Tag Archives: teaching

gleeful ethics

September 2, 2011


I teach ethics at the local primary school. It’s a volunteer gig. Sometimes I resent it as it consumes a little bit of my mental health time (day off) each week. There’s no break when you live with kids and you work with kids. I’m always thinking about kids and different ways of being with kids. Teaching […]

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bubble trouble

August 13, 2011


When I came across the poem Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy a few years ago, I thought it would make a lovely picture book. And now it is. I wasn’t sure whether the children at playgroup would be able to sit through a reading of the whole book. Twenty-two pages of dense, tongue-twisting text. I […]

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choose respect

April 20, 2011


The motto of the school is “safe and respectful learners”. As I worked with the children, I wondered whether the meaning of the motto had been deconstructed for them. They are very good at parroting the motto, but it did not appear to be integrated into classroom practice, the curriculum, and the playground. I have observed some […]

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fathers day portrait

April 20, 2011


  Last year, my middle son (then 7 years old) came home with this portrait of his Dad for Fathers Day. He told me “Mum, it’s in the style of Paul Klee”. His class had a substitute teacher that day. She inspired the children to do portraits for Fathers Day in the style of some of the surreal […]

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two years on

April 12, 2011


Image from http://www.busydadblog.com/storage/scribble.JPG I have been facilitating the expressive arts group at school for two years now. My colleague and I have been reflecting recently how the group has evolved. The group has gone from organised and contained chaos with up to 27 students attending in the early stages of the group, to bliss. Right […]

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into the wild

March 8, 2011


I happened upon the movie “Into the Wild” whilst flicking around the channels. It was on late, hidden amongst the flotsam and jetsam of television programming. The description said it was directed by Sean Penn, and as he appears to be a complex character, I thought the movie may be interesting, and recorded it. It sat on […]

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calming kids

March 6, 2011


Image from Microsoft clip art. The next two strategies are from the Second Step programme. In the programme, children are told that they should do some deep breathing in situations where they find they are having strong feelings, such as being overexcited, angry, or upset. We tell kids that it’s ok to have strong feelings, but doing the […]

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children’s outdoor play

February 19, 2011


Kloppenmum’s post on kids and risk reminded me of an Australian study conducted four years ago. The study was called “Popping the Bubble Wrap”.  Children in primary school had their playground and their creative play transformed when ‘loose parts’ were added. Things like buckets, hay bales, wooden planks, milk crates, truck tyres. The children’s cooperation, creativity, and activity […]

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mbobo tree

February 18, 2011


Millard, G. (author) & White, A. (illustrator). (2009). Mbobo Tree. London: Scholastic. I never intended for this blog to include book reviews. However, the children’s books I am featuring are so darned good everyone should know about them. Glenda Millard is an Australian author, and I had never heard of her before I purchased this […]

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the tree

February 8, 2011


Lyons, D. (author) & Danioth, D. (illustrator). (2002). The Tree. Bellevue, WA: Illumination Arts Publishing Company. I love a book that makes the playgroup parents gasp, roll around in laughter, or clap at the end of the story. My aim at storytime is to engage the parents as much as the kids. I read the […]

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