Saturday, February 28, 2009

International Kids Cooking Show

Whilst talking to my new friend Wes at the teacher conference I discovered he has a daughter excited about the possibility of making a cooking show. I wondered if any of you are interested in cooking. I certainly love cooking and so does Miss Freeman.
Have you watched Jamie Oliver's highly educational cooking shows? He is brilliant and has a social conscience as well.
I propose that if we can find suitable "hosts" and maybe use our school tv studio or cooking room, we could record brief cooking shows and share them online somehow. We could set up a cooking show internationally and get other kids from around the world and NZ to contribute. I bet Teaching Sagittarian's kids in Thailand would be interested. Perhaps each segment could be designed to share local cooking specialities?
What do you think?

The photo is from a website relating to kids cooking.

Teaching Sagittarian

Our friend Chrissy is teaching in Thailand and has a cool educational blog called "Teaching Sagittarian". We all know sagittarians are super cool people, but Chrissy is also a great educator and user of ICT. She was even beamed in live to our keynote speaker's address via skype where she joined in virtually and recorded our version of "Matt's dance", which we performed as a warmup flashmob event set up by AllanahK.
If you're a teacher you might want to check out Chrissy's blog. The dance is shown there, although it's a bit fuzzy. Thankfully I don't think you can see me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bruce's first MoBlog

Visit PXT World to find out all about PXT and create awesome picture messages!

Youtube clip

Here is an inspiring Youtube clip

#lats09 is going off

So far I've been really impressed with my breakouts with John Phelps and Allanah King who have enthusiastically flooded me with a wealth of useful ICT tips, applications to try and an infectious [not in a bad way] excitement for learning.

Allanah's adobe eportfolio ideas are simple yet powerful. We can embed audio visual records of student achievement directly into documents. e.g. A child's progress in swimming can be video recorded and shared for evaluative purposes. So much more powerful and useful for instruction.
Wow :-)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Drop Bears Invade City

Key Competencies

When blogging do we use all the key competencies?

Capabilities for living and lifelong learning

The New Zealand Curriculum identifies five key competencies:

  • thinking
  • using language, symbols, and texts
  • managing self
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why is blogging valuable ?

Some people wonder if blogging is little more than a meaningless medium through which children might simply bully each other or waste time that they could be using more productively.
Thankfully, my students have been very respectful, mature and diligent in using the blog as a way to communicate, inform, connect, research, share products and collaborate in class discussions beyond the school day.
If there are any students or educators out there who could support my use of public blogging as a means to enrich learning please comment here.

Online Learning Communities

Blogs, Wikis and Microblogging are proving to be useful learning and teaching tools for me as a learner/teacher. My colleagues Heheboy and Efreeman are particularly helpful in designing amazing online learning resources and sharing ideas online via Twitter and so forth.

Monday, February 23, 2009

i will miss you guys...

...while I'm at the Learning at Schools conference for teachers in Rotovegas this week
I hope some of you can get online during my presentation [around or before Thursday afternoon] and leave interesting comments on the blog so teachers can witness you interacting with me, [possibly] live. while I present work on students blogging.
If you have any thoughts on the value of blogging as an educational tool you could discuss them here and we will review them at the conference. And how do you feel about the difference between being kept in classrooms and being able to get outside and interact with the world?

I value your input - you are powerful learners and powerful teachers.

kia kaha
mr woody :-)

Spelling is important, butt...

Do you get my joke/pun?

Anyway, my wife always tells me I am not funny, so don't worry if you don't get it.

Here is an interesting spelling thing from Cambridge University in England:

O lny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.

cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The

phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy,

it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if

you can raed tihs psas it on !!

Psas Ti ON !

[Thanks To "Adnerw" for showing us this]

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tom Sawyer versus Harry Potter

It's a time for a show down... who was the better author? Mark Twain or J.K. Rowling?
Would you rather read about Tom Sawyer or Harry Potter?
I imagine the answer will be swayed heavily one way, but I suspect if you read more some of the classic literature available, you might be surprised as to how engaging the older novels are. There may not be wizards and magic, but the authors weave their own kind of magic with the brilliance of their story and character development. In some ways, the worlds of Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, or Dicken's David Copperfield [which I really enjoyed] are as alien to you as the castles of Harry and Hermione's world.
Has anyone read any Dickens or Twain?
You will be soon.... Hooray!

Here is a link to an article on the subject... read the article and be prepared to discuss on this blog and at school. I am interested in your opinions. Also discuss it with your parents, older siblings, other friends or family. Your question for them could be:
"What did you read when you were at school? Does anything stick in your mind? Were you glad you were forced to read classic novels? Do you feel there is any worth in reading the works of famous authors, and if so, what?"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bush Survival

On camp we will be taking bush walks and staying out camping overnight.

To prepare in class we have brainstormed 20 essential items to take on our walk. We then used a "Tournament Prioritiser" [Frangenheim] to rank our items in terms of importance for survival.

By now you should be able to say here in your comments which item you would most treasure if things turned to custard in the bush.

Here are some links to resources we will use in class or that you can peruse in your own time.

Do you know how to find water in a survival situation?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Light graffiti

Very cool artwork using light, by Michael Bosanko :-)

Enjoy, be creative, live life expressively

how does our nervous sytem help us learn?

So what is this thing we call a nervous system? Is it something we need to look after? Does it have delicate sensibilities? How does it work? Can the thoughts in my head really be the result of biochemical reactions in my brain?
Maybe we should try to understand our brains better... afterall, we use them every day of our lives.

