Sunday, 16 April 2017

5 Quick and Easy Ideas for Celebrating Mother's Day in the classroom.

It's often difficult to squeeze in Mother's Day activities into an already crowded curriculum but there is real value in making time to recognise seasonal celebrations.

Listed below are 5 of my favourite ways to bring Mother's Day into my classroom.

1 Mother's Day is a cultural celebration - what is a celebration and how have mothers' roles changed over the years?

The study of celebrations are the basis for most History, Geography or Civics studies as an understanding of cultural celebrations, their purpose and their impact on the lives of people around them has deep meaning for countries and cultures.

In Foundation Year HASS, students explore the purpose of Celebrations and sequence these events.

In Year 1 HASS, students explore family structures and roles. It is especially interesting to look at the mother's role in the family and how this may have changed over the years.

In Year 2 HASS, students explore changes in technology and think about Then and Now of items such a clothing (shown below). What technology around the house does your mother use now compared to the past? Has it changed your mother's life? How does your mother's dress compare to mothers in the past?

And in Year 3 HASS, students examine ways in which a celebration is different to a commemoration. What makes Mother's Day a celebration? How is it symbolised in society?

2. Read a Mother's Day picture book and explore some of the key vocabulary connected with mothers. What do mothers do? How do other people celebrate Mother's Day?

3. Mother's Day craft - there is never a more perfect time in the school calendar than Mother's Day to get funky with some fun hands on craft ideas.

This Mother's Day Flower Card is so easy to make - download the template here.

4. Create some Mother's Day Gift Coupons/Vouchers

While making connections to chores that are done around the house (see Year 1 HASS: History) it is a great way to discuss what chores they could offer to do for their mother on Mother's Day.

These come with coupons (US) or vouchers (UK/Aust) that can be quickly made up and placed inside any decorative card and voila! Instant Mother's Day gift that any mother will appreciate! 

5. Make some Mother's Day cookies.

What's a celebration without something delicious? Check out these adorable cookies for Mother's Day (these could be done in a snap in your classroom) or browse the Mother's Day Pinterest board for some ideas to bring your classroom to life with hands on activities!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Win a HASS History and Geography Mega Bundle!

As an author of educational resources, I strive to provide the best quality teaching materials to meet your needs. 

All of TechTeacherPto3's products are aligned to the Australian Curriculum. HASS (History and Geography) products for Foundation Year to Year 3 are already available from TechTeacherPto3 store. 

However, I want to know what you would like next?

I've had requests for Year 4 History and Year 6 Geography... what do YOU need in YOUR classroom to help YOU teach your subjects in line with the curriculum?

I'm giving away 1 x copy of the HASS Mega Bundle which contains over 450 pages of materials for teaching Foundation, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 Geography and History and is valued at $40.

To enter all you have to do is:
  1. Click this link to the Survey here.
  2. Tell me what you think in the survey.
  3. Give your email address at the end so you can enter the draw (entries are subscribed to the Foundation into First mailing list if you are not already subscribed).
  4. Check back on the TechTeacherPto3 Facebook Page, Instagram Account or back here on the blog to see the winner announced on the 1st May.

One entry per person,
Competition runs from 1st April until 30th April 2017.
Winner will be announced on all of TechTeacherPto3's social platforms 1st May 2017 and the winner will be notified by email with their downloadable product attached.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Exploring ANZAC Day in Early Primary

Discussing ANZAC Day (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps Day) can be difficult with young students due to its possibly distressing content of war and death. However, it's essential that young students understand the importance of this commemoration on the 25th April every year for both Australia and New Zealand. In this blog post you will find some suggestions for introducing the big concepts around ANZAC Day into your early years classroom in a sensitive and appropriate manner. As I am an Australian teacher I have only covered the ANZAC Day concepts from the Australian perspective. However, feel free to leave some links to resources for New Zealand teachers in the comments section below.

Gallipoli was a long way to travel.
This is a difficult concepts for very young students to grasp but it is an important one to cover. Young men were sent a long way away from their families to a place they had never been to. Some never came home - this is why we remember them. 

The example below is from the ANZAC Day Activity Pack where students can locate Gallipoli on the map and consider its distance from Australia. 

What does ANZAC Day mean to you?
A good writing activity after your lesson on the ANZACs, is to have students write a response about what ANZAC Day means to them. Try this craft (pictured below) from the ANZAC Day Activity Pack where students can place their writing for a wall display in the classroom.

