22/04/2017

ANZAC Day library display

“Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.”

(Australian War Memorial, 2017)

Information about the Commemoration and Educational resources and activities  are provided by the Australian War Memorial. The Primary English Teaching Association Australia also provides Lest We Forget which comprises six literature-based units of work for PETAA members.

A collection picture books, some with teaching notes are available via my Pinterest collection of ANZAC Day commemoration picture books.

25/01/2017

Story Elements – Read, Think, Collaborate, Create

Diorama based on the book Perfect by Danny Parker

This post showcases the amazing dioramas Year 2 created for the CBCA Shortlist Early Childhood Books. I wrote in a previous post about the project explaining how we started and the information the students were focusing on for each book.

In summary, after reading each of the shortlist books small groups worked on specific questions related to elements of the story:

  • Who is the main character? Are they human, an animal or an imagined character?
  • Are there supporting characters? Are they human, an animal or imagined characters?
  • Where is the story set? Is the setting realistic, magical, set in the past, present time or future?
  • The message or a lesson from the story is…
  • A symbol (object, action, or expression) in the story is…
  • The story made me think about…

Once we had finalised the reading and summarising lessons students were placed in small groups and provided with a shortlist book to focus on. The first task was to answer questions about the book and then allocate a job for each student, before they could start with the design and construction of the dioramas each group had a conference to ensure all were on task and had appropriate roles. A Diorama guide planning sheet was used to help plan work. To make life easier (I had four Year 2 classes complete this activity 24 dioramas in total) I purchased diorama boxes from Clever Patch. Crepe and tissue paper, cellophane, pipe cleaners, glue are required, as are pencils and textas, water colour paints – whatever you have in supply will work, a glue gun was very handy (teacher use only).

Below are work in progress samples and completed dioramas. Continue reading

06/01/2017

What site should I use? Evaluating websites

The final lessons in the online search skills series of lessons focuses on evaluating websites. There are numerous guides to provide to students, depending on age of the students the selection of evaluation terms is important. I found the 5W’s of Website Evaluation by Kathy Schrock very useful but made slight changes so that it matched the video clip on Evaluating the Web using the 5W’s.

To start the lesson we watched the YouTude clip Evaluate Search Results, this reinforced prior exercises and introduced new skills setting the scene for evaluation. At the end of the clip the class discussed what stood out.

We then watched the second video clip which is fast and exciting and it opened the door to the 5W’s of Website Evaluation exercises. Continue reading

06/01/2017

Search it! What do you do, what can you do?

Search it! This post is the third in a series of lessons to teach online search skills. When I last taught the lesson the grade were investigating Geography: A Diverse and Connected World so the search task was based on the major export items from Australia to a selection of countries. We looked at a chart from the Oxford Australian Curriculum Atlas Years 5-6 Professional Support that outlined the major countries Australia exports to, the students were then paired and provided with a country to focus on and a search task to find the top 3 export items from Australia to the given country.

Lesson One: What do you do? Continue reading

05/01/2017

Leading the way with Internet search skills

Over the years I have provided online search skill lessons to students in upper primary, there have been numerous resources reviewed, professional learning, experimenting with search techniques and tailoring lessons to share with students basic to extensive search techniques and applications. The series of lessons fit into the Australian Curriculum General Capabilities Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability – Investigating with ICT and are a key aspect of digital literacy. What I have gained from designing and teaching the lessons is that one should not assume that students know about online search skills, anyone can search and find something about a topic – Google has made searching easy, but we need to be mindful about the what sources we use. Another thing I found is that teachers who join the the class take note and have even joined in with the activities to extend their online search skills.
This post focuses on an introduction to a series of lessons that aim to assist students with ‘Investigating with ICT‘ planning searches, locating and accessing online information, and evaluating information.

Continue reading

17/09/2016

The URL Game

Year 5 and I had fun with the URL Game, a simple challenge created to help students understand what a URL is and how to read them – a useful skill linked to evaluating websites. The URL Game is part of a series of lessons that I have been working on related to Online Search Skills.

Color signs with internet domain names isolated on white background

Lesson steps

  1. As a lead into the lesson we watched How Search Works.                The short video explains what happens when you do a web search. Students respond well to this, a simple question ‘what did you learn?’ allows for great discussion after watching.

Continue reading

18/08/2016

Year 2 – Book Week Shortlist Story Elements

Early Childhood Books

Early Childhood Shortlist 2016

Over the past weeks, Year 2 has been exploring the Early Childhood Shortlist Picture Books during their Library lesson.
It has been wonderful reading the six shortlist books to Year 2, in fact I read so many books in one week (23 classes a week K-5) that my voice stopped working. Lucky for me and the children we were able to enjoy Mr Huff by Anna Walker on Story Box Library.

Using the first book Perfect by Danny Parker, the children reflected as a whole class to the following questions and their responses were recorded.

Story Element Questions:

  • Who is the main character? Are they human, an animal or an imagined character?
  • Are there supporting characters? Are they human, an animal or imagined characters?
  • Where is the story set? Is the setting realistic, magical, set in the past, present time or future?
  • The message or a lesson from the story is…
  • A symbol (object, action, or expression) in the story is…
  • The story made me think about…

For the additional shortlist books, once the story had been shared the children worked in small groups, each group being allocated one question. The responses were shared and then complied onto one page for later use. What became evident was that as the children revised the routine and became familiar with the questions they were able to reflect and reposed more thoroughly.

Samples of work for the Early Childhood Shortlist Picture Books:

Perferct Yr 2 sample

Perfect by Danny Parker Year 2 whole class responses

Mr Huff by Anna Walker Small group responses to questions.

Mr Huff by Anna Walker
Small group responses to questions.

Once the six books were read each student voted for their favourite book by placing a star on the Years K-2 2016 Book Week voting chart.

In the coming lessons the students will work in small groups to create dioramas of the shortlist books. I am really looking forward to the creative designs and displaying the story dioramas in the Library.

Continue reading

30/05/2014

Learning Across the Curriculum – English

Learning Across the CurriculumThe AISNSW ‘Learning Across the Curriculum – English’ PL day allowed for time to read and pull apart the cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities. The summary pages within the English Syllabus were helpful and provided guidance to embedding each priority in teaching and learning planning – what currently is being covered with our own programs was considered and new opportunities were promoted. What was evident is that the Syllabus is vast, there are amazing learning opportunities and time is required to fully absorb the new curriculum.

A summary of the PL day was created to share with teaching staff at school. Learning Across the Curriculum – English

For more information go to the summary:

LATC English

30/05/2014

Feedback PL summary

The Feedback Essentials PL course run by the AIS NSW provided an awareness of learning intent and expectations to assist with feedback.  The course provided practical strategies to use in planning such as WALT, WILF and TIB. We explored different feedback strategies. Attached is a summary presentation created for teachers of the Feed Back Essential course.

Feedback Essentials Summary KMeet 2014

17/04/2014

Digital Technologies – Binary Basics

Over the past few weeks I have been involved in an online course ‘Digital Technologies: Implementing the Australian Curriculum Learning Area’ run by the Computer Science Education Research at the University of Adelaide. This week we explored different ways data can be encoded, and how computers represent data. The activity was to share our understanding of the topic and create a video, poster, slide show. I opted for a topic new to me – Binary and decided to give the free trial of Sparkol VideoScibe a go. The process was time consuming, however it helped me organise my thoughts and present a summary of my understanding in a fun and creative way.