1. Staff Development Day usually results in foggy brains after being inundated with new information and resources, which are great but can be overwhelming after a holiday. Solution – If you present on SDD you finish the day feeling much lighter – you didn’t need to take in your own session!
2. Found a new quote to tell some of the older students who seem to grumble about anything and everything ‘You get what you get, and you don’t get upset’.
3. It is extremely exciting to be teaching the ‘Government’ unit of work when a federal election is being held in the middle of the term!
4. I have developed a new term planner, two A4 pages that include the activities for each day in each session. Allows me to block out days where I know nothing will get taught (such as the athletics carnival) and allows me to visualise how many days, sessions, etc are available to teach everything I need. One copy in the program, one in the diary and one taped to the desk in the classroom!
5. Check your appointments. Preferably 3 times. Not checking resulted in an awkward late arrival at an important function. Unlike me to be tardy, must not happen again!
One of the best resources on the internet where you can find games and activities for all topics is the Woodlands Junior School in Kent, UK. On their homepage you will find heaps of links – to the Maths Zone, Literacy Zone, Homework Help Page, as well as links for Science, Geography and History.
Its a great place to start when you are looking for an interactive activity to use during group time or as a whole class on the IWB. The information in the Homework Help section is clearly laid out and easy for students to read, making it a great site for research.
An alternative Australian website is the Get Smart Page at Copacabana Public School’s Website. The Copacabana homepage also has links to a range of Web 2.0 tools and presentations for Smart Notebook software.
Both of these sites are in my Bookmarks, but it’s also easy to get older children to just google ‘woodlands school’ or ‘copacabana public school’.
Word Safari is a spelling game that has been developed by the website Room 108. Room 108 is a site for Primary school students and includes games, stories and teacher resources.
The great thing about Word Safari is that you can enter your own words, so it can be played with any spelling list and any grade level. Unlike some of the other sites that allow you to enter words, Word Safari creates an actual game, as opposed to an activity like a find-a-word or hangman.
The aim is to move the little boy up and down, clicking on the letters you need to create your word. Click the wrong letter and you get a cross, when all the crosses are filled the game is over. Also, if you hit a bird or other animal, one of your balloons pops. Pop all your balloons and the game is over.
I have used this game with students aged 6-12, and they all love it. Great for early finishers during a spelling lesson, as an online homework task, as a group task during literacy groups.