son-in-law)

Corroboree frog update from Mt Kosciuszko

Tree frog jumping

Frog swimming

Green treefrog calling

Frog song

Who will buy?

Stage 2 students are studying the topic “Who will buy?” The TaLe learning object, Fish market: explore trading is gain proving popular with the students, who are playing it on IWBs and at home. It is code X01DI on the Tale4Students site. They enjoy attempting to secure a rare fizzer tropical fish.

Buy and sell fish in trading markets in a range of Australian and New Zealand cities. Compare market prices, supply and demand. Explore a range of traders to find the best deals and open up new markets. Find a rare fish. Maximise your profit and reputation as a smart trader. This learning object is the first in a series of two objects that progressively increase in difficulty.

This Youtube video clip about a toy hovercraft uses persuasive language techniques to encourage children to want the product:

Buy me that: Helping kids understand toy ads

Magic Art Reproducer

After seeing this advertisement in US comics over many, many years, Magic Art Reproducer finally turned up in a local Magnamail mail order catalogue. Mr McLean’s mother agreed to order him one for his birthday (he was about 14), and the result was very underwhelming, especially the tiny box it arrived in! While it appears to be a large, commercial overhead projector (only just starting to become popular in schools in the 70s), it was extremely tiny and required no power source to operate.

The ad misleadingly shows the artists using the device from a distance, but the barely-visible superimposed image you are supposed to trace can only be seen on the paper if you press your eye to the viewer. (Then you can’t really control your pencil very well.) Mr McLean’s device had a hairline crack in the base, where the upright pole was supposed to connect, so there was enough wobble to be annoying. When copying a 2D artwork, the source material had to be pinned upside down on a wall. It was hopeless trying to get enough light to fall on a 3D object. The trickiest thing was directing light across the source material to illuminate the image clearly – he spent a long time trying to direct a goosenecked desk lamp at the right angle (that he had to return to to his Dad’s desk as soon as possible).

Mr McLean used the device once, then hid it in a drawer.

Invented spelling rulez!

Today, a Kindergarten student used invented spelling to write about liking Mondays because that’s the day he comes to have a library session with Mr McLean.

My name was rendered as “Miss the Cling” in his recount. His class teacher was so proud, and I received an urgent message from another teacher to “go and look”. So kewl! I love Term Four, when everything starts coming together for the Early Stage 1 students.

Now I feel old

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had renewed my motivation to go back to Taronga Park Zoo soon to attempt to recapture some views of the exhibits originally from my childhood photo album of b/w photos from 1968 and 1971. The result is here:

The original slideshow, of b/w material alone, is here:

I hope other educators find a use for this material! We tend to revisit “Old and New” in numerous HSIE topics.

This is cute: the Google Street View trike visits Taronga Park Zoo! (below)

Google Street View trike at Taronga Zoo

Frogs, frogs, frogs: life cycles, fables

Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students are studying the season of spring – and life cycles. These Youtube video clips (below) will help with the trickier concepts (frog attributes, such as their sticky tongue, etc) not conveyed visually in the big book, “Tadpole diary” by David Drew.

Time-lapse: frog spawn

Tadpoles eating bread

Frog fail! (Dragonfly escapes frog attack)

And, for a bit of fun:

Super Fly carries frog (haha)

We are moving onto Fables this term, and the first fable ties in quite nicely with the work on frogs in Life Cycles:

The frog and the ox

La grenouille et le boeuf – The frog and the ox

The frog and the ox fable

Global connections – developing field knowledge

The Stage 3 students are studying Global Connections in Human Society & Its Environment (HSIE) this term. These Youtube video clips are discussion starters.

AusAID in Indonesia.

World Vision distributes family kits to survivors of the Sumatra Earthquake (2009).

Australian Red Cross response – Japan Earthquake and Tsunami recovery.

Emergency aid arrives as UNICEF and partners work to restore Libya’s water system.

UNICEF and IKEA aid China earthquake recovery.

2012 is the National Year of Reading

I’ve just registered our school for the National Year of Reading.

Australian libraries are supporting the campaign to turn 2012 into the National Year of Reading, linking together all the great things that are already happening around books, reading and literacy, and giving them an extra boost, with inspirational programs and events taking place across the country. The website at is already quite extensive and will continue to grow. There is also a wiki at for resources and templates the committee has made available already.