Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sustainability links

These links are to reading materials for our research into living sustainably.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hooray! It was a much better day, Woodmonstas! I actually got to teach some groups. What a treat. Thanks to all of you who settled in nicely and worked hard. However, we still need to work on keeping quiet for longer periods during group work.

This post is for you all to leave a comment on. You must say something here so I can follow the link to your blog to see what you have achieved so far and how your sustainability work is coming along.

It is compulsory. Your comment must be here by Friday interval.

Have a nice evening - I'm off for my wedding anniversary - hooray!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


We are working towards creating well-crafted, logical, written arguments.
In class we can practise on different topics. Here is a list of topics we will cover so you can start thinking about them and preparing your points to back up your position...

Should New Zealand develop nuclear power stations?

Which is better for Kiwi teens? Co-ed or single sex schools?

We should all be vegetarians.

Uniforms should be banned.

NZ should reintroduce "carless days."

We should re-introduce corporal punishment at schools.

Google Doodle

Do you like drawing, doodling, creating art? Well if you do, you can do it for Google....

Google Doodle - see the Youtube video of the competition

Nukes or no nukes

When discussing sustainability, we will need to research and recommend what would be the best means of creating power within our context.
In NZ we use coal burning power stations like the one at Huntly, hydro-electric power stations, wind farms and some solar power. There is always a cost-benefit ratio to consider when deciding which method to use, and availability of suitable resources [e.g. coal, rivers, wind] to harness is one factor. The country also has to be able to afford to create the necessary infra-structure such as dams, power stations, etc.
NZ has a history of being anti-nuclear, but it is a political stance from decades ago and perhaps now might be a good time to reconsider whether or not nuclear power generation might be useful for us here. Technology and safety factors have improved and nuclear power generation doesn't produce greenhouse gases like burning coal does. It remains a tricky issue.
Several years ago I asked a similar question and I received some interesting replies from experts overseas. Read the post linked below and check out the comments to see what the people said. It shows there is usually more than one side to every story and more than one set of valid opinions.

Would nuclear power be a viable power source for NZ? [Herald Poll, comments]

Monday, April 27, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

PE winter sports training

Hi Room18 P.E. teachers. Who wants to coach:
A. Football ?
B. Netball?
C. Touch Rugby?

We are organising a rotational, skills-based and short-sided game P.E. programme for Rooms 18, 19, 20 and possibly 21.

[- Is that a dodgy sentence or what?]

Leave your ideas and applications here and on your blogs.
Enjoy the sunny holidays!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Activitists!

We can become Earth Activitists if we would like to save our planet. We are studying sustainability this term so here is a starter...
Do the quiz [it has a cool flash animation] to see how many planets are required to support your lifestyle... you maybe shocked!
The concept of an ecological footprint is one you need to understand. :-)

Here is some extra info for brainiacs:

One Trillion Dollars

IF you want to see what a trillion dollars looks like .... follow the link

Monday, April 20, 2009

Active Daredevils take note...

If you like action, riding bikes, trying stunts, etc, check this out....

YEaH! [click here for a cool Youtube video]

My Easter break

welly trip, originally uploaded by mrw00dy.

We love hanging out on beaches :-)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Art Project examples

You remember our art project that never came to fruition? Well, I know you guys are talented artists so I am going to arrange for our new student teacher [who is really cool] to help us have an art day on the first Friday of term so we can get some neat portraits done.
Here are some examples of work from the blessed Room5ians. :-)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Resource links for Sustainability

Here are links to websites and Google search results for relevant information.
We will evaluate, analyse and synthesize these sources. They may not all be reliable. Some opinions may differ and "facts" could contradict each other.
Information from these sources will form material for our guided reading activities.
There may be ideas for projects embedded within the sites...

Sustainability NZ Govt

University of Canterbury

Sustainability Council of NZ

Google Search results:

"What Does Sustainability Mean?"

"Environmental Sustainability"

"Global Warming"

"Environmental Sustainability - Video results"

"Ecological Footprint"

Sustainability in Term Two

Our Team Theme for Term Two is Sustainability. We will have to work in with what we plan as a team, but if we use an inquiry method of learning, we should be able to find questions that interest us that we can pursue in our own ways, to some degree.
Their will be key concepts and contexts that we need to understand and we need to actually achieve something real and meaningful to us, in order to make the learning worthwhile.
So, what is Sustainability? Add your own thoughts on the topic and how you would like to learn about it. If you know experts we could talk to or have really good ideas for projects we could try, say so here. Perhaps start a Sustainability blog for your project work, resource gathering, etc.

