Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Year 6

Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Year 6

Every teacher can testify to the engagement received by their students when offered to be read a story. Whether it be from a picture book or novel, stories bring so much enjoyment to children’s lives. The added bonus is that they can also be great tools for linking various content areas of the Australian Curriculum.

I have gathered a list of books that I highly recommend for Year 6 Teachers to use as they are teaching to the Australian Curriculum throughout the year. I have sorted these books into curriculum content areas but you will quickly notice that most of the books link to other content areas making them great tools for the time-poor Australian Teacher. (please note the following list contains affiliate links)

English

Language
Midsummer Knight
What a Wonderful Word: A Collection of Untranslatables from Around the World
Punctuation Takes a Vacation
Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster
Who Ordered the Jumbo Shrimp.
The Absolutely Awful Alphabet

Maths

Measurement and Geometry
Spaghetti and Meatballs for All
Telling Time: How to Tell Time on Digital and Analog Clocks!
Mathstart Hamster Champs (MathStart 3)

Numbers and Algebra
Riddle-Iculous Math
Polar Bear Math
If You Made a Million
Piece = Part = Portion: Fractions = Decimals = Percents
Betcha! (MathStart 3)
On Beyond a Million: An Amazing Math Journey
The Grizzly Gazette (MathStart 3)
Less Than Zero (MathStart 3)
If Dogs Were Dinosaurs
If You Hopped Like a Frog
Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?

Science

Earth and Space Sciences
Mallee Sky
The Storm
River Friendly, River Wild

HASS

Boy From Bowral: The Story Of Sir Donald
A Day to Remember
Do Not Forget Australia
The Journey
The Little Refugee
Migrations: Open Hearts, Open Borders
My Name is Not Refugee
My Place
The Night We Made The Flag: A Eureka Story
No Return Captain Scott’s Race to the Pole
Onion Tears
Red Poppy + CD (Red Poppy)
Ships in the Field
Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey
Stories for Simon
Teacup
Ten Pound Pom (Our Stories)
Tom Crean’s Rabbit: A True Story from Scott’s Last Voyage
Waves: For Those Who Come Across the Sea
Say Yes: A Story of Friendship, Fairness and a Vote for Hope
Stolen Girl

Health

Luke’s Way of Looking (Walker Classic)
Be Good to Eddie Lee
The Red Tree
Hooway for Wodney Wat
Nobody Knew What to Do: A Story about Bullying
Love Your Body by Jessica Sanders

Let me know if you have any other suggestions to add to this list by commenting below. I’d love to hear from you!!

Happy teaching!

Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Year 5

Picture Books to Support the Australian Curriculum: Year 5

Every teacher can testify to the engagement received by their students when offered to be read a story. Whether it be from a picture book or novel, stories bring so much enjoyment to children’s lives. The added bonus is that they can also be great tools for linking various content areas of the Australian Curriculum.

I have gathered a list of books that I highly recommend for Year 5 Teachers to use as they are teaching to the Australian Curriculum throughout the year. I have sorted these books into curriculum content areas but you will quickly notice that most of the books link to other content areas making them great tools for the time-poor Australian Teacher. (please note the following list contains affiliate links)

English

Language
the Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard and Other Dramatic Tales
The Chicken Thief
Flotsam
The Girl’s Like Spaghetti
Journey
Mr Wuffles!
Out of the Blue
Quest
Return
Shehewe (Three-Story Books)
Spot, the Cat
Stradbroke Dreamtime: Deluxe Edition

Language
Dog On A Digger
Footpath Flowers
Onion Tears
Through the Smoke
Lost Thing
The Arrival

Maths

Measurement and Geometry
Spaghetti And Meatballs For All! (Rise and Shine)
Grandfather Tang’s Story: A Tale Told with Tangrams
Mathstart Hamster Champs (MathStart 3)

Number and Algebra
Miss Fox’s Class Earns a Field Trip
Betcha! (MathStart 3)
Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?
If You Made a Million
Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday

