I am thrilled to be a part of this

Kayla from Texas Teaching Fanatic has a giveaway to celebrate a new blog design and 200 followers. She asked if I wanted a donate a product for the winner. Yes, please.

Little did I know I would be joining these amazing bloggers - Tara from 4th Grade Frolics, Nikki from Melonheadz  and Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade. Thanks Kayla for asking me. Check out the blogs of these amazing people and enter Kayla's giveaway. 


Wednesday WOW - Assessment gathering

I am sharing a mid week WOW. Also linking up with Curious Firsties.

We have just started our school year and many schools here take some time to gather up to date information (data) about our new group of kids. 

So today was Day 1 of whole school testing - one on one with a student and their teacher. Plus we get to meet the parents. 

In our State we have an English Online Interview that is mandated for our Preps (Foundation or first year of school) This gives us information about speaking and listening, retell, writing, rhyming, sound and letter identification. 

Then our P-2's do a Mathematics Online Interview 

This gives us real information about strategies for counting, place value, addition/subtraction and multiplication and division. 

For our 3-6's we have some children who do the previous Maths Assessment and some who do the Fractions and Decimals Online Interview

We also use the Burt Reading assessment and have a text that is level specific to hear each child read.
There are comprehension questions as well.
I am a little bit into organisation (maybe too much!) and need to have everything at my finger tips - so I am just loving my new trays - one for each assessment tool. Maths kit to the right, iPad to enter data online and my anecdotal book to record in. Plus files for each student within arms length. 

So in two more days - I will have seen everyone of my new students for 45 minutes and will be able to start at point of need and differentiate from day 1.

It is tiring - but so worth the investment of time as we know all our kids and what they know and where they need to go. 

First Day Back

Today was our first day back for 2014. Summer break is gone!

As a staff we have decided to formalise many rituals and routines.

We had many great discussions and have team planned this week and some of next week. 

These two books form the basis of what we all do.

Even our specialists looked at the move from "Management" to "Principled Habits"

This will be our focus
Trusting Students
Providing Choice
Nurturing Community
Creating a Sense of Urgency
Building Stamina
Staying out of the Way

We have made agreement about what anchor charts we will do this week and each team will assist in making us all accountable.

Our ultimate goal is independent learners who can set goals. 

I can't wait to see the second edition that is out soon.

Storybook Sunday - Possum Magic

This is a new look link up and I have moved it from Saturday to Sunday.

Welcome to Storybook Sunday.
Each Sunday, link up with me to share a story book you have read or are about to read this week.
This is about love of books and sharing something you love with the intent of focusing on great books. All kids from K-6 need a great picture book read to them regularly. 

There are not many rules but please abide by them

Post about the storybook you have read or are about to read.
Add the above graphic with a direct link back to Paula's Place
Link up by adding your post link to the link up below

You may choose one book or a few books.

Here is my book for this week.

January 26th is Australia Day and this book is a perfect read for this week.

Possum Magic - a Mem Fox delight!

This book has a lovely little possum who in an effort to be seen has to travel to each state and eat some Aussie food as a remedy. 

It is funny, cute and full of gorgeous pictures and talking Australian animals. 

As you read this text - follow along using a map and looking at cities and which states they are in. 

It is great for talking about cause and effect. 

If you find the recipes of the food you can use them as a reading task and even make them - yum!
Anzac biscuits, mornay, minties, steak and salad, pumpkin scones, vegemite sandwich, pavlova and lamington. 

What books are you reading this week?

Five for Friday - 24th Jan 2014

Here are my five randoms for this week

Our last week of summer break here in Australia. 
I will miss the glorious long afternoons, cool drinks (a nice glass of Sav Blanc) and just taking my time to do things. 
No more Fiji time - it will be feet hitting the ground running. 
My gorgeous daughter and I are now counting down to Singapore, we are going with another friend. Her daughter and mine are also good friends.

We now have two teenagers on their 'L' plates - serious time on the road. So if people can't find us, we are out there getting their hours up. 


I picked up my new car today. 
This Elite Elantra is just what I wanted. 
I get in keyless, start keyless and my music from my iPhone starts automatically, hands free on my phone!
Just love it. 
Plus it has a really big boot to carry all the bags I take to work. 

I have been working just a little on my digital work. This is a freebie about Learning Intentions and Success Criteria and has tags you can use in your classroom. 
It is in my fan freebie tab on my facebook page.


It is Australia Day here on Sunday. I completed this pack this week and love the Interactive Notebook pages and Thinking Tools in it. 

I hope all my Aussie readers have a smooth start back to school and that all my other readers are keeping warm and coping with the snow days you have been having.

