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 doing 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Grok Learning: Coding beyond Scratch?

Grok Learning is an online interactive platform which offers coding modules in various programming languages (ie Blockly, Python, SQL and HTML/CSS) for students in year 3 to secondary. Each Grok module guides students to develop computational thinking skills, using a step by step walk through approach for each problem. It isn’t free, but there are a range of different payment options available. However, all content is free for teachers (and pre-service […]

Virtual Manipulatives: Interactive whiteboard/TV resources for primary teachers

Virtual Manipulatives is a free interactive website which offers a range of resources for primary teachers. Teachers can select a grade, from Reception to Year 4, then choose a range of backgrounds and manipulatives. I love the bear counters for Reception. When you place them on the boat they actually sit down!  And the MAB blocks,  you can split them and then put them back together. Awesome resources.

Free Resources For Teaching Puberty

Many years ago, I was approached by U-Kotex to create Smart Notebook resources for teachers, which were also converted into Power Point resources. OMG. RSI city! I recall working on the documents after school and on weekends, trying to meet deadlines. I used a wrist braise to support my hand when working on my computer but I made it in the end 😂. Did I earn much money, no not […]

Free Early Years Literacy Resources

Literacy Solutions is a company which offers professional support for educators through workshops, consulting, online courses and resources. You can visit their resource page for free, downloadable resources. Resources include black line masters for reading activities, deskmats, charts and prompt cards.