Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Nicole's Gameboy

When Miss K went to the conference one of the topics was gaming so she asked us to bring some sort of gaming device. So Nicole brought her video game to school to show Miss K and the class. Nicole's favourite game is Roadstar. What you do is you go up a jump and the road is broken and there is a tiny piece of road that you have to land on. By Elliott, Shania and Nicole.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Elliott's Guinea Pigs

Elliott brought his guinea pigs in to school. Their names are Strips, Patch, Dore and Scruffy.
Dino really likes Scruffy because Scruffy bit him.
By Elliott, Shania and Jordan

Oscar's Yacht

With a bit of flax wood and some cloth Oscar made a model yacht that actually works by the wind pushing it along the water. One time the model yacht did a length of the pool and just about sunk. It got all wet.
By Shania, Oscar and Jordan

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Rest of Learning at School

On Wednesday the Learning at School Conference started properly. Here Mrs P and I sit ready for a session on Building an Engaged Thinking Classroom. See that other man- he doesn't have a computer! That is because we 'borrowed' his computer for this one of Miss K's 'fake photos'!Tiny Ted sat in on the conference and learnt a lot although he didn't take many notes!
Outside the venue is the Rotorua Museum. It is a magnificent building that was once a kind of health spa where people could go and soak in hot thermal springs. See that turret at the top. We walked up there and got a view out all over Rotorua.
After a busy day learning in the heat we took Tiny Ted for a swim at a very posh hotel! It had a huge sunken swimming pool surrounded by a restaurant where tourists could have a meal and watch a Maori cultural performance. We got out of the pool before the diners arrived though!
The highlight of the conference for me, apart from being able to share our learning about podcasting, was to hear David Warlick's keynote speech about Telling the New Story in 21st Century learning.
He talked about trends in the expansion of information and how we need to shift from an education designed to meet the needs of the industrial revolution. The 21st century needs creative, connected, collaborative people. He was really entertaining as well as informative.

Then on Thursday came my presentation on Podcasting- Getting Connected Globally

I made the wiki to support the people in my session when they got home. You can see it by clicking on the link above.

We got there really early so everything would be set up and ready to go. Unfortunately the entire internet network for the building went down and stayed down! I had prepared for the worst and had a back-up plan but it was un-nerving having three technicians whispering techno-babble to each other as to how to solve the conference centre's problems as I was doing my bit!

Mrs P took this photo as the internet came on at end of the presentation. I was so pleased it did as I had jacked up with Paul H in Wales to have a quick recorded chat in Skype to show people how it is done. He came through for me which was really great. See that lady on the edge of her seat and everyone facing the right direction!

People seemed really keen on the concept and hopefully the wiki can give them some links if they get stuck.
After all that hard work Tiny Ted had a little relaxation with a wine and cheese to celebrate his success!

This pou whenua graced the entrance way to the conference centre. It was a magnificent thing as it changed colour and dominated the foyer.
Then on Friday I went to workshop on digital literacy and using RSS to bring the power of the web to your computer. While I was there I put my laptop on the front podium and let Paul in Wales listen live to the presentation as Dave Warlick told us about Technocrati and Bloglines. I already use Bloglines and will investigate Technocrati some more. Paul later podcasted the talk and emailed David and asked him if it was OK to publish it. David emailed him back and said that would be fine as long as he told the story of how the podcast came to be. How is that for connected-ness???
Afterwards I was cheeky enough to have my photo taken with the man himself!
As the conference finished we flew back into the cold, wet wind of Wellington.

The conference was over and we had enjoyed every minute of it despite the exploding vehicles, lack of booked hotel rooms, the heat, the power outage and evacuation and the dodgy internet connections.

My next steps will be to create and edublog to record my thoughts on learning & teaching and to move forward the notion of getting a national educational podcasting network underway with the help of TKI and Learning Media! All made more possible with the connections made on conference.

What made the conference special for me was the personal networking I was able to do with 'movers and shakers' from all over New Zealand and internationally. Dave Warlick talks of side trips in education being of value in education and these side trips are so valuable for me also. These are the extras we learn alongside the planned lessons in life!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Our first day in Rotorua

What a day we have had! Mrs P and I had a good flight from Nelson to Rotorua. Tiny Ted asked if he could go up into the cockpit of the plane while it was flying!
Here Mrs P and Tiny Ted pose for a photo on the plane.
The plane was full of teachers going to conference and the pilot was too scared to say no so Tiny Ted got to sit at the very front of then plane. That is the captain of the plane looking at the camera! I hope the co-pilot was steering!
As I was walking up to the front of the plane with Tiny Ted a lady said that she recognised Tiny Ted from our blog. She didn’t recognise me as I don’t put my photo on the blog very often. Imagine someone recognising a very small bear and not the teacher whose blog he is featured on.

