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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Strategies for teaching public speaking skills

Speaking in public to an audience can be challenging, not only for students but adults alike. I remember giving my first lecture at university. As an invited speaker, I found myself standing at the front of the lecture theatre, the same lecture theatre which I attended as a university student for my very first lecture. I had a microphone pinned to my shirt and my presentation was displayed behind me. […]

How to write a Design Technologies assessment rubric

A rubric for assessment, usually in the form of a matrix or grid, is a tool used to interpret and grade students’ work against criteria and standards. With the Australian curriculum, we have the Achievement Standard and the Content Descriptors which provide teachers with the criteria and standards of which to assess. So where do you begin? I like to begin with my student learning outcome and work my way backwards. That is, […]

Strategies for teaching history and using Microsoft Class One Note

This term I had to teach an inquiry unit on colonisation and the gold rushes during  1800’s for Year 5.  Throughout the unit I used a range of different teaching strategies. I have kept the teaching strategies in this blog  broad, so that you can apply them to a range of different history topics and for different year levels. Flat Chat This task is great to determine what students already […]

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 […]