Monthly Archives: October 2012

Partner Interactive Writing – We all have personal histories. Our excursion to the Immigration Museum Melbourne…

My Preps as part of our inquiry into personal history visited the Immigration Museum in Melbourne. The Immigration Museum has excellent programs designed for all age groups. The children learnt about Cook who travelled to Australia in a boat from Vietnam. They learnt about refugees and the hardships they faced. Understanding what a refugee is seems a big concept for 5 and 6 year old children; however, I’m always surprised by the level of understanding they have.

The children love Student Led Interactive Writing and for this activity I selected Partner Interactive Writing. Working in pairs the children could be heard rehearsing their text, using tool cards (alphabet and THRASS cards) to support spelling, manipulating spacers when required to ensure spaces between words, re-reading – correcting and discussing what they had learnt.

One of our school staff has applied to become an Australian citizen. The staff member spoke to the children about what she has had to do to become a citizen. The children were able to explain the difference between applying to be a citizen in Australia and being a refugee. The children completed our inquiry last week.

Cheers Nina

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A Teacher: Australian Ski Mountain Review: Something different – School Holidays in Australia!

My blog has established a strong readership base and this has surprised me. It’s where I reflect on my teaching. I receive numerous emails, far more than comments from all over the world and respond to each as I can. Teaching has no borders… My blog supports ‘newbie’ teachers often overwhelmed in their first year and looking for guidance and support. There are university students looking for ‘real’ explanations of the ‘how’ not the ‘what’ of teaching and learning which they struggle with and the experienced educators discussing and sharing pedagogy. It’s also where I share, review and recognise people or places I have been. So what have I been up to this Winter and Spring?

The Teacher who loves to ski:

Our Australian winter has provided incredible snow on our mountains and I’m grateful to live near the beach but also relatively close to the ski fields. This season I have skied Mount Buller, Mount Hotham (Victoria), Thredbo and Perisher (New South Wales). Many of my colleagues are skiers and boarders and the ‘word of mouth’ recommendations are strongly made and listened to. We skiers will fall in love with mountain and can be blindsided… but this year has changed my view of ski resorts for a number of reasons. I’ll share my reasons in another post.

I’ve revisited some mountains and experienced two new mountains this year. I’m also at a stage of life where I can look overseas and this is really appealing! Let’s face it the timing of our Victorian / Australian school holidays doesn’t support skiing in Australia. So now there are real opportunities for Australian teachers to spend their ski dollars overseas. Japan, Europe and America await and the deals are incredible… What does this mean for the Australian ski fields? It means our Australian resorts need to have improvement strategies in place, gather and act on feedback, listen to their skiers and boarders and offer value for the dollar. Hey, $5 dollars is ridiculous for a jam donut!

I’ve already written a post about Thredbo! What a mountain and I remain impressed. No resort is cheap and Australian skiers have to except this due to the shortness of our ski season, but I’m now starting to compare Australian prices with deals being offered overseas.

Another mountain I’ve revisited many times this year is Mount Buller. Despite the disappointing early start to the Buller ski season… Mount Buller has impressed me in many ways. Absolutely love the B-tag. Being able to pay for my day tickets on line and avoid queues has allowed me to save time in the mornings and that means more skiing or a relaxing breakfast. With my B-tag in my parker I was able to go straight to the lift and ride. Well done Mount Buller!

Mount Buller offers many activities for families, teens and adults looking for that total experience. I was fortunate to have a lovely meal at Breathtaker, amazing scallops and evenings at Pension Grimus, muffins and a great meal at Cattleman’s Café and many visits to the Apres Bar and Koflers for its exceptional hospitality, food and coffee. Buller’s $2 donuts are superb… and an affordable price. It’s the small things that count, such as the Buller taxi driver carrying bags down to the lodge. It’s these little things that bring me back to a mountain. I also enjoy speaking to the many young people who work at resorts as their feedback about their working conditions is important to me…

Cheers Nina

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