Monthly Archives: January 2011

Visiting a Publishing Company: Nelson Cengage – Melbourne.


Visiting an Educational Publishing Company is eye opening. It’s quiet, calm, but you can feel the creativity ‘in the air’ and see it happening ‘within the walls’. There’s something special about a space where knowledge is sought and generated, visions become reality and creation takes place.

PM is a strong trademark and performer, but publishing is about knowing about the ‘what’s next’ and that’s where a classroom teacher’s experience comes to play. We teachers are creators. We’ve been doing it for years. If we can’t find the resource of choice, we make it – we create it!’ Less is more’. It’s about pedagogy!

Why would I still be thinking about Instructional Rounds while writing this? I now know that best practice is built upon the relationship between the teacher, student and content and the quality of the TASK.

 ‘It is what teachers think, what teachers do, and what teachers are, at the level of the classroom that ultimately shapes the kind of learning that young people get”. Andy Hargreaves & Michael Fullan

Great resources are essential, and I share them here, but it’s still the quality of practice, pedagogical understanding, and how a teacher uses a resource within the context of the task. It’s the strategies married to the resource, and the way the teacher puts their own stamp on it.

I’ve written a lot about a strategy I promote because I know it works. I’ve provided evidence of improved learning gains and that’s what it’s about. PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing is my adaptation on an existing strategy. Something I’ve been developing for three years, and considering how powerful this strategy is there is very little written about the teacher led version. Searching Student Led Interactive Writing is interesting. Take a look!

 At Nelson-Cengage I met Christine Mann, the Marketing Manager ( Primary), Rebecca Henson-  Publishing Editor (Primary) and Simone Calderwood – Publishing Editor (Primary). Meeting people involved with publishing was great. I’m always looking for inspiration, and I certainly found the experience beneficial. I’d like to take the opportunity here to thank Nelson- Cengage… and I enjoyed my lunch.

We’re back at school next week in Victoria, Australia. A new year full of new challenges!   

Cheers Nina

P.S What’s your favourite resource? Send me an email or write a comment here. I’d love to know!

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2010 in review

Before reading ‘2010 in review’, I need to share a little about myself as a writer. My lack of editing is evident, and my writing style needs work. I’ll be spending time reading and making corrections, but this will take time.  Improving my writing style is one personal goal for 2011.

When I started this blog in 2009, my goal was to write about the ‘work I do’ and ‘get it down’. Writing in such an open forum is about taking risks, and that’s what I needed to do first. It was all about ‘having a go’, and that’s exactly what I expect my students to do. This blog is a record of my practice. Doing the ‘work I do better’ is my goal, and I’m hoping that this is reflected in Nina’s Arena.

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 59 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 178 posts. There were 244 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 86mb. That’s about 5 pictures per week. There are no photos of children in this blog.

The busiest day of the year was March 14th with 469 views. The most popular post that day was 436 visits to my blog TODAY- What brought you here?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for interactive writing, nina’s arena, concept based curriculum, ninas arena, and e5 instructional model.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


436 visits to my blog TODAY- What brought you here? March 2010


The ‘Concept Based Curriculum’ – Ken Robinson – Differentiated Teaching January 2010


About me – Nina Davis January 2009


Interactive Writing: 5 and 6 Year Olds – Linking sentences, using adjectives and ’rounding off’ passages! The essential strategy weaved into the Language Experience Classroom! September 2009


A 5 turned 6 Year Old’s Journey Into Written Literacy: One child mapped for a year… November 2009

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