Friday, 25 March 2005

Infolink Action

Action_Learning_006, originally uploaded by rache65.

Graham's kids in action.

Wednesday, 23 March 2005

Eltham Primary

Full on with Cybersafety at EPS - this supports the Cybersafety policies and agreements that have just been reviewed and sent out to the school community. Lesson activities and sequences for all levels of the school can be found on Interact. The main learning point for Juniors was to go online with an adult and for older children - never give out any personal information, be respectful on line and what to do if you come across objectionable sites. It is an important part of providing a safe learning environment for all to not only have in place cybersafety policy & procedure, but also to have a safe infrastructure (filtered & monitored) and to EDUCATE. This should include the whole community - teachers & parents. I am available for workshopping with teachers "Developing Critical NetStudents" and also with Whanau "Keeping up with our kids online." So please bring me in to do this :-) Introduced Megan to SchoolZone - a complete Internet Management System - we only just had time for a quick browse there is so much there and being added to all the time. A good solution to become a cybersafe school.
Learning how to use the new digital cameras was another focus with Heather & Miriam's kids - cameras in every classroom Kodak Easy Share. Miriam's students were gathering evidence of littering for their Infolink unit on recycling & then took the cameras out to the recycling plant the next day too.
Heather's very little kids were out finding examples of why Eltham is a Cool School - they were so preoccupied with getting each other in the picture and dancing around so much that maybe we should have given them the video camera :-) It is a learning curve for teachers to hand over the gear and let the kids get on with it so our EPS teachers did well today.
The laptop COWs are being very well used - it is great to see kids coming in and out all day long grabbing them for work in the classroom. Well done Eltham on successfully gaining funding for a new admin & learning centre block - Yahoo.

Friday, 18 March 2005

Hamilton Regional ICT PD Meeting

Well...this was a more valuable trip than i thought it was going to be :-)
By the look of the agenda i wasn't too sure but as usual it was a great opportunity to network - find out what is happening in other clusters, and participate in PD workshops. The first couple of sessions were 'advertisers' - products were a smart tablet - a sort of remote control way of operating the laptop which was attached to a dataprojector. I guess this was a useful tool as it could be passed around the class and students could have the opportunity to interact more directly with what was happening on the big screen - it also had a screen shot saving capability. Citech (spelt it wrong?) are promoting it and have said if any schools want to trial it free of charge they are welcome to contact them. The other product was an Intranet/Website 'solution' called IntraSchool (one more to add to the list of growing online tools) The benefits proposed for this particular system was that it was really simple to use and very cheap compared to others.
Sherry Crisp delivered a couple of workshops - the one i went to talked about online resources for teachers - we looked closely at Trackstar which could be found along with some other useful online tools at We also talked about Blogging & we shared some examples from our cluster. Richard went to one about Action Inquiry which i have already lost the notes from - oops.
The Facilitation Strategy workshop really used techniques that we already use in the classroom - cooperative and thinking skills strategies to promote discussion and sharing - have to practise on the management team at our next meeting :-)

Thursday, 17 March 2005

Douglas School

Douglas School, originally uploaded by rache65.

My first day out at Douglas School. I love this big Walnut tree out front. The kids picked me a bag full to take home - thanks guys. Spent the whole day with Ross. We reviewed the strategic plan (it helps when you want to move forward to plan your pathways there) :-) We talked about SMS (Student Management Systems) It isn't cost effective in such a small school to use software such as MUSAC. Though I did discuss the Ministry Strategy for SMS and the possibility of combined schools SMS in the future. In the meantime we will look at using Spreadsheets for collecting and analysing data and reporting to BOT & MOE. A good part of the day was spent 'playing' with the new EMac. It was a prize for being a Cool School - what a great prize. We made a Virtual Tour of Douglas School. Ross has a good handle on the process & skills of Movie Making with IMovie. I look forward to visiting again and seeing what the kids have been creating with it. :-)

Wednesday, 16 March 2005


A good day out at TUANZ for 14 of our cluster members. It was great to travel home with the SPS teachers and hear them talk of what took their interest that day - Digital Learning Objects,the work of Mangorei School... a grab bag of ideas from many other presenters. My challenge is - OK guys what one thing did inspire you the most that you are going to run with in your classroom???
Kim & I presented the benefits of ICT PD clusters and how to go about establishing a new cluster. We gave the story of how we have set ourselves up with advice for schools who are interested in putting themselves forward for a contract. The main message was - start organising yourself NOW. I don't know why there is not the interest amongst Taranaki schools - we are well under represented regionally in the ICT PD national network. What a great opportunity for teacher PD and collaborating with other schools that is being missed out on here.
I also presented a skills session on the skills & process of making movies with Movie Maker 2. I enjoy these hands on sessions as people are so busy playing around with what they can do - you don't feel so much in the spotlight. I modelled the process & provided loads of still images & sound clips for them to work with - the subject was Anzac day. Email me if you would like a copy of these Anzac Resources.
Jason Ohler was a great Keynote speaker - vist his website where he has video clips of his keynotes and resources from all his presentations.


WOMAD, originally uploaded by rache65.

What a cool weekend at WOMAD. Don't change anything it was perfect.

The Bowl

The Bowl, originally uploaded by rache65.

Les Yeaux Noir

Les Yeaux Noir, originally uploaded by rache65.

