Monday, December 18, 2006

Lego Junkbot - Mathematical Problem Solving

You really need to try Lego Junkbot with your students. You can talk: gameplay, problem solving, guess and check, teamwork, cheating, the a-ha feeling, how certain games lack a necessary checking mechanism to ensure optimal learning (yep they really can handle this last one).

NB Instill in them that you are serious when you say if the solution requires 4 moves or less then '4 moves or less' is what is required. hehehehehe.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Motivational Poster for Your Wall

motivational posterEvery now and again you run across a child (or an adult for that matter) that their initial reaction to any problem is 'I can't'. I'm sure there are many reasons for this, but in the end the person wants you to do the work for them. 'I can't' is a way that they have manipulated people around them and you often find that it has been a very successful strategy for them and that's why they use it with their teachers, parents and other students.

In order to be proactive in overcoming this 'learned helplessness' I try to build the message on this motivational poster into the classroom culture.

'If you are tempted to say I can't, have the courage to add YET'

See how you go with it.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Personality Tests for Students

At the beginning of this year I had several classes (Yr6, Yr9 and Yr10) explore and experiment with this Jungian / Myers Briggs type personality test. They were instructed to do the test in silence and answer the questions as truthfully as possible. The children then had to record their personality profile and use the Internet to find out a bit about their profile. The children had a heap of fun with it and I then had them mind map their thoughts on the test using the software Cmap.

Include: Your name, your 4 letter profile, 5 things that you thought were true, anything that you thought was untrue, anything that if you really, really, really think about you know in your heart is true, who is your perfect workmate (find and name them)? and the one they liked the most... what famous person do you have the same personality type as? (We Googled 'famous ****') Opinion - How accurate do you feel this test is for you?

I then asked them to take the results of this test home and talk about the findings with their paren
The funny thing was that a lot of the students told their parents to do the test so they all knew a little bit more about each other.

Heaps of fun and discussion was had.

I then shared my results with the kids and invited them to share their results with their friends if they wanted to. I was surprised to find that they all were willing to.



Saturday, December 09, 2006

Online Art School

online art schoolHere are a collection of art lessons that I developed a while ago and finally have them available as my online art school. The lessons cover the exploration of hues, tints, shades, tones and monochromatic artworks. By the end of this series of lessons the students have a very good understanding of how to mix the colours that they desire and a fair idea on how colour can convey mood in an artwork.

online art schoolI find that having these artworks displayed around the walls and across the ceiling gives a real lift to a classroom. Have fun with these.

online art school
online art school

online art school

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cartooning on the Computer

Whilst not meaning to be political, I'm a feeling a slight need to vent a tad today :)

According to the feasibility study that our beloved democratically elected leader commissioned. It has been found that nuclear energy is a viable alternative to fossil fuels here in Oz and that we could be producing weapons grade plutonium within 15 years.

Sorry Mr H... but any fuel that leaves a radioactive legacy for the next 10 000 years or so is immoral & should not even be considered as an option. Yep. Immoral!

Get nuclear off the agenda! Start funding alternative energy research big time! Then get on with the real issues of social justice and a 'fair go' for ALL your citizens.

Oh, & on the software front the cartoon was done with a piece of open source software called Inkscape with a bit of colour in Photoshop but could have easily been done in Gimp Shop if I got off my butt and learnt something new :)



Sunday, December 03, 2006

Problem Solving in the Classroom - A New Puzzle

Here is a great problem solving puzzle that the kids really have to think about and use the 'constant manipulation' strategy to solve. Many do tend to get really frustrated with the puzzle but this then becomes a teachable moment. Have fun with it. Adrian.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Word Game for Reading & Writing Skills

When learning to read and write, auditory discrimination is an important skill. Many people focus heavily on the initial sound in a word and often the final consonant sound gets overlooked. The newest word game on my site, developed by Billy in Ireland, focuses on the final sound of a word. e.g. 'g' as in 'dog'

This game was my first attempt at developing all the illustrations myself using my new Wacom tablet. The learning curve has been pretty steep but in the end I am rather pleased with the results.

A special thanks has to go to Linda from Wacom Australia for pointing me in the right direction to solve my brush problem :)