Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What Does 'Excellence' Mean to You

This morning in our Southgate Syndicate Assembly, we explored the concept of excellence and what it can mean for us as teachers and learners.

Below are some of the thoughts from this morning.  Your task is to add what you believe 'Excellence' is and how you can be a lifelong learner who Strives for Excellence in everything you do. 

"The Practice of Excellence"

I give my best to all that I do.
I give my best to my relationships.
I am a lifelong learner.
I fulfill my true possibilities.
I strive for mastery.
I work with love.

I am thankful for the gift of Excellence.
It is my true prosperity.

Source:  Virtues Project International

Language Experience - Using Our Sense

Click on the link below (or the hyperlinked text in this sentence) to access the Google Doc and add your words, phrases and sentences to show how you've been exploring the world around us using our senses.

Remember, we want to expand our vocabulary, so use the tools online and around the classroom - and from your prior knowledge of course!! - to expand that vocab.

Have fun exploring!  We're going to create some fantastic poetry from this to share with a very wide audience!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Our Fabulous Performers Today

Hi everyone!

Take a minute to reflect on the Chinese performers who came to visit us today.
What were your thoughts?
What did you enjoy the most?
Did you have any questions?

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Nice Thought As We Head Into The Weekend

Hi everyone!  Here's a wee something as we head into the weekend after a hard week of learning.  The learning never stops though!!  Don't forget to blog about things you learn over the weekend too if you'd like to.  I love reading about your learning.  Remember, learning doesn't just happen at school - it's happening all the time...For ALL of us! :-)

Have a great weekend, have a good rest and come back ready to challenge yourselves next week just like you did this week!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Problem with Problem Solving

We're revisiting our understanding, knowledge and thinking around problem solving strategies.

Today we discussed the 5 main ones and then applied them to a game of human solitaire!  It was a fantastic way to put many of the strategies into action.  We even tied in Habits of Mind, Multiple Intelligences and Reading Comprehension strategies!  Not too bad we thought - if we do say so ourselves.

The 5 main Problem Solving Strategies are...

  1. Guess (this includes guess and check, guess and improve)
  2. Act It Out (act it out and use equipment)
  3. Draw (this includes drawing pictures and diagrams)
  4. Make a List (this includes making a table)
  5. Think (this includes using skills you know already)

If you want to read more about these and look at some examples, the check out

There's some fantastic examples on this site.

Some of us in action today.  (Just wait for tomorrow's challenge!!!!)  Help your child by asking them about the strategies and how they are applying them in their learning.

If they can stop laughing, they'll get it!

Yep, they're getting there - still laughing though! :-)

Maths and having fun while we learn - what could be better??

Our Teaching and Learning is Moving at the Speed of Light!!

Meet our new class members - yes, they do have names!

I wonder just how many caterpillars / butterflies we're going to end up with!!!!
Wow!!!  How fast is our learning moving team!!!! 

Last week we explored all using Google Drive - all at once - worked pretty fantastically I thought!!  I loved the collaboration, the teamwork and support and the metacognitive thinking - (there's that word again!!!!)

You've now kidnapped my camera for the class which is fantastic because you're using it all the time to photograph and share your learning- what could be better than that.  Use it all the time - just remember to charge it each day.

We've got the Monarch Butterflies and I'm loving seeing how you are thinking like scientists when you're observing and making hypotheses about what happens during their life cycle.  It's deeper than that though because you're observing everything so very closely - that's what fantastic scientists do.

You're also starting to learn about Evernote and how we can use that to take notes when we're in our reading groups online - a great skill to have - more on that tomorrow.

Our next step is to also have your modelling books for Numeracy online - it will be a great resource and you can always access it no matter where you are.

eLearning - it's anytime, anywhere learning!!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What Impact Has Blogging Had on Your Learning So Far?

Take some time to critically reflect on the impact of Blogging on your learning Team.  You've had your blogs since November last year.  This is a chance to do a bit of a 'mind dump' of all the ideas, thoughts and opinions you have about blogging. 

This Week's Habit of Mind: LEARNING CONTINUOUSLY

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Congratulations to Fabian and Jade!!

An enormous congratulations from everyone in our room on your election as our Class Councillors for 2013! Both of you thoroughly deserve this honour and I know you will do us proud.  (Make sure we take some suitably stunning photos of you both tomorrow).

