Monday, November 19, 2012

Stop Motion Animation

I am really into the Magic of Stop Motion Animation. These are a couple short clips that I helped students put together at the 2012 Techquest event held in Whangarei.

These are the videos that inspired me and the students with their own ideas. 

Human Tetris

Human Skateboard

A film about HANDS

Techquest 2012

What happens when 14 Whangarei schools send their most creative and talented students in ICT to meet some talented presenters and teacher in ICT. Techquest 2012. 2 Fantastisc days of workshops aimed at inspiring, introducing and educating students from all over Whangarei in the lastest and greatest ICT programs and technologies.

Techquest 2012 is over for another year. Without doubt some of the best kids that we have ever had. Quiet, hard working, keen, and very creative. The presenters were fantastic too. Great to have some new blood in the mix with new ideas and inspiration i.e. Manga drawing, Music making with Audacity. It is great to be part of a team that is able to offer such a wide range of ICT experiences to the awesome kids of Whangarei. The kids were just buzzing so well done presenters.

Techquest just seems to keep getting better each year. Check out the Techquest website for what the kids got up to.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gifted and Talented Maori Students

Staff meeting tonight was led by Robin Boswell. She focused on identification, teaching and the learning environment for Maori students who are gifted and talented. While the process of identifying gifted and talented students or traits within our students is not clear cut we are able to treat each student as though they all have a gift or talent.

It is so important that as teachers, educators or mentors that we must first identify where are are from. We must have an awareness of our own culture first. As Robin put it "Identification is key. We must make connections with our Maori students, but we must understand our own connections first".

Other key points from her talk where...

-Ethnicity is fixed, culture is dynamic.
-One culture has the power to enrich.
-Special talents are often only valued or noticed within their own cultures, and thus are often missed or left unidentified within the classroom.
-How do we rocognise talents outside their own cultures at school or in the classroom.
-Start any lesson or unit by firstly identifying WHO we are teaching.

It was eye opening once this info had been given to us to then be asked "What are we doing in the class to identify or foster Maori students with gifted or talentedness". It was without doubt one of those moments that make you self-reflect and question your own practice.

I was left with the thought "So what do I do first?". I guess I need to understand where I am from and identify my connections before I can begin to connect with my students. Thanks Robin...

We also watched a very good clip from the documentary 'Maori Boy Genius' which everyone should watch. Here is the official trailer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Haiku Deck Story Examples

Our Special Places - Just click the links below to check out our awesome Haiku Deck created stories that detail a few of our favourite places. 


The ARTS is our school wide focus this term. Our guiding question is "How do The ARTS change over time and enrich our lives?" With this question in mind in Room 8 we plan to look at how The ARTS in all areas (Visual art, Music, Drama, Dance) have changed over time i.e. from cave drawing, carvings, paintings and graffiti to electronically generated art. We will also look at the ways the different art genre makes people feel and how The ARTS do enrich our own lives. 

As a way to start the unit and to look at the idea of CHANGE we began by looking at the YouTube hit "The Evolution of Dance." This was a perfect way to promote dance in a fun positive light, and also to show how it has morphed and changed over time. 

The Evolution of Dance

The Evolution of Dance 2

Monday, October 15, 2012

Haiku Deck

We have just started playing around with a great new app called Haiku Deck. Haiku Deck is the simple new way to create stunning presentations – whether you are pitching an idea, teaching a lesson, telling a story, or igniting a movement, it's fast, fun and simple for anyone to use. 

We have used the app to present our "Back from term break" stories. We wrote descriptive sentences to describe places that we love and why we love them. 

Check out the app at

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

iPad/iPod Help Desk

These are useful hints and tips when using iPads and iPods. 

Notifications  - Swipe finger down from the middle of your screen at the very top (where the clock is) to reveal any notifications i.e. emails, messages or in app notifications. It is a lot easier than having to open multiple apps etc to check. 

Screenshots - You can take a screenshot at anytime using the iPad. You simply just need to press the Home button (The only button on the Front Face) and the Sleep/Power button which is located on the top TOGETHER. The image below shows the 2 buttons. All screen shots are saved straight into your camera roll. Brilliant and easy. 

Keyboards - The keyboard on the iPad is designed for all user types from 1 finger touch typist to thumb typists. Not only does the keyboard spin to fit either landscape or portrait mode but it can be split and undocked to suit your needs and speed. 

There are two ways to change the keyboard display. 1st simply hold down the Keyboard button (shown below) and you can select your option or you can pinch and un-pinch your thumb and first finger over the keyboard to see it split automatically. The Thumb typing mode is brilliant when you are having to hold the iPad and type at the same time. 

When the keyboard has been undocked, you can then hold the Keyboard button and move the keyboard anywhere you like on the screen : )

Monday, September 3, 2012

Aboriginal Art

We are beginning to look at different artists and styles of artwork from around the world. This has been a lead on from our Olympic study. To motivate the students and to generate ideas we watched this short movie. It was very clear and concise and gave simple instructions on techniques etc.  

This website has some fantastic examples of Aboriginal art as well.

These are the initial drafts that the students did to practice technique, using paint and just for discovering. Our focus was to use the correct technique and earthy colors.

Dean and his sun pattern.

Maya and her funky lines and smiling sun.

Day 1 of students own Aboriginal art idea. Some have created their own patterns and others have used Australian animals as their focus. 

Dean has chosen to do an Echidna. Background work to come. 

Mikayla has used patterns and earthy colours to produce this fantastic patterned piece. Almost finished. 

Maya is using a huge range of techniques to incorporate patterns and a snake in her design. Background work will finish this piece off. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Photography Apps

These are all the Apps that I have used so far for photography and photo editing. Each App has a different purpose or use so play around until you find what what you are looking for. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Must See Websites

These are just a few websites that I keep coming back to year after year for ideas, inspiration and just to show the students what cool stuff is out there. Hope you enjoy them too. 

The Fun Theory -
Great inspirational videos that I have used to begin technology units and just for fun. The Fun Theory is a competition with a fantastic purpose to improve our world.

The Educational version of MTV. Short learning videos on everything from grammar and mathematics to science. 

Yowie Bay Primary School -
This school has a brilliant website and a really awesome resource link. The interactive whiteboard links are fantastic. 

This is an amazing website where you can show students how a bland and boring sentence or story can be turned into an amazing piece of writing.