We flew over Wellington. You can see the Wellington stadium in the photo. We were a long way up!
Once we found our motel we had a couple of free hours so did a tour of Te Puia geyserland.

Here is a photo of me by the entrance to the area. There were lots of geysers. The whole town of Rotorua smells like sulphur.
Can you see Tiny Ted by the pataka. A pataka is a Maori storage area. It is up on stilts so in the old days rats can’t get in and eat everything up!

I went inside a whare with Tiny Ted and showed him all the carvings. Each carving shows an ancestor. Tiny Ted thought the carvings were magnificent.

After that we looked at the mudpools. This area looked like a whole lot of mini-plopping volcanoes with boiling mud and steam coming up out of the ground.

Then we went on to Pohutu geyser. I took a couple of good videos but haven’t got the time to upload them. I will show you them when I get back. When the geyser went off you could feel the ground rumbling underneath your feet. It was spectacular and we were really pleased that we had the time to do a tourist thing before the computer conference started.

In the evening all 1500 teachers at the conference went to a meeting and Jennifer Corriero, a lady from Canada, spoke to us about a youth web site called Taking it global. It was very interesting and I will have more of a look at it when I get home.

I haven’t had time to make a podcast yet although I have made some recordings.

Be good. Leave me some comments so I know you have seen the blog.

What did you think of the podcast with Jessica?

Miss K

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Jessica's Podcast

Have a listen to the podcast with Jessica on the Appleby School Website or Our Podomatic page or in Itunes if you are a subscriber. It is 5MB so will take a bit of wait time on dial-up. Remember we like feedback! Have a great day and I hope to report back to you from Rotorua!

Miss K

Monday, February 19, 2007

Jessica Ahlberg comes for a visit

Firstly well done to Amberley's Dad, Amberley's big sister, Shania and Tegen and her Mum who made comments on our blog. Lucky for you I bought a few extra chocolate fish. Make sure that they get collected on Tuesday! They are in the freezer in the staffroom. If we have run out I will buy some more when I get back.
Today we had we had the privilege of spending some time with Jessica Ahlberg from England who illustrates children's books. Her first book is 'Half a Pig' and we had already enjoyed reading it and admiring the pictures last week. Jessica had just finished walking the Abel Tasman Park and Miss K had shown some of the highlights of Nelson over the weekend, like the Suter Art Gallery, WOW (World of Wearable Arts) and the bakery in Mapua!

We asked Jessica lots of wonderful, open, fat questions about her work and we are making a podcast about that but Miss K is going to work on it to edit it down a bit!
After Jessica had come swimming with us and had some lunch she came back to our class and drew a picture for us. We were amazed to watch her work. She drew Esmerelda- the pig and also Susan, a character from her book- Parrot Park
We really enjoyed her visit and learnt a lot about what an illustrator does.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Miss K talks with teachers in Alabama

Through my interest in using computers to communicate with other students and teachers around the world I have been asked by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, an reknowned American speaker and educational motivator, to share the wonderful things we have been doing in our class with other teachers in College of William and Mary University in Williamsburg, Virginia and just this Thursday with a group of teachers in Alabama.
We used this incredible piece of technology- Eluminate- where I talk to the group and they can see, in real time, the websites, Powerpoint, presentations and the like that I am showing them.
I was very nervous before I started but Sheryl helped fill in the gaps when I got tongue-tied. After I had said my piece the teachers from Alabama could ask questions and seek clarification. The group was very impressed with the things that we are doing. Through this link I hope to make new links with other classes across the globe.

If you would like to see how Eluminate works then click on this Eluminate Link to a video that shows you how it worked. Click on the distance learning link to see what we were doing.

It was a real buzz to be able to share our e-learning in such a way.

Our visitors

It was like a pet day on Thursday because we had Oscar bring in the pups. Their names were Trixie and Ink. If you were wondering why Ink was named Ink it's because she has little spots on her tummy and they are both girls.
We also had Braden bring his kittens on the same day. There are six kittens.
by Elliott and Kyle (again!!!)

Making our class rules

On Wednesday we decided on our class rules. To decide on our groups Miss K handed all of us part of a face to put together with each other to get our groups.

Then the whole class got together to share our ideas with the class and chose the five class rules. They are Appropriate behaviour, Try your best, Be polite, Listen and respond and Keep your hands to your self. By Elliott and Kyle

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The coolest thing with New Entrants

The coolest thing happened today. Mrs P asked me to lend a hand with her first first lesson using the laptops with her class of new New Entrant five year olds. None had used a laptop before although all had used a computer.
We had to go through the very beginning procedures in how to carry a laptop safely and even how to switch it on and log in to Waimea class.
Although the children are only just beginning to learn how to read they could work out first letters of commands. Our aim was for them to draw with Kid Pix. We let them have a bit of a play and they soon were teaching each other new things that they had learnt in their play time. Even in the first lesson I was able to stand back and let the children teach each other. It was amazing fun for us all.

