Continue reading: Happy Easter 2021 – readilearn
Teachers around Australia are already thinking about how they will organise their classrooms to maximise learning when the new school year begins at the end of January. They are as excited as the children with hopes and expectations of a successful and enjoyable school year.
To ensure a rewarding year, it is important to begin with a clear idea of what you want to achieve and the steps that will contribute to success. It is useful to keep in mind that one of the most significant contributors to children’s learning is the classroom environment, especially the relationship with the teacher. A supportive classroom environment that welcomes students and their families is essential so that children have a sense both of belonging and ownership.
Rita Pierson makes this quite clear in her TED Talk Every kid needs a champion.
Here at readilearn, our focus is on supporting teachers with lessons that are ready for them to teach rather than on worksheets for children to complete. We recognise the beneficial role of discussions that involve both teachers and students sharing ideas. We also assist teachers to establish a welcoming and supportive classroom environment.
Establish a welcoming environment
Continue reading: And so it begins — a New School Year – readilearn
Another month down. While I’m not wishing time away (I think most of us would always like more of that), I’m hoping that, as we step into this last quarter of 2020, we are stepping closer to a world free of restrictions, lockdowns and Covid-19. I’m sure you are all with me on that.
October begins in a wonderful way with World Smile Day on the first Friday in October — this year, 2 October. The day is a great reminder to spread smiles and share kindness with others. One of the best ways to spread smiles is by having an open heart and being friendly towards others.
Here at readilearn, we have many resources you can use to teach your children friendship skills and encourage them to get along with each other. Resources include:
As we step into the second half of 2020, I hope you continue to stay well and happy. So many changes occurred during the first half of the year and life has not yet returned, if it ever will, to how it once was. In some areas where change is required, that’s perhaps a good thing, but many of us mourn the freedoms and security we once enjoyed.
In this post, I list some days and events you may wish to celebrate with your children, whether at home or at school, hopeful that some may inspire you and renew your resolve to work towards a better future.
International Plastic Bag Free Day on 3 July is a great way to start the month focusing on the environment and making small steps towards a positive future. The aim of the day is to increase awareness of the harmful effects of plastic waste upon the environment, especially the marine environment, and encourage everyone to reduce their use of plastics.
Some things to think about and discuss:
- More than 500 billion plastic bags are used around the world each year, about one million every minute.
- Each plastic bag is used on average for less than half an hour.
- Plastic bags remain in the environment for up to 500 years. Plastic pollution doesn’t just affect those of us alive today. It affects generations for hundreds of years to come.
If we can all reduce our use of plastics, especially single-use plastics, it will have a positive impact upon Earth’s future and the future of all its inhabitants, including plants, animals and humans.
What can you do?
Continue reading: Special Days and Events for Classroom Celebrations — July – readilearn
Queensland is my home state and, since we celebrate Queensland Day on 6 June, I thought I’d share a little about my state and its special day.
On 6 June 1859, Queensland separated from New South Wales to become an independent colony. It was awarded this status by Queen Victoria who reigned from 1837 until 1901.
Brisbane, located in the south-east corner of the state, is the state capital.
Continue reading: Celebrating Queensland Day — 6 June – readilearn
An understanding of number is crucial to navigating our complex world. It is something we use everyday whether we are aware of it or not. From things as seemingly simple as matching the number of socks to our number of feet, to scheduling our day, through to more complex activities like balancing our budget, an understanding of number and mathematics is involved.
It always saddens me when people say, ‘Oh I can’t do maths’, especially when those people are young people. I think a lot of the inability and fear was learned. I know it was for me. Perhaps that is why I am on a mission to make learning in maths enjoyable and meaningful. It doesn’t have to be fearfully abstract and complex if we build strong foundations in the early years.
There are already well over one hundred mathematics resources in the readilearn collection, and this week I have added three more. Two of the resources are interactive lessons ready to teach on the interactive whiteboard in the classroom or, for those still teaching online, via screen sharing software. The third is a printable resource. All support your teaching and are open-ended and adaptable to the needs of you and your learners.
