Monthly Archives: June 2013

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To see the original Battalion Hawk Bloggers post…

Passing the Torch

 

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Passing the Torch… a metaphor for relinquishing to others. As Global Grade 3 passed the torch to the Battalion Hawk Bloggers, so the time has come for the Battalion Hawk Bloggers to pass the torch on to a new Grade 3.

I question, is the torch really passed on or do we carry it forward with us? Rather than passing on our torch do we share the light with the new so their torches grow brighter and in the process kindle ours and prepare it to grow brighter still as we continue our learning journey?

Searching for the words of others to reinforce my questions, I found this quote attributed to Buddha…

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened.”

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Learning has little value unless it is shared with others. We can all share the light we carry without diminishing it.

For the teacher, the words of Henry Adams ring true…

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams - US author, autobiographer, & historian (1838 - 1918)

The teacher kindles the torches of many during a career and in the process their own torch grows brighter. It’s the interaction with students that fuels their fire and thirst for learning and sharing. A little of themself is passed on to future generations in the process.

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This graphic should not be used without written permission from me.

Henry Ford once said…

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

These words ring true in my experience as a retired teacher. I sought ways of being involved by writing for the young and sharing as a volunteer working with children but my torch has grown all the more brighter for the interactions I have shared through blogging. I have become a virtual teacher in the classrooms of many and in doing so have learned much more.

Our torch only truly grows dim when we close our minds to new knowledge and if we fail to share with others.

I found a You Tube clip sharing the words of a poem by Paula Fox. “Heart of a Teacher” shares the meaning of teaching.

You can see the text of Paula Fox’s poem here…

http://blog.simpletruths.com/heart-of-a-teacher-movie

The torch has been shared and we have all grown from the experiences kindling our own.

For part 1 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/22/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-1-Koa-to-Jorja

For part 2 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-2-lily-to-may/

What kind of trees and plants are in Australia?

(Two questions in one)

Below is a photo of one of my favourite walking trails. It's a fire trail in Bournda Nature Reserve. While we have many types of trees, most of the tall trees you see are eucalypt trees. If you take a fresh leaf and crush it, you can smell the eucalyptus oil inside. Have any of you ever smelled eucalyptus oil?

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Another favourite trail is in town. It leads around our lakeside to the town's old wharf. Most trees along this trail aren't eucalypt.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Here are some photos of plants, flowers and fungi I have seen in my area. Not all flowers are Australian natives but are seen in gardens...

Wattle

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

This is a photo of one type of eucalypt tree flowers.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Bottlebrush

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Grevillia (a favourite nectar flower for rainbow lorikeets)

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Waratah

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Grevillia

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Banksia

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FUNGI

Apart from flowers, I also enjoy taking photos of interesting fungi (singluar fungus). All of these photos were taken in Bournda Nature Reserve

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

What kind of berries grow in Australia?

There are many types of berries in Australia if you look for farms growing them. In the wild there are also berries but they aren't all edible. Blackberries grow wild in my area but they can be a problem on local dairy farms.

In my garden, we have an orange tree, two apple trees, lillipilli, guava and have had strawberries.

Oranges

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

Lillipilli (they are edible but aren't sweet)

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Guava

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Do people swim in the ocean here?

As it is now winter, swimming isn't as big at this time of year. Surfers wear wetsuits and go surfing and, if the day is a little warmer, some do try swimming. In summer, spending time swimming, surfing, scuba diving and boating are very popular.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Kayaking

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Kiteboarding

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Windsurfing

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Surfing

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Jumping from our old Merimbula Wharf

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

How is tomorrow?

I liked this question. Where I am in Australia it is 17 hours ahead of K/1/2/3. While we started our Skype session at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday for K/1/2/3, it was 6:30 a.m. Wednesday for me. Being close to our shortest day of the year, the sun hadn't yet risen but the sky was growing light. For K/1/2/3, the longest day of the year  was near. Even though I was starting winter and they summer, the temperature of the day ended up the same at about 13C. In my summer, temperatures can exceed 40C and bushfires can be a problem. The photo of a fire at the edge of town started on a day when temperatures reached about 44C.

 

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Have I seen a flamingo? Are there zoos?

