Monday, 29 June 2015

Poetry Slam

One of my pastimes is watching video clips from Poetry Slams around the world (though most I find are in America).  This morning I introduced Room 10 to the concept by watching this video:

The class enjoyed it, although some wanted to watch it again to get a better understanding of the words and messages (he talks very fast in parts).

Next I talked about schools in the Bronx, New York, where poetry slams have changed many students' lives.  This video explains it well.

Then we went on to talk about the content of poems, and we watched a neat poem that demands poetry with meaning, not poetry that leaves you asking 'so?'.  Have a look at this:

And just to finish up, here's a slam done by a teenager in her home, showing that you don't need an event to express yourself in poem slam style.

What do you think of poetry slams? 
Do you want to give it a go?

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Life Lessons from Harry Potter Characters

What do you think would be written on Harry's picture?

Maths in Nature

Recently, to start our mathematics session, I played the class a short film about maths in nature.  This was it:

We really enjoyed it, but some students couldn't see how this related to maths and us.  At this stage, Aryan was desperate to share his knowledge with the class. So he stood at the Promethean board and talked about the spiral made using the Fibonacci numbers.

He explained how the patterns of petals follow the Fibonacci sequence.  He explained what the Fibonacci sequence is.  This is the explanation from Maths is fun.

At that stage, Hunter talked about how in woodwork, he uses a 'Fibonacci Guage' to get his work aesthetically pleasing.  Here's a picture:

This lead to a discussion on the Golden Ratio (or golden mean), which can be found in much art and in nature.  We watched the following video to help us understand:

This session is why I love teaching Room 10; our class gets excited by learning new knowledge and ideas. Room 10 students are inquirers whose individual knowledge baskets join together to enrich us all.

Learning about Anatomy in Science

For her last teaching session in the science room, Miss Bogun ran some stations where students used different senses and body reflexes.  This is what they did:

Touch and smell 
The students had eight boxes to put their hands in, to see if they could figure out what was in each one.  The objects ranged from cold spaghetti and sauce, peeled bananas, cooked cauliflower, a fossilised shell and peeled grapes, they used both touch and smell to help identify the objects.  

The class had activities to identify where their eyes' blind-spots were.  They also dissected pig eyes to find out about the anatomy of eyes.

Students looked at the reflexes in the knees and ankles, but tapping them.

We really enjoyed the lessons, and thank Miss Bogun for her work to make this happen.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

A Cold Winter Morning

This week has been one of the coldest weeks for many years, right across New Zealand. In some parts of the South Islands, it has dropped down as low as -22 degrees celsius. I knew it was supposed to be cold this morning, but I didn't expect it to be this cold here in Hamilton:

Before school started, I handed my camera to James and Evahn, and these are the stunning results.  Hover over the photos to have a look at them enlarged.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A sad Goodbye

The last 8 weeks have rushed by and unfortunately we are going to be saying goodbye to our lovely Miss Bogun tomorrow.  We have loved having her in our class.  She brings joy and  knowledge.  We are all going to miss her greatly. 

Today we managed to surprise her with a shared lunch.  

And we took the time to take a photo of the whole class:

"Thank you Miss Bogun"

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Awesome Blogs

Lately, my life seems to be dominated by writing interim reports. As a result, I have been pressed for time to look at our students' blogs.   Last night I took the time to read through all the class blogs.  I was really impressed with the following blogs.  Not only was their content interesting, but they were well written and presented (I am totally drawn to photos and videos).

Brooke's Blog
Chloe's Blog
Zoe's Blog
Ellie's Blog
Leigh's Blog
Renee's Blog
Danielle's Blog
Emily's Blog

Please have a look at these blogs and tell me what you think. If you have your own blog, what learning can you take from these blogs?

Monday, 8 June 2015

Harlem Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotters on PhotoPeach

So you think you can dance?

Last week we had our school's 'So you think you can dance?' competition.  The groups worked through many lunchtimes to choreograph their own dances.  Congratulations to Rose, Ellie and Emily who were in the winning group.

Have a look:

Monday, 1 June 2015

Interview with Miss Bogun

This term, we in Room 10 are very fortunate to have the wonderful Miss Bogun completing her practicum in our class.  Halfway through her time, I decided to interview her to find out how things are going, and to pick some of the wisdom from her brain.  Here's what she had to say to me:

Welcome to Room 10.  How have your first four weeks been?
My first four weeks have been amazing! I love being a part of Room 10 and getting involved in school activities with some of you during lunch times. I am really looking to the next four weeks, but hoping that they don’t go by too quickly.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up and am continuing to grow up in Hamilton; in fact, I even attended Berkley Normal Middle School as a student so coming back here teaching feels a lot like coming home.

I have lived in Hamilton for most of my life but have also lived in Maryland near Washington D.C. with my Aunt and Uncle for three months when I had a gap year before starting University.

Most of my childhood memories are either at the farm or at our family bach, where growing up I spent most holidays and weekends. Therefore, even though I have lived in Hamilton for so long, a lot of my memories of growing up and shaping me into the person I am today were out of Hamilton.

Where is your favourite place you've visited?
This is a hard one for me as there are a few contenders. As many of you in Room 10 have heard, I have recently been to Turkey where I attended the ANZAC service in Gallipoli for the centennial. This trip was definitely one I will never forget. Tied with Turkey, I think I would have to say Queenstown as I love the ski fields there and am a bit of an adrenalin junkie at times and there are lots of fun things there to try in terms of adventure tourism.

If you could give some 'life' advice to the students of Room 10, what would it be?
The more you give the more you get back. I believe this relates to most things in life, for example, the more effort you put into something, the better results you will receive. This not only applies in the classroom, for example in sport and leisure the more time you put into practising and honing in on techniques, the better you become.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I first contemplated the idea of teaching when I was a student here at Berkley. I have always wanted to do something that is helping people in some way, either in a health profession or helping people to learn things. I also love learning new things and the teaching profession requires one to constantly learn.

What do you enjoy about University?
At university, I am doing what is called a conjoint degree. This means that I am studying two different degrees in different faculties. As well as teaching, I am doing a double major in Biology and Earth Science. Therefore what I enjoy the most about university is the broad range of options and opportunities my degree will enable me to pursue in the future.

University has also given me the opportunity to meet many like-minded people who are interested in the same sorts of things as me. Trying to imagine my life without the friendships I have formed with people from university, is rather strange as I am so close with some of the people I have met there.

What do you enjoy about Room 10?
I love all of the personalities of the students in Room 10. I like how opinionated you all are and how you share this with the rest of the class. Room 10 gives off what I relate to as a family vibe, where all members are valued. I feel very honoured that I am getting the chance to be a part of this family for the duration of my practicum.

What advice can you give Room 10 students for future education?
My main piece of advice for students in Room ten is much like Berkley’s motto, take up the challenge. Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way. In fact, go searching for opportunities. All of the hard work and effort that you put in now is going to make things easier for you in the future both academically and in general in society.

Many students in Room 10 are able to tell you their favourite quotes.  Do you like quotes, and if so, what is your favourite one?
I do indeed like quotes and the messages that can be behind them. My favourite quote at the moment is:

             “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will
             live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – Albert Einstein.

This is one that I often think of while teaching to make sure that whatever form of assessment I use in the classroom is fair on students. It also reminds me that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and reminds me that we can’t all be the best at everything.

What are you looking forward to the most in your next four weeks in Room 10?
As one of my passions is science, I am really looking forward to teaching science in the lab, as well as seeing and helping out with the progress of your science fair projects.

Thank you for taking your time to answer these, we have really enjoyed having you in our class.  Hopefully, the next four weeks won't fly past quite so quickly.