Social Media: Facebook

I've decided to do a series of discussions about social media. I have often wondered if teachers should be the ones teaching about social media and appropriate use. Why? Many teachers seem unable or unwilling to think about their own user style with the platform but will berate students for doing the same thing.

Maybe this is because social media, as we now know it, is not old enough to have seasoned or sensible viewpoints? Or maybe it is just that people are becoming so hooked on it they they can't see the forest for the trees? Or maybe it is because new users tend to fall into the same trap over and over again which perpetuates any false thinking?

I've decided to begin with Facebook. It has the dubious honour of going first because it is the social media platform I am most familiar with. Yes, I openly admit that this will be a learning curve for me as most students I've taught know about about these platforms than I do!

Spirited Away: Film Review

English Title: Spirited Away
Japanese Title: Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi
Company: Studio Ghibli
Country: Japan
Year: 2001
Australian Rating: PG

Classification: Fiction (anime)
Themes: self belief, courage, love

The Peony Lantern: Book Review

Kasumi's life has dramatically changed. One moment she is working in her family's inn - the next she is working for a fine lady. Everything appears very different from how things are - but will she see the truth in time?

Criticism: Dead or Alive?

I have often wondered when as a society criticism became frowned upon. There was a time when speaking your mind was fine and in some cases encouraged. A lot of the time the contents of what a person said contained more criticism than praise.

Our world history is full of people who stood up and criticised and it wasn't always worded constructively.

If people hadn't spoken out where as a society would we be? Would the mentally ill still be locked away out of sight in asylums rather than receiving the care and help they need? Would we still have slaves in the western world? Would it be okay to judge people, not by who they are, but what they look it?

Then, at some point, criticism morphed into being constructive criticism. Now you would think that would be acceptable but clearly, as I have just found out yet again, even constructive criticism is unwanted.

So that leads me to here...if we are not meant to criticise and not meant to offer constructive criticism then how will people ever know when they are erring or need redirecting? Let alone the mine-field created when people ask for "honest feedback" (but they really only want to hear good things).

Let's Play Supermarket! Part 2

I hadn't forgotten to get to this...just forgot where I put the photographs. This is part 2 about using supermarket role plays in the classroom, preschool, kindy or (like me) at home. This post will look at other toys you can use and some basic display/storage ideas.

In part 1 (CLICK HERE if you missed it) I showed different ways you can make fruit, vegetables and cans if you are crafty. But what about the rest of the people who don't have the skill or time?

Here's the answer: Plastic

In The Year 2525: Song Review

Song: In The Year 2525
Artist: Zager and Evans
Year: 1969

Nationality: American

Theme: future, technology, life, machines

Diversity and Art

Here is the second post, as promised, about using artworks in the classroom. If you missed the first one Indigenous Art: Dots and Beyond feel free to read that one first...or second.

Today's post is focusing on diversity. With many classrooms now featuring students from a variety of ethnic cultures it is important that they feel included and not excluded. For example, if you organise you class schedule and all the pictures or clip art are of Caucasian appearance and you have students with a Spanish, Maori or African heritage they might not feel totally included.

Artwork is the same. If you are going to have prints in the classroom then make sure they represent a variety of people and countries. The 'Old Masters' did fantastic work but there is a lot more art out in the world to explore.

My Book of Love

Yes, it is February already! For many people February symbolises love as Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th.

In some countries, Valentine's Day is about couples sharing love but in other countries it is more about friendship. Honestly, I like the friendship and loving things in general vibe for Valentine's Day. It's a much more child-friendly view.

Finding worthwhile activities for the classroom is actually a little tough. In Australia, we don't 'theme' our mathematics or literacy lessons - we barely get enough time to teach! This presented me with a problem to activity that is worthwhile, not particularly themed but still enjoyable....and guess what? I came up with a brilliant idea...but you have to click into this post to see it!