Category Archives: Lower Primary education

Lessons to teach 3-digit numbers – #readilearn

The recent audit of readilearn resources for teaching number showed that, while there were many lessons for teaching understanding of number and place value to 100, lessons for teaching numbers above 100 were scant. This is somewhat understandable as confidence with numbers relies upon a firm foundation in understanding the basics of our decimal system. However, it was a situation I needed to remedy.

Last week I added 1000 Pancakes to the collection, a lesson to help children visualise 1000 objects by counting in 1s to 10, 10s to 100 and 100s to 1000.

This week, I added Let’s Count Pancakes — 3-digit numbers, a lesson that helps children recognise and represent 3-digit numbers and understand the value of each numeral in its place. The interactive lesson ready to teach on the interactive whiteboard consists of ten different slides ready to discuss with the children.

On each slide, children count the pancakes and write the number of hundreds, tens and ones they count.

Continue reading: Lessons to teach 3-digit numbers – readilearn

Let’s count 1000 pancakes for Pancake Day! – #readilearn

Next week sees us here in Australia bid farewell to summer and welcome in the cooler (we — or I — hope) days of Autumn. Next Tuesday is not only 1 March, but also Pancake Day, which means it’s only six weeks until Easter and, for many of us, school holidays.

When I completed the recent audit of readilearn lessons in teaching number by mapping them to the Australian Curriculum, I realised that we were missing lessons in numbers over one hundred. As children in Year Two learn about numbers up to one thousand, I realised there was a gap to fill. I started by making a lesson called 1000 Pancakes.

I chose pancakes for three reasons:

  1. Pancake Day is next week. However, the lesson can be used at any time of the year; it makes no reference to Pancake Day.
  2. Pancakes are popular with children as well as adults.
  3. Pancakes in stacks are easy to visualise.

The lesson 1000 Pancakes gives children the opportunity to visualise 1000 pancakes by comparing the quantity to 10 and 100. It is a lesson ready-to-teach on the interactive whiteboard, a readilearn readilesson.

In the lesson, children count pancakes

  • in 1s to 10
  • in 10s to 100
  • and in 100s to 1000.

One thousand is a lot of pancakes.

Continue reading: Let’s count 1000 pancakes for Pancake Day! – readilearn

Matching readilearn Maths Resources to the Australian Curriculum – #readilearn

For the past little while, I’ve been doing an audit of the readilearn maths resources that focus on number and matching them to the Australian Curriculum Number and Algebra Content Descriptions. Before making new resources, I wanted to see what concepts and content I’d already included and where the gaps, if any, were. I presented my findings in a table that I have made available as a free resource in the Maths Number collection. The table will make it easier for you to find resources to teach particular concepts.

It didn’t surprise me that the majority of resources target the basic understanding of numbers to ten and then to 100. After all, if children understand these numbers, they have a firm foundation on which to build an understanding of larger numbers.

In this post, I share where some of the readilearn maths resources can be used when teaching the Australian Curriculum. No doubt, maths concepts to be taught are the same worldwide.

These are only a few of the resources that match each of the codes and only a few of the codes. For further information, please refer to the list ACARA and readilearn lessons in number which can be downloaded free. Note that some of the resources support your teaching of more than one content description.

Counting and naming numbers in sequence to and from 20

(ACARA Code: ACMNA001)

Busy Bee Number lines and dice

Busy Bees 100 chart

Collect the eggs — a game for maths groups

Continue reading: Matching readilearn Maths Resources to the Australian Curriculum – readilearn

For the Love of Books – #readilearn

Next Monday 14 February is a day with much to celebrate. As well as Valentine’s Day, it’s Library Lovers’ Day and International Book Giving Day.

It’s not difficult for me to talk about love and books in the same sentence as I have loved books for as long as I can remember. Although my reading habits have changed over the years, I have always been an avid reader and was a dedicated borrower of books from the library as I was growing up.

As an adult, I tend/ed to purchase rather than borrow for my own reading and could never pass a book shop without purchasing something for me, a family member or friend, and a picture book or three for my classroom collection. Books borrowed from the school library filled out the classroom library.

