23 Sep 2014

Dance to wake your brain up!

Another favourite of the class, great for a quick brain break...thanks to my awesome 2014 side-kick via her blog The Curious Case of the Beginning Teacher...

22 Sep 2014

Text model - Janet Frame excerpt

Our text model today, to help us see how a writer has used adjectives to help add detail to a short description of a treasured memory...from 'To the Is-land' by NZ writer Janet Frame (made even more real for the pupils as Glenham is one of our neighbours!)...

My memory is once again of the colours and spaces and natural features of the outside world.
On our first week in our Glenham house on the hill, I discovered a place, my place.
Exploring by myself, I found a secret place among old, fallen trees by a tiny creek, with a moss-covered log to sit on while the new-leaved branches of the silver birch tree formed a roof shutting out the sky except for the patterned holes of sunlight. The ground was covered with masses of old, used leaves, squelchy, slippery, wet.

I sat on the log and looked around myself. I was overcome by a delicious feeling of discovery, of gratitude, of possession. I knew that this place was entirely mine; mine the moss, the creek, the log, the secrecy.

An absolute favourite prompt - Frosty Man and the BMX Kid

This video, promoting the beauty of New Zealand's scenery (and the have-fun nature of the general Kiwi population), is a favourite prompt of mine - it lends itself to all manner of writing ideas...

today we are using it as we plan our own movies for possible entry in the Great Southern Media Mash 5-day Movie Challenge; the pupils needed to see how a message can be shared via the medium of a made up story...

21 Sep 2014


I like this idea for extension of silent reading time - a directed pair activity that involves comprehension skills, fluency and oral language and cooperative skills - and it just takes ten minutes extra above the silent reading time!

From the awesome Jen at http://www.rundesroom.com/2014/09/pair-share-daily-language-activity.html

There are also links to another 100 great tips from other awesome teaching blogs...

Sparking the Home-School-Pupil partnership - some great ideas!

I love the ideas in this post by Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching - I especially like the mints bags - I might use it for our end of year goal reviews and then use quite a few of these for our goal-setting at the start of next year!

Head Over Heels For Teaching: Spark Student Motivation: Open House: What a busy week! We had Open House this week and it's fun, but exhausting! I want to share some Open House ideas that get mystudents, parents, and me excited! :)
If we get everyone excited, you'll have a great turnout! I had 21/21 parents come this year!
Even if you've already had your Open House, maybe you can use it for next year.

18 Sep 2014

NZ Audio Books online

Just discovered this awesome Radio New Zealand  website that has free online audio books, by New Zealand authors, for children: the STORY TIME TREASURE CHEST!

7 Sep 2014

3 Sep 2014

From a pupil...

Discussing our dads in preparation for Fathers' Day and planning for writing a description...

                                    "My dad is awesome because of all his personalities!" (age 10)


2 Sep 2014

THINK before you speak

I have had this poster on my quotes Pinterest board for a while - this time of year (nearing the end of the third term, senior pupils starting to think/worry/get excited about heading to college) is a good time to bring it out for the classroom - even though we have a great team culture in the classroom, the pupils have had three terms together and, as they are so familiar with each other and it is easy to get 'ratty' with those we know so well, we just need a little reminder right now that kind words always have more effect than unkind words...

The Teach Junkie blog has these posters available for free download...

Shannon's version

and Leslie's version