Learning is....
Planting a seed in our brain... learning to water, nurture and grow it.... so we can live on the fruit of our learning and plant more seeds.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Melbourne Cup Day

On Tuesday it was Melbourne Cup Day, and my kids had been so busy with Rugby World Cup work, I thought I'd pile the pressure on even more and throw in a Melbourne Cup activity.

The girls made fascinators and the boys made neckties.

At The Warehouse, they are selling jewellery making kits in blue, pink and red/black for $3.  So I bought a kit for every pair of girls.  I was also able to purchase a pack of six combs (lucky I have six girls!) and a small roll of ribbon for each group in blue, pink and black.  Then I supplied the girls with the appropriate coloured feathers from my special stash.  Unfortunately, I only had one black feather and no red feathers, so that pair were given red and black pipe cleaners instead.

I wore my fascinator to school to show the girls what a fascinator was.  They paired off with their container of goodies and problem solved themselves to create the fascinator.  They put it all together with a glue gun.

I was really pleased with how each fascinator came out differently.  In the jewellery pack there was a piece of jewellery wire which they had to split evenly, and that allowed them to thread some of their baubles on too.

The fascinator above proved a challenge, as the tall feathers would not stay standing up.  Then the girls decided the best way was to unfold a paperclip and glue it to the feather in the desired shape.

The pipe cleaners definitely added height to this fascinator.

They also learnt that if you put anything lower down on the comb, it is harder to put into your hair.

The boys made neckties.  The pictures are yet to come.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Richard Kahui, Ritchie McClaw and Richie McCaw with the Webb Ellis Trophy.

Friday, 21 October 2011

ULearn11 - learning, discovering, trying it out for myself.

So I have just spent three days at ULearn11 in Rotorua and had information overload!!!  And this is my first ever blog!!  So here it goes!!

Before I went, I wanted to find out about blogging and wikispaces, more freeware and internet based applications, and e-portfolios.  I want to try these all out in my class!!

The first breakout I went to was hosted by Dorothy Burt and her daughters Ashleigh and Georgie.  It was about blogging.  These are three of the most important things I got out of it:
·       congratulate, thoughtful, helpful = comment.
·       screen shots of things like Mathletics certificates on individual blogs.
·       videos, pictures, stories, poems, posting reflection or stating what they are looking forward to in the next term, class/school events, book reviews/podcasting.
The next breakout I wnt to was about websites for learning.  Some of the websites I am keen to try out from this are:
·       fotobabble  www.fotobabble.com  you can use images and kids record sound based on that image.
·       Telescopic Text  http://www.telescopictext.org/  - this shows the kids writing/thinking process, shows their editing.  Can get a login and it is important to log in to save it and go back to it.
·       The Awesome Highlighter  -  you can create a website, great for research for projects http://theawesomehighlighter.com
·       Cue Prompter   http://www.prompter.com/  great for if you are videoing something – just like a news reader!!
·       Popplot   www.popplet.com  -  brainstorming tool, write, draw, add photos or videos.
·       Custrmaps   http://www.clustrmaps.com  shows when someone visits your blog where they are from.
·       Animoto   http://www.animoto.com  low level thinking for creating movies, but great for teachers in a hurry.  Good for posting photos on your blog.
·       Scratch   http://scratch.mit.com  download it to make games, you can then upload it.  You can download other people’s games and change them.
·       Kerpoof   http://www.kerpoof.com  the next step in gamemaking.
I met Kitty from Taharoa at this breakout and she showed me some other cool websites I also want to check out"
www.webook.com/911writersblock  -  to overcome writers block and use headphones
Xtranormal  http://www.xtranormal.com  makes movies
P22 Music Text Composition Generator   http://www.p22.com/musicfont/ converts any text into a musical composition.  Displayed in musical notation and generated as a midi file.

Later that day I went to a breakout about wikispaces.  Another inspiring tool to try out.  And these websites were recommended:
·       VoiceThread – used to capture children talking about their strategies.  www.voicethread.com
·       Audioboo  http://audioboo.fm/  another web based tool to record audio of kids talking about their maths strategies.
·       Wallwisher (online brainstorming tool)  http://www.wallwisher.com/
·       Vimeo & Photobucket http://vimeo.com/ http://photobucket.com/
Today I went to a breakout about self-directed learning. 
What does it involve?
-         self-management:  establishes clear goals; thoroughly gathers information; persistently stays with a task; uses a systematic approach to problem solving, organisational planning, and decision-making.
-         self-monitoring:  self-reflection; self-evaluation; process of reflecting on one’s own thinking patterns, plans, decisions, and actions.
-         self-modification:  feedback ….revises strategies and strives to maximise his/her effectiveness based on feedback.
And lastly I went to a breakout about more freeware and internet based solutions.  I'm keen to try these ones out:
·       Jing – a tool used to capture a short movie of your screen or a portion of it and save as a flash movie file http://www.jingproject.com/
·       Mindnode  -  a mind mapping program; is text based and can be exported as a PDF; no faffing about with logins, just goes http://www.mindnode.com/
·       Worditout  http://www.worditout.com/  you have a bit more control over it than Wordle.
·       Tagxedo  http://www.tagxedo.com/  you have even more control than Wordle or Worditout.  It can be exported!!!
·       Story Creator  http://myths.e2bn.org/story_creator/  good for reluctant writers
·       PicLits  http://www.piclits.com/compose_dragdrop.aspx  has pictures and it has words down the bottom that you drag and drop to create sentences.  For reluctant writers.
·       SlideShare  http://www.slideshare.net/  good place to find out about things – lots of good stuff about maths and writing for kids.
·       Tutpup  http://www.tutpup.com/  maths, spelling, algebra…. games
·       Awesome Screenshot - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/awesome-screenshot-capture-/  and then you can write on it!!  It can grab more than what you can see.

And that is my first time.  Better see what it looks like now.  Melulater!!