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The BFG: Dream Jars, Dictionary and a FREEBIE

I'll start off with a warning: I love children's literature! One of my all time favourite authors is Roald Dahl. I just love the wonderful characters, the quirky made-up language and the tales of small children overcoming insurmountable odds. I really enjoy sharing my love of these tales with my classes. We started reading The BFG last term, and we are really enjoying hearing about snozzcumbers, frobscottle and the most amusing by far, whizzpoppers
DreamsIf you have never read The BFG, here's a synopsis.  We are up to the 14th chapter: Dreams. In this chapter, The BFG describes the dreams to Sophie. There are two main kinds of dreams, Golden Phizzwizards(good dreams) and Trogglehumpers (nightmares).
After reading this chapter, we created our own dream jars filled with either a Golden Phizzwizard or a Trogglehumper. Here's a photo of our dream jars all displayed on the window together.
Some of the dream jars were filled with interesting dreams. 

The class had fun creating …

Google Drop-in Sessions

Google Educator Level 2 I have recently completed training for my Google Educator Level 2 certification. After two weeks (in stand down) of hard studying, I was #superexcited to pass the exam and get my next Googly certification!

I took five pages of notes while studying and I have actually referred back to my notes when trying something out at school.

Google Drop-in Sessions To make the most use of my new knowledge, I have volunteered my time each fortnight to help my colleagues with their Googly questions. So far I've hosted three sessions, and have shared several apps, extensions and websites.

The idea behind the drop-in sessions was that people could pop in, ask a question and go (as I am acutely aware that we are all time-poor with a million demands on that time).
Session #1 In the first session, I had 5 people come in and chat. It was a great experience for me, as I was asked questions I didn't know the answers to and had to learn on the fly. I also loved how collegiate t…

Hallway of Happiness

I am very lucky to work with colleagues who are amazingly supportive.
This is the Hallway.
It's the Year 3/4 corridor in my school, and it has 5 of the most incredible, inspiring and innovative teachers I have worked with. Here's a sneak peek into our corridor and the people who work here.
As a typical Aussie, I rarely refer to my friends or colleagues by their proper names, instead, they all have shortened versions. I also rarely acknowledge when people call me by my full name, but that's mostly because I don't think of myself as a Rebecca.

Instagram for Teachers

In this heavily connected social media world, it is too easy to see other people's photos and posts and compare yourself to these lovely, shiny people who seem to have it all together.

Teaching is like this, too. I see other teachers, in a seemingly effortless manner, do things that I find so difficult. It's these moments that make me want to share the small victories I achieve.

I started an Instagram account specifically for sharing school photos. I wanted to keep my home life separate, but also to use that account to curate a list of my most inspiring teachers to follow.

Here are a few of the inspirational teacher Instagrammers that I love to follow:


and another Canberran local,

Thanks for dropping in,

Teach Tech Play 2017 Recap

The Star Class I haven't posted on this blog since 13 December 2015. I lost my confidence in MY teaching. I felt like what I was doing in the classroom was just keeping my head above water. So I stopped sharing my ideas and thoughts.
On April 3-4, I attended the Teach Tech Play conference at Ivanhoe Grammar School in Melbourne. After 2 days of professional learning, my mind was buzzing! 
...and I got my teaching mojo back! 
Teach Tech Play 2017 Conference Recap I missed the opportunity to attend the 2016 conference, so when it was announced that there would be a 2017 conference, I jumped to it! 
This is a one page overview that I created from my notes to share with my colleagues at my school. It's full of links to the people and sites that I learnt about. 

These are the notes I frantically scribbled down as I was listening to keynote speakers, and presenters during the sessions.

I tried to cram as much as I could into my notes during each session. Some sessions were really han…

What a year!

This year has flown by! I haven't posted since March because I have been so busy that I haven't had the chance to take photos. So this post will be a summary of what we have done since March.
Term 1 Art Rainforest SilhouettesIn Term 1 we were studying a Primary Connections unit - Plants in action. We linked it to our Geography outcome (The main characteristics of the continents of Africa and South America and the location of their major countries in relation to Australia(ACHASSK087)) and learnt about rainforests in Africa and South America.

These silhouette pictures were created with a dry brush technique for the green background, then the silhouettes were drawn on black paper and cut out to glue onto the background. The 'jungle vine' border was re-used from a baby shower I hosted for my best friend (which was again re-used by a Year 3 teacher for a drama presentation at Arts Fest). Some of these artworks were more effective than others, but I think they all look fantast…

Corridor Display

Our classroom is on one of the school's main corridors. As a result, we get a lot of traffic outside our class from students, teachers, executive staff and parents. Because of this fact, I try to spend a little more time and effort on my corridor displays, knowing that a lot of people are going to see it.
The other morning as I was in my room preparing the day's lessons, I heard some little voices in the corridor. They were reading out loud to each other from the work on display. It was so sweet hearing them talk about the work, finding the ones that belonged to their older siblings and telling each other which ones they liked the best. That moment made it worth all the time and effort I put into making sure my students' work was displayed.
This work is based on something I saw on Pinterest (that site is seriously addictive), "The Best Part of Me".

This was done at the start of the school year as a 'getting to know you' activity. Each student took a photo of…

Non-fiction text features

How do you get students to identify non-fiction text features? With sticky notes!
Last week we took a closer look at two non-fiction texts about plants. We focussed on two pages about leaves. Using these non-fiction labels, we identified several features on the page.
Go to Ginger Snaps to download these cute cards for FREE! 
Here's how they look after we labelled both pages' features. We didn't use all the cards in the set as some didn't apply to our text. 

Information Report display
Once I had modelled it on the whiteboard, using my awesome students as assistants, they then chose a text to examine and label for themselves.
Student work samples
Student work samples
All of my students were able to complete this task at some level. A few chose the easier text (the bottom one in both photos) and only labelled a few main features. Some chose the more challenging text (the top one in both photos) and not only labelled all the different features they could find, they also counte…