What Matters? A Writing Competition for students in NSW and ACT schools in years 5-12

whitlam_what

Each year the Whitlam Institute at the University of Western Sydney runs the annual What Matters? writing competition for students in NSW and ACT schools in years 5 to 12. Students are encouraged to write about issues that that are important to them including poverty; equality; the environment; disability; human rights; animal cruelty; bullying; the importance of family and community; tolerance – the list goes on.

The competition for 2015 has just opened, and closes on Wednesday 6 May.

For more details please see: www.whitlam.org/whatmatters

Mend my Broken Heart – A Valentine’s lesson idea on Addition and Subtraction

mend_broken_300

This activity is also perfect for matching coins & their values, contractions with the words they correlate to, etc.

=> http://bit.ly/1HZz6ke

News: Teaching Google, Getting girls to code, Communication app for special education, Tech in blended learning

Teach your students the right way to Google
In the age of the split-second Google search, it’s more critical than ever to train students to distinguish between primary and secondary sources.

How to get more girls to code: Use Frozen’s Elsa
If you want to lure young girls into computer coding, go straight to the heart — which these days is likely to inhabit the magical snowy landscape of Frozen. Code.org announced Wednesday that it had teamed up with Disney Interactive on a tutorial that lets young programmers help Frozen sisters Anna and Elsa make ice fractals and skating patterns using basic coding skills.

Special education communication apps
These apps are intended to help special-needs students build communication skills

Blended Learning: It’s Not the Tech, It’s How the Tech is Used
Since the 1970s we’ve known of Moore’s Law, which states the processing power of computers will double every two years. Forty years later, computers are presumably a million times more powerful. The education world is finally beginning to harness this power, taking us far beyond the origins of computer labs where students clicked away at the Oregon Trail and practiced word processing. Finally, we’re starting to reach a point where adaptive online programs engage students with rigorous academic content at their exact level while providing teachers with detailed data, allowing us to better group students and meet their unique needs.

pbs_mathPBS launches math series for kids in ‘Odd Squad’
Consider this math problem: PBS leaves the train station headed west under a full head of steam to find a new series to teach math to youngsters. Tim McKeon and Adam Peltzman leave a train station at top speed headed east with an idea for a show…

Just for fun … apples and oranges

Just for fun - apples and oranges

If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have ?
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
O
Very large hands.

New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year and winner of Best Picture Book category

boring_book

The Boring Book

by Vasanti Unka

Publisher: Puffin
ISBN: 0143505750
EAN: 9780143505754
Age Range: 2-4 years

When the words in a tedious tome decide that life is just too dull, they escape. The world will never be the same again. The words jump into street signs, they leap onto shop signs, they decorate pathways and roadways and ponds. But one day they go too far…Award-winning illustrator Vasanti Unka has created a picture book complete with lift-the-flap inserts which is as ingenious as it is delightful. The Boring Book explores the importance of books and words in a fun and imaginative way. Children and adults alike will love it. The Boring Book is NOT a boring book.

About the Author

Vasanti Unka is a designer and illustrator based in Auckland. She is the illustrator of The Bean’s Story, which was a 2008 Storylines notable book, and Hill & Hole by Kyle Mewburn. Hill & Hole was shortlisted for the 2011 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. It won the LIANZA Russell Clarke award the same year and was also the first children’s book to win the Gerard Reid Award for Best Book at the PANZ Book Design Awards.

buy_it_now

the_nile_logo1

fishpond_logo1

book_depository_logo

Not available from amazon_logo1

Reflections of Motherhood

Scott Stratten: We asked moms if they could go back to before their first baby, what would they tell themselves. These are their answers. Everyone in the video is a mom 🙂

Start reading the Sequel to the Fifth Wave

infinite_sea

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

Read an excerpt here http://bit.ly/VPdOPy

You can buy the book here http://bit.ly/1suq6aR

Eight Apps to Support Early Reading and Writing

slj1407w-TK_CT_LeolovetoSpell

It’s never too early to encourage reading. Cool Tools columnist Richard Byrne shares his picks for resources that young readers and writers can use with or without an adult. Includes screencasts demoing three applications.

