Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Science Expos

A week ago we held the Science Expos for each of the grades (4 – 6). The children could choose whether to work on their own or work in groups and then they had to present a Science experiment according to a well-defined set of instructions. Well, our children jumped to the task and presented exhibits of a very high standard, to say the least! Outside judges marked each child or group’s exhibit according to a strict set of criteria and Gold, Silver and Bronze winners were chosen in each class. These winners were awarded a certificate, and in the case of the Gold winners, a book prize too. It was amazing to see how much thought and effort had gone into each of the exhibits. Well done to all the children on a sterling effort, and a special word of congratulations to the prize winners for a job well done!

See the photos below:

What a busy week!

Good heavens! What a week it is proving to be. On Monday the Grade 6’s had their very first Science Expo. As the parent of a Grade 6 pupil, I was extremely impressed by what I saw – these children went all out to present their experiments and the passion for Science was amazing to see. I was so impressed by the way they presented their projects – so mature and detailed, like little adults. The projects were judged and the winners are still to be announced, but I must say well done to them all!

On Tuesday we had our annual inter-house Athletics day and what a beautiful day it was. Despite the heat the children all participated well and had a fun-filled, albeit exhausting, day!

On Wednesday the Grade 6’s left for their annual three-day camp with their teachers. They all arrived safely and are sure to be having a great time. Can’t wait to hear the stories from my own daughter!

Also on Wednesday, the Grade 4’s had their Science Expo and once again I have to congratulate them all on wonderful projects presented with enthususiam.

Today, Thursday, it is the turn of the Grade 5’s to hold their Science Expo. I went out to have a ‘quick’ look at what was happening, and ended up staying for an hour. These children have really put a huge effort into their projects and their presentations were engaging and informative. I am so proud to be a part of this special school. Well done to teachers and pupils alike. We now await the results with bated breath…

Photos will follow, I promise!

An Apple a day…

Last Friday, I got a close look at an iPod Touch (actually an iPhone, but the iPod Touch is the same thing, without the phone). Wow! What a piece of magic – so beautiful and apparently very useful too. So, our principal and I are getting a demo iPod Touch to play with for the holidays. Of course, the idea is to see how it can be used in the classroom and from what I saw on Friday and also on the Apple website, there a MANY uses for this beautiful piece of technology. I can’t wait! Thanks to Michelle of Think Ahead. Now do you think that, if I close my eyes and wish very hard, my little Samsung will turn into a beautiful iPhone4?? Wishful thinking – he he!

See the Slideshare by Grace Poli here:
http://www.slideshare.net/gpoli/a-classroom-in-your-pocket-ipods-in-education?src=related_normal&rel=1521233

Picture courtesy of :http://www.apple.com/za/education/ipodtouch-iphone/

Cultural patterns in a stained glass window!

The Grade 4’s have been studying the significance of colours and shapes in cultural patterns, specifically those of the Zulu, Ndebele and Xhosa people.  As a fun, related actvity, they got to create their own cultural patterns in MS Publisher.  I will be adding more pictures, but could not resist putting these up in the stained glass collage I created with http://www.stainedglasscollage.com/  Another fun, FREE Web 2.0 tool!

Crossword Fun

One of our Grade 5 teachers came up with the idea of having the children draw up a crossword using one of the websites I had sent to her a while back.  This worked out really well, because not only did the children have to come up with clues that made sense (using information from their Social Sciences books, to do with Contagious Diseases), but they then had to copy and paste the crossword from the website into Word and add value by changing fonts, inserting pictures and borders etc. The result was most pleasing and the children enjoyed the task too!

The website is Discovery Education’s Puzzlemaker, found here: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/CrissCrossSetupForm.asp

Click on the image below to take a look at a few examples…

Crosswords

I’ve been playing with ‘Youblisher’!

If you go to my BETT 2010 page and scroll right down to the “Visit BETT” Winner article (click on it), you will see what Youblisher can do.  It converts pdfs into magazines – with the sound effect of turning the page!  What an incredible tool to use with children.  Imagine the uses for creative writing and publication of books written by children for children!  I’m going to be using it in a week or two in that collaboration project I hinted at in my last post, so I used my own material to practice!  Thanks again to Fiona Beal for that wonderful tip!  Click here to visit the Youblisher website: http://www.youblisher.com/

Here is a screenshot:

So Cool!

I’m busy signing up for a global collaboration project (all will be revealed once we are up and running), and found this great tool for creating cool fonts:





http://sig.graphicsfactory.com/

I'm going to have some fun with this!

Ooohh… so many ideas… where to begin??

Yesterday’s ThinkQuest course was great in that it really got me thinking and now I have so many ideas going around in my head, I almost have a headache!! This is a regular problem I have, so baby steps it will be… I really enjoyed the course and LOVED looking at the library of past winners. Some wonderful work has been done and it is certainly inspiring. So, I’ve set myself up on ThinkQuest – let’s see what will grow from there. I also enjoyed the course because I met new people and was able to exchange ideas and pass on tips to help others – and gain tips too. Such gatherings of teachers are priceless and so worthwhile. I certainly did not mind giving up my Saturday. Thanks Fiona (Beal), and thank you for showing everyone my blog too – very kind of you! Now off to work I go, to put into practice what I saw yesterday…he he!!

ThinkQuest

On Saturday I will be doing ThinkQuest training presented by Fiona Beal at Fish Hoek Primary School.  ThinkQuest is a free, protected, online platform for teachers and students, sponsored by the Oracle Education Foundation. It includes an online project environment, competitions for students, and a library of content created by students.  Take a look here: http://www.thinkquest.org/en/
It all looks very exciting and I have a project growing in my mind, so I am looking forward to Saturday!