My Pond of Knowledge

A portfolio of classroom learning, both students' and my own personal.


Where is the love?

Like many, many schools we have examined the results our students achieved in the NAPLAN testing. Now I’m not even going to go near, yet alone stepping onto my Standardised Testing Soap Box……… but at one point when we were analysing our Reading results we had an epiphany…..

“Where is the Love?”

Have we gotten so bogged down in Reading “Programmes” which give students a limited list of appropriate texts? – which have been selected by a modern-day Dexter I assume. (from Perfect Match – not the serial killer of recent tv fame).

When did it become a ‘challenge’ for a child to read 12 books between February and September?

Why aren’t there more Libraries which celebrate books – new and old – every week, nay every day? Book Week should not be the only week a Library – I dislike the term Resource Centre – is visible and the hub of all activity.

I remember when new books were presented to us on a weekly or fortnightly basis. The illustrations were shown, the story line discussed, sometimes even read to the class. They then went onto a display shelf for 1 week and we were able to have our name placed on the RESERVED list. Oh how we waited for it to be our turn to have those pages in our hand! We quickly devoured the pages to share with our friends who had already borrowed the book, and to pass it on to our friends who were awaiting their turn.

We read it carefully because we were interested in discussing the book. We met the characters and felt like their neighbours.

We read for comprehension because we WANTED to, not because we were told to and then answer a multi-choice question.

We read books that we wanted to, which interested us. Not because they were in a certain ‘range’ and part of a publishers list. Not because there was some online true/false style quiz which could earn us points.

We read because we loved to.

Where is that love now?



Boys…. there is a difference

I’m a bit passionate about supporting Boys with their learning. There are books, hundreds of books which tell us that boys learn in a different way than girls.

I have a son and a daughter. I work in a classroom. I’ve read the books – but I didn’t really need to to know that it is true.

My son is 10. He has had an “assignment” for a few weeks. The brief is to select an electrical appliance and explain how it works.

Sounds good.

He has had several lessons where he has been able to research on the computers. He has to produce an A3 poster with his research.

Yep, he’s disengaged already.

At school we are submitting our preferences for 2013: teaching year levels.

I love teaching 5 year olds, and it is still my first preference… but I have also asked to work in Middle Primary – because sometimes hands on is best practice, regardless of your age… and especially if you are a boy.

This is a video of my son explaining how the toaster works. I tried to record his first “meeting” with the toaster – it was great to catch his excitement and realisation that he had a great deal of knowledge already – based on experience….. however, my daughter’s iPod had no memory to store the video. 😦 So this is Take 2 – so you can at least get the idea.



Now, we just need to fit it on an A3 poster…..