The brief is to teach Science, the subject, the Solar System. So far we have worked on the International Space Station – having a go at the Minecraft Challenge to design a new module, watching Commander Chris Hadfield as he cleans his teeth, goes to bed and eventually comes back to earth with a thud and eventually holding the whole universe in our hand courtesy of the Merge Cube.
It’s been a steep learning curve this term for all of us!
Last Thursday a group of College staff participated in the inaugural DISA event, run by the Shire of Southern Grampians. It was a first in so many ways, but led by the fearless Mrs Alana Brown, we put together a plan and negotiated our space and our presentation to demonstrate that we are one school from Early Learning through to VCE.
The event allowed us to demonstrate the work we do in classrooms in terms of coding, working in online environments, collaborating and creating. It was a huge logistical exercise and we realised, yet again, how lucky we are to have proficient and learning focused technical support from Mr Mitchell Clode and Mr Ian Cook.
These are the things we shared:
For a different perspective, this” is from Dougal in Grade 5 (brother of Ned mentioned above):
“How lucky were we! Charlie Hawthorne and I attended the Digital Technologies Hub as students presenting on behalf of the Hamilton and Alexandra College Junior School on Thursday last week. It was a great experience, something I certainly will not forget in a hurry. There were many stalls showcasing technology which included virtual reality and game designing. My personal highlight was definitely the drones. Deakin University had a stall where you got to fly the drones through an obstacle course. If you were skilled enough to complete the course you won a prize – a reusable coffee cup or a drink bottle. We proudly demonstrated the great work that we have been doing in Minecraft and the many different ways that it can be used in the classroom. We all created models and were lucky enough to see them come to life through a 3D printer. I would like to thank Mr Mirtschin and Mrs Simkin for giving us this awesome opportunity and Mrs Brown for taking photos and organising everyone.”
This year’s VIBE Festival activity was titled Planking The VIBE. It was set up so that groups of students were challenged to construct a specific object from a pile of planks. Planks are all the same size and weight and come from a Melbourne Company called Green hat Workshop.
Working in small teams and within a tight timeframe, students were challenged to construct a bridge, a face, a word with minimum length, and copy a picture from a card.
The collaboration between students from our school and visitors they may not have met before was wonderful.
The challenge, make a face saw Donald Trump joining us!
The method of constructing face varied between 2D and 3D:
Our intrepid judges would issue the challenge, start the timer, then make structures of their own, in between checking out the action and warning of the impending end of time. Thanks Angus and Lach!
The last devious test set up by the judges was to construct a word to describe the session of more than 6 letters. We had some creative solutions:
Well done everyone. Thanks to Cam at Green Hat Workshop for suggesting the timed tasks.
This week the Library staff have assisted Mrs Ogle with a different type of learning experience. Students worked in teams to unlock three different boxes containing activities and information relating to the Cold War.
This is what they see at the start of the process:
One lock was opened by cracking the right word, one required a key, which was issued once a complete ticket was handed to the teacher, and one required the correct numbers deduced from a cryptic clue that led to a date. It is interesting watching the way students solve the problems, and often the best results are obtained by those who may not generally excel with typical written exercises. In addition to content students learn how to apply critical thinking and collaborate, both useful skills for real life. Watch the students agonising over the task!
Last week the whole school celebrated Wellness. Perhaps we offered too many options for celebrating! Of the specific Library offerings the only one actually taken up was the mindfulness colouring. There was plenty of action with Minecraft in the IT end though: multiple ages of males (not one female except me!) all interacting with each other and the screens.
The other excitement was generated by the visit from the Conga line, ably led by Tom of Year 6. They were dancing fast so the photographs are blurry but the energy and excitement is obvious!
The other day I was delighted to receive a booking request from Mrs Nettleton relating to a smaller than usual class due an event, and the amazing box of 1000 planks. Planks are small pieces of timber which are weighted identically and our set is all the same colour.
It was a busy afternoon for study so I had some concerns about how the activities would co-exist. These turned out to be baseless.
I chose two activities on the basis of the number of planks required, and the number of groups of students working in pairs or threes for which we had to cater. The students receive a photograph of the construction with the number of planks required, and that’s all – no recipe for this activity!
Some students worked on the boat.
Others had a small farmyard with outbuildings. This one proved to be far trickier.