Learning Intentions

Hey there! This little blog brings alot of enjoyment to/for me. 
I write about what I do, because I love it. I started a facebook link to it a short time ago and am amazed as it hit 413 'likers' today.

This is a huge responsibility and I amazed that other people, like you, also like it enough to keep coming back - so a huge thank you.

Why display the Learning Intention - you can refer back to it at any point in the lesson, the students can see it at anytime. It makes us all accountable. 
An example of a clear Learning Intention is ...

We will write a recount
We are using two step problems

Keep them simple and in 'kid speak'

Success Criteria is a break down of skills that you might achieve.
 I will full stops
I will use capitals correctly
I will have a plan
I will re read

This is where differentiation fits, they are recorded and referred to throughout the lesson. 

I have included Maths and Math tags for you to use. 
There are also tags for Reading, Writing, Word Work and Inquiry Learning.

There is a set of definitions as well as instructions on how to use them. 

I have added an extra set of tags with topic specific clip art. 
If you already own it, you can download the updated file straight away at no cost to you. 

This is a great way to have learning visible in your classroom and make your learners accountable for tasks. It is a great way to bring all your grade together at share or reflection time. 

The display of the learning Intention makes your learning sequence clear and everything relates back to that and there is no confusion as to what learning needs to take place. 

The Learning Intentions make goal setting more streamlined and related to relevant assessment. 

Books for starting school

Here are some of my favorite books for the start of school. 

These are for K-2 kids and they love them. The conversations you can have about what is similar and different gives you an insight into how your kids are managing the start of the year. 

This one is my fav of all the favs! I got it today. 

My second one I have probably blogged about before. This one is about a witch and a fairy getting mixed up and going to the wrong school. In the end they love the differences. 

Here are some others you may also like to read.

 Happy reading

Thinking about work...

I have no photos for this post. 

We have about eight more days of holidays left. Tomorrow I have a meeting with the other team coaches and our Principal to refine our first day back. On this day, we do not have kids. It is about preparing for our year ahead, fine tuning planning and getting our mid range goals in order 

People who believe teachers don't work in the holidays - well they just don't get it. Most of us willingly give up our time to be organised, it is actually an investment. There is a saying 'if you don't plan, you plan to fail' not sure who first said it. 

Can you imagine, if we did nothing over summer break! Kids and parents would walk into a space where cleaners had cleaned and furniture would be stacked in a corner. There would be no tasks ready, no classroom climate - well not a positive one. Kids and parents would make assumptions about our lack of organisation, dedication and management. 

I could not not go into school in our break. What sort of time do you spend getting organised? 

Five for Friday - 17th Jan 2014

Here are my five randoms for this week

We are still on our summer break here in Australia - so this post is about my shopping/holiday exploits plus one work related share

I just love my new notebook. I ordered it from http://www.personal-planner.com.au/AU and I love it to pieces. I also have the diary. You can customize the book and choose the type of pages you want in it. It takes about 3 weeks to get here - but I am in Australia. 

You get to design the front and back cover - this one has an image from build the teacher from Melonheadz - that looks a bit like me. Coffee and iPad and me dressed in black!

I have a size to fit into my handbag. That way when I am waiting to pick up my kids from somewhere I always have it and can work on future units. I do not do 'waiting' well'. 

I wanted this notebook just for planning out my new units of work. I start brain storming the ideas and writing them down - you can see my hand written notes peeking out from the tabs I have glued in.

Then I have stuck in the covers and some examples of work from the unit. This reminds me what it was all about. 

Oh boy! Shoes - what can I say? A girl can never have enough right?

I have been in Melbourne (the capital city in our state) shopping with my daughter and I wanted some new shoes for work.

I am absolutely in love with my new vans - the design on them just got me. So I have comfort and style. The top ones are sandals and are so comfy. Witner is one of my fav shoe shops. My two teenagers are still chuckling about their mum wearing vans. What can I say - I am a cool mum!


I have been looking at this rose gold watch from skagen for a while. We found a sale and I just could not leave it behind. Maybe I will be better at getting to places on time now. (I just have to stop blogging and looking at pinterest and facebook and working on units of work and ......)


I am having a great summer break. Readers of my blog will know that we have just come back from Fiji and spent a lovely ten days there. 
These photos make me want to be back there.

We have just been to see "Grease" it is on in Melbourne at the moment. 
It brings back many memories for me and I just love the music. 
We stayed overnight at the Sofitel and our room was amazing - we got an amazing upgrade and two sides of our room were windows, so from the 41st floor the views were spectacular. 

You can even see the tennis - just needed binoculars.
It was so hot - 40 degrees in Fahrenheit that is about 104. It got to 43 at some point that day.
Our weather is cooling down for the rest of the week - yah!!

We have nine days of left of holidays........
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