Category Archives: ideas

Mindfulness in May


I got an email last week from a  colleague inviting me and anyone else to join her in a challenge called ‘Mindful in May’. Each day, you receive an email from Mindful in May which has a meditation attached and interesting information to do with mindfulness and sometimes a video or interview with an expert or something that makes up think or feel uplifted.

Loved this one from Saturday😃



So it really gives you the opportunity to try meditation and mindfulness for a sustained period of time and really, you just need to open the email and follow the instructions.

The other good thing coming out of this is that, to sign up to Mindful in May, you donate $25 to raise money for building wells to supply water to people in Africa. So far, over the years the program has been running, Mindful in May has raised nearly $100,000 which means over 3000 peoples lives will be transformed by access to clean, fresh water.


If you think this sounds like something you would like to try, the sign up date for the challenge closes on May 15, so you still have some time.

I say, go for it!



How creative and wow is this street art?


Was sent this ppt by one of the art teachers at school and wanted to share it. How could you use it in your classroom? Same way as the Worth 1000 images – as stimulus for discussion, writing even persuasive writing, looking at the detail – ‘reading’ the image, working out how and with what it was made, where has the idea come from? – symbols of peace (dove), don’t enter road sign….

piano steps

snow white and apple symbol

leg sticking out of wall

friendly tree

Street art

Book trailers – a great way to hook readers into books


Book trailers – showing and creating your own, or letting your students make them is a succinct way of letting readers know what the featured book is about and why they should read it. There are many great and some not-so great examples of book trailers on YouTube. There are even children’s book publishers that have entire channels on YouTube devoted to book trailers of their books.

A very popular series at school and this trailer gives the flavour of the series. But usually whne I am creating book trailers with students, we work out that about 1 minute is the optimal length. At over 2 minutes, this one is a bit long.

This is one of the best book trailers that I have seen. It captures the atmosphere of tension and horror of this book – really gets you in!!!

This trailer’s narration, image and soundtrack combination makes it just like a movie trailer.

Picture books are ironically quite tricky to make trailers for, as the simpler the storyline, the more difficult it is to distill its essence. In this book trailer, they have played with the plot from the book. In the book, the reader is looking for the green sheep. In the trailer, the green sheep is looking for the books’ author, Mem Fox.

Creating book trailers with students is another thing altogether. When I have got a class involved in this in the past, the first thing you do is watch lots of book trailers and create your own rubric as to what makes a good book trailer – one that ‘hooks’ you in, is the way we explain it. Is it the images, the soundtrack, voices, colours, speed of transition from one image to another, choice of image that makes the biggest impact. Why? is it different for different people? Then students start creating by drawing up a storyboard so they think through their trailer before they start making it. This is particularly important when you are working in a team – there must be a shared vision, otherwise there will be no end product. Then they can begin the process. It is interesting to see all the many ways that a ‘book hook’ can be created – some are fantastic, others pretty ordinary. But the process is an important part and going through the steps leads you closer to making your own book trailer.

Worth1000 – an amazing and inspiring site


I had forgotten about this amazing site full of WOW images.


I was introduced to it in a pd about multi-modal literacy and ways to engage students. The images are sorted into galleries alphabetically that have been contests, with a particular brief. For example, Coolest Toy Ever, Work Safe Art, Sound of Music and Garden Freestyle.

Have a look below and think how you could use these images.

Some of the images are not suitable for schools, but there is so much available that is, it is worth (get it?) checking this out. Certainly they are useful for visual literacy, but also for displays that make you stop and think, as great starters for creative story writing, for ‘ putting yourself in someone else’s shoes’ thinking, for discussions about characters – why they are imagined and portrayed as they are physically, for springboards to creating your own images  in technology classes or art…..the list goes on.

smiling tomatoes tiny cauliflower poodle butterfly painting gorilla island tiny man sawing seedling arboretum hiding mouse frog made of cotton bugle hut

First day resources – a bit late!


My daughter has just started teaching and year 3/4 class and I am feeling very proud !

So my eye picks out anything with new teacher or anything that could be useful to her.

Here is one such site , entitled 5 Things to Do on Your first Day of Class. It has suggestions for how to

  • Greet Students
  • Set Rules
  • Team Building
  • Grab Your Students’ Attention
  • Assess Prior Knowledge


Maybe you could use some of the suggestions during the year?

The Kid Should See This – an amazing blog!


I loved the reason this website is put together. Its a Kid-friendly. STEAM-focused. Not-made-for-kids, but perfect for them. Watch the best videos on the internet with your kids, curated by Rion Nakaya with her 3 & 5 year olds. Videos cover an amazing range of topics from SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, SPACE, ANIMALS, FOOD, DIY, MUSIC, ART […]