lee's classroom

(another MPPS global2.vic.edu.au weblog)

January 28, 2016
by leesclassroom
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2016 Welcome

Hello students, welcome to leesclassroom for 2016. For those who were with me in 2015 welcome back and to those new to 5/6B welcome, particularly those completely new to our school.

This site is an extention of our classroom. Here you will find many resources pages, useful links, homework reminders and news on what is happening in our classroom and around our school.

Importantly you will also find links to your classmate’s blogs and the blogs of other classes and their students. Through these sites you can access and communicate with the ever expanding MPPS online community.

Over the course of this year, as school leaders, many of you will be asked to assist other students and staff around the school in organising and managing their blogs. You will also have opportunities to learn new blogging skills and develop an understanding of how to incorporate other online tools and sites to help you better utilise the communication and educational possibilities blogging offers.

Before we begin a little about myself. This is my tenth year as a teacher and my eighth at our Moonee Ponds. During my time here I’ve mainly taught in 5/6, although I’ve also taught in 3/4 and and have worked with the 7s and 8s when we were a Central School.

I had a pretty quite holiday although I did visit my fa idly in Tasmania. They live in a small village called Longford which is just south of Launceston in the north of the island. My daughter , her boyfriend and I flew over really early on New Year’s morning so we could go to the Longford Cup that day. The cup is day of horse races held at the Longford Racecourse which is just across the road from my parent’s house.

While there we also went to the local strawberry farm where we were able to pick our own berries. Below is a picture from the farm, as you can see we have some unique animals in Tasmania.

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Besides reading quite a bit the other big event that occurred over the holidays was that my daughter, Bela, and I brought a new cat. She is a rescue cat which means she came from a home that for one reason or another was unable to keep her any longer. She is quite small compared to our last cat even though I assume she is fully grown as she is five years old. The name she came with is was Tiger Lilly although we’ve decided to call her Lilly.

She is very cuddly yet independent and likes to eat. At the moment her favourite sleeping spot is under my bed. The other night I thought the noise I heard was the humming of the refrigerator in the kitchen but then I realised it was Lilly under the bed purring in her sleep.

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I look forward to reading your responses to my letter and getting to know you all over the course of this year.

Regards,

Lee

December 24, 2015
by leesclassroom
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Closing our year six student blogs

One of the end of the year rituals we complete at this time of year is to close down our year six student blogs. While they will still exist, be able to be visited and be able to recieve comments our graduating students themselves will not be able to access the dashboard as we remove their administration rights.

For those students who wish to transfer a copy of their school blog to a new host site the process is relatively straight forward.

  1. Go to the tools section of your dashboard. Click onto the export page. Under the heading Choose what to export select all content. Then click the Download Export File button. This will download a file that contains all your blogs information including posts, pages, comments and so on.
  2. Next you will need to create a new blog. I suggest WordPress, but there are others available. You will need to have a personal email address in order to sign up for a new blog and you won’t be able to use your MPPS one as we will also be closing them down. To complete the sign up process you will receive a confirmation email at you personal email address. You will need to click on the confirmation blog.
  3. Once you have created your new blog sign in and go to the dashboard of your new site. Again find the tools heading and this time select the import page. You will be given a list of systems to import from, select the WordPress option (usually at the bottom of the list). Click on the Choose File button to select the file you downloaded from your school blog (it will usually be in your download folder. Once selected click on the Upload file and import button and you are done. You now have a new blog containing all the work you created over your last years at primary school.

December 9, 2015
by leesclassroom
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As we head towards the end of the year and the Christmas break I often get students coming up to me and in casual conversation asking, “Leeeee, do you like chocolate?” or “Leeeee, do you like wine?”

While I appreciate the subtlety with which they approach their assignment, I think I know what is behind the well crafted espionage.

As a teacher I neither expect nor want gifts at this time of year. That said I know some students and families want to show appreciation for a long and full year. If you do feel so inclined I ask that you instead look towards a donation. I’m a subscriber to the Save the Children and know they have many avenues to contribute over the Christmas period. Their site, as with other charity sites, contains information about the projects they have which could provide a useful discussion starter for you and your child.

The Save the Children Little Helpers site has a  range of donation gifts which are aimed at creating better lives for children.

December 2, 2015
by leesclassroom
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Computer Coding For The Classroom

There are many online sites, downloadable programs and iPad apps that will allow you to play with and let you develop an understanding of computer programming or coding.

The one we are going to focus on today is scratch. Scratch is a sandpit environment that allows you to experience the basics of programming. Either online, or with the downloaded program, you can create your own interactive games, stories, animations.

Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. In order to access the programming tool you will need to sign up and create an account. Please use your school email.

A quick way to learn how to use scratch is through the following tutorials on the Teach Kids to Program site. Ignore the part that suggests you download the program, instead use the online version:

ABC splash also has a series of How to Use Scratch videos aimed at students in years 4, 5 and 6.

Another site worth visiting and having a play with is Code Monster from Crunchzilla. Code Monster is a gentle and fun introduction to programming concepts. It is a first step in learning to program. It is not intended to teach all of computer science and programming. Code Monster starts with fun experiments using concepts like parameters, variables, loops, and functions, building more and more, until you are able to play with the wonders of fractals, animation, and physics.

If you want to explore creating apps check out MIT’s App Inventor. App Inventor begins in your browser where you design how the app will look. Then, like fitting together puzzle pieces, you set your app’s behaviour. All the while, through a live connection between your computer and your phone, your app appears on your phone. This lessons page offers a progression for students learning App Inventor.

Finally if you want to continue to explore coding there are many iPad apps you can use. These include:

 

 

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