Read More›››

About Microsoft 70-228 Certification Exam

The 70-228: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition certification exam is targeted towards IT professionals who work in medium to very large computing environments that use the services provided by Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition. Prior to taking the exam, interested IT professionals should have a year of hands-on experience in the administration of the SQL Server. They should also have a year of experience in implementing databases in environments that feature heterogeneous databases, SQL Server security integrated with Windows Authentication, and client/server configurations of at least 50 users. Well-qualified IT professionals will have conducted multiple installations of SQL Server 2000 before taking the 70-228 exam.

Passing the 70-228 exam completes the requirement for the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification. IT professionals who pass the exam also complete one of the core credits towards the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator on Microsoft SQL Server 2000 certification. Passing the 70-228 exam also fulfills an elective credit for the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer on Microsoft Windows 2000 certification, the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator on Microsoft Windows 2000 certification, and the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 certification.

Concepts relating to the management, monitoring, troubleshooting, installation, and configuration of SQL Server 2000 will be featured on the exam. Candidates must also be prepared to demonstrate a thorough understanding of SQL Server 2000 security features.

Effective Teachers Need Soft Skills

One special teacher can make a student feel inspired, as though he can do anything in the world if he sets his mind to it. Unfortunately, this student may enter another teacher’s class with a sense of overarching dread. One teacher can make a spirit soar while the other seems destined to destroy. The difference between the two teachers is soft skills.

Depending on whom you ask, soft skills are loosely defined as people skills. Kate Lorenz, an editor for CareerBuilder.com says that soft skills “refer to a cluster of personal qualities, habits, attitudes and social graces that make someone a good employee and compatible to work with.” The most important of these skills are Professionalism/Work Ethic, Oral and Written Communications, Teamwork/Collaboration and Critical Thinking/Problem Solving. These are the very skills educators seek to impart to their students.

On any average day, teachers work with a variety of people. Soft skills translate into the ability to successfully navigate the needs of those individuals. A teacher must use her oral and written communication skills every day to effectively pass on information to her students. A teacher uses teamwork and collaboration at any school-wide function, including faculty meetings. Without critical thinking and problem solving skills, the teacher cannot effectively manage classroom behavior or student progress.

A successful teacher will find that his voice and vocabulary do the marvels which no other device can do. Another important thing to mull over is his attitude which comprises proper planning and zeal to stir sensations in the classroom. A teacher has to adapt according to the situations; he has to bring in himself a proper blend of rigidity and flexibility allowing him to create humor at times to drive away the monologue. One should be wary enough not to hurt anyone’s cultural and religious beliefs. Challenging though such things are, they are not devoid of satisfaction if practiced earnestly. If teachers remain aware of the importance of such soft skills in teaching, it not only will establish proper rapport between the teacher and the taught but also ensure our competence and bring admiration.

Teachers have various roles. The main role is the content expert. However, this role alone is not sufficient to describe the work of teachers. Teachers are also consultants, managers, motivators, and counselors. Teachers are also decision makers. Each teacher has to engage in an ongoing series of decision-making. The areas are planning decisions, teaching and managing decisions, and assessment decisions.

Educational institutions are looking for various soft skills in teachers, besides technical competence and work experience. The twenty-first century workplace does not require teachers who are “walking encyclopedias” but rather self-reliant and resilient individuals who are achievement-oriented with high self-esteem; persuasive and effective communicators; emotionally intelligent; good problem solvers and decision makers with analytical and creative minds; fast and lifelong learners; good team players; and ethical with a high standard of integrity (morally intelligent).

For teachers, the ability to use effective soft skills can make or break a career. While it may seem obvious that such skills would factor importantly in a classroom, soft skills are also paramount when working with parents, administration and other teachers.

…………………………………………………………..

Author: Ajit K Singh has a Masters in Economics from Delhi University. Among his varied interests he has a passion for Philosophy, Psychology, Soft Skills and related subjects. Following the family tradition, he got commissioned in the Indian Air Force as an Administrative Officer. He specialized in selection of Officers for commissioning, having done a course in the Defence Institute of Psychological Research, Delhi. Post retirement he researched and became a trainer in Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence, including Life Skills. He is an avid writer and occasional poet.