Useful links

How to Teach Coding Like a Granny – Joel Speranza“The digital technologies curriculum is here and everyone is trying to figure out how to teach the thing. Particularly the coding bit, that’s the steepest learning curve for most teachers and with good reason. As students we experienced math, science, english, humanities, PE. But coding is different. Most of us are simply too old to have experience with coding in a school setting. We haven’t seen teachers teach it before and suddenly we’re being asked to teach it ourselves?”

code-it | Junior Computer Science “This site offers computing resources produced by Phil Bagge. You can click on the CS Planning link for a selection of computer science and information technology resources suitable for primary pupils.”
What makes an excellent programming curriculum? | code-it “Programming projects should reflect a wide range of different programming genres, those that arise for example from mathematical, literacy, music or gaming backgrounds. Variety helps a broad spectrum of students to realise that programming can be relevant to their lives.”
Ideas for Using Minecraft in the Classroom | Edutopia “Minecraft is no longer a new tool in the field of game-based learning. Because Minecraft has such open possibilities and potential, teachers have been experimenting with different ways to use it in the classroom for a while now. Some teachers use it to teach math concepts like ratios and proportions, while others use it to support student creativity and collaboration. (Minecraft Education Edition, which launched on November 1, 2016, has additional features for collaboration.) There are some ideas here about some of the ways you can use Minecraft in the classroom:”
Designing Quality Infographics: Tips, Resources and Inspiration “Infographics are graphic visual representations of data and information. They can assist in explaining complex information, numbers or data quickly and effectively. There are some tips for designing quality infographics as well links to some resources and ideas for inspiration.”
88 Assistive Technology Tools for Struggling Learners. Learning Specialist and Teacher Materials – Good Sensory Learning: 88 Assistive Technology Tools for Struggling Learners This post talks about 15 different types of assistive technology that can benefit struggling learners with links to the authors favourite tools. There are links to a more comprehensive discussion of these technologies as well.
Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills – Tony Wagner These skills are familair to thise in educations, Each of the seven are defined by business leaders in their own words. They are: Critical thinking and problem-solving. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence. Agility and adaptability. Initiative and entrepreneurship. Effective and written communication. Accessing and analysing information. Curiosity and imagination.
A Great Visual To Help You Integrate Visible Thinking Routines in Your Class ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning One way to create a thinking cuture in class is to use “Visible Thinking, as a learning approach. This makes extensive use of thinking routines in class.These routines are simple structures( eg a set of questions or a short sequence of steps, that can be used across various grade levels and content. The way they become routines, versus merely strategies, is to use them constantly in the classroom so that they become part of the fabric of classroom culture. The routines become the way students go about the process of learning.” Included here is a great infographic created by Langwitches.
eSafety Homepage | Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner Australian Govt site: “Enhancing online safety for children” The Cybersmart Schools Gateway is a great resource for teacher planning and houses a wide range of cybersafety information and teaching resources for primary and secondary schools. These accessible and engaging materials are designed to help schools develop and implement a holistic approach to cybersafety. Includes the popular Cybersmart Outreach program to book professional presentations to teachers, parents and students on cybersafety. Administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Word Search Generator :: Create your own printable word find worksheets @ A to Z Teacher Stuff Simple to use this enables you to create your own custom word search worksheets. There are a variety of options available including font size, font style, lowercase or uppercase letters, grid shape, word placement, and more to customise you creation.
Puzzle Choice – Crosswords, online and printable puzzles and games “PUZZLE CHOICE offers online and printable puzzles and games. Choose from many different types of printable and online CROSSWORDS. There is also a daily US style crossword. You can play WORD SEARCH puzzles or see the WORDPLAY section for anagrams, offers brainteasers and other printable word games. The ONLINE GAMES section has jigsaws, mazes, memory games and a choice selection of classic puzzles and games. Kids young and old can visit the KIDS’ CHOICE section for a variety of puzzles and games for all ages.”
Lawstuff Australia – Know Your Rights – – Topics – Sexting This page explains the legal implications for sexting in Victoria. For example – If under 18, you will not be put on a sex offenders register in Victoria unless you are already on a sex offenders register in another state. Not all states have the same law. In NSW you will be put onto a register even if under 18 years.