Flamingos aren't native to Australia but I have seen them in zoos. There are many zoos and animal parks around Australia. In Sydney, there is Taronga Zoo and the linked Taronga Western Plains Zoo in the middle of the state. Melbourne has the Melbourne Zoo. Our Australian capital city of Canberra is about three hours drive from here. It has the National Zoo & Aquarium. Mogo Zoo is about two to three hours drive from here.

Closest to me at about a ten minutes drive is Potoroo Palace. It's a native animal sanctuary run by volunteers. Many of my animal photos and video clips were taken there.

More About Australia

One class had been looking at Australia. In April this year I prepared a post for them. It included photos and links to some of my animal videos and some audio clips. Click on the link below to visit the post.

Australia

2 Comments

For part 1 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/22/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-1-Koa-to-Jorja

For Part 3 of this post...

 http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-3-linden-to-the-end/

Part 2

Do I know about an Australian tree which has black hair on it?

This one need a little research because I didn't know what type of tree it might be. Here is a link I found that has some "hairy" trees. They might help you know what tree you mean. 🙂

Australian Tree Images

What types of animals are found in Australia?

 Australia has a large range of animals but some of our most famous are our marsupial (pouched) and monotreme (egg laying) mammals and our birds. In Part 1 of this post, I have shown some of our reptiles I have photographed so I will only show some mammals and birds.

Here are some of the birds I have seen visiting my home.

Kookaburra

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Magpie

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Australian Wood Duck

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Corella

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Crimson Rosella

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

King Parrot (male)

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Rainbow Lorikeet

This is the crazy type of bird I mentioned enjoyed a diet of sugary flower nectar. One of these birds flew between another person and me when we were talking.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Monotremes (egg laying) Mammals

The most ancient type of mammals are the monotremes. The females lay leathery eggs. On hatching, the young take milk from their mother like all mammals.

The only monotremes known to exist in our world today are the echidna and platypus. The platypus is only found in Australia. Echidnas are found in Australia and New Guinea.

The platypus is hard to photograph in the wild. While I have seen them, they are more like a ripple as they surface in creeks after searching for food. Not having a photo, here is my drawing of a platypus.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The echidna (or spiny anteater) is a harmless animal whose only defence when attacked is to dig it's strong claws into the ground and show its spines. I have found one wandering in my garden. The photo is of a short beaked echidna. The long beaked echidna is found in New Guinea.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Marsupial (pouched) Mammals

Marsupial or pouched animals are born very tiny. They make their way up their mothers fur and into the pouch where they can attach to a nipple. When they grow too large, they start to come out of the mother's pouch and eventually stay out. Here are some photos and drawings.

Brushtail Possum

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Wombat - This joey (young marsupial) lost his mother on the road.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Tiger Quoll

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Koala - Sapphire is the baby of Blinky and Suzie

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Red Kangaroo - the largest of the kangaroos

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

Tasmanian Devil

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo mob - groups of kangaroos are called mobs.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 Diprotodon (extinct) - When the first native Australians arrived, these huge marsupials still roamed the land.

Wikimedia Commons graphic created by Dmitry Bogdanov

Wikimedia Commons graphic created by Dmitry Bogdanov

Thylacine - Tasmanian Tiger - hunted to extinction. The last known thylacine died in captivity in the 1930s. Some believe they still exist in isolated areas of Tasmania.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Our animals even feature on the Australian Coat of Arms. Take a kangaroo and an emu...

 

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Add a little wattle

 

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Show the seven pointed Federation Star and the emblems of each state and you have the Australian Coat of Arms.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

What did I teach when I was a teacher?

When I was at university, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree. This meant if I taught high school (Grades 7 to 12) I would have taught science and possibly maths. Instead, I chose to gain a Diploma of Education in primary (Kindergarten to Grade 6) education. By teaching primary students I could teach English, Science, Maths, Social Studies, Music, Art, and Craft.

When computers came along, I was able to teach computer skills to classes and teachers. I first used computers back in 1975 and in class in 1981. Because I have many interests, I thought primary school would allow me to share much more than high school. Now, I share many of my interests online with classes around the world.

For part 2 of this post...

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-2-lily-to-may/

For Part 3 of this post...

 http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2013/06/23/skyping-with-k123-from-canada-part-3-linden-to-the-end/

At 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19 I was waiting for a call on Skype. Mrs. Watson and her K/1/2/3 had planned a Skype session. For them, it was 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. When the Skype call came, we started our question and answer session. Each student had the chance to ask questions about Australia.

