Interesting post from Wes about worksheets.

Since I’m home sick I’m catching up on blog reading.

This post from Wes made me stop and think about how many worksheets my students get in a week – and on reflection there are some weeks they get NONE!

The Thursday Folder and Worksheet Measured Learning

At the February 2009 Oklahoma Technology Association’s conference, keynote speaker Will Richardson told a story about the worksheets his own students bring home from their public school each week which resonated with me. Will said he’d contemplated keeping all the papers for an entire school year in a big stack, and then photographing them to document the school-communicated learning they’d experienced all year. I then thought about doing the same thing, since our two oldest children (who are in elementary school) bring home a “Thursday folder” each week filled with the worksheets they’ve completed.

Integrated Studies in School

Here is a refreshing video about blurring the curriculum lines in schools.

Fun writing idea

Found on another websitea link to this:


You pull the spin lever and it spins all the different wheels to give you a fun writing idea – noise effects and all. I’m going to try this week for some creative writing.

Nerdy Post #2 – Backups

You can never remind people too often to backup their computers – why? – because no matter how often you remind them when the inevitable happens and their HDD dies or becomes corrupted they panic because their computer wasn’t backed up and they’ve lost all their data.

I was just counting to myself the various ways I backup information. I think it’s 4 or maybe 5 ways:

more… Nerdy Post #2 – Backups

Nerdy Post – Time Machine & Mac OSX 10.5.6

Seems that there’s an occasional problem with Time Machine – today mine said that I didn’t have the appropriate access to use my external FreeAgent drive for backing up my MacBook – no problems with my iBook however!

A google search later and I found this work-a-round:

What to do if Time Machine reports you don’t have permission

This was posted in the Apple Discussions by V.K. I have only modified it slightly to be more generic.

The problem seems to be that 10.5.6 changes permissions on a file so that even the root user doesn’t have write peivileges. I have no idea why they did this. The workaround suggested in another post will probably work, too, but i did something less drastic. Instead of deleting the file I changed permissions on it, and it worked just fine. An added benefit is that the permission change seems to stick, so you don’t have to delete the file every time you change a drive.

[Open the Terminal application in your Utilities folder. At the prompt enter the following command:
sudo chmod 644 /volumes/”TM drive name”/.xxxxxxxxxxxx

The name of the file .xxxxxxxxxxxx is based on the MAC address of your computer and will be different for every computer. Put the name of the TM drive in the above and keep the quotes.

You’ll have to enter your admin password (which you won’t see) which is normal.

This worked brilliantly – took all of 5 mins and my backup is up and running again.

Visual Roll

Here’s a movie I’ve just uploaded to Youtube

Mimio Update

Edited to add: I’m aware this doesn’t look right – I have no idea how to fix it and am waiting for a response from the forums. Frustratingly I know how to write the html code to make it write but it doesn’t seem to work.I’ve changed my theme so that the pictures don’t jumble – I like a 3-column theme and will have to do with out my photo of Kapiti Island until I can find another suitable theme.

I’ve been using the mimio for just over a week now so time for an update.

One thing I’ve discovered is that having the mimio changes how I do some/all? of my teaching. I’ve question marked this because I’m not sure if it’s all – other than the mental question that goes through my head when preparing lessons as to whether I will use the mimio for this or not.

I do not use it for absolutely everything. I don’t have the capture kit so I don’t use it with my small group work. But I am using it for most of the things I used to write up on the whiteboard and then rub off. It’s a very powerful thing to be able to revisit what you did yesterday or last week.

One morning this week I was late setting it up and returned to the classroom from the office to be greeted by a group of children who asked where their roll was!

more… Mimio Update

Ken Robinson & The Element

This book was mentioned during one of the keynotes at #LATS09 – I’m going to try and get it as it seems to be an important book for this year. Here is a short video of Ken talking about passion.

Visitor vs Resident revisited

Back in November I wrote a blog post called “Visitor vs Resident & Real Life”

I said this:

Talking to a teacher who is taking a lead role in ICT at school this year about the definition of visitor vs resident she quickly said she was a visitor. (Logs in, does what she has to do and logs out.)

In the debates about computers, internet, ICT integration – how can a visitor understand the POV of a resident? Can they understand it?

I don’t know. I can’t approach it from the visitor perspective as I am a resident.

And also this: (Talking about my family)

(And this connectedness doesn’t mean we don’t do other stuff – we cycle together, sit around the house reading books together, go walking together, cook together – it’s just we’re also wired/wireless together as well)

Tonight I read a blog post by Carolyn Stuart who said:

So why aren’t more school’s making use of these readily available web 2.0 tools? There will be a variety of reasons, lack of time, too much to do already or a requirement for teachers to become more up-skilled in these tools. It would be interesting to find out how Paul Sibson, principal of Fendalton School, succeeded in getting his teachers to embrace these tools for learning.

which reminded me of the visitor vs resident (instead of the old digital native vs digital immigrant which I hated because it wasn’t right) and sent me looking for the original material.

Dean @ the IHOP finally pointed me to the original post by Dave White from the University of Oxford. I recommend reading the whole article but will summarise one point here:

In effect the Resident has a presence online which they are constantly developing while the Visitor logs on, performs a specific task and then logs off.

Hats off to all my fellow residents.

Mimio day two

I don’t think I will post every day but will probably post things as I’m learning about the Mimio. My one disadvantage (or several) is that (1) the mac software is lagging behind the windows software and some of the things that we saw at #lats09 in the breakout I can’t do with the mac software – yet; (2) I don’t have a wireless kit – so my computer has to be close to the board/projector; (3) the projector is on a trolley which means it gets knocked about as kids move around the classroom – meaning I have to recalibrate more often than if it was ceiling mounted – the positive to that is that calibration is quick.

Yesterday I created my visual roll. I fired it up this morning and showed it to the first student into the classroom and then had to leave the room. When I got back (30 mins later) about 15 students had successfully pulled their faces over their names but someone had missed with the Mimio mouse and pulled the grid out of alignment. (There were also about 5 parents watching with fascination at what the kids were doing – hardly any room for me to move!)

At lunch time I had a bit of a search (thanks google) and finally figured out how to get the grid as a background object (most of the available documentation was for the windows version 6 software and not applicable for me) and therefore unmoveable.

I will see how it goes tomorrow morning.

One of the very cool things you can do is duplicate a page which is ideal for something you do daily or even weekly.

Today the activities we did were (not in the order we did them):


Picture 18

WAD – Word A Day

Picture 17

SODA – Start Of Day Activity
Picture 16

Maths – fact families

Picture 15

Word chunking

Picture 14