August 5, 2015
by msnathan
21 Comments

Twitter Learning Conversation

We have started collaborating with a class at Ridgway School in Brooklyn, Wellington and it’s pretty exciting. Every Friday we’ll be doing a maths challenge at the same time while the teachers tweet out the learning and then in the middle block we’ll be having a tweet chat about literacy using the hashtag #rm278wellynz. The cool thing about using a tweet chat is that each week we’ll be able to see how we improve in our writing. Writing a tweet is a challenge as you have to get all your meaning across in only 140 characters, so you have to think carefully about what you want to say. We’ll also be learning how to question effectively and have a discussion back and forwards about each weeks topic.

For our test run we were introducing ourselves, tweeting about what book we’re currently reading, how we’re feeling about using Twitter in class and also being challenged to reply to other tweets. Each week we’ll try to identify examples of good tweeting practice to both help us get better at writing tweets but also to help us be able to self assess our writing and thinking.

If you’d like to see the whole chat, you can see it here on our Storify. Here are a few great tweets from our first chat! Why do you think I might have chosen these ones. Let me know in the comments!

July 23, 2015
by msnathan
4 Comments

Connecting with other blogs

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Image found here

The whole idea of blogging is that you can connect with people around the world, developing friendships, collaborating and sharing ideas. We have gotten pretty good at writing blogs, so today I would like you to think about the connecting side of things. Below are some links to various student blogs for you to explore and comment on.

Think about the why of blog commenting. What is the purpose? How can you compose an effective comment? Does it need to be long to be good? What information must be included? Use our commenting guidelines to help keep you on track.

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Student Blogging Challenge participants

Our Student Blogs (an Australian class).

Mrs Rombach Reads

You could also go and check out the blogs of people that have commented on yours or our class blog!

Extra for Experts

– Write a blog post sharing some of the new blogs you’ve found.

– Add a blogroll of favourite blogs or sites not from our class to your blog

March 27, 2015
by msnathan
2 Comments

Orchestra of Spheres: A glimpse into outer space.

593355-281442-7 Image via WCC.

Editors note: This was a review written by Ms Nathan and edited with the class as you can see by all the strike throughs and green writing. 

Last week we went to Capital C and we saw three shows, I am going to tell you about the first one that we saw called Orchestra of Spheres. Orchestra of Spheres was mostly music, and weird costumes and lots of dancing as well as puppets. It all started with a giant eye coming onstage. and Then another eye came on making an unusual noise. then A nose and then a mouth joined them to make a big puppet kind of face.

The performance was like a wild ride full of colour and sound. They played instruments that you are unlikely to see in your average school performance, creating a psychedelic space pop soundscape of theremin warbles, shredding biscuit tin guitar and haunting chants from the vocalists. From the moment us earthlings were greeted by some kind of shiny caped alien master I was fully engaged, my eyes and ears almost not knowing where to land first to take it all in. While definitely from another planet, the music had a groove to it that made it almost impossible not to tap your foot or dance in your chair. Eventually this got the better of most of the audience who ended up jumping and jiving in the rows and aisles, their movement illuminated by the changing lights added to the sense that we were in another space and time.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI recommend this performance for anyone who likes to dance and likes things that are a bit outside the box. different. Thank you for reading my capital e review.

To check out Orchestra of Spheres yourself, head over to their website or visit the Capital E site for more info. 

March 2, 2015
by msnathan
0 comments

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it…

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.47.14 AMOne of the main reasons we blog and that blogging has become so popular, is that it is a way to connect and share with other people. But how do you get people to read your blog? A great way to do this is to join up with other bloggers doing challenges. Why? This gives you both ideas of what to write about but also people to connect with. Commenting on other peoples blogs is one of the best ways to get people back to your blog to read it.

Every year there is a Student Blogging Challenge where you can find cool new blogs and get weekly activities to improve your own blog. It starts this week and it is super easy to sign up. I have already signed up our class blog and if you head over here you can sign up for your personal blog as well as getting a badge for your blog to show that you’re part of the challenge.

I’m excited to see what connections we make!

October 13, 2014
by msnathan
0 comments

100 Word Challenge

floral-pattern-piano-typewriter-vintage-writing-machine-Favim.com-79331This term we are going to be taking part in the weekly 100 word story writing challenge! Each week there’ll be a prompt to write about on our blogs and share with other students taking part around the world. Here’s the prompt for the first one!