I have broken this post into three parts because of the amount of its content.

Below is some of what was asked and answered...

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

To hear Australia's national anthem sung by  a school choir I have filmed, click the "Advanced Australia Fair" link below

Advanced Australia Fair

How long have I been in Australia?

I was born in Australia.

My first known relative on my father's side of the family arrived in Australia (the called New South Wales) as a convict in 1789. The first with my family name arrived around 1850 as a free settler from England. The first known relative on my mother's side of the family arrived from Scotland in 1847.

Do I have any pets?

I have had many pets over the years although I don't have one at this time. I have had one cat, many dogs, budgerigars (small parrots), a galah (large parrot) and once was looking after a young kangaroo for a week until I could take it to a zoo. It's mother had been killed by a car.

Below is an old photo taken around 1960 of the first dog I remember having as a pet. Her name was Topsy.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

What is my favourite place in town?

I am a movie fan. I like going to the cinema (movie theatre) and I enjoy filming and making DVDs for schools and community groups so, in the town itself, my favourite place is the cinema. The next nearest cinema is a twoto three hour drive north but we are a tourist town and are lucky to have one.

Near town, my favourite places are Bournda National Park, Bournda Nature Rerserve, Ben Boyd National Park, South East Forests National Park and Potoroo Palace Native Animal Educational Sanctuary. When not blogging, visiting schools, making DVDs, walking around town and going to the cinema, I like hiking in our national parks near my town.

I have loaded a short video clip showing my town and Merimbula Lake taken from a bridge in 2010. The quality of the video isn't high but it does show much of the town.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I live in the state of New South Wales. Is there an old South Wales?

The eastern half of Australia was named New South Wales by Captain James Cook in 1770. In his ship's log he recorded the name but didn't explain his choice. It's thought the coast might have reminded him of the southern coast of Wales in Great Britain. It was an interesting choice because I think part of Hudson Bay in Canada had been named New South Wales by the Welshman Thomas James on 20 August 1631 (according to Wikipedia).

In 2012, a replica of Captain James Cook's ship, Endeavour, visited Twofold Bay, Eden about 20km from my town. Below is a video clip I made of its departure.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

If you want to see more of the Endeavour replica, there is a post on another of my blogs...

HMB Endeavour at Eden – May, 2012 – Cook and his Endeavour

Do we have tumbleweeds in Australia?

Tumbleweeds are really only the tops of plants dried, broken off and blown in the wind. While we can have this happen to our plants, we don't tend to call them tumbleweeds.

Being in a small school.

 K/1/2/3's school only has 41 students and two teachers. They normally talk to students from much larger schools. I shared a little about my first teaching position. In the two years I was there, I had from 12 to 20 students from surrounding sheep and cattle properties. The closest town was 100km distant. I was the only teacher with children from Kindergarten to Grade 6 in the room. My next school had over 800 students and was in Sydney. It was very different.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Do we have any geckos or lizards?

Being a much warmer climate than Canada, we have a large range of reptiles from skinks and geckos right through to crocodiles in the warmer north of the country. I'll share a few of my photos with you...

 Bearded Dragon

They are harmless although they can bite. They may be called dragon but they can't breathe fire.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Red Bellied Black Snake (poisonous)

Unlike the local brown and tiger poisonous snakes of our area, the black snake is a little shy and tries to keep away from humans.

red-bellied black snake

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Goanna (Lace Monitor)

Goannas are the largest of our lizards.

GoannaSchools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Blue-tongued lizard (skink)

I have found these in my garden. They like snails and slugs.

Blue-tongued lizard

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Olive python and handler

Being a python, these snakes aren't poisonous. Potoroo Palace volunteer is hold "Olive" the female olive python.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Snapping Turtle

There are a number of turtles and tortoises around Australia.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Black Headed Python (non-poisonous)

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Lizards 1

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Lizards 2

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Eastern Water Skink (?)

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

 Have I travelled to other places including Canada?

I have travelled to many places in Australia and have been to New Zealand several times. I've visited friends in Singapore and travelled on to Paris and United Kingdom. I've also been to Hawaii. Here are some photos from my travels overseas.

