This short video is from the aitsl website. This is the website for teachers and leaders in Australian schools. Worth a look.
This link will take you to a New South Wales resource that has mathematics activities, advice in literacy and maths, tips for learning and many activities to support home learning. Please scroll down on this site to gain all the information proved. Also reminding parents and families about SCHOOLMATE app for learning. It would be great to hear some feedback about how people have used them and what they liked or found challenging. This may help other parents when they approach these sites.
Recently our senior students made their Confirmation and they presented their learning to their parents, also sharing an understanding of Catholic Social Teaching.
It is these principles that guided their unit on social justice and the actions they are taking this week. In fact these principles guide our decisions and are reflective of how we are the GOOD NEWS.
When we talk about the Catholic Identity of our school, it can be understood in the actions the students take in their learning, the way we conduct ourselves as a community and our understanding of justice. It is about having the confidence and belief that each member of our community, students, staff and parents can make a difference in our world.
For further information on Catholic Social Teaching, refer to the Caritas website as it has great videos, resources and information.
KIDSMATTER STATES…”Belonging improves mental health, wellbeing and learning All children need to feel that school is a safe place where people will care about them, where their needs for support, respect and friendship will be met, and where they will be able to get help to work out problems. When these needs are met children develop a sense of belonging at school. Belonging is very important for children’s mental health and wellbeing. Children who feel that they belong at school are happier, more relaxed and have fewer behavioural problems than other students. They are also more motivated to learn and be more successful with their school work. Research into children’s mental health has found that a sense of belonging and connectedness at school helps to protect children against mental health diffi culties and improves their learning. Making friends and having positive relationships with teachers helps children develop a sense of belonging at school. Having older ‘buddies’ to turn to helps younger children feel that school is a place where they can get help if they need it. Looking after younger children encourages caring and helping in older children and helps to reduce conflicts and bullying. These are some of the ways that children’s sense of belonging at school can be supported.”
On the 12th June, it was National Better Buddies Day. This day highlights the importance of cultivating relationships in the school. The program has a focus on the relationship and bond created between older and younger students. Through the year these groups of students work through a variety of activities together.
Building relationships throughout the whole school with cross age activities such as collaborative groups, special days such as tabloid sports activities and student action promotes a sense of citizenship but also action together.
Meditation, circle time and other collaborative strategies give students a sense of belonging and a voice.
Making friends is really an important part of that sense of belonging and there are times that students need support and guidance when developing friendships. resources such as those on the KIDSMATTER website have advice around making friends.
Victoria’s Department of Education and Training has released a new app that is designed to help parents become more engaged in their child’s education.
SchoolMate provides parents with a roadmap to help aid their child’s learning at home and at school. It:
- shows parents what their children are learning in each subject, at each year level according to the Victorian curriculum (AusVELS)
- provides parents with tips for helping their child in the best way possible
- suggests apps, books, events and activities related to each subject area and year level.
SchoolMate was created by the Department with input from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and Victoria’s professional teaching associations including:
- Victorian Association for the Teaching of English
- School Sport Victoria
- Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation
- Geography Teachers’ Association of Victoria
- Science Teachers’ Association of Victoria
- History Teachers’ Association of Victoria
- Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria
- Mathematical Association of Victoria
Homework is defined as out-of-class tasks assigned to students as an extension or elaboration of classroom work. There are three types of homework: practice of learning, preparation for learning, and extension beyond what they have learnt.
The core business of the Junior classes is to teach and learn the basics and this is reflected in the home tasks. As in the classroom, students have different needs. Catering for these personal differences requires an approach that offers choice and will make a difference to student learning. Homework should look and sound different for each student.
WHAT DOES HOMEWORK LOOK LIKE IN JUNIORS?
For literacy, the core of homework tasks is reading. Junior students need to read every day (Practice) and be read to as this builds new vocabulary (Extension). As reading is about gaining meaning, conversation should be undertaken around the text. Questioning should be open and the student should explain why things occurred in the text (Extension).
WHAT DOES SPELLING LOOK LIKE IN JUNIORS?
Spelling is at word level. Students need to be able to read the word, identify the sounds in the word, be able to make and break up the word, identify patterns, understand syllabification and be able to rhyme. This can occur through reading texts. (Practice) The Juniors began learning the 100 most used word in Prep and some students will need to continue working on these words. How did we know? The student stumbles over words in reading that reduce fluency. Personal lists from reading can be created at home. Some students will discover new words in text and create new words with the pattern (Extension). Others may learn words by rote using Look, Say, Cover, Write and Check. Fun games can support spelling as well.
Each week the teachers focus on a letter/ sound pattern. Students may find words in reading or at home and bring these words to school. (Preparation and Extension) This caters for differences in learning.
Students may also prepare for inquiry or their Show and Tell by oral practicing, rehearsing or discussing the topic at home. (Preparation and Extension)
READING EGGS online program provides additional resources for students and parents to access at home. There is access to spelling and word knowledge activities as well as a library of online books to supplement home reading books and library books. http://readingeggs.com.au/login/ Each student has there own login password. Students can use the site at home or at school. You can access Reading Eggs and Reading Express. Visit the library and use the filters to select a books. Work on activities in the GYM, MALL or STADIUM. There are activities and quizzes and fun ways to learn words at the children’s own pace.
