Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Picture Book LInky Party

I'm always up for a good party and I have to say that I think Linky Parties are the best kind... except they don't have cake.  Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle is hosting one that has invited  teacher bloggers to share their favourite picture book for sharing with the kids.  It has been a long time since I was officially teaching the "Kindergarten" age group (here we call it Prep) but with the number of kids my sister keeps producing it seems that someone is always around that age.  You are never too old for picture books in my opinion anyway.

One of my favourites is:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. 

By Judith Viorst

Poor Alexander is having one of those days.  He woke up with gum in his hair and he didn't get a treat in his cereal and the hits just keep on coming.  Actually come to think of it, he's a bit of a whinger.  Alexander takes us along with him to see his Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day.  He decides (a number of times) to move to Timbuktu.  By the end of the day, his Mum explains that sometimes we just have bad days.  I love it, because it reminds me that not everyday is going to be fabulous.  I also love the repetition as Alexander continues to lament the terribleness and horribleness of his day.  Alexander is a kid and he has kid kind of problems; the teacher does not like his drawing, he has to sit in the middle in the car, his big brother is teasing him etc. 

It is a great story just to share, but it can also stimulate some great discussion among our students.  We can ask focus questions like; How would you feel if you were Alexander? What would you do differently to Alexander? How could you change the circumstance? Why do you think Alexander was having a bad day? Have you ever had a bad day like that?  There are plenty of opportunities to talk about conflict resolution, organisation, communication and even feelings.  It is a great book.

Being an Aussie Teacher I am feeling the need to plug some of the great picture books from Aussie Authors.  Stay Tuned... that will be another post. 

Happy Reading

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A light in the darkness...

I missed Thank you Thursday.  Sorry about that.

It is Pentecost Sunday and our church service was a joyful and celebration of the birth of the church. 

A nice little story....

On Thursday morning, I was a bit stressed.  Most of this stress was self inflicted in anticipation of the huge day I had ahead of me.  It was supposed to be at school at 7:45am to get a head start on the day.  During the first lesson of the day I was to teach a year 8 class.  Period 2, I was observing a year 9 HPE class while they began working on their assessment task.  Period 3, I was observing a year 11 Vocational Maths class.  Fourth period I would hopefully have to myself to finish off some planning and hand in paperwork for the next day.  On Friday I took a day of Family Leave and needed to make sure that everything was in hand for my planned absence.  (This shaping up to be a long story) After school I was scheduled to attend a two hour professional development session about behaviour management (which is a story all of it's own).  So, when I walked into my office at 8:15am (yes, I was late) I was feeling more than a bit overwhelmed.  I looked sat in my chair and looked down at my desk to find...

Notes and treats from our school chaplain to the teachers.  So simple. So special. 
What a blessing!! On a day that I was sure was going to be 'difficult' a light was right there on my desk, waiting for me.  I had prayed that morning and asked that the Holy Spirit would carry me through the day.  The BFF was praying for me and (I hear today) the young adults life group was also praying for me. 

Thank you God for Answered Prayer and Chocolate Pudding
:D M

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Harry Potter: Still in School

I think I have made it clear that I follow A LOT of blogs.  I have become addicted to blog reading and I LOVE my Blogger Reading List.  One of my favourites is Reading Buddies.   Damien over at Reading Buddies has put out a call for help.  Being the Harry Potter Fan and Helping Spirit that I am, today I am answering the call.  Damien teaches fifth grade in the US and has a Harry Potter theme in his classroom.  Over the course of the year the class reads the first two Harry Potter books.  Damien wants to change things up a bit and would like some fresh perspectives.  Well here you go Damien...


My "old" teaching partner did Harry Potter (the second book) with learning support students in year 8.  I have included some of the activities she did as well as some of my own ideas. 

Spells and Greek/ Latin Roots

Students identified all the spells in the book listed them.  They then discussed how JK Rowling used latin roots to write the spells.  Then, the teacher gave them more everyday tasks in modern English and her students researched the latin roots and used the information to create their own spells. 
On a side note: there are quite a few Potterheads among the staff at our school and they all have "wands" which they would often bring along when passing the learning support classroom.  Rarely a lesson went by without a teacher's head and wand sneaking into the classroom and casting a spell towards the students.  This would often result in the kids running out the door and a spell casting barrage down the hallway as the visiting teacher would run away and duck behind a bulletin board.  Few believed our non-readers were spouting latin roots like swear words. 

