Hi. I'm Stu and I'm currently teaching a Year 5 class at Muritai School. I am also the ICT Lead Teacher at Muritai.
I'm really looking forward to this year, especially having a go with podcasting and blogging with my class. Check out my class blog to find out what is happening in Room 13 at the moment.


Action Research
I am working with a group of four reluctant readers who need to work on decoding, fluency and comprehension. The purpose of my action research is to improve their overall reading and confidence in reading aloud. We are also trying to improve the boys attitude to reading. The initial timeframe of the project is three weeks. The boys will be given reading material to listen to with the support of a listening post until they feel they have mastered the text and can read aloud to an adult. They then record themselves reading the book using Garageband to make this into a podcast. There will be some form of response to the text involved in the podcast. These podcasts will then be published online to Podomatic with a screen shot and link added to our class blog. The podcasts will be presented to our junior buddy class where some will become listening post activities. We are assessing the impact of using the podcasts by looking at running record results and an attitude survey that will given at the beginning and at the end.

Check out our podcast episode below:
Stu's podcast

    29/6: Man this was a mission!! The children really enjoyed the podcasting experience yet it involved a lot of managing and monitoring on my part. The children regularly made errors with their recording and lost their work!! Will try to have another attempt at this next term but might have a go with voicethread as I find this really easy to use. I've tried it out during our recent writing unit on exposition. Children recorded their opinions on various topics . The children picked up the recording and doodling really quickly and they we able to quickly review their recording. I like it! Here's one we completed below.

    Good job Stu- the Voicethread looks/sounds great- How did you pop in the windmills?

    Hi Nigel - I used the alpha tool on Keynote - loving it!!! That was an interesting activity because several children in the class actually believed me when I said wind turbines were going to be built in Days Bay. One child was freaked that her house was going to knocked down to make way for it...but she still thought they were a good idea!

    I have really enjoyed using Voicethread and we have included it into our planning for this coming term where we are looking at Poetry and procedure writing for the Olympics. I intend to use Voicethread for children to share their poetry where an image to support it. Later in the term I would like to use it for children to explain how an Olympic event is run using photos and the doodling tool.

    Our class blog is looking great and the children have become a lot more confident in leaving comments and WRITING CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK. I've made some guidelines for children and parents
    to use to promote this as we really want our blogs to become more of a two way communication tool.

    I have also introduced a class writing log where children are able to publish their own work. All the children have managed to publish one post so far and a few children have given some nice feedback to their peers. My goal is to get another piece of writing published per child again this term.

    I really enjoyed the Expo this term - there is some fantastic stuff going in the cluster and its great to get lots of ideas from different schools. I presented two workshop this year - blogging and comic life. The blogging workshop was hard work because the participants were all at different levels of the blogging journey. The comic life workshop went really well I thought and I got some good feedback.

    Reflection on Term 3

    In term 3 the Year 5 and 6 Team focused on using Keynote to present our inquiries on the Olympics. At the beginning of the term Room 13 used researched the history of the Modern Olympics, looking particularly at the host cities and the traditions that have been established. The children worked in pairs to answer questions from the official Olympic website. They then recorded their findings on Keynote. We used these presentations to construct a timeline of the Modern Olympics.

    For our main inquiry of the term, Room 13 investigated an inspiring person. The children used Comic Life to form their questions and record their information from research. They then used Keynote to present their findings.

    I found using Comic Life to form questions and record information for inquiry really easy and useful, especially seems the children were confident in using this from previously in the year. The children picked up the skills for Keynote very quickly also. The first inquiry was very structured (I made this example to show the class: ) with a lot of teaching of IT skills which meant most of the children were fairly independent for the second inquiry.
    We were really pushed for time towards the end of the term to get the inquiries finished due to production and tight timetabling with the laptops (as they are really well used!!)

    I also managed to complete another podcast with each child from my action research group (thanks to the help of a Teacher Aide!) I was really surprised by the skills of the children using Garageband. The whole process was a lot quicker and straightforward this time. All the children in the group are very keen to have their go recording their stories and are enjoying using the sound effects to make it interesting.