Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another Phonics Poster


Thanks Katie in the UK for doing the grunt work on this one. The border was easy.

On my website you can download a Word version or an Acrobat version of this 'ar' Phonics Poster

cheers

Adrian

PS If you hand this poster around your school encourage the staff to vote for my blog for saving them a heap of time :)


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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Free Phonics Posters


A HUGE thank you has to go out to Katie in the UK. She is currently on maternity leave from teaching but has put together eight new phonics posters for me to upload to my website so the world can share them :)

I am currently writing half yearly reports so I'm just uploading one poster tonight and then MUST get back to writing reports...I'm sure you know the drill.

The other thing that I have to thank Katie for is that I've wanted to include a motivational quote on the posters for the struggling reader and now I've got off my butt and done it.

NB If you have any tried and true motivational quotes in relation to decoding or reading feel free to send them through to me as I've got 7 more of Katy's posters to upload :)

cheers

Adrian

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Child Safe Search Engines

Hi All,

We have a saying in my circle of friends that... 'Assumption is the mother of all #@*# ups'. The saying works on so many levels... school, classroom, dealing with management, dealing with systems administrators and many other facets of 'the real world'. :)

That said, I must admit that I've never one to hide my ignorance... so I need to confess that I made an assumption last week that contributed to a little inefficiency. I assumed that teachers and students knew that there are a variety of web search tools available on the Internet that make certain purposes more efficient. i.e. finding the best Science and Maths sites on the Internet is much easier in a child friendly search engine rather than the, 'Search Engine of Default'.

All that said, last week I took a step back and introduced the teachers and students to a variety of child friendly search engines. The feedback from the teachers was great as they didn't know these resources existed and the results that the students achieved was very good as they used tools more appropriate to the task.

Let us hope that everyone can now transfer this learning to search tasks that they conduct in the future :)

Go on... explore a few of these...

KidsClick Go To KidsClick

Primary School.com.au - This is a site put together by a classroom teacher and is filled with useful sites for all areas of study.

Go to Primary Schools.com.au

Yahoo Kids - This one doesn't work too well at school but is fantastic at home.
Go To YahooKids

Ask Jeeves 4 Kids - Try the books on the side :)Go To Ask Jeeves 4 Kids

Google Student Directory - Another excellent site for home:)The Google Student Directory

Use these sites for more 'kid friendly' information.

Mr B

Look at that, only 24 more votes to move into 2nd place... go cast a vote my way if this info will educate even one student or teacher :)



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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cool Math Websites

What makes a math website 'cool'?
What makes a math website useful?

There are many questions that students need to reflect on in regards to the worth of some of the 'educational resources' available on the Internet.

Tonight I've added to my website a website review task in which the children need to explore a few math websites that I chose and discuss them. They then have to head to the Internet to see what they can find in the way of 'Cool Math Websites'.

They then have to blog their findings and invite comments. This is a really good activity as so much fantastic discussion and reflection occurs. The other benefit is you might come away with a few new math websites for your Teacher Toolbox :)

cheers

Adrian

PS I'm back up to 3rd in the Bloggers' Choice Awards. Feel free to cast a vote my way if you now have a way to 'Work Smarter, Not Harder' ie you've just learnt how to get 30 students finding teaching resources for half and hour each. That's 15 hours of your time that you don't have to spend on school work (he says with his tongue firmly in his cheek) hehehehehe


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Monday, May 21, 2007

Science Education on the Internet

The Internet is filled with fantastic Science Education sites. Get your students out there exploring and reporting back to their peers about what they find. Then foster a sense of community by having them blog their rfindings. This puts their ideas out there for the world to comment on.

NB I've added a few of my favourite Science websites and some tips and tricks that I've discovered over the last few years of setting this task. Check it all out at my Online Science Education page.

cheers

Adrian

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CAD Software






On my 3d animation page I've just added a link to a piece of fantastic free piece of Computer Aided Design software called Google Sketchup. This software enables everyone to produce 3d models of houses, gardens, rooms and objects simply. This is a great tool to support Science and Technology lessons as well as Design and Technology and could also be integrated in creative ways to Art, English and Maths.