Parseltongue Variations

While we are on the language front... Parseltongue is obviously a snake language.  Listening to Harry speak it (in the film) sounds like a hissing and slithering of the toungue.  I wonder what the language of other animals sounds like.  Perhaps the students could create a cat language or better yet an owl language using hoots, clicks and squawks.  They could translate it into English.

Spin Off Texts

I am sure you are aware of JK Rowling's other books that have been published to raise funds for Comic Relief.  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemQuidditch Through the Ages and of course The Tales of Beadle the Bard, are all mentioned in the Harry Potter Books and can now be purchased by Potterheads to add to their library.  So, use these books as "reference" material to create a profile of a magical creature, or to create a Quidditch Board Game. 

Reading Space

In my opinion, every classroom should have a reading space with a variety of books from all the genres.  It should be comfortable and inviting.  The reading space in your room could take many forms including; the Gryffindor Common Room, the Flying Blue Ford, the Forbidden Forrest, The girls' bathroom, the Hogwarts' Express.


Obviously the students have to have a diary.  If only it could talk back to them.

Hogwart's Crest (personal qualities, history, latin, art, symbolism)

Decorate the room with the Hogwart's Crest and group students in the houses.  They could write a letter to the Sorting Hat explaining which house they want to be in and why.  Better yet, divide the class into four groups and get them to create a "house" within your classroom.  Then the class needs to design a crest with a component from each house and a (latin) motto displayed at the bottom. 

Classroom Design/ Theme

Use 'brick' work and 'paintings' to decorate your room at the beginning of the year and gradually replace paintings with student work/ creations.  Brickwork decor stays where it is and work simply attaches over the top.  OR... the brickwork could be the base for a word wall. 
Areas of your room could be specific areas/ places in the Harry Potter World.  For example: where students line up to move around the school becomes Platform 9 3/4.  They travel around the school as The Hogwart's Express.  I have already mentioned the reading space.  Science area/ centre could be the Dungeons where Harry and his friends go to Potions Classes.  Maths space could be a defence against the dark arts classroom or the greenhouse.  Group area is the Great Hall.  I think you get the picture.

Word Wall

My teaching partner, made a large witch's hat (2D) and across the band it said "Wizarding Words" and attached it to the wall.  As the class read the book specific Wizarding Words were added to the hat and the surrounding space on the wall.  This gave the students a ready reference when completing the written task at the end of the unit as well as introducing the idea of sorting words according to meaning. 

Cover Art Designs

Start by covering your walls with various cover designs for each of the Harry Potter books.  There are several different cover designs for each book so it would not be at all difficult to find some.  A simple google image search brought up thousands of pictures of cover art.  While reading the book/s with the students discuss the different cover designs and why each may have been used.  It is interesting to note that some cover art was specifically designed to appeal to adult readers while other designs were aimed at younger readers.  Some fans are determined to own a few sets of the books ensuring that each set has a different cover art series.  When a new cover is designed for one book, the rest of the books in the series are also given a face lift.  While reading the books students could design their own cover and write about the different covers for the book as well. 


I believe in having many "words" around my classroom because if the kids aren't listening to me... which of course they always are... I hope they are reading things around the room.  There are loads of quotes about friendship, self worth, persistence, problem solving, hope, education/ learning etc from Harry Potter Books that you can place around the room (perhaps along the top of the wall) where students can read and reflect on them. 

Examples/ Non-Examples of Good Students

Ron is not the greatest student in anyone's world.  Hermione perhaps goes a little overboard.  You could do character profiles and use Ron as an example of "what not to do" to be a good student.  You could also discuss how Hermione over does it a little and struggles to have a balance between learning and relaxing.  This sometimes makes her irritating to teachers as she is a bit of a know-it-all.  Perhaps this is how she becomes attracted to the boys who are mostly good but seem to find themselves in quite a bit of trouble.  You could also make comparisons between teachers in the book. 

I am sure there are heaps more theme ideas going around the place and I will encourage everyone to get onto Google and Twurdy to find more resources for their classrooms. 