ANZAC Day is a commemoration not a celebration.
Do your students understand the difference between a commemoration and a celebration? This is a big concept to cover when discussing ANZAC Day but another important one. How we behave during a celebration is different to a commemoration, however, there are some similarities. This is a great activity to use when discussing the ways in which ANZAC Day is commemorated and is covered in detail in the HASS Year 3 History Unit (seen below). 

Bake some ANZAC Day biscuits.
Discussing life in the trenches is hard but this book by Phil Cummings and Owen Swan called ANZAC Biscuits is a lovely tale of a little girl and her father's life in the trenches. She bakes some cookies for him and her life in the warmth of the home is compared to the life her father is having at the same time in the trenches. 

You can also bring in or bake some ANZAC biscuits and this can form the basis of your study of method or sequencing. A method recount and recipe can be found in the ANZAC Day Activity Pack.

Discuss the concept of bravery.
What does it mean to be brave? What does bravery look like? Explore the concept of bravery with this lovely book by Jane Barclay called Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion. It is a very touching book where animals display the qualities service men display either in battle or after war. It's also a great book for exploring what it means to be proud, both key concepts when discussing ANZAC Day.

Read a book with an ANZAC theme
Listed below are some of my students' favourite books on ANZAC Day and World War 1.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

4 easy ways to celebrate Harmony Day in the classroom

“Everyone belongs” is a great message of inclusivity in the classroom. It’s also the message for Harmony Day, a fantastic celebration for the whole community recognising diversity as a positive aspect of children’s lives. In fact, with the current state of the world, Harmony Day is a very powerful message to send to students young and old that all races, colours and beliefs can live in harmony. 

What is Harmony Day?
Harmony Day is a nationally recognised day for acknowledging the diversity in our society and celebrating it. 

When is Harmony Day held?
21st March each year.

What is the aim of Harmony Day?
To celebrate diversity and promote inclusion in society. Everyone belongs – is the message used to promote Harmony Day.

When did Harmony Day begin?
The very first Harmony Day began in 1999 and coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

How is Harmony Day celebrated?
Schools often hold a whole school assembly with significant people from the community as representatives. Other community organisations hold morning teas or lunches to celebrate. The colour orange is used with Harmony Day to show support for the day through the wearing of orange t-shirts, ribbons or other decorations. 

How can I bring this celebration into my classroom?

1. The Harmony Day Activity Pack is full of colour posters, map activities, worksheets and display materials to help you discuss this special day in your classroom.

2. You might like to create some art work that shows the diversity within your classroom.

3. You could read a book about diversity.

4. Finally, it’s always fun to bring some lovely treats into the classroom (it is a celebration after all) – don’t forget the orange theme!

However you choose to celebrate – have a great Harmony Day!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

What is HASS? 7 Questions and Answers about the changes to the Australian Curriculum

What is HASS? 
I've heard people ask this question a lot lately, so I thought I would create a blog post about it.

In the Australian curriculum version 7.5 the subjects of History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business were individual subjects. 

However, in the newly updated Australian curriculum version 8.3 these subjects have been combined into one learning area called Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS). 

1. What does this mean for teachers?
A significant reduction in the amount of content descriptors we need to wade through when trying to teaching these subjects.

2. Is the content different for History or Geography in Foundation - Year 3?
No. The concepts covered are the same but the level of detail the Australian Curriculum provides on these has been reduced to make it easy to combine these subjects into HASS.

3. What is humanities?
In the past, History was the study of past events and Geography was a the study of maps. However, this has changed over the last 10 years and History and Geography is more a humanities subject in primary school with an exploration of cultural, social and economic forces that shape people and areas. 

4. Is HASS still inquiry based?
Yes. Critical thinking is the bedrock of all subjects as is problem solving. Thinking and responding to inquiry questions helps students to explore key historic and geographic skills required when responding. 

5. What are some of the key ideas covered by HASS in Foundation to Year 6?
The subject sub-strands explore the knowledge and understanding students need to have when studying HASS. The key ideas are:

  • Who we are, who came before us, and traditions and values that have shaped societies. 
  • How societies and economies operate and how they are changing over time.
  • The ways people, places, ideas and events are perceived and connected.
  • How people exercise their responsibilities, participate in society and make informed decisions
To find out more click here to go to the Australian Curriculum website.

