Tuesday, 28 February 2006

EPS Update

The original purpose of this blog was to record what was happening in our schools! To inform school communities, & to cut & paste into milestone reports ;-) A bit of catching up to do in that department. So a round-up of what's happening out in our schools.
Eltham Primary School
It is good to see ideas picked up from Rotorua being adapted and used in the classroom already - good stuff Megan! Megan has been exploring issues with her students based around ideas raised on the Values Exchange. This is a site that profiles a number of topical issues - students can register, share their point of view and vote for what they believe. Megan used the data projector to introduce her class to the values exchange and to guide some background web research around the area of focus. Students went home and discussed the current issue with their family. Today they shared their ideas using the thinking hats to structure their thinking and cooperative learning strategies to share their ideas. Great to observe. Watch out for more detail on this at our next Wine Not Network.
Megan and i spent a little time discussing ideas for using the data projector in the classroom. Some ideas on Interact. We looked at a couple of sites - echalk was one to note - some useful resources there.
I had a lot of one on one time with teachers over the last couple of days. Some of the work we did was looking at record keeping and managing data with Excel - as this was a common area of need it highlights the need to adopt a school-wide system using a Student Management system. I know that this is an area that Eltham has been looking at and will move on as soon as the network system is back into place - not an easy year for this with the huge building upgrades & disruption to classrooms.
It was great to spend some time with 'PC teachers' and turn them onto the joys of Mac. Simple little things in i-Photo that Mac users take for granted were really generating some wows - that is so easy, that is so cool!! My advice - to them was take the school Macs home & have a play - they weren't hard at all - just different.
How's this for an analogy - How many people can you get in a mini? How many little people can fit around a Mac? Well maybe not a good comparison but thats what it reminded me of when i saw this keen little crew!
A different scenario next door in Elise's class as she had booked the 'apple boxes' and kids were spread out all over the room.

My highlights today- definately spending time with Sue's kids at lunch time watching a newly hatched butterfly spread it's wings and discovering with the children that pumice will float whether it's the size of a button, a tennis ball or a watermelon!
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