Lawstuff Australia – Know Your Rights – – Topics – Photos & Videos on Your Phone “This page explains the laws that apply when you use the photo or recording functions on your phone. It also explains what you can do to stay out of trouble and your options if someone has an inappropriate photo or video of you.”

Digital Literacy and Learning in the United States | Pew Research Center “In this report, we use newly released Pew Research Center survey findings to address a related issue: digital readiness. The new analysis explores the attitudes and behaviors that underpin people’s preparedness and comfort in using digital tools for learning as we measured it in a survey about people’s activities for personal learning.”
8 digital life skills all children need – and a plan for teaching them | World Economic Forum Today digital skills are an essential part of a comprehensive education framework. The challenge for educators is to move beyond thinking of IT as a tool, or “IT-enabled education platforms”. Instead, they need to think about how to nurture students’ ability and confidence to excel both online and offline in a world where digital media is ubiquitous. Like IQ or EQ – which we use to measure someone’s general and emotional intelligence – an individual’s facility and command of digital media is a competence that can be measured. We call it DQ: digital intelligence. And the good news is that DQ is an intelligence that is highly adaptive. DQ can broadly be broken down into three levels: Digital citizenship. Digital creativity. Digital Entreneurship”
Diigo – Budd:e Cybersecurity Education – Secondary Teacher Resources The secodary tschool teacher page that discusses how to use Budd:e site. Created for Australian students the Budd:e Cyber Security education package comprises a series of media-rich and interactive learning activitie. The package comprises two learning modules – one for primary students and one for secondary students. These can be used to assist students adopt safe and secure online practices.
Budd:e Cybersecurity Education – Secondary Created for Australian students the Budd:e Cyber Security education package comprises a series of media-rich and interactive learning activitie. The package comprises two learning modules – one for primary students and one for secondary students. These can be used to assist students adopt safe and secure online practices.
Bullying. No Way! Bullying No Way! is an educational website for Australian school communities and the general public. As well as providing information for individuals, the website provides online curriculum and other resources to support the bullying prevention work of schools. Cybersafety resources and information aimed at children, parents and teachers are provided on the website.
eSmart Schools | National Centre Against Bullying “Developed for Australian schools, eSmart is an easy-to-use, evidence based and tested system to help schools manage cybersafety and deal with cyberbullying and bullying. The eSmart system provides a framework for schools to implement whole-school culture and behaviour change relevant to the smart, safe and responsible use of digital technologies. eSmart is an initiative of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.”
What We Do Offers a cybersafety module for middle primary students delivered in schools by Life Education. bCyberwise has been developed in partnership with McAfee to educate children on how to stay safe online and develop positive online communication skills. bCyberwise includes online resources to support teachers in the classroom.
Student Wellbeing Hub – Home This is a one-stop shop for information and resources underpinned by the National Safe Schools Framework. The Hub assists school communities to nurture student responsibility and resilience, build a positive school culture, foster respectful relationships and support students who are impacted by anti-social behaviour, including bullying and cyberbullying.
Top 10 Tools for Creating Digital Quizzes ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning An annotated list that is a “collection of some of the most popular quizzing tools that have covered in this blog. Be it a flipped, blended, virtual or even traditional classroom, the tools  below will enable you to easily create interactive quizzes, questionnaires and polls to share with students in class. “

Useful Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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The Free Rice campaign: new range of topics

Last year I read about the Free Rice site and then a member of our RE staff also sent it around. Since then it has occasionally come up again. When I looked at the site again I saw some changes on the website that I thought I would let you know about. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the deal. The site that asks you questions and each time you get an answer right, 20 grains of rice are donated through the UN World Food Program. (There is a lot of information on this UN site that would be useful as well).  The money comes from the displayed ads and the advertisers are solid brands, as you can see on the site.

