Sunday, 30 August 2015

Birthday Cake Debate


This morning when I was reading the news this article from the Sydney Morning Herald caught my eye: "Birthday cakes banned at Only About Sydney childcare centre in Surry Hills".

There are, without a doubt, people who will have the opinion that this is unAustralian and ridiculous and then there will be those who will be thinking "Hooray!". Most of you are unfamiliar with the fact that I am not afraid to weigh in with my own opinion, so here it is...

Having grown up in a very religious family who didn't celebrate birthdays or other occasions from the age of 4 I used to dread birthday parties at school in particular. Often I would be asked to leave the room and go to the library. It was very isolating as I felt as though I was being punished.
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Monday, 24 August 2015

Sports Day Lead-Up

As term four looms ahead many thoughts turn to Sports Day (the equivalent of Fields Day in the USA). While many schools have theirs in term 1 while summer is still in full swing many other schools choose term 4.

I remember practising endlessly with PE teachers in preparation for Sports Day. The enthusiasm of students when they saw the groundsman had marked out the running and hurdle tracks was overwhelming. All students would be out there at recess and lunch practising with friends. Does this still happen?
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Saturday, 22 August 2015

Garden of the Purple Dragon

Title: Garden of the Purple Dragon
Author: Carole Wilkinson
ISBN: 174203246X

Classification: Fiction with historical elements
Themes: China, history, dragons, friendship
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Sunday, 16 August 2015

About Me Displays

As America is set to head back to school at the end of the month most Australian schools are halfway through term 3 (already!) I thought I would share a new Japanese resource I used this year.

I personally chose to use it at the start of the year. It gave me a good indication of where the students were individually - were they still writing in full Hiragana, some Kanji, did they know any Katakana? On reflection though this makes for a good resource to use to assess knowledge towards the end of a term.

I have marked this About Me bunting for grades 4-7 but it will wholly depend on the level of Japanese your students are at. For instance, some schools begin second languages from Foundation level while others don't begin until grade 3.
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Saturday, 15 August 2015

I Was Only Nineteen: Song Review

Redgum on Tungun Beach, QLD
Photo by Michael Brown
Song: I Was Only Nineteen (A Walk in the Green Light)
Artist: Redgum
Year: 1983
Nationality: Australian

Classification:
Realism
Theme: war, perspective, consequences, realisation, protest

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Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Name Jar

Title: The Name Jar
Author: Yangsook Choi
ISBN: 9780440417996

Classification: Fiction
Themes: cultural differences, identity, friendship
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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

A Banquet

7 Wonders clipart (c) Phillip Martin
I have blogged before about my love of ancient civilisations. I love history and love to teach about it.

While digging through an old file (as I slow organise and burn them to CD) I came across some photos from a few years ago.

I taught in this particular composite 6/7 class for one term. They were a fairly sheltered bunch in the sense they attended a very small school and had limited exposure to different teachers - including teaching technique, style and expectations. I never apologise for the fact I have high expectations of students - how else will they challenge themselves?
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Saturday, 1 August 2015

Book Week 2015 Is Almost Here!




Books graphic
(c) MyCuteGraphics
Yes, it is already AUGUST!

Can you believe how quickly it has come? Me neither, but Book Week is just a couple of weeks away!

This year the week is from Saturday, 22nd August until Friday, 28th August. What makes this year special is that The Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) is celebrating 70 years! I know I always looked forward to Book Week when I was in school and while I haven't seen the library transformations like when I was a kid I am sure there are librarians and library assistants working hard to ensure they create an super-engaging environment for the students!

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