Saturday, 30 April 2016

"Hunting for the last wild thylacine" book video conference opportunity.

I am very excited to share this info from Aleesah Darlison:
                       screenshot from BigSky Publishing 
"If you only book one video conference this year … it has to be this!
A must-read story. A must-see presentation.

Hunting for the Last Wild Thylacine

I am the last of my kind. This I know.
Once, we roamed the land. We owned the land. We called it Home.
My story matters. I am the last living female Tasmanian tiger.

7 September 2016 is National Threatened Species Day and commemorates the 80th anniversary of the death of the last known (captive) thylacine.

                                                     Threatened Species Day 2015
Threatened Species Day is a national day held each year on 7 September to commemorate the death of the last remaining Tasmanian tiger (also known as the thylacine) at Hobart Zoo in 1936. It is a time to reflect on what happened in the past and how we can protect our threatened species in the future.
If you are looking for ways to help you can find out more about Saving Our Species, and take a short quiz to find out how much you know about our threatened flora and fauna visit the Threatened Species Day website.

Stripes in the Forest by award-winning author, Aleesah Darlison, is a poignant and emotive story of an iconic species lost. Told from the perspective of the last wild, female Tasmanian tiger, it provides readers with an insight into the rare beauty and uniqueness of these amazing animals, explains their fight for survival and provides important lessons for future generations.

Join author, Aleesah Darlison, and Australian Museum Outreach Manager, Karen Player, as they take you on a journey of discovery and discussion about the thylacine and other endangered Australian species. What was the thylacine really like? What artefacts remain of its existence? And do thylacines still roam the Tasmanian wilderness today? Includes a multi-media PowerPoint presentation, museum displays, book reading, discussion and question time.

Stripes in the Forest is a stunning book that contains many layers of storytelling and will generate rich discussion and raise important questions for young minds.

Bookings can be made at: or queries to: Aleesah Darlison, "

Aleesah Darlison
Children’s Author
Director, 2016 NSW Writers’ Centre Kids & YA Literary Festival
Winner, 2015 Environment Award for Children’s Literature

Monday, 25 April 2016

CBCA supporting quality literature!

Sharing news for Jackie Hawke on behalf of the Children's Book Council of Australia, with permission,
HI All - 
Just to mention a few of the myriad possibilities to link with excellent Australian Children's Literature and aspects of the categories for the Notables leading up to the 2016 Books of the Year - at the 

READ : Myriad Possibilities 
CBCA National Conference
May 19 - 21 in Sydney. 

It is the aim of the conference committee to provide a stimulating, varied and inspiring program that will feature the best Australian children’s book creators. It will also provide a forum for discussion and debate, especially as Quality Literature is central to the Australian English Curriculum.

Speakers and sessions will cover:
-literature and drama
-picture books - words and images
-aspects of mainstream and self-publishing
-stories to screen
-folk and fairytales
-musical links
-internet and non-fiction
-young adult literature
-Indigenous literature
-writing for a better world
-birthday celebrations for CBCA and the School Magazine

Many familiar faces on both sides of the imagination processes will share aspects of reading, writing and creating - hopefully including you!

If you have loved the excitement of the recently announced Notables, be sure to be part of the announcement of the 2016 Short List at the conference as we head towards Book Week 2016 with Australia: Story Country.

The Conference is a Teacher Identified Professional Learning Course.  It may address the following 
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers3.3.2 – Using teaching strategies; and 3.4.2 – Select and use resources. Further details
Booking close May 6.

What's not to love about children's literature - and even better to share at the CBCA (Children's Book Council of Australia) National Conference in Sydney! 

Hope to see you there.

 Cheers- Jackie

Jackie Hawkes
Teacher librarian and reader!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Are you sinking or swimming?

As a teacher who started teaching in the 70's, and is still teaching in 2016, I have seen many changes in many areas of education, some exhilarating, others exciting, a few game changers- but unfortunately not all changes have been for the better, nor is every teacher ready to embrace!

