Ninja Classroom Qualities Posters

For a year long theme centred on ‘Classroom Ninjas’ we created a set of classroom qualities based on the ‘Ninjutsu Code’.

Specifically we decided that Classroom Ninjas:

  • are neither seen nor heard…
  • dream – imagine – invent.
  • have learned that tidiness is serenity…
  • know what is right, fair and true.
  • know that more is achieved together, than alone.
  • know that to be trusted, they must be trustworthy.
  • are responsible for their own behaviour.
  • help, not hinder.
  • look confident and brave, even when they’re not.
  • see the glass is half-full, not half-empty.
  • know they can – eventually – do almost anything.
  • are keen to join in, keen to try new activities and keen to learn new skills.

I hope your classroom Ninjas are equally gifted!

orange-downloadDownload the Ninja Classroom Qualities Charts PDF file (1.8Mb)


 

Sample thumbnails of the posters.

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Rapa Nui Language Resources

Various Rapa Nui phrases for tides.

Various Rapa Nui phrases for tides.

Rapa Nui – the language – is spoken by a minority of Easter Island’s population. Figures suggest perhaps 800 out the 3700 or so inhabitants.

I wanted to include some authentic Rapa Nui language in the script for my new musical ‘Compass Rose’, though I’m not convinced I’ve achieved it!.

There aren’t a huge number of resources out there, but these sites were useful:

 

 

Printable Paper

Printable papers website screenshotPrintable Paper is a top resource for teachers – and students – with a huge range (1300+ and counting) of paper templates, graph paper, lined paper and music paper.

It’s all free, it’s all organised beautifully (just don’t click on the occasional ‘Start Download’ ad links) and there’s no registration needed.

Try these pages:

Graph paper – imperial and metric measurements.

Music paper – grand staves, tablature, chord charts and SATB

Handwriting practice paper – huge variety of line spacing, orientations

Calendars – monthly, weekly, perpetual

Templates – doorhanger, CD cover, postcards

Paper games – battleships, hangman, dot game, word ladder

Comics pages – three panel;, top action, grids

Storyboard template – small, medium, large, 4:3, 16:9

Teacher resources – attendance, grade book, lesson plans

 

 

Pirate Island Assessment Sheet

Pirate Drama Assessment Sheet Pic

Pirate Drama Assessment Sheet Pic

It’s amazing how much inspiration you can produce with just a couple of props.

This time around it was two flat-style palm trees that were left in our drama area after a storeroom cleanup.

We moved them onto the stage and improvised a series of ‘Pirate Island’ adventures, with an emphasis on ‘beginning / middle / end’ structure, or for the older students, ‘orientation / complication / resolution’.

Here are  the assessment task sheets. I laminated mine so I can reuse them next year!

Desert Pirate Treasure Drama Assessment

 

Tripline

My first attempts at creating an animated visual of a journey (some 15 years ago) were laborious and frustrating and involved taking multiple screenshots of a small plane graphic as I moved it across a blurry background map.

Now you can purchase dedicated map-journey software such as PriMap or use freebie (yay!) online tools such as Map My Trip or Tripomatic.

My favourite though was the easy-as to use Tripline.

The web interface is easy to navigate, and creating an animated map is straightforward:

  1. Create an account. (Facebook login is an option)
  2. Create a new map.
  3. Add waypoints and locations. (Click on the map, search by name or add by decimal point latitude / longitude)
  4. Add descriptions and photographs. (The photo upload is VERY well implemented)
  5. Share your map. (I’ve added Tripline to our school website and Facebook page).

The completed project is slick, thoughtfully designed and presented and a easy for the casual user to use.

Classroom use

I’d highly recommend this online resource for classroom use. With the only downside being the registration requirements, Triplien could easily find a place in Geography and History lessons mapping out migration patterns, historic journeys or imaginary trips. The diary interface also suggests use in literacy lessons, whilst the ability to export distances suggests use in numeracy work.

Resources

You probably won’t need much hand-holding, but there are some excellent resources available:

You can also download a Tripline app for the iPad but the functionality – particularly the animated map – appears to be missing at this time.

Sample trip

Rapanui Kickstarter Project

My Google alert feed on all things Rapa Nui (my latest musical ‘Compass Rose’  is set there) suggested this great Kickstarter Project: ‘Vai –  The Story of Water On Rapa Nui‘.

Paleoecologist Dr. Candice Gossen plans to create a documentary film covering 15,000 years of Rapa Nui history and, in her own words:

“Tell you a story, a new story about what I found deep down in the mud below the waters of the crater lake Rano Kao“.

With so much speculation and misinformation regarding Rapa Nui and its tragic history, this seems to be a most worthwhile project to get behind.

Personally, I’ve plumped for the tree gift ($25 or more) as Rapa Nui needs all the trees it can get!

Take a look yourself and consider making a pledge.

kickstarterscreenshot

Vai – The Story of Water on rapa Nui: Kickstarter website screenshot.

 

 

360Cities Rapa Nui Panoramas

I love the colourful and personal world-view that Google Maps and  Street View have brought to my classroom.

