How do teachers continue to fit everything into their days?

This link takes you to a slideshare that explains aspects of the Australian Curriculum: Technologies.

The thing that stood out most from this is the hours to be allocated. How do teachers manage to continue to add things into their already busy days. With Geology now approved and Technologies ready for approval, there are two more topics requiring coverage in the curriculum.

Where does the time for these come from?

EDP4130 Technology Curriculm and Pedagogy 2014

As part of our major assignment for this subject, we are required to curate a publicly accessible collection of online resources relevant to classroom implementation of the proposed Australian Curriculum: Technologies.

It is mind-blowing to see how many different tools there actually are available to create a PLN,  and it is actually proving quite difficult to select one.

I have previously used edublogs for EDC3100 ICT & Pedagogy but feel that this may be limited in its public accessibility. I am unsure as to what will be the most effective and useful tool for this project. If I was asked to comment on the tool that I personally use the most at the moment, I would have to say ‘ Pinterest’. I find this site very interesting, useful and easy to use. So this is currently at the top of my list.

My next self set task is to see how easy it is to post items on ‘Pinterest’ and judge if this is the tool to create my PLN for this project.

Maths – How can we help students with learning time?

Just read a great post about a site on Tina’s site about Math Trail. Admittedly, the site is beyond the ability levels of Primary ages student’s but none the less, a great site. By following the questions and answering them correctly, students are taken on a journey around the world using Google maps. Nice way to use cross curricular aspects in mathematics.

I am also doing another unit on Special Ed at the moment and my focus is from The Australian Curriculum

Mathematics / Year 3 / Measurement and Geometry / Using units of measurement

Content description

  • Tell time to the minute and investigate the relationship between units of time (ACMMG062)


  • Recognising there are 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute

Can anyone recommend any great tips or ideas for teaching students with learning difficulties the concepts of time?



Great Books

Fawn was kind enough to comment on my previous blog regarding Books versus ipads and Kindles.

She mentioned a great book on her site and provided a link to it. It is well worth the read. I can see so many avenues to use this little gem; Bullying and Friendship issues are the first to jump to mind.

There are so many fantastic picture books available to us as teachers. I really love to see kids reading and extracting the meaning from them. Some books can have deep purpose and serve to assist us in the many roles we take on as teachers and guardians of these precious little people 5 days a week(nurse, guidance counsellor, friend, mentor, positive adult role model).

I would love to have a huge space in my classroom for picture books….. I really hope the value of holding a book and pouring over its pages never fades out of our kids worlds. There is so much value in taking the time to read to and with kids using beautiful books.

I like so many and have previously posted some of my favourite authors. One book I have used a few times is ‘Luke’s way of Looking’. It is about a little boy who sees the world differently (perhaps Aspergers or Autistic). One day, he realises that just because he sees things differently, doesn’t make him wrong. A great book.

Does anyone else have a little gem of a book they care to share?


Tablet, laptop or ipad?

After being on prac at various schools, one thing that I have noticed is the wide variety of ICT tools used and the availability of ICT tools within the school system.

My most recent prac school has chosen to go with ipads as its tool of choice. They do have an IT lab with 30 computers available but almost every time I walk past, the room is empty. There are only two computers in each classroom. The teachers and aides have all been issued with an ipad. They have a full time elearning teacher who runs classes as required. The class I have been with as just created tellagami characters and QR codes on their ipads.

This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using ipads in the classroom.

The school where I work as an aide has individual 1:1 laptop roll outs occurring.

My sons school let the kids bring in their own devices, he has a tablet.

What do you favour?


Books versus kindles, ipads and ebooks

Many of us have access to a variety of digital means for reading books such as a Kindle.

The readers cup challenges that many schools participate promote and encourage our students to engage further with reading.

What impact does our access to digital versions of books have on these activities?

Will these events still be a focus point in schools in the future?

I personally till love to hold a book and read rather than use my kindle. The kindle is handy when travelling but otherwise, I choose to use the old fashioned page turning method for reading.

