Monthly Archives: April 2014

ANZAC DAY 2014: JD – 7 & 8 year old students reflect through writing and creating

Understanding the meaning of ANZAC Day is important for my young learners. Our school has a special assembly which all students attend. Using picture story books is the way I build their understanding of this day. As Australia is a multi-cultural nation I prefer to recognise all soldiers who served for their countries.
This year I’ve read a number of books to my students with our main activity based on My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day by Catriona Hoy and Benjamin Johnson.
Each year I try to do something a little different. I love the simple illustrations in this book and use them to inspire a creative activity. My students wrote about ANZAC Day, with a number of examples posted below.

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My students are in the process of self -editing their writing.

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Lest we forget!

Cheers Nina

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Our Inquiry: The choices people make affect their health and wellbeing.

Who We Are
Central Idea: The choices people make affect their health and wellbeing
Lines of Inquiry:
.What it means to have a balanced lifestyle [reflection and responsibility]
.Daily habits and routines (hygiene, sleep, play, eating, work/school, leisure)
.How the choices we make affect our health [causation]

This year has been busy, but I say this every year. Once again I have an exceptional group of young learners. They’re learning about mapping their own learning journey, the importance of being able to articulate what they have learnt and what they are learning now. Some are even able to talk about what they need to learn.

Young learners need to understand that learning is part of their health and well-being and is part of having a balanced lifestyle, good daily habits and being able to make good decisions. My hope is that very young learners understand that they have many choices to make each day and that choosing good choices is crucial to their well-being.

Young learners amaze me with their ability to take responsibility when encouraged. It actually empowers them! I’ve been in many classrooms where the teacher takes the responsibility for most things. Not in the JD classroom… as I believe choice is important and builds life skills and improves self-esteem. I’ve had children over the years ask me what color paper they should use or should their paper be ‘this way’ and my answer is always ‘you choose’.

Enabling learners to make choices is what this inquiry has been about. After unpacking and discussing the central idea in groups, as a class, individually and in pairs the children were asked to come up with three ‘best fit’ labels. Their labels & some ideas were:
Feelings Health-brave, ‘have a go’, independence, pride, joy, kind, encourage
Thinking Health-stay safe, care for others, have fun
Body Health-sometimes food, walk, exercise, sport, slip-slop-slap, wash & brush teeth
In the various groupings outlined students brainstormed key words and phrases to be pasted on our life size bodies. Our bodies will be added to throughout the year.

Hand over the responsibility and watch them grow!

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Cheers Nina


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A written response to the Ode from For The Fallen by Laurence Binyon: 6, 7 and 8 year old students share their ideas.

Young learners are amazing thinkers. This ode could be used for an ANZAC Day focus.
Cheers Nina

Nina Davis: Teaching & Learning in Australia

Our children stop for one minute to pay respect to all involved in war. These young children listen to a poem read over the school speakers but what does it mean to them. Were my students in previous years connecting to the poem? I think not!
This year I wanted these young students to connect to what they were listening to and understand why they were buying poppies.

The Ode comes from For the Fallen, a poem by the English poet and writer Laurence Binyon and was published in London in The Winnowing Fan: Poems of the Great War in 1914. This verse, which became the Ode for the Returned and Services League, has been used in association with commemoration services in Australia since 1921.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down…

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ANZAC Day 2012: PrepD children (5 Year Olds) respond to the famous story Simpson and his Donkey

This wonderful picture story book and these beautiful drawings still inspire me.
Cheers Nina

Nina Davis: Teaching & Learning in Australia

ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably Australia’s most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.
The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated, after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. News of the landing on Gallipoli had made a…

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