Damien, I hope you have found something here that helps.  Please bear in mind that I don't know what you already do in your room or what is appropriate for your school context.  But I wanted to help so I hope that I did.  I can't wait to see the "changes" in your classroom.  
:) as always

Friday, May 25, 2012

FRIDAY! The day for sharing a favourite

It is the end of the week.  I took a family day and the weather is awful.   Although perfect for cuddling up on the lounge and watching the rain.  What a beautiful sound.  As it's Friday, I thought it was time to share a few more of my favourite websites.  I have created another page for your linking delight.  This one is basically a mix of my other top sites.  By some freak accident they all seem to be related to writing, writing prompts and words.  

Click here to visit.  Otherwise, there is a tab at the top of this page titled "other favourite links"  which will take you there anytime. 

So that is that for another Friday. 


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


NAPLAN is over for another year... well for the moment.  As far as classes are concerned we now start preparing students for next year's testing, but we can relax a little.  All the classes have returned to their regular rooms, catch up tests are completed, forms are filled in and tests have been couriered. 

The excitement of it all has kept me away from the blogoshpere.  Of course the world does not stop for standardised testing so my desk is hidden somewhere underneath a pile of papers and folders and hands on materials.  A colleague sent me a sample pack of maths resources and I haven't even cracked open the box!  The group table has boxes and folders and notebooks all over it.  My poor staffroom buddy has to wade through the debris to get to her own desk.  It seems that once the inundation of my desk reaches a certain point everything starts spilling over into the surrounds of our staffroom.  It is getting quite overwhelming. 

I am at home today... wishing I had the energy to take myself to school and get some tidying up done.  Tomorrow is almost full with teaching and observing classes.  Then, in the divine brilliance of our administration, I am expected to sit through two hours of "behaviour management" professional development.  Usually I don't mind professional development, but I have been to several sessions with the same presenters. I often find that they spurt out a lot of "research" but don't give me many practical strategies for dealing with my little darlings. 

There are two students in one of my classes that are getting high before coming to my class and are on the way down when they get to me.  Then, there is the girl who has nits.  I have been teaching her for over a year now and I don't remember when she hasn't had nits.  There is the other boy who, at the age of fourteen, still doesn't have a grasp of letter- sound relationships.  This is just the beginning of the wonder and excitement that are my class profiles.  So, a lovely young woman comes to my school in her delightful business suit and tells me that students who misbehave usually do so as a result of their life outside of school and we as teachers need to adjust our pedagogy and even our demeanor when dealing with them.  When this happens I sit up the back and go "DER, honey, tell me something I don't know!" 

I am taking some family leave on Friday, although I am now wondering if that is wise.  For my health and the health of my family it is the best course of action.  For my desk and the clean up effort in my staffroom it is unwise.  I know that the mess can wait.  I just want to get it sorted before the Environmental Commission turns up and shuts us down! 

Enjoy the rant... you will hear from me soon. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Poor Mum spent the day in bed with a cold. 

Nan and I had a nice chat on the phone, after which she was going to bake a tea cake for afternoon tea with my uncle (her son).

I'm not sure what my sister did.  Although, I did receive a picture text of the munchkins riding on the bus with Dad in the driver's seat.  He went to work today (he is a bus driver) and it seems that they went to visit. 

I spent the afternoon with my cousins.  We had a marvellous time.  Vegemite sandwiches, orange juice poppas, mueslie bars, corn chips, bananas, cheese and crackers and freddo frogs were just enough to keep the kids fed.  We watched Veggietales, coloured-in pictures, walked to the park, played on the swings and the slide, walked home, made sock puppets and face painted.  Can you think of a better day? I can't. 

Hey, Hagrid Here.  We had a great time today with the kids, but I'm exhausted!  Love you heaps, but SSSSHHHHH

As I was saying, nice day, but it is definitely time for bed.  Hagrid needs to take off his cranky pants and get in his pj's. 

This week is NAPLAN Test Week (three days of standardised tests).  So, I doubt I will be entering the blogosphere until it is over.  I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL IT IS OVER. 

Good Night Vegemite, See you on the other side. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Small and Great Mercies

Today I am thankful for..

  1. The washing fairy that keeps bringing my washing off the line and inside before I get home to do it.  While she is very naughty, I do appreciate her wonderfulness.  (We love the BFF) 
  2. Answered prayer.  I was feeling very unwell on Monday night and really needed some sleep.  I prayed and I prayed and asked God for healing and to settle me, so that I could firstly sleep, and secondly, get up in the morning and go to work.  Feeling unwell is not unusual for me, but I just had this feeling it was heading in a bad direction.  Eventually I got to sleep and got up in the morning.  I had a pretty good day at work too.
  3. I know I said this one last week... but I am really very thankful that I work where I work and do what I do.  Some days are really tough and I deal with some challenging behaviours from my students.  There is a lot of other stuff that makes it hard.  But all in all I love teaching.