The Free Rice site has been updated to offer a wider range of topics. The questions do ‘learn’ as you progress through the quiz and become harder but they aren’t too taxing but there are 50 levels you can strive to acheive.  As the school year starts to draw to a close, and some students may finish work earlier than others, they might like to have a go at this site and do some good at the same time. You can have a go as many times as you like and it can be addictive. I know one person that tries it everyday.

I don’t know when the change occurred but you can now choose to do your bit to help fight poverty while answering questions on the following subjects:

  • Art
    Famous Paintings
  • Chemistry
    Chemical Symbols (Basic)
    Chemical Symbols (Full List)
  • English
    English Grammar
    English Vocabulary
  • Geography
    Identify Countries on the Map
    World Capitals
  • LOTE 
    French
    German
    Italian
    Spanish
  • Maths
    Multiplication Table 

Book Week: celebrations and congratulations

Yesterday we finally brought to a close the CBCA book week activities for 2008 with an afternoon tea for the winning (and many of the competing) students. We asked parents of these students to come along. Many parents came along to support their sons, a number of the pastoral care teachers and Heads of House also joined in the celebrations.

The students received certificates, winners and runners-up The certificates were beautifully made up by one of our library technicians. Each one was different from the others and represented the competition the boy did well in.  The competitions involved Wordles, Mosaics, drawing a weird and wacky vehicle, paper planes, library scavenger hunt and a quiz that involved using the State Library of Victoria’s Ergo site.

I thought I would use Slideflickr to create a show of some of the images of the CBCA book week activities. The tool was vey easy to use and I created Flickr slideshows in less than a minute. This was supposed to allow me to put slideshows in my own site. It was generated from my flickr sets. You can attach audio via mp3 url. When I came to embed it into my blog it would not work. I will have to examine it later or maybe use Picasa instead. 

Until I get the slide show happening

Our principal came along and presented the certificates to the boys and congratulated them. Each of the boys also selected a book as a prize and our wonderful technician created book plates for each of the prize books chosen. I felt like Father Christmas, giving away 38 books. The students were great. They had permission to eat and drink in the library and a lot of serious discussion went on about the choices.

In a meeting today we discussed next year’s book week and what we need to keep in mind. The paper folding activities, 2007-origami and 2008-paper planes, were two of the most popular activities, across all the year levels. We are pondering what we can do next year in this line. The drawing, looking at the ideas, not artistic abilities are also always well received so we will have to look towards the 2009 theme for our ideas.

Book Week so far

Think for yourself, Defy convention, Read ... a banned book

The week so far has been going well and a lot of fun. The caption for the display came from one that a library in the US used during Banned Books Week. The display on banned books has caused quite a bit of discussion amongst the students. It is interesting to listen to their comments about the books that have been challenged, or banned, and the reasons given for the bans. 

The students who have been participating also seem to be enjoying themselves whilst taking part in the activities. The Glogster activity on the first day was quieter, whether it was because they knew very little about it, or the fact that it was the beginning of the week I don’t know as yet.

The “draw your own, environmentally friendly vehicle” activity yesterday provided a lot of laughs. The drawings may not win art prizes but they were certainly inventive and the explanations were priceless.

Today was the wordle competition and, because each wordle had been constructed from a book description entered into our catalogue, it was an added reminder about keyword searching and using the catalogue. They found that they could find the answers quite easily, if they chose the right keyword to search. After guessing the answers, and being sure they were right, they went on line and found that sometimes they were not! We did not know how long this would take but the boys used most of lunchtime to work out the Wordles, so we will have to have them create their own another time.

Tomorrow is the “construct a paper plane” activity. Many students have already expressed interest in this activity. We will have a “Fly off” at the end and measure the distance each travels. What has this to do with book week? Well if the them is fuel your mind, then we are loking for inventiveness, design and construction technique, and again, some fun.

The staff comments about the staff quiz were funny but the finished quiz sheets are starting to come in. So all in all, an enjoyable week has been had by all.