Celebrating NAIDOC Week in Your Classroom

Celebrating NAIDOC Week in Your Classroom

NAIDOC Week is a national celebration in Australia of the achievements and culture of First Nations peoples. NAIDOC Week is usually held in July. It invites everyone to embrace the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

There are many opportunities where teachers and students can acknowledge and celebrate Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

1. Display NAIDOC Week Posters

For starters, you can display the National NAIDOC Poster or other Indigenous posters around your school and classroom to remind students of the significance of the event and when it is. Learn about the theme and the artwork design on the poster here.

2. Guest Speakers

Ask your local First Nations elders whether they would be able to come and visit your school, to discuss Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history. We would suggest, giving them a clear purpose for their purpose. Whether it be to demonstrate a particular skill like basket weaving or dancing, or to share dreamtime stories, or to showcase different instruments and tools for your students to see. Be clear with your elder what you would like them to achieve with your students. This is a great way to kick some curriculum goals too!

3. Nature Walk

Invite your local First Nations elder or representative to take your students on a nature walk through some local bushland to discuss the significance of the native plants and animals that are located there.

4. Hall of Fame

Start your own hall of fame featuring Indigenous role models. This would be great for the upper year levels, particularly linking to History content and exploring Australians that have contributed significantly to Australian history and culture.

5. Indigenous Music

Listen to some Indigenous music. Here is a great list of Indigenous musicians who you might like to type into Youtube and watch and listen to. Students could compare and contrast this music to the music that they listen to.

6. Read First Nations Books

Visit your school library (or you could even have a quick search on Youtube if your school library is lacking) and borrow some First Nations Picture Books to read to your students. Yes and even your older students will enjoy these! There is a great short list here if you are needing some inspiration!

You may like to read to your students some dream time stories. If you read Tiddalick… don’t forget to download our free Tiddalick art templates from our Free Resource Library!

Tiddalick Art Idea

7. Learn Meanings

Learn the meanings of local or national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place names and words. This would link wonderfully in with the Year 3 Geography content!

8. Acknowledgement of Country

Hold an Acknowledgement of Country either as a whole school or just in your class and pray for your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

9. NAIDOC Week Boomerangs

Create these NAIDOC Week Boomerangs which have a simple Acknowledgement of Country on them. These are available in our Free Resource Library!

NAIDOC Week Acknowledgement of Country Boomerang Craft | Australia
NAIDOC Week Boomerangs

10. Flag Raising Ceremony

You may like to hold a flag raising ceremony. Here are some top tips on how to do that respectfully!

What else could we add here? Comment below with other ideas to help our Ridgy Didge Teacher community!

Ridgy Didge Resources: Philosophy of Education

Ridgy Didge Resources: Philosophy of Education

Here at Ridgy Didge Resources we are committed to creating unit and lesson plans that are aligned to highly effective teaching pedagogy. Our philosophy of education is centred around our belief in a balanced approach to education. That not one single pedagogical approach fits every subject and student learning style.

Therefore we ensure that our units combine a variety of approaches to maximise inclusiveness and differentiation in your classroom. In this way student engagement is increased and the potential for every student to achieve is amplified.

Play is the Way!

In the early years of education we believe that learning should be hands on and we strongly advocate for a play-based learning approach. There is strong evidence that play is a far more effective means of education than traditional learning modes. This doesn’t mean that we believe children should just be playing all day, but like all things in education, pedagogical approaches should be balanced and in moderation. Our early years units combine play with explicit teaching to ensure students are clear about the content that is being taught and are given opportunity to learn in a mode that comes most naturally to them.

In the middle and upper years, we carry this philosophy of learning through, ensuring education continues to be hands-on and relevant to their real lives. We strongly believe that ensuring learning experiences are fun will result in higher student engagement and therefore higher academic results.

Science and Health

Most of our Science and Health units follow an inquiry-based learning approach, with carefully layered explicit teaching to ensure students are given every opportunity to learn concepts being taught.

Writing

Our Writing units loosely follow a Scaffolded Literacy approach, where by rich texts are used to inspire student writing skills and text formats. This approach encourages and models how students can use rich language to increase the effectiveness of their written pieces.

HASS

In HASS we have endeavoured to integrate, where logical, much of the content to minimise the amount of teaching hours required, but also to ensure content is manageable for students, considering the number of other subjects they are required to learn in each year level.

Maths

In Maths we combine hands-on learning with activity sheets, games and powerpoints to help explain topics and to give students multiple opportunities to reinforce skills being taught.

FUN is the key!

Overall, we believe that if your students are Fully engaged, you have Units that are logical and sequential and the Needs of every child are being met, your students will be having FUN and ultimately this will lead to learning success. This forms the foundation of every unit we write here at Ridgy Didge Resources and as many of our happy teachers who are using our units in their classrooms all around Australia would testify, they are finding learning success as they apply this formula of learning in their classrooms.

If you ever have any questions about our any of our units or lesson plans, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us admin@ridgydidgeresources.com. We are always happy to answer any questions, no matter how big or small!

10 of the Best Report Card Writing Tips

10 of the Best Report Card Writing Tips

We know report card writing can be a bit of a dirty word this time of year… so we wanted to help you manage the enormous task, with a few of our best report card writing tips and tricks to make the process a little smoother for you and your students!

1. Start Early!

Starting early in the reporting term is key!

This sounds obvious, but being organised enough to start as soon as possible is what will make all the difference.

I promise you!

2. Get on top of Marking!

This also sounds obvious.