Once you get the hang of creating models you can animate them and even upload them to Google Earth or to a 3d warehouse for others to view and download.

Google Sketchup has been a great hit with my students and I'm sure yours will enjoy it as well.

cheers

Adrian B

Illustration Software - Corel? Adobe? Na... Inkscape

Inkscape is a free piece of illustration software that is a nice stepping stone to the more professional packages like Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator.

In my experience, children do not need to be dropped into the deep end of top end packages as the use they make of the software can't really justify the cost.

I use Inkscape for teaching cartooning with my students. The 'calligraphic tool' is fantastic for getting a nice feel to the lines you create.

Download the software through my Illustration Software page and read some of my 'Tips and Tricks' for using it while you are there.

cheers

Adrian

PS The next version of Inkscape is going to have a 'Paint Bucket Tool' which will be a welcome addition.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Why Blog With Students

As a result of my frustration of not being able to find a 'one stop shop' for the teacher wishing to embark on the, 'blogging in the classroom' adventure, I'm slowly (might I add very slowly) building the site.

Today I was looking at why we should blog with students and came across this video.


It includes a few of the ideas that I see as central and I've added a few of my ideas as boring old text to my webpage... Why Blog With Students.

I know I'll be adding more to this site... and probably taking a few things away once morning comes ;)

cheers

Adrian

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How to Make 3d Shapes


I think every child goes through school making all the usual 3d shapes eg cubes, prisms and pyramids. Some even get to explore the Platonic solids, but very few students get to explore the really, really interesting 3d shapes like the Great Stellated Dodecahedron :)

Your challenge is to open your students' eyes to the world of Maths and let them see that it has lots of interesting things to show them.
(as well as some rather dull stuff hehehehe)

Today I've added a page to my website with heaps of ideas for making 3d shapes. There are links to 3d shape nets, tips and tricks for making better 3d shapes as well as a link off to a great page that has nets for some really out there shapes such as the Small Icosihemidodecahedron, the Pentagonal Dipyramid and many, many more.

Have fun with it!

Adrian B
NB My blog is up for an award and I'm currently coming 3rd and only need 28 more votes to hit second. If your students learnt a little something from this task, feel free to cast a vote my way :)


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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Students as Comedians


Studying word play can be heaps of fun when you get the students to write and perform their own scripts. On my Funny Jokes Comedy Skit page I've included the task brief plus a few tips and tricks for keeping it tasteful ;) NB these are tips that I've learnt by doing this activity with 5 different classes.

This is a great task to help you stay sane towards the end of term when you're getting a little stressed.

cheers

Adrian B

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Last Comic Strip... I promise


I was working with another class today who loved the idea of creating their own online comic strips. Here is my demonstration of PUN... I will drop in their URL of the kids' work when a few more of them get their really lame jokes to their blog accounts.

cheers

Adrian

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Comic Strip Creation

Once I get the students to find the 'lamest' joke that they can I then set them the task of finding a joke that will make an adult laugh ie me :)

They still must be comfortable telling this joke to the principal and their parents :) This condition tends to keep the humour above the navel. hehehe

The growth of a child's sense of humour is something that I love to watch, foster and corrupt just a litte.

Adrian B

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How to Create Online Comic Strips

There are a variety of online tools out there on the Web that enable you to have your students quickly produce comic strips.

One of my favourite activities is to have the kids create a comic strip of the lamest joke they have ever heard.

This week I'm working with a class and hope to have the kids get their comic strips onto their blogs. I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh yeah... and thanks to the recent thread on the Oz Teachers newsgroup that provided the inspiration for this post :)

Cheers

Adrian
Mmmm, 2 more votes and I'm into third spot. So if you found this info useful feel free to cast a vote my way.


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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Digital Photo Editing Software - Free & Great For Classroom Use


I've been playing with digital photo editing software with students for nearly 10 years now. I started out in early Photoshop then moved to early versions of Serif Photoplus. Once my machines became fast enough I then adopted The Gimp as my software of choice with the kids. In the last few months I have headed to Paint.Net and it has become my photo editing software of choice with students.

