Coffs Harbour Public School Blog

Courtesy & Honour – Principal:Leonie Buehler


The Human Body 3/4H

Every Thursday afternoon for term three 3/4H students have been working on virtual world science tasks for the human body unit of work. One of the tasks asked them to create virtual simulations of the intestines and stomach. This is very challenging as they all must learn how to transform 3D objects such as cylinders, torus or hemispheres to create a likeness of these organs. Some students are using x,y,z coordinates to manipulate their prims (3D virtual geometric objects are known as ‘primitives‘ or ‘prims’ for short.). The lessons fly by but the class has done a fantastic job. It is also wonderful to have access to a class set of laptops for this project.

Mrs Booth and Ms Hodgson


3D Rocket Building

Students in 3M and 3-O again worked with virtual world technology during their maths session today. This time their challenge was to flip and rotate 3D objects to create a rocket ship. This was very difficult as they also had to learn how to ‘snap objects to the grid’ in order to align their objects with greater precision. I did not expect any students to complete this task as this was only the second or third time they had been exposed to this technology. Wow, was I proved wrong as a number of students did complete the task with amazing precision. Excellent work everyone 🙂


Stage 2 Three-Dimensional Space 1

Year 3 students, using virtual technology,  investigated, manipulated, transformed and even translated solid geometrical objects such as a cube, cylinder, pyramid, sphere, cone and triangular prism in their maths session today. Students used the  hollowed , cut paths, twisted, sheared tools whilst also learning to use the camera controls to help give them perspective when creating their objects  – the camera assisted with top view, side view and front view.

MA2-14MG makes, compares, sketches and names three-dimensional objects, including prisms, pyramids, cylinders, cones and spheres, and describes their features
Make models of three-dimensional objects and describe key features (ACMMG063)

  • identify and name three-dimensional objects as prisms (including cubes), pyramids, cylinders, cones and spheres
  • recognise and describe the use of three-dimensional objects in a variety of contexts, eg buildings, packaging (Communicating)
  • describe and compare curved surfaces and flat surfaces of cylinders, cones and spheres, and faces, edges and vertices of prisms (including cubes) and pyramids
  • describe similarities and differences between prisms (including cubes), pyramids, cylinders, cones and spheres (Communicating)

Students should be able to communicate using the following language: object, two-dimensional shape (2D shape), three-dimensional object (3D object), cone, cube, cylinder, prism, pyramid, sphere, surface, flat surface, curved surface, face, edge, vertex (vertices), net.

In geometry, the term ‘face’ refers to a flat surface with only straight edges, as in prisms and pyramids, eg a cube has six faces. Curved surfaces, such as those found in cylinders, cones and spheres, are not classified as ‘faces’. Similarly, flat surfaces with curved boundaries, such as the circular surfaces of cylinders and cones, are not ‘faces’.

The term ‘shape’ refers to a two-dimensional figure. The term ‘object’ refers to a three-dimensional figure.

K-10 Stage 2 Measurement and Geometry



Grade 3 Virtual Maths

The Framing Paper Consultation Report: Mathematics (ACARA, 2009, p. 9) states that “new and emerging technologies provide not just new tools for doing mathematics but also new possibilities for pedagogical approaches.”

Both 3M and 3-O are using our virtual world technology Sim-on-a-Stick to complete mathematical tasks based on the NSW maths syllabus substrands of Data, Measurement, Space and Geometry. Each week student groups complete tasks relating to these outcomes using a combination of both the virtual space and their work books. All grade 3 students will have access to this program and already they are extremely engaged as they navigate the tools and space. This technology encourages problem based learning and is inherently mathematical but by creating virtual workstations the tasks become more explicit in nature. Also, by having small groups the students should develop a deeper understanding of the more abstract concepts. Within 30 minutes of using the program students from 3M & 3-O were sharing their newly acquired knowledge with other students in their group and this was wonderful to see. Lots of learning happening though they thought “the game” was hard but great fun!


UNICEF School Project

Students can be leaders in virtual worlds, gathering knowledge and solving authentic problems. Virtual worlds allow students to engage with the curriculum content, participate in knowledge development, and achieve learning outcomes that map to real world outcomes. More importantly, students experience how problems arise and how the solution to one problem can create other problems. Students in a virtual environment have more opportunities for authentic learning than students in a traditional classroom” Virtual Worlds by Judy O’Connell and Dean Groom

The UNICEF schools project has come to a close with all the students wanting it to continue! We just do not have enough weeks in a year. This has been a fantastic experience not only for the students but also for the teachers involved. From the beginning with the introduction of a real world issue: design and build a school for a community in Afghanistan, to an architect coming in to show us how to plan and draw to scale, meeting the criteria from the UNICEF Child-Friendly School Manual, talking to Mia Cox from UNICEF Australia via Skype and the students finally gaining permission to construct their school models using Sim-on-a-Stick or MinecraftEdu. All the students involved come from very different backgrounds with very limited English speaking skills but they have been able to engage in a rich project that challenged and allowed them to achieve very successful outcomes. The great thing with this type of technology is that it differentiates accordingly and this allows all students who use it the ability to really shine.


