Knowing where your children are online.

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.

Using the Blogroll and widgets

Each of the class blogs and the school blogs including this one have a blogroll. This provides a link to other blogs or sites that are helpful to parents. On this blog there is a link to the Positive Education Blog and other class blogs.There is also a link to a great website that parents and children will have fun exploring and one which teachers use consistently.

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Many topics of interest are on this site and they combine visual and audio information.

The widgets which are the icons or pictures on the left hand side of the page will lead you to sites that assist with literacy. Just click on the icon and there you have it. We can add others as we find ones that might be useful.

If you come across other sites you think will assist parents in partnering in learning please comment and put in the addresses. We might be able to add them to the page.

These blogs are public and this provides an opportunity to link in with educators, experts and parents from beyond our community. All comments go through the moderator to be approved so if we are concerned about a comment or you have accidentally identified yourself we will be able to filter for you. So feel free to comment and share as you would when speaking to a person face to face and giving feedback.

Two way communication builds learning for all.

The children particularly love feedback about their learning. When we provide feedback, share our expertise or pose questions, this supports the children’s learning

 

 

Reframing Success

Reframing Success- and e-book

The author Marilyn Price- Mitchell has written this book to encourage parents and educators to …”Discover how children learn to be successful by developing an internal compass that guides them through life.” She asks us to reflect on the lessons we learned from the adults who parented, taught, and mentored us. She encourages us to share our story with our children who we parent, teach, or mentor.

Are Term Overviews a valued form of communication about learning?

A number of schools send out term overviews a few weeks into a term. As a parent, what do you do when your child brings home a copy of the TERM OVERVIEW? Do you scan it, see there are no important dates and then do little more with it? Do you see this as a polite gesture by the classroom teacher to make you aware of the learning in the classroom? Do you read it and think nothing more about it? Do you wonder why they are created and sent at all.

Parents and teachers might argue that with class and student blogs, communication about learning is current and continuous. It might be said that many parents come to the school, visit the classrooms, talk to the teachers or even assist in the classroom and feel informed about what is happening.

The fact remains that not all parents have the opportunity or time to be physically involved in the life of the school. In spite of being surrounded by technology, particularly portable devices not all parents are up to date in how to use the technology and access information.

Some educators who strongly push technology still advocate the use of a variety of types of communication to build partnerships in schools.

Perhaps looking at the purpose of the TERM OVERVIEW may support school communities to evaluate their relevance. It may also encourage the use of the overview and revitalise it’s use with some members within these communities. It could also encourage feedback around what information is informative and what can be discarded.

Revisiting an earlier post, PARENTS ARE IMPORTANT IN A CHILD’S EDUCATION may be useful.

“Parents do not hang off the edge of their children’s education; they sit at its very core.’

This is a quote from an article written in the Launceston Examiner, Launceston TAS 15 October,2013, by Ian Dalton

In a  previous post  term overviews were presented as

  • a communication like class and individual blogs, giving parents an opportunity to share in the learning of their children.
  • an informed questioning tool for when  they ask their children what they did today. A more explixit question will not get the reponse,” Nothing much or I don’t know, just work”
  • focused knowledge about content and learning. What if we knew that the children would be learning about money this term and their inquiry question was around sustainability or history? Now the questions can be focused, particularly if you follow the class blogs. Conversations might be around specific topics. You might find opportunities for your children to have experiences using money or discuss TV programs or articles. When we are all exploring a big question then we move from questions and answers to real learning conversations.
  • an opportunity to partner with parents who may have knowledge or expertise around the unit of work or have access to people and resources to enhance the topic. With the advent of  tools like Skype and other online resources the broader community can partner in the learning more easily if not able to attend at the school.
  • an opportunity for authentic  involvement in children’s learning. Asking questions and responding to blog posts by making comments can  be powerful to the learning. Making time with your child to read a post and create a comment together is building literacy skills in an authentic way.

If we can see the term overview as a tool for learning with the community- teachers, students and parents, then how does the relevance of the term overview impact on our understanding of partnering in learning. Doesn’t this type of communication work for you or do you see other more creative ways of involving all members of a school community in learning?

Kidsmatter: Children and Anxiety

KIdsMatterOne in every seven children in Australia suffer from anxiety. Acknowledging these statistics, identifying and understanding behaviours associated with anxiety in children and making decisions about how to support these children is a vital partnership between school and home.

Children’s mental health difficulties and how to get help

Some children have emotional and behavioural difficulties that are mild, short-lived and can be resolved with minimum help and support. Others may have difficulties that seem more serious, and interfere with everyday life. Their emotions or behaviour seem to be different to other children of the same age. When problems occur for more than a few weeks and interfere with school, home, friendship or daily life, it is probably time to seek assistance.

