Groovy Mathematics!

Whilst finalising my term planning recently, I came across a fantastic site created by Beenleigh State School that has cut down on my interactive, digital resource searching considerably – always a bonus!!  The site is called Groovy Mathematics.

Groovy mathematics is a collection of interactive, digital resources that  is separated into levels 1 – 4, and then by strands.  Remember to review the levels with the National Curriculum in mind – although the resources are still valuable, they may not necessarily be in the correct spot, with the correct strand title. For example, the National Curriculum has the following three strands:

  1. Number and Algebra
  2. Measurement and geography
  3. Statistics and probability

I have found some wonderful resources on the site to use during my lessons, and also sites to add to my virtual classroom for the students to follow-up on a concept we have covered in class.  The students have enjoyed having these quality sites to work on ….. and I have enjoyed having the extra time I have saved by using this site! 🙂  Thank you Beenleigh State School.

Although all of these resources are linked to from the Beenleigh State School site, it is important to note that the school does not host these resources. As with every resource on the internet, ‘viewing prior to using’ is always recommended.  😉


Maths Starter of the Day

Many teachers around the state have recently had interactive whiteboards installed, yet are still a little unsure of how to incorporate them in their daily teaching.  A fantastic site that I found through Twitter recently was the Maths Starter of the Day website.  The concept behind the site is incredibly simple, and as the name suggests, is one problem for the students to work on each day.  Fabulous to put up on the interactive whiteboard first thing in the morning to get students settled and straight into independent work.  Who knows?  We may even see some improved results come NAPLAN time!

Beware … some of these problems are quite tricky, so you are best to view them beforehand!  Don’t forget to scroll down to find the answers!

I love this concept, but I am thinking that I’ll need to go through the archives and possibly create my own whiteboard file that has more tailored activities for my year level. I’ll let you know how I go! 🙂

Monster Sciences


Introducing Monster Sciences! 


Whilst wandering around the internet looking for some fun and effective ways to introduce scientific concepts to my class, I found the Monster Sciences website.  For someone like me (who is interested in science, but quite cautious when it comes to scientific experiments – in case I set the room on fire by accident!!), this site gives clear and easy to understand experiments that are then backed up with knowledge in the teacher’s notes.

Everything you find at Monster Sciences was written for teachers by a teacher who understands the challenges of teaching in today’s classroom.  All the experiments are printable, designed to be effective, fun, hands on and are FULLY EXPLAINED in complete Teacher’s Notes.  They use simple, every day items that can easily be brought from home – no fancy expensive equipment required!


From the creator of the site:

I’m a teacher and a scientist and I have a passion for teaching science to kids, even really young kids.  Science investigations are a fabulous way for kids to get their brains working – they need to use lots of thinking skills, including observation, logic, reasoning and comparison.  Hands on activities allow them to see the results for themselves, enabling them to construct their own understanding of the way the world works. All that and they are fun too!

There are many fantastic experiments to choose from:

This will definitely be a site I revisit regularly …. I am hoping it will bring out my inner scientist! 🙂

E-Classroom for students affected by the floods

Education Queensland has developed their own official site for students, parents and teachers affected by the recent floods – eClassroom.  The aim is to provide students of all year levels with specific activities to do whilst they may be isolated or relocated to another campus.

The Education Queensland eClassroom provides a range of self-paced digital learning resources and activities:

  • Resources: self-paced learning objects by year level 
  • Activities: self-paced structured lessons by year level
  • Programs: self-paced vodcasts or daily scheduled multimedia events by year level
  • For teachers: teacher lead virtual classrooms
  • Parents/guardians can contact our Learning helpline for assistance from a teacher.

Even if you are not in a flood affected area, it is still worthwhile visiting the site and having a look around 😉

** Don’t forget that the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal is still accepting donations. **

School of the Web – Free Resource

As some of you may be aware, much of Queensland has faced unprecedented flood waters to start 2011.  Due to this flooding (at one stage, 75% of the state!), many students are isolated by the flood waters, or evacuated from their homes and communities.  I have created a site for those students with internet connection (or an iPhone) to access to keep their minds active during this time.  This site is called: School of the Web.


The site not only includes links to a collection of free websites, but also contains an ‘apps’ section for those students who may have an iPhone, but no PC internet connection.  Many students out west (where I taught for 3 years) are often in this situation.

I encourage you to share this site with any students (and teachers) you know that may be affected by the floods. I also encourage you to visit the Premier’s website and donate, if you can, to the Premier’s Flood Relief Fund – every donation helps!

My heart goes out to all of those families across Australia that have been affected by these floods.  My thoughts are with you all at this time.


Persuasive Writing Resources – NAPLAN

NAPLAN Resources for 2011
NAPLAN consists of four tests in the domains of Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Numeracy.
The 2011 dates for implementation of the tests in 2011 are:  
  • Tuesday May 10th,
  • Wednesday 11th; and
  • Thursday 12th. 

NAPLAN Writing Task 2011

All Australian Education Ministers agreed to a change in the NAPLAN writing task from the narrative to the persuasive at a Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) meeting held on April 15, 2010. The change has come about for two reasons. First, persuasive writing and other non-narrative forms are used across all curriculum areas as students progress through school. Second, the change of genre means that children will not be able to prepare a story beforehand. 