"The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."
Psalm 126:3
M :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Readable Results on


Thanks to Mr Byrne at Free Technology 4 Teachers I discovered last night and I am very, very excited.

TWURDY is the best thing on the internet since PINTEREST is a bing powered search engine that colour codes search results according to readability.  This means that a year 5 teacher researching for a social studies topic can quickly see the webpages that are suitable for their students.  No more random clicking for hours on end, searching for sites that your students can read. 

Are you sharing my excitement yet?

Not only does Twurdy help to find suitable resources for the class, but it is also an excellent differentiation tool.  The gifted student (or more able reader) in your class can visit the websites with a higher reading age, while your strugglers can be directed to the easier pages. 

I can see this search engine saving teachers (and students) hours of research time.  I can see it becoming the favourite search engine in education.  It is just too good not to share.  I was so excited about this resource that I used capital letters in the email to my boss explaining this resource.  For once it was not because I was cranky. 

By the way, Twurdy is a  play on words coming from the question "too wordy?" which I think is quite clever.  Watch out Google... Twurdy is going to take over the world.

Happy Twurdying
:) M

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Classroom Revealed

I have been waiting for the right conditions to share my classroom with the blogosphere.  Especially since I have learned that there are a number of other teachers who pop into AGT from time to time.  Many teachers put photos of their classrooms online to share and get feedback etc.  Many teachers don't put photos of their messy or incomplete classroom.  Back to the point.... My classroom is not quite as perfect as I would like it to be but it is fairly close.  I came to the conclusion last week that the likelihood of my room ever being "perfect" is practically nonexistent.  I am constantly shuffling, reorganising, adding and taking from it.  So, with that in mind, here it is.

Left: the beginnings of a "Trade Poster" display that our year 8 classes constructed.  My teaching partner modelled the poster project and helped them through the process of researching and producing a factfile for their chosen occupation.  Students listed literacy and numeracy skills and personal qualities required for the job. 
Below: These photos are from opposite corners of our "staffroom" which doubles as a "small group room" when we are blessed with teacher aide support.  You can see the table in the middle is supposed to be clear and ready for when a group arrives (it rarely is).

Left: My Numeracy Wall (only in its developing stages) displaying four operation symbols.  Underneath each symbol is a poster created by students in small groups.  The poster has the operation language, symbol/s an example maths problem and an algorithm. 

Right: My Literacy Wall.  We have a reading section, that extends to the right of the photo.  Directly under the LITERACY title there are posters explaining parts of speech.  We also have "spelling help" posters with the months of the year.  The experienced teachers with a good eye, will be wondering why there is a Number 1-100 poster on the Literacy wall.  It includes the numbers 1-100 as well as each number written in words.  The poster was also "permanently" attached to the wall last year and I have not been brave enough to remove it yet.  At this point I can justify its presence there, so it will do. 

Left: the "behaviour/ management reminder" wall.  Aim High is the name of our School Wide Positive Behaviour Management Program.  I will tell you more about that another day, but basically we have three prinicples and they are displayed in our room.  We have a "little monster" displaying some good listening tips and the behaviour plan for our room.  We also have four rules that are specific to our classroom and at the beginning of the year/ semester we discuss these as a class and how they fit with our Aim High principles. 

Right: The work-in-progress of our "Test Talk" wall.  The white title says "Good Readers make Good Test Takers" and our goal with this display is to remind the kids to use their "Good Reader" strategies.  More on that later. 
Back to the Left: (do you feel like you are at a tennis match?) The shelves that bridge the space between my desk and my teaching partner's.  It is easy to guess which side of the shelves belong to me... the messy and overloaded side. 

So there you go.  Now you have seen it.  Most of it.  We also have a kitchen area (don't get jealous it doesn't actually work) that I am working on.  We have some shelves that will be moved soon.  We have decided to add some large, brightly coloured, cushions to the area.  The books will go on the bench (the kitchen bench) and we will cover the windows with reading/book posters.  I purchased a rug last year and this is in the middle of the kitchen area so we have a great 'meeting area' away from our desks. 

So, you haven't seen how my desks are organised, or the student supply shelves.  I am getting there.  After I took these photos I finished the Habits of Mind bulletin board and added to the "Test Talk" wall and beside it we are beginning a writing display. 

