The adventures of a cardboard box

How many ways can you use a cardboard box? Kids absolutely love playing with boxes creating everything from buildings, cars, planes, rocket ships and kitchen appliances. Some of you may remember the Cardboard Arcade video that went viral around the world and I posted on this blog back in April 2012. The video posted below is called, The Adventures of a Cardboard Box. Imagination and creativity at its best!

I found this video while looking through the Australian Curriculum Lessons website. The lesson is called, The Adventures of a Cardboard Box – 17 Activities to Inspire Your Class – 2/3/4. If you have not been to this website I suggest you do – a great range of lessons linked to the Australian Curriculum.


Coding for Kids

What is coding and why is it useful?

Coding allows us to create computer software, apps and websites. A computer can’t function without someone installing code so that it can function in the way that we want it to. In a technology rich world the skill of coding is valuable.

In the US alone there’ll be a million more computing jobs than computing science graduates by 2020.” Reference – , “Coding crisis: getting tech skills taught in schools”. I realise we are not the US but you get the picture.

“The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) shortage – In Australia we’re already languishing near the bottom of the OECD in creating students interested in S.T.E.M.. Australia actually imports more STEM graduates than it educates at university.” Reference – , “Coding crisis: getting tech skills taught in schools”.

What do we do at PBAS?

Currently at PBAS we do very little around Coding and Programming although we have had and used Lego Robotics for a long time and dabbled in the use of BeeBots. This has tended to be at higher year levels or to select groups rather than across a wide range of students.

With the introduction of iPads we now have a resource that is easily accessible and able to introduce and help us teach concepts around coding. The apps Kodable, Hopscotch and Daisy the Dinosaur have been put on the iPads during the holidays and offer a range of coding options from junior primary to senior secondary. The Kodable app also provides teacher learning guides to assist with the app.

Where does coding fit in the Australian Curriculum?

I have had a look at the Technologies – Digital Technologies R-6 Australian Curriculum and found where where this learning fits. I have created a single A4 page that outlines this information for teachers. Click here to see this document.

I have provided some videos below to help with the introduction of the coding apps on the iPads.

Primary staff meeting Week 2, Term 2

In addition to this post I am also planning to discuss coding in the week 2, term 2 Primary team meeting. I am hoping we will have the chance to play with the iPads to see how the coding apps work and discuss the idea of teaching students simple coding concepts.




Daisy the Dinosaur

Screen Shot 2012-08-12 at 6.28.24 AM



Australian Curriculum Update – Technologies and HPE

ACARA has released three new videos to support the Australian Curriculum.

  • Digital Technologies
  • Design and Technologies
  • Health and Physical Education

If you would like to see other videos created by ACARAedau click here. Includes videos on senior maths, science, history, geography and English.

Digital Technologies: An introduction

Design and Technologies: An introduction

Health and Physical Education: Teacher Video

Assessment For, As and Of Learning

Detailed learning design1

Box four in the Learning Design Framework asks us to consider: What evidence will enable us to assess the intended learning? To do this effectively we need to have a solid understanding of different types of assessments and their purpose. To assess effectively we need to ensure that we collect a range of assessment types and that we are giving students multiple opportunities to demonstrate their learning of a concept.

Assessment For, As and Of learning helps us to determine the purpose of assessment.

View the presentation and video and then answer the questions below in the comments section of this post.

Presentation on Assessment For, As and Of Learning

Dylan Wiliam – Assessment For Learning (formative learning)

Staff activity

1. Think of an activity that you have done with your students and briefly explain this activity/task/concept (1-2 sentences)

2. Consider and then list the “Types of Evidence” that you have (or will have) collected to assess this activity/task/concept.

3. What has been the purpose of the assessment? Assessment For, Of and As learning. Have you covered more than one assessment purpose?

4. Do you focus on one type of assessment more than another ie most of my assessment falls into the Assessment For and Of Learning with less in the Assessment As Learning.  I need to try and get my students considering how they learn and assist them to self reflect and question what they are learning.

5. How do you collect and build a picture of student learning? Do you use a take home book with work samples, a portfolio folder, a digital portfolio, a filing cabinet containing work samples etc?

