Sunday, 7 December 2014

Science Showcase video produced will show authentic learning process in Year 2

North Sydney Council have commissioned a film maker to document Year 2’s involvement in the water catchment environmental grants recently. This could be used by schools in the future to imagine learning pathways around grants and how the experience can be embedded into the curriculum.
#authenticlearning   #networkcommunity   #contentandteaching

QR codes - a great way to share student videos

At a community day to celebrate and showcase our science unit “Catching Water”, my Yr 2 students shared their innovations and videos via qr codes at their science stall. Visitors watched videos on both large screens and on ipads as they walked around the stalls. Many students, parents and reps from North Sydney Council environmental team took the take away codes home to watch later.
#networkcommunity #learningenvironments #contentandteaching #authenticlearning

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

CASPA award of excellence received for commitment to professional learning

At the 2014 CaSPA Annual Awards, I received an award for commitment to professional learning. This followed my attendance at a Performing Arts Bootcamp. Here I was able to learn from the CaSPA team. This bootcamp enabled me to transfer film making as an authentic product for my student's learning.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Making it Mobile - a 2 day conference with practical ways to incorporate contemporary learning

#mim14 Re-imagining learning in spaces with a matrix at making it mobile scil 14. Student centred, student choice, technology and lo tech combined. Can’t wait to share this with colleagues!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Making Films in the classroom, A short Learning Story narrated by Year 2 St Mary’s North Sydney
I know that making films is an authentic way for children to learn.
During our yr 2 unit on cultural identity, I gave the class choices on how to present their work. What i didn’t expect was all 8 groups the whole class, to choose film. Students made 8 films five different genres, and it created an excitement for learning that engaged my students and parent community beyond the school gate.

Early on i signed up For The caspa teams film boot camp for teachers, Providing workshops in sound, framing shots and editing. I was able to take these skills back to the classroom. I have had many film workshops from the  Learning Exchange as well, all great building blocks for my professional learning.

I was approaching filming day and having a lightbulb moment rather panic attack I rang, Iris who suggested she and Roger came to St marys to support us with blocking scenes for film. It made such a difference, I handed over my 34,  8 year old charges (not all at Once) to Roger. He was like a superhero simplifying storyboards into scenes, photographing the starting and end points of every shoot and voice coaching. Iris and Roger were with so good with the children and as a result each filming day was seamless. Our wonderful parent community, my colleagues and leadership by Principal Mrs Bev Coffey offered practical support every step. And last but not least, my understanding wife Lenore during a few weekend shoots and post production. I’d like to congratulate all my class on their films, and celebrate our film finalists Anzac heroes and Chinese zodiac race for their wonderful mini masterpieces. Thank-you Caspa team for your great contributions to our projects and all films in the battle of the artz.

Choice is important, Now film is a regular choice for products as students. They are transferring their skills to new projects such as products for religious education assessments and their current project 13 science documentaries as part of a report to North Sydney council.

This short narrative which tries to capture our class film project.


Film Making in the Classroom at St Mary’s North Sydney
A one minute vision package I made as part of my presentation to CaSpa Sydney highlighting a Year 2 collaborative film project - 34 students, 8 films, 5 genres, 2 finalists in the CEO Sydney film festival.
1 minute shows 20 weeks of student learning, whole school and community support.

Catholic schools performing arts sydney recognises authentic learning using film in the early years.
9 students from my class received highly commended for their two films. I was able to give a video presentation and spoke about the learning pathway and student / community engagement. The boys when thrilled to have their photo taken with Executive Director Catholic Schools Dr Dan White. I was honoured to receive an award of excellence for professional learning.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Blandville’s Opening Song on Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery with Wendy Harmer Pretty Chuffed! Instrumental Version of my song Good Dreams from 2nd album. Opening Scene!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Authentic Learning St Marys NSyd / Yr 2 Battle Artz film finalist Anzac Heroes / stdnts research beyond school gate / 20 weeks embed film drama topic writing vis arts / Stdnts confident now to use film as quality product for assessment.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Authentic Learning St Marys Nth Syd - Yr 2 Battle of the Artz Finalist Chinese Zodiac Race 5 Students collaborate to create during class. Includes original hand drawings, borrowed lights, puppet theatre, filmed on tablet. original music recorded in garage band. voice overs etc