Guess What I've Just Bought For Us for Thinking Like Scientists??


Each week we have a Syndicate Assembly where the focus is on sharing and celebrating our successes, visiting and revisiting values and sharing our ideas in an open forum.  It's a valuable and enjoyable time.

The students and I will post informtion every week about what we've discussed and the Value that we're working on.  These always combine with our school-wide values / philosophy of R2P2GC (Respectful, Responsible, Proud, Prepared Learners and Teachers who are Global Citizens).

This week's value is.....


SIGNS OF SUCCESS - (The Virtues Project, Inc, 2000, 2004) - How we will know if we're considerate teachers and learners - and human beings!
  • Respect other people's needs and feelings
  • Consider others' needs as important as your own
  • Stop and think how your actions will affect others
  • Put yourself in other people's shoes (empathy)
  • Give tender attention
  • Think of little things to bring others happiness
Where do our school values of R2P2GC fit in here? 
What are the ways that you show and live these values in your daily lives - both in and out of school?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I always love hearing the depth of discussion that goes on when everyone's reading.  We hopped outside today to take some photos of our teachers and learners enjoying the fresh air and good books.

We read every day and share so many different texts - picture books, novels, comics, poetry, history.......  You name it and you're sure to find it in our learning environment.

Come along and read with us after lunch every day - apart from Friday - assembly day! :-)

Friday, February 8, 2013


Greetings Team!

Here are your clues:

*I have many famous landmarks.

*I am a city of many cultures.

*Millions of visitors come to me every year.

*At one stage in history I was the capital city of my country.

*In 1895 an important fast food we eat today became available in the first shop of this type in the world.

*More than 47% of my population over 5 speak a language other than English.

*I'm a popular film set.

*One of my bridges is famous for being the first in the world to have something on it.

Well, that's enough clues for now!  See how you go and how close you can get.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Reflecting on the Marshmallow Challenge

It was fantastic to see the team work that went on in all the groups yesterday!  Have you checked out the photos yet? 

I need some bloggers to add captions to the photos - see me if you're keen.  :-)


  • Think about what you accomplished yesterday.
  • Discuss what the challenges were.
  • What worked well, what didn't work so well?
  • What would you change if you could do the challenge again today?
  • Is it easier working in the groups I chose or having the freedom to choose your own groups?  Why?
Post your comments / thoughts and let the discussion begin!  (Keep in mind Reader Courtesy too).

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Marshmallow Challenge

Or...How to REALLY encourage Habits of Mind including Thinking Flexibly, Persistence, Using Humour, etc!!

We challenged our abilities to work cooperatively with people we don't usually work with - Miss H chose the cooperative groups this time.  We're reflecting on the challenges this provided and how easy / hard it is to work with people whose learning styles, etc may be very different to our own.  (This will also tie in with Multiple Intelligences learning as well as Habits of Mind).

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Prepared for Learning

We're about to begin a new week of teaching and learning - can't wait! We're changing how we 'do homework' - it will now become "Prepared for Learning" and will involve beginning to think about and explore the learning that's about to happen and that is happening in our teaching and learning.

There will still be many reinforcement activities to make sure that what is learned in the classroom situation is supported and developed but there will be a greater focus on engaging in the learning that's coming up. We want to be more involved in our learning and build the learning together.

The "Prepared for Learning" information sheet will be on the blog on the sidebar under the "Prepared for Learning" Link. Many of the Prepared for Learning tasks / activities will be online ones - often through the blog.

If there are computer issues at home, please don't worry as extra time will be provided in school for the students where needed. If you have any questions at all please call in - we'd love to see you, ask your child or email me. I always love hearing from you! :-)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Multiple Intelligences

Hey there fabulous teachers and learners!  As part of our Preparing for Learning for next week, we are going to begin to look at MI - Multiple Intelligences.  Watch out for a developing page on the blog over the next weeks.

To start us off, we're all - including me - going to complete an online quiz to find out which 'intelligences' we're strong in and which ones we need to encourage and develop.

MI is different to learning styles because you don't just stick to learning in one particular way or style.  With MI, you find out your strengths and then work on extending those while at the same time strengthening the MI areas you're not as strong in.