Teacheet, Teachmeet and SLF’08

 Thanks to Mr W for the photograph. I spotted it on his flickr link. I’ve cropped the original a bit to show Shirley and myself deep in conversation at Teacheet. Shirley decided to come along at the last minute and I’m glad she did ….. more great CPD 🙂

……And she’s hoping to come along in January to meet up with Kim. Isn’t it amazing that we’ve all become virtual friends as a result of having class blogs!

This was my third visit to the Learning Festival, but my first time viewing the events in my new role. I’m not sure why I was able to attend the festival as a class teacher for two years in a row (I think I must have said I wanted to hear one of the speakers who was talking about a topic that might have helped my Chartered Teacher studies). Normally it was only members of the management team who went …. I’m pretty sure that, in my 12 years of being at the school, no other classroom teachers had the opportunity to attend – maybe they never asked :).

During recent visits other schools, however, I’ve become aware of the extent that some school management teams have gone to this year to make sure that as many class teachers as possible were able to attend the festival. On my own first visit in 2006 l stumbled upon (only because I had some time to ‘kill’) the one seminar that led to a total change in my classroom practice, the basis for my CT dissertation … and my eventual secondment opportunity!

Wednesday was a very long day. I attended some great seminars. On Thursday, I even met Sharon Toner when I attended her 12 minute session on the use of mobile phones in the classroom (I seriously need to upgrade my phone!)

But back to Wednesday ….. before Teacheet, there was Teachmeet – it was great. I really regret not taking notes. I remember thinking … gosh, that’s a great idea! …. several times during the evening. When I returned to work on Friday my colleagues asked me what the highlights were and I talked about quite a few, but I knew I’d missed some. That’s why it’s great that some of the presenters are blogging about their ‘slot’. Jonesieboy was one of these bloggers. His pupils made a great GoAnimate animation – unfinished 🙂

I’m also glad that he mentioned that it would work just as well with Comic Life – we’ve just installed it in all our computers, and as we only have intermittent access to GoAnimate (something to do with bandwidth?), it’s great to know we can have similar projects in our own classrooms.



Two Bits of News

The first bit of news is that I finally got round to signing up for this year’s TeachMeet and I’m looking forward to ‘lurking and listening’.

I see that on the list of ‘lurkers’, there’s an Ian Cameron – I wonder if it’s the same Ian? 


The second bit of news is that I received an email to say that the Voices of the World project is all set to resume soon.

Cassie only mentioned last week that she’d love to be part of this with Primary 5L/W via the Carronshore Blog ….. great!!!

Cool Tools!

The last post showed an example of how Ian Cameron used Comic Life in his classroom. I referred to how he used it on the Falkirk VTC website …. but because Schools Online has got a really annoying habit of timing out after a very short time, I can’t link to the entry so I’ll include the text here.

“Ian Cameron, a Staff Tutor with Dundee City Council, kindly allowed us to use this video. The children used a very simply made cut out figure as a stimulus for making this comic. They brainstormed what ‘mischief’ the character could get up to. They then wrote a draft script before going off to record the action on camera. The comic was constructed using photographs and text before being exported as a video.”

I’ve quoted him from memory …. hope I got it right 🙂

Ian was also interested in some of the freely available online tools we’ve used in class blogs. Some of them are listed (with examples of how they were used) on the Staff area of the VTC. The example below shows how we used Voicethread to showcase how groups of children were responsible for researching a particular Aboriginal Dreamtime Story as part of our ‘Australia’ topic.


I’ve since found this wonderful wiki that gives links to loads more …. and they’re really well organised, too! I’ts at cooltoolsforschools




I recently found this site and I’m testing it out. It certainly seems secure …. I’ve spent ages trying to sign up and then upload this very short video 🙂

The support I received has been great, though. All email enquiries were very promptly dealt with.

Here’s the same short video that appeared in the last post.


Community Thoughts

I’ve been thinking about the community we might be building via the Carronshore blog.

Miss L replied to Maryam today …. she wrote:

Thank you for replying. We hope your fingers aren’t too sore!

The children in P5LW would love to meet you if you come to parents’night.

Memoona in our class will be doing Ramadan on Saturday so she explained all about it. Good luck with the rest of Ramadan!

Great to hear from you!

P 5LW )

Maryam also left a comment on this blog (I’ve still to reply!) and another comment appeared from Monica. She commented that one of the Falkirk Bloggers mentioned in the last post is her French teacher.

