Snakes & Adders

Armour build video part 4.

Editing part 5 at the moment and stewing on alterations to the weekly maths program as I work.


Of course I found my macro lens just days after purchasing a replacement, but I was glad of it today. My principal caught two baby browns on school property this morning. I took the opportunity to get some closeups of the deadly little buggers.



Painting, Shoveling Gravel and Realestate Shopping

Painted all of the remaining costume elements by hand today. I tiny bit of dry brushing and they are ready for clear coating and a build complete announcement. For now I need to get editing because filming was interrupted by filling up my 64g camera memory card today and there is no way I have room to store it all for long.

Sir Vader’s ruby meteorite Damascus steel short sword below:

I also did a fair chunk of manual labour helping move one of the principals aquaponics systems into the outer wet room attached to my classroom. He had a gravel bed system in use which needed mucked out. In the classroom we will be trying a suspended foam system. I am now expecting a whole lot of jokes about Mr.Langs ‘Hydge setup’.

In another exciting turn of events today we looked at properties around town suitable for N to use as a photography studio. Now that both boys are in care or at preschool at least two days a week she is feeling ready and keen to begin working. There are a couple of promising properties the best of which is only $100 a week.


Maths Planning

For reasons unclear theses images simply would not attach to yesterdays post. All made using the machine learning AI painter Dreamscope.

A real flayed man leaping from Bodyworlds using the Greek Urn filter.

A real skeleton from Bodyworlds using the Picasso filter

Old and new cylons eye to eye using the Van Gogh filter

As I said yesterday I don’t feel that it has yet produced a truly extraordinary work for me like some I have seen. But it is entertaining and pretty incredible.

N didn’t make the Dubbo run today but likely will tomorrow. Instead we took a swim, sheet mulched cat heads int he garden and played games, real imaginary and computer and whiled the day away.

This evening I’ve made more planning progress on my maths programs in which I have two separate groups and topics to cater to. I take the top maths rotation which is mostly my class sans the year fours and a few more from the other 5/6’s. With that group for three to four hours a week we forge ahead in the number strand using the NSW year 6 and 7 syllabus as a guide, but with a whole lot more physical and creative based learning activities as well as some solid traditional bookwork and problem solving practise. For forty minutes each day I also take maths for my whole class and it is during this time I am expected to cover all the other strands of maths; Chance, Data & Statistics, Geometry and Measurement.

This is not enough time and so of course I am doing my best to cross pollinate ideas and build actually useful skills. For instance as a significant portion of all our classes were away for an inter-school swimming carnival during my last lesson. I taught circles to the upper rotation. It being very apparent that most had never used a compass before and even those who had, were never given explicit instruction into how to not mess it up every time. We will be building on that session in the week ahead when we will create pie charts to illustrate the common fractions using compasses and protractors. All this in the hope that by the time we get to angles a few weeks down the line we can move beyond classifying angles and into the elements in short order.

Planning ongoing.



Planning ongoing and N is planning ongoing on a Dubbo run independantly tomorrow.

I’ve finally got a more cohesive plan of what and how I will teach English to my mixed grade classroom. I went into this term with less planning than I have ever started a year before. Mostly as a function of a lack of handover from the previous year’s staff member but coupled with a change of system and a whole host of familiar things relabeled with new acronyms.  Anyway We are going to do narratives, persuasive texts in two forms and letter writing as our overarching English and reading themes.

With this in mind, I spent the morning giggling and crying my way through famous letters from history some familiar, most not, searching for excellent examples to use in reading and writing. My intent is for the class to compose real letters to their grandparents/elders and actually post them (republished post marking). I settled on a few examples, most notably the best cover letter ever and one of the great mic drops of history. but Ill need more than one a week through the term so the hunt continues. For narratives I’ll be using what is available of the Pixar/Khan Academy story writing course, supplemented by reading a class set of YA Fic fantasy novels in class.

I’m struggling to find really impressively good examples of the most hated format in writing, the five paragraph essay. But I’m not giving up yet and we will be making print ads as a second persuasive text type. For ads at least I have a mountain of very good examples.

L and I had a play with Dreamscope this morning. It has been a while and it has definitely improved and increased the number of filters since my last try. While impressed by the tech I haven’t yet managed to produce a really strikingly good piece. Inserting images into the post is being problematic this evening.



Art is a major part of a good maths curriculum.
We began using compasses on Thursday. Beginning Tuesday we will be using them and protractors to produce fraction diagrams and building from here.


Long weekend

Here in the western district school not only starts a full week later in term one, we also get a midterm break in week five of each term. That is a full four day weekend in the middle of each term! ostensibly to allow visits to medical professionals and other difficult to access businesses in regional centres. I’m making stuff.