However, I must say that I find teaching these days  for me is much more of a facilitating role than in the past and it is also imperative to me that my learning is ongoing everyday, and at every opportunity.

 I love learning and enjoy the many opportunities that are available these days to connect- to learn -to reflect- and to collaborate with other educators around the globe.

Are you enjoying teaching these days? Are you feeling too pressured? How are you coping with all the change? Does participating in social media fill you with dread?
Bury your head in the sand
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Sander Van Der Wel from Netherlands

I found this article below and just had to share it. It is reflects my own beliefs and understandings of being a 21C learner and teacher so well.

Please share what you think in the comments.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Congratulations! 70 years of engaging the community with Literature for young Australians!

 The following information is taken from the Children's Book Council of Australia awards website page.
There are a number of changes that need to be noted for this year.


Saturday 20 August - Friday 26 August 2016
Theme: Australia: Story Country
 Friday 19 August Noon: CBCA Book of the Year Winners Announcement
Stop Press: Shaun Tan is doing the art work
Looking for ideas: Visit  the collaborative Pinterest Board:

2016 CBCA Australia:Story Country

Children's Book Council of Australia 2016 book week theme ideas & activities

Follow Audrey's board 2016 CBCA Australia:Story Country on Pinterest.
2016 Book of the Year Awards

"The Children's Book Council is pleased to announce a slight change in the Awards announcement procedures for 2016.
As most of you will know, this year is the 70th anniversary of the first award and in that time the way the awards are judged and announced has changed many times. That's what makes them dynamic, responsive to change and relevant. 
Next year, immediately following the judges' meeting, we will announce our Notables (or long list, as other awards call such a list); at the CBCA conference in May, we will announce the Short List and then in August the winners and honour books will be announced.

              Screenshot from CBCA website

This will keep up the momentum of interest and excitement, give libraries and schools three points of focus and help to promote Australian children's literature across a number of months." 
Dates to be noted: 
Notables announcement April 18
Short List announcement May 20
Award announcement August 19

Monday, 7 March 2016

Looking good...Notetaking and drawing tool app free ATM

Zen Sketch is described in the App store as:
"a cross between a note-taking and a painting app. ...The app goes beyond regular ink handwriting apps by using an industry standard drawing/painting engine, but still organizes your work in a logical fashion like any good note-taking app.

Use Zen Sketch to create powerful notes or paintings. All your work can easily be exported out of the app as images or PDFs, and shared in just about every way imaginable. The app has no learning curve, and lets you work in a streamlined and clean interface designed with the latest technology in mind."

It sounded worth downloading especially at this price! Free!

I am very happy with what it offers.

There are plenty of tools, great range of colours and plenty of easy to share options.

For young kids don't miss out on the Bamba apps by Mezmedia which are free atm too!
well worth downloading
Screenshot of a few of the Bamba apps.

I find many of the great educational apps that go free by using a range of apps including the ones in the screenshot below:

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

I give a Gonski! Do YOU?

Years ago businessman David Gonski was commissioned by the federal government to undertake a fundamental assessment of how well existing educational practices are working. We are still waiting on the Federal Ministers to fund the fifth and sixth year of GONSKI implementation.

​​Last Wednesday our NSW Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, announced record levels of funding for NSW public schools next year.  
The $113 million boost pledged will target schools  most in need through the Gonski reforms and comes on top of the $860 million already committed to funding school resources in 2016. This is great news for students who need extra help.

Read more: 

If you are not sure why GONSKI money is to important take  a few minutes to view this video. It is brief and to the point. 

Gonski uses a new allocation model(RAM)  to distribute funding to schools. It re-aligns the total pool of funding to focus on students from some form of disadvantage.
The funding is delivered on the basis of the Family Occupation and Education Index (FOEI), to accurately identify levels of socio-economic disadvantage and target funding accordingly. 

On the I give a Gonski website it states:

Gonski funding will ensure that every school has the right resources to meet the needs of every child. But only a fraction of the funding has been delivered so far.

