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: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/nsw-education-minister-adrian-piccoli-announces-record-gonski-funding-for-states-schools-20151020-gke8gy.html#ixzz3pkL2UGng 

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: http://blog.skoolbo.com.au/#sthash.cBDMDW0h.dpuf
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? 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Do you need some help with the delivery of the new Australian Curriculum?

Visit Snapshots for 21C learning http://snapshot-21stcentury-learning.weebly.com/new-curriculum.html


by Shellie Tancred - Attunga PS Principal

You could loose yourself for many hours but certainly come out much more informed!!!

For our NSW staff-Visit NSWDEC Intranet https://detwww.det.nsw.edu.au/australiancurriculuminnsw/professional-learning/curriculum  to access information on these new courses.

Implementing new curriculum

The registered courses below are designed to assist with the implementation of the new curriculum. They can be completed individually or in collaborative groups such as the whole school, a faculty or stage.

Each course focuses on a specific aspect of the implementation and includes:
  • information on registering professional learning with the NSW Institute of teachers
  • materials to support presenters in delivering the course.
Course title Course Description
The learner and the new curriculum Provides a focus on diverse learning needs in the 21st Century and introduces the new syllabuses. Course duration: 2 hours at the key stage of Professional competence.
Teaching for the new curriculum Assists schools to implement the new curriculum effectively by exploring planning and programming, teaching and assessment practices. Course duration: 2 hours at the key stage of Professional competence.
Your school and the new syllabuses These courses support the introduction of new curriculum in schools by examining each syllabus, analysing needs and formulating implementation plans
Each course duration: 5 hours at the key stage of professional competence.
Programming for quality teaching and assessing Provides a guided approach to curriculum planning and development of teaching programs and assessments. Course duration: 10 hours at the key stage of professional competence.
A process for programming a unit of learning These courses provide a more contextualised guide to curriculum planning and programming for each of the new syllabuses.

Each course duration: 5 hours at the key stage of professional competence.
Follow Audrey's board Australian Curriculum on Pinterest.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Australian Science Teachers Association seeks your assistance.

Delese Brewster as Senior Projects Officer is looking for help to determine primary teachers needs to ensure that they are well supported.

Are you able to help them, help you?

With permission I share Delese's message:
Dear Colleagues
There is a focus on ensuring that primary school teachers are well supported with innovative and meaningful tools and resources. Consequently, we seek the support of primary teaching staff to participate in a survey that aims to clearly determine their current needs as well as test their reactions to some new concepts. ASTA is conducting this survey with support from the Office of the Chief Scientist. It is endorsed by the Australian Primary Principals Association.
An independent company, Down To Earth Research (DTER), has been commissioned to undertake an online survey to collect the data required. The online survey is only part of a broader project that has already seen completed a series of group discussions and in-depth interviews. The online survey is relatively simple and should only take about 10 minutes to complete. Not only would we like you personally to complete the survey, we are seeking your assistance to distribute this invitation to your primary teacher network by forwarding them this email with the survey link.
All information provided via the survey will be treated as confidential, with responses compiled into a general summary that does not identify specific respondents or their school. We will provide all schools with a summary of the survey findings at project completion, which I’m sure you will find extremely interesting.
If you have any queries about the study, please contact Vic Dobos on email: vdobos@icloud.com or phone: 02 6282 9377.
To participate in the survey, please http://v8.smpsurveys.com/survey.jsp?KEY_SURVEY=f2ccfaeb-1375-4742-913c-a1cd793beec6&locale=en&UID=  (you may have to press Ctrl + Click).
Thank you for your assistance.

Kind regards

Delese Brewster
Senior Projects Officer
Australian Science Teachers Association
Tel 02 6282 9377 | Fax 02 6282 9477 | www.asta.edu.au

Promoting our profession: enriching science teaching

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Walk Safely to School Day      Friday 23 May 2014

Andrea Rowe blogs:

How did walking to school become the exception?
  • "There's a smaller proportion of children walking to school than at any time in history, but most parents say they'd prefer to walk if they could. So what's the problem? Andrea Rowe looks into the barriers and benefits of walking to school." 

Further reading:
The Link Between Kids Who Walk or Bike to School and Concentration

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Apraxia Awareness Day & you get the presents!!

