Living in a visual world

We live in a very visual world and our students need to understand how multi media works. All media is constructed and contains belief and value messages which attempt to position viewers. Every viewer interprets messages differently. Each medium has its own meta-language, conventions and forms. This is reflected in the NSW English syllabus where teachers are asked to support students to become multi-literate as they explore multimodal texts in reading and learn to compose visual and multimodal texts. In a multil-literate classroom students learn that context, audience and purpose influence how a text is constructed, the selection of content and the appropriate mode of delivery ( digital – electonic, live, paper). Teachers teach critical literacy as part of English. Community and everyday texts have a place in English as do quality picture books and a range of digital resources. This can be challenging for teachers but there is plenty of help at hand. I have had a great time writing a course called ‘Composing multimodal texts in English K-6 – Visual literacy in practice.’ This course will be run twice in term four at Surry Hills and Blacktown. Click here to go to the CPL website to see the details.

Poetry Pack

I admit to loving poetry and I enjoy sharing poems with the classes I teach. I appreciate that, ‘poetry is the best words, in the best order about something important.’ Imagine using poems in guided reading or a literature circle. Poems are succinct texts filled with amazing language. Exposing students to poetry develops comprehension skills and supports developing writers to play with language.

Do you find teaching poetry daunting? If so then poetry pack may be a useful resource for you. This A4 download comprises an introduction to teaching poetry. The poetic devices and poetic forms mentioned in the NSW English syllabus K-6 are unpacked. A number of step – by – step sheets guide you and your students to produce a variety of poems. Take a look by clicking here.

TRIO on tour

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TRIO is excited about the range of courses we are presenting in 2017 with the Centre for Professional Learning. CPL is the professional learning arm of the NSW Teachers Federation. We value the CPL desire to provide professional learning  for teachers not just in city areas but in regional NSW as well. During the year we will be visiting: Tamworth and Newcastle in Term 2: Parkes, Wagga Wagga and Coffs Harbour in Term 3 and Queanbeyan in Term 4. For a full list of courses, venues and registration go to: http://cpl.asn.au/

Below are the  courses TRIO is conducting with CPL in Term One.

Wednesday 1st March: Implementing a Daily English Block using the English K-6 Syllabus at Surry Hills

Thursday 2nd March:  Improving your pedagogy with Assessment in English K-6 at Surry Hills

Wednesday 8th March: Effective Programming using the English K-6 Syllabus at Blacktown

Thursday 9th March: The Essentials of Teaching Mathematics K-6 at Blacktown

Wednesday 15th March: Teaching Reading, Comprehension and Critical Thinking using the English Syllabus at Surry Hills

Thursday 16th March: Teaching Students to Write Imaginative, Informative and Persuasive Texts using the English Syllabus at Surry Hills

Monday 20th March: The Essentials of Teaching Mathematics K-6 at Surry Hills

Tuesday 21st March: Effective Programming using the English K-6 Syllabus at Surry Hills

Wednesday 29th March: Teaching Students to Write Imaginative, Informative and Persuasive Texts using the English Syllabus at Blacktown

Thursday 30th March: Teaching Visual literacy K-6 at Surry Hills

Monday 3rd April: Implementing a Daily English Block using the English K-6 Syllabus at Blacktown

SDD at Bungendore PS

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Two TRIO presenters were lucky enough to visit Bungendore PS for the first day of 2017 school term. We were thrilled that teachers arrived happily for a whole day on the effective teaching of grammar! This might not sound like an easy start to the year but teachers volunteered to be parts of a sentence, or adjectives in a cline and their enthusiasm saw the day pass quickly. We love to spend time with teachers and be a part of their learning journey and the teachers at Bungendore PS were an enthusiastic audience. I am sure that their grammar lessons this year will be very lively. A final word to the school canteen lady who organised lunch and morning tea. The TRIO award for best catering goes to her. You can’t beat home cooked scones with jam and cream for recess unless it is chicken satay pie for lunch.  Thank you to Bungendore PS for their hospitality and involvement in our SDD course.

Books on the Bookshelf No. 2

Women book

How could anyone resist a book with the title: Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World. This book by Kate Pankhurst looks at a very diverse range of women from Frida Kahlo, Anne Frank, Coco Chanel  to Mary Anning. Some you will know and some you may not have heard of before. The characteristics that connect this diverse group of women are,  in the words of the author, ” They achieved extraordinary things simply by following their hearts, talents and dreams.” If you are wanting to explore perseverance, this text will be useful. I was drawn to it as I am thinking about encouraging students to produce  informative texts in a variety of ways. I am exploring any format that is NOT an ‘information report.’ This book provides great characters to research, interview and film. Use this book as a mentor text and examine the layout. Use this layout  to produce your class book on great people who came from your local area or are our heroes or achieved something significant in 2016. The options to compose a written, digital or multimodal text using this book as a model are endless.