London

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Paris

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Singapore

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

York, England - York Minster Cathedral

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Edinburgh Castle

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Wellington, New Zealand - 1996

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While I haven't yet been to Canada, I took a photo of a community play. The men were wearing a uniform but I'm not certain what type is was supposed to be. Do you know?

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

2 Comments

To visit K/1/2/3's post...

World Oceans Day

Mrs. Watson and K/1/2/3 visited their local beach the day before World Oceans Day so they, as a class, could help clean up their local beaches. Their post show what they found along their beach.

Once their clean up was complete, they had fun on the beach making driftwood boats and collecting materials for an art project. In my area there is an artist who collects driftwood in order to make them into works of carved art. I was once given a small piece about 30cm (1ft) long. I thought I would share two photos of what can be made from a piece of wood washed up in the beach.

 Top View

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Side View

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Can you see what the carving represents?

If you look carefully at pieces of driftwood on your beach, can you imagine what they might become?

11 Comments

Hello Bronte, Ava, Jordi and Paris,

I had explained to Bronte I had forgotten to include in the other horse post photos I took at Sydney's Royal Easter Show. One great event for action photos was Polocrosse. I found an arena where two teams, red and blue, were competing. I have six photos to share. As the photos are of child competitors, their faces have been blurred.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

As a bonus, here are two photos of tent pegging in the main arena.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

4 Comments

To see Bronte's original post and possibly leave an ending of your own...

Can You Finish the Ending?

Bronte's story beginning...

I had to get away. I was pushed too far in this lesson, and in my life, I wanted to keep Stormy, my beautiful black horse. I galloped towards the forest, tears streaming down my face; I had to get away from this terrible place. As I entered the forest, I waited to hear hoofbeats behind me, just in case my friends chased after me. Nothing. Whew! Slowly, I pulled Stormy up. I’m never going to leave you, and I hope you’re never going to leave me. I whispered to my dark gelding

Soundlessly, I walked through the dark forest. I hadn’t noticed before that there were shadows. Shadows covered the winding path, they creeped up the silent trees, and through the river. They won’t leave me alone, they’re everywhere. What have I done? Galloped through the deep dark forest, or ruined my life forever? Getting away was all I could think of right now, away from evil, closer to good. No way could I go back, Stormy would get sold in a flash, I couldn’t go back. Even if I wanted to, these shadows stopped me, they crowded me, and blocked my way, yet they were not solid, they would not move….

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

In a comment on her blog, I suggested four possible plots for the ending. Bronte preferred option 3.

 

I pressed Stormy on deeper into the forest in the hope of finding a safe refuge. I could see Stormy was nervous at the unfamiliar sounds we passed.

It was daytime yet it seemed this part of the forest rarely felt the warming sun. Eerie shadows in every direction waited for my frightened imagination to create dark creatures.

Without warning, Stormy stopped. His ears flicked around as though he was intent of finding the source of a sound, a sound my human ears couldn’t detect. I felt a sudden chill down my spine. Fear or the cold hand of a monster testing its prey, I couldn’t tell.

A terrifying sound ripped through the now frigid air. Stormy, startled beyond calming, reared up causing me to lose balance. I felt myself falling towards the shadowed ground…

My head ached as I stirred, “Mum?”

No answer.

“Dad?”

No answer.

I tried opening my eyes but was met with darkness. The chill in the air brought me to my senses. I remembered Stormy and our escape.

“Stormy!”

He always came when I called yet not a sound was heard. I was alone. There was no hint of sunlight in the trees above, no shadows on the ground. All had been swallowed by the darkness of the night.

Remembering my house key, I fumbled through my pocket. Relieved, I pulled out the key and felt the small torch attached. Pushing the button, light flicked through the nearby bushes.

A sound! I turned the torch in the direction I thought was the source.

Rustling leaves.

The same terrifying sound I remembered before falling from Stormy.

Light, two red eyes staring back at me. I stood frozen as the eyes approached. The eyes became a shape looming out of the darkness. I couldn’t move.

Wait, something familiar, “Dusty?”

A wag of a tail when the light revealed darkness’s secret. It was my dog, Dusty. He must have followed our trail.

“Let’s go home, boy,” I said glad of the company and the comfort of torchlight.

Arriving home, I saw people gathered.

“There she is!” one called.

My mum and dad ran over, dad picking me up in his strong arms. I felt safe at last.

Mum had tears in her eyes as she asked, “Where have you been? Stormy returned hours ago without you. We had people searching for you.”

