23 Nov 2016

What Neuroscience Tells Us About Making Fractions Stick

From the awesome MindShift blog, written by Katrina Schwartz:


17 Nov 2016

Christmas Stars as a maths activity

Thank you to Facebook user Art Teacher Life for sharing this video!

Uses paper bags - could be a great collaborative group task - think about colour and design, pattern and symmetry...

10 Nov 2016

Problem-based Learning - 'real life' in the classroom

Very cool programme - I'm thinking about how I might be able to do the same to make my maths programme more 'real' and more effectively teach skills alongside strategies and knowledge.


4 Nov 2016

From Didactic Pedagogy to New Learning

From the website http://newlearningonline.com/  - lots of information and ideas about modern teaching/learning practices - based on the book by Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope:  New Learning: Elements of a Science of Education, Cambridge University Press, second edition, 2012.

27 Oct 2016

Wildlife Photo Awards

Some great nature photos can be found here - use them as oral language or writing starters!


This one, by Tim Laman, is my favourite!

16 Oct 2016

Making OTJs

With Term Four being a crucial term for assessment and reporting at all levels of the school, here are a few links to some NZ MoE information on reporting from the TKI Assessment Online site:

(sometimes it’s easy to get confused, so important to make sure we hear/read/understand clearly…)

6 Jul 2016

Kahoot! quiz site

Our modern learners love to collaborate and make use of digital tools.

Kahoot! is a website that provides interactive, online quizzes for all age-groups, on almost any topic you can think of.

Quizzes can be played on any internet capable device (tablet, laptop, smartphone) - you just need to commit one screen to display the questions with the students (as individuals or teams) using their own devices to select answers.

WARNING! Classroom noise levels will increase tenfold while a quiz is being played. Students can also create their own Kahoot! quizzes to share info and test their classmates - it is easy to do and a great exercise in literacy and technological skills (selecting relevant information, forming questions and multi-choice answers, creating/finding suitable images, working with others etc).

Contact me if you’d like to view the quizzes my students have created (my class has a private Under 16 yrs account which means other users have to receive an invite to be able to play the quizzes, and also means that my students can only access quizzes that have been approved by Kahoot for under 16s ).

Teachers as rookies, not experts


4 Jul 2016

Our NZC - innovative in education

Dr. Julia Atkin: Expressing the essence of the NZ Curriculum from EDtalks on Vimeo.


Linking pedagogy and_space from briace1

From my CORE Education MLP course:
The slideshow above provides an overview of some research work done by Dr. Kenn Fisher of Melbourne University, where he and his team have developed a framework for thinking about designing learning spaces that match pedagogical intent. The PDF version of the document can be found here
You'll note that the focus of the work of Fisher and his team is to focus first on the learning that is intended, and the sorts of spaces most enabling of that. The result is to consider the development of learning spaces that are 'fit for purpose' allowing learners the choice of places within the overall environment in which they can work comfortably and appropriately to complete the task in hand. 

8 May 2016

Fictional writing motivation images

My pupils are keen to write some fictional imaginary stories so I have gathered these images for inspiration...looking to inspire discussion about mystery destinations or adventures that may be occurring or about to occur...

Image source
Image source
Image source
Image source
Image source
Image source
Image source
Image source

Image source
Image source

Image source
Image source
Image source
We will be focusing on (Level 3) selecting main ideas, using written language features such as direct speech as well as using a good range of descriptive language and (Level 4) writing in the third person.

I've got a couple of text models (using excerpts from actual novels or school journal stories - thanks Susan Brocker an Roald Dahl in particular!)

And our reading texts for the next few weeks will of course also be based on fictional texts so we can make reading-writing links and see how authors use those skills in their own writing. I'll link some of the pupils' work once they get underway -hopefully there will be some fantastic pieces of writing to share!

6 Apr 2016

Modern Learning

This is very much how our school is conducting our inquiry programme, which we have called DRIVE (Discover, Reflect and ask questions, Investigate, Vision and create, Evaluate):

30 Mar 2016

CORE MLP116 course assignment

Created by Jo Stanway and I for Module 1 of the Modern Learning Practices post-graduate course that we are completing online with CORE Education.

Module 1 was about Rethinking Learners in the 21st Century... (sorry about the large pictures,not sure how to get Drive to publish it in a smaller format, I suggest you go full screen!)

Carol Dweck - Growth Mindset TED Talk

The Mindset website

Discussion about fixed mindset versus growth mindset - Brainpickings blog

21 Mar 2016

Modern learning - the role of teachers in the 21st Century

This week's video to contemplate, part of my course in the CORE MLP116 - challenging our beliefs about the role of teachers in today's education programmes.

15 Mar 2016

Writing - ongoing pupil reflection

Trialling this with my Year Five and Six pupils, Level 3 writing goals...

DRIVE Term One 2016: In Great Shape!

DRIVE - the Inquiry process at Edendale Primary School:
Discover  Reflect & ask questions  Investigate  Vision and create  Evaluate

Term One 2016: HEALTH 


- What makes me a healthy person? 

* Personal Health and Physical Development is where students develop the knowledge, understanding, skills, and attitudes that they need in order to maintain and enhance their personal well-being and physical development.
* Healthy Communities and Environment is where students contribute to healthy communities and environments by taking responsible and critical action.

* Health and well-being (hauora) is physical, mental and emotional/spiritual.
* My health is my responsibility.
* I can support others as they keep themselves healthy and safe.
* We mature physically and mentally as we get older.
* We all have feelings and emotions that we express in different ways.

* We all have a range of feelings and emotions to describe our experiences in different situations.
* If I don’t take care of myself I will become ill.
* Healthy eating, hygiene, exercise, sleep, relationships, positive thinking, Sunsmart, water safety etc. SMARTS/learning styles, values and principles
* Our bodies and minds change at different rates.


templates for tracking healthy habits
a variety of health/body templates

Food/Eating  - AN APPLE A DAY pupil group resource links blog-post
track your diet for a week - template   and five food groups tracking chart
Healthy eating for kids
expert: Mel McKenzie, Heart Foundation (Linda Harris)

Exercise - WARRANT OF FITNESS pupil group resource links blog-post
tracking your movement minutes chart
expert: Jane Muir

Hygiene - KEEP IT CLEAN pupil group resource links blog-post
healthy hands templates and unit
teeth - experiments to show why we should brush
toothbrushing tracking chart
kidshealth.org - why we need to brush our teeth
expert: Dental Health service educator

The Body - ENGINE PARTS pupil group resource links blog-post
variety of games/activities to print out
skeleton cut out
skeleton labelling sheets
heart health
expert: NZ Heart Foundation (Linda Harris)

The Brain - BRAIN POWER! pupil group resource links blog-post
multiple intelligences pupil survey printable
another printable smarts survey
expert: Maureen Deuchrass, Road Safety Southland

14 Mar 2016

Modern Learning: drivers for change

A thought-provoking video relevant to the Modern Learning Practices course that my colleague and I are currently enrolled in...

Derek Wenmoth: Ubiquity, agency and connectedness from CORE Education Digital Media on Vimeo.

1 Feb 2016

Back into the action for Term One 2016!!

This week's motivational quote for our blogs and our attention grabber and our Notebook Quotebooks...
Image link

I have a purchased copy of this exact poster, which will stay permanently on display on the upper wall with our school motto etc. This week the pupils will write it into their own 'Notebook Quotebooks' and I will also call out the first part of it when I want their attention (and they will show I have their attention by responding with the rest of the sentence.)

Have a great year everyone!