Sunday, 24 December 2006

My big change

I've just spent the last two weeks (part time) and the past four days (full time) cleaning out two year's worth of mess, junk and.... let's face it CRAP out of my classroom at Mapua School.

Next year I am having a big, but a very positive, change and I'll be working at Nelson Central School (as seen in the photo). Some things never change however and I'll still be teaching the same year group (year 2/3) so at least I'll be able to use some of my best resources again if needed. It's actually quite exciting to think of all the new faces and personalities I'll meet within the staff, teachers and students.

Nelson Central is also part of a new ICT Cluster that is being formed with Nelson Schools beginning next year. I am looking forwards to this as I've got a lot out of being part of the Discover IT Tasman ICT cluster this year. I hope to not only gain new skills, but to continue to enhance other teacher's skills throughout the year. And of course I'll still be available to folks from the Discover IT cluster if they ever want me to come back and help them out at all!

Yes, of course I'll be starting a new classroom BLOG and I'll make sure I post that web address up as soon as I've started it. It will be quite fun introducing another bunch of "little people" to blogging. I've had a lot of successes this year with my class (Room One) and I can't wait for the many benefits to start filtering down to the fabulous new bunch of children that I'll get.

Hope everyone has a FANTASTIC Christmas and New Year period filled with pressies, good food, good company and lots of laughter!

Friday, 22 December 2006

Edubloggers Frappr Map

"Frappr! Maps are like a triple mash-up of an online guest book, a hit log and a map -- three services that, combined, create a fun and visually appealing environment that will keep Web site visitors coming back for more.. "

-- Kun, Frappr! co-founder

Today I stumbled upon the Frappr Map of Edubloggers all over the world. It's a really neat world wide map that you can add yourself to and browse and meet other teachers/educators with blogs from around the world. A lot of people have posted their educational blog websites also, so I'll have to spend a little bit of time browsing through these over the next few weeks.

On my home dial-up connection it took a little bit of time to load but it's reasonably easy to navigate once it's all loaded. You just hold your mouse over the little markers to find out about each person. It's also very easy to feel like we are located "down under" when you have to move the map so much across and down just to find little old New Zealand and Australia!

It would be great to get lots of other NZ teachers with educational based blogs onto this map..... it's looking a bit sad in our part of the world as you can see.

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Fun with Photo Booth

Today we had fun in class with one of the new Apple laptops with the built in "isight" camera. We used the programme Photo Booth to capture end of year FUN and QUIRKY photos of all of us!

Each child took a photo of themself using their chosen photo effect: either comic book, thermal, glow or coloured pencil. We then took some group shots. I am going to make all the photos into a slideshow, set it to music and add it to the end of year DVD that I have made for my class.

Check out some of the neat photos we took!!!!

Monday, 18 December 2006

End of Year DVD

Last Wednesday night my class and I held a very special "Room One Afternoon/Evening" where we invited all of our parents/caregivers and family to watch a special show we were putting on.

The children presented stories, plays, magic acts, a dance, poems and songs that they had been working on in either a group or with the whole class. They were absolutely amazing and organised everything, I just provided them with a few afternoons to plan and practise.

At the end of it all I presented a slideshow I had made of our amazing year. It was photos dating right back to February and everyone enjoyed remembering our fabulous trips, activities and experiences. I made my slideshow in iphoto but added reference slides that I made in Kidpix, these were simply to segregate the photos into experiences, see below for an example. This made the experience better as everyone knew which photo was what. I also put them in chronological order. I also set my slideshow to my funkiest itunes tracks like MC Hammer, Don't worry be happy, Manama Na and Remember the Days. At the end of the evening we all had Fish and Chips as a big group. It was a really neat way to round off the year.
All the parents & rellies absolutely loved the slideshow and I had numerous attempts to provide it to them. I sent my iphoto slideshow to idvd by choosing share>send to idvd. Making a class DVD was great because I also put on some of the movies we've made over the year as well as some other fun stuff.

Going completely over the top (like usual) I also used Comic Life to make a cover for the DVD. I think they turned out great. It certainly was also worth all the effort, the parents love them and they'll be something my students can treasure for all their lives. I'll definetly be doing the sharing evening and the DVD again at the end of next year.

BTW: Here's what the CD cover turned out like... aren't they cute!

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Discover IT Tasman PD Day

Tomorrow afternoon we have our ICT Cluster PD Day.

I am presenting a workshop for teachers on how to Enhance your Classroom Blog.

It's a hands on practical session where we will be using popular web 2.0 tools to enhance existing class blogs. It should be great to work personally with such a small group of innovative teachers.

Here's a simplified slideshow of my PowerPoint Presentation that I've used Slideshare to host.