Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lead Teacher Day

Google Accounts -  need Google Education for class.  Every student can have an account including gmail.  I would have rights as teacher to manage their account.  They could have their own website. Have teacher dashboard - is not free.  $4 per student per year.  The students would get gmail, blogger, sites, docs - spreadsheets, surveys (forms), presentations.

Using the presentation form with a group would be good.  It means the group can all work at the same time rather than fooling around. 

EPS is attempting to get everything off the server.  The only thing left is emails.  Teacher documents are on their laptops and server.  They are envising weekly plans etc done in Google. Appraisal docs have been done, and Trish likes as she can pop in and have a look.  Soon they will be really in the cloud. !!!!!!

Google is HUGE.

Discussion about Superclubz Plus.  Better for kids rather than Facebook. to sign in.  I have wanted to do this with my kids for a couple of years.  I should make it a goal for the kids.

Discussion about blogs, their purpose and getting comments.  Do marketing, house points, homework, kids to comment on each others and other classes, put on how to comment, leave a question to provoke a response.  Must have other classes blogging and commenting.  PEOPLE MUST HAVE THE PURPOSE OF THE BLOG IN THEIR GOAL. - what is my curriculum learning intention.   I have been pleased with the content of my class blog.  I would like it to have more comments.  I will have to try more bribery and corruption.

Smackdown: sharing of sites.  We enjoyed the 12 computer days of Christmas.  Thanks Bridget.  Lots of great suggestions.  Thanks guys.

E-portfolios - 4 students talked to us about the things they did with their folios.  They go on once a week to reflect.  Their portfolios are in sections: showcase, achievements, numeracy, reading, basic facts, spelling, competencies, and general comments.  There are places for parent, peer and teacher comments.  The students are quite rightly very proud of their portfolios.  One goes back to the previous year to see what they did. 

Student lead conferences: laptop, books, and the other things we are going to talk to our parents about.  They take about half and hour.  5 conferences in each class at the same time.  The teacher is the hello lady.    They have checklists for next learning steps.  Students are able to say what they need to improve.   The kids clearly enjoy them.   I liked how Veronica's class had their goal and success criteria in each section.  talking photos.  The students really like this site to show their learning and achievements.

One had a poem on power point.  What a neat idea to publish.

Belinda showed us some of a powerpoint on e-portfolios and discussion of purpose.  EPS have done a lot of work.  I think that it would be good at our 3 way conference for my students to share.  If we had our workbooks ready, and a sheet with student responsibilities and parents actions would help too.

Discussion around Ulearn and Learning@School.  Next year Ulearn is in Auckland.  What an opportunity for more of the school to go to be on the same page.

Some interesting learning today.

Clicker 5

Yesterday, I was looking at the Clicker 5 to learn about the program for my special needs student and assistive technology.   I went on the Crickweb site and was able to load down several activities which saved time in making them.

I still think it is a shame that for all the work to get the technology, we only get one program. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

widget -Maukie the virtual cat

Was looking at Cool Tools for Schools and found this widget.
The cat is animated.
The Website is

Blogging and other things

I haven't been here for a while. My students have done some work on our class blog with reflections and homework. I put incentives into their homework like housepoints and more into getting their parents to comment. Even after 3 years of blogging, I still can't seem to get continual comments. BLAH!!! Onwards and upwards next year I suppose. On the plus side, more has been uploaded by having my students load at home with homework tasks. One or two can use with their powerpoints. So skillwise, my students are more independent. I haven't been using ICT so much this year with my students as I have been concentrating on SOLO Taxonomy. However, more recently, they are busy. Currently, my students are drawing in kidpix or artrage, publishing, and some have been draft writing direct into the computer to improve their writing. They also have some computer tasks during reading time with their chapter book study. I feel a little late with these things. Its been a busy year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Having Students see their improvement in Learning

On a school trip last week, I was sitting beside a parent in the bus.  This parent asked me which level I preferred to teach.  I said I didn't mind.  What I liked was seeing childrens' faces light up when they got something.