Science

Biological Sciences
Moth
One Smart Fish

HASS

Avoid Being A Convict Sent To Australia! (The Danger Zone)
Ben and Gracie’s Art Adventure
The Dog on the Tuckerbox
Inside the World of Tom Roberts: A Ben and Gracie Art Adventure
King of the Outback: The Story of Sidney Kidman
The Legend of Lasseter’s Reef
Jandamarra
The Legend of Moondyne Joe (Walker Classic)
Little Wooden Horse
Meet… Banjo Paterson
Meet Ned Kelly (Meet…)
Mustara
The Night We Made The Flag: A Eureka Story
The Road to Goonong
Good Enough for a Sheep Station
The Startling Story of Lachlan Macquarie: Founding Father or Failure?
To the Goldfields! (Walker Classic)
Boomerang and Bat
The Story of Rosy Dock
The Rabbits

Health

Love Your Body by Jessica Sanders

Let me know if you have any other suggestions to add to this list by commenting below. I’d love to hear from you!!

Happy teaching!!

Establishing Positive Parent Teacher Relationships

Establishing Positive Parent Teacher Relationships

While schooling plays a critically important part, all of the learning that a child does in life contributes to their overall education. Parents as children’s first teachers, have enormous impact on their learning and insight into areas of interest, learning styles, cultural influence that may effect how children learn and their ways of viewing and understanding the learning taking place.

The relationship between parents and teachers, effects children’s attitudes and performance. A child who can see that their parent and teacher are working together, will be more successful than a child who concludes that their parent does not like or respect their teacher. Research suggests, when parents and teachers have similar expectations student’s attitudes and performance in school will improve.

Active involvement of parents in their school’s instructional program encourages better work ethic, and development of improved attitudes towards school and school work for both parents and students alike. Schools that encourage parent participation are more effective, than those in which parents are not actively involved.

The most successful school programs provide a variety of ways for parents to participate in their children’s education. In both high and low resource communities, research suggests that the quality of schools greatly improves with active parent participation.

Therefore it is vitally important for teachers to foster relationships with parents based on mutual respect, understanding and a shared commitment to the well being of the child; which will encourage parent participation both at home and within the school and provide students with the best education possible.

Here are some practical ideas to help you establish and maintain positive parent teacher relationships in your classroom:

Beginning of the School Year:
– Greet parents warmly, but focus attention to the students
– Have windows opened
– Ensure that the room looks organised and bright (this doesn’t necessarily mean adding a heap of colour, simply adding a plant or flowers and ensuring the lights are on gives the feeling of calm and organisation)
– Photograph each child during the first week and display on the door or in the room.
– Distribute a letter of introduction (make sure this is approved by your Principal first). The letter may include: an introduction, welcoming statement, positive statement about the school and the year ahead, anticipation of working with the class, the current main unit topic (the what and the why), mention of upcoming events such as parents nights, invitation to arrange a time to meet with you if parents have issues they wish to address, conclude with a positive.
– Distribute a ‘Getting to Know You’ form (template available in my Free Resources Library)

Parent Teacher Evening
(Keep discussion on general issues. Invite parents who wish to discuss specifics pertaining to their child to make an appointment to speak with you)
– Display some of the student’s work eg wall displays, books
– Set up chairs in a semi circle
– Set up OHP for visual focus to main points
– Have coffee/tea/juice available
– Start and finish on time
– Welcome parents
– Stress the importance of the parent teacher relationship to enhance learning for the student (feel free to use what I have written above to support your explanation)
– Very briefly overview curriculum, eg the strand of English and the main genres which will be covered. Do similar for the other Learning Areas but keep it brief!
– Discuss ways parents can assist in their child’s learning
– Involve parents in decision making eg homework issues
– Ask for helpers
– Negotiate/state procedures for interviews, letters, birthdays, etc.

Ongoing Communication of Information
Beginning and on completion of term’s work or units of work.
– Letters giving general information
– Class term newsletter
– Work samples that the students share at home
– Consider open days, open nights which provide opportunity for students to share their learning.