I am a HUGE fan of picture books and incorporate them as often as possible in my role as a teacher aide and when on prac. I find that regardless of their age, kids still love to sit and listen to a story and like it even better when they can see pictures (even the big kids). Anthony Browne is my favourite children’s author. I also like David Miller and Colin Thompson.

This article on Primary School Readers does mention using digital forms for reading, but I cannot help but wonder if and when the existence of libraries will be a thing of the past……

Do you think books and libraries will go the way of the dinosaur?

Who are your favourite children’s authors?

Can you recommend any fantastic must have books for a classroom?



Fit, Safe and ICT all rolled into one

A free smartphone app launched by Walk Safely to School Day is the latest tool in the fight against childhood obesity. The Queensland Government Site, Education Views, has information regarding this new and free app. It was launched in conjunction with the ‘Walk safe to school day’ on May 24th.

The Pedestrian Council of Australia site has further information on this app.

There are so many apps, games and sites that our kids use, many of which require little or no physical application.

I wonder how many other apps there are that encourage activity?

Does anyone have any other apps to get our kids moving they would like to share?

walk to school


NAPLAN – why?

Mrs Jones has written a thought provoking blog regarding NAPLAN.

There are countless articles written about the testing process each year. It seems everyone has an opinion on the process. Here is a link to one article I found recently.

As it happens, I recently had a great discussion with a very talented and dedicated Teaching and Learning Curriculum Adviser at an all girls private school.

I questioned the validity of NAPLAN, the use of the data and the stress on the students amongst other things.

One valuable asset that NAPLAN has given this school is the ability to target weaknesses in certain learning areas. Two years ago, the results across the school showed a general weakness in spelling across the tested year levels. From this information, a new spelling programme was sourced and introduced in an attempt to give a broader and more valuable approach to spelling across the entire school. This programme targets specific areas of spelling and can be utilised from prep to Year 7, giving a consistent and thorough approach to students throughout their primary education.

Last year, the results showed a general but concerning weakness in the area of problem solving. This is an area many teachers and parents comment on. I believe that with our children living in and growing up in a digital world, the ability to ‘problem solve’ appears to be a lost skill. This year, the school has introduced a new problem solving strategy plan across all year levels with some amazing results. The really exciting factor for this inclusion is the skills are now transferring across other areas in the curriculum and teachers are seeing the students use the skills in English and Science activities. They are also using the language associated with problem solving when completing tasks in other KLA’s.

So, even though in principal I disagree with NAPLAN and they way some schools use the data collected, I do like the fact that there are opportunities to use the information collected from these assessments for good not evil. By putting plans in place to improve the learning opportunities and outcomes for students in the areas most needed, NAPLAN is achieving something positive.


Handwriting and Spelling

I previously blogged about learning styles in the digital world. In addition to this, after reading Corinne’s blog page, I too wondered about handwriting skills and in addition, spelling skills. Are they still required in our digital world? Should we be spending valuable teaching time on these skills when we can type our work and a computer can spell check for us, reassuring us our words are formed correctly, using the correct letter combinations?

Corinne has posted on her page about the death of handwriting. Is this the case? Are we spending valuable teaching time on skills that students may not need in their digital worlds. We do type almost everything and then we spell check it. Is spelling another obsolete skill still being taught?

And yes, just before I post this I will hit the ABC button to double check I have not made any spelling errors……

Ideas for QR Codes, Tellagami and Toontastic

Came across this youtube clip on QR codes by accident but it has some creative ideas.

Worth a look.

One of the teaching and learning sequences for my Year 4 prac class involves the student’s creating a virtual character from a book called ‘The little wooden horse’ by Mark Wilson.

The students have the option to use either Tellagmi or Toontastic to create their character ensuring that physical appearance, actions, speech and character are showcased. Once created, students can upload their characters to youtube.

Students also create a QR code and paste it on their character descriptions, walking around the room with their ipads to bring the character description to life.

I look forward to being a part of this interactive ICT lesson and learning more about Qr codes and how they can be used to enhance teaching and learning experiences.