Yesterday, I had my students write a definition for occupations with Solo Taxonomy.  When they read out their statement, I then read out their original definition from the beginning of the topic.  It was fabulous to see them realise that they had improved from writing about 5 words to a whole page, and had moved levels within the taxonomy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Taking PD with staff

This afternoon, I ran a PD session on Solo Taxonomy. Staff had asked for help on writing rubrics and moving students to the next level. I think I am getting better at providing PD on topics that I am not necessarily sure. My main message was model and scaffold.I found 2 short clips that I thought were particularly good on teaching SOLO.
Procedural writing
Define Map - making bread.

Over the past couple of years I have become appreciative of the ICT PD cluster websites that share information.  Thanks to them all.

I felt at times I was giving very basic information.  Our AP said afterwards it was all good.  Phew!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lead Teacher Day at Shelly Park School

Today I learnt about RSS feeds and google reader. I now have to have a play as we were sharing laptops and didn't have a turn. All good. My thought with the RSS feeds was to link the school blogs to it as I hope it will help me comment on them. Belinda also showed us her igoogle page. I see the benefit of the page, although I am not sure I am ready for it yet.

I found it interesting that Belinda mentioned that EPS is going to Google rather than "the cloud" though I guess it is a type of cloud with google docs instead of having a server. Something to think about at BDS when our server lease is up for renewal in two years.

At the beginning of the day we did what was called a Smackdown where we shared new things like websites. I am looking forward to the mathzlinks and library skills websites. (also
Library skills
The library skills will be good as a reading rotation during guided reading.
Mathzlinks is targeted at the numeracy project, so the interactive activities target the stages. What a find!!!!

Great to see all the activeboards in the classrooms at SPS.

Today has been very useful.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Solo Taxonomy Planning

Last Wednesday, I sat in on the planning sessions for each syndicate on our topic of inquiry of structure. It was a super experience. My understanding of the process has improved. I really like how Solo gives rich learning to the students. I notice this with our previous planning, and only doing a few of the activities, my students are enjoying some of the learning activites and really thinking about it.

Today, after watching a video (old technology from the National Library), I had one of my students come and say: "We could do a Solo activity with this." I inquired further and got we could now describe volunteering. Fabulous. Our WALT with the video was to learn to notetake. I gave them clues what to look for, and then covered together the information learnt.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Was having a play after my last post and decided to use it to try and get the kids commenting.  Of course, there is the usual encouragement.
Create your own Animation

Monday, May 23, 2011

class blogging

For the first time since I started blogging with my class, my students are making the blog their own. They are commenting at home, and searching for things to put on the blog even if it is silly video clips. With a little help from house points, they are now getting their parents to comment as well.  Several students have become very good at loading pictures, videos and finding their drafts to edit and publish. 
I am feeling good about the blog.
I just wish the background would work at school, not only just at home.  I tried to copy the background and load it but that doesn't seemed to have worked either.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ICT Cluster day

Today the cluster came to my school for the day.  We walked around the classes, and to see the amount of ICT going in on the classrooms.  Everyone had made a real effort. That was FABULOUS to see how far we had come.

Marie was using with some of her students in Year 2.  I had a quick look at the site when we got back to computers.  I think if I was a junior teacher I love this site at the beginning of the year.  I have a special needs child and there is some great story writing ideas for her to use.

One of things I really like about the cluster day is the sharing of sites, ideas and our Dear Abby where we share problems.  It is good to know we are not alone with our problems.  The sharing of ideas and sites help me stay current.

My class blog

This past week, my students have been blogging on our class blog from home.  It has caused some to be more enthusiastic and they have been doing recounts.  I encouraged  (bribed) them with house points as well.  They are much more confident with posting and loading videos. The house points has made us share to check that the homework is done and allocated the points.  They like the sharing this way, and help each other.  I have added house points as homework this week to get their parents to comment.  I have also added a small slot in my timetable called Blog appreciation and we do a shared post, and look at other blogs and make comments as a class.
I have given permission for them to add appropriate, non racist, not rude etc and parental check.