“I.. I was thrown and hit my head. When I woke up, Stormy was gone and it was dark. Dusty found me and led me home.”

Dad was worried, “Why did you ride off like that? One of your friend’s said she saw you disappear into the forest.”

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I explained, “I heard you say you had to sell the horse. I didn’t want to lose Stormy.”

“Horse?” Dad gave a relieved laugh. “I said house. Your mother and I were talking about your grandma’s old house we needed to sell. We’re not selling Stormy.”

If it wasn’t for the dirt on my face from the fall, I know everyone would have seen me blush with embarrassment. We thanked all of those who had helped search for me.

The bump on my head checked by a doctor, clean and very tired, I was put to bed. I nodded off quickly and dreamed of future adventures with Stormy… but maybe not back in that forest.

4 Comments

To see Mrs. Watson and K/1/2/3's original post...

Clear the Coast Presentation

Hello Mrs. Watson and K/1/2/3,

Today I was able to visit another of my town's beaches. It is busiest in summer and has lifeguards on duty at that time of year but it was only about 12C (about 54F) when I visited it early this morning so few were there. The beach is about 3.6km (2.2 mi) long. Below is a photo of the beach as I saw it...

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Here's what I found. As before, after taking a photo, the rubbish was put in a bin.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Again, most of it was plastic. There were pieces of rope, a plastic bottle, spoon, straw, lid and a few other small pieces. The largest was a rope that probably came off a boat.

I know you will be busy with the ocean clean up this weekend. I will be working a DVD of a 14 school music camp performance I filmed last Thursday. There is much to do to have it ready for the schools so I won't be able to post another beach survey before your day. I hope to see some photos of what you collect. 🙂

5 Comments

Olivia's post and the comments we shared...

A Thank You Post

Olivia wrote a thank you post on her blog and asked if I would write an extended comment for her. I explained how I get ideas for extended comments...

There is something in a post that sparks the idea or I find I need to share pictures, video or sound but can’t in a normal comment section on someone’s blog.

See if you can give me an idea that will spark a post…

What are you interested in?

Have you ever been to or wanted to go to interesting places?

Have you seen something and wanted to know but aren’t sure how to find out?

Have I written something you found interesting but were curious about a part of the post?

In a reply to my comments, Olivia gave some answers to the above. While her answers were interesting, it was her questions at the end that gave me the idea for this post...

Why did you want to start blogging?
Have you always lived in NSW?
Do you ever feel like you would like to come and visit people from around the world?

Here are the answers to her questions...

Why did you want to start blogging?

I never really thought about blogging in early 2011. I had heard of it but not taken much notice. I was no longer teaching and was currently enjoying writing a children's novel I never bothered trying to have published. Seeing some links to blogs from teachers on Twitter, I saw students were making use of them to share ideas and work. Their teachers were writing posts about education. I decided to see what blogs were all about. To do this, I had to start a blog I called "Ross Mannell's General Education Blog". I wrote my first post in June, 2011. It was about teaching and education. Here is what it looked like...

 

This should not be copied, reproduced or used  in any way without my written permission.

This should not be copied, reproduced or used in any way without my written permission.

I found blogging interesting but have posted only 9 times to this blog in two years. Writing about educational and other matters didn't interest me as much as writing narratives.

What changed my mind and made blogging so important to me?

At first I visited some student blogs and left short comments for them. I found I enjoyed doing this and receiving replies. One blog I visited needed me to join the blog provider in order to comment. A new blog was born in late 2011.

I wrote a comment for a class in England. They were learning about volcanoes, an interest of mine. I offered to send them volcanic samples from New Zealand, Fiji/Samoa and Hawaii. In order to explain what was being sent, I needed to share photos. Comments sections didn't allow this so my newest blog was used.

The original blog I started in late 2011 had to be moved to another blog provider in 2012. This "Extended Comments for Students" blog and was started in late May, 2012. The volcano posts are still on this blog.

Here is a link to their first volcanic post...

Volcanic Samples post

 

I didn't plan starting to blog for students. It just happened because I wanted to share with others. 🙂

Have you always lived in NSW?

Yes.

I was born in Sydney and grew up in Bankstown as had my father. I studied at Sydney University then Sydney Teachers College before becoming a teacher. For the first few years, I was a casual teacher working in south-western Sydney until I was able to work as a full time teacher.