Both boys were booked into and well enough to attend day care today. F and I have cleared up and L never got the bug for a blessing. So today I made some good progress in planning, primarily in writing in which I’ve got content for at least the next eight weeks nailed down.

I’ve also began painting detail on L’s costume and have only just finished the first pass with silver.

Still reaping the benefits of paying for ‘Alien Side Boob’ by Birmingham with genuine lol’s on Fridays, Mondays are generally amusing but not as humorously vitriolic as with today’s which included the lines:

“Like a Brylcreamed Huntsman spider you thought you’d drowned in bug spray suddenly coming at you from a dark corner, the Abdominator dashed out of the shadows ‘to unveil a sweeping conservative manifesto for the next federal election’. Like his last spell as PM it was all but satire-proof by reason of congenital hypercrazia.”


Wed 22nd

Making it through the day is an achievement with a sick infant in the house.

Running the help of psuedoephedrine today  as I am fighting the same cold. Very glad to have a long weekend to look forward to.  We have a mid term break, four day weekend in the middle of each term to allow people to make trips to regional centres etc.

Class work is consuming almost all waking creative thought. Today making split booklets for when, if I am unwell and relief is not available my class will be split into other rooms around the school with busy work to occupy them. Also checklists to ensure students make it through all the essential weekly literacy activities during rotations.

N and I have begun tracking our daily shifts in opinion about what to do next year in the form of tally sheets with options and pros and cons on the kitchen cupboards.



One Infant down with the first day care flu of the year.

I blame the lack of UV in the little kid space. Completely anecdotally of course but I swear the colds are less common from the bigger outdoor kids areas. His big brother is now also showing possible early signs of infection.

Dog help us all.

The book tree has sprung some leaves, I’ll share another picture when it is a little more verdant.

L insisted on a costume test after yesterdays undercoating.

Leaving off with the joy of Infinite Immortal Bens

Book Tree

Up past my bedtime to post this having only just finished a couple of the tasks I set myself today.

The costume is built and all foam pieces have been given a plastidip undercoat. Time allowing through the week I’ll add some detail in acrylic before clear coating and calling build complete.

I also did a bit of carboard dumpster diving yesterday, for N’s photography, sheet mulching the ever recurring catheads in the garden and building and hanging a new classroom feature. My very own book tree. The leaves of this tree will be made from book report/reviews done by students throughout the year. It will make an interesting way to show participation in the premiers reading challenge later in the year as well.

Just finished putting the fiction leaf template together now. A variant for non fiction books will also be required. Students can earn in class XP by participating in such activities beyond the two I will require from everyone.



Tower of Octodad

Phase complete on the Sir Vader Armour, ready to paint tomorrow. Which is a huge relief. Way behind on progress vids I know. In time in time.

Changed the blogs theme while trying to figure out what has broken in its CSS. Working fine in the big three browsers but broken display and back end in my preferred Opera in the last week.

I’ve pent the last couple of evenings indulging in a little gaming care of the Freedom Bundley. In particular I’ve been entertaining L with a little ‘Octodad‘ which has ‘QWOP‘ levels of frustration and hilarity and challenging my reflexes with a bit of the ol’ FPS bullet hell ‘Tower of Guns‘ As in inane and wonderful as it sounds.

This spectacularly lame screenshot brought to you by an unwillingness to get drawn in while trying to write.

Politics has been stormy this week and my prediction of a loss of majority is looking more and more likely. But I don’t have energy for a rant.  This article (pay walled but available free as your first of the week, or in full text here) read over breakfast this morning  upset me. Not that it was in any way unexpected, suicides are the inevitable result of the robodebt policy. But it is just so fucking pointless, so completely unnecessary and to be putting so many people through this Brechtian horror show is just unforgivably ghastly.

NCI Training

I spent today in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training. Which was illuminating and built well on a number of other training types I have received over the years. I honestly wish that training had been a mandatory part of my teaching education as it would have helped manage a number of situations I have been in over the past few years better. I have never yet needed the physical defense training and honestly the hold breaks taught are inferior to Aikido anyway. The strategies for deescalation of crisis situations, avoiding trauma and supporting and being supported by other staff are definitely useful though.

I’m working tonight on the planning task sheet for a daily short speeches program. Normalising presentations and public speaking in the classroom. I have been using the first ten minutes of the day as a time for a morning meditation. Shortened to five minutes at the beginning of this week, but as I am still not getting full participation I plan to revisit that program later in the year. Starting late next week I will instead use the precious first ten minutes allowing two students to do a one minute presentation in the morning each day for the three weeks it will take for everyone to have a go. For the first round topic we have drawn countries from a hat.