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Orini Year 7- 8 (John)

Wow- Huge learning journey this year ! Looking back we began the year experimenting with Powerpoint as a way to share our EOTC learning with parents and as a way of encouraging and modelling reflection with students (which worked well - but we can do it better with more of a focus on the message). We also looked at Excel graphing of statistics - very useful for students to visually display the results of their investigations. Term 2 we explored photography and Photostory3 with students and used this tool to extend our environmental writing (visual images helped us develop better use of similes,metaphor and personification in our descriptive writing). I found Photostory3 to be a very useful tool - it's so easy to use that students quickly master it's use and can focus on the task rather than the techie stuff. Now my students have added it to their repertoire of presentation tools they have another choice of tool to convey their ideas. As a result presentation tasks are completed quicker - and are beginning to show more depth of thought.eg. Students were asked to explore an aspect of conservation at OUR SCHOOL ("How well are we conserving our school environment ?" - A follow-up guided reading task) as a way of provoking further class discussions. They had limited time to gather some visual data and prepare a presentation for the class. Instead of taking days it took a couple of hours (which was all the time the task deserved) and did the job.

Here's an example of the usual topic - "Rubbish at our School".... and an example of a student's descriptive writing - using visual images to motivate the writer.





In Term 2 we began exploring SOLO Taxonomy as a way to identify and encourage deeper thinking in students. We also introduced rubrics as a way of identifying success criteria for students (co-constructing success criteria). I found Rubi-Star useful. In Term 3 Student's learnt to combine MS Paint with Photostory to enable them to convey ideas more effectively in short videos. This was very useful in reading tasks as the combined use of the tools enabled students to effectively convey their ideas using a mixture of their own drawings and diagrams, and photos and personal reflections.
About this time we decided we needed some online spaces as a way to collect our digital work, access work from home and share our learning with a wider audience, so we planned a class wiki. This was immediately useful as a place to host our developing collection of online resources eg. Maths resources, games and activities to reinforce group learning intentions, and this also raised the issues of CYBERSAFETY which we've begun exploring.
The wiki was a great initial step but after much discussion as a staff, we decided we needed a whole school solution to enable our students to develop online Portfolios and access resources and better inform parents about their child's learning progress.Our solution was to set up Knowledge Net for the School, so further online links will be accessed via our personal school logins.
At the beginning of term 3 our senior classes (Year 4-8) were introduced to Mathletics. This has been highly successful in improving basic fact knowledge as well as supporting specific strategy sessions taught in class. As you can target individual students needs, it is a very useful tool and students have full access both at home and school.


Morrinsville Intermediate Yr 7 - 8 - (Erin)


The opportunities offered in blogging have made a huge difference to my teaching practice. Over the year I've developed a class blog with my students and use it to upload their work and make connections with students and teachers from all over the globe. Students find the Blog work to be highly motivational and it has played a significant part in literacy development for my students. They now have a global audience for their work and thoughts, and share widely. One of the differences I've noted is the way students have recognised the need to take care when phrasing comments and making posts. As a result their communication skills have really developed, in particular skimming and scanning, and reading for meaning . A huge amount of READING and response is involved and I've needed to focus some deliberate acts of teaching on developing skills in these areas. Below is a Slideshare (ppt) of my presentation at our Senior cluster sharing session.





Morrinsville Intermediate Yr 7 - 8 (Sally)

My learning intentions were to support students to develop detailed pencil work techniques, applying drawing techniques from previous lessons. I wanted to use an authentic task to motivate and encourage effort and skill development so I used the Doodle 4 Google competion. All students recognised the familiar Google logo and were keen to develop their own. This gave them an opportunity to apply the techniques we'd learnt in an authentic context, further developing on the understanding they had about existing New Zealand Icons (earlier study). We looked at previous winners and evaluated their effectiveness before creating our own with an NZ flavour.
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Students re-worked their artwork several times until they were happy that the standard was "good enough" to appear on a global site. Students were noticably more reflective about their work and more accepting of feedforward suggestions once they were aware that selected work would have an enormous audience. The possibility of a wider audience made a difference.
Below is a short video of work samples. We photographed the art and made a quick slideshow in Photostory3 then uploaded the Photostory video to You Tube so we could embed it.





