Tuesday, 26 April 2011


With leaving I have to do a handover,

1. googleApps creating, deleting users
2. myportfolio creating users, managing users? deleting users, as with a discussion today we cannot really delete users, but remove them from the organisation
3. UDI what has to go in to meet the UDI requirements of SSO <- csv file to go offsite to our network support services at present to get added into our Active Directory.
4. wordpress, hmmm, not too sure how this one is going to continue.
5. e-asTTle what needs to be done to get this up and running everytime we do a batch.
6. csv to pdf form.

e-asTTle fixes

In order to allow the import you must first make the student in the import file match exactly with the existing record for the student. The error tells us how the First and Last names were specified on the record in e-asTTle:
1. Find the student in the Student section of the AST file. Alter the first_name or last_name fields to be in line with the other record.
2. Import the file (a warning message is generated stating that the student already exists in a different School, this can be ignored).
3. In e-asTTle, search for the student through the Manage Existing Students screen and click ‘Change’ to bring up the Change Student screen. Here you can manually update the student to match the details originally specified in the .ast file.

Candy Bar Challenge

Candy Bar Activity

  • Divide the students into groups of 2 or 3. Give each group a candy bar.
  • Explain that their task is to determine how many "breaks" it will take to break the candy bar into 12 equal pieces. One break of one piece of the candy bar will result in that one piece being divided into two pieces. Demonstrate a "break" by breaking the bar into two pieces. Then stack the two pieces together and break or cut the two pieces into four.
  • At this point, have each student write in their journal the number of breaks they think it will take to break the bar into 12 equal pieces. This should be done without talking to their partner or group members.
  • Working together with their partner or group, have the students discuss and then write their plan for solving the problem. They may revise their guess at this point.
  • Once this is done, the students should implement the plan by opening the candy and breaking the candy and counting the number of breaks it takes to get 12 equal pieces.
Discussion of solutions

  • Choose a group to present their plan to the class.
  • How do the steps they used match what they wrote in their journal?
Introduction to the steps in the problem-solving process

  • How do the steps they used relate to the “formal” steps of the problem solving process?
  • Understand the problem – read or listen to the problem statement.
  • Make a plan to solve the problem – use pictures, charts, graphs, systematic lists, objects, or act out the solution to help you devise a plan to solve the problem
In Computer Science we call this plan an algorithm.

  • Carry out the plan – once the plan is conceived and understood, follow the plan. If you have planned well, this is the easy part.
  • Review and reflect on how the problem was solved – Once the problem is solved, reflect on the plan that was used.
  • Extend breaking the candy into N pieces
  • Post chart of # pieces/# of breaks, including N and have students give you the # of breaks needed for each number of pieces.
Reflections on the candy bar problem: Ask the students to reflect on the candy bar problem. Why is this problem an important problem to solve for: a carpenter, a chef, a teacher?
Polya, G. How to Solve It. 2nd. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004. candy bar problem suggested by Dr. Manuel Blum, Carnegie Mellon University.

More at https://csforallteachers.org/sites/default/files/legacy/unit_2_day_3.pdf

Monday, 25 April 2011

Idea for a project

What did you do in school today? is a research project that was carried out in Canada throughout 17 districts. I was presented with some of the ideas through this study at the PPTA professional conference held in Wellington.
The ideas that were outlined got me thinking and I jumped on the net during the presentation hoping to find more.
The link to the report that was produced is here, http://www.cea-ace.ca/programs-initiatives/wdydist
What did you do in school today? captures, assesses, and mobilizes ideas for enhancing the learning experiences of students in classrooms and schools through a multidimensional framework of student engagement.
However, I think it is a great idea on a different front. How many times is this question asked at home, what information is given to parents on what there child did during the day.
We have a daily reporting system at school in which the students who are placed on it by the deans carry it around and we as teachers have to write a comment and sign it. Normally this is done at the end of the period just as the student is about to exit the class, and we as teachers just want to get ready for the next lesson. So is it really doing what it is meant to do.
The rules I have for the students that are placed on daily are: it must be handed to me at the beginning of lesson, if not I will not fill it in and sign it. I need to know which of the three boxes at the top that this is for.
The three categories that we look at are:
  • Attendance
  • Behaviour/Attitude
  • Homework
So where does this come in, do students reflect on what they do in class each day? Do they reflect on there learning? On their sports practice? On there technological knowledge and practice? How well they did there science experiments? Could there be a system incorporated into their learning that is simple enough to gather data. Does it have to be a blog or could it be a short 140 character message. The ideas that come out of this are just simple, rate 6 questions on a scale from 1 - 5. Random questions could be used each day, and recorded against.
Students have mobile devices and a simple page that students goto and fill in would be all that is required, in the inital term no username and password would be used. No identification of students, all I am after is just straight implementation on an iDevice.
I looked last year at students developing a system to hold there literacy logs, in which students read a book and then filled in the questions related to the assessment based on what they read through the book. This has been a difficult project each year as the stakeholders and specifications have grown out of control. Also with the changes in technology now, other sites that we have invested time and money into have taken control of this.


After none years at my current school, I am leaving. This has been a decision that has been a long time coming. I have felt since going on refreshment leave that I have been at the school too long. I don't want this school to be the only one I work at. There has been a number of factors that have come along, my brother leaving Auckland to move to Australia, the other is that I miss the South Island, if you look at my bedroom wall I wake up to over 40 photos all of South Island scenery.

I have six more weeks at my current school and them move Queens Birthday weekend, I must say it is going to be hard over the next couple of weeks, I don't think I have realised how much crap is at school. It will be an interesting last week bringing all of it home.

The part I am not looking forward to most is the farewell speach. I am going to have to have a plan on how I am going to present it, no projector or other computer gear this time, just me talking... Though there is something I have just found on a family website and I think it ressinates with me

especially for these reasons:
1) their humour, wit and love of story telling.
2) their honesty, values, concern for the decent and honourable in life, and in particular standing up for those less fortunate