Leave a link to your story in the comments when you’re done!

August 8, 2014
by msnathan
0 comments

Homework Week 3: Storytellers, due Thursday 14th August

MALEFICENTStoryteller

This week for literacy homework you have two stories to tell. One, the story of your holiday and two the retelling of a well known tale. This could be a fairy tale, a myth, a legend or folk story.

Success criteria:

Surface features

I have…

–       written my story on my blog

–       illustrated my story with photos and GIFs

–       Proof read my story to check that it makes sense and all spelling, punctuation and grammar is correct.

Deep features

–       changed or adapted my story in some way (eg. Changed the setting, flipped the characters, written a different ending, written a sequel or prequel)

–       connected paragraphs or ideas together with a range of vocabulary

–       used interesting adjectives, verbs and adverbs to make my story interesting

–       written a hook at the beginning and used suspense to keep my reader engaged.

Coding practice! If you want to get a head start on the coding we’re going to be experimenting with in class you can either head over to Learn Code to try ‘The Maze’ mission or sign up for Code Academy to learn to write code from scratch. If you want the link for more missions on Learn Code, let me know and I will flick you the links!

July 25, 2014
by msnathan
0 comments

Surrealism & Creative Thinking

This term we are going to be driving a lot of our own learning through a big, open, creative inquiry process. We’re starting the term off by exercising our brains and trying to get ourselves to think outside the box. What better way to do this than by taking inspiration from famous rule breakers, The Surrealists. I mean, Hannah Höch was even called art’s first punk and you don’t get more rebellious, creative or innovative than that!

We’ve started by creating some Tristan Tzara inspired Dadaist poetry and then some Max Ernst style surreal collage. Here’s a slideshow of our inspiration (you can also find it on our Pinterest page) for you to check out, too! Soon we’ll share our creations on here and our own blogs, or you could follow us on Twitter or the hashtag #room27creates to see what we come up with.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this weird and wonderful art movement. Maybe you could share a word you might use to describe the collages in the comments. Some we came up with were ‘trippy’ & ‘random’!

July 21, 2014
by msnathan
1 Comment

Story Of The Holidays

Snl-so-freakin-excited

Whenever I’m about to start the school holidays I am always full of of big, dreamy plans. They usually involve imagining myself being productive, being around adults and acting fancy, catching up on hobbies, spring cleaning the house (yeah, right) and the like.

For example…

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Fancy dinners!

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Now is clearly the time to try out all the restaurants I’ve been adding to my list. No school nights mean that I might actually be able to stay awake past 8pm and socialise like a grown up! Oh yes, this will clearly be me.

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host-more-dinner-parties

Maybe I’ll even host a dinner party!

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knitting

My time will be my own so I will be able to go for long walks, cozy up on the couch and knit while I watch a movie, skip dreamily because I clearly don’t have a care in the world!

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And naturally, by the end of the first weekend my house will be spick and span.

REALITY.

Fancy adult dinner…

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Pretty much the rest of the holidays…

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Me in real life (this morning when I remembered I couldn’t sleep in).

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Ok this one isn’t quite reality, but too funny not to include.

So, how were your holidays?

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May 19, 2014
by msnathan
0 comments

Science Inspiration

Osmia Avoseta copy

bees-flower-nests-sandwich-action-shot_20045_600x450Osmia avosetta are rare, solitary bees. Instead of living in a hive with hundreds or thousands of other bees like we’re familiar with, these bees build ‘flower sandwiches’ out of flower petals and mud. The flower sandwiches are made up of a thin layer of petals, a layer of mud and then another layer of petals on the outside. When studying these bees researches noticed that bees in Turkey tend to pick yellow, pink, blue, and purple petals, while Iranian bees make their nests with just purple flowers. Read more and view more photos here.

tears1Tears of yawning (left) and laughing (right).

tears2Tears from onions (left) and tears of grief (right)

Photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher wanted to know if her tears of joy might look different to tears of sadness so decided she would photograph them and see. She viewed the tears on slides under a microscope and took the photographs through the microscope itself with them magnified between 10-40 times. Amazingly, she did see differenced between them! You can see more tears and read more about the project, here.

Take these stories and images and do what you like with them. Write a poem, a story, create a piece of art, research further, write an interview for the scientists or artists, let your imagination lead the way!

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