Parents, teachers and community members need to work together to convince the Turnbull Government to deliver this vital funding in full!
I give a GONSKI
Do you?

Saturday, 13 December 2014

ESA Apps for schools FREE!

Apps for Schools’ gives students one-click access to Education Services Australia's most popular digital learning games directly using their tablet device, at school or at home. Students will enjoy learning, and testing their knowledge and skills in a range of fun and educationally rich activities in English, science and maths. Teachers will be impressed how easily they can download this cloud based apps on demand from the ESA Cloud environment to share with their students. Parents will be satisfied that the content is educationally rich and engaging. 

This app groups games by series, providing variations on each theme and activities that are graded according to year level. They include:

•Letter planet: Identify words for the same letter or groups of letters and construct sentences
•Make it happen: Construct posters, invitations or notices to make something happen!
•Dragon's jumble: Order pictures to match the telling of a story and choose sentences to match 

•Fraction fiddle: Create, match and change fractions
•Rice paper rolls: Tell the time on a digital or analogue clock
•The Metrix: Make unit conversions using a metric measurement table

•Garden detective: Search for and group invertebrates according to their body parts
•Jet force: Use linear forces to control the direction of an object
•Types of matter: Magnify samples of matter to atomic level and classify them 
lets go fishing
Lets go fishing screenshot

Thursday, 23 October 2014

SKOOLBO Where learning is fun and free! (if you register before October 31, 2014)

Skoolbo – 
 Children are immersed in an incredible learning world and are highly motivated by the inbuilt rewards mechanisms. Parents and teachers are equipped with an array of tools to help them achieve wonderful educational outcomes for their children.
Disclaimer: I will receive no advantage from Skoolbo for sharing this information. As an educator I share what I believe are valuable & innovative educational ideas, pedagogy, activities and resources to improve students learning outcomes. 

Skoolbo is proud to now have over 20,000 schools worldwide playing on the platform, it marks a massive 2014 which began with Skoolbo Aussie launching in February!Skoolbo superhero - 100
Skoolbo have had over 4000 Aussie schools, including ours, join the program which is just shy of 60% of Primary Schools across the country.
- See more at:
SKOOLBO questions focus on the following areas:-
  • Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Number Development
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Number Patterns
  • Time
  • Multiplication
  • Division
Each student is required to sit pre-tests on Reading and Numeracy to work out the difficulty level for the student, this is continually assessed and the difficulty adjusted when needed. Students receive ‘Bo’ coins for answering questions successfully which can be used to purchase rewards such as racing worlds, toys and other items.

Skoolbo guides are available for teachers to download and Skoolbo is available for PCs, Macs, iPads and Android devices.
Pricing Structure:

Don't delay!
Register prior to 31 October 2014
Your school will be given "Forever Free" status and you will never pay the annual school license.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Help with teaching mathematics from a range of sources.

I love this website for stimulating rich mathematical learning.
                                                                           NRICH Enriching Mathematics

 NAPLAN Teaching strategies 2013
Further support is available from the tabs: ESL; Students with Learning difficulties and Aboriginal Students.


Dave Burke on his website daveictdotcom
 has shared the  following notebook file resources for years 3,5,7 & 9 which were compiled by Josh Stephens, North Coast Region HAT."

TheYr3 page consists of:
 Year3 Measurement + Length questions
 Year 3 Space and Geometry + Position questions 
 Year 3 Space and Geometry + Angles questions
 Year 3 Space and Geometry + 3D questions
 Year 3 Space and Geometry + 2D questions
 Year 3 Patterns and Algebra questions
 Year 3 Number + Whole Numbers questions
 Year 3 Number + Subtraction questions
 Year 3 Number + Multiplication questions
 Year 3 Number + Money questions
 Year 3 Number + Fractions & Decimals questions
 Year 3 Number + Division questions
 Year 3 Number + Chance questions
 Year 3 Number + Addition questions
 Year 3 Measurement + Volume_Capacity questions
 Year 3 Measurement + Time questions
 Year 3 Measurement + Temperature questions
 Year 3 Measurement + Mass questions
 Year 3 Measurement + Area questions
 Year 3 Data questions

Awesome Algebra Apps and Websites 

Spanning K-12, and introducing advanced topics like matrices, polynomials, and linear equations, these great apps and sites offer lessons, reference resources, games, and tutorials that'll help teachers teach and students learn.

