St Thomas More Year 6 Students making Cranes and Hearts

Mrs Meyer and the Year 6 students participating in the Peace Crane Project for the International Day of Peace, 2015. Thank you Mrs Meyer for supporting this great project.

Cranes 4 Peace

The International Day of Peace is nearly here for 2015. Once again St Thomas More students are involved and are sending cranes and hearts to Elkanah House. Thank you, Mrs Stadler!

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Why I won’t be defined by a product.

Every day I’m blown away by the amazing educators out in our schools. I learn so much from them and try to emulate them in my own way. I find inspiration and hope from my PLN, most of whom belong to the twitter sphere. They put their students first and work hard to engage and stimulate them to achieve their best and in doing so often learn something themselves.

What I don’t understand is how a product has been given the power to decide only certain people can be called distinguished educators. I refuse to believe in this and will do my best to support all my distinguished educators who are doing amazing things with their students regardless of the products they are using.  

This is not denigrating any educator who belongs to such programs because they are doing great things but I’m not sure it’s a good direction for education.

TeachMeet Returns

  

Thanks to the generosity of committed educators in Margaret River, TeachMeet returned to our town last week. We are so fortunate that our teachers are willing to share their passions by volunteering to present.

We heard 

  • How Google Classroom has transformed a year 6 classroom enabling access and collaboration.
  • How Bee Bots can be used effectively in literacy and math in the Early Childhood classroom
  • How Class Dojo is an effective behavioural management tool
  • How to become a global classroom using the Global Peace Crane Project
  • The amazing resources available in iTunesU and iBooks

We were also extremely fortunate to have Mr Craig Kemp, the Head of ICT and Learning Innovation at Avondale Grammar in Singapore, Skype in and encourage us to form a global Professional Network and make global classroom connections for our students. You can find Craig at http://www.mekempnz.com or on Twitter @mrkempnz 

If you haven’t experienced a TeachMeet yet, I encourage you to find one near you. I would also encourage you to take the plunge and present. TeachMeets are full of people wanting to learn and sharing your passions make them even more useful and relevant. 

Nice work, Margaret River!  

Stepping up and Stepping Out – Comfort Zones are not Learning Zones

I am responding to a challenge by Simon McKenzie (@connectedtchr) to blog more in 2015. I want to blog more because I find it requires me to stop and think, reflect and/or celebrate. So, thank you Simon for putting out the challenge.
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In reflecting on 2014 I have one thing I’d like to share.
1. Stepping out of your comfort zone is worth it.
Ok, so stepping out of your comfort zone is scary! Really scary! But in a weird kind of way it gets to be a little addictive because like the quotes say, it is where magic, life, adventure and new experiences start.
One experience that got my heart racing this year was applying for an amazing job in the city that meant I had to up skill big time but was too good an opportunity to miss. Although I was shortlisted I wasn’t successful but I learned so much just going through the process. I think the most important thing I learned was that I didn’t have to do it on my own. I asked colleagues and friends to help me get there and they did. I was fortunate to start in a new position around the same time at a high school. This year stepping out of my comfort zone is going to be a way of life as I work with the staff to integrate IT into the curriculum but I won’t try to do it on my own. I will be asking for help.
So maybe you can step a little out of your comfort zone too, knowing you don’t have to be alone when you do. Good luck, it will be worth it.

Happy International Peace Day from St Thomas More Catholic Primary School!

Such a wonderful project to be involved in. Another #globalclassroom success story.

Cranes 4 Peace

This year our St Thomas More peace cranes are flying once again to Elkanah House and the Mid Pacific Institute to the students of Mrs Stadler and Ms Kurashige. We are so glad to connect again and we are also excited to announce that we are sending cranes to Ms Gordon’s class at St Christopher’s School in Richmond, Virginia, USA.
This year, the year three class have joined the year four class and have written cinquain poems and learned how to fold origami cranes. We have found out that learning how to fold origami cranes requires perseverance but we are feeling pretty proud of ourselves.

The year four class will be completing their haiku poems tomorrow, decorating and folding their cranes. Hopefully, Mrs Muste will be able to send them on their way by the end of the week.

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Believe you are making a difference.

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Looking for inspiration I plugged ‘inspiration’ into Pixabay and saw this image. I resonated with me as I started the year feeling a little jaded. I have been on a remarkable journey over the last two years and have tried to share my enthusiasm with others through blog posts, Twitter and presenting at conferences. Have you ever felt like your message wasn’t being heard? Yeh, me too.

Now on the first term holidays, my brain has time to reflect and I realise I’m feeling energised again. I have to believe that it makes a difference even if I don’t hear about it. I read recently that you get back the energy you put out so I’m putting it out there and hoping for the best.

This last term I had a fantastic experience collaborating with a classroom teacher and art teacher on a narrative + manga + anime project. I tweeted about it. The kids seemed to really enjoy it and I know we did.  Their pride in their achievements at the Sevensation Film Festival held on the last day of term was wonderful to witness. Their parents were pretty impressed too.

I went to a great ICT PD day run by Adrian Torrese (@Adriant_Torrese) and re-connected with my tribe (thanks Amie @AmieMeyer4 ) and to really top things off I’ve made connections with other teachers for #globalclassroom projects next term. My thanks to Kathleen Corley (@KathleenCorley) and Nicole Burrows (@Nicburrows) for their enthusiasm and collaboration. I love Twitter for making connections and gobal classrooms are my passion.

I believe I can make a difference or I wouldn’t be a teacher. I will spend my time showing others I believe they are making a difference.

 

World Teacher’s Day

Happy World Teacher’s Day!
I am not sure if it is different where you are but normally this day would be a rather low key event at my school. It might be celebrated by a special morning tea or by sharing a drink after school.
Today was different. Our principal organised for each of us to have a half hour massage at a local beauty therapy business. What a treat! It was such a special thing to do and left us all feeling relaxed and valued. It strengthened the bonds between us as we all had a positive shared experience and it flowed through to the students who had relaxed teachers for the rest of the day.
I am sure it will go down in our memories as a day to be remembered. Thank you, Marty!
I hope you were made to feel special today.

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