Category Archives: events

Bridging cultural differences

Toni Oliveri-Barton and Lisa Parisi at globaled summit

Toni Oliveri-Barton and Lisa Parisi at globaled summit

This afternoon I will be attending the Global Education summit and leading a round table discussion on Bridging Cultural Differences. Here is the link to the crowdsourced document or http://bit.ly/1lAnYxT Please add  your ideas and resources here

ANZAC Day Activities at School

Students make poppies

Students make poppies

Anzac Day is a special day on the calendar for Australian and New Zealand residents. It is commemorated with a public holiday on April 25th when we remember all those Australians and New Zealanders who have served their countries in wartime.

Our school participated in a number of activities to celebrate and commemorate this day. It has been a time for learning in history and humanities, art and cooking classes.

Our annual school Anzac Day service was held on the 24th April,  with all students and staff, together with some community members in attendance.

Our program went as follows:-

  1.  Welcome and Introduction by our Assistant Principal, Mr Ralph
  2. ANZAC Requiem (In memory of the Fallen): by Sarah, one of our student leaders
  3. P-6 students, then 7-12 STUDENTS – Laying of flowers – symbolic of the beauty that exists in the world around us, and of respect to those who are no longer able to enjoy that beauty
  4. Caitlyn (a student leader) read The Ode (a traditional element of every ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day ceremony)
  5. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.
  6. Playing of the Last Post
  7. One minute of silence
  8. Reveille 
  9. Belinda (a student leader)  read ‘In Flanders Fields’ (poetry which is another traditional element of every ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day ceremony)
  10. The National Anthem
  11. Waltzing Matilda
Flowers lay on our Australian flag

Flowers lay on our Australian flag

A special Dawn Service takes place in Hawkesdale at 6:00am on April 25th. The flowers are taken to the Reflection Space for this ceremony and students from our school will be in attendance and actively participating.

The Hawkesdale Dawn Service

The Hawkesdale Dawn Service

Further activities:-
Students in a number of classes baked Anzac Biscuits.  The wonderful aroma wafted through the corridors and they tasted even better than they smelt (or looked). See one of the popular recipes 

Popular Anzac biscuits

Popular Anzac biscuits

Does your school commemorate such events?  If so how? If from another country, do you have special days like this to remember those who fought for your country?

Clean Up Australia Day

clean up Australia Day1

Each year one day is dedicated to Cleaning Up Australia – Clean Up Australia Day. Although this day falls on Sunday, March 2nd, our students from foundation to year 12 were allocated an area of our school grounds and fenceline to clean up. At 12 pm, the forms and year levels congregated under the bus shelter, were given rakes, gloves and bags and proceeded to clean up their area.

As a form teacher for year 10, we cleaned up the fenceline along the school grounds and roadway. See how beautiful our surrounds are and as we finished the roadside, we heard two kookaburras laugh! They must have been well pleased with our efforts.

If you are from another country, do you acknowledge similar days?

What does the world’s largest classroom look like?

map across vic
What would the world’s classroom look like at any point in time? I feel that I experienced that this morning. Why? There was/were

    • 1 classroom (virtual in Blackboard Collaborate)
    • up to 17,000 students
    • 170 physical classes
    • A class of deaf students from Furlong Park School
    • 1 teacher (or presenter)

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It is Safer Internet Use Day today and the Topic is “Let’s Build a Safer Internet Together”.  Our Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development organised a webinar for all interested Victorian classrooms. The presenter was Greg Gebhart from Cybersmart ACMA who spoke on “Let’s Build a Safer Internet Together”.  The session went for 45 mins and was highly interactive which is essential to student engagement in a virtual environment.

Year 5 and 6 are engaged

Year 5 and 6 are engaged

Questions and polls were posed at varying intervals. Class answers were placed in the chat. The presentation included lots of graphics and images and Greg’s presentation style was also engaging. When a round of applause was called for at the end, many used the virtual clapping hand but it was also exciting to hear real applause and cheers from classes who turned on their microphones.

Isn’t technology exciting? This is  a wonderful use of technology that has engaged and embraced many students across Victoria simultaneously. To keep the conversations going, innovative Sandy Phillips has created a blog where students will actually be able to “Build a Safer Internet” and share their ideas, experiences and opinions. It is rich in resources so check out each of the pages as well as the posts and interact where possible. Below are the questions that Sandy uses to get discussions going with students and others.

questions-to-ask-wg8c62

What are you doing for Safer Internet Day?

