How to use Google as a Countdown Timer

tech tips logoNeed a quick TIMER?

You can now simply type into Google Search “set timer” followed by an amount of time and a countdown timer is displayed.

eg. “Set timer for 30 seconds”


An alarm beeps when time is up. (Or you can mute it) You can make the timer appear full screen without advertisements by clicking a little box (full screen) icon to the right of the timer.

Note: This will work on Internet Explorer browser1but the alarm does not go off. Use Google Chrome browser2 for better results! It is installed on our computers – a much better browser.

To see a very short video showing this feature in action  click here.

A Storybird Surprise

Grade One children wrote lots of excellent Storybird stories last year and they published many of their stories online.

Ben wrote many exciting stories, but just imagine his surprise when he received one of his published stories in a parcel for Christmas!

Here’s Ben reading his story to his classmates.


You can read his story called ‘The Second Story of the Magic Tree’ below.

Congratulations Ben on your first published book! It’s a great read!

Ben continues to write great stories this year too. To read his newest book called ‘Why I made Stories’ click here.


Use your imagination

This quote was made by a famous scientist called Albert Einstein.

[Full quote: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”]

Do you know what KNOWLEDGE is?

Do you know what IMAGINATION is?

What do you think the quote means?

Do you agree or disagree with the quote? Why?

*      *     *     *     *     *

Watch the video below called ‘Not a Box’ by Antoinette Portis


Then let your IMAGINATION run wild!

Use Microsoft Word, Paint, Kid Pix or an iPad app to turn your box into something . . . 

                         .  .  .

‘A Pep Talk’ Revisited

Almost one year ago we watched A Pep Talkby 9 year old Kid President who inspired us all to work as a team and make the world ‘Awesome’.


This year we discovered that Kid President himself needed a Pep Talk to get through major leg surgery.  Robbie Novak (his real name) suffers from a brittle bone disease known as osteogenesis imperfecta. Basically, his bones break easily and already he has suffered 70 broken bones. He made a quick recovery from surgery due to the HUGE amount of letters, cards and prayers sent by the public to wish him well. Despite having this disease, he doesn’t let it stop him, and he’s making more videos to inspire others to ‘be the best they can be’ with his dance moves and his cheeky sense of humour.


Do you know anyone who inspires others?

Leave a comment to say how they do this?

Back to School


 There were a lot of excited children happy to be back at school this week as they met their new teachers, caught up with friends and settled down to work in their new classrooms.

The children in this animation are excited about returning to school and learning new things too.

Back to School – What do YOU want to learn?

What did you enjoy about being back at school?

What things would you like to learn about this year?

Do you have any goals you would like to achieve?

*   *   *   *   *

Leave a comment to share your ideas and goals.


Cybersafety – Get the Message!

Do you know how to stay safe on the internet?

Here are some great ideas shared by 3JS, 3KH, 2LO and 2KT on

Make Beliefs Comix.

(You can read them better if you press the full screen button)

Grade 3JS

 To see the full 26 slides click HERE

Grade 3KH

 To see the full 26 slides click HERE

Grade 2LO

To see the full 27 slides click HERE 

Grade 2KT

To see the full 27 slides click HERE

Leave  a comment to tell us a cyber-safety message of your own.

Animating with Pivot Animator

coollogo_com-18308251Pivot logo

Year 5 and 6 students used Pivot Animator to develop their animation techniques. They really enjoyed using this tool and eagerly explored many skills to make some great animations. A requirement of the task was to convert the Pivot file to a movie file so that it could be uploaded to the class wiki and also the blog.

Below are just a few examples, but there are lots more on each student’s wiki page. See links to class wikis below.

Grade 5DB     Grade 5PB       Grade 6RM      Grade 6SP

‘Quotes’ by Cleo

 ‘Steel’ by Jacob

 ‘Dance Studio’ by Briody and Stefanie


What do you think some of the challenges might be when creating animations?

What makes animating so much fun?