Let’s Make Patterns is designed for teaching and reviewing repeating patterns on the interactive whiteboard. Patterns are an important part of mathematics. Learning about patterns with objects helps children understand the patterns upon which our decimal number system is based.
Continue reading: Developing understanding of number with three new resources – readilearn
Easter is coming in 2020 along with school holidays, school closures and lockdowns. While readilearn lessons and activities are designed with teachers of the first three years of school in mind, perhaps, in these challenging times, parents may also find them useful in supporting their children’s learning while they are out of school.
The collection now numbers over 400 resources and more than 70 of these are interactive lessons and stories. All resources can be accessed with a small annual subscription or purchased individually. Many of the resources are free.
While teachers would normally use the interactive lessons on the interactive whiteboard with the whole class or small group, parents access them on their home computers. Just as teachers would discuss the resources when using them with a class, so too, parents discuss them with their children as they work through them together. The most benefit for children comes from the discussion. They are not designed for children to use independently.
Lessons and activities with an Easter focus
Lessons and activities in the readilearn collection cover a range of topics and curriculum areas. However, the focus of this post is on those with an Easter theme and how they can be used to keep the children thinking and learning while having fun. (Note: All readilearn Easter-themed resources can be found here.)
Learning about living things is an important part of education for young children. This post suggests ways of teaching biological science in lower primary classrooms with lessons ready-to-teach and activities that make learning memorable and fun.
- the needs of living things
- external features of living things
- where living things live
- how living things grow
and relate specifically to insects and other minibeasts.
Continue reading: Learning about living things in lower primary classrooms – readilearn
It’s almost Christmas again and here in Australia we’re on the countdown to the end of the school year and our long summer holidays. Whether you’ll be enjoying a long break or a shorter break over the festive season, here at readilearn we’ve got many ready-to-teach lessons and activities to support your teaching in the lead-up to Christmas.
Get an early start with these lessons and activities
You will get most benefit from some activities if you begin them a few weeks before the finish of term.
Friendship Trees, one of readilearn’s most popular Christmas activities is best begun three to four weeks before school closes for Christmas. Children make their own friendship trees which are then placed on display in the classroom.
Each day children write anonymous messages of affirmation or friendship to each other and place them in the trees. At the end of term, children take their trees home and read the positive messages contained within.
The trees help to develop self-esteem, confidence and friendship skills and are perfect for those last few weeks when temperatures soar and children can become edgy with excitement for the holidays.
A 3D Christmas tree makes a beautiful focal point of the classroom Christmas display. Children cooperatively construct the tree by contributing leaves made by tracing or printing their hands. It is a visible recognition of the value of teamwork and will be admired (and envied) by many. It makes a beautiful background for photographs of individual children to be given as gifts to parents or other loved ones.
Continue reading: Classroom Christmas lessons and activities – readilearn
Nursery rhymes are often a child’s first introduction to our literary heritage. Parents sing nursery rhyme lullabies to soothe their babies to sleep and play nursery rhyme games to entertain them in their waking hours. All the while, children are learning the rhythms and tones of our language, developing vocabulary, ideas and imagination. When children learn the repetitive patterns of nursery rhymes, they are also developing their memories.
Australian author Mem Fox is often quoted as saying that
“Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.”
While I am aware that others question the existence of research to back up that statement, I think most teachers would agree that children who have been spoken to, sung to (including nursery rhymes) and read to before school will find literacy learning much easier in our classrooms. Success with literacy learning often correlates with success later in life.
Already on the readilearn website, there are resources to support your literacy teaching using the nursery rhymes Humpty Dumpty and Little Miss Muffet. More are in development. While some nursery rhymes may be considered to have questionable origins, those origins have no place when teaching them to children. The benefits flow from having fun with the rhythms and rhymes of language.
Teaching literacy skills & developing creative thinking with Humpty Dumpty
Continue reading: Teaching and learning with nursery rhymes – readilearn