In 1981 I was offered a full time job in western N.S.W.. I lived on a sheep station and drove the 20km to school each day and rarely saw another car on the way.  My first school has been shown on this blog before but here is the photo again. As you can see, it was very small an 100km from the nearest town. I was the only teacher with children from Kindergarten (Prep) to Grade 6

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

In 1983 I was sent back to Sydney and worked in a school with over 800 students. It was very different to my first school. I only needed to walk through the back fence to reach a K-Mart and Woolworths. 🙂 In 1988, I moved to another Sydney school. It was the same school I had gone to when I was in primary school. Part of the school is pictured below. The old, yellow, wooden building has two small classrooms. When I was in third grade fifty years ago, my classroom was the closest one. This photo was taken in 2000 just before I left the school and Sydney.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Missing being out in the country, in 2000 I was transferred to a school along N.S.W.'s south coast and this is where I stayed. I now live in the town and have many family members around. This area is where my mother's side of the family first settled. They came from Scotland and moved to this area in 1847.

Do you ever feel like you would like to come and visit people from around the world?

Yes.

While teaching, I travelled to New Zealand about seven times and met many other backpackers from around the world but I didn't have any school contacts back then. My last trip was in 1999. Below is a photo of Milford Sound on New Zealand's South Island.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

In 1996, I was in Hawaii and again had the chance to meet and talk to a number of people but still no school contacts. Below is a photo of a volcanic crater on Kilaeua, Hawaii.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

In 2010, I visited friends in Singapore before flying on to visit France, England, Scotland and Wales. I met many people but none directly linked to schools.

Singapore

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Paris

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

London

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Now that I am connected to schools around the world through blogging, a trip to Europe and the U.K., New Zealand, America and even around Australia would be very different. I would probably be able to visit some of the schools I have come to know through blogging. 🙂

15 Comments

To see Molly's story, click the link below...

The Secret Spy Mission

Hello Molly,

I think you have realised a way of gaining ideas for stories. I have seen many stories written based on movies and TV. It's not a matter of copying the story, it's just getting an idea and seeing where it leads.

Most places I go I have a notepad and pen with me just in case I have a story idea. When an idea comes, I write it down and keep it. It's too easy to forget ideas if we don't note then down. When I have the time to write, I look through the ideas and choose one or sometimes start on another idea.

What is my favourite of the stories I've written? I write two challenges a week mostly with a 100 words limit. Can you imagine one challenge asked me to write my autobiography (life story) in only six words? What did I write?

Seeking ways to make a difference.

It's now my motto (words I live by).

There are now over 190 stories in my writing blog. I'll share a recent one and it's picture. We were asked to use "ARGH, MATEY!" in a story of 100 plus the prompt words, 102 words. Some of the words are a little harder. All of my stories are G rated. There is a glossary (list of harder words and the meanings I meant in the story) at the end of this post. See what you think...

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Captain Silver Beard Jones eyed his motley crew, “ARGH, MATEY!”

Audible sighs were heard.

“Today’s the day we separate the crew from plank walkers.”

Another sigh as one whispered, “I knew it! Another spelling test!”

The first few times the class had seen their teacher’s alter ego, they’d enjoyed the fun but they soon learned it was his way of breaking the tension when he intended giving a test. This time they were ready.

Captain Silver Beard Jones was shocked, “Everyone scored 100%.”

The class smiled at their bountiful plunder. Their teacher had forgotten to erase their spelling list from the board.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

My favourite story overall was written in 2011. It is over 48,000 words and was called "Samuel Samantha". It tells of a boy who has unusual experiences with friends. Perhaps one day I will see if it can be published but, so far, only family has read it.

Writing allows us to create worlds and share them and their characters with others but I think you already know that. Keep writing! 🙂

Ross Mannell
Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

 

GLOSSARY

alter ego - A second personality. The person in the story was a teacher but sometimes pretended to be a pirate.

audible - Able to be heard.

bountiful - Having plenty.

motley - Very different looking.

plunder - Stolen goods.

tension - Worry, being anxious.

7 Comments

James, Nick, Tommy, Constantine, Joyce and Ella from the Battalion Hawk Bloggers asked, "Did you have to dip the pen in ink before writing?"

Global Poetry

You will need to scroll down the comments for this post.

