Monthly Archives: May 2012

Nina Davis: Teaching & Learning in Australia

I’ve decided to map the writing development of one child in my class for a year. It’s interesting to look back and see the learning leaps made throughout the year.  What moved this child forward? What made this child’s writing accelerate or slow down? Take a look and see if you agree with my comments. The children have been looking through their books and are amazed at what they now know. I’ve said many times in my blog- Language Experience, Interactive Writing: teacher and student led combined with a clear explicit planned teaching focus have made the difference.

I’ve briefly annotated this child’s journey below.

Below: This is the first piece of writing and what a great place to for this student to start. This child has begun to draw some  shapes and was able to talk about the picture. This is imitating writing. There are what looks like some strings of letters and a picture which isn’t shown…

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Nina Davis: Teaching & Learning in Australia

Love this explanation of leadership and think all educators should view it. What does  ‘we’re all leaders’ mean? How does a leader bring about change?

This gives us all something to think about. What do you think?

Cheers Nina

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Our Prep Student Led Tour: 5&6 Year Olds sharing their learning authentically…

Today we had our first Prep Student Led Tour. My students were very excited and were prepared to talk about their learning with their special invited people. The room was buzzing and it was lovely to hear the children explaining their school day.

Enjoy this Quality Time with Each Other

 This tour is a chance for you to share your child’s learning.

 Make this day into a celebration of your child’s successes.

 Please remember to have FUN during this time. Enjoy the opportunity to spend time with your child.

 Use this booklet as a guide for the session. It provides you with prompts to stimulate discussion.

 This is a student-led tour, therefore your child is responsible for sharing their learning with your support, based on the age and stage of learning.

 At the end of this time, please complete the ‘Parent Feedback Form’ at the back of this booklet and return it to school the following day. It will provide us with valuable feedback.

The children were prepared to talk about the points listed below.

Let me take you on a tour of my learning…

In this tour, I suggest you spend time in my classroom sharing my learning in each of the curriculum areas and then moving to the specialist rooms for the rest of my tour.

Units of Inquiry: ““How We Organise Ourselves” and “How We Express Ourselves”

I will:

 Explain how my classroom is organised

 Show and explain some signs and symbols in the classroom


I will:

 Share my writing book with you and explain how I write a sentence

 Show you what I have learnt about how to write (i.e. full stops and capital letters)

 Show you how my writing has changed

 Show what I read, and where I read in the classroom.

 Take you on a ‘Reading Walk”


I will:

 Show you how I make a pattern

 Tell you what a pattern is

 Show you what I am learning in Maths

Cheers Nina

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Using literature to support teaching mathematics. Mem Fox – Let’s Count Goats!

My Preps loved this story by Mem Fox. At present my students are writing the numerals 1 to 10. Each student is able to identify which numeral/s is challenging for them to write and is practising each day to form the numeral/s properly. The children wrote the numerals 1 to 10 in order, circled the number of goats they had drawn, drew the correct number of goats to match their numeral and recorded the word for their chosen number. They absolutely loved the book.

I try to use quality literature to introduce a mathematical concept or skill when I can. Young children need opportunities to make, do and create woven into everyday.

The Very Hungry Caterpilla by Eric Carle is great for introducing number and amounts. The children enjoy adding pages to the original story e.g. On the 10th day the very hungry caterpillar ate 19 lolly pops and so on…  I’ll post more about this activity when we’ve finished our PD story about the very hungry caterpillar.

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100 000 Hits… that’s alot for a little blog! So what have my Preps (5 & 6 Year Olds) been doing this term?

I  haven’t posted for a while, but have finally found a spare hour to write about what we’ve been doing  in PrepD. My students are delightful, full of energy, great talkers and sharers. Learning is fun and they’re able to talk about what they know, what they are learning and what they will be learning next. I’ve provided a link below to the Optimal Learning Chart which was included in the Edmonds School District – A Balanced Literacy Program document.  The chart is explained below:

Optimal Learning Model (Gradually Releasing Responsibility): Regie Routman coined the term Optimal Learning Model in her book Reading Essentials. It refers to the gradual handover of responsibility from teacher to student as literacy is taught. Beginning with demonstration and shared demonstration, the teacher models reading/writing skills and strategies, leading and explaining to the learner. Next the learner gradually takes responsibility for his learning, practicing these skills strategies with the teacher stepping into a guiding role. The ultimate goal is for the student to independently practice the skills and strategies, to self –monitor and to apply his learning as the teacher observes. Edmonds School District 2004

Optimal Learning Chart

 PrepD Partner Writing:

Prep D Journal Writing:

Using lines for the first time… exciting! My Preps love writing and most have started using a heading/title, content and personal comment at the end of their journal. I’ve been using the PM Writing exemplars for focus minilessons. Using WALT – We are learning to… and WILF – What I’m looking for… to scaffold their writing is working well. These students are young and very new writers and are starting to develop their ideas and ‘have a go’ at writing challenging words.


The last sentence of the above journal says, ‘I felt excited.’ Well, I felt excited when I read that too! What a great attempt at spelling excited.

Just a quick post. Thanks for visiting, sending me emails and commenting. Next Post: Using literature to support teaching mathematics.

Cheers Nina


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