Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Test post

I have had huge computer problems over the past few months so please excuse this text post.  I'm just checking to see if everything is back on track after reimaging.

Ahhh…seems like some features have been disabled so I'm still a work in progress.

I am enjoying reading blogs dearly but am also looking forward to returning to posting from my cottage too.

I need a teenager!!

See you soon…forever the optomist.  :)

With thanks
Mrs Stowe :)

Monday, 21 April 2014

WBT–Hands And Eyes…

Everybody knows I love & appreciate

Whole Brain Teaching.

I love it because it works.
I love it because it’s quick.

But most of all…

I love it because the Little Learners love it!

The Whole Brain Teaching approach is really fun and extremely successful too. 
It just makes sense to teach this way.  Come on, give it a go. 
I read about it, watched several You Tube clips and videos about how to implement it but to be honest I completely underestimated its value until I tried it.

Guess What?  I bought the book!
I had to following the little fiasco written below.

WBT book cover

There is so much more to this approach and you can adapt as much or as little as you like. 

‘Hands and Eyes’
also known as The Focuser

Best introduced through a little story at my expense…

I watched a You Tube showing how to implement WBT in an Infants classroom. 
I watched carefully oo-ing and ah-ing at all the appropriate places. 
I was looking for pointers to use in my room.
I hadn’t read the book. 
I knew that Hands and Eyes was the focuser to use directly after the Class-Yes! 
I watched the clip carefully.
Learned the accompanying action.

Hands and eyes2

Slight problem at this point…

I thought the teacher demonstrating was saying ‘hands in ice’.  I listen to it several times.
I thought that was unusual and must be an Americanism.  Didn't question it beyond that really. 
I was armed and excited ready with my next WBT development
to trial with my Little learners.

In I went so excited and taught the kids the very next day the focuser .
I taught them that when I said ‘hands in ice’ they needed to echo and complete the accompanying action. 
This action was to clap hands together quickly directly out in front of their torso then snap their clasped hands quickly towards their bodies landing in their laps with one smooth movement as they echoed ‘hands in ice’
Well naturally they did this, such an obedient bunch of kindergarteners.
Look at the Little Learner above so sweetly following.  
We practised a few times and then…
my 15year old daughter happen to pop past my room
(She is in Year 10 at our K-12 school and sometimes visits me…usually for money) 
She wandered in,
she listened and she laughed…


She said mum, it’s not ‘hands in ice’ it’s ‘hands and eyes’
and instantly it made sense to me. 
After all, it was an meant as an attention grabber. 
Hands in laps meant not fiddling attention my way as did eyes to me. 
Oh my! 
Yes I did feel silly but I did LOL too. 

So there you have it my introduction to WBT Hands and Eyes
Hopefully yours will make a lot more sense when you try it with your Little Learners.

By the way it works brilliantly as a focuser after using Class-Yes.
Want to know more about WBT…try my You might also like links below.

Happy Tuesday
Mrs StoweSmile

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Aussie autumn & Gum Trees

Here in New South Wales, Australia we are on our 2 week Autumn/Easter Break.


Temperatures are definitely cooling down and we have experienced

23oC – 26oC

for the past week.
(that’s 73.4 –78.8 Fahrenheit)

I probably should post pictures of the beautiful beaches and waterways but I have decided on a few autumn plants this time.  why not have a flick while I get a cardigan!

Gum Trees

I went outside to capture a few pictures for you of our Gum Trees. 
They don't lose their leaves and are very tall, great for shade.

photo 1

  photo 2  photo 2  photo 2 


A Few other plants that grow around my place in autumn.

Not flowering at the moment

              photo 3   photo 5

Bottle Brush & Banksia

          photo 1   photo 4


photo 3

Kangaroo Paw
(a little too much sun in this shot)

photo 5

And some Daisies..

    photo 1photo 3

Not really sure what this random plant below is but I do know that those orange round things somehow get from the front yard over our house to the backyard and into the pool!


