Category Archives: readilearn

Celebrating Book Week's Secret Power - Reading

Celebrating Book Week’s Secret Power — Reading – readilearn

The CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) Book Week kicks off tomorrow 17 August for a week of activities celebrating Australian Literature. Book Week is heralded by the announcement of the book awards on the third Friday in August at 12 noon.

The awards are presented to books in the following categories:

  • Older Readers
  • Younger Readers
  • Early Childhood
  • Picture Book
  • Eve Pownall (for information books)

(Click this link to see the Notables, a fine collection of books) from which the Short List was compiled and from which Winners were selected in each category.)

2019 Book Week Theme and Resources

The theme for this year’s Book Week is Reading is My Secret Power.

To celebrate, poet Mike Lucas has written a great poem. You can download a copy of Mike’s poem Reading is my Secret Power here.

The CBCA website provides these useful links to resources to help you celebrate Book Week.

Children’s Rights to Read

Reading may be a secret power, but it is also a superpower and a right of every child. Book Week is an appropriate time during which to reflect upon our classroom practices and consider how well they meet the International Literacy Association’s Children’s Rights to Read. (You can download and support the rights through this link.)

Continue reading: Celebrating Book Week’s Secret Power — Reading – readilearn

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day

Let’s celebrate National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day – readilearn

Ideas and resources for celebrating National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day held on 4 August each year.

This Sunday 4 August, is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day. Celebrated on this date for over thirty years, the day provides a special opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate their children and for us all to get to know a little more of their culture.

Although this year the day falls on a Sunday, there is no reason it can’t be celebrated in the classroom during the week. In fact, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures one of the ACARA cross-curriculum priorities, every day is a good day for celebrating our children and helping them to feel special and included.

The theme for this year’s celebration is We Play, We Learn, We Belong. It focuses on the importance of education for young children with special emphasis on the need for it to be culturally appropriate. The website has many suggestions to help you celebrate the day and some free downloadable resources.

In this video, this year’s ambassador, Nanna from Little J and Big Cuz, introduces the day.

Continue reading: Let’s celebrate National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day – Readilearn

For one day International Day of Friendship

For one day: International Day of Friendship

Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge - for one day

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the phrase “for one day.” The words single out a special occurrence. What is the emotion and vibe, where does it take place and why? Go where the prompt leads!

For more than one day, I have thought about what to write. I was drawn by the theme of empathy, of walking in someone else’s shoes, of being able to see oneself through the eyes of another, or of having the opportunity to heal past wounds, for one day. But I couldn’t quite get it. It was elusive, until I came across this video of Chris Rosati.

Chris Rosati decided that what he wanted to do most with his life was spread kindness. It led me to consider what the world might be like if, for one day, everyone of us, wherever we are, put aside our differences and spread kindness. Perhaps then, we wouldn’t need to walk in the shoes of another, see ourselves as others see us, or heal old wounds. Kindness would prevail.

Pandemic

It started slowly. First an outbreak in a school in central Australia, barely newsworthy. Then another in South America. A post on social media drew a few views but was largely ignored. When a third occurred in Western Europe, reports flooded news services. Soon, small isolated pockets erupted on every continent, and they multiplied and spread. The touch of a hand, a pat on a shoulder, the nod of a head, a brush of lips, the trace of a smile; all were infectious. The contagion was rampant. Random acts of kindness proliferated, and unbridled bursts of joy exploded everywhere.

A bit too Pollyanna? Maybe. But wouldn’t it be wonderful? And since today, 30 July, is International Day of Friendship, it’s totally appropriate.

Teaching friendship skills was always a big part of my classroom practice and many of the lessons I develop for the readilearn collection of teaching resources for the first three years of school also focus on the development of friendship skills; including:

busy bees ABC of friendship

Busy Bees ABC of Friendship

friendship superhero posters

Friendship Superpower posters

Getting to know you surveys 1

Getting to know you surveys

Extend the hand of friendship

Extend the hand of friendship

how to make a friendship tree

How to make a friendship tree

 

SMAG

Happy International Day of Friendship to all my friends. Thank you for bringing joy to my life.

If friends were flowers I'd pick you

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

 

 

A new classroom game for junior entomologists

A New Classroom Game for Junior Entomologists – readilearn

This week I have added a new classroom game for junior entomologists to the collection. The game is a fun way to integrate learning across the curriculum and, while appropriate for use at any time of the year, is particularly so when completing a unit of work about minibeasts.

The game works well as a group activity in science, literacy or maths lessons. It is also great as an activity with buddy classes. It is best if an adult or older buddy is available to explain and oversee the play.