I think thats how you spell there name. Translation - I think - Black Eyes. These guys were frantic! My favourites along with a Scottish band can't remember their name - great Celtic music. These guys were more Yiddish though the frenetic pace of the dualling fiddles really hooked you in. They talked about being interviewed by some kids. The questions were: "Do you have any pets?" "Are you married?" Some work needed on questionning skills there. The answers were No, Yes but I left my husband at home :-)

Not your regular Hairdresser!

Not your regular Hairdresser!, originally uploaded by rache65.

Toko hits Te Maunga

Toko hits Te Maunga, originally uploaded by rache65.

What a great day out with Toko. ICT??? We took lots of photos and downloaded them to the school gallery when we got home. Awesome day, awesome kids, really lucky with the weather. Here we all are numbering off. 2-1 ratio of adults & kids!!

Monday, 7 March 2005

Toko School

3 days with Toko this week. Enjoyed the aerobics first thing in the morning - thanks Kelly you got us all moving and tuned in for the day. Supporting Infolink with Kelly, Claire & Megan - brainstorming & question mapping. Playing around with Inspiration & Kidspiration. Practised some PowerPoint skills with Kelly's class in preparation for the presentation of their topic study. These kids will in turn share their expertise with others in their class. Plenty of computers in the classroom certainly makes it easier to get through the learning. No 3 seat stuff here :-)
Looking at Richard's term plan on the staffroom wall - all this man seems to do is drink coffee!! :-)
Worked with & observed some senior students as they worked with some of the Learning Objects from the LO CD - it was interesting to note the clickety, click, click nature of kids as they approach anything on the computer - its their natural way of finding out what this will do for them. With LOs they may need some time to play and explore but then there needs to be time to model & guide - perhaps use the data projector to work through activities together. Have clear learning outcomes - "We are learning about..." supporting and building on current learning. Richard used these well to support the topic they were learning about in maths - reinforcing previous learning. Certainly the feedback from kids was given the choice this was way better than doing things from textbooks! :-) I agree
The kids showed me the wonderful work they had been doing on Mountain Safety & had created Posters in Fireworks to illustrate these rules. It really made a difference to their published work to see backgrounds incorporated from pictures they had taken up the mountain the week before - bush scenes, sky, waterfalls etc.
Look forward to coming back next term.

Friday, 4 March 2005

Learning to Learn - Teacher Only Day

What a great day we had and the feedback keeps coming in. So good to hear about what is happening in our classrooms that was introduced (or reinforced on this day). It ties in particularly well with the Infolink focus & am hearing everywhere I go about a range of things being tried out with our kids - reverse brainstorming, cooperative learning strategies... The theme for the day “Learning to Learn”, had the main aim to support teachers with a range of practical classroom strategies that can help our children develop towards independent life-long learners. The presenters we invited addressed this theme very well in ways that were both complementary and diverse in their approaches. It was awesome to see the commitment from schools to have everybody on board & renewing the networks that began last year - as well as learning some great strategies to work with in the classroom.

Karen Boyes

Karen Boyes, originally uploaded by rache65.

Karen Boyes set the scene with her keynote address, challenging teachers to pay more than lip service to their espoused beliefs about learning. She encouraged them to “walk the talk” themselves and be more reflective in their practise. Her workshops went on to give more examples in the areas of thinking processes, brain physiology and motivating students through learning from their mistakes.

Chris Rowan

Chris Rowan, originally uploaded by rache65.

Chris Rowan modelled the theory and practise of cooperative learning techniques through engaging teachers in a range of activities. Teachers then worked together to determine how they could be applied in different ways in their own classrooms. Chris linked practise to theory consistently throughout the workshop.

Robyn Mcleod

Robyn Mcleod, originally uploaded by rache65.

Robyn Mcleod illustrated and gave teachers practise in a variety of Thinking Skills strategies. Again teachers were asked to reflect and discuss how they could be practicably implemented within their own classrooms. Robyn stressed the importance of explicitly teaching thinking skills and embedding them within the curriculum.

The Boys & The Girls

The Boys & The Girls, originally uploaded by rache65.

Well - what can I say? Lots of food for thought today :-)

Wednesday, 2 March 2005

Storming St Josephs

Have a go with Inspiration! Supporting the Infolinkers at St Jo's with some Brainstorming practise - this time Inspiration was the tool. Brainstorming in this way allows us to group, colour, save and share easily. I uploaded trial versions around the school and had 'a play' with some classroom experts. To narrow the Brainstorm down into Key Concepts we used a technique I heard about through Michael Pohl last year in Wanganui.(Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn) called Question Mapping There is a basic guide to this on the Interact site. Spent some time investigating the questions asked online(Ask Jeeves) and discussed with the kids that there is no one answer to many of their questions. I now know more than I ever wanted to know about FROGS!
I spent some time with the lovely children in Room 1. Margaret is concerned as she doesn't know much about computers. Suggestions were to have the computer on and give the children time 'to play' as you do for any other activities - reading, writing. To get some help to install some kid friendly programmes, and shortcuts to kid friendly websites on the desktop. Don't be worried they can't break it (much :-) Working with Rae really hit home that there are 101 things to hook into online - all requiring usernames & passwords & all in different places. Leadspace, Talk2Learn, Auckland University Library (for the Infolinkers get on to it!), Interact... the list goes on. Did a familiarisation through these & SZ webmail. SchoolZone webmail really needs to be configured to download in Outlook the webmail is not user friendly for some of us who use email loads.
Also spent some time with Deahne and John...

Frog Brainstorm

Frog Brainstorm, originally uploaded by rache65.

Moon Question Map

Moon Question Map, originally uploaded by rache65.