Although to be honest, I plead ignorance and rarely clean the pool.

photo 4 

Now if you made it down to here you probably think I'm a bit of a gardener but no! 
Sadly all I touch turns to brown. 
These are plants that grow all year without attention fortunately.

Not a teaching post but just a little share today.
Now…where is my book?
Time for a holiday rest.

Happy Thursday!
Mrs StoweSmile

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Lunch Time in Australia

Now this could seem a little odd to our OS blogging friends

but here in Australia

most children sit outside at tables, benches
or on the ground to eat the lunch they have brought from home.
That’s right a packed lunch is the norm here. 
We don't generally have cafeteria’s in schools!
It’s a rarity.

Now this poses the problem of where to eat and how to keep an area tidy.

Finally I have found something that works!

It’s the Lunch Mat Trolley!

photo 3

We simply bought online these lovely camp mats.
One of our clever High School Staff worked out the design when told what we wanted. 
Another beautiful staff member spray-painted them to coordinate with our renovated Kindergarten rooms, castors were added for manoeuvrability and
There you have it The Lunch Mat Trolley!

photo 1  photo 2photo 3

How do we use them you ask?
Read on…

Daily monitors pop outside just prior to lunchbreak and spread these beautiful brightly coloured mats about on the ground.  The Little Learners simply get their lunch from their bags and plant themselves on a mat.  They eat their lunches and return the mats to their class trolley when finished.

No more sitting on concrete.
No more dirty outside tables to lean on.
No more scattered chairs after every lunch break.

It Works a Treat

photo 4

Our beautiful Kindergarten teachers introduced them as something really special that no other class had and ran through rules for using them.  Much like anchor charts with Daily 5.  Funny thing was that it has worked so well that each day after lunch we keep finding that the Little Learners have not only returned their mats to their trolley but they have grouped them in colours within the trolley.

Little Learners – you have to love them!

Happy Sunday!
Mrs Stowe Smile

Monday, 17 March 2014

Remember Me???


Oh my!

How long it has been since I have visited my blog.
Some of you have kindly been asking about my disappearance,


Last year I finished up with my Kindergarten Cherubs and began preparing like crazy for the incoming new bunch.  I knew I needed everything ready to go because I was taking a holiday for the 2 weeks right before school was due to come back so…

I had the to do list.
I prepared name plates, desk plates, news charts, books, diary/daybook plans, new storage containers, new alphabet charts, coordinating signs and Daily Five posters.  You name it I had it ready.

I was set…or so I thought.

Just five days before I was to leave on a 2 week family holiday to Bali…my boss called and asked me if I would step into a new role for 12months as Acting Head of Junior School. 
Our Head of Junior School was taking a 12month sabbatical leave.

My world was rocked…and I was excited all at once!

My very well, okay…
OCD like,
prepared world came crumbling down around me. 
I had 5 days to get my head around things and would start back in this new position the day after I returned from my holiday. It was a busy 5 days to say the least.

1-6 in FIVE DAYS.

1. My beautiful baby sister had a baby girl.
2. My sister in laws father died tragically of cancer and we had a funeral.
3. I had to have a bone scan and other medical tests before I left to explore a 12month hip pain that apparently should not have been left 12months. All turned out good though so who says we cant diagnose ourselves!
4. I had to meet with my boss and find out what the year was to hold
5.  I had to grieve losing my Kinder babies and entrust them to another.  This was a biggy, especially on Day 1 of the term.  Yes I did tear up secretly as I watched them transfer their love to another.
6. Oh yes…I had to holiday pack too.

Hectic 5 days but doable!

Thankfully I have the best boss who mentors by example and encouragement. 
I have already learned so much from her. 
I also work with a great team of very committed and gifted teachers who are amazing to work with.

I am grateful for this opportunity to serve God in a different way this year.

I have some funny stories to share so please stay tuned.
I will be back!

Happy Monday!
Mrs StoweSmile