Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Traffic Light Tool

At our staff meeting tonight we set aside some time to reflect on our progress in establishing a high performing professional learning community. 
 
I like this Traffic Light tool for teachers and students as a reflecting tool. 
 
Once explained - fill it out in silence as you want individual opinions to help plan the way ahead.
 
We will revisit this document in a few weeks and see if any of our practice has changed.
 

Monday, April 29, 2013

LSCWC

 
Today we started doing LSCWC.
 
This is when you LOOK at the word, SAY the word, COVER the word, WRITE the word and then CHECK the word.
 
This task was for the children who are writing and recognising some words and are able to hear and write sounds.
 
We focussed on words that started with 'l'.
Not bad for our first attempt - we will graduate to a book format in a week or two.
 
They were so excited to be doing this task and didn't want to stop.






Sunday, April 28, 2013

A unit on time


I have been trying to finish this unit - but am trying to make it for USA K-3 and Australia F-3. If you have these year levels what would you like to see included?

When you look at either curriculum, USA has no outcomes for Kinder and by Grade One they need to know hours and half hours, then in Grade 2 nearest 5 minutes and am and pm. Grade 3 need to know nearest minute and measure times in intervals in minutes.

In Australia we look at days of the week, months of the year, seasons, calendars, half hours, quarter hours and investigate the relationship between units of time.

Would love to know what you like to see included in this pack.
 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Five for Friday


This week has been huge and we were only at school for three days. Linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs so here are my five randoms for this week.
1. Presented at another school and got to talk about one of my favourites things - 'daily 5', staff development, best practice, student outcomes, planning, anecdotal notes, running records - well maybe a few of my favourite things.
2. My birthday was on Wednesday and my husbands' is this Sunday and our first born, Nic's is 18 on Thursday. Our premature baby who struggled to breathe and feed is taller than me, a student leader and you would not know he was a prem babe.
3. ANZAC Day - where our whole nation along with New Zealand stops and remembers those we have lost on wars. I found out today that a place in England called Sutton Veny, takes care of 167 graves of Australian soldiers, including 2 nurses that got through the war and then passed away because they caught the Spanish Flu. What an amazing tradition. Check out the link to watch a short video 
4. I had two teachers visit my classroom from Tasmania as they follow my blog and wanted to meet me and check out my classroom. This was a great honour and they spent some time with my teaching buddy from last year. Check out her blog  
5. My Preps went to the Fairy Park, near Geelong and had the best day. I had to stay behind as on Tuesdays I coach other teachers in the school.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Presenting at another school

I am so lucky to have the job I have.
I was approached by another school to deliver a two hour session about my story so far and 'daily 5'.
My Principal was happy to release me and is always supportive in helping us to strive.
I used to do a lot of presenting for our Region and have pulled back a bit in the last two years.
Plus it gets the word out there about our school too.
So here are a few screen grabs of my presentation.
I love the interactions, the questions and the collegiate nature of sharing what we know.
At the end of the day we do what we do because of our students.
The Principal of the school I was at took some photos and when I get them I will post them as well.






 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lest we forget

Just a simple photo, simple words but certainly not a simple thing to do - to go to war......

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tassie Teachers

Today was a big day -but a delightful day. My teaching buddy Claire from last year and I were host to two teachers from Tasmania. Sharon and Ann came to visit because of my blog. They had read about what we had been doing and decided to come and visit in their holidays - now that is dedication!
I took them on a tour before school, they came to our staff briefing and then went into Claire's room. They stayed with Claire for a while and looked at her planning, note taking and assessments. Claire shared her resources and answered questions. Sharon and Ann were so amazed by what they saw and heard and wanted to stay with Claire.
Claire and I do not team teach this year but still hold the same belief and understandings about student learning.
They then came to me to talk about how we track students across the team and why we decided to use 'daily 5'
They experienced an extra treat and stayed for morning tea and shared birthday cake supplied by my team for me!
Claire has her own blog so please check it out - here


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Help me celebrate my birthday

Help me celebrate my birthday!
I am having the most craziest week so join me in some craziness.
All my items in my TPT store are on sale for a flash sale from the 23rd to the 25th USA time. It is actually more than 24 hours........but I did say this is a crazy week.
Graphics/borders for my birthday sign are from KPM and Scrappin Doodles

Teen numbers

I looked around at my resource for teaching and consolidating the teen numbers for my students and wanted to update a resource I had sitting on my computer.
I have integrated the packet into the Fairytale Unit I am doing at the moment and know that the group who will use it will be motivated and will not know they are learning until they have learnt.
What I love about this is the background papers - I have taken a very bold approach and have used very bold backgrounds from 'I teach - what is your super power?' I just fell in love with them. I will let you know what my kids think.
There are 45 pages and three tasks.
They will draw collections of magic beans and match to the correct number on a recording sheet. There are 'missing number' sheets and matching collections to words and numerals.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day

Today we need to stop and take stock of what our footprint is. What is our impact on our planet? What can we do better to take care of our planet as we really are the caretakers for the next generation and beyond.
I often think about my grandparents' generation and how they ate much less complicated food, did not have all the 'stuff' we seem to think we need and even though they were extremely busy people and worked incredibly hard , they always had time for family and their life seemed to be much less hectic.
There was less need to recycle - they took string bags shopping, there was less packaging on things. Plastic bags - well I could just imagine what they would say!
Today I do not have a unit of work - all I will do is brainstorm the old fashioned way the following things
1.  What do we already do to reduce our impact on the planet?
2. How we could reduce our rubbish further?
3. Who or what do we need to do to make this happen?
At school we already put food scraps in a bucket, put paper in a special bin, plastics in another. Even our ink cartridges are sent for recycling.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

KIdz Club

I have just stumbled across this amazing site - Kidz Club. It has pictures to go with so many books we read everyday to our students.
 