Parent/Teacher Interview
– Allow sufficient time for each interview
– Space allocated times for ‘breathing space’
– Consider doing a few each day (interviews can be mentally tiring)
– Keep to the scheduled times
– Avoid having parents wait in the dark or in the cold
– Use the student’s folio to support the report
– Keep a focus on ‘has achieved’ and ‘working toward’
– Offer suggestions on how the student’s learning can be supported

Formal Written Report
– Focus on positive statements
– Check accuracy of spelling, grammar

End of Year
– Card/letter of thanks and Christmas greetings from you to the parents
– Coffee afternoon/party organised by the students to say thank you to the class helpers.

Have you got any other suggestions for maintaining positive relationships with parents? Please share them below in the comments! I would love to hear from you! Happy teaching 🙂

9 Tips for Caring for Your Teacher Voice

9 Tips for Caring for Your Teacher Voice

As a teacher your voice is your most precious resource. I can’t even number the days that I couldn’t go to work simply because my throat was too sore. I didn’t necessarily feel unwell (at least not enough to stay home from school) but without a voice I was useless, so resting my voice was wise.

Do you know how to care for your voice? Here are a few tips and tricks I have learnt over the years (as well as some that I have researched), to keep that voice box working for years to come!

The Technical Stuff

Your voice is produced when your brain is stimulated. The flow of breath from your lungs causes the vocal folds in your larynx to vibrate. The vibrations resonate in the space of the the throat, mouth and nose and become your voice. Voice training is an excellent way to prolong the life of your voice.

Voice Care Tips

  1. Your throat cannot stay too dry – keep your voice moist with plenty of water. NOT ALCOHOL ;P
  2. When you are talking breathe through your nose – this helps to filter and humidify the air. NOT THROUGH YOUR MOUTH!
  3. Try not to talk for too long at any one time – enjoy your breaks and rest the voice as often as possible.
  4. Raising your voice causes damage to the tissues of the larynx so quiet voices are good.
  5. Don’t cough and clear our throat habitually, drink water and clear the throat gently.
  6. If you have a cold or flu avoid talking as much as you can.
  7. Tip for the ladies (boys can block their ears!). During the premenstrual period your voice can be prone to sensitivity. Take extra care within this period by drinking lots of water, limited alcohol and lots of downtime.
  8. Beware of the following irritants: caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, antihistamines, diuretics, cocaine and marijuana, vitamin C, cigarette smoke.
  9. The only way to use any of the above is in moderation, with lots of water.

I truly hope this helps you and your voice function for many years to come!

If you have any other tips or tricks, add them in the comments below.

Happy teaching!

Online Professional Development Courses for Teachers – 7 of the Best!

Online Professional Development Courses for Teachers – 7 of the Best!

Finding it difficult to fill your Professional Development hours for the year? Have no fear; we have you covered! Not only are all of these short courses accessible online but they all offer FREE courses. And we know how much teachers love free things ;p

So read on and take your pick and know that you will be covered for another year with the content that these course providers offer.

“To develop professionally: Adopt a beginner’s mindset, stay teachable, seek feedback, teach others, embrace teamwork.” – Dan McCabe

CRTPD.com
This website is an initiative funded by the Victorian Government. It provides a wide variety of free options for teacher professional development, including webinars and on demand learning sessions. Click through using the link above to find out what free goodies they have on offer!

“Take time to invest in yourself as much as others… By doing so, I have seen that the impact I can have on others is greater when I am in a better place and space.” – Jimmy Casas

CSER MOOC courses
These programs are run by the University of Adelaide and are designed to support Australian teachers with implementing the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies. These are free online courses that provide teachers with background knowledge about concepts and topics in the curriculum, as well as practical examples that can be tried in the classroom.

“Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” – John Cotton Dana

Future Learn
Join millions of people from around the world learning together. Future Learn offers courses in a variety of categories with most courses accessible for free. The variety of their courses offers a fun way to explore subjects you’re passionate about.

“Life is growth. If we stop growing technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.” – Morihei Ueshiba

Be You – Beyond Blue
Be You is a free, evidence-based online professional development package that provides educators and learning communities with the building blocks to support good mental health in children and young people.

