Category Archives: primary students

Yobbos Do Yoga

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Yesterday I shared a picture book called “Yobbos Do Yoga’ by Phillip Gwynne and Andrew Joyner  with a year 2 class.
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It is the story of a little girl and her dad, who have ‘yobbos’ move in next door (for non-Australians, yobbos are usually young men, generally uncouth, prone to swearing and constant use of Aussie vernacular. A Yobbo is a heavy drinker, who places mateship above all else and lives for those wild memorable moments that are unforgettable.)

And the dad is a lover of peace and calm, and spends his day doing different yoga poses, so he is not pleased to have new neighbours. But Tubby, Ferret and King Wally Kahuna turn out to be very decent blokes,enjoying loud parties and music but including everyone and  are also willing to lend a hand and try out new things eg yoga!

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yobbos do yoga 1

Last year, when my colleague and I were considering what integrated units the library could support and complement during library classes, the year 2 unit of Healthy Living came up. The classroom focus is very much on healthy eating and exercising and we saw an obvious gap to us,  as there was no discussion about a healthy mind and ways to keep it healthy. So, in our limited class time with them, (45 minutes once a fortnight), I have begun to introduce the idea of a healthy mind and encouraging them to think about how something like meditation (of which yoga is a form)  can help to train the mind to be healthy and calm and positive, not re-hashing old and self- limiting ideas.

It is an area I would be interested in getting some training in as, for myself, doing a short meditation each morning before I get up, helps me set the tone for the day ahead…being one of calm and being able to observe those recurring thought patterns that don’t help me.

I have a teacher resource called ‘Meditation Capsules – A Mindfulness Program for Children’ by Janet Etty-Leal.She has done extensive work at Geelong Grammar , as well as other schools, as their ‘meditation’ consultant (2009) , pioneering well being for student’s through Positive Education. As my school has identified well-being for students and staff as being a priority for 2015 and beyond, this course and way of thinking of meditation as a life skill, fits in very well.

So I feel things aligning for me to delve deeper into teaching meditation to children.

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Book Week 2014 – Connect to Reading

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Now we have 2 weeks until the end of term, my thought turn to next term’s curriculum. And Book Week, the big focus for term 3 in school libraries in Australia. I will be reading each of the early childhood and most of the picture fiction  books with the year prep-2 and am planning to create another blog to share our reflections on each book with our other campus at Malvern. This will complement the Book Week theme for 2014, which is Connect to Reading.

I have come across a few good websites that have activities and ideas for Book Week and have listed them here.

Book Week activities – Book Chook – http://www.thebookchook.com/2014/05/activities-for-childrens-book-week-2014.html

Book Week – Mrs. Mac’s Library – http://www.mrsmacslibrary.com/book-week-2014.html

Book Week – what you should read – idea for  me to  use as a basis for my Book Week blog…..http://www.sji.edu.sg/snews/2014/03/book-week-2014-what-should-you-read-from-the-school-staff/   – get staff involved as well as students.

title
I’m a Dirty Dinosaur
author/illustrator
Brian, Janeen
Ill. Ann James
publisher
Puffin Books, Penguin Group (Australia)
isbn
9780670076154
title
Baby Bedtime
author/illustrator
Fox, Mem
Ill. Emma Quay
publisher
Viking, Penguin Group (Australia)
isbn
9780670075195
title
Banjo and Ruby Red
author/illustrator
Gleeson, Libby
Ill. Freya Blackwood
publisher
Little Hare, Hardie Grant Egmont
isbn
9781921541087
title
Kissed by the Moon
author/illustrator
Lester, Alison
publisher
Viking, Penguin Group (Australia)
isbn
9780670076758
title
The Swap
author/illustrator
Ormerod, Jan
Ill. Andrew Joyner
publisher
Little Hare, Hardie Grant Egmont
isbn
9781921541414
title
Granny Grommet and Me
author/illustrator
Wolfer, Dianne
Ill. Karen Blair
publisher
Walker Books Australia
isbn
9781921720161
title
The Treasure Box
author/illustrator
Blackwood, Freya
Text. Margaret Wild
publisher
Puffin Books, Penguin Group (Australia)
isbn
9780670073658
title
King Pig
author/illustrator
Bland, Nick
publisher
Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia
isbn
9781742834955
title
Silver Buttons
author/illustrator
Graham, Bob
publisher
Walker Books Australia
isbn
9781406342246
title
Parachute
author/illustrator
Ottley, Matt
Text. Danny Parker
publisher
Little Hare, Hardie Grant Egmont
isbn
9781921894206
title
The Windy Farm
author/illustrator
Smith, Craig
Text. Doug MacLeod
publisher
Working Title Press
isbn
9781921504419
title
Rules of Summer
author/illustrator
Tan, Shaun
publisher
Hachette Australia
isbn
9780734410672

