The students brief was to select a health based organisation, visit its website, research that organisation (core values, purpose, service to community, research etc) and then plan how they could portray that organisation in a short 1 minute iMovie Trailer.
Organisations included the Cancer Council, Heart Foundation, Beyond Blue, Sun Smart, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) among others.
Students used the following planning tool (the example pictured is the first page only). To access downloadable PDF versions of all the planning tools for iMovie trailers go to the blog Learning in Hand by Tony Vincent. Students can even type into these documents.
My students had to work in pairs to achieve this task and provide me with a completed planning document before they could move on and create their trailer. Students had to demonstrate the following before creating their trailer:
- A clear message was required that represented the organisation they had chosen. It had to be simple and easy to understand.
- The images needed to be high quality. We discussed how to use the Search Filter in Google images to search by Large Image for better quality pictures.
- Images need to match the text and support the message being conveyed by the students.
- Spelling and grammar needed to be correct.
One of the major aims of the videos was to promote the health organisation to the community. To complete this aim the videos will be playing in the community library to promote those organisations to a wider audience.
I have included two student Trailers and was impressed by the efforts of all my students to meet the criteria for this task.
Here is a book written for 4-8 year olds that has no pictures or illustrations of any kind and funnily enough is called, “The Book With No Pictures.”
The author, B.J. Novak, has created a book that engages young children with words alone, “The Book With No Pictures is a funny read-aloud experience for young children that may also inspire conversation about the power of the written word and the nature of a book itself.”
For more information about the book click here.
If you are wondering how a book with no pictures can engage 4-8 year olds then watch as B.J. Novak reads his book to a room full of children and their reactions to the words he reads. A fun and engaging book with a difference.
Graham Cox (Secondary AC officer) passed on the following resource. A site that allows you to connect your students to the community. Take your students outside the school, go on an excursion, broaden your students understanding of topics by using this site to plan a trip to Adelaide.
“Outreach Education is a team of Department for Education and Child Development specialist teachers based in a number of public organisations.
We create quality learning experiences for early to senior years educators and students by bringing together curriculum requirements, effective teaching and learning techniques and the unique resources available at these sites:
- Adelaide Botanic Garden
- Adelaide Festival Centre
- Adelaide Zoo
- Art Gallery of South Australia
- CSIRO Education
- Law Courts
- Migration Museum
- Monarto Zoo
- Parliament House
- SA Water
- South Australian Maritime Museum
- South Australian Museum
- Windmill Theatre”
All programs provided by this initiative are run by DECD specialist teachers who can assist classroom teachers on how their program fits with the Australian Curriculum and TfEL.
At PBAS this term Jackie and Paul have introduced Coding into their classrooms challenging their students to think creatively, problem solve and work collaboratively. The resources they have available to them are the iPad apps Hopscotch, Kodable and Daisy the Dinosaur. The school also has a set of Bee Bots which allow simple directional coding.
Paul recently shared an article with me that he had read in the latest edition of Australian Educator (Spring 2014, issue 83) called Code Commanders. One of the resources in the article lead me to a site called Code. After having a quick play with the website I found it engaging and easy to use. As a resource for teaching coding I think it would be excellent. There is a student and teacher sign up process which allows the teacher to track progress over time. The site can be used without an account but any learning cannot be saved.
Below are screen shots from the site which explain what type of courses are available.
Tutorials range from an hour in length (the beginner tutorials above) to courses 15-25 hours in length.
The new Digital Technologies Australian Curriculum requires aspects of coding to be taught and is an area of the curriculum that for a lot of teachers will be new. The Code site would be a great starting point for any teacher keen to develop their own knowledge about coding. It is also a great resource to form the basis of a coding program to deliver to students.
Promethean IWB ActiVote
Collecting feedback from students regularly (daily) and in a way that allows a teacher to see areas of weakness across a class or with individual students is important if we are to move student learning forward. At PBAS Paul has set up and is using the ActiVote devices with his Year 5/6 class to get feedback from the students about how well they have understood concepts he is teaching.
ActiVote Devices – The quote below has been taken from the Promethean website.
“With ActiVote, you won’t have to guess whether students truly grasp the lesson content. The entire class clicks to respond and answers are instantly viewed, shared and discussed on the ActivBoard in simple formats, such as bar graphs and pie charts. Gain insight into student progress and use real-time feedback to determine whether you need to review, re-teach or proceed with the remainder of lesson. Students build confidence with every vote, while evaluating their own progress through both instant feedback and achievement records tallied over time.”
As with most technology understanding how it can be applied and setting it up so that it consistently works can prove challenging. Paul has had to persist and overcome a number of hurdles to get his ActiVote devices working but now that they are he is very pleased with the results. Having overcome the initial problems Paul has a set of ActiVote devices for his classroom set up so that each student knows their device and can quickly access it. Paul can display questions, the students can respond and the data can be displayed immediately in a number of formats (selected by Paul). The data can also easily be saved to an Excel document for further analysis.
