5 frame story telling

Today I did my first session based around a #lats09 takeaway – I attended @heymilly’s session on 5 frame digital story telling and with my friend Mariee took some photos which we submitted to the 5 frame group page on flickr.

I wanted to get some talk happening and so told the kids I’d be showing them 5 related pictures and wanted them to look at each one and feed back what they thought was happening in the picture (I’ll move on to the “What’s going to happen next?” later.)

I was totally blown away with the ideas and the reasoning behind the ideas that they came up with. A snippet follows:


  • troll with a magic wand
  • robot
  • troll going to a friend’s house
  • troll in the library
  • troll walking away from/going to draw on the chalkboard
  • abandoned/lost/forgotten/alone
  • troll standing/playing

Read the rest at our class blog page.

My next plan is to show all five pictures and their ideas and get them to write a story cohesively linking the pictures together. Certainly they came up with ideas that Mariee and I didn’t think about when setting up the photos.

Learning @ School 09

It’s hard to come up with that the absolutely best thing about #lats09 has been but one of the best is actually getting to meet all the people I’ve been tweeting with and blogging about for several years (PLN).

Sitting around the table at the Bloggers Cafe in real life instead of just virtually is fantastic.

It’s also been a great time to add new people to my twitter friends list; to watch people sign up and start tweeting during keynotes or sessions at the Blogger’s Cafe.

One of the cool things is to meet people like the keynote speakers online via their blogs or tweets and then to talk with them during the conference.

One of the other things is going to conference with colleagues and you see another side of them – and you also have amazing professional discussions at all times of the day and night.

I’ve discovered that I can access our entire twitter stream that we hash-tagged and take another look at our conversations – http://hashtags.org/tag/lats09.

Another of the great things about L@S09 was the collaboration. Not just through twitter feeds with questions and answers flying thick and fast; but right from the first keynote when @heheboy opened a collaborative document and 8 of us took notes together – and then opened another one so some more people could take notes. People helped others tweak their presentations, suggested content, loaned equipment, shared the load. I’ve already posted the blogger photo of 12 of the conference bloggers/tweeters who enjoyed the chance to meet f2f. But perhaps the very best example of collaboration can be found on @NZchrissy’s website and on a youtube video – planned by @Allanahk it was a kind of flashmob event where those of us in the know (mainly conference tweeters) invaded the front of the auditorium at the start of Wes Fryer‘s keynote (note that he joined in as well) and while @Allanahk‘s collaborative video was being shown on the screen we were doing the dance – and @NZchrissy was dancing in Bangkok – international flashmob!

New Year …

I’m always excited at the start of a new year. There’s something about a new class full of students – the challenge to get to know them and their quirks; the challenge to inspire and excite them about learning; and the challenge to stay creative and forward-thinking in my teaching.

I spent 5 weeks in the USA – Montana – over the holidays and had a blast! I even managed to fit in a couple of school visits which were very interesting. Kiwi teachers would find US classrooms/teaching practise very different in many ways.

I’m heading off to Learning@School in a week or so – and am very excited to be able to meet up with some more people from my twitter and blogging lists. I was there in 2007 and met Allanah, Chrissy and Simon. I’ve since met Andrew, Suzie and Rachel at another conference. This time I hope to meet Erin, Heath, Amanda, Toni and some others at the Bloggers Cafe.

I’m also watching the bushfires very closely at the moment – my brother lives in Pakenham which is south-east of Melbourne and south-ish of the Bunyip fire – what an horrific loss of life and property – and I , like many teachers, have been thinking of the schools and the children who have been lost – and when they are able to start up the gaps in classrooms.

News Broadcasters

Today students in my class became news broadcasting teams. They worked in groups of 4 – 2 girls, 2 boys – and took the roles of news reporters (2), camera operator (1) and producer (1).

Each group had the same script to work from (our school daily notices). They organised themselves into roles with their groups. While the reporters practised their scripts I ran a mini workshop for the camera operators and producers.

