10 tips for a great learning story

Shell Fossil Inside Out by topstep07

  1. Start with a great title – short and concise.
  2. Include an observation of the child which describes the learning activity.
  3. Uncover what is beneath the surface of the learning activity. “What’s happening here?”
  4. Plan for the future to extend or continuously support the child’s interest. “What next?”
  5. Take care with language. ‘I’ can convey the teacher’s observation, ‘You’ is speaking to the child, ‘We’ is inclusive of family.
  6. Include photos – three is best and make sure they’re clear.
  7. Make it colourful and interesting – to keep children captivated in their own learning journey.
  8. Keep it personal – link it back to what’s happening at home.
  9. Encourage family feedback and input by asking questions in the stories.
  10. Keep stories up-to-date so that the most recent story is relevant to the child’s current learning.


Source: Education Review Series

New Year, New Goals, New Habits

Courtesy Free Digital Media

Courtesy Free Digital Media

The new year has well and truly arrived, and now is the perfect time to set the goals that will power you to success for the year ahead.  Goal setting makes our intentions explicit, but it is only the beginning of the work that will lead to success.  We also need to create new habits that will make our goals stick, so that our intentions become our reality. Forming new habits is where the real hard work begins, as it requires us to make some changes.  Change is not always easy, and the wisdom of Socrates teaches us that ‘If we keep doing what we are doing, we are going to keep getting what we are getting.’   Changing outcomes, requires changing what we do.  It requires intentional action.  If goals are our intentions, then habits are our actions.  Create new daily habits or actions that will serve you well and lead you to achieve your goals, little by little, bit by bit, day by day.

John Maxwell – author, speaker, and pastor who has written over 70 books – primarily on leadership, has the following insights on improvements for the new year: [Read more…]

Dive into your own professional learning

Springboard On Swimming Pool by tungphoto

Springboard On Swimming Pool by tungphoto

We often hear teachers say that ‘teaching is very rewarding’.  But what do they mean?  What are the ‘rewards’? And more importantly, how are they reaped?  Well, as the saying goes:  “what you put in, is what you get out”.  Therefore, the more you put into teaching, the more rewards you get out.  It seems logical then, to surmise that you won’t be reaping any rewards if you have put very little in to begin with.  It’s not really rocket science, is it?

What  is a science, though (as well as an ‘art’ if you ponder it), is knowing exactly what you have to put into teaching, in order to reap the ‘rewards’ some teachers speak of.  Elena Aguilar’s recent reflective blog post, Teachers: Preparing for your best year ever provides us with some insights on the subject.  “When I think about the “best year” I ever had as a teacher, it was the one in which I learned the most, enjoyed my work the most, and made deep connections with students, parents, and colleagues. During that year, my students also learned a tremendous amount, they reported loving school, and they made deep connections with each other and with other adults.”

She writes about teachers diving into their professional learning by actively seeking out professional development opportunities, and becoming immersed in their own learning.    [Read more…]

Creating Beautiful Learning Spaces

From Small Potatoes

From Small Potatoes

A short and sweet post today to mention the essential role that environment plays in promoting positive behaviours and optimising learning outcomes.

Loris Malaguzzi, an educator whose own philosophies led to the development of the Reggio Emilia approach, said that their teaching approach placed “enormous value on the role of the environment as a motivation and animating force in creating spaces for relations, options, and emotional and cognitive situations that produce a sense of well-being and security.”

When our environments are aesthetically pleasing, our sensori-emotional values are stimulated and we become more positively engaged as our sense of well-being is promoted.  These environments, known as the Third Teacher, improve and enhance learning for children and teachers alike.

Have a look at Small Potatoes for ideas and inspiration on how to create beautiful learning spaces in small places.

Do you have any inspirational ideas to share? If so, we would love to hear from you. [Read more…]

Social Media for Teachers


Photo by Jomphong Free Digital Photo

Photo by Jomphong Free Digital Photo

In our daily interactions, teachers need to consider their commitment to learners, parents, families and the wider community and the profession of teaching. In this digital age of learning, social media has become an effective tool for teachers to interact, engage and communicate with learners and wider audiences. Teachers are becoming more aware of the impact of their words, deeds and actions on social media platforms, and the need for transparency and consistency between their personal and professional online identities.
However, we are still learning the social rules, etiquette, responsibility and consequences that accompany the use of social media and the impact of blurred boundaries between our personal and professional online personas.
Teachers who role model good use of social media will [Read more…]