Friday, May 31, 2013

3D shapes

   


How cool are these 3D shapes and how amazing are what they made their 3D shapes into.
 
This is a very short post as my work day is over, but I am about to have a business meeting for iSURF and then go help to supervise the annual school family dance.
 
I need to put my dancing shoes on to dance with students from this year and last year and the year before.
 
I will let you know how that all goes.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Learning about 2D shapes

In our Prep space as you know we have 4 prep grades - (Kinder in The USA).
 
This week we decided to share our children in Mathematics.
 
There are 4 groups and I have the "'Crabs" - we are working on 2D shapes and what makes a 2 D shape.
 
We have been using Rainforest Maths - which is a website program designed by an Aussie and is absolutely brilliant for all Primary Grades - a resource worth exploring. If you subscribe to Matheletics it is part of that. But you can buy it as a stand alone program.
 
This group are exploring the sides, corners and size of sides and using their knowledge to use shapes to make pictures.
 
We are looking at different triangles, rectangles, squares and circles and what makes them these shapes. We are using them to make pictures as well.
 
We are gathering evidence for reporting and this assessment is ongoing for our planning.
 
Next week I have the turtles......
 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day in May

There was yellow everywhere today.
 
It is a Day in May and we wore yellow to show support for childhood cancer.
 
We helped to raise money for the Challenge Foundation, they are a non profit group that assist children with cancer. 
 
Our students danced at lunch time, read this morning as part of our normal routine .
 
I love that our 'Kid's Voice' organises this to raise awareness of the plight of others.
 
A little empathy and kindness goes such a long way and coupled with some fundraising we have a continued sense of caring in our learning community.
 
It is so nice to think of others.........

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

iSURF - first post

Kerry (a colleague and now good friend) and I have been working behind the scenes to create a way to help make sense of our new curriculum and can see how useful this will be to our international educators as well. Proficiencies is the way to go to have great problem solvers in our classrooms.

We have played around with the following two introductions of ourselves for our joint venture - check out our iSURF blog to see which one we went with. Don't forget to add yourself as a follower and be in on the beginning of what will be the way to teach Mathematics through proficiencies.



This is version 1

Hello and welcome to iSURF Maths!
We (Kerry and Paula) are pleased to share our Mathematical thinking with you and welcome your feedback on our journey so far!
We are two passionate educators, with 46 years of teaching experience between us. We have both taught students from Prep to Year 6 and have worked in many schools across various socio-economic environments.
Paula is currently taming a bunch of energetic Prep students, at a large primary school in Ballarat and has a major role in whole school curriculum. Kerry is leading curriculum development, as Assistant Principal, at a primary school in regional Victoria and also teaches Year 1 students, one day a week.
Our mutual interest and passion for all things educational, has brought us together for this exciting project. We have enjoyed the challenges of exploring and producing a quality Mathematics curriculum for our students.
 
This is version 2
Kerry & Paula welcome you to iSURF!
Kerry is an Assistant Principal & Paula is a Curriculum Leader, Coach & Prep teacher. We spend our days at regional primary schools in Victoria, Australia.
Three ways to sum us up, professionally and in our spare time…and why  we have a Maths focus
Professional Kerry: curriculum juggler, Professional Learning Team (PLT) support crew and brainteaser.
Kerry’s spare time: urban escapologist, passport stamper and Rogainer (Google that!).
Professional Paula: lion tamer (Preps can be a little like that at times!), team trailblazer and curriculum engineer.
Paula’s spare time: coffee drinker, traveller, blogger and collector (shopaholic) of shoes and handbags!
We are educational enthusiasts with a passion for great curriculum that engages, captivates and inspires.  iSURF represents our Mathematical thinking in relation to AusVELS and the National Curriculum, we hope you find it thought-provoking as well as useful.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Measuring length



 
At the end of last week we did some measuring of length and comparing.
 
Part of our new curriculum suggests that this task will help teachers to assess what our students know.
 
