Feb 17, 2011

Patterns galore - a Geometric wonder

Amazingly fun [not exactly a photo] but beauty created with geometric lines and shapes - lots of fun and kinda therapeutic also! Discovering effects of geometric shapes and comparisons with lines and colours.
With classes probably have 'free time' followed by a piece of art using only 3-5 of the patterns.

Art patterns http://bomomo.com/ discovered thanks to Mrs Fennemore

Feb 16, 2011

To Blog or not to Blog

So to blog or not to blog?
What have I discovered along the way....
  1. Inspire them - check out other class blogs together, discuss them, whats cool, whats not cool, what rocks their boat, what doesn't? Rate them and follow them
  2. Remove the  'next blog' option from the top navigation bar [you have no idea what the 'next blog' might be and it might not be child friendly] How to is HERE
  3.  TEACH them how to comment - what could they say? what pointers for future learning could they give? what encouragement is needed? this needs frequent reviewing and reminding and sharing of 'awesome' comments [use the data-projector]
  4. Share the LOVE - follow child friendly blogs and encourage children to comment frequently on other classes posts and blogs - they hopefully will return the favour. The more readership the greater encouragement ch'n get to write more!
  5. Give feed forward as the teacher too - encourage and share!
  6. Loosen the reigns and allow children to discover for themselves - everything does not need to be word perfect or punctuation perfect - but checking in first is good
  7. Use social networks to promote your class blog - Facebook, Twitter - your own PLN [professional learning network] are great for getting your ch'ns stuff out there!
  8. Use a variety of tools for your blogs - they do not need to be just writing - voicethread, picture displayers, movies - all look great
  9. Promote with the families of the class - newsletters, flyers and posters - encourage them to be a part of the blogging community and their ch'ns learning
  10. Constantly review and encourage, encourage, encourage!
Of course we are all still learners - at present, having blogged for a few years with Year 5/6 students, I am re-learning and re-evaluating our blogging strategy with Year 4 students - with the essence of above still in the works.

Key for me is the students have got to ENJOY the experience - it should not be a chore or thrust upon them! Having FUN is the key!

Feb 9, 2011

Terrific Typing Apps

Here are two awesome web apps for practicing your typing skills.

Typing Monster - seriously fast [ for expert typers] type the recipe, complete with punctuation as well as typing the numbers to destroy the monster before he takes your lives! Intermediate and up

Typing Tide Pool - for learners - gets progressively harder as the swimming meeting continues. Leveled words. Type the words to speed your swimmer to the end of the pool before your fellow swimmers to unlock the next level. Much more speed relaxed...sure ch'n would love this one. Yr 4 and up