Category Archives: Junior school

Worth a read 05/22/2014

  • “The ability to link various documents within Google Apps makes it ideal for a digital Guided Reading program. Bringing Guided Reading into the Google realm has made it simple for me to consolidate my plans, texts, student work, and assessment into one location. It all begins with the Guided Reading Launch Page, a hub which, through linking, allows quick and easy access to:

    a weekly schedule
    anecdotal assessment documents
    an assessment form
    digital texts
    guided group folders (within which I store tasks, student work, and texts)”

    tags: google apps reading KDSBytes literacy GAFE

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


Storybird is a tool to use for creative writing with students to create beautiful illustrated books. Storybird can be used on a computer or through a browser on an iPad. It is suitable for creating picture books or long-form (chapter) books or even poetry.

Storybird has hundreds of themed sets of illustrations freely available to use to illustrate a story. Here’s a snapshot of just a few from a search for penguins:

Storybird - Artful Storytelling

Search for artwork to fit an existing story or browse the illustrations to inspire a new story. When the story is complete it can be shared free of charge via a link, embedding on a website, through social media or email; or for around $2 you can download a high-quality pdf for printing. There is even the option to have a proper bound book printed from around $15 and they do deliver to Australia.

Teachers can create accounts for their students and then monitor progress and provide feedback through the writing process. Students are able to view and comment on each others work in a safe online space.

Imagine how thrilled the children will be to share their beautifully illustrated stories with their families.

My story isn’t going to win any prizes but it gives you a little idea of what is possible.

Here is some feedback about Storybird from teachers:

Storybird - Storybird for Schools

iPad news and views 04/07/2014

  • “This is a site aimed at teachers, parents and children looking for great educational apps!  With many years experience teaching primary school children and coordinating ICT in schools we have scoured Apple’s app store, Google Play and lots of app-recommending websites and have tried out many apps in order to recommend what we consider the best educational apps available.  So many other websites recommending apps don’t actually research or try them first. We do!
    We aim to make finding suitable apps more straightforward and less time consuming.  Filter by age – there are apps for preschool, early years and Key Stage 1 and 2.  You can filter by subject.  Alternatively, if you know what you’re looking for, see if we list it using the search box.”

    tags: iPad apps KDSiPad

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Google Cultural Institute

The Google Cultural Institute provides access to thousands of works of art and museum exhibits through an interactive, highly engaging portal. The aim is to make cultural heritage from around the world freely accessible to all. You will find artworks, landmarks and world heritage sites, as well as digital exhibitions that tell the stories behind the archives of cultural institutions across the globe.

You can take a virtual tour, see works in great detail and create your own gallery. There are special features for educators including the Art Project and the World Wonders Project.

This video  will give you a glimpse of what is available but (warning!) you will need to visit the site and be prepared to lose a few hours to start to see the magnitude of what is available.

The Google Cultural Institute is highly relevant to teachers of history, geography and of course art.

ABC Splash

Have you seen the ABC Splash website?

ABC Splash was launched last year as a new world-class education website for Australia. It includes excellent Australian content from ABC television and radio, and they have joined up with Education Services Australia to link hundreds of new learning resources directly to the Australian Curriculum. Look out for cutting-edge games, virtual worlds and immersive digital experiences.

The special teacher area features thought-provoking articles and blog posts, teaching resources and up-to-date education news. You can even read about the project I was involved in last year: Disaster Resilience for Students.

ABC Splash also runs some live events for teachers and students – to find out more and be kept updated about upcoming events, visit the site and register for their newsletter.

Sochi 2014

The 2014 Winter Olympic games begin in the early hours of tomorrow morning – time to find some interesting activities for the classroom.

X-Games!Photo Credit: Zach Dischner via Compfight

From NBC Learn comes The Science of the Olympics NBC Learn, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, unravels the physics, biology, chemistry, materials science and math behind the Olympic Winter Games. There are 16 short videos, complete with transcript and activities, on topics including Competition Suits, Figuring Out Figure Skating, Aerial Physics, and The Science of Skis. There’s something here for all year levels.

The Australian Olympic Team have Winter Games Lesson Plans suitable for the primary levels and there’s also the opportunity to Chat to a Champ via video conferencing (or view the previous chats that have already taken place).

Teacher Vision has printable resources, activities, worksheets, reference materials, and lesson plans designed to help students learn about: the history of the Olympic games; Olympic symbols and traditions; Sochi and Russia; security concerns, and all about the sports that feature at the games.

Edutopia has put together a resource round-up focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects.

Larry Ferlazzo posted Best sites for learning about the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and has just followed up with Sochi Olympics Resource Update

Would you rather…?

Would You Rather? Asking students to choose their own path and justify itmiles-vs-days

Would you rather earn a dollar for every foot in 1 mile OR earn a dollar for every day you’ve been alive? Whichever option you choose, justify your reasoning with mathematics.

Well I’m old so the answer is easy for me…but for our students there’ll be some mathematical thinking involved in deciding the most profitable path.

Would you rather? is a fabulous site, full of interesting questions, like the one above, requiring critical thinking and mathematical reasoning to answer. Some other recent questions include:

  • Have a 30 acre crop planted with seeds that carry a 58% survival rate OR have a 50 acre crop planted with seeds that carry a 42% survival rate?
  • Have 1 of 8 slices from a 10″ pizza OR 1 of 10 slices from a 14″ pizza? Whichever option you choose, justify your reasoning with mathematics.

Why not ask your students to quickly make a choice (write it on a slip of paper or set up a google form to vote) then spend some time justifying their choice mathematically. How many will change their mind? How many different answers will be right?