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Showing posts from April, 2019

Teaching Algebra with Coding

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Now this sounds like something my maths class would enjoy - many of us are pretty passionate about algebra and we already really enjoy coding. However, I also have students who fear this dreaded subject and some have already asked when we will be learning it this year (perhaps hoping that it might align with a terrible pre-planned illness of family holiday).

We started by having a look at algebra on spreadsheets - using functions to write the equations. These were like a more interactive version of a worksheet, but I actually enjoyed completing them alone. It is easy to see how this would translate to coding, taking the engagement and interaction up another level.


When it came to generating our pattern we did things a little differently; we jammed on chrome music lab and created a simple song using its song maker function. This was such a fun way to see maths in the world - there are patterns everywhere!
We then went onto scratch to code some music - each note is here represented by a…

Tool Takeaways from Edtech Auckland

One of the best things about Edtech is picking up new sites, tools or tech tips that can be applied in the classroom. This is a list of some of the useful tools that I have learnt about throughout this summit:

The Most Dangerous Writing App
This is a cool idea for quick quickwrites. The site gives you a time limit to write and it does not allow you to stop - the second you stop typing, your text will disappear! A bit gimmicky and a red will come up and tell you that you've failed, but it could be fun once in a while.

iFake Text Messages
This is one of the best fake text messaging sites I've come across. They could be used to show a text conversation between characters or even for a Cybersmart lesson.

My Simple Show
This is a really cool website which allows you to make a slideshow with voiceover very quickly. It auto selects images for you based on the text, but you can choose your own from their library as well. It's not as creative as making one independently, with your own…

EdTech Auckland; Time to Wonder

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There are no new ideas. This was the idea that keynote speaker Lisa Highfill opened with at Aorere college this morning. She experienced this first hand as she watched her inventor father come up with new products, prepare to launch them only to find another company had already produced them.
This might sound a little defeatist, but she went on to explain that the value in an idea is putting it out there and sharing it. Instead of focussing on new ideas, Highfill suggested that we focus on sparking curiosity in our learners, so that they create, build on and share good ideas with one another.

We considered different ways to elicit student thinking, dreaming and wondering. This could be through engaging multimodal sites, stories, videos, google earth... But they must ask questions and discuss their thinking with one another. This aligns very closely with the Learn, Create, Share pedagogy of Manaiakalani, as we spark our students thinking through immersion assemblies, multimodal sites …

Quantities of Quality Text

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This afternoon we were visited by Dr Jannie Van Hees who came to talk to us about language acquisition. She first asked us to consider the literary understandings that our students come to use with and why we need quantities of quality text (both spoken and written). The more books that students engage with, the more concepts they learn about, the more knowledge and vocabulary they acquire. If the texts are too simple, the students will not not learn as much; they need to be challenged with challenging new words and ideas.

Children's language acquisition potential is astounding; they have amazing potential to learn. Thus, we must have high expectations of our learners - we need to keep pushing them, giving them learning in their ZPD or 'goldilocks' zone. However, learners need to do their part to; they can't simply listen or view the words, but they need to focus and notice. They must be metacognitive and be aware of their learning of the vocabulary.
Jannie's tips …