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'If students can't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn' (Ignacio Estrada, via Tomlinson)

Archive for September, 2009

A Teacher’s Prayer

Posted by Lisa Hill on September 22, 2009

A friend of mine gave me a bookmark with this lovely poem printed on it:

A Teacher’s Prayer

I want to teach my students more than lessons in a book:

I want to teach them deeper things that people overlook –

The value of a rose in bloom, its use and beauty too,

A sense of curiosity to discover what is true;

How to think and how to choose the right above the wrong;

How to live and learn each day and grow up to be strong;

To teach them always how to gain in wisdom and in grace;

So they will someday make the world a brighter, better place;

So let me be a friend and guide to give these minds a start

Upon their way down life ‘s long road, then I’ll have done my part.

By Jill Wolf


Posted in Learning and teaching | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Victorian Students Top of the Class again!

Posted by Lisa Hill on September 15, 2009

This time last year I blogged about Victoria’s excellent results in the annual NAPLAN – and expressed my disappointment that the Minister for Education, Bronwyn Pike, had in her press release failed to congratulate Victoria’s teachers…

This year our results are again excellent – and this time, there’s credit where credit’s due:

The results are also a tribute to the dedication of our highly motivated principals and teachers,” Education Minister Bronwyn Pike said *.

That’s much better! Thanks!

*Source: and

Posted in News, Opinion | Tagged: | Comments Off on Victorian Students Top of the Class again!

YABBA 2009

Posted by Lisa Hill on September 11, 2009

I just whipped up these two word searches using the books in the YABBA shortlist. 

The first one is meant for Y3 & 4 and shouldn’t take the children long: this week’s lesson is going to be starting our bookmarks for the IASL Bookmark project and the word search is just an end-of-term fill in for fast finishers.



To see the shortlisted books and download other resources, visit the YABBA site.

Posted in Fun stuff | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

ICT PD: Digital Portfolios

Posted by Lisa Hill on September 7, 2009

Here I am Harrisfied PS with Heather Carver again, this time learning about Digital Portfolios.

This is the wiki we’re using…and this is the site for digital portfolios.

We started off by playing with MindMeister to tease out the issues: this is probably a useful thing to do with staff so that concerns are aired and dealt with.

What’s the point of digital portfolios?  Check out the introductory video

  • to have an ongoing digital record of work that can include the student’s use of Web 2.0, graphics, video, podcasts, images etc.  They can use MovieMaker, PhotoStory, blogs, wikis etc
  • depending on where it’s saved, a digital portfolio can travel from school to school when students transfer

Heather says there are  four main purposes:

  • to demonstrate learning
  • to assess learning
  • to guide learning
  • to reflect upon learning.

To demonstrate learning

  • explains and displays what’s been learned in a unit
  • constructed while elearning is taking place
  • aligned to the criteria for the unit

Reflective portfolios

  • Often done as you go along
  • what was learned
  • how tasks were approached
  • what could be improved
  • often aligned with personal learning goals
  •  contains a variety of file types
  • reflective commenatary over a whole year or long period of time

For guidance

  • usually done by teacher or support person, gathering info about what to do for a student
  • examples of failing to meeting learning or behaviour goals – articles of work, video, audio etcFor assessment

For assessment

  • The ePortfolio IS the assessment,
  • it proves that the stduent has achieved the goals
  • often has an audience other than the student, teacher or parent.

The best vehicle?

  • Sometimes an ePortfolio can simply be a folder on a server containing samples of work comprising an archive or aggregate of work done over time.
  • Software solutions inlcude PowerPoint, PPT templates, Foliomaker, (school licence needed, a bit more expensive per child) edcube (school licence needed, about $900 p.a.).  Be wary of the time spent on doing these things – can over-ride learning time.
  • ONline tools: LMS,(Sharepoint, Moodle – Learning Management system)  Google Apps, Mahara (Heather’s fave), Wikis, Blogs, Websites.  The advantage is that kids can work on them at home.  Beware: the school’s internet bill can be huge. 

 It’s important to secure ePortfolios so that they can’t be deleted, either accidentally or on purpose, by the student or someone else.  If using online tools, strict protocols need to be in place for cyber safety.

All schools should have a copy of Digital Portfolio Resources CD.  Also available on ePotential.

Decision: how much time should be spent on these?  Who does them? How often?  Teachers and students need a set of rules to ensure safety, security and consistency between classes.

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