Make sure that you keep up-to-date with all marking of your student’s assessment, as best as you can be.

This will help reduce the size of the task. (I’m talking about last term’s assessment marking here).

Make sure this is done by the end of the term or over the holidays. Don’t carry this load over into the new term.

3. Begin in a Word/Excel Document

If you can start writing your comment into an excel or word document this will definitely have you more organised well before reporting is officially opened in your school software.

By doing this, it gets you ahead of the game and helps you free up the tasks for when you need to complete the more thought-intensive time.

To do this, start typing into a spreadsheet with the overall student comments first.

Use a table set up with all of your students’ names running down the first column. Then add two further columns for semester 1 and then semester 2 with the details I will complete about their general working behaviour.

The great idea of this is that it will then help you to have a ready reference in the latter part of the year, to help remind you what you wrote in the first term’s comments.

You’ll be sure not to repeat things you’ve already said!

4. Use a Generic Comment Bank

Use a standard comment-bank of statements for each subject.

This makes adding each phrase very quick and easy, without having to use time-intensive thinking.

You can then always add personalised information to this if you want.

Once you get some comments structured into paragraphs the way you want, you can easily use these as guides for your students, tweaking where needed.

5. Set a Timer

Set a timer for fifteen minutes and commit to writing 2/3 comments. Tell yourself you’ve only got 15 minutes to do it. You’ll be amazed at how motivating that can be!

6. Break it Down!

Break the report writing task down into smaller chunks. Consider starting with general comments and then breaking these down into chunks of 2/3 a day. Report card writing becomes far more achieveable when you break the task down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

7. Start with the Hardest Task First

You’ll be surprised how empowering and motivating it is to know that you’ve completed the bit you were dreading the most. It’s all downhill from there!

8. Use positive self talk

Tell yourself you’ve got this, I can do it, I’m on a roll, this is easy! You may find our inspirational quotes posters in our Free Resource Library handy to post around your work area while you are writing report card comments.

9. Throw a Party!

Invite fellow teachers around and write your report cards together. This can be great for throwing ideas around when you get stumped on wording particularly!

10. Treat Yourself

Remember self-care during report card writing season is absolutely important! Whatever it is that motivates you, set this as your reward for finishing certain tasks. This might be spending time with your family, going for a walk, getting to a task that you never have time for. Your reward doesn’t need to cost you anything. Just make it sometime special that will take you away from work and into the zone of relaxation and pleasure 🙂

Easter Activities for Upper Primary

Easter Activities for Upper Primary

With Easter around the corner you may be inspired to pull out those Easter basket templates and packets of paper grass and get your kiddos crafting!

If you are looking for something a little bit different though… and possibly more age-appropriate for your upper primary students, then here are a few of our favourite Easter activities from across the internet!

Easter Egg Sudoku

Sudoku puzzles are a great way to develop problem solving and logical thinking skills. They also provide a great opportunity to increase visual perception and the ability to spot patterns. These Easter themed puzzles make a fun visual problem solving activity to engage older school aged kids in the lead up to the holiday. And best of all they are free!

Easter Egg STEM Challenge

This STEM challenge is a classic egg drop, making it perfect for Easter!

Easter Science Activities with Jelly Beans

If eggs aren’t your thing at Easter, why not bring Easter into your classroom with jellybeans?! These are three simple investigations students could do to explore some basic scientific principles.

Easter Egg Suncatchers

Make stained glass Easter egg suncatchers with your kiddos! This craft comes with four free printable Easter egg designs and makes for a quick and easy way to decorate windows for Easter.

Picasso Inspired Easter Bunnies

Here is a fun and funky Easter project for art lovers. These Picasso inspired Easter bunnies are super fun to make. Use paints, markers, gel pens or crayons to make your Easter bunnies.

Find something that inspired you? Tell us about it below. We’d love to hear how you’ve gone creating any of these amazing Easter crafts and activities.

Teaching Children About Life Cycles

Teaching Children About Life Cycles

Teaching children about life cycles is a perfect way to help them understand the world around them and to connect them with nature – as well as obviously fulfilling the Year 2 and Year 4 Australian Curriculum Science content requirements.

Children love learning about life cycles and you will quickly discover that they will have loads of questions. So making sure you have the answers on hand will ensure you are able to satisfy their desire for information. Ensuring you also have the activities to support their questions is crucial. So what activities are best and where are they going to find the information?… Read on!

Life Cycle Fact Sheets

Facts Sheets are a great way of giving your students independence as they search for the answers themselves… and they are also a great way for developing comprehension skills! The other added bonus is that you avoid the dreaded wrestle with your school internet network as your little people all try to log in at the same time to find the answers to their questions – we all know how fun that can be?!

Real Life Cycle Images

Using real life images is a great way to help your students connect with what they are learning and broadens their understanding on the topic.

Life Cycle Hands-On Experiences

Learning through hands-on experiences should be foundational to any science program – and learning about life cycles shouldn’t be exempt from this. From life cycle wheels to mini books. Playdough mats to puzzles. Children should be given the opportunity to explore life cycle concepts through a variety of hands-on experiences.

Life Cycle Pets

Allowing your students to observe life cycles in action is probably the most important component to any successful unit on life cycles. Whether you watch Youtube videos on the cycles in time-lapse or establish a classroom pet for them to observe, seeing the cycles in action can not be surpassed as the most effective way of engaging and teaching children about life cycles.

It is always so fun to explore life cycles! You can get all of these activities, including detailed lesson plans and rubrics in our Year 2 Growth and Change Unit.