Ideas for teaching length

There are many different activities for teaching length. In this blog, I’m sharing a few tasks which not only work, but students actually enjoy. Broken Ruler: Andrea wanted to measure the length of the leaf she had collected for Science. All she could find was a broken ruler. She lined up the ruler and the leaf as shown below. a) Can you say how long the leaf is using the broken […]

Motivating students to want to learn

Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like. Firstly, treat your students the same as you’d like to be treated. Each year, on the first day I tell my students that I am not going to clap , whistle, put my hand up, ring a bell or chant to get their attention because if someone did that to me, I wouldn’t like it. I let them know that there is one […]

Is homework meaningful?

Homework is a topic which generally doesn’t receive much discussion in schools. Of course, there are policies about how much homework students should complete each week (which teachers should be aware of), but little discussion occurs amongst colleagues about what homework is being set. It took me several years to get year level text books off my student’s class book list because teachers commented, “We’ve always had a text book, […]

Australian bush fire unit using Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook

This term I had to teach a unit on Australian bush fires as part of the Year 5 curriculum. The content descriptor is: The impact of bush fires or floods on environments and communities, and how people can respond (ACHASSK114) . Previously I have taught this unit with the help of a Microsoft SharePoint page which I created for the unit. I use SharePoint as it is our whole school’s learning […]

Unplugged coding: Sandwich algorithm

Unplugged coding lessons, allow you to teach the fundamentals of computer science without a computer. This style of  coding lessons were very popular about 3-4 years ago when the term ‘coding’ became the hot topic in education, and many schools had limited access to devices. However, as schools acquired greater access to devices,  I found that teachers weren’t letting go of the unplugged activities. I recall being on yard duty two […]

Getting the most out of Microsoft SharePoint for school teachers

Microsoft SharePoint is a browser based collaboration and document management platform from Microsoft. My school has Office 365 and SharePoint is part of the package. In simplest terms, it is the equivalent of have a class blog whether it be a Weebly site, Edublog or any other platform, with the advantage that it has a Windows interface (ie just like editing a word document) and the data can be hosted […]

Teaching Europe for Geography in the Primary years?

For geography, I needed teach the influence of people on the environmental characteristics of places in Europe and the location of their major countries in relation to Australia (ACHASSK111) . There are basically two components to this content descriptor: (1) The influence of people on the environment in Europe, and (2) The location of the major countries. For the first content descriptor, I was aware that students love to learn about […]

Teaching game design using Scratch

I’ve just finished teaching a unit on coding and game design using Scratch. My students are in Year 5, 10-11 years of age and below is a video showing examples of some of the games they coded and designed. Below I have explained how my students achieved this. To begin with, I asked students to download Scratch so that we could work with the off line version. I did this […]

Use MineCraft Ski Resort to Teach Maths and English

Minecraft  Ski Resort 3.0, a build from Minimumwageminecraft, allows students to ride chairlifts, gondolas and pomas, ski over 65 runs, play min-games to earn money and upgrade ski boots to ski faster. So what does it look like? Check this out: There are many ways you can use this world in your classroom. Here are a few ideas: Mathematics: Students work in small groups to create a map of a section […]