Another great product for producing videos and slide shows.  A very simple  and technical  friendly tool to use.

Only 3 steps involved.

1.pick a video style – choose from a range of themes. I have chosen the earth theme to depict my children enjoying their day in a wildlife park.

2. Upload photos.

3. Upload background music. Animoto have great range listed in groups for quick and easy access.

4. Finalize your video.

Animoto gives you 30 seconds of free movie making. More space will need to be purchased.

I see a great opportunity using this in the classroom to role play and create an advertisement, or showcase childrens work for an audience to view.( Perhaps a clip promoting cyber safetyis  a good place to start) Unfortunately there are no opportunities to add text but the animation looks spectacular as a visual text .

Have fun!

Editing photos with Picasa and picnik

I had a great time playing with these images of my children during an indigenous celebration in Queensland. The effects can be used to showcase children’s learning using the themes and unit of study. Image using an x ray effect or a cool or warm colour scene  for a science topic. What about creating a collage for a progressive celebration of learning. Or just for fun!

 Here I used Picnik   to create  a framed  sepia effect  for an old world image.  

Private talk and Public conversation in mathematics education

“There is much emphasis on the importance of talk in maths education and encouraging students to talk needs to be balanced against developing there listening, so that conversations can occur in which mathematical ideas are played with , battered around, developed, refined, and changed. In this way mathematical understandings can emerge and these are refined and developed through the talk.”(M. Askew, 2011)

Mike Askew from Monash University  promotes  two aspects of conversational  approach to mathematics  talk in classrooms.

1. Private talk in pairs or small groups- this provides the opportunity for children to “buy in to the maths being discussed, share there thinking in a secure setting and rehearse ideas that they might share more widely;

Ideas that can help children listen more actively in paired work:

Paired calculations

Put up two different but similar calculations and ask the children in pairs to each do one of the calculations and explain their solutions can promote more authentic and active listening  as their partner does not have a vested interest in the same calculation.

Solver recorder

Provide one piece of paper and pen between the two. Children take it in turns to be the solver- they have to do the figuring out while their partner has to do the recording. The solver has to explain what to write down and their partner has to record what they are asked to record- they cannot take over the solving of the problem even if their partner gets stuck.

Clue problem

Take a word problem and split the information of the problem in two parts. Put these on two separate pieces of paper together with the question. Working in pairs they get one clue each and jointly solve the problem. They can read out what is on their “clue’ card but must not show it to their partner. The reading out encourages listening and the not showing rule stops one child simply handing everything over to their partner to do the work.

2. Public conversation where the whole class is sharing and building on  ideas. This provides the opportunity to build on the method  that children have shard privately, refine the mathematics and reach a greater collective understanding.

The following is helpful in managing the whole class, public conversation


While the children are working in pairs go around listening in and chose children who you want to share their methods with the rest of the class. (2 or 3 pairs). Choosing solutions and methods that are going to be most productive


Position yourself at the back of the class so children have to talk over the class to the teacher. Listen to the quality of the conversation and interject when clarity is needed. without taking the explanation away from them. Say things like … I’m a bit confused. Is anyone else? Can you explain that bit again pleas


Once children have explained their method to the class it’s helpful to get others to simply repeat what has been said. Insist on a n accurate repetition on what they have heard. The original explainers decide if there was an accurate repetition. This will emphasise the value of careful listening repeating or voicing someone else’s words can be powerful in gaining understanding. This also provides an opportunity to listen to the same explanation a few times over because it is unlikely that they would all have got it the first time round.


This now involves inviting children to explain wf the solution being offered. . hat they have heard in their own words this encourages ownership by others of the method and begins to open up a conversation

At each stage invite questions to reach an agreed understanding.

Build On

Building on the solution comes about through question like

Does anyone want to add anything to that method?

Did anyone do anything similar to that?

Comment On

This phase invites discussion about maths of the solution. This is a key step in creating a mathematics-focused community rather than a teacher focused or child focused. Talk about the one method and reach some general communal understanding of it to encourage shared ownership


I have embraced this concept of talk being central to my maths lessons. By providing a model for accurate communication it builds on what the child can already say. Out of the informal solutions that children arrive at in problem solving there is maths that children pick up, examine and craft collecti

I tried to embed a clip from Media watch about applying the common sense rule.  Unfortunately it was not possible. I inserted the link because I thought it was worth the entertainment. I’m not sure whether there was private talk when statistics were investigated. Most certainly it would have created public conversation. Enjoy!