I want my classroom to be an inviting place at the beginning of the semester.  But I also want it to grow with my students as the year progresses.  I try to get student work up as soon as possible.  While I like to decorate and accent, I think it is very important to consider the purpose of every single thing I display.  If it doesn't fit with the learning in my room then it has no place on the wall in my room. 

I hope you enjoyed visiting my room.  I doubt you got that many ideas, but I have taken the first step to sharing my teaching space with you.  Hopefully this will make it easier to share more next time. 

:) M

Monday, May 7, 2012

FTB celebrate NYR12 with new TTBL

If you are puzzled, let me explain.
FTB: First Tuesday Bookclub is a television show on ABC1.  The first Tuesday of every month Jennifer Byrne (I hope I have spelt her name right) chats about a book or two with four of her famous friends (actors, authors, reporters etc) and it is rather entertaining. 
NYR12: 2012 is Australia's National Year of Reading.
TTBL: is Top Ten Book List.

So, to celebrate NYR, FTB is compiling a list of the Top Ten Aussie Books to Read Before You Die. 

Click here if you would like to vote, or if you are just curious enough to see which titles made the shortlist.  In my mind, the shortlist of 50 left a lot to be desired.  The only children's book to the found was "The Magic Pudding" which is admittedly good.  However, Australian authors (above all others in my opinion) write awesome children's and young adult fiction.  They also write some excellent non-fiction for kids too. 

The shortlist consists of both fiction and non-fiction genres.  There are autobiographies, biographies, novels and journals.  Titles include: My Brother Jack (by George Johnston), My Brillian Career (Miles Franklin), The Book Thief (Markus Zusak), Picnic at Hanging Rock (Joan Lindsay) and of course The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay).  A few "classics" you see and a punchbowl of recent releases.  The Slap (Christos Tsiolkas) also gets a mention.  I noticed that many of the texts were either historical or set in the outback.  Those that were not set in the naturally harsh outback, were weaved amid the concrete harshness of innercity reality.  How does this reflect upon the definition of "Aussie" literature?  An interesting and perhaps unanswerable question. 

At school we have decided to build our own list... one for students and one for teachers.  We will be including the "other" authors, who, I am ashamed to say it, are often passed over due to their chosen audience (children).  It might be difficult to write a good story for adults, but it is truly exhausting to write one for a child. 

So, don't forget to scroll back to the top and click on the links to see the full list and vote.  There is an opportunity to vote for an unlisted title, you just have to fill in a different form.  Also, everyone who votes goes into a draw to win a prize pack of the books voted the Top Ten Aussie Books to Read Before you Die. 

Also, I would like to know... What Aussie book do you think is worthy of the list? and Why do you think so?

Happy Reading

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Reading to Remember

I mentioned that I have been reading a few books of late that have been teaching me.  We read for various reasons and I won't go into that now.  But regardless of our original reading, I don't think we can read without learning something.  We may not realise it right away, but when we let our reading selves open to new words, we are changed. 

So, you are probably wondering what I have been reading.  I have actually had three books going at once... this is very strange for me.  The book I want to share with you today is Private Atmosphere by Colonel Margaret Martin.  This is a devotional journal and as a result of my journalling when reading this book I have much to say. 

The first two "chapters" of the book focus on the word ALWAYS.  Do we Always have and share the Joy of our Salvation? Do we Always count it Joy when things are not going well?  So, it begins with a challenge.  I was reminded that my actions speak so much louder than my words.  My actions are a signpost to those around me.  My actions will reflect my relationship with God.  What a challenge that is!

Then, we learn that our God is the God of ALWAYS! Not only is God with us Always (Matthew 28:20b) but He Always has been and Always will be.  My God's love and mercies and promises endure forever (Psalm 107:1).  MM (the author) illustrates this by reminding us that the sun is shining always.  Even when all we see is clouds, the sun is above them is always shining.  Even when we think God is far away and we can't see Him... He is there.  He is ALWAYS there.  We can Always have the Joy of our Salvation, because God (of our Salvation) is Always with us.  Praise God!!