The following signs may indicate your child has a difficulty that needs professional attention

• Frequent, unexplained temper tantrums

• Unusual fears

• Difficulty in going to sleep or staying asleep

• Sadness and feelings of hopelessness that don’t go away

• Avoiding friends or family and wanting to be alone most of the time

• Refusing to go to school on a regular basis

• Inability to get along with other children

• Hyperactive behaviour or constant movement beyond regular playing

• Noticeable disinterest or decline in school performance

• Frequent aggressive reaction (more than typically expected in the situation)

• Severe difficulties with concentration, attention and organisation

• Significant changes in behaviour over a short period of time

Things to take into account when deciding on the need for treatment

1 How severe the symptoms are in terms of:

• how much distress they cause

• how often they occur.

2 How much impact the symptoms have on the child:

• at home

• at school

• elsewhere.

3 How the child’s behaviour and feelings compare with that of other children the same age.

4 Any particular experiences within the child’s family, school, community or culture that may be influencing

the behaviours of concern.

5 How the difficulties are affecting the child’s:

• behaviour

• emotions

• thoughts

• learning

• social relationships.

Your doctor or school psychologist/counsellor can provide further advice.

Copyright: © Commonwealth of Australia 2012-13. This work is copyright. You may use this work in accordance with the terms of licence available at www.kidsmatter.edu.au

This resource is part of a range of KidsMatter Primary information sheets for families and school staff.

 

Wondering what to do during the School holidays in wintery Melbourne?

Arts Ideas for school holiday activity

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

http://www.mso.com.au/whats-on/list

http://www.mso.com.au/education/community-outreach/artplay-ensemble/

Australian Ballet

https://www.australianballet.com.au/whats_on/main_company

Arts Centre

http://artscentremelbourne.com.au/discover/for-schools/primary-program-2014

http://artscentremelbourne.com.au/your-visit/guided-tours

Federation Square

http://www.fedsquare.com/events/school-holidays/

ACMI Australian Centre for the Moving Image

http://www.acmi.net.au/

Westside circus

https://www.westsidecircus.org.au/holiday-program-timetable.html

Art Play

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/artplay/whatson/Pages/WhatsOn.aspx

Polyglot

http://www.polyglot.org.au/workshops

City of Melbourne

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/Pages/SearchResults.aspx?MVScope=Global&MVKeyword=school%20holidays&TMCAScope=yes

NGV National Gallery

http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/whats-on/programs-by-category?queries_category_title_query=Kids+and+families

Theatres

http://www.marrinergroup.com.au/theatre-venues.php

Playbox

Sturt St

http://www.playboxtheatre.com/preschool/Preschool.html

http://www.playboxtheatre.com/whatson/Whats_On.html

http://www.playboxtheatre.com/workshops/Holiday_Projects.html

http://www.playboxtheatre.com/workshops/Musical_Theatre.html

Melbourne Theatre company

http://www.mtc.com.au/education/

Immigration Museum

http://museumvictoria.com.au/immigrationmuseum/search/?q=school%20holidays

Footscray Arts Centre

http://footscrayarts.com/event/july-school-holiday-arts-program/

 

 

 

The Benefits of Blogging

Blogging is Learning

Blogging is an authentic way for students to share their ideas, their learning and also to reflect on their learning. Others beyond the classroom can assist them with what the want to learn or ask questions that will drive their thinking.  Blogging encourages students to read and write in an authentic way and increases their understanding of cyber etiquette, safety and citizenship. Many classroom teachers across the world are using blogging as a tool to open their classrooms. Many teachers are learning from the successes and challenges of Kathleen Morris, Linda Yollis and even the blogs developed by classes and students at our school.

One common challenge is the development of partnership with parents and their engagement in commenting on student blogs. Data indicates that many people might access a site but will not always leave a comment. Comments can be an important part of the educational use of this tool and one to further encourage.

Use the you-tube link beside the picture to view a clip that has students from Linda Yollis’s Class explaining the benefits of blogging. In the next clip, below this text, they share how to make a quality comment. We learn from each other and a blog comment can be a source of information or it can send out a challenge. Practising comment writing together or proof reading your child’s comment as well as writing comments yourself are all ways to partner in the learning of your child and others.

Making a Quality Blog Comment

 

Conflict resolution

KIdsMatterA small team from our staff have investigated and begun working with the KidsMatter tools and we have again had the opportunity to explore the website. There are some great resources and links for teachers, parents and carers.

As we enter into the winter with winter activities such as football and soccer we often experience a spike in difficulties out on the playground. Games such as these can easily get physically but also importantly there are not explicit rules and often no umpire or referee to solve problems. With shades of grey around the playground rules, frustration and anxiety can lead to conflict.

Provided is a link to the parent pages related to Conflict Resolution to encourage parents and teachers work together to develop children’s skills to resolve conflict..