November 26

Edublogs Awards 2015 – The Eddies#


Greetings Students and Parents

Edublogs is the organisation behind our classroom blog that I use to share your child’s learning with you.

They began in 2004 in a response to the many difficulties that students and teachers had when they were unable to access blogging sites for their learning which were constantly being blocked. They wanted to promote and demonstrate the values of these social media. Which I’m sure you have discovered as you scroll through and learn about what goes on here, that in our digital world Blogs are valuable indeed.


Each year Edublogs hold awards the categories this year are focussed on education:-

  • Best new blog
  • Best group blog
  • Best class blog
  • Best student blog
  • Best ed tech / resource sharing blog
  • Best teacher blog
  • Best library / librarian blog
  • Best administrator blog
  • Most influential blog post of the year
  • Best individual tweeter
  • Best individual blog

Over the past year you would agree that working regularly with our Blog has enhanced your child’s ICT skills. Their comments clearly show growth in thoughtful and reflective thinking about their learning and when communicating to their peers. I have read some incredibly stunning comments filled with curious questions and supportive compliments. Way to go guys, I am proud of you.

Of course we couldn’t do so without the support of our families and extended families. Thanks for getting on board too, we have loved reading everyones comments. I loved the opportunity to reply to so many of you, it was most enjoyable. I believe our blog has been a valuable addition to our classroom culture and ethos. It has certainly brought us together.


If you are so inclined, we would love for you to nominate our blog for one of these awards. You can do so hereYou may have seen other Blogs at Grange which you might also like to nominate. Let’s see what happens. Best of luck.

Thanks Ellen


November 25

Congratulations to all our Fit Readers


Today we received our medals at a special assembly for both of the Premier’s Challenges. I was so proud of all of you when you stood up. Way to go everyone. (Steven and Emilia this peanut won’t hurt you)


A huge group completed not just the four weeks, but stuck it out for a whole term ten weeks of serious activity. Bravo.

Proud recipients of their Premier's Be Active Medals

Proud recipients of their Premier’s Be Active Medals

 I hope you nag your teacher next year for another crack at it next year!


How amazing are we Grange! Everyone in the school successfully completed the challenge. You should all be proud of your efforts.

Certificates for the first year

Certificates for the first year

Silver for the third year.

Silver for the third year.

Gold for the fourth year.

Gold for the fourth year.


Champion medal for the fifth year.




How do you feel about these medals?

Do you think you are up to the challenge next year?

November 24

Kidpix Animation


Earlier this year we learnt a lot about our nearest cosmic neighbours in our science investigation on space and beyond. For an integrated science/art/ICT and collaborative learning project, students were asked to tell a space story through animation. They used the creative drawing tools in Kidpix to create their action. Working in pairs they began by using a storyboard to plan and negotiate their ideas.


Once they knew the basic outline of their story they experimented with the tools in Kidpix to create their artwork. Crashes and explosions seemed to be quite popular, with rockets and space travel included in many themes. I did ask for some science, but fantasy was okay too. As we soon discovered, this work would require many hours of painstaking and precise movements while carefully shifting pieces to get the desired effect.

DSC08439 DSC08440 DSC08441

It also needed a great deal of collaboration and negotiation to agree to get the animation just right.  We learnt that it would take a lot of slides to get just few seconds of action. Once we believed we had enough slides, the task of downloading each one, changing transitions and time took quite a while. There was an amazing amount of problem solving along the way.




Importing our animation into iMovie meant we could learn to add Titles, transitions and sound effects. Even though this project took a longer time than we originally planned, it was worth it. Apologies to the producers but I had to save their mp4 movies as smaller files so they would play here and in doing so some of their animation has been clipped. If parents want a bigger better copy send in a USB and I’ll copy it for you.

Got your popcorn ready?

Something to think about.

What did you think about making your own animation?

What problems did you have to solve along the way?

What would you change if you could do this again?

Which movie captures your attention? 

November 22

Story Bird

Our budding authors have been busy writing many narratives using a fabulous program called Story Bird. This online program allows us to use a variety of unique art work to inspire creative storytelling. Mrs Baldwin showed me how to use it and I was hooked. I wrote a story that I had been hatching in my head for many years. It was based on a true event.

After I had shown the class my efforts, they were eager and excited to begin their own books. We are still discussing the importance of checking our writing for for accuracy before publishing and in doing so, our editing skills are getting a real work out. Students check each others work before asking me for final check.

Here are some completed stories to share and possibly get you inspired too. I hope your child has shown you the site and you can checkout how easy it is to bring their imaginations to life.


We were so enthusiastic about this fabulous program that we sat with our CAT buddies to teach them how to make great stories. We are still working on these as our buddies had a very tiring week of swimming lessons too. Stay tuned for more.

What do you like about this program?

What are the good things about using Story Bird?

Do you have any problems?

What stories do you like to write about?

Have you shown anyone else this program?


November 13

Remembrance Day


On Wednesday the 11th day of the 11 month, our school gathered together opposite the Peace Garden to hold a special Remembrance Day Ceremony to respectfully remember the men and women from our armed forces who died, or were injured in wars to protect our country’s way of life.


What is Remembrance Day?

Before this special ceremony we did some research on Remembrance Day. We found out that 11/11/1918 was the day that commemorates the ceasefire that ended the Great War – World War One. It was originally called Armistice Day. Armistice means Peace Agreement or Ceasefire. This ceasefire started at the 11th hour. King George V instructed all British colonies to observe two minutes silence on this day at that time to remember the victims of war. The Flanders Poppy which grew on the battlefields is used as a symbol of remembrance. Now we usually remain silent for one minute.


We made a little book of facts from our research as well as a poppy to wear to the ceremony.


It was a moving ceremony and all the students showed great respect as they listened to guest speakers, students and teachers. They were silent as the bugle played the Last Post and the Rouse, as well as during the Wreath Laying and the raising of the Flag. It is a difficult job to manage our impulsivities for such a long time, but these ceremonies are important for us to attend. This is where we learn to show respect and to be grateful for our freedom by honouring the brave service men and women of Australia.

A Special Tribute

This year all the year six and seven students were given a dog tag from The Australian War Memorial. The year sixes will be attending Camp Gallopili next year on Anzac Day. There were some tags left so each class received one. These tags had a serial number from a fallen soldier. We went online to The Australian War Memorial to discover information about our soldier.


We discovered that our soldier was Corporal Francis Alan Roddy, Australian General Base Depot, of Lacmalac, NSW. He was the oldest of seven children in his family and was a great rugby and cricket player. He went to war in 1941 and was fighting in Singapore, but  when the Japanese Army over threw it, he was taken prisoner and sent to Changi Prison Camp in 1942. From there he was sent to work on the Burma Railway in 1943 where he contracted interitis and died as a Prisoner of War on 10 December 1943. He was 24 years old. He was buried in Burma.

It was sad to hear about Francis’ fate and this made the day seem very special indeed, as we also talked about the special honour roll for Grange located outside the Library and realised there were many names located there, that would have had stories just like our soldier’s.

Ellen’s Visit to Gallipoli

I shared with the class some images taken on my visit to Gallipoli in 2006. The poem by Ataturk is powerful indeed and reflects the common feeling of sadness that war brings. I shared these images with the class to show not only the geography of the infamous battle, but how over time this area has become a special place for remembrance for Turkish and Australian citizens.

Somethings to think about.

What did you think of the ceremony? Do you have members of your family that have stories like Francis Alan Roddy?

Did you show your family the Australian War Memorial page on our soldier?

It is sad, but there are still times when countries argue so badly that they go to war. What do you think countries could do to peacefully solve their problems instead of using warfare?