A birthday, Christmas or other occasion never passed without giving and receiving books. So, being able to combine the celebration of love, books and an appreciation for libraries is a treat. Nothing could be easier. Simply take someone you love to the library and gift them a book.

About Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day probably needs no introduction. In many parts of the world, it is a day for celebrating love and romance. Gifts of chocolates, flowers and verses in cards are often given.

Of course, in the classroom, our discussions aren’t about romantic love, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about those important people in our lives whom we do love.

Children can write their own “I love” poem by innovating on the traditional camping song I love the mountains.

Continue reading: For the Love of Books – readilearn

Interview with Author Rory H. Mather: Monster School Rules – #readilearn

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Rory H Mather, author of Monster School Rules —a perfect book for initiating those ever-so important discussions about class and school rules that occur at the beginning of every school year and are probably revisited with frequency throughout the year. Children will laugh at the antics of the monsters and the rules that must be enforced while developing an understanding of the importance of those rules. I am certain you and your children will enjoy this book as much as I do.

About the author Rory H. Mather

Rory is a 31-year-old who is completely and utterly addicted to reading and writing picture books…but it’s an addiction he is fully leaning into. He lives in a street that is lined with trees, in a house that is filled with picture books and in his head which is filled with ideas.

About Monster School Rules

Welcome to Monster School! Yes, it’s quite a sight. Listen up, cause there are rules: the first one is … don’t bite!

The Interview

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Continue reading: Interview with Author Rory H. Mather: Monster School Rules – readilearn

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 #ReadYourWorld – #readilearn

Today, Friday 28 January 2022, the last Friday in January, is Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD), a day for celebrating diversity in children’s books. I am pleased to be a MCBD reviewer for the fourth time this year; and was delighted to receive a copy of Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs from author Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay Fletcher to review.

About Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs

From the website:

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is an award-winning picture book with a simple but powerful message: love lasts forever.

Lyrical writing and delightful illustrations provide perfect bedtime reading for any child. Kids love finding the Xs, Os and hearts hidden in the illustrations.

The book is also ideal for supporting children through grief, separation anxiety, parent deployment, foster care, divorce, illness or other traumatic situations, by wrapping them in a warm and comforting emotional security blanket and opening a dialogue on the nature of love.

Even when loved ones cannot be with us, we can feel their presence through our deep connections to the natural world.

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs has received glowing testimonials from parents, pre-schools, Child Life specialists, librarians, social workers, teachers, hospice caregivers…and most importantly, kids.

Gold medal winner of the International Publishers Association Awards and a featured title in the LeVar Burton Kids Skybrary app.

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs was selected as a Child’s Grief Awareness Day book-of-the-month, and also featured two years in a row for Children’s Multicultural Book Day.

Hugs by moon, kisses by sun, I’ll always love you, Little One.

From author Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay Fletcher:

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is a lyrical picture book created to reassure children they are always connected to the ones they love. We’re so grateful that the book is fulfilling its purpose and being used by families, schools, and organizations around the country as a soothing bedtime story and also a powerful resource to help children coping with challenges such as divorce, grief, foster care, immigration separation, deployed parents, incarcerated parents, and more.

Teachers and parents can find free downloadable activities to go with our books on our website at https://www.innerflowerchild.com/collections/activities.

What I like about Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs

I was immediately captivated by the book’s delightful title which gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling and I knew this book was going to be special. I wasn’t disappointed. The combination of Bernardo’s lyrical rhyming text with the warmth of Fletcher’s colourful yet soothing illustrations makes Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs a very satisfying book to read aloud to and with young children.

From cover to cover, and on all the pages between, there are soothing messages in both words and images to reassure a young one that they are always loved.

The text opens with the words ‘No matter how far apart we are, I’ll always find ways to tell you I love you.’

Continue reading: Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 #ReadYourWorld – readilearn

There’s Something Fishy Going On – #readilearn

Since this year is the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture, I thought I’d begin with a post about fish. Learning about fish is relevant to the biological sciences curriculum when we explore living things, their features, where they live, what they need and how they grow.

I decided to jot down some of my questions and write answers to them. We all know what fish are, right? There’s nothing difficult about describing a fish. But when I really started to think about what I know about fish, I realised I had more questions than answers and that explaining what a fish is, isn’t as easy as I thought.

