Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nude Food Day

Launching in 2012, our school will be having 'Nude Food Tuesdays.' This means that our school will be minimising all food packaging to raise awareness about waste, and also create habits in our children that assist them in considering the environment.

I admit I worried about the whole concept myself, as I love a bit of fancy packaging! But then I realise that I do infact, adhere to the principles of nude food by washing up and reusing my food containers, and try my best to avoid processed, pre-packaged food while at work. Not so frightening after all!

But here are some great ideas to assist those that find the 'Nude Food' concept a bit challenging.

Our school is registered, so we have access to a lot of great resources and lesson plans here.

Kool Kitchen offers some fantastic resusable packaging alternatives for school snacks and lunches. Many items also offer free shipping! Nude Food Movers focus more on the resusable plastic side of things, and have an online store as well. Or there you can always search etsy, which would also mean that you are helping out a craftsperson or artist in your quest for packaging-free food!

Banana Saver

Reusable Sandwich Bag

Reusable food Wrapper (I never knew these existed!)

Reusable Lunch Bag - Organic and Insulated

Apple Saver

Friday, January 27, 2012

Teacher discount - Eckersleys

Did you know Eckersley's Art and Craft offer teachers a 10% discount on all stock?

You just have to ask when you visit a store, they will sign you up and give you a yellow card.

You can shop online or visit a store (nearest ones for me are Sydney City and Westfield Bondi Junction).

Science - Primary Connections

This year our school is re-launching their Science Program by linking to the 'Primary Connections' education program.

The program is an innovative approach to teaching and learning which aims to enhance primary school teachers’ confidence and competence for teaching science. Importantly, it also aligns itself with the new Australian National Curriculum.

A partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, PrimaryConnections focuses on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in both science and literacy.

The PrimaryConnections 5Es teaching and learning model is based on the theory that students learn best when they are allowed to work out explanations for themselves over time through a variety of learning experiences structured by the teacher. Students use their prior knowledge to make sense of these experiences and then make connections between new information and their prior knowledge. To help students make the connections between what they already know and new information, each PrimaryConnections unit uses five phases:

Each unit begins with a lesson that mentally engages students with an activity or question. It captures their interest, provides an opportunity for them to express what they know about the concept or skill being developed, and helps them to make connections between what they know and the new ideas.

Students carry out hands-on activities in which they can explore the concept or skill. They grapple with the problem or phenomenon and describe it in their own words. This phase allows students to acquire a common set of experiences that they can use to help each other make sense of the new concept or skill.

Only after students have explored the concept or skill does the teacher provide the concepts and terms used by the students to develop explanations for the phenomenon they have experienced. The significant aspect of this phase is that explanation follows experience.

This phase provides opportunities for students to apply what they have learned to new situations and so develop a deeper understanding of the concept or greater use of the skill. It is important for students to discuss and compare their ideas with each other during this phase.

The final phase provides an opportunity for students to review and reflect on their own learning and new understanding and skills. It is also when students provide evidence for changes to their understanding, beliefs and skills.

In Year 3, we will be looking at the following units of work:
- Biological Sciences: Feathers, fur or leaves?
- Chemical Sciences: Melting moments
- Earth and Space Science: Spinning in space
- Physical Science: Heating up

Year 4 will be undertaking these units of work:
- Biological Sciences: Plants in action
- Chemical Sciences: Material world
- Earth and Space Science: Beneath our feet
- Physical Science: Smooth moves

You can visit the Primary Connections curriculum page here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Music: The Colour of the Earth

I know it's early days but here is a song I really would like to teach my class for an assembly item - especially in time for ANZAC DAY.

You know, we might just have enough time to learn it!


Louis was my dearest friend
Fighting in the ANZAC trench
Louis ran forward from the line
I never saw him again
Later in the dark
I thought I heard Louis' voice
Calling for his mother, then me
But I couldn't get to him
He's still up on that hill
20 years on that hill
Nothing more than a pile of bones
But I think of him still
If I was asked I'd tell
The colour of the earth that day
It was dull and browny red
The colour of blood, I'd say

Digital Citizenship

I'm pretty excited to about presenting our school's updated Anti-bullying Policy to staff on our first day back for 2012.

Digital citizenship will play a big part in reducing the incidence of cyberbullying, and the NSW Government has developed this website including games and information to help students learn about cyber safety.

The NSW Government also provided a list of links - I have typed them up with the full web addresses.
Links by Stage

Websites like Bullying. No Way! have some fantastic resources, information for parents and classroom ideas. Thinkuknow has been developed by the Australian Federal Police and is an excellent resource, especially for parents and those who are not so up to date with the world of technology. They also have a website dedicated to young people, aged 11-17 years old.

Support can be found at Youth Beyond Blue and Reach Out Australia.

How to Line Up!

A big challenge is teaching students to line up properly to move between classes. Let's face it, in some cases the success of class (and their Teacher!) is judged on how the class is seen behaving around the school.

So, lining up and moving around the school is a big part of how your class (and you!) can be perceived by others.

A new year and a new class is a good opportunity for me to refresh myself of a few tricks of the trade.

This article offers information on appropriate 'line up' behaviour and also has a few games to play.

Some great line up game ideas can be found here.

A number of educational suppliers, particularly in the USA, offer 'walking ropes' as shown above. Depending on how my new class is, I might buy or make one to use for those exciting moments where we can't seem to stay together.

I also found a lesson plan on teaching children to line up properly.

Lining Up Lesson

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Making Class Rules

When it comes to setting rules in the classroom, in some ways the old adage "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst" rings true.

Starting the school year on the right foot includes establishing classroom rules that will last the whole year through. Many teachers involve students in establishing their classroom rules.

Most experienced educators say the key to creating classroom rules is to keep those rules few and simple -- and to establish up front the consequences if the rules are broken, and also provide rewards for a good job well done!

An academic really sets out how simple it needs to be here - remember, simple is good when it comes to setting classroom rules!

The wisdom of posting classroom rules that are short and sweet is further discussed in this article.

Here is an example on a Teacher's blog page of her class rules, along with rewards for excellent behaviour in her classroom.

Finally, if you are teaching more mature students, here are ten activities for involving students in creating classroom rules.

The Joy of Books

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stage 2 Outcomes

To compliment my previous post, a full list and description of NSW Stage 2 Outcomes. Excellent to have on hand from planning right through to reporting.

Stage 2 Outcomes

Stage 2 Foundation Statements

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start...

Foundation Statements across all KLAS for NSW Stage 2.

Foundation Statements