ACARA Update August 2013

Below are some of the points from a Power Point sent to me via Trish Boschetti. These points explain where the Australian Curriculum is currently at and some future timelines.
  • ACARA on track to complete development of the F(R)-10 Australian Curriculum by the end of 2013 (Stage 2 Languages – early 2014).
  • Geography F-10 approved by Ministers 10 May, implementation timeline to be approved.
  • The Arts – approved by Ministers 30 July, implementation timeline to be approved.
  • Languages Stage 1
    -Chinese and Italian – revisions occurring following public consultation.
  • Technologies (Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies) – revisions occurring, validation of achievement standards next week.
  • Health and Physical Education – final revisions occurring.
  • Civics and Citizenship – revisions occurring, validation of achievement standards next week.
  • Economics and Business – revisions occurring, validation of achievement standards next week.
  • National Trade Cadetships – Work Studies Years 9-10 – draft curriculum being written, expected to be released for public consultation later this month.
  • Work samples – Supplement the samples already in the portfolios for English, Mathematics, Science and History.
  • Provide work samples for all other learning areas/subjects – ongoing.
  • Senior Secondary
    • English, Mathematics, Science, History,  (December 2012) Geography (30 July 2013)
    • Approved by the Ministers as the agreed and common base for development of state and territory senior secondary courses
    • SACE Board of SA working through policy issues in the context of the their responsibilities for senior secondary course development, assessment and certification
    • Yet to confirm timelines for the integration of the Australian Curriculum subjects into the SACE
    • No decisions about development of other learning areas/subjects


Australian Curriculum Resources

Thank you to Trish Boschetti for sending out the following links to websites set up by the professional bodies associated with the following subjects areas: Arts, maths, science, English, history and geography. The professional associations responsible for the following websites are: Australian Association of Maths Teachers, Australian Science Teachers Association, Australian Association for the Teaching of English, Australian Literacy Educators Associations, Primary English Teachers Association, History Teachers Association of Australia, Australian Geography Teachers Association and Education Services Australia.

These sites have been developed specifically to link directly to the Australian Curriculum.


Arts -POP

There are five art forms specified in the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. They are Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, and Visual Arts. Arts-POP shows how each art form makes a distinct contribution to cognition by drawing on each child’s senses and imagination. Each art form is valued equally within the generic learning area of the arts. Arts-POP website

About Arts-POP

Home page Arts-POP


There has never been a more exciting time to study geography, with it being a subject vital to the education of every young Australian in the 21st century. GeogSpace has been designed to provide materials to support primary and secondary teachers in implementing the Australian Curriculum: Geography. It has been developed by AGTA’s team of practising geography teachers, dedicated to ensuring all schools across Australia have access to a unique resource that reflects best practice using current technology and pedagogies. GeoSpace Website

Home page GeogSpace

AC History Units

AC History Units presents 8 units developed by the History Teachers’ Association of Australia to support teachers in the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: History (years 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). Unit 1, Teaching History, is a foundation unit, providing a brief introduction to the discipline of history. It ‘unpacks’ the skills and concepts, surveys approaches to teaching and provides an essential framework for the other units. Units 2-8 focus on topics relevant to particular year levels and are designed to provide very practical support in the form of teaching programs, sample ‘learning sequences’, a wide range of resources and assessment ideas. AC History Units Website

Home page AC History Units

English for the Australian Curriculum

Materials here comprise 12 year-level units of work, with 12 sequences in each, written by teachers and educators from a range of states, territories and educational settings. The writers have been guided in composition and worked as a team to collaborate in producing some 850 new elaborations of curriculum content, all supported by digital resources and interactive worksheets. All materials have been reviewed by teaching and curriculum specialists to ensure the highest standards in a clear and accessible resource that exploits the Australian Curriculum and can help reinvigorate the teaching of English and literacy. English for the Australian Curriculum Website

Home page English for the Australian Curriculum

Science Web Australia

The Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) in partnership with Education Services Australia (ESA) has prepared 15 units of work to support teachers in the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: Science as part of the Supporting the Australian Curriculum Online (SACOL). The units are designed for students in years F–10. These units have been written by experienced teachers using resources that are available online. Each unit consists of an overview, five lesson plans, and additional links and resources. Extension activities for gifted and talented students will be included for the units in years 7–10. Science Web Australia Website

Home page Science Web Australia

Top Drawer Teachers – Resources for teachers of mathematics

Big ideas   The big ideas that underpin the mathematics are explored and explained.
Misunderstandings   Some common misunderstandings and their causes are described and analysed. There is teaching advice, and activities, designed to avoid or correct these misunderstandings.
Good teaching   Key content is explained thoroughly. There are suggested teaching approaches and many suitable activities. You will find videos, slide presentations, worksheets, digital learning objects and more.
Assessment   Aspects of assessment are discussed.
  Activities   Student activities that appear in other parts of the drawer have been collected here. However, many of the pages contain further suggestions and ideas for other activities.
Downloads   All downloadable files, such as student worksheets, teacher notes, activity templates and video transcripts, are available here.

