National eSmart Week

This week is national eSmart Week.


BHPS is an eSmart school, which means we promote the smart, safe and responsible use of information and technology.

eSmart was developed by The Alannah and Madeline Foundation and it aims to create positive, respectful and inclusive cultures which reduce bullying and cyberbullying, and increases online safety.

To recognise eSmart Week, all senior grades in the school worked with a junior grade in a multi-age activity to promote safe internet use. 4B were matched with 1A, and they enjoyed learning more about esafety from the Zippep’s Astro Circus app.

Zippep app

Students also had to make an iPromise to show they understand the importance of being safe and responsible online.

Here are some photos from our session with the 1A students.


How can you be safe online?

What tips would you give others about being responsible on the internet?

What did you and your 1A buddy enjoy about the session?


A Question for Parents and Families: What technology did you use when you were younger?

Last week we launched August is Family Blogging Month and it has been great to see lots of parents and family members get involved.

This blog post is for parents, family members, family friends and anyone else who would like to comment!

The Grade Four students at our school are very lucky to be involved in the 1:1 iPad Program. With all students having access to an iPad at school and home, our learning adventures in 2014 are very exciting!



We have interactive whiteboards in every classroom at our school, and they are also great learning tools. We use the internet regularly to discover and learn about the world we live in. Our class blog is another source of technology and communication.

The 4A and 4B students enjoy using their own devices at home for learning and for fun. Some popular portable devices include the digital camera, iPad, iPod, Wii, Nintendo DS, X-box and PlayStation.


Miss Jordan and Miss Curtain remember using Commodore 64 desktop computers and game consoles such as the Atari and Sega when they were young. They have seen technology change a lot since then!


We would love to hear from parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends about what technology you used when you were younger and how you have seen technology develop over time. Perhaps you used typewriters, polaroid cameras, turntables, earlier model computers or telegrams? We look forward to learning all about your experiences with technology!


What technology did you use when you were younger?

Stepping Up Our Blog Comments

Recently, Miss Jordan read a post about improving the quality of blog comments on Mrs Yollis’s class blog.

Titled, “Step-up to Commenting”, this terrific post introduced a new structure to writing paragraphs in a blog comment. This process can also be used for other genres of writing too!

To enhance the quality of blog comments, Mrs Yollis uses a chart similar to the one below to encourage her students to add more detail and information to their writing.

Step up to commenting 2


Here is an example of a blog comment using the structure and colour code as described above.

Comment example


Today during our literacy session, 4A and 4B wrote blog comments using this structure. They first had to draft their comment in their writing book, underlining the sentences using the colour code to ensure they had followed the structure correctly.

Here are two examples. Click on the images to view them in full size.



Students then typed and submitted their blog comments on their iPads. It was great to see many quality comments being written during the session!


As it is the last week of term two, the question students had to answer in their blog comment was:

What have you enjoyed about semester one?


Thank you to Mrs Yollis for inspiring us to improve the quality of our blog comments!

Winter Solstice

Mrs Morris had the chance to teach 4A and 4B again during the week while their teachers had a planning day. We investigated the Winter Solstice. 

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. It will be happening in the Southern Hemisphere this Saturday 21st June. After the solstice, the days will start to get longer again.

This video helped us understand more about the seasons, solstices and equinoxes.

Many people from different cultures enjoy celebrating the solstices each year. In some countries, like the USA, the solstices mark the first day of winter and summer.

Many 4A and 4B students noticed that the sun had been setting earlier and rising later recently. We investigated the sunrise and sunset times throughout the year to see how they change during each season.

The students worked with a partner to create a table in Pages on their iPad. They used the website to calculate day lengths.

Bebe and Jaz investigated the 24th of each month over the last year.

Bebe and Jaz sunrise sunset table

Eevie and Alex researched the 8th of each month.

Eevie sunrise sunset table

Tip: click on the tables to make them larger.

What patterns can you see from looking at the tables?

What other facts could you share about the solstices?

Instructional Videos: Vertical Addition

Last week, our maths focus was solving vertical addition equations.

We improved our addition skills earlier in the year by focussing on a range of mental strategies. Sometimes, vertical addition is a useful method to use, particularly if you are working with larger numbers or decimals.


Earlier in the week, students practised adding two, three and four digit numbers together using the vertical addition strategy. Once students were confident with this addition method, they could begin making a short instructional video to demonstrate their knowledge. This task involved:

1. Choosing an addition problem involving two, three or four digit numbers.

2. Deciding what resources and materials to use to model the problem.

3. Solving the problem aloud using the correct mathematical language.

4. Writing a script and rehearsing with a partner.

5. Filming the video using an iPad.

Here are some of our instructional videos.


This was our first attempt to make instructional videos. We learnt a lot of skills from this experience, including:

  • The importance of using the correct mathematical language
  • Speaking clearly and loudly
  • Using equipment successfully
  • Holding the iPad steady while filming.

We plan to make more videos with our iPads to demonstrate other mathematical concepts later in the year.


What did you think of our videos?

When would you use the vertical addition strategy?

What else could we make an instructional video about?

Term One Reflections

We are currently on school holidays after a fun and busy term one.

Last week the students in 4A and 4B reflected on their term one learning by creating slideshows on their iPads.

To complete this task, students had to:

  • Become familiar with the presentation app, Keynote
  • Take photos of their work samples from the term
  • Write about different aspects of their learning
  • Format their Keynote presentation
  • Upload their presentation (as a PDF or PowerPoint document) to Showbie.

Showbie is Miss Jordan’s new favourite iPad app! After Miss Jordan set up her teacher account and set up classes, students had to enter the class code and could see the tasks she set. It is easy for students to upload their work for the set tasks using apps on their iPad. It makes it simple for Miss Jordan to collect all of the students’ iPad work and give them feedback.

Once completed and uploaded to Showbie, Miss Jordan could access all of the students’ presentations. Miss Jordan then opened up the Keynote presentations in Google Drive in order to embed them here on the class blog.

Here are three of our term reflections.

* Please note – animations and special affects are lost when Keynote presentations are converted and uploaded to Showbie.




What do you think of these presentations?

What did you learn in term one?

What was your term one highlight?

Our iPad Program Has Launched!

It has been an exciting week at Barwon Heads Primary School, because we launched the 1:1 iPad Program in grades four, five and six!

The grade four students were thrilled to receive their very own iPads on Wednesday. Excitement was high as the iPads were distributed and students explored their new device.


Some of our brand new iPads ready to be used!

We will be using the iPads at school in some of our classroom learning activities to develop students’ knowledge and skills across the curriculum.

We have already practised a few essential skills and had some important discussions about iPad use, including:

  • How to take care of our iPads
  • How to be safe online
  • How to use the camera
  • How to type
  • How to find creative commons images
  • How to write a quality blog comment.

Here are some of the students completing some “iPad familiarisation” tasks this week


What are you looking forward to doing on your iPad at school?

What have you already learnt about responsible iPad use?

Do you have any iPad tips for us?

What is your favourite educational iPad app?