A holiday break

Christmas Day has been and gone and New Year's Eve is approaching. I will be on holidays with extended family until the 8th January. I would like to wish everyone a very safe New Year and I will be back blogging soon.

I am looking forward to seeing family, enjoying sun, seafood and bubbles! Here's to a great 2013!


I am huge fan of Mathletics. I have just organised our school to become part of this program for 2013 and while it is a program that will cost per child the benefits outweigh this cost. We have enough resources in our school currently to support a very extensive maths program so do not need to reinvest our money in hands on resources at the moment. I have also co-ordinated a leasing program for parents and students in Grades 3-6 to have their own netbook and the take up rate for this has taken our ratio of access from 1:8 to now 1:2.2. So given these two very significant changes we need to support our increased technology with great resources and Mathletics is a way to do this.

With the introduction of the Australian Curriculum/AusVels we also need to be addressing the four proficiency statements - Fluency, Understanding, Problem Solving and Reasoning. Again this will be supported by the diverse components of the Mathletics program. Plus we can now access most parts of Mathletics on iPads - a new feature - just download the app and if you have a log in you are right to go.

In addition this program also gives you access to Rainforest Maths as well as a great dictionary and a concept dictionary that groups all information ie tallies and how they look and how you might present them.

New Year's Eve Unit

This link will take you to the item.
Even though school in Australia is done for the next five and a bit weeks- I thought I would post this unit I have been working on. It has Mathematics tasks and English Tasks, 10 in all. Your students can organise numbers 0-12, as they need to be able to do this to have a sense of number before they can tell time. Make a clock and draw a clock, put times in a sequence and then match them to digital times, plus sequence them and then record what you might do on New Year's Eve. English tasks include making some resolutions, compiling a shopping list, creating an invitation and then completing a recount. Here is the cover and a sneak preview of what is in the Unit. You can access it through Teachers Notebook and TpT.

Have a great Christmas everyone and a safe New Year. I will be enjoying being with family and doing some jobs around the house that have been neglected. I can't wait to see my own kids reaction to presents on Christmas morning.

Last hurrah....

The end of 2012 for the school year is here. Today was a day for celebration, saying goodbyes and handing over our files. We did a version of speed dating with our files and met with the teachers of our current students for next year. We had the opportunity to discuss each child one by one and share evidence, where to next and likes/dislikes. This was an amazing handover process and will enable each new teacher to already be familiar with their grade.
Have a great break everyone and keep an eye on what I am working on for next year. Units on New Year, Australia Day, Start of the School Year, My Family and more.....

Almost there

We have one more day with our current grade before we say goodbye and pass them on to another teacher to work with, care for, challenge, extend and enjoy! Our job is a joy, but this time of the year is tinged with joy and sadness. We are joyful that we have travelled together and made a mark, made an impact, made an impression. We are sad about saying goodbye, sad about not being the one to make an impact anymore. But you know what-  I will always be their first Prep teacher and what an honour that has been.
Thanks to Claire, our 44 students and their parents this has been amazing 2012!

Christmas Fair

Today we had our Annual Christmas Fair. Our students make and promote their goods for sale to sell to our students and families. The weather was great and in our double teaching space we made cards and stars at 20c each. We sold all our goods and had a great time selling and buying things from other stalls.

Watch this space......

On Friday the current Prep teachers moved most of our stuff into the new space for next year. Here are some photos of the space waiting for our preps to use on Monday. We are experimenting with different table arrangements. Claire and I are in one end and Pascale and Mike in the other. The space is huge and will be even better with students in it this week.

Preps are on the move

How very exciting to be moving to a new open space for our preps for next year. Our gorgeously big old library space will house our four new grades for next year. This coming week our current preps will be trialling it and helping us see what works and what doesn't.
We will be planning together and delivering very high quality programs for all our new preps. We are looking forward to working with our new parents and taking on board what has worked brilliantly with Claire and I in our double learning space and making this work for all four of us.
Next week I will write more about our trial phase - watch this space.

School Council Dinner

I have just had dinner with our School Council in our staff room. This was a very special dinner cooked by Terri who single handedly manages our canteen for 520 students and 30+ staff. The food was gorgeous, company was great and the odd nice drink. This was a great celebration of what we have done as a group this year. Our new Parent Rep Group has been a fantastic initiative ably led by parents and supporting teachers and students across the school. The real focus on curriculum was acknowledged and celebrated. Next year we have student leaders taking an active role in curriculum - how exciting.

50 places mapped

I am so excited to have this map on my blog - it tells me where people are when they look at my blog. Paula's place is being looked at in places including Germany, France, Costa Rica, Perth, Brisbane, Phillipines, America, Russia and Hong Kong.

Art Show for MoneySmart

What a raging success! We all produced an art piece and had it displayed in our Art Show.
We have been trialling MoneySmart and how to fundraise. We decided to fundraise for our Art Room and it seemed logical to have an Art Show.
We made posters, invitations and publicised in our newsletter. Pictures were priced at a gold coin donation and we have raised $119. Our Preps were excited to count the money using skip counting and were keen to do clever counting.
We have learnt about how we fundraise, what we do when we fundraise, what is a worthy cause and what happens to the money. In this learnng journey we looked at paid and unpaid work as well. Tomorrow we present to the school community what we have done and can celebrate our success.
We made our parents giggle when we collected the money in our toy cash registers.

Data Walls

This has been something I have been doing for a while. Teacher judgments and data from a tool called OnDemand are easy to see in this way. This is a great way to see which cohorts across the school are sitting at the same level and need the same strategies, skills or content. By exporting the data into an excel spreadsheet and using the vlookup tool to attach student data and then colour code allows you to see all year levels. We copy them and display for staff/teams to use and also they are used to have conversations with parents when we are looking at trends. We do hide the names when using with parents though.  

A new nephew to love

I know - not work related but well worth bragging about! Welcome to a new nephew for us to love. Congratulations to my youngest sister Lesley, partner Richard and their daughter Mia. I am 2000 kilometres away and have to be content with a photo until Christmas time. Little Richard Lucas (Richie) is 4.34kg and 56.5cm long. WOW 9.56 pounds......maybe not so little!

Email from the two sisters......

Last week I received an exciting email from the two sisters who wrote 'daily 5' and 'Cafe Literacy'. To say I was a bit excited is a gross underestimation of how I felt. I have been using the Digital Pensieve and had been emailing Madeline, who is the daughter and niece of the famous two. When I started blogging I sent a link and they have responded by saying how brave it is to blog and share. I think what they do is brave and inspirational.
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