This page, with thanks to the Central Queensland Region, contains resources to assist teachers prepare for the implementation of 2011 NAPLAN.  It is an excellent resource that I know that I will be visiting leading up to the testing in May! 😉



Another excellent resource for NAPLAN 2011 is the Persuasive Writing Marking Guide produced by ACARA.  With the criteria and annotated samples, it is definitely worth a look!


Persuasive Texts – NAPLAN

The following list is provided with great thanks to all the teachers in the Oz Teachers Network who contributed  …. and to Barbara for compiling it from all the emails! 🙂  Thanks again all involved!


  • Persuade the principal that a dragon/dinosaur that has taken up  residence in the playground should stay.
  • Zoos are good/bad for the preservation of animal species
  • Persuade us that recess should be longer
  • Benefits of homework
  • How important is the education?
  • We must protect the ozone layer
  • Why should we recycle?
  • 200+ Persuasive Speech Ideas


  • Robert N. Munsch, Stephanie’s Ponytail
  • Margie Palatini, The Perfect Pet         
  • Joan W. Blos, Old Henry      
  • Steven Kellogg, Can I Keep Him?

  • Shari Graydon, Made You Look: How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know
  • Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express       
  • Jon Scieszka, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs         
  • Beverly Cleary, Emily’s Runaway Imagination
  • Gretchen Bernabei, Why We Must Run With Scissors 
  • Karen Kaufman Orloff, I Wanna Iguana  
  • E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web         
  • Patricia Polacco, The Bee Tree    
  • Dr Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham
  • Judith Viorst, Earrings!
  • Mark Teague, Dear Mrs. LaRue : letters from obedience school         
  • Phillip M. Hoose, Hey little ant
  • Lane Smith, It’s a book (subtle persuasion?)
  • Dr Alvin Granowsky, set of books called ‘Another Point of View‘ (1996) based on folk tales like Henny Penny and the Three Billy Goats Gruff – original stories retold plus a version offering a different point of view.
  • Anthony Browne, Zoo – text tells one story but pictures differ
  • Anthony Browne, Voices in the Park – story told from 4 points of view
  • Wordless picture books such as Popov ‘Why‘ – shows escalation in confrontation, students can put own words to each of protagonists point of  view
  • Nick Bland, ‘The Wrong Book
  • Marcia Vaughan, ‘Wombat Stew
  • Lauren Child, ‘I will never, ever eat a tomato
  • Mo Willems, Don’t let pigeon stay up late, Don’t let pigeon drive the bus, Pigeon wants a puppy
  • Bronwyn Bancroft, ‘Why I love Australia‘- children provide their own opinions based on discussing Bancroft’s evocative text and illustrations
  • Doreen Cronin, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. Cows find an old typewriter in the barn and proceed to write letters to Farmer Brown, listing various demands. Activities –
  • Doreen Cronin, Giggle, Giggle, Quack. Very funny – about negotiation and power.
  • Graeme Base – Uno’s Garden – activities at
  • Kim Michelle Toft – The world that we want – activities at



  • Can I change your mind? : the craft and art of persuasive writing Lindsay Camp Camp, Lindsay 2007 We all need the ability to argue a case effectively in writing. Drawing on his long experience as a leading copywriter, Lindsay Camp shows how it’s done-whether the end product is a glossy magazine ad, a new business proposal, a page for the company website, or just a hasty e-mail to your boss. persuasive writing, persuasive text.
  • There is a chapter in All You Need to Teach Information Literacy Book 3 (Braxton, 2009) called The Art of Persuasion that includes blackline masters for sorting ideas.  Also ‘Try Me, Buy Me’ in Book 2 (focuses on advertising).  

Mr Thorne does Phonics

Mr Thorne Does Phonics is a comprehensive collection of over 200 literacy videos to support children, parents, teachers and anyone who is learning to read. 



I first came across the ‘Mr Thorne’ videos on YouTube, and experienced the same issues using the videos at school as most other educational institutions will no doubt have experienced too – slow load times, or even blocked altogether by the school filtering program!  I was excited to see on Twitter yesterday that Mr Thorne has been listening, and has moved his videos to a new, school friendly, site.

The Mr Thorne Does Phonics site is very simply, yet colourfully, designed.  It is easy to navigate, and all videos are clearly marked.

Overall, a great site that has some short, but useful, videos to include in your classroom. 

OLogy – Science Resources

OLogy is a fantastic section of the American Museum of Natural History website that has some great interactive resources and activities to use in your classroom. 


Once you choose your “ology” on the left, you will need to scroll down to see what exhibit features are available.  Most include video clips and interactive games along with images and text.  Below is an example of what is available in the Marine biology section:

Enjoy exploring the site! 🙂

Guvera – FREE music downloads :o)

Guvera has spent several years negotiating rights all around the world and designing this new system to make music free by having advertisers pay for our downloads.

You’ll see when you experience Guvera – You select the brand that will pay for each piece of music you search for, then you visit their channel and discover a whole bunch of other music that may be interesting… then you channel hop, this is how you discover new music, all the while not being interrupted by ads you cant click past and now, you simply enjoy the music.

Best yet, those artists that create all these goodies we download will be paid in full for the inspiration they make for all of us.