You can browse by cover, name or alphabetical order.
 
Not only are there books, but pages on phonics, topics, crafts, stories, flashcards, books and extras. This was like finding a pot of gold that will add great value to what we try to do to motivate our readers and writers everyday.
 
Happy surfing fellow teachers!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Five for Friday

Thanks again to Doodle Bugs I am linking up for Five for Friday again this week. I do look forward to this linky as I can see new bloggers (maybe just ones I have never seen before) and you can get a glimpse into what is happening around the world in fantastic classrooms.

So here are my five -

Number One - My students are finally ready for me to use these babies in my room. I love the five splitters as you can have more then one and up to five headphones placed in the jack at a device and they can be doing 'listening to reading'.

Number Two - Here are my 5 favourite ANZAC Day books. We commemorate this day to recognise our servicemen and woman in all wars we have been in, but the major one being Gallipoli 15th April 1915.

Number Three - Team planning and iSURF(C)K&P 2013. A colleague, who is also a good friend and I are working on a way to use our new curriculum and plan in an interesting way to highlight the proficiency strands in our Australian Curriculum. We are very excited about the potential

Number Four - probably should be Number One - we all survived being back in Week One

Number Five - I have completed Round 3 of our 1:1 Netbook program and now we only have a very small percentage that do not lease a netbook in grades 3-6.

Friday, April 19, 2013

My ANZAC Day Unit

Here are 31 pages to help you to mark ANZAC DAY if you have a junior grade. I have supplied an outline that contains facts about the day. There are five book suggestions that you could use, but the tasks are not text specific.
Using the cards that have the letters that make up what ANZAC stands for - see how many words you can make. Use a Venn Diagram to look at our flag and the New Zealand flag.













During writing time - explore your thoughts about ANZAC Day, recount of the march, list what is in a wreath and discuss some of the symbols.

 
In reading time list animals in 'Only a Donkey', use character maps, story boards and define beginning/middle/endings.
 
Use the small share book that I have made as black line master to re-inforce concepts about print.
Make a flag using the instructions and template for stars.

These books are not available through Amazon and I picked them up in our local bookstores - Collins

Free fonts


Come on - who doesn't love free fonts?
Especially those of us who are creating products and need to have them as copyright free! Here is your go to site - FREE FONT SQUIRREL
I came across this site ages ago and then couldn't remember the name of it and I came across it today.
 
Why did I find it? I was at my own children's parent/teacher interviews, which were in school time and I had about 11 interviews to go to with time in between them all. I was there all day, time on my hands and on my phone searching for fonts, clip art and digital papers and found it - I love the fonts. Some links send you off the site - so check out the terms for the fonts you want to download.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fairy Tales

 This week we have started our Fairytale unit and kicked it off with Discovery Learning.
 
We are exploring Fairytales through making our own puppets for a play. This draws on speaking and listening and being able to share and take turns,
 
The 'performances' are very funny and I love them. Sometimes it is hard to keep straight face!
 
We have playdough to make characters from Fairytales and the children need to explain what they have made and which Fairytale it has come from.
 
Some children are drawing parts of the Fairytales to share. I just love this Jack and the Beanstalk using texta on purple card.
 
If you are after some ideas for 'My Top 10 Fairytales please check out my unit on TPT. We are off to the Fairy Park next week and getting bit excited.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Revisiting 'Read to Someone'

WOW! We revisited the aspects of 'Read to Someone' today. I was impressed with the fact that they could tell me that they needed to be EEKK and we use rock. paper. scissors to determine who reads first. This cuts out all those discussions/arguments about who goes first.
 
We choose best fit books - which I have in their boxes for them at this point. Next week we introduce book shopping and choosing best fit books for their box.
 
I did have to tighten up the asking of questions after we had finished reading. They ask "What has happened so far in the book?' and next week we will also add "tell me about the characters' as we are looking at this in Literacy and Discovery Learning.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Developing a collaborative learning community

At our staff meeting this afternoon we continued to explore the facets that make up a Professional Learning Community. We had previously looked at having a" Shared mission, vision and values" an developed our five values and what they mean to us and what they would look like and wouldn't look like. We openly discussed what a 'Collaborative Team' is. This was hard as I assisted the staff to develop those 'I statements' when a staff member was not acting in a positive manner or had let the team down.
 
Today we researched 'Collective Inquiry' and why this is important for us. Some of our staff said that this was vital as without it our school would not work. We will continue to work on 'Action orientation and experimentation', 'Continuous improvement' and 'Results orientation'. This work comes from Eskar/Dufour - Getting Started: Recapturing Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities.

Monday, April 15, 2013

How exciting


I know for some people this is not really that exciting - but when you have waited a term for bag lockers and they arrive, it is something to celebrate.
Each space is big enough to house a school bag, lunch box, drink bottle and reader bag.
 
So now we are not lining up our bags in the corridor like soldiers and putting our food and drink in our tubs with our work.
 
For those of you who have worked with 5 year olds you will know that mess that happens when food, drink and work collide.
 
An extra bonus is that the back of them can be used as a display space and here I have put my 'daily 5' stuff.



 
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