We needed to roll out two snakes - this was our first hurdle and we had to learn how to do this. We assume too many things sometimes! So we had to learn how to make a rolled out snake.
 
They needed to make a short snake and a long snake.
 
Then they needed top sit them on this page and then go and find objects from around the room that were the same length as the snakes.
 
I needed to have conversations with them about the choice they were making about objects.
 
The students then needed to draw the objects they found.
 
My anecdotes now indicate which students are at the expected level, which ones are above and which ones need support to get to the expected level.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Walk to school and crazy shoe day

We try to promote a healthy lifestyle and choices at school and one way to do this is to have a walk to school day.
 
Our Assistant Principal promotes this in our school community and we have students who help promote it at assembly and make posters and encourage walkers.
 
So we teamed it up with crazy shoe and/or sock day.
 
There was a parade at assembly, recognition of student craziness and parent support.
 
As the children walked to school they were also given a big sticker and a cup of fruit salad.
 
Here are just a few photos of shoes and socks.
 
We were even mentioned on our local radio station. They asked that drivers be extra careful when driving as more students were walking to school today.
 
Plus - what was going on at our school as we seemed to have changed our school uniform overnight!
 
Love the combinations of craziness.




Saturday, May 25, 2013

Five for Friday

Kacey and Doodle Bugs and Five for Friday help to bring each week to a close and the year is moving forward at a crazy pace. Life is hectic and joyful and I wouldn't have it any other way.

This week I have agonised over what to post for Five for Friday. I have a bit going on so decided to celebrate the reasons I can do what I do - not necessarily in any order of importance.

Number One - my week wouldn't happen without this.......my coffee machine. I love the smell of coffee in the morning, I even have a machine in our team office. I cannot bear instant coffee as life is too short to drink inferior coffee!

Number Two - my family allows me to have the level of commitment and enjoyment I have for my job. They are understanding when I am late home, when I forget to pick up milk, when my husband cooks dinner yet again and the list goes on....

Number Three - My teaching team - which is really my learning community! I lead a team of teachers where we teach 84 preps in an open space. This week we are going into iSURF groups and will be teaching across the space for Maths. I belong to a motivated group of four coaches and I work with the most amazing, inspirational Principal. The whole staff have worked so hard in the last few years to help improve outcomes for all students - I love my workplace.
 

Number Four - iSURF. This week we (Kerry and I) have organised a joint bank account/paypal account and are setting up our digital shops to launch our new Maths philosophy. This new way of processing assess/plan/teach for maths has been trailed and implemented in some classrooms over the last 6-8 months and we all love it. Our blog is about three days away - we already have followers so come on over and be there when we launch.

Number Five - my digital shops. These have given me the freedom to create and improve the way I present my work. My own students, colleagues and parents love them and now people around the world love them too.

Calendar Freebie

My Daily Bulletin Board has been a freebie in TPT and has had heaps of downloads. With my USA buddies winding up for summer break, you may want to look at it for your new classroom. In Australia with our National Curriculum, I have found this to be really useful in addressing days of the week, measuring time and seasons. I have also used it to address some science outcomes when using the weather pictures.
 


Friday, May 24, 2013

Robyn came to visit

Robyn is a grandmother to one of my Prep boys and she came to visit and work with us to explore lines in art with pastels. 
The Preps had so much fun exploring words to describe the movement of the pastels. 
They came up with twisting, turning, smudging, angry.....
they then got to make their own marks and can't wait to try their new skills in Discovery Learning.
How exciting are their efforts.






Thursday, May 23, 2013

Daily 5 - word work

A short post tonight.

We have been having so much fun while doing word work this week. 

These magnetic letters have been helping us to learn out sight words. 

We use our 'best fit' words from our M100W. 

We make our words and then show a buddy who checks them while we read them and make sure they are correct.

We are also loving play dough words for the same reason.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Who can tell the time?

Telling the time is a basic life skill and yet so many students struggle to do this correctly. 

I have put together a unit of work that builds up concepts about time to allow them to build confidence and skills while be engaged in great tasks that are best fit.

