There has been a lot of controversy and discussion lately about Facebook lately.

Here is a great post
about security settings on Facebook. Please take a look at these and consider making some changes to your own account to keep you safe.

4 comments Posted in  School February 19, 2009

Finally finished.

The Arsonist

Rubies on the Run

Missing Piece

Encounter with Bandit Bob

Eddie’s Mystery

Cowboys

Cop Stacy’s Mystery

Comes Back for Revenge

Benjamin’s Mystery

Steve and the Million Dollar Mine

He Strikes Again

Enjoy!

Back Again…

Just a small post to welcome everyone back again.

I hope you all had a restful and interesting Christmas break.

For the students at JHK, I also want to remind you that your mid term exams will be taking place at the end of January. Here is the schedule:

Tuesday, January 27th – English Language Arts
Wednesday, January 28th – Math
Thursday, January 29th – Science
Friday, January 30th – Social Studies

Remember, if you need any extra help or need anything photocopied, now is the time to do it!

Math Class Video

Here is the short video I shot in math class the other day when we were looking for angles and lines.

1 comment Posted in  School December 17, 2008

Five Dollars

What can you buy for five dollars?

This blog is an interesting look at what you can buy around the world for five dollars.

A simple question but when you look at the site you see the differences between different parts of the world. We might spend five dollars on a cup of coffee while someone in Asia is paying that same five dollars to buy a lot of food.

9 comments Posted in  School November 21, 2008

Radio still captivates many listeners around the world and is a great medium for a play. Many years ago, listening to the radio was the main source of entertainment until television came along. While we have a wide array of entertainment available to us nowadays, not everybody wants to watch TV; some prefer to listen to the radio while they work or do chores. This article provides some brief details on writing a radio play, now an old art but a good one.

Steps

1. Create a visual picture. Writing for radio requires you to paint a picture in the audience’s mind. This means the use of descriptive words to build up images that enable the listening audience to identify with the characters, the world the characters live in and the atmosphere for each scene. Use of color is very important to create the image in the listener’s mind; for example, have the characters mention such things as “the vast blue sky”, “the shimmering red evening gown”, “the bright yellow VW”, “the luminous orange iPod”, etc.
2. Use the narrator device. A narrator is very useful in the context of radio:
• The narrator can lay out the scene, explain action sequences and wrap up the scene.
• If you are writing a radio serial, the narrator can summarize the previous episode’s action.
• The narrator can switch between scenes: “And meanwhile, back at Joey’s pad, the dogs had eaten all the party food….”
3. Create action through dialogue. Since all you have to work with is dialogue rather than props, a setting, or visual cues, your dialogue will need to work hard. It can be used to describe action as it is taking place: for example, “Oh look! Jenny’s car is rolling through the fence of that field and into a ditch. And George is running after it as fast as he can! Should we help?” Use verbs to paint your active scene and be as descriptive as it is possible to be in a conversation or discussion to describe the scene occurring around the action.
4. Make the most of sound effects. Sound effects are the radio playwright’s best friend and also the entertaining part. Work in sound effects to bring the play to life. Consider such sound effects:
• Doors – opening and shutting them creates options for bangs, squeaks and knocking; doors in the wind create the opportunity for a relentless soft banging or a creaking etc.
• Street sounds – children’s cries, school bells, scooter zooms, freeway traffic, street vendor’s cries etc.
• Kitchen objects – a kettle whistling, a toaster popping up, knife scraping butter into toast, lids of jam jars being popped open etc.
• Astounding noises – things to wake up your audience such as an explosion, a car crashing, an angry mob shouting etc.
5. Use Mixer effects. You can use effects which are built into the mixing desk to help creat actualisation. When it comes to producing your play, and if you are producing it, be sure that you do a sound check with the effects, to ensure the sound levels and effects are how you want them:
• Panning – Use to portray the position of specific sounds, or to portray movement. This can be acheived by moving the Pan control into the desired position you want the sound.
• Reverb – Use this to set the acoustics of a location. For example, empty rooms, caves, halls and basketball courts to name a few.
6. Include music. Music in the background can help to set the mood of your play. Obviously, you can match music to feelings, such as sad music for sad occasions featuring death or loss; happy music for good news; suspenseful music for a scary or worrying moment and fast music for increased action or a chase. Music also sets the opening and closing tone of a radio play, serving as the aural curtain for your play.
7. Create believable characters. As with any play writing, you need characters who are believable. Yet, radio allows you some leeway; you may write quite a number of characters into your play but when it is produced, the actors may be able to change their voices to cover quite a few of the characters without needing a large cast. Therefore, do not feel hemmed in by worrying about the lack of recording space!
8. Be precise and clear with your language. Everything must be clear in the language because your listener cannot view a character using facial expressions, waving arms about or throwing objects etc. Silence must be used carefully so as not to convey an empty space; silence cannot be used for great effect on the radio as it makes listeners think the power has gone off. Use it sparingly.

Tips

• Professional radio studios will have access to sound effects archives, in which sounds of almost anything can be found. You will need to work with the radio station producers to see what they have available when your play gets to the production stage.
• If you are producing a play for your school’s radio, be creative in finding your sound effects. It won’t be viable to bring in large items to the recording studio, so try to see what things have similar enough sounds for your needs.
• Comedy is still one very active area for radio plays; it is an effective way of dramatizing political events, the oddities of famous people etc. and many radio plays are spoofs or skits that point out the foibles of current happenings and such people.

Warnings

• When at the production stage of a radio play, don’t use overwhelming music or sound effects. Allow the dialogue to be the centerpiece of your work.

This post is long (but good) and is taken from: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Radio-Play

1 comment Posted in  School November 17, 2008

Welcome Three New Bloggers

Please welcome Hein, Karl and Sumari to our thinwalled blogging community!

These are three new students in our class recently arrived to Canada from South Africa.

2 comments Posted in  School November 13, 2008

Learning?

We’ve been talking about great classrooms and great places to learn something new. On that post, a principal from British Columbia named David Truss posted a link to a video that is interesting. I’m interested to hear what you think about this school. It is a completely different kind of place where the students are basically free to do what they want. If they want to lay around and  play video games, they can do that. When classes are taught, they are not based on age, but on interest, people bascially getting together with a teacher to learn something new. Their website is here take a look at it.

Watch the video and then let me know what you think of this. Is this learning? Would this work? Do you think it would be effective?

Child Labour

Child labour is a serious issue in many parts of the world. It is complicated as well. No one wants to see small children have to spend 12 or more hours a day working, especially in sometimes dangerous environments. But there is another side ot the story. Many children are working because their families need the money to live. What happens if child labour is completely banned? Where will many families get the money they need to survive?

A tough issue to think about.

An interesting project posted online called Eye – to – Eye has provided child larbourers with cameras, allowing them to document their lives and the things that happend to them. Some amazing pictures to check out.

3 comments Posted in  School November 11, 2008

Great Classrooms?

I’ve got an honest question for you.

What are the things that would make a classroom great place to be and a great place to learn? What would the teacher be like? What kinds of things would the students be doing and be involved in? How would the day be spent?

I’m really curious to know your opinions on this so please leave me a comment and let me know what you think a great classroom would be like.

20 comments Posted in  School November 4, 2008