Multimedia Speech Pathology are celebrating Apraxia Awareness Day on May 14 by setting these two apps to FREE FOR TODAY ONLY!
Both apps are available in US English and Australian English. 

Apraxia is a poorly understood neurological condition. People who have it find it difficult or impossible to make certain motor movements, even though their muscles are normal. Milder forms of apraxia are known as dyspraxia.

"There are two forms of apraxia of speech -- acquired apraxia and developmental apraxia. Acquired apraxia can occur in people of all ages. 
 Children with speech apraxia often have far greater abilities to understand speech than to express themselves with spoken words."    http://www.webmd.com/brain/apraxia-symptoms-causes-tests-treatments.

To speak correctly, your child's brain has to learn how to make plans that tell his or her speech muscles how to move the lips, jaw and tongue in ways that result in accurate sounds and words. Your child's brain also plans these movements so that he or she speaks with normal speed and rhythm.

Speech Sounds on Cue for iPad (Australian English)

iPad Screenshot 3 Screenshot

By Mulitmedia Speech Pathology

Speech therapy treatment software for articulation difficulty caused by apraxia of speech or other speech difficulties. The aim of this app is to increase the intensity of treatment for people with apraxia, combining J. Rosenbek's integral stimulation approach with B. Hill's carrier phrase facilitation drills
Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 9.57.24 PM
iPad only - normally $24.99 - FREE TODAY ONLY
Speech Sound for Kids is an app for promoting phonemic awareness, auditory discrimination and speech sound production using a multi-sensory approach.

This app can provide many hours of speech therapy and early literacy programming


Released yesterday, and free for a LIMITED TIME ONLY this app has it all

ABC Genius PRO - Alphabet Letters, Phonics, and Handwriting Games

By Innovative Mobile Apps

ABC Genius comes with many interactive games and
activities that are great for kids of all ages. Whether you have
a toddler or a kids starting kindergarten, they will know their
ABC in no time with ABC Genius.


Work Time HD by Nick Fanger  Usially $2.99 US
Measure Map By Global DPI, LLC Usually $1.99 US
Encore- Concert Ticketys. photos & videos Usually $4.49 US
Stampede Run by Zynga Inc Usually $1.29 US

ProCam XL 2 by Samer Azzam Usually $1.29 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Earth & Space Science resources & info from Paul Floyd.

 In this post I am sharing a message from Paul Floyd-
"a passionate amateur astronomer with 24 years experience (as at 2014)
 in running a range of education and public astronomy outreach activities." http://nightskyonline.info/?page_id=2

Paul Floyd in April 2012: 
He had just finished a simulated walk on Mars at the Victorian Space Science Education Centre 
(http://www.vssec.vic.edu.au). http://nightskyonline.info/?page_id=2
For those covering the 'Space Sciences' component of the Australian Curriculum: Science curriculum (or equivalent) this term, make sure you ask your students to look at the Moon Wednesday night as it occults Saturn. 

Essentially what they will see is Saturn (looking like a moderately bright pale yellow star) disappear behind the Moon then reappear on the other side of the Moon. How long this takes will depend on where you are in Australia. Observing this provides a nice and relatively rare demonstration of the 3D nature of space, and of the fact that the Moon is orbiting the Earth (causing the occultation).

Binoculars are recommending for observing the occultation due to the fact that the Moon is very close to being full, and therefore as Saturn draws closer to the Moon, the glare from the Moon will make it more difficult to see Saturn disappear and reappear. 

Event times and a chart for different locations in Eastern Australian for this occulation can be found here: http://nightskyonline.info/?page_id=11288

Paul Floyd.
I recommend that you visit Paul's website and check out the valuable resources available including The Australian Curriculum "Earth & Space Science" resources that he is developing and The Free Student astonomy newsletter for each term.

 I love his scale model of the Sun, Earth & Moon System which would help "you to achieve part of one of the following elaborations from either the Year 3 or the Year 5 The Australian Curriculum, Science / Science Understanding / Earth and space science content areas.
  • Year 3 Elaboration 4: Modelling the relative sizes and movement of the sun, Earth and moon (ACSSU048).
  • Year 5 Elaboration 2: Modelling the relative sizes and movement of the sun, Earth and moon  modelling the relative size of and distance between Earth, other planets in the solar system and the sun (ACSSU078)." http://nightskyonline.info/?p=2122

Sunday, 11 May 2014

EDUCATIONAL iPad Apps FREE for limited time AND worth downloading

ALL FREE for a limited time!

