Year 12 transition reflection

Here’s what went well today:

  • All students shown LAP and course outline
  • Students were exposed to sample work from this year and discussion of the performance standards and criteria
  • Rules and expectations outlined for the year
  • Emphasis on attendance, punctuality, organisation and communication at all times
  • All students aware of the assessment types, school and external based assessment components
  • Recommended apps to help them remain organised and up-to-date with things
  • Students started a blog / journal, and the reasons and benefits clearly discussed with them
  • Option topics were discussed with the IT class, they decided to do Application Programming (major) and Website Programming (minor), although I would have preferred Website Programming to be the major, never mind…

A couple of students are instant worries, monitor them closely in the first few weeks to see how they go.

This took the double lesson and students had the opportunity to ask questions, which they did. A lot of course information was spoken about and next time more visual are needed, such as a video or info graphics to help communicate the information in a more engaging way. Copies of assignments are available in the pick-up folder, perhaps a sample assignment with A response and C response would be good to give to students to take away with them.

Overall, the transition went well, all the important information was communicated and students seemed happy with the tasks facing them next year.

Ten apps I would recommend to senior students

The following apps are useful for getting yourself organised with lessons, assignments, taking and sharing notes. As well as other useful functions.

  1. WordPress, to maintain your blog
  2. Pinterest, especially useful for IPP students for getting design ideas
  3. Evernote, great for taking notes and sharing them
  4. Google Drive, a cloud storage service, crucial for keeping documents safe and accessible from any computer with internet access
  5. Google Docs, a great mobile word-processor
  6. Things, keep track of tasks and things with this easy to use and appealing organiser
  7. Adobe Ideas, a great little drawing app
  8. Edmodo, communicate with teachers and other students as well as access to information and resources
  9. SimpleMind+, a mind-mapping app, great for getting ideas down
  10. Calendar, organise your time effectively and efficiently!

Spend the time during year 11 and 12 to be organised, to plan ahead, to take notes, to review and reflect. These apps will help you get these tasks done so they are well worth a look.


Year 12 Transition Lessons

Next week the years 11s transition into year 12. I have a double lesson with my IPP and IT combined classes. The focus of these lessons is to give students relevant information about their year 12 courses, such as.

  • Access to the course outline
  • Outline of assessments
  • Look at this years LAP
  • View sample assignments and a range of responses (A-C achievement for example)
  • Expectations in terms of behaviour, effort, attitude, organisation, work ethic
  • Access to the SACE website where students can view and download relevant materials
  • Submission and format of assignments
  • Drafting policy
  • Late submission of assignments policy
  • Homework expectations

Clearly communicate all of the above and have the following materials prepared for them.

  • Copy of this years LAP
  • Sample assessment tasks
  • Copy of the late submission of assignments policy

Copies can also be placed in the pick-up folder, so direct students to ScaddingM pick-up so they can view these files.


  • Students to create a blog, such as with WordPress, can show them mine to model an example
  • Encourage students to keep a blog of their year 12 experiences, such as blogging at least once a week
  • Keeping a blog can be beneficial, for example, they can use the blog to record progress of coursework, their strengths and limitations, areas where they can improve
  • One great way to use the blog is the IT project, they can use the blog to track the progress of their project and record changes to made to their analysis or design, and then use this information in the evaluation

Encourage students to bring with them to lessons.

  • Subject folder (well-organised), to include notes, assignments and handouts
  • Flash drive or external hard disk to back-up their work (encourage students to keep copies of work on home computer)
  • Cloud storage service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, to keep copies of coursework
  • Pencil case, well stocked with supplies
  • School diary, and to use it regularly!

I think thats it… definitely enough for a double-lesson!

PS: Stress that year 12 is tough and students need to be on the ball from week 1, day 1. Students should be attentive, dedicated, well-organised, punctual, committed and open-minded. There will be tough times and struggles, but students should not give up and keep in regular contact with the teacher to express concerns and ask questions.

And have fun!

Code Club (week 6)

This week in Code Club:

  1. Students worked on their Wix websites
  2. We talked about the Hour of Code event
  3. We trialled some activities on the Hour of Code website
  4. We saw how loops can drastically reduce the amount of code you need to write

Next week:

  1. Continue to plan the Hour of Code event, such as by putting up posters in caregroup rooms
  2. Trial more Hour of Code activities
  3. Continue with Wix websites

Tuesday and Thursday next week.

The Hour of Code 2014 @ SamCol

Computer Science Education Week is December 8-14. I have been using some Hour of Code tutorials for a couple of years now with students from years 7 to 10. This year I will be hosting an official Hour of Code event at Samaritan College during CSED Week.

Here’s why:

  1. It is a global event reaching tens of millions of students
  2. Tutorials are fun and teach the basics of computer science
  3. Tutorials are self-guided
  4. Minimal prep-time for teachers
  5. Computers are optional, some paper-based activities available
  6. Some resources feature inspirational speakers, such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Bosh
  7. Students that participate will get a certificate
  8. It is the largest learning event in history!
  9. Students learn important skills such as problem-solving and logical thinking
  10. Inspire students to become involved in computer science

What I need to do:

  • Visit the Hour of Code website to get resources (
  • Promote the event at school by putting up posters and getting other teachers involved
  • Decide which tutorials to run
  • Ensure computers are equipped to run the tutorials
  • Find some time to do this at school – alternative program in week 9 for example
  • Inspire students!

Year 7 students have already done their Hour of Code this week during their transition lessons. Now its time for years 8-10!

Year 7 reflection part II

So today went better than the first transition lesson. Here’s why:

  1. Resources were better prepared. Had posters for Code Club and CC4G (Computer Club for Girls) on the board that I plugged at the end of the session
  2. Students had a takeaway item, a QR code they could scan to access the Codecademy website. I demoed this for the class with my iPad and they seemed suitably impressed with the idea










Things that did not go so well:

  1. I was
    not expecting a year 7 student to drop the ‘f’ bomb. Dealt with the incident in an appropriate manner and the student apologised
  2. Still some tech issues with people using old versions of Internet Explorer not being able to access some web pages. Must get Google Chrome installed on ALL computers!

Next time:

  1. Ensure all computers have the correct tech, i.e. Google Chrome installed
  2. Try an activity with a group element, such as working together to solve a problem, such as having a input, a process to be achieved and a final output. They can then test the output with other groups to see if it is correct











It would be nice if more girls signed up to do ICT. Hopefully they will be interested in this club next year.

Year 7 reflection part I

Things that went well today:

1) Welcomed and greeted the class as soon as they arrived. Greeted the class outside and gave them clear instructions

2) Introduced the lesson well, giving clear instructions for what students should do

3) Informed the class about what they will be doing next year. Used my prepared visuals effectively, as they linked to the topic well

4) Circulated the class constantly talking to all students and seeing what they were doing and giving help when needed

5) At the end of the class I praised them for their behaviour and participation and summed up the skills they had done in the lesson

6) Plugged Code Club and Raspberry Pi Club and invited them to get involved next year

7) Chosen resources were fun and engaged students instantly

Things to improve:

1) Check the tech more carefully as some web browsers were out of date and did not display the web sites correctly. Ensure all computers have Google Chrome as this browser supports all of the web sites needed

2) Have a paper based backup task prepared in case of further tech failure

3) Have something for students to take away, such as information about Code Club, a coding puzzle or information about next year

4) Include a binary activity, students to communicate a message written in binary and share it with a friend

Part II tomorrow…