Two More Sleeps!!!

It is almost here and I’m going to burst!!

I have so so so much to do.  I will fill you in, later.  I said in another post, that I try to make NLNW enjoyable for everyone.  I do this by sharing my quirky sense of humour!  You see, when we read and write and have experiences with books and maths, we have knowledge that let’s us in on the joke.  Having the background knowledge and/or some fundamental skills, opens doors to greater things.  Anyway, to get us all in the mood, here are two of the pictures that students will see this week.  We have about 100 pictures, quotes and charts that are posted around the school and this year we will be using social media to spread the word.  Did I mention that I have a lot to do?!

dear algebra called reading



I hope you are all keeping your sense of humour.  There are times when it is all that will do.


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NLNW 15th Anniversary… get ready!

nlnw logo 2013

National Literacy and Numeracy week is quickly approaching.  In fact, it is closer than it may even appear!

This year is the 15th Anniversary of NLNW in Australia.  At my school we are having our very own theme of “15”.  Don’t you think we are brilliant!! While I’m not sure that my school has always celebrated NLNW we certainly do now.  For the LN Team (just try and guess what the L and N stand for) it is our main event.  We take the opportunity to take over the school and promote every single aspect of ‘the fundamentals’.  I think the slogan for NLNW is a bit cutesy and I do whatever I can to avoid saying it.  But, I do try to make the week as enjoyable as possible for everyone at school.  Teachers, students and support staff all have an opportunity to participate in competitions and activities throughout the week.

15 anniversary

I’m looking forward to NLNW and I’m looking forward to the hot bubble bath I reward myself with on the Friday night, when it is all over! 

If you would like more information about NLNW and the festivities occurring in your local area you can visit  If you are just curious about the cutesy slogan, you can find it there too.


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Semester Literacy Focus: Grammar and Punctuation

MSHS, where I work, has a big strategic plan for enhancing Literacy across the whole school.  The grand plan includes a focus area for each semester.  During semester 1 we focused on Vocabulary development and support.  This semester we are going to focus on, you guessed it, Grammar and Punctuation.  During term 3, this term, I aim to hone in on Punctuation.  We will tackle some Grammar during term 4 and cement the Punctuation and Vocabulary learning that we have already done.  That is the plan.

Tomorrow I will be introducing our new focus to the staff at my school with this video.  I will play it at the beginning of our staff meeting tomorrow afternoon, followed by a short introduction regarding the importance of punctuation.  All of this will be wrapped up with a reminder to “watch this space” for hand outs and other resources related to the main focus.  When I meet with the Literacy and Numeracy Leadership later this week there will be more discussion and we will flesh out the resources and activities that staff will need.

Teaching Punctuation and using Punctuation confidently, can be challenging for many teachers.  I have done my best to avoid the Grammar and Punctuation focus but we can’t avoid it anymore.  It is time to bite the bullet and just do it.  There will be more to come regarding explicit instruction of Punctuation symbols and rules of use, as well as making the Literacy Focus “sticky” for staff.  

Day One is Done…

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End of Holidays/ Beginning of a New Role

It seems like only yesterday when I was dumping my school laptop in the corner at home and letting out a sigh of relief for the end of the school term.  In real time, two weeks have passed.  So much has happened and very little has been crossed off my “to do” list.  The list may have even grown in the past week!

So what has been happening in my personal life? I moved house.  There was a sudden family tragedy.  I spent a few days with my nephews and niece.  I caught up with family and friends.  I joined the local gym.  My work out buddy is my dad.  Need I say more?! 

At school/ work I have been busy as well.  Before the end of term I finished marking all the assessment items that my students had completed.  This allowed me to take a proper break from teacher ‘stuff’ this holidays and to be honest, I don’t know when I would have done it otherwise.  At the end of last term I was “offered” the role of Numeracy Coach.  This makes me the Literacy AND Numeracy Coach for my school.  One of my high needs students left the school at the end of last term and this opened up some time on my weekly schedule which will be used for Numeracy work.  

While the focus for this blog will continue to be Literacy and Coaching, I imagine that at least some numeracy resources and reflections will start to appear here as well.  A good teaching friend of mine was very pleased for me but also warned that my focus would be split and to do what I can to guard against it.  I’m aware that this is a possibility, but I’m hoping that the strategy and direction of Numeracy and Literacy in our school will be more aligned as a result of combining these two roles.  

The school has been on a positive Literacy development journey for approximately five years, while our Numeracy journey has only begun to find direction in the last three years.  There is still a great deal of work to do in building a culture of numeracy support in classrooms.  Now if only I could remember what I did when I was building the literacy culture. 

That’s that in terms of news.  I will be back soon to share resources and fact sheets linked to our school’s focus areas for this semester.  

Stay Tuned.

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Numeracy Teacher Text

Donna, the Math Coach, has reviewed a text which I am now dying to buy and read and use.  The text itself sounds great, but I haven’t actually read it, so I will let Donna ‘sell’ it to you.  Donna makes some interesting points about the importance of formative assessment and processes for planning numeracy lessons.  Something tells me that Math Coach’s Corner is going to become one of my ‘go to’ sites this semester.

Check it out!

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