Using Google images to find and use labelled for non commercial use

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I was teaching the year 5’s on Monday about how to search and find images that the owners have modified their copyright on to enable others to use them without asking for permission. Being honest, up till now I have just googled for an image and used whatever I found. But I feel it is a bit rich to teach others about the better way to do things and then not do it myself.

Here is the process…. choose Google Images. Put in your search term and enter. Then as the pages of results come up, look under the search bar to an option called Search Tools. Click on this and then choose the tab that says ‘Usage rights’. You can look up what these different right exactly entail, but for my primary students, a very basic knowledge is all that is required. My aim is to use these select images in everything I create, to walk the walk.

 

 

 

The six elements of effective reading instruction – article

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Although this article clearly has a political agenda, the clear stating of the 6 main parts of effective reading instruction tie in nicely with Donalyn Miller’s 5 characteristics of ‘wild’ or lifelong readers, from the book ‘Reading in the Wild’ which I blogged about in April.

1. Every child reads something he or she chooses.

2. Every child reads accurately.

3. Every child reads something he or she understands.

4. Every child writes about something personally meaningful.

5. Every child talks with peers about reading and writing.

6. Every child listens to a fluent adult read aloud.

This last part – listening to a fluent adult read aloud is something that Miller didn’t list, but perhaps that is because her characteristics were based on her observation of adult readers, as opposed to students.

Anyhow, read the article for yourself and see what you think…

Every Child, Every Day  by Richard L. Allington and Rachael E. Gabriel

Using PhotoStream to help build a community of readers

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In a previous post (14/April – The Book Whisperer), I shared how I had read a book by Donalyn Miller, called Reading in the Wild.

She lists 5 things that lifelong readers (or wild readers, as she calls them) do.
One of these is to be part of a reading community, where you can share what books you have read – to inspire others  – and hear about what others in that community are reading – to be inspired  – and to add to another of Miller’s lifelong readers’ behaviours – add to your reading plan, which is the list of books you want to read.

As I no longer have the year 5 and 6 classes for a stand alone library session, one of the things that I feel they are missing out on is this ‘reading community’. So how to achieve it when I am not seeing the classes regularly in the library to talk about books I have read and give the students a safe forum to share their reading as well.

Miller uses GoodReads, an online reading community, to connect her middle school students to a wider reading community. With primary age children, this open access to the www could be a problem in terms of keeping an eye on what they are accessing.

So, one of my colleagues came up with the idea of using PhotoStream. As all the year 5 and 6’s have their own iPads, this is a great way to use it.

I set up a photo stream, 5J Reading, and individually invited each class member, by email, to join the stream. So only people who are invited can access it.

 

 

I took a photo of a Tashi book I had just read to my year 1 classes and wrote a few words about why it was such a good story and posted it. This is so easy to do. Then the other members of the 5J PhotoStream can get on and ‘like’ my comments or comment themselves back so it is possible to get some to and fro happening between members.

I only set this up on Thursday of last week, so I’m not sure how successful it will be. Will the year 5’s post and will they comment? Of course, they can do these things whenever it suits them, ie. at school or at home, which is a positive, I think.

The Science teacher at school has just started using Photostream to give feedback to the year 5’s on their work. When they complete their science work, she asks them to take a picture of it and post it on the PhotoStream, with comments and she can reply back with – yes you are on the right track, or ahhh, what does this mean? is this what we talked about in class? – more immediate feedback and she likes it, because she doesn’t have to lug 27 bits of paper from school to home and back. It is all there on her iPad and easily worked on at home.

I have told the other year 5 and 6 classroom teachers about it so hopefully, they will want to get on board with this as well and we can create 4 ‘reading communities’ – to inspire and be inspired by reading and books.