Pen, Paper and Inkwell

When I was in school, students in Grade 3 and above used ink and pens to write. When I started Grade 3, I became one of the inkwell monitors. It was our job to make certain each small inkwell in the desks had ink for the day. When writing, we'd dip the pen nib in the ink, wipe off the excess on the sides of the inkwell and start writing.

We would be in trouble if we smudged the ink on the page. This made it very hard for left hand writers. They would have to twist their hand around so they wouldn't smudge the ink. It's part of the reason children were once in trouble if they wrote with their left hand. I can remember some being hit on the hand with a ruler if they did. Luckily that old fashioned idea disappeared many years ago and modern pens don't have to be held correctly (but it's better if they are).

While I was in Grade 3, we were finally allowed to use ballpoint pens so I lost my job as inkwell monitor. You will find many people still enjoy the feel of pen in hand and writing on paper. They like the art in calligraphy (handwriting). You don't need to plug your pen into power.

When using pen and paper, it isn't as easy to change errors. You can't cut and paste as on a computer but, for those who enjoy handwriting, the writing they do with pen and paper is much more personal. You can't push a button and send it around the world but it can be scanned or sent my snail mail.

For fun, I had made old fashioned feather pens, some with metal nibs, for some of my classes to use. There were smudges, fingers blue with ink and strange scratches on their page but they always seemed to enjoy the experience.

Here are some photos of the pens used.

I had a look into my stored resources and brought out the old pens I made for my classes. The feathers may be a little old and worn but the pens still work after about 12 years. There were still blue ink bottles with them although I also had other coloured inks.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The basic feather pen was just a strong feather cut to have a point. A small slice along the point helped the ink to flow.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Being a feather, the pen would blunt with use and need to be trimmed back into shape. To make this feather pen, I simply collected and cut large strong feathers. They cost nothing to make but cutting with a sharp blade is best left for adults.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

A more expensive option was to use feathers but add a metal pen nib as a point. The writing would be finer and the pen didn't need to be regularly trimmed.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

When I used pen and inkwell in class, we had plastic pens with metal nibs. If you didn't hold them correctly your writing would look scratchy or might be smudged. The pen below is very similar to the pens I used in class.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

A few times I have mentioned holding the pen correctly. Here is a small graphic I drew many years back to show students how a pen is best held. It was based on the method advised by our Department of Education.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Writing with pen and paper is an art form when we take the time. The flow of characters across the page and the feel of the pen is very different to the tapping of keys. While I seldom write more than notes on paper because of the lack of time and ease of sending text by computer, I still have a place for pen, paper and inkwell. If the power fails, my pen and paper won't. 🙂

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

What do you think?

In response to a question from Christopher, Dimitri, and Tre, I am adding a photo of my Grade 3 room as it looked in 2000. I had returned to my old school as a teacher and was there for over twelve years. The old wooden building held two small classrooms. My third grade room was in the end closest to the camera. There were 44 students in my class. There was no room for group activities. When inside, we stayed at our desks. Each desk was permanently screwed to the floor and had a fold down seat for two. The front of your desk was the back of the seat of another. Grade 3 classes now normally have about 25 to 30 students. My old Grade 3 classroom no longer had any fixed desks when I returned as a teacher. It was used as a craft room.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

21 Comments

These photos are being shared with Ava from 4KM and 4KJ. Ava has permission to share these photos with friends. Schools and students have permission to use these photos for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The first was photographed at the Candelo Show and features two members of a Australian Light Horse group in the uniforms from WWI. The remainder were taken at the Pambula Show.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Horse 011

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

After seeing a comment from Jordi, I thought I'd add a special photo for both of you to share. It was taken around 1948 and shows the three horses on the old family dairy farm. They would pull the carts and plough and were friends of my mother when she was a teenager. They are from left to right, Bud, Darby and Duke.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

This photo can only be used with written permission by me. Ava and Jordi mentioned on this blog are given permission to use this photo and share with friends.

Paris has now joined the Ponytastic Crew from 4KM and 4KJ. Paris may also use the contents of this post and share with friends.

Below is another addition to the post. I uploaded a short 20 second show jumping clip to my You Tube channel for the Ponytastic Crew to see. It can't be found by searching online. You need the link because it is unlisted. It shows an adult riding his horse at my local show held in January this year.