Archive | May, 2013

Movie Premiere and Book Launch

31 May

On Tuesday I went to a Movie Premiere and a Book Launch.

I know what you are thinking………..How did I score two invites in one day?

Well …. they happened in my classroom.

This term for history the students had to research their own personal history (Yep, the whole 5/6 years that they have been alive for).  The students filled an “All About Me Bag” with items from their past.

Bag

We have been using these items for our weekly show and share presentations.  The students then also used these items to film a short (very short – about 1 minute each) documentary about their lives so far.

We used the app iMovie on the iPads to film ourselves.  The students filmed each other (there were a few missing heads) and I did the editing, which ended up being 27 minutes of footage.

In Religion this term we have been looking at prayers, the different types of prayers and the different ways we can pray.  One of the prayers we looked at were “Sorry Prayers”, where students had to reflect on a time when they didn’t make a good choice.  The students typed up their prayers on the computer, illustrated them and we copied and bound them to make a book for each of the students to keep.  We even donated a copy to our school library.

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To showcase our great achievements we decided to hold a Movie Premiere and Book Launch together, inviting the parents in to join us.

As all good parties do we made popcorn (gloves worn to meet strict hygiene standards!) and a Hollywood walk of fame with our handprints on it.

popcorn

The parents loved it and our documentary definitely got a few laughs (it nearly could be reclassified as a comedy!).

Today I am linking up with FLOG YOUR BLOG FRIDAY

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iPad Inservice

29 May

On Monday I was soooooooo excited as I got to go to an iPad inservice for school.

The guy running it was excellent and the school he teaches at has one to one iPads for Year 1 and 2 (it’s on their book list!). How amazing is that? Ahh, that would be my dream.  My classroom only has 4.

Anyway for those that are interested these are the apps that he showed us.  What I loved best about them was that they all were CREATING apps, not games.

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This term we have been using iMovie to film documentaries about ourselves for history (we had a Movie Premiere with our parents yesterday).

I am now dreaming of what I can get my class to do next term while using the iPads.  Maybe a time lapse video or a book trailer or an ibook!

I am linking up with My Little Drummer Boys and Twinkle in the Eye for Wordless Wednesday.

100 Item Declutter

28 May

Inspired by a blog post that I read about decluttering, I decided to take on a decluttering challenge myself.

The Challenge: Rid yourself of 100 items that you do not need.

I had this idea circling around in my head the day I cleaned out our office.  Our office was in a dire need of a clean up (you know when a room gets to a point where you just stand in the door way and place items in there – hoping that everything doesn’t fall down on top of you).

By the end of the office clean up I had a pile of items that we no longer used and were basically just storing (or maybe even hoarding).

I decided then and there it was time to declutter!

I found the first 40 items no sweat, then I had a bit of a slump before I found another 40 more.  I have to admit the last 20 items I actually had to open cupboards and look!. But I did manage to easily find 100 items that I no longer needed.

gumtree sale

So, what did I do with them you ask? I listed some of them on Gumtree (using the iPhone app) and the rest went into a box for St Vinnies.

I photographed and uploaded the saleable items onto Gumtree (I was calling it a Gumtree garage sale) for free.

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They were priced between $1 – $250 and I made $1148! Just for selling stuff I no longer used!

I was pretty impressed with my efforts.  Not all the items I listed on Gumtree sold so they were donated.

In the end I sold 82 items on gumtree and I donated 34 items to St Vinnies.

and my house now holds over 100 items less!

I am however concerned that I have some hoarding qualities – I sold 6 wallets/handbags on gumtree!

I dare you to do the 100 item declutter challenge too – you will surprise yourself (I actually think I could probably go another 100!).

Today I am linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I Blog on Tuesdays).

Under 8’s Week

25 May

Here is my Five for Friday teacher post.

This week was super BUSY!!

We had:

  • Run offs for the sports carnival
  • Choir practice for the Eisteddfod this weekend
  • School Photo’s
  • We filmed our documentary for History
  • Typed up our prayer for our Prayer Books we are making
  • AND had UNDER 8’s DAY

Check out a few of the activities we set up for this special day.

  1. Cloud Dough –  This was easy to make, just flour and oil (8:1 ratio)IMG_1376
  2. Coloured Rice – 10 Kgs of coloured rice and a few drops of food colouring made this!IMG_1377
  3. Icing Biscuits – this activity was a hit!!Biscuits
  4. Pasta Necklaces – Always a popular activity.IMG_1378
  5. Bubble Blowing this activity was good to burn off the sugar from the iced biscuits!BubblesFive_for_FridayToday I am linking up with FLOG YOUR BLOG FRIDAY

What’s with the weather?

21 May

I’m not quite sure what has happened but the weather has turned for the worst where I am.

It is freezing.  The flannelette sheets went on the bed this weekend and the reverse cycle air cons were switched over to heat.

Yesterday I bought a winter coat to school to leave in my classroom for playground duty and swapped my wide brim summer hat for a smaller felt (warmer) one.  I definitely need to rug up to do playground duty at the moment.

As murphys law would have it, this Thursday is under 8’s day.  Three weeks ago I picked what I thought would be a fun and easy activity to run – Goop, Slime and Water Play!!  Yep! I am totally looking forward to sticking my hand in freezing cold water and being wet for 2 hours on a windy oval!

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Wish me Luck!

Today I am linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I Blog on Tuesdays).

Do we have to grade them?

18 May

On Friday afternoon a parent asked me what I was doing for the weekend.

I replied that I would be spending the day on Sunday at school preparing for report cards.  She replied with: “Really, the Preps will get report cards?…….at this age?” God bless her.  I didn’t want to shock her even more with the fact that they would be graded A – E for both academics and effort.

As I prepare for the reporting onslaught that is ahead of me I am finding it really hard as I want to give all my 4,5 and 6 year olds an A grade.  Honestly they are ALL doing the best for where they are at on their own learning journey.  Yes, there are some kids doing more than others but that is OK because I know each child is doing the best for where they are at.

A+

I shudder with the wording for report cards – very high, limited, partially and support required (I have four years olds in my class – of course they need support!).

I wonder about the impact these words and grades have on both parents and students at this early stage of their schooling.

I always tell parents that as not all children learn to walk at exactly the same age, the same goes for reading.  They will all start reading at different ages (and let’s not forget I have Preps who are born 11 months apart – they are NOT the same age anyway!).  So it does seem unfair to then grade them as a unified group on what they are doing right now.

My preference would be a portfolio of the students work given to parents and a meeting to discuss what they are doing and where we will be heading to next on their learning journey.

Well, that’s enough wishing for today, I better get back to my A, B, C, D and E’s.

I do sometimes wonder if I were being graded as the teacher what grade would I get?

Five For Friday – Class Visitors

17 May

Here is my Five for Friday teacher post.

The five new things in my classroom this week were.

  1. Police Station – Our ‘special’ outdoor activity was a police station.  We had lots of bank robberies this week!
  2. Crayon Painting  – This was our painting experience this week.IMG_1334IMG_1335
  3. Class Visitors – This week we were so lucky to have two Sisters from Manila visit our classroom. They spent the morning with us on Wednesday – observing our classroom.  You can imagine how intrigued the students were by them.IMG_1338
  4. Documentaries – This week we started filming our “All About Me” documentaries using our iPads for our history assessments.  We had to do a few takes for some but we are getting there.IMG_1341
  5. Comparing Length – This week in maths we have been looking at length.  You know you’re doing it well when students come up to you at lunch time to telll you that they have compared their lunch to see who has the longest sandwich!IMG_1337Five_for_Friday

Today I am linking up with FLOG YOUR BLOG FRIDAY