Cross-curricular links

The game involves children in learning and practice of skills across curriculum areas; including:

Science

Biology – focus minibeasts

  • Living things
  • Features of living things
  • Needs of living things
  • Life stages of living things

Literacy

Reading:

  • For information
  • To follow instructions

Research skills – finding the answers to questions

Maths

  • Subitisation – spots on the dice
  • Counting one for one correspondence – moving spaces around the board
  • Tallies – recording points
  • Adding – totalling points
  • Comparing numbers – establishing the winner

Social-Emotional Skills

Games are an excellent way of teaching children the essential skills of getting along, including:

  • Taking turns
  • Being honest
  • Accepting decisions
  • Accepting that winning is not always possible nor the most important part of the game
  • Winning and losing gracefully

Contents of the Junior Entomologist Game package

a new classroom game for junior entomologists

All components of the game are downloadable and printable. Laminating is recommended for durability.

The package includes:

Continue reading: A New Classroom Game for Junior Entomologists – readilearn

Surprise party for a koala flash fiction

Surprise Party for a Koala

Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge Koala

Last week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a koala in a kingdom. You can create a character out of Norah’s koala and give it a Vermont adventure. Or you can make up a story however you want! Can you pull off a BOTS (based on a true story)? Go where the prompt leads!

While most prompts run for just one week, this one runs for two as Charli has been in Vermont conducting the inaugural and very successful Carrot Ranch Writers’ Refuge.

A Kingdom for a Koala flash fiction

Although I submitted A kingdom for a Koala in response to the prompt last week, I thought I’d have another go this week. The koala is one of my favourite Australian animals and also the animal emblem of my home state Queensland.

Koala Lou by Mem Fox

I always list Koala Lou by Mem Fox among my (many) favourite picture books. (You can listen to Mem read it by following that link.)

Little koala's party

Little Koala’s Party — a story for problem solving is one of my favourite readilearn teaching resources. The story engages children in helping Little Koala work out the number of guests and items required for her party. They can then use the same strategies to organise a party of their own. I always loved the illustrations that were done by an artist I met on 99designs.

That’s a lot of favourites so how could I not write another koala story? I decided that, for this week’s story, I would link Charli’s prompt with thoughts of a party. I hope you like it.

Surprise Party for a Koala

BANG! BANG! BANG!

Little Koala’s eyes pinged open.

There it was again. BANG! BANG!

She stretched, clambered down the tree and headed towards the noise.

She stopped under possum’s tree and peered into the branches.

“What’s going on here?”

Possum peeked out, glancing left and right. “Nothing.”

“Tell me!”

“Nothing. Go away.”

Koala scrambled up the tree. “What’re you doing?”

Possum grimaced, pointing to a sign.

“You know I can’t read yet.”

Possum placed a crown on Koala’s head. “It was supposed to be a surprise. Happy birthday.”

Koala felt special as a princess when all her friends arrived.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments. Please share your thoughts.

review-the-secret-science-societye28099s-spectacular-experiment

Review: The Secret Science Society’s Spectacular Experiment – readilearn

Welcome to my review of The Secret Science Society’s Spectacular Experiment, a new junior fiction chapter book co-authored by Kathy Hoopmann and Josie Montano.

The book will be launched on 10 August, timed to coincide with National Science Week 10–18 August and just prior to Children’s Book Week 17–23 August. I received an advance copy from the authors in return for an honest review.

About The Secret Science Society’s Spectacular Experiment

Authors: Kathy Hoopmann and Josie Montano

Illustrator: Ann-Marie Finn

Publisher: Wombat Books

Publication date: 10 August 2019

Genre: Junior fiction

Number of pages: 92

The blurb

Mona likes to moan. Kiki is a worry-wart. Bart loves following rules. And Zane HATES following rules.

When the four of them are put into the Secret Science Society together, this could only mean one thing: DISASTER!

Will they be able to work together to create an experiment that Mona won’t moan about, Kiki knows is safe, Bart will think is perfect and that is really, REALLY exciting for Zane? But sssshhh, the ending is a secret.

Continue reading: Review: The Secret Science Society’s Spectacular Experiment – readilearn

celebrating man's first moon walk

Celebrating Man’s First Moon Walk – readilearn

Celebrating man’s first moon walk in the classroom with ideas for reading, writing, maths, science, technology, and history.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of man’s first moon walk. On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man to place foot on the moon. Buzz Aldrin joined him shortly after and they spent just over two hours together outside the spacecraft.

Since then another ten astronauts, all of whom were American men, have walked on the moon. The six crewed moon landings took place between 1969 and 1972.

Celebrations of the first moon landing are taking place around the world. You can check out NASA events here and NASA resources for educators here.

The way you celebrate the event in your classroom can be big or small. Here are a few easy-to-implement suggestions for different subject areas:

Ideas for the classroom

Critical thinking

When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, he said, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Ask children to give their opinions about the intended message of Neil Armstrong’s words. Were his words effective? How else could it be expressed?

Writing
  • If I were an astronaut

Continue reading: Celebrating Man’s First Moon Walk – readilearn