I don’t often rave about apps but this one is definitely ‘rave-able’! Craig posted yesterday about using this app in his classroom so I thought I’d download it and show it to my class today. Well – talk about excited! They got together with buddies and scripted some quick maths videos.



I found a ‘relatively’ quiet place for them to do the recording and left them to it. Half the class has had a go already and the rest will have a go tomorrow. They really enjoyed working like this and reckon they won’t forget their demos when it comes time to use them during maths lessons.

Here are four of the videos they created.




Digital Art

I am not an artist – at least I’m not a graphic artist (although I am a musician!). Sometimes as a teacher it’s hard to inspire your students in an area you are personally weak in – like art for me. How is it then that we are currently completing our 3rd major piece of art in 7 weeks? (Given my reputation for lack of art work – in previous years I’ve used the excellent art ability of my CRT teacher to produce art work!)

The answer is a session I attended at Ulearn09 presented by my friend Rachel Boyd. I really attended it in order to pick up some information to share back with our junior teachers but I’ve ended up using the ideas for my classroom. Her session was called “Juniors can do IT” – and if you get a chance to attend one of her workshops you must because it really should be STUDENTS can do IT (and teachers for that matter). I’ve embedded one version of her slideshow below:

Our first piece of art is demonstrated in slide #21 – photo symmetry. Here’s our result:

cc licensed flickr photo shared by dragonsinger

The second piece of art was a kind of blue screening effect (slide #22) where the students sketched a picture with them in it; then a buddy took a photo of them in the correct pose for the picture; printed the picture and cut themselves out; drew the background and stuck themselves into the picture. Here’s our results:

cc licensed flickr photo shared by dragonsinger

cc licensed flickr photo shared by dragonsinger

The third piece (and not all finished) was a take on Andy Warhol style pop art (slide #23). We did two versions – using 4 colours for each set of 4 pictures. Instead of paint or dye we used pastels or coloured pencils for our pictures. Some of the colour choices were quite inspired.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by dragonsinger

The best thing about art work like this is it draws on my strengths (technology) and incorporates creativity. Thanks to Rachel I’m exploring new avenues of expression (as is my class).

Over protecting our children

I just finished reading a blog post from @teachernz. It has an embedded video from the TED series:

It’s well worth watching. @teachernz challenged his readers to list how many of the things mentioned we’d done as children. My response:

Let’s see. As a child I:
1. played with fire – my parents taught me how to make the BEST campfires
2. owned my own ‘bowie’ knife – wasn’t called that but you know what it looks like
3. threw everything – we made spears and bows and arrows (and actually i was also taught how to fire a gun!)
4. i don’t remember pulling things to pieces … but have encouraged others to do so (especially computers)
5a. break the dmca – i have no idea if that was law back when i was younger but as a teenager i copied records onto tapes …
5b. drove a car – my dad had some kind of small car – it had part of the roof that slid back and i got to stand up and hang outside while he drove the car around the field then i got to drive it – don’t remember how old but pre-10

perhaps i should share my shooting story?

So here’s my shooting story.

Dad had guns in the house. He was a member of the Kings 100 (top 100 marksmen in the armed forces) and had some fancy guns. (Rifle/pistol/revolver.) So he taught us 3 older children how to handle guns safely and how to shoot. Of course an adults version of safety and a child’s version can be quite different.

We three set up a shooting alley down the hallway. My bedroom door was at the top end facing the entrance to the bathroom. At the end of the hallway was the door to my brother’s bedroom and to the left the hallway continued for about a metre to my sisters bedroom door. We set the target up against my brothers door – a box with newpapers in it to absorb the pellets we would be firing (we didn’t call it a BB gun but I guess that’s what it was). One person was the shooter – the other two had to get from either my bedroom or the bathroom down the hall, round the corner and into my sisters bedroom with out getting hit by any of the bullets. No one came away unscathed.

Many years later (40 or so) going back to visit the old house the current occupants asked if we had any idea what all the little holes were in a particular door!

We also never attempted to fire like that with the ‘real guns’, we never fired at anyone’s face, and none of us shoot today.

there’s just something about a flashmob

having been part of one (very small one) they are exciting

take a look at this one

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.


me in pirate gear

I’m walking to school all geared up – wonder what the reactions will be … LOL

will post a video when i get to school