Category Archives: Teaching resources

#Don’t Choose Extinction — International Mother Earth Day 2022 – #readilearn

The United Nations International Mother Earth Day 2022 is today 22 April.

The day is a call to action. Mother Earth herself is calling us to action because nature is suffering.

While I’m sure you don’t need any reminders, the signs of that suffering include:

  • pollution
  • extreme heat
  • fires
  • floods
  • drought
  • storms
  • the pandemic
  • vulnerability and extinction of fauna and flora

Humans contribute to the suffering through pollution, deforestation and changes in land-use.

We are all called to take individual, as well as collective, action. As stated on the website:

‘The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet – and its people. Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. But we will only succeed if everyone plays a part.’

Frankie has an urgent message for all of us.

He tells us there are no excuses and lists 19 of those most often expressed. Perhaps you’ve heard some of them. He tells us how to end the excuses with information and action.

“I’m already doing as much as I can.”

“We’ll lose too many jobs if we phase out fossil fuels.”

“I’m just one person, I can’t make a difference.”

“We need fossil fuels for our economy.”

“I won’t see the effects of climate change in my lifetime.”

Continue reading: #Don’t Choose Extinction — International Mother Earth Day 2022 – readilearn

Writing Poetry with Children – #readilearn

With this month being National Poetry Month in the US and 17 April being International Haiku Day,  I thought it was timely to share some of our poetry resources. Here in Australia, we celebrate poetry month in August, but I don’t think we need wait until then. We can celebrate again in August or make every month poetry month. No month should go by without enjoying some poetry anyway.

Poetry is a great introduction to the rhythms and sounds of our language. Children are introduced to it from a young age through nursery rhymes and picture books. Some of children’s favourite picture books are those that read like poems with rhythm, rhyme and repetition. The books of Dr Seuss and Julia Donaldson come immediately to mind. But, of course, there are many others too.

When they enter school, children love listening to poetry and experimenting with writing poems of their own. Here at readilearn we have some resources to help you help them get started on their poetry writing journey. All poetry resources are found in their own section of the literacy collection.

Writing poetry

Writing Haiku with Children — This collection includes five haiku poems for reading and five stimulus photos for writing. It can be used to introduce children to the structure of haiku poetry and to encourage them to write haiku poems of their own. The resource includes information about the structure of haiku poetry as well as teaching suggestions.

If You Were an Animal — poem and teaching notes — The teacher notes accompanying this poem provide suggestions for both English and Science.

English teaching suggestions include:

  • Rhyming words
  • Questions and statements
  • Opposites
  • Writing
  • Recitation and performance

Science teaching suggestions include:

  • Features of living things
  • Needs of living things
  • Habitats of living things

Write your own “I love” poem — This resource encourages children to write their own poems by innovating on the traditional camping song ‘I love the Mountains’. Great for even beginning writers.

Continue reading: Writing Poetry with Children – #readilearn

Learning about Sustainability by Reducing Food Waste – #readilearn

This post is a little different from my usual post in that I am not sharing teaching resources for the first three years of school. Instead, I am sharing information about a food rescue organisation and a sustainability program for Years 5 and 6. While I don’t usually share resources for older classes, I thought this may be useful information to have and to share with your colleagues who teach upper primary classes.

OzHarvest

OzHarvest is an Australian food rescue organisation founded in 2004 by Ronni Kahn. I’m embarrassed to say that I wasn’t aware of it until I read Kahn’s book A Repurposed Life in 2020 and was blown away by her dedication to helping feed people in need by saving surplus food from going to landfill. (A Repurposed Life is a fascinating and inspiring memoir, and I am happy to recommend it.)

After reading her book, I began noticing bins for accepting donations of food in the local shopping centres. I was surprised that I’d never seen them before and wondered how many times I’d walked past them, oblivious.

A quote from the website explains the OzHarvest mission:

“We are committed to halving food waste by 2030, inspiring and influencing others to do the same, and transforming lives through education.”

You can read more about the OzHarvest story and Ronni Kahn on the website here.