These are some of the questions raised when I thought about fish. Perhaps you have others. If so, please list them in the comments so I can research the answers. Note: While I know answers to some of my questions, as I’m sure you do too, I’m not sharing answers in this post as I have more research to do. The answers will have to wait for another time.

25 Fishy questions

  • What is a fish?
  • How do fish swim?
  • Where do fish live?
  • How do fish breathe under water?

Continue reading: There’s Something Fishy Going On – readilearn

And so, to begin — another school year – #readilearn

The beginning of a school year is usually filled with anticipation and expectations: new books, new stationery, new friends, new activities, new things to learn. The excitement may be tinged with a little anxiety: will they like me? will I like them? will I be able to do what’s expected of me? what will I do if (insert any likely or unlikely event) occurs? These questions are shared by students and teachers alike.

In addition to all the usual anxieties, with the beginning of this school year occurring at the peak of the Omicron outbreak, many more questions are raised: will school begin as usual? will it be delayed? will lessons be online or face-to-face? will teachers and students’ health be affected and impact attendance? how safe will we/I be if everyone is not vaccinated?

While I am unable to give you any answers about the impact of coronavirus on the school year, I know that whether you are teaching online or in the classroom, or a combination of both, readilearn resources will help reduce your workload with lessons that are ready to teach and activities that can be done at school or at home. The resources now number over 500 and all are for use by teachers with children in the first three years of school. You know when you come to readilearn, you don’t have to wade through lessons for other year levels as well.

Interactive Lessons

Over 100 of the lessons in literacy, maths, science and HASS are ready for you to teach on the interactive whiteboard. They can be used in the classroom or delivered to students if teaching online using screen-sharing as I explain in this video.

Days to Celebrate

When planning the school year, in addition to the ongoing curriculum program, it is good to have some special days and events to celebrate.

A Year of Days and Events to Celebrate in the Classroom lists suggestions for celebrations throughout the year.

A list for each individual months includes more information about each date and provides teaching suggestions and lesson ideas. Each of these documents is available to download free in the Days and Events/Calendars section of Classroom Management resources.

Continue reading: And so, to begin — another school year – readilearn

Getting Ready for the 2022 School Year – #readilearn

Welcome to the first post for 2022. Although, globally, we are all still confronted with the ‘inconveniences’ caused by the pandemic, I hope you will find much joy and many successes to celebrate throughout the year.

This year has been designated as:

  • International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • International Year of Glass
  • International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development
  • International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development

all of which have relevance to our classroom programs and the Sustainable Development Goals. While I give but a brief introduction to each in this post, I hope to bring you additional lessons and teaching ideas throughout the year.

Continue reading: Getting Ready for the 2022 School Year – readilearn

Wishing you a Happy 2022 New Year – #readilearn

Dear readers and supporters,

I thank you for your support throughout 2021 and wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2022.

While Covid still pulled more strings on our lives than we had expected at the end of 2020, I hope that you have been able to achieve at least some of your goals and ambitions in 2021.

Happy 5th Birthday, readilearn!

In August of this year, we celebrated readilearn’s 5th birthday. It’s an achievement of which I’m proud. Five years seemed such a long time in the future when I began. Now, looking back, it’s gone so fast. I have continued to post a weekly article on the blog, publish a newsletter each month, and upload new resources throughout the year so that the collection now numbers over 500. I hope you have had the opportunity to use many of them with your children.

New Books by Norah Colvin at Library For All

In addition to the work for readilearn, I had twelve more stories added to the Library For All collection. You can read about them here.

I also wrote three phonic workbooks for Pascal Press which should be available for purchase early in the new year. Look out for the Targeting Phonics series.

And I continue to write manuscripts for picture books hoping that one day I will see a picture book with my name on the spine on the shelves of book stores and libraries. It’s been a goal since my childhood. One day …

Goals help us move forward. Without goals and without hope, life may stagnate and become dull. I hope it never does for you.

As we move into another new year, I share with you two quotes about hope that inspire me:

Continue reading: Wishing you a Happy 2022 New Year – readilearn