Paint.net is free so if children like it, they can download it at home for free and can continue to experiment at home ie everyone has equal access and cost is not an issue.

I've added a few tips and tricks to my website tonight and I hope to get up some procedures on how to take 'screen dumps' (very useful for blogging) and how to get an image ready for a blog tomorrow night.

Check out my 'Tips and Tricks' here. http://www.adrianbruce.com/computers/photo_software/digital_photo_editing_software.htm

Cheers

Adrian B
NB I see that a preacher has mobilised his followers and has moved way out in front of the Best Education Blog. Mmmmmmmm Adrian and Education Vs God Vs Home Schooling Mums :) I love democracy hehehehe


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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Free Reading Games & Word Activities


Super Bill has been at it again and has sent me a collection of his word and reading games. There are 8 games in this collection. The games aid in the teaching of CVCs, syllabification, digraphs and 'chunking'.

'Chunking' is the breaking down of words into smaller recognisable parts. It is just one strategy you can teach emerging readers as part of their collection of word attack strategies.

For those who have seen a few of these games... 'Game 8' is brand new.

Hope you enjoy the games.

Adrian

NB If you found some resources that you can use or hand on to parents, teachers or students, feel free to cast a vote my way for the 'Best Educational Blog' at the Bloggers' Choice Awards. I see I'm coming equal 6th tonight. Let's see if we can raise it a little :)


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Monday, May 07, 2007

Blog Hosting - Which One to Use?

Blogging would have to be the one of the best tools for engaging children in writing that there is currently going around.

One of my initial frustrations with getting into blogging was having to do all the action research on where to get the blogs hosted.

Tonight I've outlined some of the possibilities I looked into so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
http://www.adrianbruce.com/blogging/blog_hosting/blog_hosting.htm

See what you think and feel free to offer any advice you

Cheers

Adrian
NB If you learnt a little something from this post, feel free to cast a vote my way for the 'Best Educational Blog' at the Bloggers' Choice Awards. I see I'm coming a credible 6th tonight :)


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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Podcast Hosting

My son recently had a birthday and his aunt, who is very, very pregnant, forgot his special day. She then wrote him a poem. Samuel and I had a play with the free software Audacity to create an audio file of the poem. We had heaps of fun and learnt a lot. Tonight I started experimenting with podomatic.com as a way of hosting his audio file and perhaps a way of hosting class podcasts.

Click here to get your own player.

cheers

Adrian B
NB If you learnt a little something from this post, feel free to cast a vote my way for the 'Best Educational Blog' at the Bloggers' Choice Awards :)


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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Blogging Activities for Students

I am currently putting together a website that aims to be a 'one stop shop' for any teacher who wishes to set up a classroom blog. My aim is to have possible activities that work, the whys and wherefores, a bit of legal stuff, links to blogging gurus and finally a collection of inspirational classroom blogs...

So if you know any classrooms around the world like to 2007 Ace Kids that are using blogging in 'creative and productive' ways, feel free to send it to me for possible inclusion on this webpage.

Cheers

Adrian
NB If you now have a couple of writing ideas for you students, feel free to cast a vote my way for the 'Best Educational Blog' at the Bloggers' Choice Awards. I see I'm coming equal 6th tonight. Let's see if we can raise it a little :)


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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bloggers' Choice Awards


Hi there world.

Yesterday I entered my blog into the Bloggers' Choice Awards to raise the profile of the work I do on the Internet to save people a little time:)

If you use the resources from my website http://www.adrianbruce.com or keep track of my website updates via my blog, feel free to cast a vote my way if you deem the site worthy.

Today I'm on the 2nd page of the Best Educational Blog section.

Thanks a Heap

Adrian B

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Secret Codes


Kids love secret codes and I am always amazed by how much they get into cryptography activities.

Check out some of my ideas for investigating Secret Codes in class :)

Soma Cubes - Another Puzzle for Your Classroom


Soma cubes are excellent puzzles for classroom use. Make some and get some problem solving happening in your classroom, home and school.

cheers

Adrian