28 04 2010

Good morning ladies and gentlemen!  In my absence today while I’m off learning new stuff, I’ve left a blog post as a teacher.  It has to do almost as good a job, right?

Anyway, four hours, four classes, four activities.  Strap yourself in, I’m going to run you through it.


Your job here is to apply the things we’ve learned this week about narrative introductions, by writing and posting 3 of them on the English section of your blogs.  Since they’re online, get other people to read yours, check them out, and comment on them.  Your 3 topics are listed below, but remember the following things:

  • Build intrigue.  Don’t give your reader too much information – lead them to ask questions, even if that means asking some questions yourself.
  • Decide on a genre early, and use it to help decide how you’re going to apply the story topic.
  • Use lots of interesting, descriptive language, and try to tap into your reader’s emotions by showing how your characters feel.  If they’re happy, say so.  If they’re sad, angry, scared… say so.  Try to be specific with your words though.  Is your angry character frustrated or enraged?  Is your sad character a disheartened or devastated?  Is your scared character apprehensive or petrified?

Your topics are:

  1. Labyrinth
  2. Note to Self
  3. Swarming


You can use this time to work on your Iceland Volcano stuff that’s due tomorrow.  Remember, it needs to be well-researched, detailed (no primary school half-the-information, near-enough-is-good-enough garbage!) and stand-alone. That means when it’s posted on your blog, all I need to do is press play – it shouldn’t need any other presentation from you.

Oh, and slides full of text will just be ignored.  You know better.  Also, even if you take a *cough cough* day off because you’re *cough cough* sick,” it’s still due tomorrow.  You can post things online from home.


Last chance to wear that Ecology brain this year!  We had a look the other day at the effects of Shen Neng 1 running aground on the Great Barrier Reef, and some of the impacts it had on the local ecosystem.  Your job today is to begin researching coral reefs in a more general way.  Use the web, YouTube, HowStuffWorks, or any other resources, and start to build something that demonstrates how a healthy coral reef works.  Remember to think about the energy flow through the ecosystem – starting with the sun, what counts as a producer, a primary consumer, a secondary consumer, and a decomposer?  Be specific.


Warm your brains up with 5 minutes of Live Mathletics (remember, challenge yourselves!)  After that’s done, there’ll be some fraction revision tasks.

If you’ve got any questions, I’ll have the Skype account year8stp running all day.



23 04 2010

How do you pronounce that, anyway? (Not like this!)

Surely by now, you’ve all heard about this:

Your job is to find out how it happened, what effects it had, and what solutions have been offered to avoid similar problems in the future.  Vulcanologists (I’d pursue a career in that field just to be able to say “vulcanologist”) are saying that while it was a relatively small eruption, it could potentially have a massive impact.

Remember, this happened in Europe, so a lot of the coverage will have been from non-English news sources.  This might make understanding them a little bit easier.  There’s been at least one really interesting suggestion for a solution in the case of future environmental inconveniences.

This comes squarely under the banner of Society & Environment, so your final product should end up on that section of your blog, along with a list of linked information sources.  Your final product should be stand-alone – it should need no extra delivery or presentation.  Other than that, format is entirely up to you.

It’s due on Friday, April 30th.

First Post! Blog comment etiqutette.

20 04 2010

Here it is, the first post on the Year 8 STP class blog. I think to get things started, we need to spend a bit of time thinking about the kind of etiquette we need to follow when commenting on each other’s blogs.

Check out this link from Twitter user and educational blogger @langwitches about using blogs in class, and the difference between commenting on social blogs, and commenting on academic blogs.