Kimihia Year 7- 8 (Amy & Robyn)

We have looked in depth at our reading programme in our class,particularly with a view to the extension of the capable readers and addressing the needs of a group of children in the class that are struggling to express themselves and are more kinesthetic learners. We have looked at the follow up activities that we have been using with the groups and at how we could be incorporating ICT tools into this programme to further enhance the learning opportunities.

Photostory3 seemed liked a good place to start as this was something that the children had received instruction on. We discussed what made a good photostory (text positioning, camera techniques, appropriate text etc) and then as a part of their reading contract follow up there was an opportunity to use photostory to present photos that linked to the theme of the text they were reading (an example below). We noticed how focused these particular kinesthetic learners were when completing their photostory task - little encouragement was required by us, the children were on task and very reflective themselves as to what made a good photo and which photos were meeting the criteria of the task.







Morrinsville Intermediate - Yr 7 - 8 (Nicola)


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Room 3 Blog Site
I started blogging at the beginning of term 2 this year. We started as several children in my class had had experience and were keen to continue. I was reluctant at first because I felt I didn't have the skills to manage it. I looked at other blog pages and talked to colleagues who encouraged me to have a go and supported me as I developed it. It was all baby steps to start with as I worked out what I could do with it.
It was great to see the kids really excited about sharing their work with a wider audience and being able to access their work from home. I found it a great way to develop a richer partnership with parents. We have done a lot of current events work using the blog as a platform to post issues, and have noticed an enormous step forward from the students in regards to the depth of conversation and questioning involved in our discussions. None of this was evident to this degree before we started blogging. As a motivator and a launching platform, the blog has been a great tool. I am looking forward to exploring more blogging possbilities next year!
Have a look at our blog work so far - we'd love some comments ! http://room3mischool.blogspot.com/



Morrinsville Intermediate - Yr & - 8 (Jenny)




paper_planes.JPGAt the beginning of the year I didn't know what a blog was so this has been a year of rapid learning !!! Fortunately we have a lot of supportive and skilled colleagues to tap into. I teach science so I've begun a Science blog. http://sciencelabmischool.blogspot.com/
At the moment it has updates about what students are doing, including pictures, to inform parents about programmes their children are involved in and to help encourage the love of science by demonstrating the fun, practical, hands on aspects of the subject. My next step is to add some of the students reflective comments about the experience and their learning.

At the moment students are in design mode and are competently using their search skills on the internet to find effective examples of paper planes designed for different purposes i.e distance , time in the air, speed etc. We've found Google images to be very useful, as well as You Tube Videos and written instructions. Students are successfully using a range of these resources to develop their own designs for further trials. It's great to be able to, so easily, tap into global expertise on a subject.




Huntly Full PrimaryYr 7 - 8 ( Alex )

The Best Sandwich

During our healthy eating unit my students planned and created their own "new" type of a healthy lunch food. They recorded the process (great for later Procedural Writing) and presented their work to the class as Photostories. Here's an example of the winning sandwich work (uploaded Photostory to Youtube) ! The students took a lot of pride in sharing their work this way and it sparked a lot of rich discussion about the task - and what they'd do differently next time. As a result in future multi-media presentations, I'd get them to add voice explanations to help them clarify their thoughts and provide more detailed explanations of their learning. Using visual and audio tools to explain their thinking is a great motivator for many of my students and encourages more engagement , deeper thinking and more learner satisfaction with the set tasks.



Huntly Full PrimaryYr 7 - 8 - (Alex)

The following is a powerpoint used at our recent cluster "Senior Sharing Session" illustrating the development and use of ICT within the senior school.











Whitikahu - Yr6- 8 - Brent

The following video is the result of much revision and reflection from a small group of senior students. It's an example of the depth of learning students can achieve in a short time, when supported by the use of ICT tools and resources.