Re-posting: Using #HatBack to Teach Point of View from Colby Sharp

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I’m not sure how to re-blog a post from email, so when I saw this in my inbox, I wasn’t sure of the etiquette and even method of adding it. So I have copied the URL to share with you.

This particular topic, of encouraging young students to be able to think from different points of view, was a skill that the year 2’s are going to tackle in the coming weeks. I was talking with the year 2 teachers and their idea was to use fractured fairytales, because these stories are often the fairytale, but from another point of view, eg. the wolf in the 3 Little Pigs, the bad fairy in Sleeping Beauty …you get the idea.
This afternoon, I got this email fresh off Colby Sharp’s blog, who is a 3rd grade classroom teacher.
He has used the picture book ‘I Want My Hat back’ and also ‘This is Not my Hat’ (which is quite a funny and quirky story), both by Jon Klassen, to develop his students understanding of point of view and then using this knowledge  to create their own story. Click on the image for the link to his excellent blog post which lays out how he went about this in his classroom.

 

What types of ebooks are best for young readers?

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In my 26th April post( that I re-blogged), the writer states that for adults, reading ebooks means you can read more books.People who read ebooks, read more.

There is not the hassle or inconvenience of getting hold of the next book. You can buy and download it online at 12 pm, if that is when it suits you, not wait for the library or bookstore to open or even wait for the book to arrive in the post.

For developing readers, it seems the story may be different. This article

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asks the question…

Could e-books actually get in the way of reading?

‘That was the question explored in research presented last week by Heather Ruetschlin Schugar, an associate professor at West Chester University, and her spouse Jordan T. Schugar, an instructor at the same institution.’

A couple of ideas in the article certainly rang bells with me and my experience at school, with 4-12 year olds.

*It seems that the very “richness” of the multimedia environment that e-books provide—touted as their advantage over printed books—may actually overwhelm kids’ limited working memory, leading them to lose the thread of the narrative or to process the meaning of the story less deeply.

*They advise parents and teachers to look for e-books that enhance and extend interactions with the text, rather than those that offer only distractions; that promote interactions that are relatively brief rather than time-consuming; that provide supports for making text-based inferences or understanding difficult vocabulary; and that locate interactions on the same page as the text display, rather than on a separate screen.

*While we may assume that interactive e-books can entertain children all by themselves, it turns out that such products require more input from us than books on paper do…… (as adults need to help beginning and developing readers learn how to navigate around the book and also to not over-use the ‘read-to-me’ option)

Certainly made me think about my use of ebooks with classes, as I promote our ebook and eaudiobook collection and sometime share an ebook with the kindergarten classes.

Recommended ebooks from the author of the above article – MindShift –

For beginning readers

Blue Hat, Green Hat, by Sandra Boynton

Go Clifford, Go!, by Norman Bridwell

Meet Biscuit, by Alyssa Capucilli

Nickelby Swift, Kitten Catastrophe, by Ben Hecht

Miss Spider’s Tea Party, by David Kirk

A Fine Musician, by Lucy Thomson

For fluent readers

Slice of Bread Goes to the Beach, by Glenn Melenhorst

Who Would Win? Killer Whale vs. Great White Shark, by Jerry Pallotta

Wild About Books, by Judy Sierra

The Artifacts, by Lynley Stace and Dan Hare

 

I can recommend Miss Spiders Tea party. I have showed it to my classes of pre-preps last year and they loved it! It is also very well done.

 

The Book Whisperer

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Recently I have read ‘Reading in the Wild’ by Donalyn Miller,  a reading expert who talks about the 5 key reading habits that cultivate a life long love of reading – or a wild reader – as Miller calls them. As a teacher /librarian whose bread an butter is matching kids to perfect books that will encourage them to become life long readers, this book gave me many ah-ha moments, one of which was to start following her Book Whisperer blog. So here ’tis!

reading-in-the-wild

What Does the World Eat for Breakfast?

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Who knew?

from The Kid Should See This blog

What Does the World Eat for Breakfast — in Egypt, Vietnam, Sweden, or where youlive? While these showcased morning foods are only some of the possible breakfasts in each of these countries, this Buzzfeed video is a solid conversation starter for introducing the variety of traditional food preferences around the globe.