Sunday, December 5, 2010

My class's Waka Pictures!

In Term 3, my class were learning about the Mighty Mariners. As part of the learning experiences, the students were also able to draw pctures of canoes or waka (Canoe in Maori). Here are some of their beautiful work!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We had the Dragon Dance at the Cultural Festivals at our School.

I offered to produce a cultural item for our school cultural festivals in September 2010. I came out with the idea of Dragon Dance and was very happy that Helen Squires who is also very creative wanted to be part of it! Together, we put the item together. To make it more interesting, we had added kung fu and umbrella dance as well. We are very thankful to the talented children who wanted to be part of it!

Garth J made the dragon head and Helen and I put the dragon body together.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We Should Listen to the Kids!

As teachers, most of us tend to think that we know everything and that the students should listen to us all the time! Well that was how it was like when I went to school. The students' opinion was never taken seriously. How could it be as the teachers were always right! My dad was a teacher and a principal when I was a little kid. I had to keep quiet or else I was not allowed to get any treats from him.

Then I became a teacher in the 21st century and guess what I had found out or rather what I had learned! As a first year teacher, I had never used Mac computers when I arrived at my present school. I didn't even know how to use the mouse which has no right or left clicks. I felt quite embarrassed that I had to ask a Year 6 student to show me the function. I dared not ask my colleagues because I didn't want them to know that I couldn't use the mouse! I am proud that since then I have advanced quite fast and actually know a lot more than the six and seven years old children in my class. Even then I find myself asking them about certain things that they had learned from their ICT lessons and they never hesitate to show or teach me! They never ask me why I don't know how to do certain stuff because they have this collaborative learning nature which many adults are still struggling to get used to.
A week ago, a Facebook friend has posted the following video on my wall and I thought that it is a wonderful video to share with my friends-whether you are a teacher or not.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I just got to share this video with you! Are we looking after our Planet ?

This morning while I was on the net, I came across this video! After I have watched it, I almost spilled my toasts onto the table!
Take a good look!

Thom Yorke - The Clock (1st Place D&AD Awards) from us (design studio) on Vimeo.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Are Task Boards useful in the classrooms ?

In New Zealand, a lot of teachers especially those who teach the Juniors--Year 1 to Year 6, use task boards to help them manage their class. The task boards are essentially a list of rotation activities that the children can do while the teacher carries out his/her micro teaching groups. Why micro-teaching? Well, the little children can not handle whole class teaching. They get lost easily and many can't bear listening to a teacher talking in front of the class for a long duration of time. The next reason which could be a more valid reason is that the children are of different abilities or levels right across the curriculum areas from reading and maths and social studies. Because of this, the children are sorted into different ability groups and hence there are small groups teaching.

How do task boards work ? Well, the children's names are listed under the names of the activities and when they are asked to change activities, they look at the chart and go to do the appropriate actitivities. In this way, all children have something meaningful to do while waiting for their turn to be called to the teacher.

When I first started teaching in my first few years, I had found that the task boards were extremely useful in the year one classes. Children at this level,--five year olds, found all activities helpful and kind. Nowadays, I have progressed so much in use of integration of e-learning that I have found the constant interruption of the rotation cycle actually break the link in e-learning. Many children are not happy to leave the computers to do another activity that is listed. Many have found out that going back to the computers later on is just not so cool because the original ideas have gone from their heads. Because of this, I have modified the task boards in a way that the children ar allowed on the computers till they have finished the projects.

I have also changed the way the task boards work. The task boards that are just lists of things on the charts that the children can do. They are encouraged to choose wisely --like attempting different activities, never overcrowd an activity (Max:4 persons). So far, this is working and I am happy that there is flexibility.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Year That Was--2009 ( Part 2 )

Twitter;Jenny She-jshe has proven to be useful in October 2009 when I had to give a presentation at ULearn-an e-Learning conference held every year in New Zealand. Many teachers throughout the country enrolled in my session because they had known me and my work through Twitter. They had never met me but they have seen my work through the updates that I had posted on Twitter. I have to confess that while waiting at the hotel lobby for my turn to present, I overheard some teachers talking about how their friends couldn't get into my session because it was full and wished that it was in a bigger venue!. That made me smile! Thank you, Twitter!

My obsession of the use of Web 2.0 tools to enhance the students' learning continued to grow in 2009 and I had refined my skills in using them. Now, I am using a variety of Web 2.0 tools in my class blog: LIttle Voices, Little Scholars..

I realized how much I have advanced in the use of technology in my classroom when I managed to make a Christmas movie using imovie09 applying the Green Screen effect without much difficulties! It was not long ago (2004) when I first learned how to use imovie and have since kept refining my skills. My movie--Merry Christmas from Room 5 was a piece of work that I am proud of.

It is this type of continuous learning which I find extremely meaningful and rewarding. I am truely indebted to people who believe in me and trusted me along my learning journey.

Finally, I have to mention that my ULearn presentation was a highlight in 2009 too. It had boosted my confidence in public speaking which I normally refrain from. It is indeed a blessing to be able to share what we have learned and created.

The Year That Was--2009 ( Part 1 )

2009 was indeed a significant year for my learning journey. It had been a year full of surprises and happenings. Some of the surprises and events have changed my life and some have posed to be challenges. But the important thing is that they represtented my personal growth both in my personal life and in my career as a teacher!

My interest and indulgence in Twitter:jshe has to be the single most important factor that has affected my social networking skills. I was introduced to Twitter in late 2008 in an e-Learning conference in Christchurch in New Zealand. At that time, all I had in mind was to use Twitter as a platform to Promote my class blog: Little Voices, Little Scholars.

The turning point came when I met some very special people on Twitter ( I am not mentioning any names but these friends know who they are ) and these people are my treasure and they give me constant support in my work and in my personal life.