An Art Experience

An Art Experience

I have used photo’s of artwork  to make a slide show on imovie that were created by teachers on a 3 day pd at Zart Art in Box Hill. An amazing experience that explores your own creativity using materials and techniques that you would never think possible. It’s always worth popping in to see the wonderful  themed displays and the school exhibition.

Click on the link to view my slideshow.








The Lion King… Teaching music and literacy using garage band.

The Lion King Story

I used garage band to retell the story of Walt Disney’s Lion King. I recorded my voice on garageband and downloaded my music from mediafire and garageband.

The Lion sleeps tonight for fast tempo

Harbour for a more intense mood.

synthetic design for dramatic mood.

Imagine the possibilities in using garageband during literacy or music sessions or any particular curriculum topic.

Students could make up a story about characters from a book and use music to describe the characters and events.

Students could create music to learn about fast/slow tempo, beat, dynamics.

Check out what I created and hopefully I’ve added some inspiration.

Click on The Lion King Story above to listen




Diigo in the classroom

I have been exploring  diigo – the online research and collaborative tool that integrates tags. A great way to get kids to manage their resarch knowledge. Diigo enables you to highlight  and save chunks of information from a website to go back and refer to later. Children need to tag key words related to the links. A great way to get kids to work in collaboration with their peers from their class to share and contribute to group discussion.

On a professional level, Diigo is a great tool to manage and keep track of your favourite websites for lesson planning. Not to mention the groups you can join that share the same interests.

Google Reader and RSS

I’ve recently been exploring google reader and the RSS Feeds.  Google reader is an effective tool for reading and sharing updates from all the interesting blogs and websites that we discover on the web. The websites are selected and placed in one location and google will update the information automatically.

For teachers the most attractive features  in google reader, is the ability it gives us to organise and manage the information without using up too much time.

After you have subscribed to a blog or a site you can.

Organise your feeds the way it suits you

Create a new folder by clicking on manage subscriptions on your home page.

This will take you to the feed settings page . Click new folder and enter a name for your folder.




Tag subscriptions to filter sites

Tags  operate like a file. It allows you to see only the  items related to a topic and leave everything else out. The more files or tags you have the easier it is to find what you are looking for. You could also multi tag. A subscription if it is related to more than one topic.

You could do this by clicking the Add Tags link and add as many tags as you like.


Exploring Edmodo

My first task in the unit is to explore Edmodo and  I’m feeling a little nervous about  having an audience. Firstly, I called on my own children for encouragement.

“What do you think of Edmodo”  I said to them. “It’s exactly like facebook only for teachers” was the reply. Well I could’nt make any comparisons because I hav’nt  used facebook. At this stage I realised I have my work cut out for me. 

 I came across a quote in one of the readings , it states, “Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.”John Cotton Dana  I’m hoping to reflect on this quote when I’m feeling a little lost and hopefully it will give me the inspiration to think like a 21st century teacher and  learner.

What do 21st century teachers and learners do? I have created a wordle that summarises this, from the weeks readings and movies.

21st Century teaching   


The 21st Century Teacher

Since I am in a maths support role at my school, how great is the opportunity to join the maths community for my maths class  to collaborate problem solving  ideas, processes and solutions with other classrooms around the world. So I decided to explore the  community feature of Edmodo. It is a valuable source for all teachers. It gives teachers the opportunity to join professional/interest groups to discuss and share ideas and resources. To work out how to join a community,  I needed a little assistance from the support group.( You may have noticed in one of my posts) The support team will assist you and provide prompt feedback about any technical questions you may have. The support community link is on the left hand side of your homepage.

To join a community, scroll down to the bottom of your homepage and click on your subject or community interests.To follow a community, click follow the subject link at the top of the page.  If you are new to Edmodo you need to click on posting rights this allows posting rights in all communities once you are verified as an educator.You could save resources to your library by clicking add to the library link situated next to the item you wish to add.


About Me

Hi everyone,

My name is Gabriella and this is my very first blog .

Currently, I am studying my 4th year Bachelor of Education and I teach part time in a catholic primary school.  I began teaching in 1990  when computers were rarely seen.

 In 1994, I took a break from classroom teaching  and looked forward to start a family. I now have 2 sons.

At the time I also became involved in training young adults in government initiative workplace programs. 

Five years ago, I eagerly decided to return to what I felt confident – primary teaching and  making  a difference to young peoples lives. Little did I expect the enormous changes in Education that have occurred since.

I began working as a crt and then gained various teaching roles in my local primary school. Last year I enrolled in this course as an off campus student, to help me catch up and regain my confidence in teaching and in particular using technology for learning. I am enjoying the exploration in this unit ,but it is a slow process.


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