I am moving slowly through the chapters of this book as I read it between my usual daily devotional.  Also, while I am finding it uplifting, I am finding it a bit challenging.  I feel the need every now and then to put it down and move away.  While this is probably a sign that I need to put it in my pocket and keep it with me always, I have opted to put it on the shelf where I can see it and it calls to me often.  I said that I am "learning" from reading this book.  But in truth, I am "remembering" what I already know and what God obviously needs me to remember. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's Thursday

Today I am thinking about how thankful I am for...
  1. Music: it does what words can't
  2. Words: when well chosen they are wonderful
  3. Clouds and cool breezes
  4. My parents: they love me and have given me gifts greater than money can buy. 
  5. Books and my bed... the great escape!
  6. Ice packs: in all shapes and sizes.
  7. Hugs: I wonder who worked out that holding and being held like that would bring such great comfort?
  8. My job: because it is not just a job.
  9. My best friend whose patience is higher than the hilltops and longer than a leap year.
  10. Education: specifically mine.  My mind would have shrivelled into oblivion had it not been fed.
I still have sad days.  I still have my moments.  I still get lost in the trees.  I am trying.  I am praying.  I am praising and I am praying some more. 

One day at a time.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

National Year of Reading blast off

I am a bit behind the times.  Especially considering that the Aussie National Year of Reading 2012 launched in Febrary and it is now May.  I have lots of catching up to do!

If you are wondering why Australia is devoting a year to promoting reading, click here to see a factsheet.  I work in a secondary school with a population of almost 1500 students.  At least half of our students can not read independently at the expected grade level.  Even in the thick of it, the above fact sheet surprised me.  I work in a good school with excellent teachers and typical resources.  I am not going to point fingers and neither should anyone else.  I am simply saying, literacy skills are vital for participation in our constantly changing society. 

I want to start my foray into NYR12 celebrations with a definition of reading.  I think that there are a few misconceptions out there and it is important that we fix those before we try to move on. defines "read"  or "reading" as:

to look carefully so as to understand the meaning of (something written or printed etc) e.g. to read a book. a leading reading education website and resource for teachers and parents states:

Reading is a multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency, and motivation. Learn how readers integrate these facets to make meaning from print.

When a child reads the words on the page aloud to us, we think; "yeah, that kid can read, that's good.  He's set.  The other stuff doesn't matter so much, as long as the kid can read."  The problem is, that children as young as three years old can "role play" the act of reading.  This is expecially true if they have a favourite book that has been read over and over again to them.  True reading is engaging with a text.  This kind of reading means that you connect the words on the page to the world around you.  The experience of yourself and the narrator/ storyteller/ character etc become intertwined.  You compare your life to the lives of others.  You learn a new skill by reading the directions and following the steps.  You use the information to take a decision.  You use the marks on the page to do something real.  That is when reading is reading. 

The only way role play reading becomes real reading is when reading is practiced.  Just like walking, we see others do it, we watch, we try it ourselves and we start to see how easy it is.  We keep doing it, everyday.  We realise that this great new skill can take us places.  We do it some more.  We let it take us further and further.  The skill becomes a habit and then we begin to do it without thinking.  Successful people read everyday.  They don't just read the words on the page, but they read for real. 

The National Year of Reading 2012 is about making reading real for everyone, everywhere.  Reading is a joy that I often take for granted.  This year.. or what is left of it, I will share my experiences with you. 

A very big part of my job is reading and teaching children and teenagers to read.  It is tough.  But it is also the most rewarding part of my job. 

You don't have to be a teacher or student to participate in NYR12.  Stay tuned for the rockin' events that are happening all over Australia and online. 

:) Happy Reading


Tuesday, May 1, 2012


This week I have...
  1. done no washing
  2. slept through the night (first time in ages)
  3. stayed up late talking (it was a different night)
  4. got up on time and made it to the Monday Morning Briefing
  5. lost my stapler
  6. walked the length of our school three times
  7. cooked dinner
  8. worn winter pyjamas twice
  9. found my phone charger
  10. had a good day at work
... and it is only Tuesday night!

I tidied my desk on Friday (last week) and I had a busy weekend.  I have finally taken photos of my classroom.  I am reading three books at the moment and this is a record for me.  I want to share two of the books with you, because I am learning quite a bit from reading them.  NAPLAN is coming and we are soooo busy preparing the year 9 students for that.  I am organising assessment for my classes and tweaking our next unit to fit a much smaller time frame.  The laminating is piling up on our group table.  It is a very busy time.  There is so much bouncing around in my head as well.  So stay tuned.

Now I just have to find the time to get it out of my head onto the screen!!!