Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Music: Sing a song

This year for Harmony Day our whole school will be singing 'Sing a Song' by The Carpenters. It's a special day at our school where we come together to celebrate diversity and acceptance.

Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Music: How to read music

This term I am taking a recorder group and I will be teaching my students how to read music! Here is a fun video explaining the staff and where the notes sit:

An interactive fingering chart is located here.

This interactive website may also assist students to learn their notes and advance in recorder!

Metronome by

Other online metronomes are available here and here.

COGS: Understanding each other

A good summary of religions of the world can be found here.

This website is more appropriate for children to explore themselves.

This website categorizes religions of the world quite neatly.

Some free powerpoints can be found here, although some of the links no longer work.

This looks like an interesting book, especially for children. A full reading list can be found here.

This PBS website on world religions has a number of excellent links, mainly for older students but would make excellent background reading for teachers.

I'd love to buy these posters for my room, but they are a little expensive!

Maths: 2 Times Table

This week we are focusing on learning the 2 Times Table.

There is no real secret or fresh approach to learning times tables, it remains that much of it is embedded through repeated exposure to the number patterns and practice in using them!
So yes, reciting tables as a class and then to each other remains an important part of learning times tables.

A great introduction to the concept of multiplication:

Some tips:
- Buy a times tables poster and stick it to the back of your toilet door!
- Free printable online poster here.
- Ask your child to recite times tables while doing a repetitive activity such as brushing their hair or driving in the car.
- Make a chart and time them, congratulate them on their improving fluency and success. is an awesome resource and includes online games, tips for teachers and tests for students!

A good online 'test' can be practised here.

A whole range of online times table games are available here, where you can select which times table you would like to practice.

Now, let's get on and practice!

Maths: Boys or Girls?

Who do you think is better at Maths, boys or girls?

This recent article in the New York Times offers some interesting insight into the impact of discussing mathematics with boys and girls.

Interesting reading!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Analog Clock

I have been encouraging my students to read analog time, and also to wear a watch to school! Our classroom clock is currently broken, so here is a clock with the local time to use in class:


You can watch a great overview of telling the time on youtube. Just be ready to pause it when the moment comes along for activities!

This website is dedicated entirely to learning the time!

An online game where the student has to set the clock to the analog time is available here.

Match the analog time to the digital time - very handy for Primary School students!

Of course BBC Skillswise has a great online time resource - even for adults planning on joining the armed forces!

Some printable worksheets are available for all levels here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Learn to Type

It's amazing to consider that my current class of year 3s will (most probably) be completing their HSC on computer!

So hand in hand with handwriting comes typing. I think it's important to note that students must first learn to type, and typing games can then compliment and develop these skills. Like with handwriting, we all eventually develop our own style with how to approach typing.

BBC Dancemat Typing is excellent, however it requires sound. This is not always appropriate for a classroom!

This online learning games for kids website has a good series of leveled typing lessons for kids.

keybr is an excellent tool for learning to type full words, and also demonstrates finger placement on the keyboard, a helpful reminder for everybody, adults included.

I think we all agree learning to type is vital, I hope these websites help.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

English: Persuasive Writing Rubric

Persuasive Writing Sample Marking Sheet Naplan

In 2011 I participated in ACER's NAPLAN Writing course to gain marking certification. Upon completing the course, I developed this marking rubric to assist me when approaching student writing samples.

I forgot I had it, until half an hour ago! This is a good place to keep it and share with other Teachers around the place.

Good luck with NAPLAN 2012 everyone!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The World Drum

Our school had a very special visit today from 'The World Drum Project.'

We learned about the purpose of The World Drum and its special journey around the world, promoting World peace and harmony.

We all took part in some clapping games and enjoyed hearing a demonstration. It was amazing to think about the drum's journey all around our globe and all of the famous hands that have played it!

Quote from the participant Oglala-Lakota John Two-Hawks:

“…And so, as the World Drum continues its global journey, may we all come to understand that the heartbeat of this humble drum beats inside all of us. The World Drum really is you and I. Let us all listen to that heartbeat of connection, peace and mending. After all, Mother Earth, all her children, and the seventh generation are hanging in the balance...."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Maths: Tangrams

Today as a mathematics extension we looked at tangrams.

Tangrams are a great thing to incorporate into the mathematics classroom because they are fun, interesting, and meaningful. Tangrams "help students develop mathematical concepts of fractions, spatial awareness, geometry, area, and perimeter" (Rigdon, D., et al., 2000, p. 304.305). Because tangrams involve physical manipulatives as well as virtual manipulatives (online tangram activities), this caters to a variety of learning styles. Students who may learn better with manipulatives or through the use of computers will find tangrams to be an experience in mathematics that they might not otherwise have.

A useful printable tangram pattern can be downloaded and printed here.

A printable tangram worksheet compliments the more creative use of a tangram set.

