Category Archives: youtube

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!


What Does the World Eat for Breakfast?


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.



Using QR codes in the classroom


On Saturday night, wandering along to fill in time at the local shopping strip till the movie started, I noticed a QR code on the footpath, from the council, advertising walking tracks in the area. I thought it was a good way to use this technology that is becoming more prevalent in the ‘real world’. 

That reminded me of my Pinterest folder called QR codes, where I have collected some pretty interesting ways to use QR codes in an educational setting. 

Using QR codes in the classroom

Using QR codes to share videos

iPad story wall with QR codes to book reviews

40 Interesting Ways to use QR codes in the classroom

Another thing we are trying at school is adding QR codes to link picture books useful for integrated topics such as the First Fleet to online teacher resources. That way we don’t need to print out, and then work out how to attach, a few pieces of paper to the book itself.
Then for Lit Circles, with the year 6’s, we found some teacher resources for discussion plus an interview with the author and a book trailer advertising the book. We have added these as QR codes – which link straight to these resources. Again, no paper wastage; I’m not telling teachers about something they are not interested in until their group is reading that book; and I don’t forget that I came across these resources. I get to do something with them as soon as I find them.
Wins all round!!
My aim would be to start adding QR codes, linking book trailers to their book, for year 4-6, as they are the students with their own iPads.

The Happy Secret to Better Work – inspirational


My son just showed me this video. I love TED talks as they are to the point and always by people who really know what they are talking about. Shawn Achor seems to know his stuff and makes a lot of sense – we have put success ahead of happiness in our modern world. Each time we reach our goal or have success, all that we feel is that we replace this goal with a harder to reach one. And our feeling of happiness is supposed to happen after we reach our goal, but as we never really do, we don’t get to feel happy. Shawn shares 5 things that he does with each company he works with to up their employees happiness. He suggests that we need to do these things for 21 days straight to re-program our thinking to look for happiness. Sounds great, and as someone who has journal led their 10 things to be thankful for for a few years + now has a gratitude jar at work to add 1 thing to be grateful for each day, I think what he says really makes sense. But don’t take my world for it – watch the TED talk and see for yourself. Maybe even take on the 21 day challenge!

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.

How to introduce the Dewey Decimal system in a fun way



One of my jobs as a teacher-librarian is to work with classroom teachers to integrate information literacy, in such a way that it is meaningful and useful to the students right there and then.

Last week, I did a couple of lessons talking about the numbers on the spines of non-fiction books and I finished off with a ‘What I used to think…’ and ‘What I know now…’ thinking protocol. This is a good exit strategy to assess whether what you wanted your students to get from the lesson is what they actually did get from it!

Here are some of the students comments –

I used to think the numbers in the library are just random…………but now I know that the numbers was made up by a man called Dewey and they were divided into ten different groups.

I used to think Mrs. B made up the numbers……… I now know that Dewey once made the numbers to bring order to the library, this system is called the DDC.

I used to think that the numbers were made by Mrs B or Mrs S………. Now I think, that the numbers were made by Melvil Dewey who called the system DDC.

I used to think that people used to put books anywhere. I thought the numbers where nothing……… Now I know that this man called Melvil Dewey made the numbers for a reason the reason was that you just don’t put the books any where.

So I was pretty pleased with what they seemed to have taken on board.

The other things that I use to initially introduce the DDC is a ppt, made by a colleague.


This is a pretty succinct way to explain what the DDC is about and why it was invented by Dewey.

I usually finish off with the DDC rap, which the students said went home and watched several times on YouTube  and it is the sort of tune that gets in your head – what a great way to remember about the DDC!