Hey my name is Margaret and I teach Yr 5 & 6 at Randwick School. I have recently moved from teaching Yr 7 & 8 (@ Randwick) so there has been a bit of readjusting for me. Have enjoyed the experience so far - a few surprises but good fun.

My goals for this year are

  • to continue to update the class blog that i started at the beginning of the year. I plan to get more of the updates from the kids as well and get them onto it more.

Check it out.

  • make mini movies around topic or as part of literacy.

  • one other thing i would really like to try is also using podcasts as part of oral language. Not really too sure how this will work or what this will look like or sound like but i like the idea.

End of Term 2.

Well at long last Randwick has signed on a company to sort out all the computer issues/server and all that stuff. So i am looking forward to having all the computers up and running in the school and less grumpying things don't work!!

As for myself well i have been having a play with a number of things
  • We have continued with the class blog and the kids are keen to read and have a look at everything that is on there - especially the student of the week blurbs. At parent interviews last week it was great to hear some of the parents letting other family members know about it overseas and all that so i think it seems to be going well. Goal to keep the kids writing more of the information on the blurb and have it as something they are all proud of.
    Check it out www.area4randwickschool.blogspot.com
  • We have recently had a student teacher in the class for the last 5 weeks and as our gift to him we produced a photostory for him. This had pictures of him teaching in the classroom and working with the class and then photos of all the students. Each student then recorded a message of thanks for what he had taught them. This was very successfully and something that has made me think more of doing and integrating it into the reading programme. Kids speaking into the microphone, hearing themselves speak and read was a interesting and eye opening experience. Something to look at further for the future 2 terms.
  • Had fun putting the video of the cup stacking competition up and loading that onto the blog. The class love watching and reliving the very funny moments.
  • Thanks to Korokoro we have had an imac in the classroom and the students have loved putting together a comiclife presentation of all the photos we took while having an overnight stay at the zoo. The comments have been great to read and the personality of the kids comes through. I have put this together into a book to have with us in the library.
    I think the best part of it was that the students taught others really quickly once i had shown a few kids. easy programme that can be used a lot and in many different ways.
  • School signed up for Digistore and i have been experimenting using these and the projector in the classroom. We have used the animal classification work as part of our animal study and explanation writing - how do earthquakes and volcanic eruptions happen. Kids found it very interesting and it was great to see some of the less talkative students offering answers. The participation of the class has to out weight the hassle it is of setting up the projector and the screen in the classroom!

Great to hear about all the cool things happening- how di the EXPO impact on your classroom?

Term 3

School up and running with Smart-net. Touch wood we have had a smooth transition with a few bumps on the way. Now it is about discovering what it can offer and how best to use this great system. Now we have happy teachers that can use their computers!!!! YAY!!!

One thing completed at the end of last term was I made a book about our New Entrant classroom. This was sharing with others what type of things they do and the what makes them special at school. The book is going down to the local Kindergarten so that they can share this with the nearly 5 year olds about what they can expect at Randwick School. We had one previous but it was just in a clear file. I discovered a site called www.blurb.com and you download their programme and make up your book, inserting photos and choosing backgrounds etc. You send the book off via their site and 2 and a half weeks it comes back published with what i must say is great quality. The cost of this is reasonable and from what i have heard from others cheaper then using the ibook from the Mac computers. Something that can be great publicity for school and worth spending the money on.
WOW it has been a busy term already and it has only bee the frist 2 weeks. I have been using the projector each day and an interactive atlas programme and the class has been off on the Olympic History Tour Flight. We have been visiting the countries starting at the Ancient Olympics in Greece and making our way through to Beijing 2008. The kids are really motivated and enthusiastic about learning new information about the country and the Olympics for that year. It has been great to see usually unmotivated students eager to learn and the other students participating and remember key information. (a very well worth experience)

Thanks to Suzie as well the class has joined to www.tutpup.com. This is an interactive website where they sign up and compete again other students from all over the world in maths (basic facts) or spelling. I have been fighting to get kids off it at times and the buzz from my class is filtering its way through other classes in the school. I have noticed even those that usually struggle with maths trying more of their times tables. The best part is when they have played it heaps at one level (like easy) they graduate and they have to play the higher levels. So they are consistently progressing and challenging themselves more.
We have had a few issues with this in terms of sign on names and passwords (kids forgetting - as they do) but it is easy enough to overcome.
A site i would recommend especially for students that haven't got their basic facts knowledge - especially the boys are highly motivated to be top of the hall of fame, and they are learning at the same time so we can't beat that!!

End of Term 3/ Beginning of Term 4

  • Well i have to confess that ICT has taken a back seat in the classroom especially in the second half of the term. (No computer in the classroom due to fire kind of explains that i think).
The students when we had the chance in the library continued with tutpup and games from the blog.

We presented a power point presentation to the school about our heart dissections and what we found and how much we enjoyed it. Working with the students to focus on what they were going to say and how to put on the slide was great and it got away from the students having everything they were going to say on the slide. Seemed to work out pretty well but kids were hard to hear of the gross sounds from the audience (to be expected with some of the photos the kids took!!!)

Looking to term 4 - am looking to keep the blog up and running as it has been pretty quiet lately. Am also keen to try a reading group with podcasting - either as a review of books or reading books for the juniors to help with fluency. A bit of time management and use of resources with the computers in the library will need to take place.