6. Will I have to teach Civics and Citizenship in early primary?
No. All years need to teach History and Geography. Civics does not start until Year 3 and Economics and Business does not begin until Year 5. However, these curricula are still being rolled out so if you have any doubts talk to your Head of Curriculum within your school.

7. Where can I find resources that are aligned to the Australian curriculum?
TechTeacherPto3 provides History and Geography resources that are aligned to the Australian curriculum and neatly address each of the Knowledge and Understanding required for Foundation to Year 3 (see image below). 

To view TechTeacherPto3's full range of Australian aligned History and Geography resources

Friday, 17 February 2017

5 easy ways to bring St Patrick's Day into your classroom

Having lived there for over 5 years, Ireland is particularly close to my heart and with Irish family and connections the national celebration of St Patrick's Day is a special day for my family. Over the years, St Patrick's Day has become bigger and bolder than ever with Irish and non-Irish alike celebrating all over the world. As a celebration of diversity and immigration, St Patrick's Day is more important than ever before and therefore an essential celebration for your classroom.
Listed below are 5 ways I have integrated the St Patrick's Day celebration into my classroom. If you can think of any more add them below in the comments section. 

1. Study Ireland's geography and history.

Any good geography unit incorporates aspects of cultural and geographic elements. In fact, geography is no longer just the study of maps but more an exploration of places, spaces and their use by the people who live there.

The All about Ireland Activity Pack has plenty of activities to help you explore this exciting country including spinners, maps, flags, posters, activity sheets and word searches.

Any easy way to stay on track with your geography study, whilst still exploring a traditional celebration within your own community.

2. Learn who St Patrick was.

Who was St Patrick? Why is he the Patron Saint of Ireland and why do we celebrate his death? The St Patrick's Day Activity Pack will help your students answer these questions and more. In addition, they can explore the history concepts of a timeline of St Patrick's Day, writing activities, vocabulary (word wall), research sheets and fun activities such as the craft and word search activities. This little pack is bursting with goodies and aligns to the Australian curriculum for History and Geography (HASS) for Foundation - Year 3.

3. Introduce themed St Patrick's Day activities into literacy centers and math rotations.

 The St Patrick's Day Literacy Pack and the St Patrick's Day Maths Pack are jam packed with fun activities for your literacy or math rotations. Each pack contains 10 worksheets with activities such as ordinal numbers, roll and colour, make a sentence and many more activities suitable for Kindy/Foundation and Year 1 students. Themed packs help to keep your centers fun and fresh with something new for everybody. (Available in both UK and US spelling variations)

4. Play some themed games and do some St Patrick's Day craft.

A celebration is supposed to be fun and it is possible to learn while having fun isn't it? I've used these little St Patrick's Day Bingo cards to bring some exploration of cultural symbols for St Patrick's Day into the classroom. Bingo is also a great way to practice some vocabulary and listening work. At only $1 this pack is a great find!

These St Patrick's Day Colouring Pages are a fun activity that are fantastic for fast finishers with lots of cultural symbols to select from for only $1!

Everybody loves a freebie and these super cute St Patrick's Day Printable Hats are so easy to make. I made these for my students and they wouldn't take them off! They come colour and black and white so you students can print and craft their own hats for your very own St Patrick's Day celebration in the classroom!

You'll also find some great St Patrick's Day craft ideas on the TechTeacherPto3 Pinterest page.

5. Read a St Patrick's Day story.

There are so many St Patrick's Day themed picture books to select from I simply couldn't select one so listed below you will find my favourites. Click each picture to see more details of where they are available.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Win a Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card!

How would you like to win a $25 gift card from Teachers Pay Teachers? Just think of all the fantastic resources and clip art you could buy with your gift voucher! All you have to do is click the link at the bottom of this blog post and you're in the running. Competition ends 20th February 2017.


 Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), 

 Co-hosts: An Apple for the Teacher, Tech Teacher Pto3, Sarah Griffin, The Reading Clubhouse, Digging Deep to Soar Beyond the Text, Trending Technology in Tennessee, Calling All Ducklings, Special Inspirations , and Kathryn Watts. 

 Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. 

Giveaway ends 2/20/17 and is open worldwide. 

 Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media? Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers!