Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Pie" Charts plus Sausage Rolls

Healthy eating issues are very serious and we need to be aware of what we are eating as it affects our health, our mental preparedness for working and our general mood.
As part of our stats investigation we are designing new mini topics to investigate in our maths groups.
Today one group visited the local bakery to gather data on what ratios/proportions/percentages/fractions of the food available were healthy or unhealthy. Our first group gathered data in two ways - as a tally chart in food groups and as a visual representation based on the cabinets and what they were filled with. To follow up, the girls decided to put the data into a pie chart. Then they decided to make an actual pie, bring it to class, divide it up in to the correctly proportioned sections, photograph it, eat it, upload the images and written descriptions to either their blogs or wikis as evidence of their learning.
After that, they can transfer the new knowledge into a health lesson and as a recommendation report for the canteen.

Monday, March 30, 2009

WOW! Teamwork Rulz...

And Camaraderie - I am so thrilled by some of the comments on the previous post. There really seems to be a strong, positive spirit in the class. I would like to create more roles that exceptional people can fill so they can experience the realities of leadership and have a chance to display their skills.
MYSTERYMAN - I think you may need to be "el Presidente".
BuBBLeS - I think you may need to be the Empress/Queen/Supreme OverLOrdette.
OtherBoy - Maybe you could be some kind of wise and benevolent advisor to the King [ a very powerful and clever power broker.
So many more of you are starting to stand out as intellectually curious and passionate people who care about their education and their classmates. I love it!
Grandvisiers, Viceroys, Empresses, Chamberlains, Jesters, Magicians, Sheriffs... the list goes on - let's create an alternative fantasy version of the classroom gang and write a story about it.
Any other creative ideas? We could play it out in class then write about it and publish it on the web. We could have musicians who create sounds tracks. Designers who create the artwork. Editors, proof readers, creative, directors,

the affect [- or is that effect?] of one noisy group

We are currently gathering more data on factors which affect our learning.
In our splendid class we have table groups. One particular group is quite often noisy and disruptive. They claim that they are on task, which often they are. What I am interested in finding out is how does it affect the rest of you? Can you explain in polite terms how it affects the working environment in the class? Maybe it has a positive influence by adding amusement or perhaps it could be like the music and somehow create positive working energy. Maybe you find it wastes time and creates negativity. Possibly it could be a balance of the two and it may depend on picking the right time to chat and share a laugh.
Feel free to add your hypotheses [- the plural of hypothesis, KarateKid].
Also please explain what hypothesis means.
And if you don't know, add it to your word study list.

N.B. I really enjoy the vibrancy of the people involved. I am simply concerned about the disruptiveness.

p.s. Can anyone tell me what N.B. stands for and what it means?

How does raucous music help us learn?

Today we did an experiment in class.
To investigate how music affects our ability to learn, we tried performing standard classroom learning tasks whilst listening to drum n bass [by Concord Dawn]. Secondly, we added a movement factor for kinaesthetic learners. Trying to "drum" in time on our desks was the next phase.
Describe here how it affected [or is that effected?] you as a learner.
Can you suggest other learning activities to try with music to add more result data to our investigation?
Thirdly, as a learning experience, was this useful or memorable? Please be specific as to why/why not.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Speed Chess to Drum n Bass

Speed Chess and Drum n Bass!

Today I had my best time so far this year in class [actually library] time. We played speed chess and made up drum n bass music to go with it - my blond associate who shall remain nameless [cybersafety] was awesome musically and we kept it up for about 40 minutes i reckon.
Next week we should create some drum n bass sound tracks to go with our new song "Speed Chess".
Here are some images of real speed chess and real drum n bass, including NZ's own Concord Dawn! [one of my fave "bands"]
Hooray for random fun at school!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ideas for artists and homework reminder

I have noticed at least one person in class who makes art works very similar in nature to the way Gustav Klimt creates paintings with a collage feel to them. You may like to consider Klimt as a possibility for someone to "copy".
Here is an example of his work.

Please also remember to bring in art books with examples of portraiture that you will be using as inspiration for your self portrait next week.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Typing skills required

One of our brilliant students pointed out that with one computer and awful typing skills we are too slow to get our work published. I suggest we use a typing tutor programme to get our skills up to speed. Does anyone know of a free one online? If so, please comment here with a link to the site.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Census at School 2009

As part of your statistics study you have homework to complete during week 7.
[You may do it at school if you can't at home]

Log on to:


Use the code you have written in your homework diary.

Complete the census survey questions honestly.

We will do follow up activities at school.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Camp Photos

"Please Sir, may I have some more?", some hapless child begs for more gruel in the dining hall.
[photo by Gill B]

Sign in and state here whether or not you have your parents permission to have your camp photos displayed here....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Camp was great!

I loved camp - it was really cool for me to get to know you guys better in an out of school situation.
List your favourite things about camp here.
I will post some photos on Flickr or here tomorrow :-)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Camp reminders and questions

Remember your camp booklet, soap, non-aerosol deodorant, bribes for Mr Woody, day pack, towel, etc.
Remember to meet at the front of the school on Sunday, 10:30am with your packed lunch and drink bottle.
See you then. Leave questions or other reminders here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

NObel WOw!

The first person to name this chap shall receive a sour snake [because learning should be for bribes, not the intrinsic pleasure ... please note the dripping sarcasm]. Explain how he relates to this post for more naturally sweetened joy. :-)

This is an awesome site with educational games which we will review in class. Get an advantage by playing at home ... if your parents will let you.
Pay particular attention to games about "the body" - the human body that is. We are, afterall, engaging in the study of science in the Living World strand.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Artist blogpost example

Pablo Picasso

I used to think Picasso was a useless artist because I first saw his works as peculiar, childlike drawings that looked rather silly. I was seeing his cubism and other later works as lacking in skill when really, they were the product of a long journey which was better understood by beginning at... where else? - the beginning.
I had this opportunity when travelling in Europe. I was in Barcelona and stumbled upon a place called the Picasso Museum. Once inside, I was treated to a chronological display of Picasso's works, ranging from when he was just a little boy, painting magnificent portraits, through his various phases of development. For example, the Blue Period, cubism, etc.
In class we looked at some of his work and you even tried your hand at copying his technique.
I will try to bring in the amazing painting that a former student did based on his famous piece, Guernica. It is truly brilliant and now hangs on the wall of my art collector friend [I purchased it from her] alongside a Ralph Hotere and various other notable works.
Actually, that reminds me of another interesting artist I now love but once thought was useless - NZ's own Colin McCahon.

Here are some other related and interesting links:

Do you remember Mr Potato Head? Well try this interactive site ...

Or virtually visit the Barcelona Picasso Museum

For Ralph Hotere click here
[Any idea why I chose black for the Hotere link? Look at some of his work]

For Colin McCahon Google Image results click here

Colin McCahon with his work

[btw - always save your work... a computer glitch nearly lost me this post - i was able to find it again in the drafts section after rebooting - phewf!!!]

Look back through the posts to find...

Your task, Woodmonstas, is to find the post with the discussion about our assignment to do with ourselves as learners. We must hit the ground running with it when we return from camp. Sadly this term is disrupted heavily with conferences, camps, testing and getting to know one another [- okay, that last one is very important and enjoyable].
Mostly, the research is into how we learn, starting with the habits of mind work we did, then moving onto the nervous sytem and the brain investigation. Soon we need to investigate our personal learning styles through the various systems that are available to help us understand our learning styles. We are all different and "one size doesn't fit all". Can you explain what I mean by that?

For now, in your own blogs, I would like you to create a post about an artist you like. Show some examples of their work that you enjoy.
Do you know how to upload pictures to your blog? I have demonstrated in class and will again. Post links to websites that you think are valuable for anyone wanting to learn about them and any url's of places you have found information. And make a personal statement about why you enjoy their work.
I will post an example above this post.

[This is why it is important to access the blog and to try to do what I ask - it is part of your class work. I am not just trying to amuse myself whilst sitting at home. Some of you are doing a GREAT JOB! In fact, several of you even seem to have an international following already. Well done!]

Monday, March 2, 2009

Week Five Stats assignment

Our week 5 Statistical investigation has been introduced in class. By Tuesday [tomorrow] all students must be in pairs or trios having decided upon their chosen topic for investigation.
We have looked at appropriate topics and methodology in class.
It would be helpful if students could be supported with selecting a topic, gathering data [unless completed at school where time will be made available each day] and perhaps watching for relevant newspaper or television items that will help him/her with analysing the information and forming a conclusion.
Data must be collected, analysed and presented in appropriate ways by Friday this week before we go on camp. [If something brilliant has been designed that needs further time I can always make allowances.]
Following the survey design, data collection, anlaysis and presentation, the students must write a brief article to explain their findings then decide upon future action to take based on their investigation. There must be a clear goal for their research to make it purposeful. For example,
surveying free range egg purchasing habits then embarking upon an educational programme for classes to help them understand why battery farming is uncool.

Some of the resources we access in class are linked below:


A very well developed educational wiki by our neighbours in Room 19

Ideas for Investigations

Basic graphing

Digital Learning Objects to support the learning [username and password available in class]