Monday, 20 October 2014

Decision to relocate to Darwin


In March Luke and I spent a week in Darwin visiting friends. We packed our week full of activities. Some of the touristy things were visiting Litchfield, Aquascene, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, the DefenceMuseum and the Fannie Bay Gaol.
In the short time that we spent here we decided that it was a place we could see ourselves moving to. By the time we were on the plane back towards home we had made the decision that we would be moving and as soon as possible. By July we were all ready to go.

I have provided links to the places we visited if you would like more information.
Comment below and let me know if you would like more detailed information on the sight seeing I've done in Darwin.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Getting Creative in the Kitchen




I am by no means experienced in the kitchen. I struggle to follow recipes, often mixing them up or adding completely different ingredients.
Last Christmas my Aunty gave me Alice Hart's Vegetarian cookbook. While flicking through it I was inspired by her summer spring rolls.
While her recipe uses light fruity flavours mine was more of a traditional savoury dish. 

Ingrediants:
Noodles
Rice paper rolls
Coriander
Spring onion
Soy sauce 
Avocado
Dehydrated mushrooms
Chilli Bamboo
Cucumber
Sprouts
Capsicum
Sweet chilli

Method:
Place noodles in boiling water, from the kettle is fine. Let it sit until soft. 
To save time, dishes and water I scoop out the noodles and place in a bowl adding a touch of soy sauce for some flavour. 
Using the same hot water I submerge a rice paper roll for a few seconds or until it becomes transparent.
Then I lay in on a plate and place a small amount of of the fillings in the centre and roll up. 
Then you can use any sauce you like we had sweet chilli sauce but I found the soy sauce and the bamboo gives a fair bit of flavour.

If you aren't a fan of mushrooms then chilli tuna, chicken or prawns are all good substitutes.

What do you put in your cold spring rolls?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Fly In Fly Out Life


View from my tiny plane

The 4ft shark I caught within 5 minutes of fishing by the barge

Watching some footy with the year 5's I taught after school

Kids after a very enjoyable and inspiring basketball clinic

Since living in Darwin I have had the opportunity to work in a community on a remote island. I have been getting regular fly in, fly out work. 
While this made finding a home and settling in quite difficult, the experiences I have had have been once in a life time.

It's not everyday you hop onto a 5 seater plane with absolutely no idea what your getting yourself into. I did try and google the island but there is barely any information to be found.

Fortunately I found that the staff I was working with were incredibly friendly and supportive. A group of girls went out of their way to show me around and include me in daily island life and I know consider them good friends.

As for the teaching, you will never find a more entertaining and loveable group of children. The challenges in these classrooms are vastly different to those in the schools I have previously worked at and the teaching content and styles are also very different. It has been the biggest learning experience for me. 
 I have learnt about an Australian culture that most Australians will never experience or understand. I have attended farewell ceremonies with traditional singing and dancing, learnt about Pukanami the long grieving ritual after death and much more.

My feelings towards the island and my experience have all been very positive however there is a darker side.
Health and violence are two major issues on the island. 
Like most remote communities in Australia drugs and alcohol are a serious problem. Fortunately the island has very strict laws even for those who aren't localls which does help manage this.
There are also many issues with violence and abuse within the community. Though neither I or the girls I work with have ever been threatened or felt unsafe. Most of these problems remain within the local community.

At the school they provide clean uniforms for students to change into daily and the kids brush their teeth in the mornings at school. They are provided with breakfast, recess and lunch which is always packed full of fresh fruit and vegetables. 
This is still not enough to rid the children of the infections, scabies and countless other problems.
Health professionals frequently visit the island and run week long clinics for the school to educate the students and encourage them to visit the health clinic.
While I was on one of my trips there was a hearing clinic educating the kids on the importance of good hygiene, healthy eating and taking care of our ears.
Until this point I was unaware that over 80% of the students have a hearing impairment and 1 in 5 students have a severe hearing impairment.

Imagine going to school taught in English which is you second language and having a severe hearing impairment.
 Reflecting on this fact really puts my teaching in perspective.

For anyone as fortunate as I am to be offered fly in fly out remote work, I recommend giving it a try. Whilst I won't be moving there permenantly in the next year or so moving remote and working is something I plan and hope to do in the future. I still feel greatful and blessed to be giving this opportunity to experience life teaching on a remote island.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Dolphin Cruise


This post may be a little late but it is still worth the mention. A few months ago I went on the Port Princess Dolphin Cruise with a group of students in Adelaide. 
We had a fantastic time, we saw plenty of Dolphins and enjoyed cruising along as we ate our lunch.
Afterwards we watched a slideshow of the day and then some students were inspired to make dolphin artwork above this large piece the students added waves made from blue paper which had their on individual recounts of the day.
It was so gratifying to see the students inspired and excited after a big day out. 
I would definitely go on this excursion again.

Fraction Art



When I was asked to have to prepare a maths activity on fractions last minute I almost when for the cake or pizza option but then I stumbled upon this idea on Pinterest

Materials:
Black Paper
Coloured Paper
Scissors
Glue Sticks
Pen/ Pencil

Method:
Have the student cut a serious of shapes such as circles, triangles, rectangles and squares. Then have them cut their shapes equally to represent different fractions.
The students can arrange these fractions however and wherever they like on their page but this must include a key to demonstrate their understanding of fractions.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Who Lives at Your House



Today's lesson idea was passed on by a friend that I was relieving for in the Tiwi Islands.
The kids are currently working on data in maths and this lesson was a cool way of collecting and recording data.
The idea behind this is that each square represents an individual from that household and the squares are colour coded so you can work out the relationship the the student. 
Mine shows for example two "other" which are my boyfriend and our housemate and two pets.

