Thursday, May 30, 2013

Adding using Place Value Partitioning

Watch the video to help you answer these problems if you need help.

Genius Time - Google 20%

Students need time to be creative without strings attached and just learn about an area of interest or to challenge themselves to learn a new skill. Creative Time, Passion Time or Hour of Genius is one way we can give our students back the freedom that they need. It's proven in the biggest firms in the word so why not other classroom as well.
@hughtheteacher does it better than most. Check out the link below for some ideas. We are just looking into this Hour of Genius and will tackle it further in the winter months.


Daily 5 and Cafe - Improving our Literacy

The Daily Five and CAFÉ Menu
It won’t be long until you hear your child talking about “The Daily Five” and a “CAFÉ” menu. The purpose of this letter is to fill you in on what The Daily Five and CAFÉ is all about.The Daily Five is a way of structuring our reading block so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks. These research-based tasks are ones that will have the biggest impact on student reading and writing achievement, as well as foster children who love to read and write. Students receive explicit whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while I provide focused, intense instruction to small groups of students during Guided Reading.
When it is up and running smoothly, students will be engaged in the Daily Five, which is comprised of:
Read to Self - The research continually shows that the very best way to become a better reader is to practice, practice, practice! Your child will read books at his/her “just right” level each day, practicing reading strategies from the CAFÉ men
Work on Writing - Just like it takes practice, practice, practice to become a better reader, it takes practice, practice, practice to become a better writer! We will also have a separate Writer’s Workshop later in the day.
· Working with Words - Working with words helps children become better spellers and writers. Your child will learn about word parts and practice high frequency ‘sight’ words using play dough, stamps, tiles, and whiteboards.
· Read to Someone - Reading to someone helps develop reading fluency and comprehension, and it’s FUN!
· Listen to Reading - Listening to reading helps children develop reading fluency. It also allows them to access texts that they can’t read independently yet.
There are very specific behavior expectations that go with each of The Daily Five components. We will spend the first weeks working intensely on building our reading and writing stamina, learning the behaviors of The Daily Five, and fostering our classroom community. I will also spend time learning about your child’s strengths and greatest needs as a reader in order to best plan for each student’s instruction.
The CAFÉ menu is a collection of highly effective reading strategies that the students will be taught to use which will help them become better readers. They are organized into four goals:
• C is for Comprehension: “I understand what I read.”
• A is for Accuracy: “I can read the words.”
• F is for Fluency: “I can read smoothly, with expression.”
• É is for Expanding Vocabulary: “I know, find, and use interesting words.”
During individual conferences, I will listen to your child read, help him/her pick a reading goal, and suggest a reading strategy that will help. I will provide coaching on how to use the strategy, and then meet back with your child at a later date to see if he/she has been able to use the strategy. Your child should be able to tell you exactly what goal he/she is working on: “I am working on my accuracy” and his /her strategy: “I am looking for small words inside big words to help me read new words”. Research shows that when students know exactly what they need to work on, and why, they are much more successful in meeting their goals!
I hope that this brief introduction to the “The Daily 5” and the “CAFÉ Menu” has been helpful.

Credit must be given to Amanda Signal AKA #heymilly for bringing this to the fore, as well as the wonderful "sisters" Gail Boushey & Joan Moser who developed the Daily 5. #inspirational

Writers Workshops

Lately I have been reflecting and thinking about how to teach writing effectively. One idea that kept catching my eye was 'Writing Workshops'. We have trailed this in Room 8 now for just a week but already the response from my students has been positive.

It is about giving back ownership to the children at enabling those kids who understand the writing process and just want to and need to begin writing the chance to do this. It also means I can more clearly target those students who need help. Self Regulation and independence.

#newchallenge #trialsandtribulations #flippingtheclassroom


Hello, Goodbye...

Hello Autumn.

Goodbye Summer.

Hello cold freezing rain.

Goodbye beautiful hot sun.

Hello falling golden leaves.

Goodbye green growing grass.

Hello wet lunchtimes.

Goodbye sunbathing at the beach.

Hello warm jackets, socks and hats.

Goodbye board shorts, sunglasses and bikinis.

Hello Autumn.

Goodbye Summer.


World Literacy Challenge - Reading Skills

This website will challenge the best readers. Started by a brilliant NZer, the literacy challenge is a way to find the best school reading team in the world. It challengers students to ask questions about popular text from around the world.

See how you go by looking back at the questions from the last few years and see what you can answer.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Car Colour Statistics Tally

We chose to begin our statistics investigation by counting the cars that go past our school. We wanted to find out which car colour was the most common.

This morning we went to tally the colour of cars that drove past our school. Silver was the most common colour.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Tagxedo - Beautiful Word Clouds - Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text. Direct Quote from Tagxedo Website.

Tagxedo Menu - 

Tagxedo Examples -

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Syndicate Sharing -Term 2

We believe in sharing our small victories and understanding where our students come from. To help us understand what our children are doing at each level we did our first walk through. The junior school is amazing, such dedicated teachers who care so much about the learning of each student. So inspired.




Friday, May 24, 2013

TTLA - Closing Keynote

David Hill - Advocate for men and boys to read. Huge mana and purpose behind his beliefs that all men and boys should hold close and pursue. Read, Read allowed, Read to others, Read to change your life.



TTLA - Reading Association

Introduction from Rex Morris. Early start for a dedicated bunch.

Wayne Mills - Very inspirational and up to date with modern teaching, learning styles. What we should be doing with Reading, Spelling.

This is his MUST have book list. Use iBooks to download eBook copies.

Links to TSM - Teacher Support Material

Writing Years 1-8

Reading Journals


Rilee Girl - Mouse

Rilee was proud to show off her mouse model in class the other day. It was used at our local Intermediate for their pantomime production of Cinderella.



Sunday, May 12, 2013

School Sports Shirt - Do you have yours ?!?!?!


Literacy Advisor

What characteristics do I as a teacher have that make me an effective literacy teacher ?


To what degree am I teaching with these characteristics ? To what degree are students learning based on my characteristics ?


How do you know/students know that it's a great piece of writing ?


Student's voice is our greatest indicator that we are effective teachers.