This video gives a very brief introduction to Ronni.

Feast

What I really wanted to share with you, though, is the OzHarvest education program called Feast with the goal of ‘Inspiring kids to eat healthy, waste less and be change-makers in their local community.’

As I said earlier, the program is for Years 5 and 6. According to the website, it is a STEM project-based learning program that runs for 7-10 weeks. The program focuses on food and fibre and the cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability.

This video gives a quick introduction to the program.

Continue reading: Learning about Sustainability by Reducing Food Waste – Readilearn

What the world needs now — friendship skills – #readilearn

Here in Australia, today 18 March is the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence.  Next Monday 21 March sees another three events, all celebrating friendship: Harmony Day , the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and World Down Syndrome Day.

While none of these events have ‘friendship’ in their title, that to me is what it all comes down to: acceptance, kindness and friendship. It is sad to see how difficult it can be to attain on a personal, local, national and international level. We must all do what we can to make the world a happier place through inclusion and respect.

Here at readilearn, friendship skills have always been a focus. We have over twenty resources to support the teaching of friendship skills. They can all be found under the heading ‘Friendship Skills’ in the resources for Character Development.

These are just a few of the readilearn friendship skills lessons and resources:

Busy Bees ABC of friendship is an alphabet of words that can be used to stimulate discussion about what a friend is and what friends do.Each letter has a word and accompanying explanatory statement on its own chart. The entire alphabet is also available on one printable chart. It could be used for a bingo-type card on which children colour the box for each letter as they do something appropriate to the word.

Be friends not bullies provides suggestions for teaching children friendship skills. It teaches them to identify the differences between friendly and unfriendly behaviour, to recognise bullying and to provide strategies for dealing with bullying that they may encounter personally or as an onlooker.

The resource includes:

  • a story stimulus with suggestions for presentation and discussion
  • follow up activities
  • games to play
  • a poster to print

Topics for discussion include:

Continue reading: What the world needs now — friendship skills – 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

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

An Activity a Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay – #readilearn

This article was written for and first published at the Carrot Ranch Literary Community as part of a series supporting parents with children learning at home. Although it is now the 3rd of December, you will still be able to complete most of the activities, especially since many of you will be on holidays and entertaining your own children during December. Enjoy!

With the timing of this post on the last day of November, I have prepared a December Advent Activity Calendar for families (parents and children) to use in the lead-up to Christmas. There is one suggestion for each day until Christmas. In this article, I provide a brief outline of each activity. For those who want more, I have prepared a PDF with additional details for each activity which you can download free by following this link.

  1. Put up the Christmas Tree

It is traditional for Christmas trees to be put up and decorated at the beginning of December. In my family, we try to do it on, or as close to, the 1st of December. If you haven’t put your tree up yet, perhaps it’s time to think about it.

I have provided the outline of a Christmas tree which can be cut, coloured and hung on the real Christmas tree. Write the year on it. On the back, write something you wish for yourself, something you wish for others, and something you wish for the world. Hang it on the Christmas tree. If you do the same thing each year, you can reflect on changes in yourself and in the world.

  1. Make Paper Chain Decorations

Paper chains are easy to make and add colour to the tree or can be hung around the room.

  1. Make a Gift Day

Continue reading: An Activity a Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay – readilearn

A New Activity Book Just in Time for Christmas – #readilearn

In this post, I am sharing information about a new Christmas Activity Book I have recently complied and uploaded to the readilearn collection. It is a 30-page booklet with 20 different activities and is perfect for 5 ̶ 7 year-old children to use at home or in the classroom.

The book includes:

  • games to play alone
  • games to play with others
  • literacy activities
  • maths activities
  • word puzzles
  • number puzzles
  • logic puzzles
  • poems to write
  • and much more.

Some of the activities are already available as separate items in the readilearn collection, but not available together. More than half the activities are new. I decided to put them together in one book for ease of printing and distributing. You still have the option to print pages separately if you prefer, but you have access to all 20 activities in one document.

Continue reading: A New Activity Book Just in Time for Christmas – readilearn