“Professional development to support teachers is our greatest need. It’s important to scaffold what is expected of teachers as much as it is of students.” – Michael Soguero

Microsoft Education
Microsoft offer a wide variety of courses, all categorised from Beginner to Advanced, to support teachers in learning new skills and discover classroom activities aligned with integrating digital technologies in your classroom.

“Expecting excellence from yourself is a choice. Striving for excellence each day is a lifestyle.” – Jimmy Casas

Apple Certified Teacher
Apple Teacher is a free professional learning program designed to support and celebrate educators using Apple products for teaching and learning. As an educator, you can build skills on iPad and Mac that directly apply to activities with your students, earn recognition for the new things you learn and be rewarded for the great work you do every day.

“The most valuable resources that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.” – Robert John Meehan

Happy learning! If you have any other suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below.

Egg Carton ANZAC Day Wreath

Egg Carton ANZAC Day Wreath

There are a lot of different ANZAC Day Wreath ideas out there. This one is budget friendly and offers the opportunity to get your students involved as well!

You will need:
– a large piece of foam board (or cardboard from a box)
– at least two egg cartons (more if you want more poppies)
– acrylic paint: red, black and green
– scissors
– stanley knife
– string
– skewer
– lead pencil
– craft glue
Lest We Forget template
– paintbrushes
– sponge dabber (optional)

Making your wreath:
Make your wreath from foam board or cardboard.
1. This can be done by marking the centre of your cardboard with a pencil. Measure a piece of string from this centre point to the edge of your cardboard (leave a little extra before cutting. And from the centrepoint, move your string around to make sure the string doesn’t leave the cardboard – if it does make it slightly shorter).

Measure the string.

2. Tie one end of the string to a skewer and the other to a lead pencil. Stand the skewer on the centrepoint you created earlier and pull your string tight. The pencil should now be facing down towards the cardboard.

Pull the string tight. Skewer should be on the centre point and the lead pencil facing down towards the cardboard.

3. Keeping the string pulled tight move the pencil around the skewer. Your pencil should be creating a circle on the cardboard.

Keep the pencil pulled tight and draw a circle around the skewer.

4. After you have completed this large circle. Draw a smaller circle inside the large one by using the same technique (just make sure you make the string shorter.

Do the same to make a smaller circle inside the larger one.

5. Use a stanley knife to cut along both circle lines that you have created. You should now have a wreath shape.

Use a stanley knife to cut out the wreath.

Create your poppies.
6. Take your egg cartons and cut away the lid and any extra parts. Leaving you with the egg cup tray (note: don’t through away the extra pieces and lid – you will use those to create your leaves).

Cut all parts off the egg cartons except for the egg cups.

7. Use a stanley knife to cut out each individual cup and then use scissors to tidy up any excess from the cups to make them look neater and more uniform.

Cut out each egg cup.
Tidy them up with scissors to make them look neater.

8. Paint each egg cup with the red paint and then use your sponge dabber (or a paint brush) to paint the centre of each egg cup black.

Paint the egg cups red.
Paint the centre of each egg cup black.

Create your leaves.
9. Put the poppies aside and take the lids and excess pieces from your egg cartons. Paint the green all over. Leave to dry and then cut out leaf shapes from them.

Paint the extra parts from your egg cartons green.
Cut out leaf shapes from the green egg carton pieces once they have dried.

Bring it all together.
10. Take your cardboard wreath shape and glue the Lest We Forget banner to the bottom of it.

Glue the Lest We Forget Banner to the bottom of your wreath.

11. Using craft glue, adhere the poppies to the cardboard wreath.

Secure the poppies to the wreath using craft glue.

12. Use the craft glue to attach the leaves to the wreath as well.

Use craft glue to attach the leaves.

And you are done! Well done 🙂

The finished product.

Don’t forget to share your wreaths with me on your social media posts! Just use the tag @ridgydidgeresources to grab my attention so I can give your post a little love.

LEST WE FORGET.