Check out these Pinterest boards  for many stimulating ideas: MATHEMATICS AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM
Mathematics Australian Curriculum resources via So You Think You Can Teach
                                                          MATHS-AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Birth order matters for teachers & principals.

Michael Grose believes that birth order information about students, and, if possible, parents and your colleagues, will make your life as a teacher and school leader easier. Grose outlines why:

1. Birth order gives you greater understanding of children
2. Birth order tells you how much assistance parents need
3. Birth order explains why kids are different in a family
 4. Birth order gives you a clearer picture of your personal drivers
5. Birth order knowledge makes you more effective with your colleagues
He states that "there’s no doubt that an understanding of your colleagues’ birth order positions will give vital information to help you be more effective when interacting with them. Similarly, collecting data about children’s birth order will provide you with vital data to help you more effective as a teacher and administrator." 
To learn more visit Michael Grose's blog post:
parent-school relationships, helping parents, difficult parents

Dr. Gail Gross Headshot

 wrote a post entitled:
The Achiever, the Peacemaker and the Life of the Party: How Birth Order Affects Personality
Cross believes that Birth Order Does Matter. "
While the eldest child is programmed for excellence and achievement, the middle child is raised to be understanding and conciliatory and the baby seeks attention. As a result, birth order is a powerful variable in the unfolding of your personality."

That Elusive Birth Order Effect and What it Means for You
Can birth order really shape your personality?

Stewart, a University of Georgia psychologist Alan E. Stewart,wrote (2012) on the theory and research on birth order.  He based his paper on 529 journal articles published over a 20 year period.  The sheer number of studies on birth order is a testimony to the importance of this topic in psychology.
Stewart distinguished between “actual” birth order, or ABO (the numerical rank order into which you are born in your family of origin) and “psychological” birth order, or PBO (self-perceived position in the family).
This is a really important difference because as Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D.  stated it means that your birth order need not have the same impact on you as the birth order you believe you have.
 "Some researchers believe birth order is as important as gender and almost as important as genetics. It gets back to the old nurture vs. nature business."
Whitbourne explains that the actual and psychological birth order can deviate for a number of reasons, including illness of one child, size of family, and degree of separation between siblings. 
 She stated that your role in the family based on your age may not be same as the role you have come to occupy.Your perceived niche in your family plays a larger role in influencing the adult you’ve become than the actual timing of your birth.

In Birth Order in the Workplace BernadoTirado shares that

research shows that birth order has a lot of influence on how we behave in the workplace. Whether we like it or not, we unconsciously create a family environment at work. Tirado believes that having the ability to predict, or knowing someone's birth order provides you with a competitive advantage in understanding how to work with the individual. He  highly encourages you to read The Birth Order Book. He states that it's easy to read and doesn't follow the traditional academic writing style.

Tirado believes that first born, and often the only child as well, are perfectionists, reliable, conscientious, list makers, well-organized, natural leaders, critical, and serious- which in the workplace equates with being straight thinkers, organized, and goal setters.
Tirado states that only children are very thorough, deliberate, self-motivated, black-and-white thinkers, fearful, and cautious. Only children never have to compete with siblings for personal attention, which makes them more confident and articulate.
He finds that the middle child tends to be a mediator, diplomatic, avoids conflict, loyal to peers, has many friends, and is independent which in the workforce equates to being skilled at mediating disputes, willing to work things out, and can be trusted with sensitive information.
Tirado states that the last born typically are manipulative, charming, blames others, attention seekers, natural salesperson, engaging, and affectionate which in the workforce equates to being able to read others well and know how to work well one on one or in small groups., being caring. and always wanting to help, and are easy to talk too.

How can you see this information being useful for you in your classroom or office?