Tuesday, 4 December 2012

How full is your bucket?

I was able to teach some philosophy lessons to a year 4 class using the text "How Full is Your Bucket?" The book explains that we all carry invisible buckets in which we keep our feelings and emotions. When our bucket is full, we feel happy. When our bucket is empty, we feel sad and empty.  The book shows students how we can help fill other people's buckets and in doing so, fill our own.

These lessons were a great way to get students talking about issues within the classroom and it helped create a great classroom culture. The students created their own buckets, which we displayed in the classroom, and students were able to fill other student's buckets by leaving nice notes in them. 

The discussions were a great way to extend the concept outside of the classroom and into the playground and at home and the community. I cannot wait to do this unit with my year 4s next year!

Tie-Dyed Popsicle Sticks!

I was about to make some Brain Break sticks for my new class, when I pulled out these boring natural coloured popsicle sticks... I wondered how I could make them more colourful!

I decided to use Food Colouring, as that's all I had in the cupboard and had heard you can just soak them and stain them. I tried to do more of a tie-dye effect. I used 5 plastic bowls for 5 different colours, about 25 drops in each one. I then filled it up with hot water and chucked the sticks in, allowing them to be half covered with the stain. I left them for about 10 minutes, pulled them out and dried them off on paper towel. Then I put the unstained side back in a different colour stain and let it sit. I then dried them off and put the first end back in the original colour, and repeated the process. 

Here's how they turned out!

They are still drying, but I will post my finished Brain Break sticks when they are done!!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The future of building blocks

I sometimes get lost in the huge amount of imagination and possibility that is displayed through TED talks and videos online. I cam across one from the company littleBits, and thought that this is something I can see being used within the classroom in the future.

The blocks are a modern take on Lego which incorporate the use of magnets and electrical parts. The blocks can be joined in many different, easy ways. You are able to create fantastic things, like a switch powered light, without knowing the intricacies of wiring or circuits.

Watch the TED video and let me know what you think. I already know how much I want to play with these blocks and can just imagine the activities based around them.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Reward or Reminder!

What a great idea this is!!! 

A post-it in the shape of a wristband. This would be fantastic for those reminders like permission notes or homework, or even to send little notes home.

I also stumbled across these reward wristbands which I would love to give a go!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Bouncy Balls - Noise Meter for the Classroom

I stumbled across this website which has a whole heap of interactive and fun visual tools which would work well in the classroom.

I particularly liked Bouncy Balls, which works with your microphone - when there is no noise, the balls don't move, the more noise the higher the balls bounce. I thought this would be a great tool for behaviour management in the classroom. Used as a noise meter, students can visually see when they are getting too loud within activities and are then able to self-regulate.

I cannot wait to try this out next term! I just hope it doesn't have the opposite effect!
Give is a go at here.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Classroom Avatars!

I was recently told about Voki - an online site which allows you to create your own avatar and implement it into the classroom. You can choose from a heap of different characters and modify to create your own look. Or make a new character for different themes, like cowboys, pirates, police officer, anything you can think of! You can choose from a number of different languages and accents, which would be great for SOSE lessons! You can even upload your own voice.

I cannot wait to show my class... It could be some sort of a class mascot! Delivering class messages, or introducing a new topic to the class.

Here is my first try at making an avatar! Still need to tweak it a bit! Have a try and let me know how you go! How will you use Voki in the classroom?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Marble Run!

My friends and I made this marble run as part of a Technology unit we designed at uni.
I cannot wait to use it in the classroom!

Design Challenge 

Your overpopulated city needs a new above-ground transport system. Your job is to investigate the key factors in an effective transport system and apply these to a design of your own. Using your design, you will need to use recyclable materials and suitable tools to produce this system. You will critically evaluate the transport system and make modifications when necessary. This will be done in groups of 6. Throughout this process, you will complete an individual reflection log detailing your learning and understanding.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

ABC Game

When I used to babysit, I had some very energetic kids that just would not settle down to go to bed. I used to think of a topic, animals for example, and they had to go through each letter of the alphabet thinking of an animal starting with that letter. By the time they got to Z for Zebra, they were usually fast asleep. 

I modified this activity and made 30 different category cards, and 30 different letter cards (put doubles of easier or harder letters to differentiate). You could even manipulate the categories to whatever you are working on in class. I made different backs for each deck to help shuffle and separate, and laminated them for a long life. The kids love it! I even took it to uni the other day, and it had adults addicted! 


One card from each deck is turned over at the same time, and the players have to think of a word in that category, and starting with that letter. Whoever guesses one first, wins that category card, and the player with the most category cards at the end, wins!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Buzz Words

I have used Wordle a few times for uni assignments, but I stumbled across Tagxedo and after playing around with it, it seems much more versatile! I was able to just type my blog address in and it pulled the words. I could also pick and choose words, colours and shapes. 

I think these will be great visual aids for in the classroom! Here's my first try :)

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Stepping Out Conference

This week I was lucky enough to be a part of the QUT Stepping Out Conference. As part of the conference, each student had to develop a poster on how we have personally addressed 8 of the 10 QCT Professional Standards.

Here is my effort :)

Thursday, 28 June 2012


Art lesson on Self Identity

Students look at different colours and the emotions they portray and also at line and different shapes. They choose colours and line appropriate to their personality.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Philosophy in Film: Morality and Ethics

Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi thriller, Hollow Man, raises the question ‘What would you do if you knew you couldn’t be seen?

Every day we make decisions. We make some of these choices based on what is best for us, and what is best for others. But why do we need to think of others when making these individual decisions? What’s in it for us? Society has taught us what is right and wrong, but how do we develop this sense of morality, and who is to say whether our virtues are good or immoral?

Philosophy in Film: The Individual vs Society

In a platonic society, everybody has their designated place. Are we automatically assigned a place in society from birth, or are we able to choose our own adventure? The Dreamworks film, Antz, shows what can happen when you buck the trend.       

When growing up, our parents filled us with dreams and never-ending possibilities about the world. We could set out to do anything we wanted to; we could accomplish our dreams. But in life’s harsh reality, we are faced with many obstacles in our way. Many don’t have the opportunities or the motivation to achieve them, and so stick with the status quo.

Philosophy in Film: How do we know what is 'real'?

We live our lives accepting that the world around us is real, but should we? Weir’s The Truman Show, asks viewers to question whether life is real or could it be a simulated reality?

How do we know the world that we are living in and seeing is real? What if it is a type of simulated reality, and how could we tell? When we are dreaming, are we aware that we are dreaming, or do we have to wake up to become conscious of our reality?

Philosophy in Film: Are objects as important as humans?

Spielberg’s futuristic film Artificial Intelligence blurs the line between living and non-living beings, and raises ethical questions of life, and whether robots are as important as humans.

Set in the future, the film Artificial Intelligence follows the story of David, an artificially created boy. David is the prototype of a new type of robot, or mecha, possessing the looks and characteristics of a real child, and has the ability to love.