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Books on the bookshelf No. 3

Planet kindergarten

Planet Kindergarten‘ by Sue Ganz-Schmitt is a book worth looking  at regardless of what primary grade you teach. This book is an extended metaphor comparing space exploration to starting school.  In this story the new student enters a new world as he begins school on planet Kindergarten : a place where ‘gravity works differently… We have to try hard to stay in our seats.’ The colours are bright and the layout is interesting. There is a message for all students beginning a new adventure. This story is funny and reassuring at the same time. I am looking forward to sharing this book with class soon.

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Hurray for holidays!

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At last the 2016 school year draws to a close and teachers all across the state are contemplating a well earned rest and a happy holiday season. I  don’t know about you but I know that as I relax I also reflect on the past year. Maybe the holidays are a time to catch up on some of the professional reading you have been meaning to do? What about some ‘research’ in a bookshop. I would choose a bookshop with coffee options close by and spend a few pleasant minutes opening up the covers of some books you haven’t seen before. For the sake of our work TRIO are dedicated bookshop wanderers and it is amazing what you find. Finding some new books to use in the next school year as well as enjoying a coffee makes the trip worthwhile. I will also be chatting to all the children in my life over Christmas about what they are reading and enjoying. This keeps me up to date with what kids are enjoying at the current moment.

Let me share our newest find with you. You may already be familiar with the author Brendan Wenzel from the book, The Three Pigs. The book They all saw a cat is about point of view and how perspective shapes what we see. I can see endless possibilities for using this text with a range of different classes. If you have a bookshop moment why not share your finds with us.

For the love of language, teach poetry

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I have been thinking about all things poetry over the past few weeks as I prepared a full day course on teaching poetry for the Centre for Professional Learning. Teaching  lessons about poetry and writing poems with a number of students has refreshed my love of poetry. Poetry is the perfect text to explore in any classroom. Why? Poems come in all shapes and sizes. Think about songs, raps, riddles, tongue twisters, bush ballads: there is a type of poem for every student to enjoy. Many poems are quite short but packed with ideas and emotion. This means they are accessible even for reluctant readers. Explore using poems in guided reading and literature circles. The poems above were written with two of my grandchildren and remind me of the value of choice. Allowing students to write about what they choose promotes ownership of the text. Parker isn’t at school yet so his diamante poem came from a conversation we had about his favourite animal. As he is currently interested in animals he brought lots of ideas to writing about his favourite animal. I just asked questions and scribed his answers. So if you have avoided poetry, my suggestion is give it a go and have some fun in your classroom!

Digital Storytelling and resources for History

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 1.37.55 pmVirtual reality and history… who knew it was so easy! We are very excited about a course we are contributing to in the first week of Term 3. The daughter of a TRIO member is in Australia for a short time and has agreed to share her expertise in digital storytelling and resources for History with teachers through this CPL course. Clare is a historian currently working at Warwick University in England. Just the planning has been eye opening to us and shown us resources that are amazing and will be useful for English as well as history. The course is being offered at Surry Hills in week one of term 3 on Wednesday 20th July.  This course will be  presented jointly by Dr. Clare Rowan and Kate Cameron.  Kate is one of the writers of the NSW History Syllabus so we will really be working with the experts!

Story telling is fundamental to history and digital story telling equips students to use 21st century skills to communicate their understanding of the past. Digital storytelling is a highly motivating way to address a range of syllabus outcomes. The course will focus on the middle years, Stages 3 and 4 but we feel it is a course suitable for anyone interested in teaching history and as a one off opportunity, not to be missed! To register please go to CPL http://cpl.asn.au/

 

 

TRIO and CPL

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TRIO really enjoys working with  the Centre for Professional Learning, which is part of the NSW Teachers Federation.  In term 3 we will be travelling with CPL to both Parkes and Lismore as well as working in Sydney.

The courses we are doing with the CPL in term 3 are as follows:

Parkes:

Monday 25th July, Exploring problem solving and working mathematically K-6

Tuesday 26th July, Teaching students to write imaginative, informative and persuasive texts K-6 using the English Syllabus

Wednesday 27th July, Spelling and the NSW English K-6 Syllabus

Lismore:

Tuesday 16th August, Teaching Grammar, punctuation and vocabulary for the NSW English K-6 Syllabus

Wednesday 17th August, Exploring problem solving and working mathematically K-6

Blacktown:

Monday 22 August, Teaching Visual Literacy K-6

Wednesday 24th August, Improving your pedagogy with assessment in the English K-6

Monday 29th August, Teaching Grammar, punctuation and vocabulary for the NSW English K-6 Syllabus

Wednesday 31st August, Implementing the cross curricula priorities in the maths syllabus K-6

Surry Hills:

Monday 12th September, Implementing the cross curricula priorities in the maths syllabus K-6

Tuesday 13th August, Improving your pedagogy with assessment in the English K-6

If you are interested in attending any of these courses register with the CPL at http://cpl.asn.au/