There are 156 pages of tasks - the tasks will help connect days of the week to familiar events, help describe duration of months, weeks, days and hours, use calendars to identify dates, days and important dates, tell time to the hour, half hour, five minutes time, write time to nearest minute and measure time in minutes.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

At last - images are done

I have been working on this concept for a few weeks and now have it ready. So now our blogging friends from around the world can see where we are from.

I have mucked around with buttons, grabbing code and it all looked rather cumbersome on the side of my blog.

So I have decided to go with photos resized with the help of photobucket and linked back using the 'add image' on blogger dashboard.

This has now contained the images on my AUSSIE BLOGGER page and makes it all neat and tidy.
So calling all Aussie bloggers to link up and thanks for those that already have.
Copy these buttons for your blog and add them as an 'image' in 'gadgets' to link back to this page.

Don't forget to add your own link below so that visitors to this page can see where you are from.

Now to get back to the reports I should have been writing this weekend. I still have a few weeks, but I like to get on them as I prefer to come back and read them at least twice before they get uploaded.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Discovery Learning and counting


I absolute love Discovery Learning for so many reasons.
We started this task to show the setting for Goldilocks and the Three Bears and somehow ended up counting blocks and bears.
I was more than happy to have this task take a twist as I heard two boys counting beyond 36  and 59 for the first time.
It is also a great time to assess Interpersonal Skills for students.
As well as speaking and listening skills.
Volume and pitch of voice and word pronunciation often leads to incidental conversations about how to say certain words.
This is so important as then we write about what we do, and if our pronunciation is incorrect our words will be recorded incorrectly when we sound them out.
I get to listen, watch and participate in a play situation and often see a different side of some students.
In our shared Prep space we do this for half an hour a day, tasks are specific and directly related to our Inquiry/theme.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Budding Blog


Jess at http://iheartrecess.blogspot.com.au/ is hosting a lovely linky for people who have less than 200 followers. The questions she asks are

1. Why did you start blogging?
I wanted to keep track of my learning and the learning of my students in a digital format. I started to do this for me and now have learnt so much from other bloggers.

2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why? I teach Prep in Australia (Kindergarten in USA) and love maths, English and everything else. I also coach teachers and coaches in my school.

3. Describe your teaching style. I love Daily 5, Inquiry Learning and with a colleague we are setting up a new maths program that will incorporate all of the above.

4. Give three interesting facts about you.
- I love to travel with my daughter - she is 15. We have been to Malaysia x2 and Bali x2 and love it! My husband and son don't want to go so we leave them behind. They do guy stuff.
- I have a shoe and bag fetish and have taught many groups of kids that you can have enough shoes and handbags!
-  I am fascinated by great coffee and great wine.

5. Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link :) I do have a TPT store - http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Paula-Shaw-1910

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Five for Friday - May 17

Kacey from Doodle Bugs has had her last Friday and is on summer break - in Australia we are heading into winter and have had so much rain this week.

My 'five for Friday' ............

1. I have been involved in planning meetings to set up a new business with a friend - iSURF(c)2013. This is a program/philosophy to teach maths using the proficiency statements from our new Australian Curriculum. It is very exciting and in about a month we will be ready to launch.
 


2. On Tuesday, I coach three other coaches. These sessions has been really exciting and we have very insightful sessions looking at how we can take our school forward and further establish a real learning community. We are looking at school improvement using this booklet that a group of coaches (my name is in the back too) and our State put together a few years ago.
Coaching teachers in effective instruction.pdf


3. The job I love the most - teaching Preps (or Kindergarten in the USA) keeps me grounded and look at these great photos......

 



4. Longing for a massage or pedicure - so I booked one for today!

5. My nephew has been in intensive care and the rest of the week has been a blur. He is out, breathing, talking and certainly on the mend. I live 2000kms away from my extended family and this week has been a tough one on everyone, especially on my sister as her husband passed away 2 years ago and I can't imagine how you would deal with this without your partner around. My thoughts have been with her all week.

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