Claymation: Year 5 in action

Students in Year 5 have been writing their own storybooks. As a part of this process some students were given the opportunity to recreate the story (or part of a story) using modeling clay and animation techniques.

The first version of Milo and Tom is below.

In the next session the students will have a chance to add sound to the animation.

Stay tuned for more to come


Programming with Apps

On Monday 27th April, select students from Year 3, with the support of the Year 6 ICT Mentors participated in a PROGRAMMING WITH APPS session.

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The students were introduced to the following concepts:

  • What a program is
  • How a computer ‘thinks’
  • Computer languages and visual programming


They experimented with following instructions and thinking computationally through the use programmable Bee-Bots and the Bee-Bot app.  These tools are excellent for reinforcing directional and procedural language.

Through the use of visual programming apps, the students also learnt to create simple programs. Apps like Daisy the Dinosaur and Kodable support students to learn to code by solving puzzles. The ability to problem solve is a critical and creative skill for students to develop.

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The students were now ready to create their own program using Scratch Jnr. This app has a drag and drop interface designed specifically for programming with younger children.

The students were given the task to collaboratively design a simple story, selecting an appropriate setting and writing an interaction between characters. This task made connections between the story writing process and computer literacy through programming. The ICT Mentors supported and directed the younger students exceptionally well at this stage.

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All these apps are available for free. More apps can be found at Programming for Primary Students.

If you would like to learn more, read some of our blog posts about programming on the JS Library blog or come and see the Bee-Bots in action during first break in the JS Library.2015-04-27 20.49.01


Green Screen: It’s not just for superheroes or movie stars

A group of Year 3 students have been experimenting with the green screen as a means to share their learning  this term. These students have been considering ways to evaluate, reflect and report on reading.

These green screen movie reflections were created using a variety of apps on the iPad (using the video, camera, drawing and green screen apps).

  • Touch Cast
  • Green Screen by Do Ink
  • Doodle Buddy

This is what the students have thought about the process so far…

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See below for two reviews they have created. When the students create their next review (in Term Two) they will direct this (almost) independently, with the aim to become experts for the other students in the class, teaching how to use the green screen and its associated apps.

These reviews are not polished presentations but have been created in a short time frame as a tool to engage and enhance the learning experience.

Book Reviews

The Cats of Venus

Today the students were introduced to the concept of a book hook to ‘sell’ the book to another reader.

See “How to write a book hook” wiki how with pictures.

The Treasure Island: A Fun Map

The students shared why someone should ‘read’ this map.

As the students become more confident and self reflective, the presentations will become more diverse and ‘professional’.


Finally, students are presenting for an authentic audience.






How to create a listening and literacy promoting environment.

MHMS Media Orientation Animation 12 - 10

Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones via Compfight

Find a quiet space…. Pull up a cushion or bean bag… settle in. Let’s begin.

The following resources are some ideas about how to create an environment designed to foster the love of reading and literature.


The iPad is a versatile tool. We can use it to consume books and create books.


See my DIIGO weblinks to Audio Books  resources (not all of these are for children).

Access  audio books through online subscriptions (and some with free access).



See The Book Chook Apps to Help You Raise a Reader

Another great article – classroom practice and listening posts If you give a student an iPad…



Locate the AUDIO BOOK Collection (labelled as ‘Audio Book’).

When you visit the library you will find the AUDIO BOOK Collection with CD’s for you to listen to and if you wish to borrow.

  • Borrow a Portable CD player and headphones (in library use)
  • Select your book on CD and enjoy.

Additionally, last year we purchased the GUIDED CD’s resource. These are also available for teachers to use with classes.




JS Library Makerspaces & STEM in the JS:Robotics

Lego Robotics session Yr 1 &  2

This term select students in Year 1 & 2 had the opportunity to explore with WeDo Lego robotics. Students explored the features of the software,  developing problem-solving skills through experimentation with Lego and  were exposed to what it means to think computationally through programming.

Year1 and 1 WeDo

Students reflected on the experience -see the PADLET below.


Screenshots from the WeDo LEGO Robotics Program.



Other Robotics News from SALC.

RoboCup Junior

St Andrews hosted a Lego Robotics Day for teachers to explore the possibilities of robotics in the classroom. The day was well received. Thanks to the presenters Peter Kellett and Liz Polentas.


Love Your Library month & Book Giving Day

For a few years we have been celebrating Love Your Library month. It is an excellent way to introduce students to the library as well as getting teachers involved and enthusiastic about visiting the library.


This year we have had teachers select their own gift of a Picture Book, Fiction or Non-Fiction book  and a bookmark that “Gives the Gift of Reading” through a list of recommended authors on a specific genre.


JSL Love your Lib (38)

As a part of the Loving your Library  concept we also have “Getting to Know You” and  Library Orientation activities. These activities have been arranged around the PYP Concepts from the perspective of the library.

Classroom Teachers select how they would like to orientate their students and set up the Essential Agreements for the use of the library space.