Miss K

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chocolate Fish

Yay! Tyler, Susa, Petra, Troy, Mr H in Wales, the Bennett family (x4), Braden, Leanne, Miriam & her Grandad, six Kennedys, Ryan & his Mum, all 4 Hodgkinsons and Room 10 at Brightwater School all get chocolate fish so far!

We will make a cut off time of making comments and getting a chocolate fish for Sunday 18 February so you had better be quick!

Keep trying Susa's Mum- you will get there!

Miss K

Cuddly Kiwi plays in the snow

Leanne, a child from Cefn Fforest School in Wales, took Cuddly Kiwi home for a while recently and took these photos in their recent snowfall that closed the school for two days. He is sitting in a toboggan waiting for Leanne to come and take him for a ride. With all this sunshine around Nelson it would be fun to play in the snow. Especially when the school is closed!Leanne took Cuddly Kiwi to her Dad's work. Can you see him on the fancy fork-lift truck!
For those who don't know- we have swapped toys with the Welsh Cefn Fforest School. They gave us our big 'Travelling Ted' bear and the smaller 'Tiny Ted' geocache bear that you will see in many of last year's blog posts.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Isn't it sad to say but the iPod Nano that I bought last year is now 'old' and I upgraded over the holidays to a video iPod that plays our video podcasts, through a TV if you want and holds 80GB of my computer files in its memory.

So we are having a bit of a play with the iPod Nano and listening to our last year's podcasts while we are doing our other school work.

Kyle got the idea pretty quick and taught others how to use the click wheel. Very cool.

Miss K

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Welcome to Moturoa's first newsletter

I trust that you have had some great holiday time at some stage during the break.
The highlights of my holiday were introducing relatives from Northern Ireland to some of the attractions that Nelson is most well known for.

We have some exciting learning planned for the term and trust that your child will quickly settle in and enjoy being back at school. I do hope that you will be able to call in at some stage and say hello. If you have any questions or concerns please come in to talk to me about it before it becomes a big issue.

This class is a mixed one of 24 Year Four and Five children with Year Five children also in the mixed Year Five/Six class. It is my expectation that the Year Five children take a leadership role within the class situation.

Our first topic of learning this term is “All Aboard’ where my aim is that the students will develop the understanding, skills and attitudes that enhance interactions and relationships with others. The purpose of this theme is to begin the year by focusing the children on the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that we believe are important factors in setting up the learner, classroom and school for a successful year.

I have a passion for teaching children through ICT and the use of computers. Later in the term I would like to host another parent afternoon in the weekend or in an evening to help you link and learn about some of the tools we are using in the classroom.

We are continuing the class blog that you are reading now! If you make a comment on this blog post you get a chocolate fish! You don't need to register but please identify yourself by your first name so we know where and who you are!

We also make a podcast and it was recently ranked 7th in the world in the K12 (American education classification) area which is quite an achievement. The address for that is on the link bar to your right or you can view some of the shorter podcasts through our school website.

Mrs Pritchard and I are attending an ICT conference for four days in Rotorua in Week Three where I will presenting a workshop on podcasting.

Our classroom email address is on the link to the right also and my home email is allanahk @ if you would like me to pick up an email after school hours.

I would be keen to have your email address also so if you have one could you please email me. If you know of others like grandparents that would like notification of updates to our web page please add their email addresses as well.

The school is changing its policy on the format of homework this year and we will give some more information on that as we settle in.

Mondays are our library book changing day when we get a new set of library books out so please make sure that your child returns their books on that day. Children are encouraged to have three books out at a time as having access to a variety of reading material at home and at school is so important to gaining reading success.

We are fortunate enough to have daily swimming lessons before lunch so children will need to bring togs in a separate plastic bag each day.

I would also like to remind you of our school hat policy of wearing a wide brimmed hat when playing or participating in sports activities.

During the summer terms also it would be nice for children to have an easily accessible drink bottle with a click lid for classroom use but please ensure that the drink is plain water which is better for us and makes less of a mess if it is accidentally spilt.

Thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself and I look forward to meeting more of you at our school ‘Meet the Teacher’ afternoon next week.

Allanah K

Adv Dip Tchg

Thursday, February 01, 2007

7 February, 2007

The big day is almost here. Remember to bring your stationery, your togs, your lunch and a big happy smile. We look forward to seeing you all.