Sunday, 31 March 2013


I will be teaching this Westerns theme this term and I’m looking forward to it. I think the books I’ve chosen will work well together but I’ll also look out for something new to read as well.
Moonfleet and The Wreckers are two fantastic adventure stories with a similar theme that are sure fire favourites with young readers. Both books complement each other and would also fit in well with a study of Robert Louis Stevenson’s books Treasure Island and Kidnapped. Go to my TPT site to download it for free.

Units to buy from TPT as of April 1st

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Just a quiet Easter this year. In the past we've done egg hunts and bonnet parades but we had some student teachers here today and they made Easter cookies with the children and we just made some Easter craft in the afternoon ( pop-up cards and baskets)
I'm looking forward to a few days break before its back to planning for a very big term 2.
I have some unit plans to organise which I'll put up on TPT ( Westerns, Under the Mountain, The Wreckers and more) so I'll work on those as well and then put them up on the blog toward the end of the break.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

School Sports

Well school athletics sports are over for another year.I' m pooped!
Glen Park is part of the Great Ranges Sports Group ( Formerly the Dean/Newlyn Sports Association) It includes Glen Park, Newlyn, Bullarto, Hepburn, Creswick North and Smeaton. it looked like there were about 150 kids there on the day.
It starts with the 800 m race in age groups and then field events. ( discus, shot, long and high jump) In the afternoon we do sprints and relays and finish off about 3:00 pm. It was a hot and sunny day today so I hope not too many children got sunburn. I made sure this year I had a hat and I bought some Banana Boat spray on 30+ sunscreen. ( I've learnt from past mistakes) I was in charge of a long jump pit this year for the 9-10 year olds which was much easier than the throwing circle. ( I'll have to make sure I do that again next year)
We had some organisational problems this morning, I'm not sure why and we always have an issue with some kids not practicing shot and discus properly at school. We'll need to complete a thorough de-brief before next years sports to 'iron out' the problems. I'll put together a survey for the kids and parents to complete which will help inform my feedback at the next Sports group meeting.The kids did very well. They were 'sporting' lots of ribbons and even did well in events we didn't practice ( 800m) or only practiced once ( high jump)
Two more days until Good Friday and our Autumn break. it has been a short term but I'm looking forward to some 'down time'. We will do a little bit of Easter work this year plus some craft and cooking.( The photo below is the Hepburn Oval before the sports started.I was there early to rake out and set out the long jump pits.)

Sunday, 24 March 2013


Today we created some zig zag pictures. We folded some A3 cover paper into a zigzag and then cut up pictures from 2 calendars (one about dolphins and one about Australian islands because we are doing work on Island of the Blue Dolphins) We then stuck the pictures down in the correct order on either side of each zig zag so that you see one picture from one angle and the other picture from the reverse angle. I don't know if I've explained this well enough, maybe the photos below will help.(The example shown below was a snowy mountain scene on one side and Uluru on the other.) The kids found the folding the most challenging part of the activity.

Friday, 22 March 2013

New Post; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Ian Fleming)

Click HERE to go to my new unit on Teachers Pay Teachers
A Blooms Taxonomy literature unit plan for Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (The book not the movie) We went to see the musical recently in Melbourne and the kids loved it! After Easter I’ll read the original book and complete this unit over a 2 week period. And so can you, if you pay a mere $3.00 and download it from my TPT shop.


One of my parents noticed some tracks in the long jump pit yesterday. I said that they were probably rabbits but she wasn't convinced. I had a look this morning and she was right. They're kangaroo prints. I've seen a few kangaroos and wallabies around the school over the years ( especially during the drought)and I was startled by one early in the morning last year but of course I didn't have a camera with me and it bounded away.
We've had a few koalas too. It has been a while since I've seen one of them, although I check up in the trees from time to time.Our area is one that is renowned as a good habitat for koalas but sadly it has been probably 10 years now since we had one up in one of our trees. If we get lucky I'll be sure to snap a photo or two and put them on the blog!

New unit

 In Jack Black and the Ship of Thieves and Dirty Magic, Carol Hughes has written  some excellent adventure tales. Jack Black is an old favourite and has been enjoyed by all the children I’ve ever read it too as a serial. I hope to use this unit later in the year. In the meantime you can find it on TPT for a pittance!