Lots of patterns to try out can be found at this website.

A great online tangram game can be found here.

Hours of fun!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Music: Helplessness Blues

I love 'Helplessness Blues' by Fleet Foxes.
It's a performance year so I guess I'm trying to stockpile some music I'm interested in sharing with my class in case I have an opportunity to contribute to the performance.


I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking, I'd say I'd rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me

But I don't, I don't know what that will be
I'll get back to you someday soon you will see

What's my name, what's my station, oh, just tell me what I should do
I don't need to be kind to the armies of night that would do such injustice to you
Or bow down and be grateful and say "sure, take all that you see"
To the men who move only in dimly-lit halls and determine my future for me

And I don't, I don't know who to believe
I'll get back to you someday soon you will see

If I know only one thing, it's that everything that I see
Of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak
Yeah I'm tongue-tied and dizzy and I can't keep it to myself
What good is it to sing helplessness blues, why should I wait for anyone else?

And I know, I know you will keep me on the shelf
I'll come back to you someday soon myself

If I had an orchard, I'd work till I'm raw
If I had an orchard, I'd work till I'm sore
And you would wait tables and soon run the store

Gold hair in the sunlight, my light in the dawn
If I had an orchard, I'd work till I'm sore
If I had an orchard, I'd work till I'm sore
Someday I'll be like the man on the screen

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Program: Revolution in the Classroom

(Not my school, this is Knox Grammar, as discussed in the program)

It's no secret that I love staying up to date with current research and thoughts about how to improve our education system (although, this blog is not intended to be a political tool in any way).

On Monday 6th of February ABC Four Corners presented a program titled 'Revolution in the Classroom' and I believe it is essential viewing for anybody interested in the future of the Australian Education System.

Of course I did not agree with absolutely everything said on the program, but I think it's definitely a good conversation starter!

You can watch the entire program or read the transcript here.

Games: BBC Bitesize

I'd like to thank our school's ESL teacher who recently referred me to these great online games. BBC Bitesize has online educational games available to kids of all ages.

It seems my year 3s love 'Questionaut' and it will certainly be getting a run in my classroom, at the very least during wet lunchtimes. There are also English, Maths and Science specific activities (Spelling, Angles, Story Planning are just a few) available and they are certainly of an acceptable quality for use in an education setting. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Science: Week 3

Here is my attempt at making this Term's Science program easy to 'read in a rush' (i.e. on the day you have to deliver a lesson), and also a summary of what equipment is needed, and when. Guess what? It's a lot to try and pull together!

Scribd Melting Moments - Chemical Sciences Program

Melting Moments - What Resources When

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


NSW Handwriting GOLD! I believe this document is from 1983 (the very year I was in Kindergarten!) but it still holds its own today. BELIEVE!


Maths: Week 2

Well the 2012 school year has started and today I was introduced to my class, 3R! We are waiting on our textbooks so we have to get a bit creative with some of our lessons until then.

This week in maths we will be looking at 'place value' and 'counting to 9999.'

BBC Skillswise has a good introductory 1minute video on why place value is important, although it may need further explaining.

A good presentation (with activities and printable worksheets at the end) to test existing knowledge on place value.
Place Value

I just learned about 'Rockin' the Standards' and it's pretty exciting! Maybe we will have time to learn 'place value rap!'

You can download lyrics and buy music here.

A very funny song teaching place value (ones, tens, one hundreds):

A great printable resource on place value for Maths groups (coming right up, I'm sure!):
Place Value

And even some printable pposters for your classroom!

Place Value Posters

Some printable and IWB resources on place value:

The 'Caterpillar Slider' game gives students a chance to order numbers, and the Teacher can preset how large (or small) the numbers are.

'Place value cars' will also assist those that need a little help getting to 100.

A number of free printable Math worksheets on these topics are also available here.

The lyrics to the 'Place Value Rap:'

Music by Ben Jacobs, Lyrics by Tim Bedley

The digits, the digits, they each have a name
Memorize ‘em, Understand ‘em is the game
We start at the decimal, to the left we move
Each place is 10 times bigger, multiply ‘em and we prove

The digits, the digits, they fit in so tight
Greater to the left and lesser to the right
Starting at the decimal, sandwiched in between
Zeroes hold the empty places, haven’t you seen?

The digits, the digits, each one means a lot
You can’t leave ‘em out of the place value spot
Reading big numbers each comma’s a word
“Thousand, Million, Billion,” commas, haven’t you heard? Word!

Ones, Tens, Hundreds, Comma
Thousands, Ten Thousands, Hundred Thousands, Comma
Millions, Ten Millions, Hundred Millions, Comma
Billions, Ten Billions, Hundred Billions, Comma

Let’s take it to the right of the decimal point
We’ve got tenths, hundredths, thousandths, ten thousandths
Smaller than a 1 with a T H