Virtual Rainforest Project: MinecraftEdu/Sim-on-a-Stick

Coffs Harbour Public School uses virtual world technology in many of its learning areas. This term all stage 3 and some stage 2 students are studying the HSIE unit ‘Rainforests’. Part of the requirements of this unit is going to be completed using Sim-on-a-Stick (virtual world on a USB) and MinecraftEdu. The project outline is:

Students will demonstrate an understanding of Australian rainforests through creation of a simulated Australian rainforest and presentation treehouse. eg the Daintree using virtual world technology (Sim-on-a-Stick/MinecraftEdu). Students research information on traditional land owners/Indigenous peoples, rainfall, location, human impact, dangers i.e., species extinction, and geographical features and demonstrate understanding using virtual notecards and scripting. Students will include in their simulation insects, reptiles, birds, plants, frogs and fish, an ecosystem display board and other flora and fauna specific to the area using a range of sources and display these in their tree house and specific locations within their rainforest. Students will also simulate emergent growth, canopy, understorey and forest floor. Student pairs will present their builds in Week 9.

This is the first time MinecraftEdu is being used at Coffs Harbour P.S. and with the engagement displayed today in Miss Callinan’s class this project should allow the students to really engage with the task. MinecraftEdu has been developed by Finnish and American teachers with Mojang (the creator’s of Minecraft) and contains some fantastic tools specifically targeted for the classroom teacher and student. Mrs Booth and Miss Callinan love the ‘freeze students’  button!  Here is a hyperlink for further information about minecraft in education 🙂

Mrs Booth


Afghanistan Project Virtual Building

Today students moved on to building their schools as all plans have been approved against the UNICEF child friendly schools criteria. All students bar one are using Sim-on-a-Stick virtual technology and the other student is building his model straight off his plans with the assistance of Yarrob. It was fantastic to see all the students bringing their projects to life and for many this is the first time they are using this technology which can be quite demanding. Luckily they are all very quick learners and also have an expert, Wakjira, who is wonderful in sharing his knowledge as he has been building with Sim-on-a-Stick for the past 15 months.

Great work everyone.

Mrs Booth, Mrs Newton and Yarrob


Minecraft Library Club


Thanks to the super Nick, a year 10 student from a DEC high school on the south coast, we managed to get our multi-user Minecraft server up and running. Nick has packaged Minecraft with settings that work wonderfully with DEC graphics and computers. As a result virtual world library club was crazy! So many students wanted to be a part of the server but they firstly need to purchase their own Minecraft accounts from Mojang as the server only works with full accounts and not lite/free ones. Next Wednesday we will write a charter and create rules for in-world behaviour which is a critical component of digital citizenship. Mrs Booth used the MCJam DEC map that Nick sent her for our world and the students loved the spawn point and buildings that had already been created by Nick and other DEC teachers during professional learning days in the school holidays. Other students were able to play the Pocket Edition on our iPads.

Also, coping with all the noise, was the very patient Luke who was building a bathroom using Sim-on-a-Stick as part of his building design. His attention to detail using this technology is amazing and we will also be using his expertise for a UNICEF school design project  that Mrs Booth and Mrs Newton are currently undertaking with an enrichment group of students.

See you next Wednesday and happy mining 😉

Mrs Booth


4J Virtual Australian History Project

Hover over the image for information about our project.

Mrs Booth


2M Virtual World Maths Friday

NSW Maths Syllabus: S1/Grade 2

MS1.1 Estimates, measures, compares and records lengths and distances using informal units, metres and centimetres.

MS1.3 Estimates, measures, compares and records volumes and capacities using informal units.

SGS1.1 Sorts, describes and represents 3D objects including cones, cubes, cylinders, spheres and prisms, and recognises them in pictures and the environment.

Today 2M spent a large part of the day investigating 3D objects, measurement and volume. The class rotated through different activities as they explored and worked mathematically to engage with maths tasks. They used the virtual technology of Minecraft and Sim-on-a-Stick to explore volume and shape. Each minecraft block is 1 metre cubed. The students used both the iPad and PC version of Minecraft to work through activities and further develop their problem solving skills skills as they explored this fabulous virtual space. Finally the students had to measure, using centimetres and metres, cardboard boxes ( rectangular prisms) and construct real life versions of the grass block (cube). It was a great day and all were on task and worked brilliantly. Fantastic work 2M 🙂

Mrs Booth

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