They are very keen to change the voki.  I keep avoiding it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

blog backgrounds/templates

Yeah!!!! I have finally figured out how to change my class blog template through HTML in template design.  Sometimes I am a very slow learner.  Maybe it is due to school holidays and I can think without that feeling of what must I do next in our day of a teacher's work is never done.
I have found a spaceship background, changed the font colours and font itself.  Would have changed the coloum widths but it wouldn't let me.
I was on a website called snazzyspace.  It had some cool backgrounds but lots of pop ups and adds which are not suitable to show kids if they were to help choose. I found the background I used at  It has ads which need to be checked but does not seem to have  pop ups.  I have searched several times for backgrounds and got very frustrated with pretty pretty scrapbooking backgrounds, too adult, girly, and junior school backgrounds.  It is very difficult to find backgrounds that appeal to 10 and 11 year olds.  I did find Homer Simpson in the snazzyspace with large donuts but it was a 2 column template. There was also a flashing robot one but hundreds of robots flashing was distracting from the posts.  Humm...... purpose of blog.

Notice Elmo and Big Bird and the dinosaurs.  My students would probably like the Futurama Robot. Anyway, you get my point???

SOLO Taxonomy PD on planning an Inquiry Unit

Yesterday we had an excellent day at work on planning our next inquiry unit on Leisure and Labour and how it contributes to our society using Solo Taxonomy and constructive alignment. Constructive alignment comes from John Briggs who devised Solo Taxonomy, and is about divising direct teaching and learning activities that directly address the learning outcomes. Also I like the concept of how the teacher has to provide a specified goal for the learner.  
Therefore, our planning has direct acts of teaching which relate back to the outcomes  we decided we wanted for our students, along with using the Solo maps, our students learn to use Solo Taxonomy as a way of supporting how to inquire using our inquiry model.
We still have some work to do to finalise the plan.  I find it exciting that we have rigor in our planning and how using Solo Taxonomy to help us plan gives us high expectations for the learning outcomes for our students. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Solo Taxomony - pd at staff meeting

Looking again for a clip to show at staff meeting.
I like this one, as it demonstrates the learning of teachers at different levels of experience with learning to use Solo Taxonomy. I hope that some of my colleagues will feel they have similar experiences.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Smile Box

One of the staff found this website. It is really cool for slide shows to show off your photos.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fun With Maths

On Friday I decided to use a you tube clip for maths maintenance with my streamd maths class. My students loved it, when I got my usual students back, the ones who stay with me for maths wanted to share. We were sharing when our buddy readers arrived and we shared with them also. I got them to stand up in their school houses and asked Private Mike etc to give the answer. They loved it.

I should have gone shopping for a similiar hat at the weekend. I was thinking we could remake the clip with my students.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Solo Taxonomy

Here is another video for our PD and sharing session next week. I thought I would think ahead and embed the videos I wanted in my blog to find them more easily.
I really like how this teacher talks about how Solo Taxonomy has helped her be clearer as a teacher and when she talks about being a friend this fits in with our beginning of the year activities. I also hope it inspires my colleagues with our journey that we have begun with SOLO Taxonomy.

Engage Me

I was looking for a clip to start a pd session at school.  I found this on You Tube.  I think it is great as something to make teachers think. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

2011 class blog

My class blog has got off to a good start, with photographing my students portraits of themselves, and them using their Solo define map of ME to define themselves. My students are getting their parents to comment. I am giving house points for getting people to comment as an incentive so that the blog becomes more than students creating content for the sake of creating content.  I have had a good start because I organised the blog to be set up before the students started.  Other years, it has been after that, and taken ages to get up and running. Also I am much more confident in the design and setting. The ICT team with the principal's support have decided all classes will have a blog this year as most had one last year and to keep the learning going.  I had already decided to keep mine going to keep my own learning up, and to work on getting more comments as they have been far and few between in other years.  The portraits and me definitions have received very postive comments from the parents.  Wonderful.


A new year has rolled around. This year my goal with ICT is to integrate better in my classroom programme. I had some success but this year I now have 4 classroom computers plus my teacher laptop. That means 2 students can work together if I have groups of 8, and if 10 in a group they can use mine. It also means that from 8.30 until school starts, students can complete work.
We had Solo Taxonomy PD for our teacher only day, with training on the rest of the maps. My other goal is to learn how to incorporate the maps in my classroom programme as much as I can.
Now our cluster is over so to speak, I want to be able to keep the learning I have done, and to continue moving forward with it.