Materials:
Scissors 
Glue sticks
Coloured paper
Textas

Method: 
Create a colour coded key to guide students
Have students cut out the shape of a house
Make a sign
Add the colour coded squares which represent there family.





Why don't you show me who lives at your house?

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Reading Corners

I love the idea of having a reading corner in my classroom.
I imagine it to have plenty of books and soft cushions to sit on.
Many of the classrooms I have been in have this. I love how most of them have a net or tent for a couple if kids to sit in quietly.
If they can have a tent why not a teepee right?
This teepee is handmade by my talented grandmother using Dr. Suess print material and bamboo sticks (and that is one of my dogs inside it).

Does your class have a reading corner? I'd love to hear about it. Or even better comment with a link so I can see it!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Class Quilts


I believe that classrooms should be a safe, structured, organised environment. I also believe that it should be fun, welcoming and inclusive.
In order to encourage this within a class I have taught in I decided to work with students to create a class quilt that go over there couch.
Each student was given a square piece of material where they were asked to write, draw or sew at least three things they like. This could be a great getting to know you activity at the start of a year.
Once the students had completed there squares they were put together by adults (me and my crafty Nanna).

Another thing that I would love to see in my own classroom would be a chill out area and a quiet, comfortable reading corner.

If you have any suggestions on how I should start this please let me know,  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Making Play Dough



Why buy it when I can make it at home!
Playdough a cheap and effective resource for play based learning.

Ingredients you will need for this recipe:
2 cups of flour with
1 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
3/4 of a cup of water
Food colouring to your liking

Method:
Mix the salt and flour together
And the oil and food colouring
Add water slowly and mix thoroughly
Once the mixture clumps roll up your sleeves and kneed well.
The more you need the better the colours will mix.

At the end my play dough was still a little sticky so I sprinkled a little more flour on top.
Store in a sealed plastic container to keep the playdough fresh for a long time.

Learning 4 Kids has some great ideas on how to use play dough in the classroom check it out here.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Music For The Classroom


At the moment I have been playing Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach's Butcher Paper, Texta, Blackboard and Chalk which comes with there book and dvd. This has already mentioned in my Reconciliation Week post.
I actually received this book from my Nanna who is a close friend of Archie Roach.


The music on this CD was composed through song workshops held by Ruby and Archie for children living in Cape York and Queensland. The music shows how indigenous children today are connected to their culture. Whether it is Reconciliation Week or not this is still a enjoyable album to share with students. You can learn more about this on the website.


Purchase the book, cd and dvd here.
Read about Ruby's Foundation here.
Check out Archie's Website here.


I have not been asked to promote this product, I did receive it as a gift and have chosen to review it based on my own enjoyment of the product.


What are you listening to at the moment?
Leave a comment below and let me know.

Reconciliation Week

Reconciliation week celebrates Australia's Indigenous history and culture running from the 27th of May until the 3rd of June. It was first celebrated in 1996.



At our OSHC service we ran a series of craft activities for students choose from including:
Red, black and yellow friendship bracelets
• Making a rainbow snake inspired by the book Warnayarra The Rainbow Snake by Lajamanu School and Pamela Croft
• Making artistic native animals from Paper plates

Some other great ideas for celebrating indigenous culture are:
• Cooking kangaroo meat
• Cooking damper
• Whole class or individual dot paintings



Top Resource:
• Butcher Paper, Texta, Blackboard and Chalk by Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach - This book comes with both a musical CD and informative dvd which can be a great foundation for a unit on aboriginal culture and history

Some of my favourite books to read for reconciliation week include:
The Echidna and the Shade Tree by Pamela Lofts and Mona Green

Visit Reconciliation Australia to learn more

For anyone who lives in Adelaide, Marra Dreaming is a great place for a hands on cultural experience.

Here is an example of a students work where they have made a diorama of an Ian Abdulla painting

What cultures are celebrated in your community and how do you include them in your teaching?

Framing Student Artwork

Do they pictures on your classroom wall look untidy?



I have found that trimming students pictures and sticking them onto coloured paper to make a border adds a world of difference. The little pop of colour can tie a picture together and really make it stand out on the wall.
To me adding that little bit of border makes the whole piece look neater and more professional.

 How do you make student artwork standout?

Saturday, 31 May 2014

What is in My Pencil Case


It's no secret that I have a love affair with Officeworks exclusive brand X, due to their clean simple designs and most importantly their commitment to the environment. Click here if you would like to learn more about the brand. This pencil case may seem small but I feel that it holds all the necessary items in need everyday.

Inside is my X four coloured Pen, scissors, highlighter pen, white out, mini glue stick and eraser. 


I usually have a mini stapler but like bobby spin and all stationary it seems to have been lost at some point. I'll just have to take another trip to Officeworks.

I'd just like to mention that I have not been asked or encouraged to promote this brand. I have bought all these items out of my own money because I believe that the X is a high quality brand that is suited to my needs.

What is in your pencil case?
Leave a comment below and let me know.