How to write a Design Technologies assessment rubric

A rubric for assessment, usually in the form of a matrix or grid, is a tool used to interpret and grade students’ work against criteria and standards. With the Australian curriculum, we have the Achievement Standard and the Content Descriptors which provide teachers with the criteria and standards of which to assess. So where do you begin? I like to begin with my student learning outcome and work my way backwards. That is, […]

Strategies for teaching history and using Microsoft Class One Note

This term I had to teach an inquiry unit on colonisation and the gold rushes during  1800’s for Year 5.  Throughout the unit I used a range of different teaching strategies. I have kept the teaching strategies in this blog  broad, so that you can apply them to a range of different history topics and for different year levels. Flat Chat This task is great to determine what students already […]

Primary English: Teaching explanation texts

There are always particular genres which primary teachers love to teach and those which they don’t. I love teaching narrative, poetry and persuasive texts, but until recently, I never really liked teaching explanation texts. I’ve just finished teaching a unit on explanation texts  and I loved it. I came up with a new strategy which worked really well, and the texts my students produced were really good. After deconstructing  various […]

Strategies to get kids to start thinking

There are 3 main points to this blog post: (1) Failure is OK, (2) Think outside the square and (3) Persist. These are then followed by some practical teaching ideas. We need to teach our students how to think and this can be achieved. One of the first concepts I think teachers need to teach students is that failure is OK. They need to understand that failure is part of […]

Hello Ruby: Adventures in computational thinking

“The kids of today, they tap, swipe and pinch their way through the world, but unless we give them tools to build with computers we are raising consumers, not creators” (Linda Liukas, TED Talk). I’ve recently purchased a great little picture book for my school,  called ‘Hello Ruby’ by Linda Liukas. The book was  not written to teach coding as it doesn’t teach specific programming languages. It was written to […]

STEM through literacy for Junior Primary Teachers

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM),  is based on the philosophy of teaching the four disciplines using an integrated approach, a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications, rather than as separate discrete subjects.  Many junior primary teachers are already teaching this as subject integration underlines their daily teaching. So what do they need to do, to be considered teaching STEM? First of all, I don’t think they need to […]

STEM: ABC Splash Resources

ABC Splash has a wide range of STEM resources. You can search via year level, Reception to Year 10, or you can search via topic. The STEM topic categories include: coding, robotics, nanotechnology, design solutions, engineering, construction, Makerspaces, careers and STEM news. Types of resources include videos, discussions, Digibooks, teacher ideas, games, articles, audio and links. The videos are great as most of them have suggestions of things to think […]

TGM- Team Girls Movement, promoting girls in technology roles

TGM is a non-profit organisation promoting positive female information technology role models, to encourage and raise awareness of technology careers options for girls. This organisation was founded Jenine Beekhuyzen. I saw Jenine deliver a key note at the EdTech SA conference and witnessed how committed and enthusiastic she is about the program. The program is based on an inspiring book which shows different personalities of women who work in the […]

Common flowchart symbols: Unplugged algorithm activities

A flowchart is a diagram which represents a set of instructions, it shows the step by step solution to the problem. They normally use standard symbols to represent different types of instructions. Our dear Sheldon, for those who are Big Bang enthusiasts, will recall Sheldon’s  Friendship Algorithm below. So what are the common symbols? “Start and end symbols, represented as lozenges, ovals or rounded rectangles, usually containing the word “Start” or “End”, or […]

EdTech SA JVillis Digital Technologies R-Y6 Resources Presentation

I am presenting today and tomorrow at the EdTechSA conference. Below is a copy of my presentation (before slight edits were made last night) and underneath the presentation, you can download a copy of my Australian Curriculum Reception to Year 6 Digital Technologies Scope and Sequence. Sharing is caring, but I do ask that you do not upload my resource to any other website, of course you can link to […]