Click HERE to go to my new unit on Teachers Pay Teachers

Bark hut

I've always wondered about how the early settlers built their bush huts out of bark in pioneer times. Aborigines of course built shelters out of bark but not semi permanent structures like the one in the photo below ( usually constructed before they could build something more substantial)
Well we have some very big gum trees around the school (refer to the photo below) that have shed enormous slabs of bark that would be ideal for a pioneer style bush hut. (refer to the photos below)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

I took the kids to Her Majesties Theatre in Melbourne to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang today. Not my favourite musical - like a lot of people my generation I saw the movie as a kid ( I think at Frankston Drive In....yes that's how old I am) and I was terrified by Robert Helpman's performance as the 'child catcher'.
The production was very good. The dance numbers were slick and the singing was very good, especially the 2 children who held their own with the adults. The lighting and sets were effective but the real star of the show of course is the car.
It's eventual arrival was stunning and the audience which was mostly kids and old aged pensioners went wild! The car performed some terrific stunts in the air and looked majestic and authentic . I think the kids liked the dogs (remember the sweet factory scene) the best. The problem of course with musicals is that you get the songs (sometimes not very good ones) stuck in your head for ages afterwards. Right now 'toot sweet' is buzzing around in my head waiting to get out and my feet want to dance a cockney jig about bamboo poles!

Monday, 18 March 2013

New sign for our veggie garden.

Student Teachers

Our student teachers made volcanoes ( vinegar and bi-carb) as part of science and also skipping as part of health studies with the children today.

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Using an idea I got from Pinterest...Where would I be without it? we created some underwater pictures for Island of the Blue Dolphins.
As we did with the Silver Brumby picture we created a background using tissue paper then we drew pictures of dolphins on foam and then I cut them out with a Stanley knife. They dipped those in paint ( black worked best) and then used these stencils to print dolphins on their undersea scene.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Busy Day

Got to school early this morning ( Saturday morning)to finish off the Annual Report and to clean and prepare a few things for next week.I was there from about 7 until 1 and still left a few things undone. Those people always complaining about lazy teachers and all their holidays should spend a week in my shoes!
There was a kookaburra just outside the classroom window this morning and I was able to get quite close to it with my iPad and take a snap. Usually they fly off but this one didn't seem to bother about me. They used to sit on the playground equipment every morning but this year they stay mostly in the trees.

Current Unit - Island of the Blue Dolphins (TPT)

Click HERE to download this unit on Teachers Pay Teachers

As promised,
Island of the Blue Dolphins is Scott O’Dell’s homage to Robinson Crusoe and a fantastic job he did of it. Students I have read it too have always been engrossed by the trials and tribulations of Karana, the brave Indian girl left behind on a rugged Pacific island to fend for herself. What a powerful, positive role model for girl readers. We are half way through the book with lots more to read and some fun literature and art activities to complete based on the book. Download the unit from TPT for a mere $2.00!

Stained glass sealife

We put up some of our stained glass sealife today and they look great with the autumn sun shining through our doors.

New garden beds

We built some new garden beds over the summer holidays to grow vegetables and herbs so we have fresh ingredients for cooking. Today one of our parents ( Marlene ) an accomplished 'green thumb' brought some herbs up to school to plant in our boxes. With the aid of some compost and plant food she lassoed some kids after school today to help start the planting.
Marlene is going to do some research and planning for future planting of not only herbs, vegetables, flowers but also bulbs in our pre-existing garden beds.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Today my prep student finished her black sheep. This was another Pinterest idea. We put black paint and dish washing liquid in a cup and blew bubbles with it. When the bubbles overflowed we rested some sketch pad paper on it until we had sufficient 'black wool' for our sheep.We then cut a sheep shape out of it and added head, legs, eyes and the rhyme.Our biggest challenge wAs making sure she blew bubbles not inhale the paint!

Double teaching space

Glen Park received a mod 5 double teaching space as part of the BER ( Building the Education Revolution or BER was a billion dollar government program to revitalise primary school infrastructure during the GFC) It was a successful program which contributed to Australia dodging the economic downturn endured in Europe and the US.
As well as stimulating the economy it provided schools ( especially small rural schools such as mine) with new buildings we would otherwise never have received. the school buildings at Glen Park were literally falling apart after decades of state government neglect. Now we have this fantastic double learning space which is full of new furniture, learning resources, thousands of books (yes thousands!) and nine motivated and enthusiastic students.