Enquiring Minds: Bridges to higher education

Enquiring Minds is a website aiming to equip students, their families, school staff and community groups with tools and information so school leavers and others can make informed decisions about their future. “Enquiring Mind series is produced for primary school students and encourages students to develop their interests and hobbies into careers through university study. The television series and website has been developed by the Bridges to Higher Education Participation and […]

World Solar Challenge: Free STEM resources for secondary teachers

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC) begins on the 8th of October. The event has been going since 1987. Every two years, “teams from leading international universities and technical institutes, together with private entrepreneurs and even high schools, come together “Down Under” to test and promote the ultimate synergy of nature, motion and innovation” (source). Why in Australia? Well there are two very obvious things we have, sunlight, and a […]

Street Art: A unit of work I taught

The Australian Curriculum content descriptor (learning outcome) I needed to teach this term was for students to develop and apply techniques and processes when making their artworks. I’ve always had a passion for street art so I began to think, how might I incorporate this into a unit of work? For my student’s final assessment, I wanted students to design and paint a piece of street art which had a […]

Fire Boy and Water Girl: Free strategy game

Fire Boy and Water Girl is a fun game for two players or one player. Players need to help  Fire Boy and Water Girl find an exit through multiple puzzling levels. Fire Boy must avoid the water and Water Girl must avoid the hot lava.  Players will need to think ahead and plan their way through each puzzling room in order to get them both safely to the exit. Reading […]

Minecraft Design: Real Life Application

In 2015, Linden Park Primary students won the Craft Your Perfect National Park Minecraft competition and it has finally been built! Craft Your Perfect National Park, was part of the community engagement project for the South Australian State Government’s election commitment to spend $10.4 million on infrastructure upgrades, to encourage people to visit metropolitan parks.  Students were invited to design a national park using Minecraft. You can view the Linden Park student’s winner entry […]

STEM Challenges for Reception (K) to Year 6

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.  Why integrate subjects? Well I think, integration is needed in order to guide students’ way of thinking about our our current and future environmental and social issues. We need to reach beyond the idea of students […]

Scratch Junior: Lesson plans for Reception(K) to Year 2

Scratch Junior  is a developmentally appropriate programming language for children ages five through seven. It is available through the App Store and Google Play for free. Furthermore, if you don’t have an iPad or Android based tablet, you can emulate a full Android OS for mobile applications using the Andy Android Emulator for PC and Mac. It’s a fully functional, independent Android operating system that runs as an application in Windows or […]

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 […]