Happy New Year to my Chinese friends!

gong xi fa cai 恭喜发财

May You Be Prosperous! May You Earn A Lot Of Money! May you Obtain A Fortune! (used as a greeting at Chinese Spring Festival or Chinese new year)

year of the horse1

Chinese New Year is a special time of year as our school teaches mandarin Chinese as its second language. It is also special to me as I have some very close online and face to face colleagues who are Chinese. One such colleague is Veronica Woo who I have e-worked with over the last 5 years or so. (See cultural eLearning adventures). Veronica teaches in a Chinese school in Malaysia - SMJK Poi Lam School in Ipoh.

So much of a culture, language, geography and backgrounds can be learned in real time using technology to connect with those who live in other countries….. but nothing beats travel, actually visiting the country and meeting face to face online colleagues. As such my husband and I have visited Malaysia and met Veronica and travelled with her around Ipoh and Penang. To our delight, Veronica and her niece came to visit us, stayed on our farm and vistied my school in December last year.

xhiao wen and veronica

A large parcel  was discovered in our roadside mailbox yesterday. It was full of gifts, cards and red packets or ‘ang pau’ for family and students at school to celebrate  the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Horse in 2014. There were decorations, photos, Tshirts,  cushion covers, a  horse and much more!

gifts

With pride, I took the cards and gifts to school, distributed them to students and  adorned our front office proudly with the decorations acknowledging our association with the Chinese people!  Students were excited to open up their cards and find their laminated photos and of course my grandchildren loved the gifts and cards too.

A snap decision was made to decorate our office window and foyer with Chinese decorations to share this festival with staff, students and community members.

office1

office and lanterns

Festivals are a time for celebrating with families. Thanks Veronica for making the new year special to us at Hawkesdale and Happy New Year to you and all my Chinese friends.

gifts
Do you celebrate the Chinese New Year? If so how? Melbourne (my state capital city) celebrates Chinese New Year. Veronica has suggested that the following movie is viewed:-

The Reunion Dinner (回家過年) is a 15 minute short movie written and
directed by Anthony Chen (導演: 陳哲藝) who just won the Golden Horse 2013
Best New Director (第五十屆金馬獎最佳新導演).A simple yet superb film that will surely touch your heart:
The Reunion Dinner 回家過年by Anthony Chen 陳哲藝@

Two other youtube videos suggested by Veronica Woo for the staff and students to watch:-

A site for Chinese phrases

OZeLIVE Conference 2014

ozelive

Three years ago, under the encouragement of Steve Hargadon, Carole McCulloch and I commenced the Australia eSeries to bring together all educational communities in Australia and enable webinars, PD and discussion to take place across all educational sectors and through to the globe. It is with some pride that on a very fast schedule, the OZeLive conference — the free, Australia time-zone friendly educational technology virtual conference will be held in February. The team from Australia e-Series in collaboration with The Learning Revolution, are very excited about holding our very own  first conference in 2014 online, free, in Australia friendly time zones (and much of Asia, New Zealand, Pacifica etc) and that will encourage presentations and sharing from all educational bodies and across all educational sectors.

As such, we are looking for presenters, participants and volunteers. Will you be part of this our exciting first conference? We would love you to be part of it.

See the official flyer for more information, please join our Australian Educators ning (it is not just for Australians) and watch out for the hashtag #ozelive on twitter, facebook etc. What questions do you have?

Christmas on the Farm

chimney

At the request of my good friend, Tatyana Chernaya from Moscow, Russia asking for a description of what Christmas looks like on the farm, this post will try and briefly describe how it looks. The Christmas period is always a busy one but its timing for the farm makes it doubly so. It usually means that the hay needs to be cut, raked and baled and this year. At the same time the warmer weather means that the sheep need to be brought home, drafted, checked through, sheep crutched and suitable fat lambs sold at market.

hay bales1

The blackwood wattles and fiery red bottlebrushes are in full flower and make a wonderful contrast against the hay bales.

Black wattle in full bloom

Black wattle in full bloom

A week or so before Christmas, Bruce, my husband, cuts down a young pine tree from the roadside, to place in the house. It is decorated with bright decorations. On Christmas Eve, it is time for a special Children’s Service at our local church where the children replay the nativity scene. On Christmas morning, the children and grandchildren come out to open up their presents from under the Christmas tree.
christmas tree inside
Any of our children who are overseas and unable to come home for Christmas are videoconferenced in via skype. This year, it was Jason and Katrina in London who watched virtually the opening of presents.

Jason & Katrina watch via skype

Jason & Katrina watch via skype

Lunch and the evening meals are times for family gatherings. Our immediate family enjoyed roast turkey, pork and lamb together with a variety of vegetables. The evening meal consisted of cold meats and salads with the extended family coming to our place in the evening. We love to eat outside whenever possible and as the weather was warm we were able to enjoy the meal outside on our patio.

Christmas tree patio

Branches of pine trees set in pots were decorated by the grandchildren! How do you spend Christmas, if you also enjoy celebrating this festival?