Friday, October 29, 2010

Grammar made fun!

This is a site I found on the Ning network: Grammarman is a comic book hero. The comic strips can either be printed off or you can watch and listen to them as a class. Brilliant.
There is also a heap of other things if you go to the main page:

Check it out

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Holes by L Sachar

My Year 9-10 combined class are reading Holes at the moment and are loving it. Even my very low ability students are engaged and eager to read. The short manageable chapters helps their confidence. I have found some good sites that I would like to share: This site is brilliant for online or printable questions. I have organised teams in the class and they compete to answer the questions using the interactive whiteboard.
Today they made paper chain men, wrote the characters name at the top of each boy and then filled the body with references about the character.
We have a post it question notice board. When they have a question they put it on a post it note stick it on the whiteboard and I staple them onto the poster. They can see how their questions have developed over the weeks - They answer the questions or pick one to research and share it with the class.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2011 Year 11 Plan


Almost finished with planning for L1 English next year for the new teacher to take over. I will post the plan next week and share it with English Online forum. I have to say a big thanks to Mal who is the literacy advisor down here in Southland. Her help and guidence has been amazing and we are lucky enough to have had workshops and one on one PD on the new curriculum and realignment of the standards.
Anyhow stay tuned it will appear next week.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Essay Structure for NCEA

I was lucky enough to learn a great acronym for students to use when doing revision for essays. I have turned this into a Prezi  - Essay Structure. Take a look let me know what you think.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Finally excitement from students about homework

Finally my students are excited about their homework. The idea of making a youtube movie really appealed. Here it is:
You are to create an informative presentation on Illiteracy and why it is important to be literate.
You will need to be able:
  • To define what illiteracy and literacy are
  • Where globally people are literate and illiterate
  • The reasons for this
  • Why it is important to be literate
  • What can be done to help solve the problem of illiteracy
  • Identify up to 3 ways you could help solve this problem

Be original – you could make a ‘you tube’ video, website, wall-chart, comic book, presentation using, power-point, play, newspaper article, an information sheet for the school newsletter.

Monday, October 11, 2010

First Day Term 4

Went to school with a new bounce in my step and full of inspiration and motivation. My Year 12/13 class were awesome and really loved the post-it notes they did. Now all up on the wall looking neat and tidy and a reminder of their NCEA goals.
Year 9/10 little harder to please but enjoyed the prezi I posted. They liked the mix of video, quotes and discussion. They also did post-it notes about 'why we read?' and what 'they want to know'. These walls will be visited several times over the next term.
So all in a brilliant start to the term.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Prezi for reading

Here is the link to my Prezi on reading - each heading relates to a discussion point

Tools that are cool!

Wordle is a brilliant tool - I got students to write a bio poem then cut and paste it into Wordle, great success.

Twitter - use it to collaborate, investigate, a source of information. Get students to make observations and use Twitter as the tool. Keep classes updated with a twitter feed on your class page.

Google Docs - brilliant for collaboration on assignments, sharing documents, analysing exemplars the list goes on...

Storyonline - this is a brilliant primary/intermediate resource. Famous people from the Actors Guild reading their favourite story book - lesson plans included. Also great for all students to hear how to read a story.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


After 3 days at Ulearn10 I am feeling inspired by all I have learnt. Today I am putting together a Prezi for my Year 9/10 students (13/14year olds). It is titled 'Why Read' and I am currently finding information that will appeal to the students. When completed I will post a link.

I will also be creating a new class twitter link to sync with their blogs, that was I twitter can tell me when they have made an entry rather than hunting through them all.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Habits of Mind

I really enjoyed the breakout on 'Habits of Mind' that Karen Boyes gave today. It really is something I want to start using with my students, practical skills for the real world.
Here is a link to the website:


'Teaching makes all other professions possible' - A great quote from Karen Boyes at the Ulearn10 conference.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Some ways to use Twitter:
  • Collaboration  - within the classroom, across schools, cities and countries. Collaboration can be between the students, student and teacher or teacher and teacher. A tweet can go out asking for resources, opinions, and ideas.
  • Class Page - Giving updates on what is happening, what to remember and other useful information. This can be embedded in the school website. These updates could include reminders on what gear to bring, reminder of parent evening and for such events as school closure.
  • Gathering Information - It is a very fast way to gather information. I put out a tweet for how people use Twitter in education and OLC and received ideas back  within seconds.
  • Reader Response - Students can use Twitter in the classroom to ask questions or to make comments on observations whilst engaged in the classroom activities (Grosseck & Holotescu, 2008).
  • Sync with a Blog - Twitter can be used to let viewers know there is a new blog entry instead of scrolling through the blog.


Having a brilliant time at Ulearn10. Great presenter's and key note speakers.