In numeracy we have our maths bags that are sent to families. Counting, measurement, time, money and even computation will look different for each student. While counting patterns should be practiced other maths concepts can be developed in real life contexts, including games. Access and experience with money or focusing on time and intervals of time, for instance will provide opportunities for development.
Experiences that students have beyond the classroom including the activities many are involved with are part of their learning. The opportunities parents given their children through outings, activities, travel and even for some, tutors should be recognised for their value for student learning.
What do teachers and school leaders mean when they say we use contemporary tools and practices?
Well simply contemporary refers to “current” ways teachers teach and students learn. These practices are taken from current research about how we learn and then applied by teachers in schools. Research has been completed around learning styles, teaching and use of contemporary tools. You may have come across Bloom’s Taxonomy or de Bono’s thinking hats, visible learning tools or graphic organisers?
What does it look like for your children in their school and their classrooms?
There should be support to learn for students through planned and relevant learning opportunities that lead students to explore and question significant ideas and create new knowledge. Learning should not be restricted to the classroom but go beyond to home, local community and global community. Students should be engaged in inquiry and creative exploration of ideas
This would be visible through access to guest speakers, excursions, hands on activities, research including the use of technology and bringing learning and experiences to the classroom. Students would be learning from and teaching each other as well as having input, focused instruction and feedback from the teacher. Learning should be personalised with students’ interests and experiences valued and reflected in the curriculum. Students would be supported by explicit and scaffolded teaching to engage them fully in their learning.
Learning spaces that connect learners to communities beyond the school provide opportunities to engage with diverse perspectives and collaborate with others. The use of technology such as Google, google docs, Hapara and blogs enable students to collaborate safely with supported learning around Cybersafety and etiquette online. Flexible access enables learning anywhere, anytime. Learning spaces are beyond the classroom and can also be online.
There are core knowledge, skills and understandings required to be successful in and participate fully in today’s world. Powerful learning opportunities enable the learner to develop these core knowledge and skills authentically through the curriculum. Reflection, high order thinking, creativity, collaboration and the use of contemporary literacies such as media and online resources must now be considered core capacities. These are important for creating new knowledge and participating in and contributing to community. At school they are visible through discussions, interactions and dialogue with students as well as through graphic organisers and visible thinking tools. The students need to create and interact with diverse text forms and engage critically and effectively, communicating in a variety of ways and social contexts.
Curriculum designed to engage students in the contemporary world leads students to develop deep understandings about themselves, others and the world. Building learning relationships within the global and local community creates authentic opportunities for students to learn from and with others. Powerful learning experiences enable students to take responsibility for themselves and commit to authentic action. Engagement in the contemporary world enables students to find a way of discovering God, themselves and the world.
In a Catholic school context, engagement in the contemporary world through a commitment to action is developed within the framework of a school’s vision which inspires compassion, justice and service. This should be visible through the student actions around social justice issues and at our school through the connection we have with St Luke’s gospel.
Transition is about change. Mostly we cope with changes in our lives. Some are rewarding and some challenging. Some are unexpected and some anticipated with excitement or anxiety. For children major consistent change occurs when they move from kinder to primary school, from primary to secondary school. Many schools and parents have processes in place to support families in transition with activities, conversations and preparation. There are great resources to support families particularly for children beginning school.
We do have to remember that for some students particularly our anxious students and children on the autism spectrum moving to another class and teacher is a transition that causes them increased anxiety. Preparation for these children and understanding around transitional support is important. The good practice we put in place when starting school should be adopted for children to reduce their anxiety. Talking about their concerns and preparing them for change may help them to feel in control of their emotions around these changes.
ADAPTED FROM KIDSMATTER
Starting school and moving classes or schools is an important time for children and families. Children who make a positive start to the year and the new environment are more likely to:
- feel comfortable, relaxed and valued
- feel excited and motivated to learn
- have good relationships with others
- develop a sense of belonging within the school community.
Starting a new school year is not just about the first day. It’s a process that begins when children and families start to prepare in the year before, and continues as children experience their first days, weeks and months in a new environment. The process involves a number of changes for children and families, and everyone reacts differently.
For some children the change brings excitement about making friends, being with friends and learning new things, while for others the change can leave them feeling nervous and overwhelmed. You may reflect on your own school experiences and be reminded of the mix of emotions you felt when starting school and moving to other classes.
Families play an important role in supporting children to manage the transition to primary school, secondary school and with many changes they experience. Assisting your child to cope with the new challenges by developing their social, emotional and learning skills and supporting your child’s skills in these areas contributes to their mental health and wellbeing.
Children who are mentally healthy are better learners, have stronger relationships and are better able to meet life’s challenges.
Short video from the Khan Institute
Discusses the potential for learning in us all. We’re born to learn. ” Failing is just another word for learning.”
Recently it has brought our attention that some students are on sites that are only for people over 17. This video might assist parents in understanding the potential dangers of kik and other sites which do not provide safety filters for children.
You tube while a great resource is unfiltered and can also lead children into dangerous territory. Prolonged use of technology without other physical and mental stimulus is not healthy. It is most important that we know where our children are online, what they are viewing and who they are with. Safety in the online world should be as much a reality as if the children are walking down the street or playing in the park.