Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Last weekend I finally finished Covey's, ' Seven Habits of Highly Effective People'. I found it interesting that a few of the habits that he discusses are already deeply en ground parts of my psyche esp. the idea that effective people are pro-active i.e. they get off their butts and do stuff :)

I've never been a big fan of the 'self help' genre but in amongst all the 'jargon' I found one gem that I could 'resonate' with. hehehehehe

' Imagine what an organisation could achieve if every person on staff was treated as a volunteer rather than a subordinate'.

What would this do to the dynamics of this organisation?
What would happen to the culture of horizontal violence in such organisation?
What would happen to the lip service paid to 'team'?
What would happen to directives that HAD to be followed?
What would happen to the directives that HAD to be supported?
What would happen to bullying of staff?
What would happen to quality of educational outcomes?
What would happen to staff morale?
What would happen to the budget for stress leave?
What would happen to the retention rate of beginning teachers in their first 5 years of teaching?
How would staff perceive those in 'leadership' roles as opposed to those 'management' roles and even worse... those who are consumed by 'micro-management'?

All that said, do the heads of your organisation 'lead' or 'manage'?


Do you 'lead' or 'manage'?

The Two Are Vastly Different!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007


Dear World,

I once attended a lecture where a well known Australian psychologist, who occasionally appears on morning TV, outlined the questions he used to choose researchers to be part of his most recent project.

(I'm making it up now, but it was something like this)

1. Outline the plot of either Donnie Darko or The Matrix
2. What is the point value of (a particular card) in Pokemon?
3. What is your user name on either FaceBook or My Space?
4. Write 3 lines of Emo poetry that epitomize the angst of this particular sub-culture.

Mmmmmm, sort of narrows the field a bit hey, but why did he ask these questions of people who would hold such influential positions?

How in touch are`you' with the things that are paramount to the age group you interact with?

NB I've recently met up with nearly 200 kids I taught in my first 6 years of teaching and it has been nice hearing from them. ( I taught some of them in Kinder and now they are 23. Scary) It has also been an eye opener.



PS Facebook for me - Adrian Bruce with a chair and a little 3D character in my hand.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Improving Reading Comprehension with 3 Level Guides

When running guided reading sessions I like to have this collection of question stems beside me to improve reading comprehension. Personally I use this resource to prompt me to ask 'better' or maybe 'a better variety' of questions about a narrative text.

There are 3 pages of prompts available here so feel free to download them as a little professional development on knowledge based questions :)

One day soon I'll find my prompts for the 'Hidden' and 'Head' aspects of of the strategy :)



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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Children's Literature Site - An Early Launch :)

On my third day of University I was thrown in to a Kinder class and my supervisor said, 'I'll give you something easy to start with, find a book that the kids will enjoy and read it to them.'

Needless to say I had 'NO IDEA!'... on SO many levels.

Now, after almost 20 years of teaching experience, I've tested out one or two books on children in my care and have bit more of an idea about what entertains children from 1 year old through to about 12. Check out what I've discovered over the years here.



Friday, October 05, 2007

Teacher Stress

Every now and then people need an activity that requires a different type of thinking, just for 'something different'.

Over the last few weeks I have been retreating to 'the shed' each night to indulge in the hum of cheap power tools and the smell of wet paint in the quest for a job well done.

Santa bought this set of table and chairs for my sisters and I in about 1973 and needless to say they needed a little TLC.

Sometimes one just needs a little project to take your mind off the 'helter skelter' and the 'noise and the haste'.

Maybe you need a little distraction for just a little while.



Thursday, October 04, 2007

Teachable Moments

50 years since Sputnik. Oh look, here are a few fantastic 'teachable moments'...

Oh that's right... you can't fit it in because you're doing a bloody 'integrated unit' on Antarctica! or have a few speeling worksheets to finish.

Did I mention that I'm not a big fan of 'Integrated Units'. ;(



Screen Dumps

One of the quickest ways of getting an image ready for a blog is to do a screen dump. I've just put a step by step procedure on my site that outlines how to do this.



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Problem Solving

Finally finished the reworking of the problem solving interface and added a couple of new puzzles.

Give them a go.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

76 184

Recently I've gone to ground a little with content and have tried to make my site look a bit more like I'm not reading heaps of Kafka and Camus :)

Then it hit me. Last week saw the Aussie football finals. At one of the games there were 81 000 people and I gave away 76 184 doc and pdf files last month. Here's a pic of what about that many people look like.

That is roughly one game for each of the punters.

Sort of makes it all worthwhile considering each of those people are heading off to teach a couple of kids at least :)