One example Paul provided me with was his use of the ActiVote devices in a maths class. Students had covered a concept and Paul wanted to see what gaps in student knowledge remained. He designed a series of questions for the concept and had students provide their answers using the ActiVote devices. He found that for the majority of questions about 95% of the class understood. There were a number of questions however where 75% of the class struggled, providing Paul with an easy and quick way of seeing what needed to be revised. This use of the ActiVote devices is much more time efficient for Paul when compared with collecting up each students homework contract and marking all students attempts at similar maths problems to find out the same information. Obviously question design is critical when using these devices and multiple choice questions have their limitations so understanding and continuing to use other methods of formative assessment is also important.
The benefit to PBAS of Paul’s hard work getting his ActiVote devices up and running is that we now have a great resource to draw on if others wish to use the same technology. I know that Paul is currently working closely with Jackie and her 3/4 class to set up the devices in that room.
Below is an image of the Activote devices. Below the image is a video which is quite old now but will give you an idea of the ActiVote devices and how they work.
Socrative is an online student response system that is exceptionally easy to use if you have a access to the internet and students have access to a device (laptop, PC, iPad). At PBAS I see this as a great tool to use with the 9/10 class as they all have access to their MacBook. With the immediate access our Year 9/10 students have to MacBooks Socrative becomes a very effective formative feedback tool for teachers to use.
To set up Socrative the teacher needs to create an account (students do not need accounts) and once logged in can create quizzes and exit tickets (multiple choice, True/False and short answer options are available).
When the teacher is ready to give a quiz they get students to log in by going to www.socrative.com, click on Student Log In and enter the teachers Room number (mine is 83286 which you can see in the image below). Once students are in they will see the quiz and can begin. As well as quizzes teachers can generate Quick Questions (instant feedback on something just discussed) or Exit Tickets (answer prior to leaving the room).
Teachers can also choose what type of quiz they want students to undertake. Options include Student Paced with immediate feedback – students will see the correct answer or teacher explanation straight after answering the question, Teacher Paced – teacher controls the flow of questions.
Socrative allows the teacher to turn a quiz into a game called Space Race. The teacher can choose the number of teams, auto assign or have students pick colors, then student paced answering of questions determines how “fast” each spaceship proceeds.
See the video at the bottom of the post for further explanation of how Socrative works. The video gives a example of the teacher and student devices working side by side showing what is happening on each.
Below are websites that provide units of work, or resources for planning units of work linked to the Australian Curriculum.
English and the Australian Curriculum – English for the Australian Curriculum
This resource is a national initiative to support the teaching and learning of English and literacy from Foundation to Year 10, produced in partnership with Education Services Australia and the joint associations of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English, the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association and the Primary English Teaching Association Australia, representing more than 10,000 teachers of English.
Maths and the Australian Curriculum – Top drawer teachers
|Big ideas||The big ideas that underpin the mathematics are explored and explained.|
|Misunderstandings||Some common misunderstandings and their causes are described and analysed. There is teaching advice, and activities, designed to avoid or correct these misunderstandings.|
|Good teaching||Key content is explained thoroughly. There are suggested teaching approaches and many suitable activities. You will find videos, slide presentations, worksheets, digital learning objects and more.|
|Assessment||Aspects of assessment are discussed.|
|Activities||Student activities that appear in other parts of the drawer have been collected here. However, many of the pages contain further suggestions and ideas for other activities.|
|Downloads||All downloadable files, such as student worksheets, teacher notes, activity templates and video transcripts, are available here.|
Science and the Australian Curriculum – Science Web Australia
The Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) in partnership with Education Services Australia (ESA) has prepared 15 units of work to support teachers in the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: Science as part of the Supporting the Australian Curriculum Online (SACOL). The units are designed for students in years F–10.
These units have been written by experienced teachers using resources that are available online. Each unit consists of an overview, five lesson plans, and additional links and resources.
Information for teachers on developing programs in Science for gifted and talented students is provided by Australian Science Innovations. This is supported by the inclusion of extension activities for gifted and talented secondary students for the units in years 7–10.
History and the Australian Curriculum – AC History Units
AC History Units presents 8 units developed by the History Teachers’ Association of Australia to support teachers in the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: History.
Geography and the Australian Curriculum – GeogSpace
GeogSpace offers quality primary and secondary geography resource materials for all teachers of geography, including those that are very experienced and those just commencing their involvement. The materials will support teachers to develop their knowledge, skills and pedagogical capacity to teach geography of the highest quality.
Arts and the Australian Curriculum 1 – Arts Pop
There are five art forms specified in the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. They are Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, and Visual Arts. Arts-POP shows how each art form makes a distinct contribution to cognition by drawing on each child’s senses and imagination. Each art form is valued equally within the generic learning area of the arts.
