Monthly Archives: October 2014

Teach Your Students to Stand Up, Not Bystand

As mentioned in my previous post, the Inquiry unit I’ve been working on with my students is all about understanding with empathy. One of the things we did today, was look at real life stories and use them as inspiration to create songs, poems, magazine covers etc. The kids gained so much from this experience and were able to make connections between what they viewed, and their own lives. Iv’e shared the presentation with you that I used with my students. At the beginning of the presentation you will see a breakdown of our understandings for the unit with students responses. There are also great Youtube clips and links in the presentation that you can use in the classroom. Feel free to use this!

Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes

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I’ve recently been teaching my students about what it means to be a bystander. I’ve noticed that Grade 3 is a tough year! It seems to be the age where children are trying to work out who they are, where they belong and who they gel with! After numerous attempts to sort issues out, I realised I needed to do something more than circle time. Myself and my colleagues have decided to base our Inquiry unit this term on teaching students how deal with real issues that are happening outside and in their friendship groups.
I’ve also realised how powerful it is to ‘keep it real.’ I’ve been using real scenarios and issues that are happening in the classroom to show children how to deal with things in both positive and negative ways. A few things that have really worked for me, and that I think are worth sharing…
1. Get your kids to scrunch up a piece of paper and say sorry to it. It shows them that saying ‘sorry’ isn’t enough and that treating others in a negative way can hurt them for life.
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2. Use the song ‘Caught in a Crowd’ by Kate Miller-Heidke and once you’ve watched it, have children put themselves in the characters shoes. I drew a pair of feet and had children come and speak from the characters perspectives. They had to choose  whether they were the character as an adult or as a child. So powerful!!!!

3. Expose them to different ways of dealing with issues. A great example can be seen on this link: This was also another powerful story.
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4. Most importantly teach the students how to be honest and respectful. We don’t need to be best friends with everyone, however we still need to be respectful!

Empower your Students to Become a Google Educator

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I recently presented at the Melbourne GAFE Summit and had the opportunity to listen to many inspiring educators. One of the sessions I went to (ran by Kimberly Hall) was all about Google for Education and their exam process. As I read through the examination examples and tests, I was chatting to a colleague who I was sitting with, and we thought about giving students the opportunity to sit the exams themselves. So that’s what we did. We’ve had some of the Grade 4s achieve 80%. Although not all were as successful, they still gave it a shot and loved it. The fact that the kids knew it was an exam for ‘adults,’ it made them want to strive for accuracy. Now they’re asking for more opportunities to give it another go. The Grade 3 children will also be sitting the exam next week.

I then thought about how I could use such an achievement to empower my students. As the ICT Leader and someone who works at a GAFE school, I’ll be recruiting ICT Leaders in the coming year. The requirement for children will be that they need to have participated in the exam and have achieved an 80% minimum socre. This will allow me to to work with students and provide them with opportunities to help other staff and students with Google APPS in the classroom.

The link below provides all the information you need about the exams. 

Made With Code

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We all know that ‘code’ is the biggest ‘buzz word’ in education right now… Trust Google to come up with something that enables children to experiment with this concept and realise the power of code. I can’t wait to give my little coders the opportunity to play around with this. It’s pretty straight forward and simple to use. No background knowedge required. Stay tunned to find out my kids do with code!

APPS For Your Class. Tools for teachers and students from Google Play for Education

As Term 4 approaches, I’m on the lookout for new tools that I can use with my students. I came across this presentation that’s public on the web and that I thought was worth sharing. So many tools… So excited! It even provides teachers with tips on how to use the APPS in the classroom. One of the APPS mentioned in the presentation is called Google Keep. I’ve been using Google Keep for a couple of weeks now and I love it. It’s replaced the thousands of stickies I used to have on my desktop. The best thing about it is that it syncs to my phone and iPad! You can even share your Google Keep notes. You could use this with students as a way of ‘parking ideas’ and brainstorming/questioning topics. Check it out and see what you think. I’d love for other educators to share their ideas about how they’re using various Google APPS in their classroom.

Apps for Your Class. Google Play for Education (PUBLIC ON WEB)

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