I’ve now added 360Cities to my teaching toolkit as they take Street View and turn it into an immersive (you guessed it!) 360 degree panorama.

I’m writing a children’s musical set on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and was alerted to a 360cities panorama of the Ran Raraku quarry, where the famous heads were carved:

 


Inside Rano Raraku : The Moai Quarry in Rapa Nui – Easter Island

This one shows the Ahu Akivi moai, the only ones to actually face the ocean.

Ahu Akivi (Front Left) in Rapa Nui – Easter Island

This one shows the Ahu Tongariki, the largest moai on the island.

 


Another Day At Tongariki (Front Center) in Rapa Nui – Easter Island

The 360Cities site requires Flash, so there’s no visiting on your iPad! Fortunately, there is an app, and since it allows you to make your own panoramas, it’s excellent value.

Panoramas are user uploaded, so popular tourist sites are over-represented and some places have none at all. That aside, my quick sampling (birth place in UK, recent trip to New Zealand, Canada and interest in Easter Island) all turned up useful views.

And of course, your students could make their own too!

Google Alerts

Google Alerts are “email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries”.

This is a very handy service if you have specific topics you like being kept up to date with.

Here’s the Google Alert form at www.google.com.au/alerts

Google Alert form

Google Alert form

Setting it up

There’s a few options:

  • Search query: Complete with your topic of choice. Be specific here, otherwise you may be overwhelmed!
  • Result type: Are you after News? Blogs? Videos? Discussions? Books? You can also choose Everything to be sure!
  • How often: Choose from “As it happens’, ‘Once a day’ or ‘Once a week’
  • How many: Two choices here – ‘Only the best results  or ‘All results’
  • Deliver to: Your email address.

In practice

I’m currently writing a musical based on Rapa Nui (or Easter Island).

Here’s the alert I set up and a sample of the responses I received.

Google Alert form example

 

Google Alert form example

I’ve found the system excellent. Just two days in, I received an alert about the final stages of an expedition that paddled a traditional outrigger around the Polynesian ‘triangle’ of New Zealand / Hawaii / Easter Island. Then I received an alert on an update to 360Cities with panoramic walk rounds of the Rano Raraku quarry where the stone heads were carved. Two very useful stories within one week!

 

 

 

Backwards

YouTube is a huge resource for teachers and especially so for those in the areas of Music, Multi Media and Drama.

I came across the video ‘Forward’ after following a Reddit link. The clip features music by Fred V and Grafix with video by Messe  Kopp.

The concept is simple; have your principal actor walk through a scene backwards. When finished, reverse the footage and add your music.

Student responses

I showed this to a range of year levels. I explained to them there was only one ‘special effect’, and asked if they could work out what it was. Some of the responses were quite entertaining! The clip certainly caught their attention, as all classes wanted to watch it again! It was also intriguing to hear their thoughts on where it was filmed. After some hints (look at the signs, headwear) students worked out the Middle East, then Jerusalem.

Project

We then bounced around ideas for filming our own version. With the weather still warm students were keen to try out the water effect and one group immediately saw the potential for the playground swings.

We started with a whole-class version. Two students were chosen as the ‘walkers’ and the rest of the class positioned themselves strategically along a path from the front of the school to our Performing Arts Centre. We attached the Flip Video to a tripod and balanced it on a furniture trolley for stability. The trolley was then pushed keeping pace with the students walking backwards.

Safety is obviously a concern when people can’t see where they’re going. We had a spotter (outside of the view of the camera) and I made sure nobody was falling off the trolley.

Once filmed, we downloaded the video onto our Windows 7 PCs and used the excellent VideoPad video editor to reverse the video. (If you use VideoPad, right click the clip in the timeline > ‘Change Clip Speed’ > Tick box ‘Play Clip In Reverse’)

The results were impressive, with some very ordinary actions producing totally unexpected results. Throwing jumpers or hats to the ground was especially impressive, as were any leaps or jumps.

Students then formed small groups and recorded  footage of their own which we edited and presented to a whole school assembly.

After-words

I discovered Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’ after we completed the project. I shared the clip with one class, and although several students had seen it before, had never connected the story to the backwards filming. This clip led to a discussion of what life would be like if it ran backwards, Arthur Eddington’s ‘arrow of time’ theory and the Red Dwarf episode (and later novel)  ‘Backwards

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drumkit Rock Rhythms Poster

At its most basic, a drumkit rock rhythm can have just just four components: a snare drum hit on beats 2 and 4, a bass drum hit on beats 1 and 3.

The pdf  poster features eight variations on this idea, each adding a slightly more complex hi-hat pattern or bass-drum variation.

The bass drum is coloured red, the snare green and the hi-hat blue.

Small groups of students can play these patterns together. Allocate one student to the bass / snare pattern and a second to the hi-hat pattern. The hi-hat pattern can also be duplicated on the ride cymbal and (lightly) on the bell of the crash cymbal.

Before playing the patterns on the kit, have students practice using their hands and feet while sitting on chairs. Rehearse the counting patterns, particularly for the two last rhythms with the more complex bass pattern.

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Download Basic Rock Patterns Poster