Blog Archives

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!

Our Story in 2 minutes


I was sent this link today and what it reminded me of, was what we learnt last night at our apple educator run pd session – creating a video is a complex way of showcasing your understandings of whatever it is about . It is a way of summarizing your knowledge about a topic and can be very powerful. What I am reminded about when I watched this was how many hours of fiddling around, playing with making movies this person spent to enable him/her to create something of such a high standard. I suppose something for us primary educators to remember – we need to provide students with time and reason to practice and perfect the craft of making multi-media. Lead up time so they can make videos like these.

National Simultaneous Storytime – May 21, 2014


Here in Australia, the Australian Library and Information Association organizes NATIONAL SIMULTANEOUS STORYTIME, which involves participating school, public, early childhood centres and playgroups all reading the same book at the same time on May 21st. Last year, it was the hilarious book ‘The Wrong Book’ by Nick Bland. This year it is the ‘very funny also’ book ‘Too Many Elephants’ by Ursula Duborsarksy. She is a bit of a crazy lady and I came across this interview with her talking about the book. Gives you an incite into an important Australian author.

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 Рwhat a great way to remember about the DDC!


Why Kids Need To Read What They Want – and Why We Should Let Them


Published on Jan 29, 2014

An interview with Michael W. Smith (Temple University), co-author of Reading Unbound, share the research behind Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want — and Why We Should Let Them, provides key takeaways for parents and teachers, and explains the how the pleasure reading relates to the Common Core State Standards.

Positive Psychology


This first week back at school for 2014 has been full of meetings. One of these stands out …..

Lea Waters

Associate Professor Lea Waters, a psychologist from Melbourne Uni., , who talked about positive psychology – what it was, how it can positively effect student’s and teacher’s learning as shown by research studies, and some examples of how to start off the school year putting some of this into practice.

I loved the Thankful Dance -which has a whole uplifting back story.

Another thing I learned was about a thing called ‘The Negative Bias’ which is everyone’s subconscious way of looking out for problems, dangers, negative outcomes (*Negative Bias is the instinctive behaviour of paying more attention to negatives rather than positives, for example, a student focusing only on one low grade in amongst several other excellent grades. quoted from a Newington College article where Waters gave a lecture). It made me realise that this way of looking at situations is hard wired into us but what we need to do is to counter this negativity with als paying equal attention to the positives, for example, what is there to be grateful for in this situation? Encouraging children to articulate little and big things in their lives brings this to our attention.

Another school Lea is involved with has used this story- the Thankful Coat Рto kick start the routine of ,at the end of every kinder day, the children all sit in a circle and 3 children get a chance to put the Thankful Coat on and tell everyone 1 thing they are thankful for that day. The trick is now to only have 3 children Рmore usually want to share.

Other practical examples Lea shared were gratitude walls, which she has seen used in primary, secondary classrooms as well as staffrooms to great effect. It reminds us all and re-focuses attention on what is going right and what is amazing and beautiful around us.

Lastly, it reminded me of the importance of nurturing relationships with our students – it’s not just warm and fuzzy to do this but has measurable benefits on their sense of well-being and academic success.

A great way to start the 2014 school year!!