Meanwhile Miss Keane’s pupils are still blogging about their learning through Drama, and the Dunipace pupils continue to leave comments on the Carronshore blog.

 It was also great to read the post on 08 AllStars blog congratulating Carronshore for coming up with great ideas for them to try out in P.E. ….. well done Miss L and P5L/W 🙂

Elsewhere in Falkirk, the pupils in P7 at Easter Carmuirs have been trying out the great things that comic life can do to improve literacy skills.

This short video was made by a group of pupils using the comic life software. It was given to me today by a Ian from Dundee  . He was very impressed by the difference it made to the children’s learning…… I’ll give full credit tomorrow when I have access to his ‘proper title’ 🙂

Falkirk Bloggers …. Take 2!

Some Falkirk Blogs …..

When writing this post earlier this evening, a new comment arrived from Maryam  .  I pressed ‘publish’ but then realised my blog was a bit ‘dis-jointed’ because I’d been experimenting with ‘copy and paste’ from the Falkirk website and from ‘word’ .

When I checked the post, I realised that the sidebar had disappeared completely and decided to delete the post and re-write it ….. so part of this post might be a repeat read for some  🙂













This list doesn’t include the Carronshore individual Pupil blogs from the last 2 years. Some of them still take the time to be part of the blogging community even though they’ve moved on to High School.
Just recently, Maryam commented on Primary 5L/W’s class blog. She wrote:

“Hello everyone!
Its me Maryam.
Im sure some of you might remember me. I use to go to Carronshore primary but now i am in high school. Phew! I am so tired waking up every morning ans going to school that i think my legs might just fall off. He he. And its bad enough to find my classes. THE WHOLE SCHOOL IS LIKE A HUGE MAZE! I keep getting lost and i have to keep asking the teachers for help which is a bit embarrasing.
And when you guys start high school. Don’t worry one bit about the stupid rumour that has been going round, that you will be getting your head flushed down the toillet. Our headteacher, who we call the rector said that rumour has been going round for OVER 100 YEARS! Wow! Don’t worry its not true.
I have just saw your video and WOW you all look SOOO different. Very different i hardly recognized you.
I will hopefully write back soon.”

Miss Law replied:

“Hi Maryam!
How are you? I’ve spoken to the class and a lot of them remember you from last year! How’s high school going?
5LW really appreciated the fact you told them that that silly rumour isn’t true! See, I told you!
Keep blogging about your high school adventures, we’d love to read about them!”

….. And yesterday Maryam did reply – she wrote:

“Hello everyone.
Its me agian
Sorry i haven’t been able to write back, been a bit busy alot with homework. I have been doing all kinds of stuff this month, i have been keeping ramadan which i think some of you are maybe fimilair with, you know. The time of month that you don’t eat, Well ovbiously you dont eat for A WHOLE MONTH!Hehe. No, you wake up early in the morning like about four or something, the time changes every day. Then you eat and then pray then back to bed and then don’t eat ANYTHING till the evening, which that time changes aswell. The time you wake up goes higher and the time you eat goes lower.. so its kind of getting shorter. Get me? You kind of get hungry but i’m getting use to it… Sorta.
I am really missing Carronshore, ecpecially the time you have to get there! At high school you have to be there at 8:40am, and you aren’t alowed to be late. It’s not tricky but you’ll get use to it :).
I was hoping on coming to parents night at Carronshore, with my little brothers. I wan’t to see there reports AND everyone else, like the teachers like Miss Law :).
Augh, My fingers are getting sore typing, I’ll write back soon. Bye bye!

Maybe we are building a community?

You can read Maryam’s comment by clicking here.


More Reflection

Image from …… Barnstable, Janet. reflect.jpg. “created February, 2000”. Pics4Learning. 16 Sep 2008 http://pics.tech4learning.com



Yesterday’s post on a Compuer use survey by primary 7V led to a comment being left on the class blog by John. He wrote :

“A very interesting survey primary 7, I think I’ll try it with my class later this week.
I am a teacher I  enjoy using my computer at home more than school too, but I do enjoy using computers in school. I wonder why Adam gives powerpoint a 3 in school and a 4 at home?”

What I didn’t make clear is that the survey was carried out by me last year …. and when I looked closely at the date, it showed that it actually took place during the the very first week of the first term in 2007.

I really regret now that I didn’t repeat the survey in June (too late now as they’ve all gone off to High School).

We had an exciting year using blogs, wikis and lots of freely available software and I’m pretty sure the results from an end of year survey would have shown a more positive reaction to school use.

Very bad forward planning 🙂