Wikipedia says:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Blue Marble composite images generated by NASA in 2001 (left) and 2002 (right).

Sustainability, in a broad sense is the ability to maintain a certain process or state. It is now most frequently used in connection with biological and human systems. In an ecological context, sustainability can be defined as the ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes, functions, biodiversity and productivity into the future.[1]

Sustainability has become a complex term that can be applied to almost every facet of life on Earth, particularly the many different levels of biological organization, such as; wetlands, prairies and forests[2] and is expressed in human organization concepts, such as; eco-municipalities, sustainable cities, and human activities and disciplines, such as; sustainable agriculture, sustainable architecture and renewable energy.[citation needed] Many sustainable practices are being identified as "green" initiatives.

For humans to live sustainably, the Earth's resources must be used at a rate at which they can be replenished. However, there is now clear scientific evidence that humanity is living unsustainably, and that an unprecedented collective effort is needed to return human use of natural resources to within sustainable limits.[3][4]

Since the 1980s, the idea of human sustainability has become increasingly associated with the integration of economic, social and environmental spheres. In 1989, the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission) articulated what has now become a widely accepted definition of sustainability: "[to meet] the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”[5]

Sustainable development

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scheme of sustainable development: at the confluence of three constituent parts.[1]

Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for future generations to come. The term was used by the Brundtland Commission which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."[2][3]

Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing humanity. As early as the 1970s "sustainability" was employed to describe an economy "in equilibrium with basic ecological support systems."[4] Ecologists have pointed to the “limits of growth”[5] and presented the alternative of a “steady state economy”[6] in order to address environmental concerns.

The field of sustainable development can be conceptually broken into three constituent parts: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and sociopolitical sustainability.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holiday Homework

It has been a very busy Term One. Some of you have managed your workload brilliantly and completed all your assignments [apart from the art one which fizzled, but which we will complete in term Two].
For those of you who struck technical difficulties or simply didn't manage your time well enough, please be sure to include these things on your blog over the holidays:

a) Interesting posts with information images and references [url's] to where you found the info.

b) Traits of a quality learner - write in you own words some of the traits of a quality learner and list references. Include an image.

c) Optional - with a self portrait you have drawn, painted, etc., scan and post it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lexipedia for word study

Wow - we can look outside the square to find new ways to enhance our word study programme.
I absolutely LOVE words and enjoy how many of you really get into your word study.
Check out this link to see how word study can be built upon.... LEXIPEDIA

Also look up WORDLE to see how you can get a neat word picture representing what is on your blog.

Wordle: Woodmonstas Blog

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tests lead to games

Hi kidlets,
in our IKAN tests most of us showed we have a gap in our skill/knowledge in the fraction world.
Here is an online game for you to have a crack at - it may be too easy for you, but it has levels and could be fun .
There are also some Youtube videos about fractions and how to "do" them. Check out Mr Duey - he has a music video about the little blighters!
And here are the others:
How to add and subtract fractions

And these are just normal websites dedicated to explaining fractions....
Visual Fractions

I hope you learn and enjoy :-) We will review these sites in class...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Positive Learning

Let's list the positives from this term and highlight new or successful learning we have achieved.

Positives for me are:

1. The success of some our our new bloggers.
2. The supportiveness of our classmates towards each other in difficult times.
3. The support of other teachers and researchers who have acknowledged what we are doing as the way of the future in education.
4. Getting to know kids from other classes, parents and Mr Noble on camp.
5. Having the pleasure of getting to know a new bunch of wonderful yr 7 and 8 people called Woodmonstas.

:-) Thank you for all the good times and the quality work that occasionally appears to amaze me

Traits of a quality learner

Mysteryman thinks I'm about to talk about how amazing he is [check out his sports writing blog] but I'm not. I'm here to add resources for you to refer to in ICT time when you will be creating your presentations on the traits of a quality learner...

Remember what we have covered in class:

The Habits of Mind Persistence !!!

Multiple Intelligences

The NZ Curriculum Key Competencies

and maybe Bloom's Taxonomy and Tony Ryan's Thinkers Keys could be interesting.

Try to incorporate details from these in your presentation in your own words. Also provide references of where you got your information.

The most innovative presentations with the most detailed explanations of what it takes to be a quality learner will be the winners!