Happy Mother's Day!

We're giving you a FREE 3-month subscription accessing over 700 books -

iZip Pro is the Pro Version of iZip, the No. 1 App for ZIP file management on iPhone/iPad.

Usually $8.99

 Besides all the features available on iZip, the Pro Version has more features, which are essential to business and professional users, including Box and GoogleDrive access. iZip Pro has many features:

- Compress files into ZIP file. 
- Compress photos and videos from Camera Roll. 
- Compress songs from iTunes Music. 
- Open and extract files from ZIP format, including password protected and AES encrypted ZIP files. 
- Open and extract many other compressed file formats: RAR, 7Z, ZIPX, TAR, GZIP. 
- Open and view many document types: DOC, Excel, PPT, PDF, TXT, RTF, Pages, JPG, GIF, PNG, videos, etc.. 
- Append files to a ZIP file. 
- Send files in Email. ............... from iPad Preview

Timeline 3D - Create and present timelines

       iOS Universal Usually $12.99 
NOW FREE for a limited time

Timeline 3D for iOS 7 is the most simple way to create beautiful multimedia timelines. 

NEW: Export Slideshows to PowerPoint and Keynote!

Operation Math - Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division for Kids

FREE today for a limited time. Ages 9-11

Comes highly regarded:

 • Parents' Choice Award Winner
• Best App for Teaching and Learning — American Association of School Librarians
• Featured in New York Times
• Top 10 Classroom Math Apps — Teachers With Apps
• Top Innovative Elementary School Math Apps — PadGadget
• No. 1 Recommended Math Game in Apple's Education Collection
• Featured in Apple's Apps for Elementary School
• Featured in Apple's Apps for Kids

Looks very engaging:

Dr. Odd is on a global quest to eliminate the world’s even numbers. And it’s your job to stop him, by destroying his menacing mainframes and making the world a safer place for math. Complete your mission by solving the equations that block your escape and earn all the uniforms and watches of a seasoned Base 10 spy. The faster you work the further you'll go in the exciting spy game that takes you from the pyramids of Egypt to a seat at the front of the class.

Operation Math Pocket - Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division for Kids

for iPhone
See it in action: http://www.spinlight.com/apps/operationmath/

Four McGraw-Hill apps that usually cost but are now FREE fro the month of MAY!! 

Word Wonderland Elementary 
Sort out the right path to guide the astronaut crab through the space station.
Word Wonderland Primary
Sort out the right path to guide this friendly frog through the pond.
Hop, eat, and shake your way to word sorting mastery. Who knew word sorting could be so much fun?

Grammar Wonderland Elementary
Grammar Wonderland Primary
Fly, swim, feed, and toss your way to grammar mastery. Who knew grammar practice could be so much fun?
Lead your character through many wonderful adventures as you practice using nouns, verbs, adjectives, and more!
Grammar Wonderland Elementary
Grammar Wonderland Primary




1) Matching Sounds
2) Initial Sounds
3) Flash Cards
4) Letter Sounds
5) Tracing Letters
6) Uppercase and Lowercase Letters
7) Blending Sounds
8) Spelling
9) Reading
10) Sight Words
11) Fluent Reading
12) Word Bingo

Adobe Voice
Adobe Voice - Show Your Story
Get Adobe Voice - Show Your Story on the App Store. See screenshots and ratings, and read customer reviews.

"Voice helps you create stunning animated videos in minutes. No filming — just talk to tell your story. Pick from over 25,000 beautiful iconic images to show your ideas and Voice automatically adds cinematic motion and a soundtrack. Persuade, inform and inspire anyone online. Make an impact." 

Video Touch Vehicles for the younger students

Usually $2.49 now free
Great 48 videos to entertain and educate your child! When choosing one of the vehicles (cars, planes, trains, etc.), your child will watch 10-20 seconds video clips. For example - fire trucks with their sirens screeching, motorcycles revving by, and water slapping the sides of an oncoming boat. Each vehicle rotates through 4 separate videos with each tap from your child. Perfect and simple!