Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Blogging with Children

I've just started my seven year old son off with his own blog http://code-samuel.blogspot.com . I'm not sure where it is going to lead to but he is very happy to be getting hits to his page (we put a free Sitemeter counter on yesterday) and comments from his friends and family. A few days ago he managed to present his blog to his class and needless to say, he was chuffed. Mind you, it is still an effort to get him to sit and blog as he wants to be a soccer or cricket star this week :)

Today he has written a draft about a piece of chess software that we just bought. That review should be finished in the morning once he has his shoes and socks on and is ready for school. He loves the Chessmaster because it plays better than his dad hehehe. He has also reviewed a piece of free Math software that he likes called Timez Attack and would be useful to many of my readers as well as Age of Empires II. You can also see what he thought of his first Blues Festival and see why he will tell his friends about it for years to come.



PS Do feel free to leave him a comment and mention where you are from.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Walking With Dinosaurs In Our Neighbourhood

Almost every area on the planet has a rich variety of dinosaurs and megafauna but most children only know of a few of the 'mainstream' dinosaurs. This task is designed to get the students, parents and teachers thinking about the dinosaurs that walked in their country or area.



Sunday, November 26, 2006

Science Education - How Do You Inspire Awe and Wonder?

In putting together the homework ideas website I remembered how much the students love one of my favourite Science demonstrations.


For many of the students that have problems with reading I find giving them a readers' theatre gives them a little more motivation to read. Plus... once they rehearse it for a while and then present it to an audience they feel chuffed with themselves.



Saturday, November 25, 2006

Astronomy Classroom - Just What is Up There?

Since I don't have access to the night sky in my classroom :) One of my favourite homework tasks is to get the kids talking about astronomy. About 3 times a year I send home the month's Sky Map. The children learn so much and it is nice to get a little awe and wonder into the curriculum. The activity always creates heaps of discussion.

Soon you'll be able to print out December's chart for either the Northern Hemisphere of the Southern Hemisphere
(That discussion in itself is often a good starter hehehehe).

Check out how I use the Sky Maps and where to get them here

Little Hint - Work out why East and West are on the wrong sides & explain it. This will save you a fair bit of time later on :)



Friday, November 24, 2006

Homework? - Homework :( - Homework :) !!!

Over the years I have been both praised and chastised for the homework tasks that I set. Recently I received an email from an ex-student (10 years later) who thanked me for being the one teacher that encouraged her to think. From this I've decided to put the many tasks that I have developed up on the Internet for people to choose to use if they deem them worthwhile and relevant to their student body.

The tasks are designed to have children and parents explore the world and foster thinking, research, questioning, attitudes to learning etc, etc. Here is a sneak peak at the very beginnings of the site.

It also needs to be noted that I have just started a cartooning course with my 7 year old son and the drawings are my initial experiments with my new Wacom tablet.



Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Free Virus Detection Software Solution

Virus detection is something I'm always asked about by teachers, parents and students. I often recommend AVG's anti-virus software version 7.5 to these people. I've just upgraded my home laptop to the new version of this protect. Over the years I've been very impressed by this software features and have no problems recommending it as an alternative to vendor software.

I have a link to the download here.


Adrian B

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Word Game Jig Saw Puzzle

I've wanted to include jigsaw puzzles on my site for a long time but haven't had any jigsaw puzzle software to do it with. Today I found the software, learnt how to make jigsaw puzzles and have just uploaded the first one to my website for the world to play with on their computer screens.

I took one of my most popular posters and dropped it into Jigs@w Puzzle 2 and began to have a play. I then saved it as an exe file and let my son have a play with it. He enjoyed the challenge and especially liked the way the program tells you how long you took to complete the puzzle.

Feel free to download it and send it on to as many of your friends who need it. (This will save me a little bandwidth hehehe)


PS You can download the software and make your own puzzles very, very easily via the link on my site :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Free Webpage Backgrounds

In the Web 1 world, before the 'Read and Write' web I did a lot of web design projects with my students. One of the biggest problems we had during this time was finding free webpage backgrounds quickly. The students (and sometimes the teachers doing professional development) would spend ages looking for the 'perfect' webpage background.

This 'inefficient use of time' prompted me to put together this collection of free webpage backgrounds that the participants had to choose from. This collection has saved me heaps of class time as well as time in professional development sessions. Feel free to use any resources that will save you time.



PS How might you use these in a 'Web 2' world?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The New Reading Games Are Here

Last weekend I finished 5 new printable reading games. These games will make great additions to any Kindergarten or Special Needs class. All you have to do is print them out on thin cardboard, laminate them (optional) and play.

Feel free to pass these resources on to any teacher, parent, student, tutor, etc that may need them.

Thanks again to Superbill in Northern Ireland for all his hard work in helping this games page come together.



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Free Educational Resources 4 Kindergarten

Here are some excellent free educational reading games that you can use when teaching early grades. When I taught Kinder in my first and second years of teaching I really wish I had access to games like these. Well done Kelly and keep up the great work! :-)

BTW - for the kinder teachers that I did some professional development with yesterday... aren't you glad you subscribed to my blog. I'm sure this site will save you a couple of hours preparation time and a fair few dollars. Might even cause a little learnin' :)



Monday, November 06, 2006

Free 3d Shape Game

This is a free math game availible from my site.

The kids love it and it is a great thinking tool.

Download it here.

If you master this have a go at some of these shapes. :)


Adrian Bruce

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Ultimate Educational Timesaver

primaryschool.com.au is one of the educational websites that I use often and I look forward to the site's newsletter arriving in my Inbox each week.

Whenever I'm planning some classwork I always do a bit of research on this site to see if Charlie has already compiled a list of the resources I'm after.

The site is well organised with links to all the major Key Learning Areas / Curriculum Areas / Subjects and there are some very useful teaching resources on the site. Hey he must have taste, he has links to my work hehehehe

Check it out and make sure you sign up for his free newsletter.


PS Primary school in Oz is the same as Elementary School in the US.