Reflections on the break from school that wasn’t quite what I had planned…

On Monday 26 September when I woke up with a tummy ache I thought I had my usual school holiday illness. (This often happens to teachers because they work very hard for a term and the body says “relax” in the holidays). But things progressed and I had my appendix out on the Thursday, 5 days in hospital and now I am recuperating at home.  The point of this post is not to have you worry or fuss over me at all but I want to tell you what has been happening during the holidays when I haven’t been able to get out the door.

It is an amazing world we live in.  I was meant to speak at the ASLA conference with Mrs Miller on Tuesday but joined in with what was going on there via Twitter and edmodo. I would have gone to another great IWB conference called ‘See Share Shape’ on Thursday and Friday with 5 teachers from our school but again I could follow what was happening via Twitter from my bed. All this via my iphone.

As well as my own professional development needs being met I have been able to link in to what many of your have been doing in the holidays. I have done this in a few different ways.

  • Our various edmodo groups have been visited regularly by a few girls who have been extending their learning through the holidays. Some of your have joined the new Global Classroom 4-6 group and have been introducing yourselves to students in the USA and NZ.  This is like an edmodo pen pal group with the aim of students getting to know one and chatting about things that are important to you.
  • My google reader keeps bringing to my attention the many students who are blogging regularly about what you are up to in the holidays; there have been posts about things we’ve done at school, reflections on your term and more.  All of this is unprompted by any teacher which makes me realise that you must like blogging and are using it as a tool to create your own learning.
  • I was thrilled to see many of you mentioned in the Blogs to Visit post at the edublogs Student Blogging Challenge.  This means that edublogs thinks that your entries in the variety of challenges on offer are good ones and are being recommended for others to read! Well done to those girls who have a mention.
  • Our Quadblogging buddies have also been busy reading and writing comments for us and I was delighted to receive this tweet from Mr Gagnon at Stratham Memorial in America. He said ” Whenever I want high quality blog comments from my class all I have to say is Australian style comments. LOL :)” That is great to hear that your comments have been so well written and are great examples of what comments should be.
  • The Blogger’s Cafe is continuing to receive many hits and comments from students around the world, as does our own blog here at year5rc

It is indeed an amazing, connected world in which we live.  I think back to my school holidays when I was in Year 5.  I probably didn’t go away, I might have gone to see a movie and had a friend over to play. Most of the time I would have been hanging out with my brother at home.  (Speaking of my brother look and see what he has been doing these holidays.) In 1970 we had a television, could listen to music on records or tune in to the radio. Don’t get me wrong these are good things to do as well and I would encourage you to go outside and play but in 2011 there are so many choices available to you. What I really hope is that Mrs Miller and I are helping, teaching and guiding you in sensible choices for a balanced and enriching life!  I look forward to seeing you all back at school for more creating, learning and growing together!

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Teachers as Learners

Every now and then classroom teachers are absent from school because they attend a ‘Professional Learning’ or PL activity.  Teachers use these days to learn new skills or learn about new ideas or learn from other teachers.  I spent last Friday at The Art Gallery of NSW at their teacher enrichment day.  I had a fantastic time and I thought you might like to see some of the things that I did.  From visiting exhibitions, to talking with other teachers, to learning new ideas and doing practical art activities everything was interesting, educational and great fun. The reason that teachers have PL days is to keep up with new ideas about how to improve what they do in the classroom.  I love learning new things and I look forward to sharing my new ideas with you back at school.


Welcome back to Term 3

I hope that you are feeling refreshed and relaxed after your winter holidays.  We are ready to start another busy term. I really enjoy the break from the rush of my life during term time and I find that I have more time to think and to read, to talk with family and friends, and to catch up doing lots of good things that don’t get done in term time, like going to the movies. I also know that I have missed being at school and being part of your learning journey.

I know some lucky year5rc members have been overseas and interstate and others have stayed at home like me. I hope you are all ready to travel back to Antarctica to continue our learning about that amazing continent.  We are continuing are investigations about microorganisms in Science, launching into the new term’s novel study, venturing out to the Art Gallery of New South Wales and much more.  There is plenty on the horizon so the beginning of term is a good time to look at how far we have already come in 2011.

You have all been taught lots of things but I wonder how much you have learned?

My challenge to you this term is to really take seriously the idea that you can take control and be in charge of your own learning. No-one else can do it for you. There are plenty of people to help you along the way but actually it is up to you.  Will you take on my challenge?

Off to a great start

Our first week of term is almost over and phew what a scorcher it has been! Despite opening all the doors and windows and turning on the fans full blast it has been hot and sticky in the year 5 class rooms. That has not stopped us learning and having fun though.

Today we started our All about Me projects.All about me Global connections part 1

Mrs Thomas and I sat down together at the end of the day and discussed how impressed we were with the way you all settled down to work. We saw

  • Girls collaborating with each other and sharing ideas.
  • Girls connecting with each other and making new friends.
  • Girls taking care with their work.
  • Girls showing creativity and producing excellent work.

We can’t wait to see your finished projects and learning more about your lives and the things you enjoy doing, when you are not busy learning, thinking and having fun at school.

Learning Goals

Both Year 5 classes set learning goals for term 2 this week. Not only did they think about the things they were proud of from term 1 but they set achievable goals for term 2. Each student then decided on an action plan in order to work out how they could reach those goals.

5 M planned their goals using Microsoft word, since some students found this program hard, they also learned more about how to manipulate pictures and text.

5 G tried to use glogster but since it would not work they used notebook. They learned that lessons do not always work they way they are planned to but that resilient, flexible learners can adapt to new situations.

All of Year 5 set learning goals for Term 2. They will work toward achieving those goals. They also learned that what ever method they used that when they work hard, and try hard those goals become achievable.