Friday, 15 December 2017

See you soon!

I've never been good at saying goodbye, so instead this is a see you soon - I am taking a little teaching break to go explore the world! I have had an amazing two years at Point England School and am extremely grateful to all the support I have received in my first two years of teaching - thank you everyone!

Wishing you all a lovely Xmas and all the best!

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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Oh, how time flies - MDTA Graduation!

As I sat on the ferry, heading into Google Headquarters for our MDTA graduation, I reflected on the last two years. It has been one huge journey, full of its challenges but outweighed by many amazing learning experiences and memories; meeting incredibly inspiring teachers, attending many motivating professional development sessions and of course being able to have such loving students to share each day with.

I can say there was never a dull moment. I learnt that the most important thing in life is people. I have first hand seen how we have a poverty issue in New Zealand that is much greater than what many (and I before joining the MDTA) realise. I learnt that a smile makes the world of difference and that giving is much more rewarding than receiving. I also have the greatest respect for any teacher in the world who has taken on the role to inspire their class of learners, as it definitely is not an easy job. I feel privileged to be a part of the education world and kickstarting my career as an MDTA was definitely an invaluable opportunity.

There are so many people to thank for their support - I won't start naming as you all know the incredible people you are! It is a journey I could never have completed on my own, so thank you everyone and to all those who have supported my blogging journey so far as well. Here are some photos of our graduation celebration!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Manaiakalani Film Festival - Maui and the Sun!

This year our Manaiakalani Film Festival film was a retell of the story of Maui and the Sun. The children all worked really hard to make their costumes and act out all the different scenes! It was a great opportunity for the whole class to get involved and learn about green screening, filming and recording audio. Having our film screened at Hoyts on the big movie screen was definitely a highlight and the excitement from the children when they saw it come on was priceless - thank you to all those who organised this amazing event!


Monday, 6 November 2017

Celebrating Accelerated Shift in 2017!

Today Dorothy took our staff meeting on how visible learning empowers both students and teachers. We reflected on the strategies we have used this year to accelerate the learning and were asked to share a short summary of how we achieved this shift.

Here is a summary to celebrate the shift of a student in Year 2:

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Teaching Inquiry - Term 4 (Basic Facts continued...)

The students really enjoyed the basic facts challenges on our Google Forms last term (see previous post for more details). The competition aspect of wanting to move up the levels proved to be a hit and was great motivation to get them trying again and again! I did find that a few students who were starting to struggle at the higher levels were losing motivation and I feel this may have been down to their strategies not being high enough for the questions...

From this I realised, how although I wanted to have a big push in students' knowledge, I also needed them to maintain their knowledge of strategies. Therefore, I am going to include a daily recap of strategies they can use as part of our calendar maths. At the moment, I plan to have a daily question which we will solve as a class in a variety of ways with different strategies. Funnily enough at the photocopier this morning were a stack of strategy posters, which I was able to locate after a quick Google search (link to them here) and am now in the process of popping up on the wall as reference for the class.

Reflecting on my inquiry last term made me realised how hand-in-hand both knowledge and strategy go, and the importance of ensuring students are maintaining and practising these both as often as possible!

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Friday, 15 September 2017

What I have learnt this year creating our film for the Manaiakalani Film Festival!

Brainstorm early!

I learnt from last year the importance on brainstorming early, as it gives you time to change your idea if you realise it may not work so well. This year, I brainstormed in the holidays and over the first three weeks of term went back and forth between ideas before I settled on one that I knew would work with the whole class.

Think carefully about audio

If you are going to have students speaking in the film, make sure that you have a good plan as to how you will capture clear audio (think about wind noise outside, getting a good quality microphone and having a quiet shooting location). I decided this year to narrate our story and we recorded our audio on Garageband prior to filming.

If you write a script make sure you time it with the narrator

Once I had written my script I timed it at home to make sure I knew it would fit into 3 minutes. However, when I got to school and had my students record I realised that I must talk very fast! Luckily we had enough time to cut out certain parts to make sure it was the right length.

Have a filming day

Last year. I was given a day to film the whole movie and I found it worked well. It gave us a day to focus on the movie and then we could retake any scenes we needed. This year I told the students our filming day and we spent the entire day building props, getting our costumes ready and filming. We did have to change a few actors due to absentees, however I was able to reshoot a few scenes the following week to make sure all the students were involved.

Take lots of shots and angles of each scene

Our team leader made sure we understood the importance of taking a variety of shots and angles. This proved to be great advice when I later noticed that in some of my shots my hair had blown into the top of the lens!

Leave enough time for editing

Make sure you give yourself enough time for editing - not only will you save yourself a lot of stress, you will also have time to create a film which you feel is refined and something you can be proud of!

With our movie almost complete, we are now onto the editing and look forward to sharing it with you soon.... Keep posted to see an amazing effort by a beautiful class of Year 2's!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

How to export a multiple page PDF as JPEGS with Automator!

Last week, I was wanting to save a multiple page PDF as a series of JPEG files. I initially tried to export the PDF as a JPEG, which would only export the first page. Next I Googled "How to save a multiple page PDF as JPEGs". My search took me to this blog by PremiumBeat where it was suggested to use an Automator workflow.

I had not yet stumbled across this amazing robot on my MacBook Air and what an honour it was to meet him/her! With a few quick steps (see the link by PremiumBeat) I built a workflow and had my PDF exported into a series of JPEG files.

I havn't yet had the time to explore more of what I can do with Automator, however I did find this link by Apple where there are suggestions for its use with mail, webpages and calendar!

Will let you know as I discover more and would love to hear any suggestions on what you have used it for!

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