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 […]

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 […]

War on waste!

Australia is ranked 5th highest for generating the most municipal waste in the world. So what can we do about it? ‘War on Waste‘ , a three part ABC documentary, hosted by Craig Reucassel was produced to see if we, as a nation, can all do a little better.  In episode one, Craig explores how much waste we produce as a nation and what we can do about it. He […]

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 […]

The Design Process: Student example and assessment rubric

Part of the Design Technologies curriculum for primary students is very similar to that of the SACSA (South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability)  Framework, for those who can remember using this, in that it generally has a ‘design, make and appraise’ approach with the addition of ‘critically examine’ before the design process. I’ve created a list of design steps and an assessment rubric which can be modified easily to cater […]

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 […]