Weekly Reflection: The risks and rewards of camp

I'm not what you would call an outdoors type of person. In fact, my idea of a nature walk is strutting down Lampton Quay. The prospect of not only attending but actually being responsible for the running of a school camp was not something I was looking forward to. School camps for me largely  involved spending... Continue Reading →

Weekly Reflection – poetry in motion

This last term my syndicate is moving into studying poetry. To be honest I wasn't too enthusiastic about the unit. Because my class is off to camp this coming week , I decided to start off with limerick writing. What was surprising was how quickly the students were so enthusiastic about the task. As I... Continue Reading →

Should teachers censor student blogs? – When digital citizenship gets tough

Connected educators often become a bit lyrical when we talk about how wonderful it is for our students to have an audience far beyond the  walls of our classroom. As blogging teacher there is noting more exciting than seeing a parent leave a comment or have my students work linked to approvingly. But what happens when a... Continue Reading →

We are learning to: Make a difference in parliament

A few months ago I floated the idea to my Year 7/8 class making a submission to the Inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy being run by the New Zealand parliament's education and science select committee.* The project seemed like a great way to give my students an insight into how laws... Continue Reading →

My verbal submission to the inquiry on 21st century learning

This is a copy of my verbal submission that I made to the education and science select committee into digital learning. I was inspired to make a submission after attending the ignition unconference at Albany Senior High earlier this year. Firstly I would like to thank the committee for the opportunity to speak. Today I would like to highlight five... Continue Reading →

Weekly Reflection: Learning Should be Viral

Yes bad blogger again. Over the last two weeks I've been amazed at the number of times that viral learning moments have happened. Seemingly off-task or not related directly task conversations morph into powerful learning opportunities that then spread amongst the group. Kids starting to develop novels over a series of posts on their blogs.... Continue Reading →

How I built a culture of reading in my classroom

Of all the accomplishments I've made in my second term of teaching the one I am most proud of is building a reading culture in my class. This may sound weird as most people seem to assume that geeks eschew books in favour of gadgets. While I have proclaimed my love for my iphone, I... Continue Reading →

Setting up individual student blogs using blogger (part 1)

Despite my well-documented loathing of blogger as a content management system over the last term I've set up 28 (!) individual student blogs using google's platform. As a result, I thought I would do a write-up of the process for any teachers out there interested in going down this path. First of all do you have a... Continue Reading →

An emo week

This week I found myself spending what seemed like an inordinate amount of time on pastoral care. Perhaps it seemed inordinate because I find this part of the job emotionally draining. Obviously I can't blog about actual incidents but this week has really emphasized the fact that students aren't simply academic learning units devoid of... Continue Reading →

Tips for surviving your first term of teaching*

Ladies and Gentlemen who have started teaching 2012 If I could offer you only one tip for surviving your first term of teaching, remembering to eat lunch would be it. The long-term benefits of the daily déjeuner have been proven by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own... Continue Reading →

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