The students were asked to discuss a concept to help develop deeper thinking (part of a literacy unit -ie "The grass is greener on the other side of the fence") and explore what the 'deeper ' ideas within the phrase may mean to them and to others. I asked them to develop a multimedia presentation , to present their thoughts around the concept to the class for further discussion. Students used Photostory3 because earlier some had attended a cluster workshop on photography (developing visual literacy skills) and were able to teach others how to use the programme to develop quick presentations.

This group came up with a quick plan and completed their presentation rapidly as they were confident users of the presentation programme. Then they had time to watch their presentation several times. The interesting result was they began to lose interest in the effects of the presentation tool and become more involved in the task - which was to explore and discuss the deeper meaning of the concept. That's where the reflection and revision came in. After some discussion the students became dissatisfied with their first attempt and wanted to add more ideas and take it "deeper" to show not just how the concept might affect students at school but how they think it can be applied in the world (this was a big jump).


They wanted to add more of their written ideas into their Photostory so they sorted out their main ideas using basic graphic organisers to show their thinking (in Word) and pasted these into MS Paint to save them as jpegs (images), This took some problem solving but they knew exactly what they wanted to do - just required some technical suggestions and teacher support with their discussions ;-). The result was a much more thoughtful piece of work and more satisfied learners.








St Joseph' Morrinsville - (Yr 7) - Jacky

Mathletics
What a sense of enthusiasm and anticipation oozed from these children when Mathletics maths programme was introduced to my class.
Mathletics.JPGWe began by trialing the mathletics programme for two weeks. The company is wonderful to work with, happy to help even the slowest computer buff. The children loved working with mathletics at school and at home and were totally in awe of me being be able to see exactly what games they played, what strand they were allowed work on, how many credits they earnt and basically the teacher can control everything the children do (other than how many number of times they played on line maths games!). To use it in totally in conjunction with the strand is extremely supportive or allow the children to play on line against other children around the world using basic facts is also stimulating. The children have a mathlete character which they can purchase accessories for by gaining credits from their good work. Just another carrot for having fun on line!
The children commented they always looked forward to maths, doing something different, they had the choice of what they did (they believed) and the interactive partof the programme is so much part of childrens world today.
Our basic facts ability within our class has risen considerably. The monthly test gives evidence of this as does the numeracy testing.
As a teacher I was aware of the cost of the programme and I felt privileged that I could use this as part of my maths programme. I made a special point of planning my work using it, checking what the children were doing and being one step ahead of them so I could get the best from the programme.
Recently I have also noticed that a problem solving section has been added. This is something that the ministry have been encouraging teacher to use throughout their teaching. It is more interactive that the other parts of the programme again teaching at the children’s level and really grabbing their attention.
Using such a positive programme with rewarding results encourages both the teacher and children to use ICT further.

November 2011 Visual Thesaurus-Sally @ Morrinsville Intermediate

We have been using Visual Thesaurus, an on-line service that is excellent for using with writing and vocab. work. There is a free trial version then you have to pay for it. I have used it with poetry writing and found it an excellent tool, as it gives a fantastic range of words related to the word you are looking for synonyms for. There is a motivational aspect that helps keep students interested, as the way the tool moves and adds words looks cool.
Below is a short You Tube clip demonstrating it.


There are some free versions of similar software. One is called Snappy Words


November 2011 Finding the Right Tool for the Job-Terry Casey Morrinsville Intermediate
I have been experimenting with practical ways to use video to record everyday examples of students learning. On the way to success I have learnt so valuable lessons. #1 just because you have a broad range of technical options ay your disposal, doesn't mean that they are the best way to efficiently & practically go about a task. This short video explains my point, as I went about trying to use all of sorts of technical trickery to record students doing Maths and ended up finding out that the pen (vivid) is mightier than the processor (computer, interactive whiteboard, fancy software etc etc etc.).



Below is an example of the students video learning.