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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Y6- Secondary Lego Unplugged Coding and Data Activity

Earlier this year, I attended a conference, we were seated in rows and certain rows were asked to turn around and introduce themselves  to the person sitting behind them, alternate rows didn’t turn around.  My first reaction was, ‘Oh no’, I am an introvert and these types of activities are normally well out of my comfort zone. Taking a deep breath I did so, then we were told that we […]

Opening a can of worms for Secondary Teachers: Safe online use, whose responsibility is it?

The safe and responsible use of information and communication technology is easier for primary schools than secondary schools. Why? Simply because for the majority of primary schools, students have the same teacher for each subject, therefore it is often covered as part of the health and or technology program by the class teacher. However,  in secondary schools, students have different teachers for different subjects. So, whose responsibility is it 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 […]