Thursday, October 4, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Some time last term I agreed to take part in a film being made by the National Library about 21st century school libraries. Suddenly it wasn't just a note in my diary for some future date, it was today, and I found myself in front of a GIGANTIC camera. Me, the person who hides behind the camera was in front of one for two whole hours. Okay, maybe the camera wasn't gigantic but it was a big one like they use for TV not a handycam.They filmed me doing typical things around the school and library, and then they did a one-on-one interview with me about the Amesbury School library. I also organised groups of students to do various activities in the library and a couple of other teachers were interviewed too. The film crew were at school for five hours and by the time they left I was both exhausted and exhilerated. They said they were really pleased with the the material they had which was a relief. After they had filmed me working with children one of them asked me if I had a background in performance arts. That took me aback for a moment but then I realised that all I had been doing was normal teaching stuff and interacting with children as usual. I guess teaching often is a kind of performance as you're always thinking about the way you present yourself to children to engage them in learning.
So despite my nerves and fears that I wouldn't say the right thing or express myself articulately I ended up feeling pretty good about the whole thing. They will have hours of film from about four different schools and in the end I suppose there will only be a few minutes of us at Amesbury. Hopefully those minutes will be a true and worthy reflection of Amesbury School library - the place, the people and the learning.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Here are some related links:
Sharon at Amesbury School
Sharon Holt (on the Book Council website)
Te Reo Singalong website - these books are just great for using Te Reo Maori with young children in a fun way.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The school library is also busy and it's great to see the children coming and going during the day. Most of them can issue and return books independently using our RFID scanning system and we now have a dozen netbooks, some iPads, iPods, Android tablets and eReaders. Some of the children still need adult help of course. One five year old approached me the other day and asked how to spell her last name. "Why do you need to know that?" I asked. Her reply was, "My parents have secrets and I want to use Google to find out their secrets". Priceless!
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
School groups and others sometimes do a tour of the workshop but they are finishing a highly confidential project - The Hobbit? - so we had to stick to the conference room off the entrance foyer. Not many conference rooms are as interesting as that one however. A glass cabinet stretches the length of one wall and it is chock full of collectibles such as Lord of the Rings miniatures. There is also an impressive collection of industry awards including the Oscars and BAFTAs shown in the photo below.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
There was a quick re-plan for the start of the school day, which ended up being a complete re-plan as apart from a brief return of the electricity mid-morning we were without power until 2pm. So it was back to pencils, paper and books for the day. The iPads, iPods, interactive whiteboards and touchscreens were abandoned as good old fashioned handwriting and drawing on paper was used. No books could be issued from the library although I set up a fun treasure hunt type of activity so the seniors could practice some library skills.
The biggest challenge of the day was going to the toilet. The staff toilets were pitch black, you couldn't even see your hand in front of your face. At least I already knew where the toilet roll and hand basin were as the only way to find anything was by groping around in the dark.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
With two wheels that look like they’ve been pinched off a giant’s bicycle and two fearless French performers, this is the jaw-dropping acrobatics of Arcane.
Performing perfect flips, spins and somersaults on a nice steady platform would be difficult enough for most of us. Make that platform a moving, rolling structure and you add an entirely new level of complexity and skill.
Invented by trapeze artists Maxim Bourdon and Sebastien Bruas, Arcane’s wheel is much more than a mere prop. Like two spiders on a huge web, the daring duo clamber over the structure, expertly propelling it around the stage. As the performance progresses, the tricks get riskier as the wheel becomes the inspiration for excitingly dangerous and original feats that will transfix the crowds in Waitangi Park.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Melt the chocolate and butter in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar . Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour, salt and chocolate chips (if using).
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little batter and a few moist clumps clinging to it. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled. These freeze very well.
Makes 16 brownies.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
The people I met at the club were very friendly and I've organised a couple more games. The main challenge may be court availability as it's a very busy club with only three courts. There is an online booking system and you can book up to a week ahead. I'm not sure what time most people get up in the morning to book a game in advance but one woman told me the advantage of her job (she is a nurse who works night shifts) is that she can reserve a court when they become available at midnight!
Monday, February 13, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Foreground: books for sale. Background: catalogued books temporarily on the display shelves.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Friday, January 6, 2012
Flowering cherry trees - the main street is beautiful in spring time.
Regent Cinema – a wonderful collection of movie memorabilia and so handy that I can catch a movie if I leave home 5 minutes before it starts.
Teasdale Street – my home in a tranquil spot yet only a short walk to the main street.
Te Awamutu Library – helpful staff and crammed with books (literally crammed with books, put some money into more space for this great community resource please Waipa District Council).
Mandarins – masses of delicious, juicy fruit from the tree in my garden.
Waikato weather – lovely warm summers.
Puahue countryside – enjoying the scenery and changing seasons as I drive to work.
Te Awamutu Squash Club – great facilities, friendly members, good times.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
My year of study is almost complete, I'm finishing off the final paper during the summer semester. In two weeks I start a new job in a new city at a new school. Well the job and the school are brand new but the city has been around for a while, it's just new for me. I'll be the library based teacher at Amesbury School in Churton Park, Wellington. The school opens for the first time on February 1st 2012 and I expect it will be both exciting and challenging to be a foundation teacher at an innovative new school.
Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2012.