Pertinent professional readings are also included and accessed through the AAMT website. Where relevant, links have been made to the content descriptions of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics. Top Drawer Teachers – Resources for teachers of mathematics

Home page Top Drawer Teachers – Resources for teachers of mathematics



The Australian Curriculum and Scootle



The other day Paul alerted me to the fact there is now a link between the Australian Curriculum document and Scootle. When you look at the content descriptors for a particular year level and subject area you can find the Scootle link by clicking on the letter/number in the brackets found at the end of each individual descriptor. By clicking on this you get an elaboration of the content descriptor. As well as the elaborations you also get a link to the Scootle website which then lists all their relevant resources that have a link to the content description you are looking at.

What is Scootle? Is it worth creating an account?

Paul mentioned to me that he got some great You Tube links when programing for his term 3 science. It is very convenient to be able to click on a link in the elaborations (on the AC website) and be taken to a list of resources connected with that section of the curriculum (on the Scootle website). As a staff we have had a brief looks at Scootle a few times over the past 2 years but as a reminder here is a basic explanation of what Scootle provides:

  • This site provides resources for teaching the Australian Curriculum.
  • It is sorted by subject area (not just AC subject areas) and year levels
  • The site provides the following search types – learning objects, images, audio, video, collections, teacher resource, assessment resource and data set.
  • The site allows you to create your own personalised learning paths which save resources in folders for future reference.

Below is a more detailed info graphic explaining Scootle.


To create a Scootle account log into Scootle by clicking HERE. Once on the Scootle page you will see in the top right hand corner “New to Scootle? Teachers can register here!”. Click on this link and follow the prompts to create your account.

Click HERE to access the Scootle user guide. This is in PDF format and can be saved to your PC. This document can help you with any questions you have about Scootle including how you create Learning Paths for you and your students as well as how students access the content you find on Scootle.

ABC Splash for teachers, parents and students

This looks like a great new resource produced by the ABC. The statement below is taken directly from the site.

ABC Splash brings you the best Australian content from across ABC TV and Radio plus high-quality video from around the world.

  • a new world-class education website for Australia
  • packed with hundreds of videos, audio clips and games
  • 100% free to watch and play at home and in school

See volcanos erupt and microbats fly. Investigate fossils, megafires and worm farms. Meet fairytale monsters. Unwrap an Ancient Egyptian mummy and explore the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet!

Not only is there a great range of resources it is also connected to the Australian Curriculum. Definitely worth putting in your favourites.

Click here to visit the ABC Splash site to view a quick video explaining what ABC Splash is about.

Australian Curriculum Lessons – Website

Here is a resource for teachers that provides lessons that are specifically designed around the Australian Curriculum. The subject areas covered by this site include English, maths, science, history and the arts. Year levels range from Foundation (Reception) to Year 10. I am assuming the web site has only been around since last year so not every subject area in every year level has lesson plans in it. English and maths have the most lessons while lessons are being added regularly (I noticed one uploaded on the 26th January 2013).

Lessons are split up into sections which include Summary, Australian Curriculum Links, Lesson, Assessment and Resources. I have had enough of a look through this site to highly recommend that you should look through it and add this site to your favourites list for future reference.

The home page shows the latest lessons uploaded across all subject areas and you can go back through all the lessons in this way or you can click on the subject area and year level at the top of the web page. The home page also shows links to popular lessons, lesson tags i.e. maths games and a search bar. You can also follow Australian Curriculum Lessons on Twitter at @AusLessons.

I would like to mention one specific lesson called Reciprocal Reading Groups Lesson. The reason is that reciprocal teaching was ranked number 9 out of 138 on John Hattie’s list of influences on student learning. Click here to view post on John Hattie. The lesson provides two great resources, one of which is a Power Point that outlines how reciprocal reading works. So for staff at PBAS who may have wondered how reciprocal teaching worked here is a great explanation applied to a reading lesson (series of lessons). Click here to view this lesson.

To go to the website home page click here.