A new way to look at the world

Here is an interesting web site that allows you to look at the world through an interactive tool that increases or decreases the physical size of a country depending on the topic chosen. There are 5 main headings – People, Planet, Business, Politics and Living. There are 106 topics of comparision under these main headings. Click on a topic and watch the countries grow or shrink depending on how that topic impacts on that country i.e click on ‘population’ and watch India and China grow and Australia shrink. Run your cursor over the countries to get limited data like country name and percentages. The site also offers the same format for the US and Japan. A link to this site can also be found on the ‘Curriculum’ page under ‘Geography’.

To visit SHOW World click here.


Some of you may be familiar with TED Talks “Ideas Worth Spreading”. A great site that provides short talks on a huge range of topics. The quality of speakers and talks that can be found on TED Talk is excellent. So now TED have created TED Education. A site that brings together outstanding lessons by educators all over the world and employs professional animators to then animate those lessons to produce a quality videos (no longer than 10 minutes) for you to use free in your classroom. This in itself is good but there are a number of other functions the site offers. You can customise (flip) the videos provided on the site to suit your class and track your students success/use of the video(s). The videos are accompanied by lessons which are not designed to replace good teaching but are there to supplement a teachers lesson. These lessons contain quiz questions, open ended questions and resources to dig deeper into the topic. This site has only just got up and running, at the time I posted this the video below had only been on You Tube for 15 hours. This means there are currently not a huge number of videos available just yet (62 at the time of this post).  I wouldn’t be put off by this however as I would be guessing this will increase rapidly over the next 12 months.

From the brief look I have had of the site it certainly seems to be more suited to secondary students.

Below I have embeded a couple of videos from Ted Ed including the TED Ed Website Tour plus one from Adam Savage (Mythbusters) who walks through two spectacular examples of profound scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods.


Click here to visit TED Ed Lessons Worth Sharing – put this site in your favourites!

Click here to visit TED Talks Ideas Worth Sharing – put this site in your favourites!

Programming and TfEL/Australian Curriculum Staff Meeting week 2

Please note the following changes to our structure in terms of who is working with who and on what.

This term sees the following:

  • R-6 staff working on AC maths
  • Tanya, Allan and Ed working on 7-10 AC maths
  • All other secondary staff working on the TfEL process. Same staff as term 1 with the addition of Justin and Nick.

Next Wednesday was to be our first TfEL & Australian Curriculum meeting of term two. This was poor planning on my part as secondary staff have parent teacher interviews through this week. This means for those staff involved in parent teacher interviews there will be no TfEL or AC meeting. If secondary staff do not have any (or many) interviews then it would be great if they were able to continue working on TfEL or the AC if possible – staff can make this decision on an individual basis.

For primary staff the planned meeting with Trish Boschetti will go ahead on Wednesday at 3:30pm. Last term Paul emailed me what staff wanted Trish to cover in this upcoming meeting which I forwarded to Trish. This meeting will take place in Kim’s room.

Just a reminder for staff to ensure their programs for term 2 are placed in the folder in the staff room and that they are saved on the Admin drive in the Curriculum Areas folder. Thanks.

The Value of Creative Play

I came across this video during the holidays which reminded me of how important play is for children. The video is about Caine a young boy in East L.A. who builds a cardboard amusement arcade at his fathers used car parts store. Credit to his father for encouraging Caine’s imagination, creativity and play. How do we foster creativity at P.B.A.S.?

This is a brilliant video, I guarantee it will make you smile!

What are your thoughts on Class Struggle?

Class Struggle via SBS TV some weeks ago


I watched with interest the conversation started on Insight some weeks ago. If you have time, search the podcast of Tony Delroy (ABC radio) in which he interviewed Jane Caro and Kevin Donnelly regarding the Gonski Report and possible implications.


I will try and post this podcast in coming days. It comes with a warning however, don’t listen to prior to going to sleep – you won’t – sleep that is!

I use ego based feedback ……… a lot!

During our recent student free day (term 1) part of my talk to staff was about ‘ego based feedback’ and ‘tasked based feedback’. Part of this revolved around the importance of task based feedback to assist with student learning. There seemed to be a general consensus that a combination of both was necessary. I do believe however that task based feedback is more important to learning but do agree that a combination is important. So after having raised this with staff it was interesting to listen to myself giving feedback to the receptions during an throwing activity I did with them. It’s amazing how many ‘good boy’ and ‘good girl’ statements I fitted into such a short space of time. Approximately a ratio of 14 good boy/girl statements  to 1 task based piece of feedback. I see a use for ego based feedback but would prefer the ratio to be weighted in the favour of task based feedback. I knew that I used ego based feedback quite a bit with the receptions but until I listened to myself was not aware how much. My aim now is to improve this ratio in favour of task based feedback during term 2.

It is amazing what we don’t pick up when we are in the middle of a lesson and what we can pick up when we use video or have someone observe our teaching.


Grades – do they define a child?

Love the reactions (many and varied) in this video of students recieving their grades. Our system requires grades (for better or worse – depending on your view). From personal experience it is hard to shift a student from believing they are a ‘C’ student to believing they can be a ‘B’ student. Are there better ways to feedback to students how they have gone?

Finlands Education System

The first video is from ABC’s Lateline. Finland’s director of education Pasi Sahlberg joins Lateline to discuss the nation’s world-leading education system.


The second video has nothing new about Finland’s Education system that I haven’t posted before however I did enjoy the presenter of the show. He goes to town on American education policy makers and America’s attitude in general to change (or lack of) in the face of mounting evidence about what makes a good educational system.