ANZAC Day at BAC

In Australia, on 25 April each year, we commemorate our country’s service in the First World War . At this time we also acknowledge all who have died in defending our country since then and those currently deployed.
This year is the 100 year anniversary and the Gallipoli campaign is remembered in particular as the place where our ‘true nationhood’ was born. The troops from Australia and New Zealand fought this battle for the British and are now known as the ANZACS (Australia New Zealand Army Corps)
Our display in the IRC was useful this week for classes to have reading time in the library and reminded students of the wonderful collection of relevant print materials we have on this topic for K-12.
Today a service was also held in the Sports Centre for the whole school.

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Maker Spaces in Schools Explained

How the Maker Movement Connects Students to Engineering and Technology” shows how students can learn at a very creative, personal level. This could be applied across many areas of student interest and inquiry and with different means of construction.
Back in the 1970s teachers were trained in various ‘crafts’ to teach students how to make use of the expected increase in leisure time! Now it seems there is a resurgence but for a different reason – to instil creative processes in deeper learning.

Lift the level of discussion in the classroom

This post from Teachthought offers 26 sentence starters to lift the level of discussion in the classroom.

During meaningful conversations, students are forced to be accountable for their positions, to listen, to analyze opposing perspectives, and to adapt their thinking on the fly.

I particularly like the summarising starters as I think often we fail to draw learning to conclusions and to evaluate findings.

Summarizing
Overall, what I’m trying to say is…
My whole point in one sentence is…
More than anything else, I believe that…

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Year 3 Guided Inquiry Presentations – Vokis

Last Friday all 51 year 3 students and their teachers shared a summary of their ‘reports’ on a selected aspect of The Human Body via personally created Voki avatars. We all enjoyed the variety of information and also the reflection of each child’s creativity in their selection of avatar, background and voice. A lot of laughter and peer learning took place! All Vokis are available from the 2013 Guided Inquiry page
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2013: United Nations Year of Water Cooperation

This year has been declared the United Nations Year of Water Cooperation.

I have just spent the school holidays in Bolivia traveling on a Mission trip with Uni students and their High school Spanish teacher – a life-long desire to return to the country of my birth and early childhood fulfilled!

The need for better water and sanitation was, however, very disturbing. We met a young couple working on a two year mission. Craig is an Australian mechanical engineer and he was in Bolivia working in a remote village to set up a supply of water into every home. Previously villagers only used a common pump and carried their water in buckets. Craig was ‘inventing’ a pressure system using Coke bottles – which seem to be plentifully available in every country!

As I recently made a display for the IRC featuring the UN Year of Water Cooperation and in looking at the global statistics for water and sanitation needs it is painfully obvious that there is a long way to go until global needs are met. Being aware of the issues is a good place to start so that more ‘Craigs’ will be inspired to assist when and where they can.

Chaucer finale! National Year of Reading

The final BACIRC post for this year features our Year 6 student’s final activity in The National Year of Reading!
They finished the year by writing and then performing their own ‘Tales’ based (very loosely) on Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales

Every year Year 6 produces an abridged Shakespearean play but this year they went one step further and wrote their own production. They called it The Broughton Tales and included:
The Teacher’s Tale
The Prefect’s Tale
The Parent’s Tale
The Office Tale
The Canteen’s Tale
The Groundsman’s Tale
The Music Tale
The Librarian’s Tale
and finally…
The Reverend’s Tale where a Christmas drama featured.

The introduction to each ‘Tale’ was in rhyme after which the students enacted one scene to match the ‘Tale’.
The Librarian’s Tale highlighted the usual Year 6 ‘gripe’ of not being allowed to borrow books restricted to High School Students.


Making use of our K-12 library again!

Yesterday the Year 9 Child Studies students came to the IRC for their lesson . First they were taught about the stages of the development of literacy skills from birth to school age, with emphasis on the importance and inter connectivity of all forms of communication. The use of books, digital or print, as a foundation for literacy development was demonstrated with illustrations from baby’s first recognition of shapes on a page. The introduction of words that eventually introduce concepts of fantasy as distinct from reality was then discussed – the problems this can cause and the fun this can initiate.

The Year 9 students looked at the K-2 collection of books and as Year 3 was in the IRC ‘borrowing’ books at the time, their teacher allowed us to ‘borrow’ the students in 3B to read them stories and discuss their story choices. A great time was had by all!

The Book Fair has arrived

Our annual Book Fair has arrived and is ready for the stampede tomorrow. Murray, from Scholastic came today to give ‘book talks’ to all the K-6 students and as usual they were engrossed and enthusiastic about all the new books. We had read The very cranky bear together for National Simultaneous Storytime earlier this year so the Kindergarten students were very excited to her the new Nick Bland book The very hungry bear.
The older students were shown a book trailer about how some of the new books are linked to online introductions and then for the actual ending of the story. This mix of digital, visual content with traditional hard-copy text is quite new and we will be interested to see how much the students enjoy this.

Technology forecasts – changes to teaching and learning

This chart, by the United States Department of Labor Futurework, graphically illustrates where we might be heading over the next thirty years based on the rapid changes in technology today. A conclusion is reached: “Fifty percent of today’s grade school kids will end up at jobs that haven’t been invented yet.” Clearly we must be training students to be creative and inventive.
This is where Guided Inquiry, used at Broughton in many classes, trains students to pose deep, personal questions, discover, select and channel information from many sources to reach conclusions that assist in bringing about change.

Educators: Social Networking sites for your PLN

So much change in so many areas makes it hard to keep abreast with educational research and developments. A well connected teacher has access to many people and new ideas with similar interests to their own.
This site offers access to selected social networks so that teachers can link to stay informed or to share their own expertise in an area of education.
This is Part 2 in a series. The Comprehesive Guide to The Use of Social Networking in Education Part 1 gives a clear explanation of social networking as it applies to education but this site – Part 2 – delves deeper

Some of the principal benefits of these networks is that they help you grow professionally and expand your knowledge base to include new ideas and concepts. To be a successful educator, we need to constantly engage in discussions and participate in the various communities of practice and PLNs available online.