Terri Rose Baynton author of ‘Mr Bear Branches and the cloud conundrum’ visited our year 2 and year 5/6 classrooms last week. Thanks to Electroboard, Polycom and HarperCollins Terri Rose presented a workshop to each class engaging readers through Visual Literacy and Problem Solving. Students entered the session with anticipation, looking forward to Terri Rose reading her book. It’s a fantastic experience to have an author read and share a book they have written. Being able to discuss the characters and learn how they were developed was amazing. After reading the book Terri Rose took us through different parts of the story and described how her characters developed and stepped us through the illustration of Mr Bear Branches and his friend Lintfree Longfellow. Each child and teacher participated in the drawing process with results that amazed themselves. Students have time to think and prepare questions they may like to ask both before and during the workshop and conversed with Terri Rose as though she was physically in the room. The sessions run for approximately 45 minutes and the time just flies as everyone is so engaged and busy.
Success for our first Skype link session with sister school in Beijing. Organised by our Chinese Assistant Miss Wang, the session began with prep and year one students from Hawkesdale P12 greeting Beijing students with a song, firstly in English and then in Chinese language. The session continued with year 7-9 students in Hawkesdale showing students in Beijing a range of things in their everyday lives. They talked about some of our favorite foods such as Vegemite and meat pies with tomato sauce, demonstrated the use of a cricket bat and an Aussie Rules Football and practical items from the farm such as a shearing hand piece. Students in Beijing shared information about their school days, foods, their national animal – the panda and the Spring Festival. They were also interested in Australian native animals and how we celebrate Christmas. This was a very good and valuable experience with Australian students being able to practice their Chinese and Beijing students their English. It also provided the opportunity for Australian students who had recently visited China a chance to meet again with their host student.