[and is that correct grammar? - "we", "them", "lives"]

Here are some links to online learning resources:
A movie about how the brain works
and this last one is gross, but possibly educational :-)

By the Way - there are at least two homework projects secretly embedded in this post...

[here is one]
- follow the link on the previous brackets to see examples of kid's brain art - you will need to make a poster relating your brain to learning, keeping it healthy, or something similar

Interested in Art?

As part of our project about getting to know ourselves as learners, we will be investigating art and portraiture. You will be learning to express yourselves artistically. Part of your study will involve studying famous artists and developing a self portrait in the style of a notable artist who appeals to you.
Will you be a future Gauguin, Rembrandt, Picasso, Degas, David Hockney, Egon Schiele or Andy Warhol?
Who knows.
If you allow yourself to give it a go, you may be surprised....

Here are some links to famous artists:

Portrait lesson activities: [same site again, but a different page]

Intermediate art games: [ditto]

Can you express your musical reactions artistically? [it really is a different page, honest]

Treating each other well

Remember the key message from our book, "The Holy Man" - treat everyone you meet as a special person and you will be happy.

Do you understand?

What do you want on your blog?

This blog is for Room 18 Woodmonstas! ...and any interested guests, of course.
What would you like to see on this blog?
I intend to include resources related to school work as well as unrelated but interesting topics.
List your interests here and let me know what you would enjoy interacting with in this forum.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ultimate Four!!!!

There is a band of educational super heroes in Hamilton... see if you recognise any of them...

The photshopped artwork is by Teachernz [Seen here as "The Thing"] - a friend of mine :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sickening tragedy then Human Triumph

With such sickening human tragedy as the loss of life in the terrible Australian bushfires, we find a flipside - the best of humanity as people rally together to look after those who are in need and have lost so much.
It is so sad to see the images of children, families and innocent babies who have lost their lives in the disaster. We can however take hope from the way people respond in such times of need. Perhaps we could learn to behave this way in everyday life.

Bush Fires result in Drop Bear casualties in City Parks...

Due to the devastating bushfires in South Australia, native marsupials like the dreaded drop bear are losing their habitats and moving into city parks where they and the local humans are at risk.

Australians are rallying together to support each other in this time of need. New Zealand is also helping by sending medical and firefighting experts. I wonder how the native animals could be saved? You may have seen the poor koala on the news with the bandaged legs.

This might give us cause to wonder if what we read is always reliable information. As it turns out, the koala in question was filmed a week before it was sent around the world as a "breaking story". You might also want to research the existence of drop bears and critically analyze your sources of information.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

United States of America, or United Arab Emirates?

It's so cool to have a Clustrmap and to have our first visitors showing up.
The USA has a couple more than the UAE but it's amazing to be connected to both countries - amazing in their own right and unique in their own ways.
Welcome aboard, foreign guests. We respect you and enjoy your visits.
Perhaps we will get some comments from people abroad? Honest friendship is welcome.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blog of the Week competition

Each week we will award someone the blogger of the week award.
So far today I think two or three people are in the running.
The criteria can be agreed upon in class - this is called co-construction - and if we're really clever, we could use secret official government documents to design a rubric against which to assess our fantastic blogging.
General rules would be that you should:
1. Follow the rules of cybersafety
2. Be interesting and creative
3. Use appropriate "school" language
4. Include your own topics of interest, responses to classroom discussion or tasks, and responses to posts on the Woodmonstas blog.
5. Interact with each other and respond constructively to each other's blogs/posts/comments

I have no doubt you guys can do a much more professional and technically proficient job than me. You just have to prove it.
Quality learning! Quality people!

design a Woodmonsta

Design your very own Woodmonsta. Perhaps like the one Frank has met in this image by Jim Woodring.

Create a brilliant image.
Describe all habits, habitats, ecological niches, preferences, personal issues, unpleasant quirks, etc.
Post it all on your own blog and lead us to it by commenting here....

How will you do all this??? Clues can be left here as comments also.

[BTW - I love Jim Woodring's illustrations, so you might see a few every now and then]

Class Councillor Elections

In class we will be having presentations by candidates who are keen to be elected as class councillors. I hope you will listen to what they have to offer, rather than decide based on friendship or bribery.
This blog offers another forum within which to present reasons why individuals should be selected. Create your own blog then write a comment here. Your classmates may even use this forum to ask questions about your policies.

Woodmonstas Rule!!!

Hello Woodmonstas. Welcome to our new class blog.
This blog is to be respected, enjoyed and is a valuable part of your new accelerate class extension and enrichment programme. Through this web-based learning we will develop 21st Century learning skills, be connected to a world wide community of learners and enjoy an authentic audience for our work. Each of us will also receive meaningful feedback from multiple sources.
The blog will develop and grow in complexity, as well as being linked to online learning resources, other learners and your own personal blogs. These will become a form of eportfolio.
Please make the most of this opportunity and respect the rules so we can continue to use the internet as a tool for learning. Also remember that everything you publish on the Internet is potentially there forever - even if it gets deleted. You leave a digital footprint that may benefit or hinder you as you get older.
We will also have a class wiki called "Woodmonstas Wonder Wiki". This will contain specific learning activities, planning, links, forums and collaborative learning opportunities.
I hope you enjoy learning this way. Future posts should be more interesting :-)

warm regards,
Mr WOody