We used the class Canon Powershot A470 mounted on a tripod. First I showed them how to attach the camera to the mounting bracket and then they all had to show me how to do it. Then I showed them how to attach the bracket to the tripod and then they all did that for me.

We talked about setting the camera up – I set the scene but talked them through it. We looked at framing and distance etc.

After morning tea I worked with each group to record the news. The reporters practised while I ran through the setup with the camera operator and producer then we silenced the class and they did their recording. I worked through each of the 5 groups which took nearly 90 minutes all up.

After lunch the camera operator and producers worked on their videos to add titles and end credits to the video using Windows Movie Maker.

Finally in the last 1/2 hour of school today we watched the videos and did some feedback.

Once I’ve got permission from parents I hope to be able to share some videos with others.

It was an exciting day!

Mentoring and Motivation

Full links can be found on my wiki site http://dragonsinger.wikispaces.com

This was a workshop presented by Perry Rush from Island Bay School at an NZEI Wellington District Council “Staff Wellbeing” Seminar.

Just some rough notes until i can get some urls from perry …

He quoted Judith Aitkin?

Chn are compelled to be at school – it is therefore our responsibility to make sure they take something wonderful and worthwhile out of their 10+ years invested in the school system

Educational research from Graham Nuttal and ? EDwards (reminded me a bit of some of the things that David Warlick talked about) – we do what we do because that’s how we were taught / we do what we do because we learned from educators who did it that way because they learned it from educators who did it that way …

Modelling from the top – example of sharing his own appraisal with the staff – using an anonymous survey forum to get feedback; then sharing the results with the staff; sharing his goals concerning the areas he needed to improve in with them – and lastly sharing with them what he has done to meet those goals

the reggio emilia approach to learning



Oxford Dictionary definition of teachers : dispensers of facts and knowledge

I note that dictionary.com says
a person who teaches or instructs, esp. as a profession; instructor.

and my Collins dictionary say A person whose occupation is teaching

Teachers, however, are not merely dispensers of fact and knowledge!

We need to:

  • pose provocative questions
  • show the teacher as a learner

There is powerful teaching done through asking questions (instead of telling facts) and even more powerful teaching done by being quiet and letting the children figure things out.

Think outside the box

Dream the dream you are passionate about

Our kids deserve the absolute best

Maximum passion – maximum energy

sharing the information

i guess one of the things about learning new stuff is the importance of passing it on … i was informed on thursday that my name had been tossed in the bucket to take a workshop during our skills week – on blogs and wikis … so … over the next week if you keep an eye on my wiki – https://dragonsinger.wikispaces.com/ you’ll probably see me putting my presentation together – all i know is about an hour and up to 20 teachers …

skype talkandwrite

this looks interesting but unfortunately not available for mac … simon and chrissy seem to be our local ‘experts’ on it …

post conference

I think it would be cool if those of us inspired by David’s sessions were able to keep in contact through our blogs and wikispaces …

besides me i know of …

Chrissy – Teaching Sagittarian

Simon – Educating the Dragon

anyone else? (thanks for the idea simon!)

the machine is us/ing us

web2.0 – it’s a phrase i heard at the conference without totally understanding what it meant – then when i got home and investigated i discovered i was part of the web2.0 collective already … take a look at the video …

conference over

I’ve spent the last 3 days at the learning@school conference in Rotorua. This has been the best conference yet – mainly because 7 of us went from school and we’ve continued the talk over dinner and while travelling.

I’m excited by new possibilities that have been presented to me. I always thing a con is successful if you come away with something new that you can do immediately – and I’ve done that, but I’ve also come away with professional tools which I think is even more exciting (and stuff that I can use for personal blogs/web pages as well!)

The most exciting presentations I went to were two by David WarlickThe Art and Technique of Wikis and The Magic of the New Web:RSS. I wasn’t booked in to either of these but after his keynote – Telling the New Story – I knew I needed to be in these sessions.

I happen to be sitting near Teaching Sagittarian on both days and was fascinated to see her blogging the second session as it was in progress – who needs paper notes – actually who needs notes at all when the presenter provides their notes online in a wiki?