Weekly Reflection: Giving voice

Speeches. Just the word is enough to send shivers down the backs of some students and their teachers too. The primary school speech format has changed so little from the time I went to school. Most schools have each child get up in front of their class for 3-4 minutes. The best speakers then are... Continue Reading →

Weekly Reflection: Creating classroom calm – meditation in classroom

During the summer holidays I had the pleasure of visiting the amazing learning space of @sherratsam and his colleague Chad. If you ever get the chance to visit either of these educators, please do. However for those whose PD budget doesn't quite stretch to a visit to international classroom visits, you can visit their blog Time Space... Continue Reading →

Weekly Reflection – on your way to Disco

This year I volunteered to be the teacher in charge of Student Council which also means I'm the teacher in charge of organising the school discos. Officially the student council run disco but there are limitations to 11 and 12 year olds organisational skills. Organising permission slips, tickets, posters, food sales, lighting, music, prizes, decorations... Continue Reading →

Weekly Reflection: Portfolios

A paper-based e-portfolio. Sounds like a contradiction in terms. I’m not a huge fan of paper portfolios. In fact it is fair to say that I loathe filing bits of paper into folders with the fire of a thousand suns. Supervising a class full of kids updating portfolios feels like a form of medieval torture.... Continue Reading →

To walk in another teachers shoes

One of the joys of teaching primary school is that, in theory, you get to teach a bit of everything. In practice the bulk of my time is still reading, writing, maths with some PE thrown in for good measure. Most schools also have an inquiry/topic which covers everything else. Intermediate kids go off for... Continue Reading →

Weekly Reflection: I got me the midterm blues

There's something about the middle of term which seems to send me into depths of despair. I think it's that point where I look down at my massive to-do-list and wonder how on earth I am going to muster the energy to check those items off. The beginning of term energy has evaporated and a... Continue Reading →

Quadblogging Aotearoa – Making blogging a lot more awesome

A call for help went out. A Year 7/8 looking for that final class to make a Quad blog. For those not in the know, Quadblogging is when a group of 4 classes visit a spotlight class's blog each week. You can find out more about the international version here and the New Zealand version here.... Continue Reading →

Weekly Reflection: I can’t believe they didn’t know *that*

As a Year 7/8 teacher, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has in times of frustration complained that kids these days just don’t seemed as clued in as the kids of yesteryear. They’ve been at school 7 years and still don’t know the four times table. Their work is littered with text speak.... Continue Reading →

Weekly Reflection: Sharing the love (and lollypops)

At the beginning of the year, I introduced my class to the concept of lollypop moments. The concept comes from an awesome TED talk by a guy called Drew Dudley, who argued that true leadership was in the little every day things that we do to make each others lives better which he called lollypop... Continue Reading →

Using the Harlem Shake as a teachable moment

In the middle of last year in an attempt to kids enthused about learning about Korean I showed my kids a music video by a Korean singer called Psy by the end of the year every kid in the school had heard the song. That song was Gangnam Style. Through dumb luck my students knew... Continue Reading →

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