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Yr 2 success in Battle of the Artz CEO Sydney Diocese Film Competition
Congratulation to my Yr 2 class who have 2 movies in the TOP 8 finalists. The class produced 8 movies with every student involved in writing filming acting and music. One proud teacher, great support from parent community and colleagues

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Connecting students to authentic real world problems is motivating and builds community links

Year 2 are currently working with North Sydney Council, on a very real environmental project.  Students will be reporting to council on a range of solutions to environmental issues. These photos show the students work last term with colleague Meghan and I facilitating some great brainstorming sessions with groups. The results will be interesting! The main rule in brainstorming is never say “it can’t be done”. Students will now develop their own science experiments to prove their theories and have started building designs using lego, and recycled materials.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Authentic Learning in action - Year 2 takes on the challenge to design and innovate sustainable environmental change - World Cafe workshops

Thanks to a grant from North Sydney Council, Year 2 continue their real life challenge - to make a difference to their local environment. In this classroom based workshop led by Greg and Yolande from the council, Students came up with some fantastic ideas to innovate change. Next teams will be created and design projects developed.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Authentic Learning in action - Year 2 takes on the challenge to design and innovate sustainable environmental change - Field Trip 2 - The Coal Loader, Waverton

Thanks to a grant from North Sydney Council, Year 2 continue their real life challenge - to make a difference to their local environment. In this second field trip, this time to the Coal Loader, students learnt about how the environment looked before white settlement in an excellent presentation by Karen from the Aboriginal Heritage Office. Karen then explained in detail the rock carving at the site. Students received a valuable and entertaining hands on science lesson about pollution from Sue called the “Story of a River”. She then took us on a walk to see the Mangroves in the area, and a walk through the Coal Loader. Parent helpers enjoyed the experience as well.

Authentic Learning in action - Year 2 takes on the challenge to design and innovate sustainable environmental change - Field Trip 1 - Smoothey Park, Wollstencraft (Water Catchments)

Thanks to a grant from North Sydney Council, Year 2 have begun a real life challenge - to make a difference to their local environment. In this first field trip to Smoothey Park, students receive a facilitated tour from the council’s environmental experts, Yolande and Rahmin. They walked along Berry Creek and talked about how it has changed over the years, from pre settlement to now. The impact of built environments and pollution was seen first hand. The great work of the council is seen through their transformation of this beautiful area. Who could have predicted an “on the spot” lesson from an environmental team half way down the creek as well. The whole tour was captured on video and QR codes were used later in class to revisit the excursion. The integrated unit was redesigned using the “Understanding By Design” framework which allowed me the flexibility to create the unit “Catching Water”. Immersing students in the environment was a valuable first step. Parent helpers were invaluable as usual on the trip and enjoyed the opportunity to explore their local neighbourhood as well.

Students creativity highlighted at Parish Mass
Celebrating Parish Mass with my students is always a delight when you have such keen prayerful singers and a talented string section from our classes (5 of them from my class!) Colleagues sharing and collaborating together is also a wonderful opportunity. The support of community and parents was amazing! 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Year 2 celebrates their completed Battle of the Artz entries with a movie night.
Now the hard work is done after post production. Over 80 people packed the year 2 classroom to celebrate all student’s efforts in completing their eight films. Completing a major goal is a win for our class and the school. Support from colleagues Bev, Julie and Elizabeth ensured smooth running on the night as well. Overwhelming support from the class parent community summed up by one parent Amanda: “ The effort, creativity, learning and enjoyment in the making of the films, was evident in each and every movie presented.The film project was a great way to engage the children’s interest in Australian history, Chinese culture, art, music, performance and ICT, as well as develop their communication and problem solving skills in what was an extraordinary collaborative effort”
Class parent Jane:. Thank you to everyone.  I had a great time watching the movies and was very impressed by the hours of work that went into each film.  We enjoyed it so much, we have watched all the films again at home on the DVD provided by Mr Butt.  Well done!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Students learn real life media skills in their Battle of the Artz movies

Students incorporated real life interviews in their Battle of the Artz Entries for the “Race that Stops the Nation” and “Anzac Day Across the Nation”. They applied this learning when shooting their documentaries and stories. One student filmed their interview while on holiday in Hobart during Anzac Day.