Let’s get coding!

Have they cracked the code? It’s just the start for Junior School students, who recently began to learn all about coding. Niall O’Brien tell us more –

This term as part of the Digital Technologies Curriculum, Years 1 & 2 students are undertaking a 9-lesson coding incursion from ScopeIT Education. Each lesson runs for 40 minutes every Wednesday from Week 3 to Week 11. During these sessions, two ScopeIT Education educators will teach the students the foundational skills involved in coding, including programming a character to undertake a specific set of steps. Continue reading

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Coding in the classroom

When I was at school, speculation about “what we’d be when we grew up” was confined to a large but relatively unchanging list of careers (on my list was a psychologist, a librarian and an air stewardess, none of which I did but all jobs that still exist). In comparison, today’s students have a working life ahead of them that most likely includes jobs that haven’t been conceived as yet; a ‘physical workplace’  that is defined by technology; and multiple changes of career (these speculations make for interesting reading).

If you’re wondering just how different things might be in the future, and what that means in the classroom today, take a close look at the instructions on the whiteboard in the photo below – ‘Create three sprites (one drawn)’ and ‘Code your sprites with motion’ – what?!

Year 5 and 6 students are undertaking coding classes and share some of their experiences so far –

Continue reading

First book, then movie

bookfiend-etsyAs is always the case during school holidays, a bunch of new movies were released. This year, the main offerings were Pete’s Dragon, The Secret Life of Pets and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. My kids, being a little older, were plugging for Miss Peregrine, until I said “But have you read the book?” Cue massive eye-rolls from children (because I always say ‘first book, then movie’).

I miss lots of new-release movies because I haven’t read the book. In fact, my chief-movie-going-pal often gives me advance warning of movies she wants to see with a simple “Read the book now because the movie is out in a month.” Considerate friend!

Although I usually prefer the book to the movie, it’s not always the case, particularly when it comes to kids books/ movies. In some cases, films are PERFECT translations of the book, the characters and scenes unfolding just as you imagined. And sometimes a movie not only does a book justice but makes it better. Yes, really.

So here are the books that I think rocketed into awesomeness thanks to a fabulous film – Continue reading

Apps that are out there

Me, “I got a lacunosus while you were at school today.”
Edward (grade 5), “No!…. Really?…. Let me see the picture.”

cloudspotter-appDon’t know what we’re talking about? Clouds. Edward and I have turned cloud-spotting into a competitive sport, all with the aid of the marvelously addictive Cloudspotter app. Continue reading

You found us how?

searchingLast week, I mentioned that I find blog statistics decidedly boring. Except the search terms. Because although you might assume that most people reading this blog have arrived here via the school newsletter, you’d be wrong. Actually, some readers are searching the world wide web for particular things and their search lands them in our little corner of the interwebs. And really, it’s a very, very little corner which is why the search terms they use are revealing, odd and sometimes funny. Continue reading

Grade 312 and world maths domination

mathletics-3

The news spread like wildfire – Patricia Incerti’s grade threes were ranked number three in the world for Mathletics. Number three. In the whole world. Of all those millions of kids*, busy doing addition and subtraction, looking for number patterns and solving mind-benders, class 312 ranked number three. WOW!

The following week was a roller coaster of emotions – a giddy high when the class hit second spot and a crushing low when, come last Monday morning, the team discovered that not only had they lost their top ten ranking but also a top fifty spot – had kids in New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Canada been working on Mathletics all weekend to increase their scores? Apparently so. Continue reading