Arts and the Australian Curriculum 2 – The Arts Live
This interactive web application to facilitate collaboration and innovation across all five art forms in your classroom. Regardless of your existing skills and knowledge, ARTS:LIVE provides extensive cross-curricular content, with sequential instructions to bring the arts alive.
Digital Technologies and the Australian Curriculum – CSER Digital Technologies
This course will explain the fundamentals of digital technology and computational thinking specifically addressing learning objectives of the Australian Digital Technologies curriculum (Foundation-6). Come learn about how digital technology can be integrated into your classroom, exploring example lesson plans, and helping form a community designed to share resources and support.
Australian Curriculum Lessons – English, Maths, Science, History and The Arts all covered
Australian Curriculum Lessons is a site designed for educators in Australia. A user-submitted site who depend on teachers to post their great lessons so that other teachers can get ideas and lessons to use in the classroom.
The aim is to create one of the largest curriculum-linked lesson sites that values innovation and excellence in the teaching profession. A site that also allows teachers to show off their skills in planning lessons and creating wonderful learning experiences for students in Australia and the rest of the world.
For a wider range of resources for all subject areas (some linked to the AC and some not) go to the top of the blog and click on the curriculum area page you would like to see resources for.
Photo Mapo is a great app that allows you to incorporate images with a map which shows the part of the world the image was from. The app also allows you to include some text describing the image and or location. There are a wide range of styles/formats to choose from and the app is free. The app allows you to save the image to the iPads camera roll, from here it can be removed easily from the iPad.
Applications for learning and teaching
1. School projects – history/geography. Use Photo Mapo to match an image (man made or natural landmark) with its global position.
2. School camps/sports events – use an image from a school camp in Photo Mapo. A great way to make a newsletter article stand out or add to a report.
3. Students could use an image of themselves (or family members) to show where they live. Students could compare where relatives live around the state, Australia or overseas in relation to other students in the class.
4. Students could prepare a Photo Mapo showing something they did in the holidays and where that was.
5. Use Photo Mapo to design the cover for a book or major project.
6. Art/Science/Maths – find images of famous artists/scientists/mathematicians that are relevant to the content students are learning, include some descriptive text and show where they were born or lived. Print in colour as A3 or A4 posters.
This app enables students to create professional looking images and connects photos with geographical locations allowing for, among other things, discussion around local, state, national and international geography.
Note: Photo Mapo is on the school iPads and the Learn Link internet connection allowed the location function to work when I tested it.
How many ways can you use a cardboard box? Kids absolutely love playing with boxes creating everything from buildings, cars, planes, rocket ships and kitchen appliances. Some of you may remember the Cardboard Arcade video that went viral around the world and I posted on this blog back in April 2012. The video posted below is called, The Adventures of a Cardboard Box. Imagination and creativity at its best!
I found this video while looking through the Australian Curriculum Lessons website. The lesson is called, The Adventures of a Cardboard Box – 17 Activities to Inspire Your Class – 2/3/4. If you have not been to this website I suggest you do – a great range of lessons linked to the Australian Curriculum.
What is coding and why is it useful?
Coding allows us to create computer software, apps and websites. A computer can’t function without someone installing code so that it can function in the way that we want it to. In a technology rich world the skill of coding is valuable.
“In the US alone there’ll be a million more computing jobs than computing science graduates by 2020.” Reference – abc.net.au , “Coding crisis: getting tech skills taught in schools”. I realise we are not the US but you get the picture.
“The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) shortage – In Australia we’re already languishing near the bottom of the OECD in creating students interested in S.T.E.M.. Australia actually imports more STEM graduates than it educates at university.” Reference – abc.net.au , “Coding crisis: getting tech skills taught in schools”.
What do we do at PBAS?
Currently at PBAS we do very little around Coding and Programming although we have had and used Lego Robotics for a long time and dabbled in the use of BeeBots. This has tended to be at higher year levels or to select groups rather than across a wide range of students.
With the introduction of iPads we now have a resource that is easily accessible and able to introduce and help us teach concepts around coding. The apps Kodable, Hopscotch and Daisy the Dinosaur have been put on the iPads during the holidays and offer a range of coding options from junior primary to senior secondary. The Kodable app also provides teacher learning guides to assist with the app.
Where does coding fit in the Australian Curriculum?
I have had a look at the Technologies – Digital Technologies R-6 Australian Curriculum and found where where this learning fits. I have created a single A4 page that outlines this information for teachers. Click here to see this document.
I have provided some videos below to help with the introduction of the coding apps on the iPads.
Primary staff meeting Week 2, Term 2
In addition to this post I am also planning to discuss coding in the week 2, term 2 Primary team meeting. I am hoping we will have the chance to play with the iPads to see how the coding apps work and discuss the idea of teaching students simple coding concepts.