Five for Friday - 30 May
End of May is a heartbeat away and I am so jealous of my USA buddies on their summer break, or almost on their break - we are about to head into winter......
Five for Friday is here so head on over to link up with Kacey
Here are my five randoms for this week
My kids have been working on life drawing - my Year 5/6s are amazing!

We are working on scale and measuring. We have developed an extended problem solving task that caters for all kids and has workshops for support and extension.

Camp Quality came to school this week. We sadly have a little guy who has leukaemia. This non profit group raise money and awareness for cancer. It pays for families to go on a camp and have medical support while there too.

Oh boy! Look what arrived, I love it to bits and feel so fortunate to have one.

I saw this and thought- yes.
We can only do what we know is best. I work with groups of teachers and you only know what you know, you cannot beat yourself up. But when we find a better way, it is our responsibility to make a change.

 Cannot believe that June is on its way.

A day of teacher learning

Our school is part of a Mathematics Project that involves two other schools. 

The three of us all have good data, but it could be better. 
So our Principal applied for some funding and was successful.
So we have started on a path to collaborate with the end result being stronger ties between the three schools, lift our capacity and knowledge in Maths and improve outcomes for our top 25% of students (which will also lift all students).

So today was our third time together. 
We had a launch at the beginning to introduce everyone to the project.

Then Penny (our AP) and I delivered two Professional Learning sessions about Maths planing and the role of the teacher. 

Then this morning we released all our Foundation teachers to work with a 'critical friend' - Melinda.

We started by looking at these three prompts and the discussions that followed were invaluable. 
Then this afternoon all our Year 5/6 teachers were released to work together.

Tomorrow there will be two session - one for Year 1/2 and another for 3/4.

I am hoping that Laura doesn't mind - this is a photo of her great book storage system that was in her classroom. Thanks for giving up your classroom today Laura so that we could use it for a get together. 
Such a simple idea - but WOW how effective.
Don't you just love going into other classrooms?

Five for Friday - 23rd May 2014

This was a huge week and I am so glad that it is Friday.
Five for Friday is here so head on over to link up with Kacey
Here are my five randoms for this week

Well - I have made it! Our family has had a huge week, running around for teenagers and picking them up from dances, dinners, sleepovers and going to information nights. 

We have started our OnDemand testing across the school for students who are reading above benchmark 20. 
So if we have a 5 year old reading at that level - they also participate. We teach to point of need and each student is catered for quite specifically.
We do online tests for - Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, Reading, Spelling and Writing (which is Language Inventions).
In our state these are available to us to see what progression point each child can get and assists us in planning and setting new targets. Our school uses the data internally and we produce data walls from these scores. I will blog about them in detail later in the 


In our state we are busy writing reports for parents. So I have bought my assessment folders home to cross check my comments. I need to bunker down and not get distracted by blogging etc....

This booklet is my bible while reporting - it has our standards in it and my go to reference. 
As you can see I had to 'melonheadz' it

My project on the go at the moment is a convict unit - I am making a suitcase of information - stay tuned....
I just hope I can leave it alone until my reports are done!

Five for Friday - 16th May 2014

Here are my five randoms for this week

I have had to make a promise to myself - to be super organised at school - before I could go near my other love of creating and posting products. 

I have completed the 'Ii' and 'Nn' packs and then posted a bundle that has S-A-T-P-I-N, which are the first six letters you need to start making some words. 

Click on the packs to go and check them out. 



This week I took a group of girls at school for sofcrosse. These Year 5/6 girls and I had a blast. 
Now I am not one to wear trackies to work, but I did on Thursday. 
Two quotes of the day...
"Why are you in trackies and runners?'
"Is there going to be running involved?'

I didn't feel as if our kids were fit enough - so have re instated sport which is over and above PE and our daily laps.


Oh boy - I am getting hooked on a show called 'Death in Paradise' - you should check it out!
Death, intrigue and laughs

  Displaying image.jpeg

I won the staff raffle this week. Each week a different group of staff organise a raffle prize. The money goes toward our staff function at the end of the year. 
I just love fresh flowers.


This week we also started our Science sessions. I am working with a group of 5/6 students on Cyclones. I have spent some time organising my thoughts and have posted this pack this week too. 
Click on the pictures to go to the packs.

Enjoy our too short weekend and have a great week.

The point of planning pictures

The world has gone mad!
How can people ie educators believe that young writers can just write?
We ask older writers to plan and put in detail so that their writing shows direction, complexity and twists.

If we ask a young writer to just start writing - how can they when they can't write without support?

I was lucky to win 40 days professional leave about three years ago to explore what motivates young writers and how we can improve writing for all young writers. 

I was working for another school at the time and asked the Leadership Team (which I was part of) to trust me and the investment of time I needed to put in place to draw.

I wanted kids to see details in pictures, see emotions in faces, see backgrounds - settings and see story boards. 

I wanted to know that was going to motivate them about putting marks on a piece of paper. 

I read, I googled, I researched, I talked, I argued, I reflected, I procrastinated, I pushed, I worked with many groups of kids, teachers and what I came up with was overwhelming in getting all kids to write.

Step One
Look at picture story books, photos, posters.
What attracts us to these - is it color. background and detail?
Of course it is.....

Step Two
No writing
Draw in grey lead

Step Three
Look at faces
Draw faces, draw playgrounds, draw family, draw stuff in grey lead

Step Four
Add color
Look at use of color, use of dark, light, bright, dull

Step Five
Look at background - where is the picture? where are the people? where is the grass/sky/furniture?

Step Six
Now add starting sounds, sight words

How often have you asked? - What are you writing today? And you got 'I don't know'
A great planning picture stops this - your question changes 'Tell me about your picture' and try ad write the first word, second word, shared pen, modelled writing.

Before you know it they are all writing and loving it. 
The content is much more detailed - just like the pictures. 
The language is much more powerful - the color is powerful.
The setting is included - there is a background.

Step Seven
Draw a planning picture in grey lead
Add colour, detail and background

Step Eight
Excited writers!!!!!!!
Happy teachers.....
Enthusiastic Leadership because everyone is writing......

Win, win, win

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