Positive parenting Say What You See: A Simple Script for Calm Communication When You Are Ready to Explode

Say What You See: A Simple Script for Calm Communication When You Are Ready to Explode

I watched this webinar today you can access it here for free until May 26 2016. 

I thought the ideas presented would be very effective and can’t wait to try them out. The presentation was fun, engaging and very practical. 

I know it’s something I will use in parenting, but I also felt some of the ideas are definitely something that would help me with encouraging positive behaviour for learning in the classroom and in building positive relationships with students. 

The main ideas from the talk were:

1. Children’s behaviour is trying to meet one of three needs which are an experience, connection, or power. 

2. Having a script when a behaviour triggers an angry response from you helps you stay calm and deal with the situation in a present and mindful way. 

3. Using the script involves three parts. 

  1. Say what you see. Name the behaviour or the emotion the child is experiencing.
  2. Can do. Identify the main need they’re trying to meet experience, connection, or power and help them find another way (can do) to meet this need. Lots of practical examples are offered in the video. For younger children offer a choice of two things. For older children let them come up with the can do. Some helpful phrases are “I bet there’s a way that you could…” or “There must be something you can do”. Avoid phrasing this as a question e.g. What can you do.
  3. Find a strength. Find something positive in what they are doing. For example they just threw a toy across the room but chose not to throw something hard that could break or cause damage. Acknowledge this. The third step is the most difficult and will take time and practice to be able to implement effectively. 

Finally the presenter acknowledges that despite our best efforts sometimes we just don’t handle situations as well as we would like. It can be helpful to reflect on this and consider what we would do differently next time. With older children it could be helpful to acknowledge this with them for example “I wish I hadn’t handled it that way I would like a do over”. 


Four new elements get a permanent spot on the periodic table

 “Four elements have just earned a permanent spot in the periodic table. The seventh row is now officially complete” (Crew, 2016).

FEWER U’S The official discovery of elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 means that all 118 elements in the periodic table’s first seven rows have been found on Earth or produced in the lab. The four new elements will soon get names replacing the temporary “Uu” placeholder names” (Grant, 2015).

References:   Continue reading

The Struggle of Learning 

A great conversation between three YouTube Educators about the struggle of learning. A great message of encouragement for students. I relate to their stories when I started Chem and Physics in my first semester at uni I was really struggling, but I worked hard all semester and asked for help in tutorials, formed a study group and did tutoring when I needed it. By the end of that semester I achieved a distinction and high distinction on those subjects. Was it easy? No it was one of the most difficult things I had done. Was it worth it? Absolutely the reward of overcoming your struggles and succeeding is such an awesome feeling. 


Genetics Box – Excellent hands on learning experiences for Year 10 Australian Curriculum. 

imageAt my current school we rotate our Year 10 science classes so students have a term with each of the senior subject specialists (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) and we all teach Earth Sciences in Term 1. I’m on the Biology rotation and am about to start teaching Genetics for the second time this year to a new group of students. Last term I was happy with the content and we did a few experiments (Extracting DNA, finch beak simulation, and creating a dog using genetic codes) but I wanted to add more practical activities this term.

So imagine my joy when I discovered the hash tag #scitlap (Science Teach Like a Pirate) which lead me to this amazing page: Project Based Learning Science – Lesson Plans by Heidi Reina. This one of the most comprehensive science resources I’ve seen online. It’s pages and pages of links to hands on science lesson plans.

One of which the Genetics Box ties in perfectly with my Year 10 Genetics unit. It includes the following experiments and hands on activities:

  • Human Traits
  • Making Babies
  • DNA Extraction
  • DNA Models
  • Secret Codes
  • Protein Factory
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • Bird Beak Buffet
  • Assessment – Comic Strip
  • Assessment – Real World Problems – Sickle Cell Anemia and Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Project – Dragon Genetics
  • Project – Snail Variations
  • Sub Plan – DNA Jewellery

My Science Box – hands-on science curriculum for the adventurous teacher, is a must visit resource for teachers. I know I will be going back I spotted some other “Boxes” that will work really well with my other junior and senior science classes.

“The guiding mission behind MyScienceBox is that teachers should have free access to the best hands-on, classroom tested, science lessons. At MyScienceBox you will curriculum units that I have developed and tested in my own middle school classroom as well as teaching boxes and individual lessons created by other teachers. A flyer describing MyScienceBox in more detail can be” downloaded here.

Feedback through Google Forms

Checkout this blog post “Feedback through Google Forms” by Eleni Kyritsis. She says “There are three main types of Google Forms I use to help analyse student Feedback … Student Well-being Form, Exit Tickets, (and) Student Reflections. These Google Forms can be given at the beginning, middle or end of the lesson or unit of work.” 

It is a thought provoking  post and I think I would like to implement some of these ideas, it seems like a really valuable and efficient way of receiving feedback from students’ and a helpful way to build relationships with students’.


Teach Like a PIRATE Book Review #tlap

I purchased this book at the National Summit on Student Engagement, Learning & Behaviour, where I had the pleasure of seeing Dave Burgess present twice. He is a dynamic, enthusiastic, and entertaining speaker with a burning passion for making learning fun. The thing I loved most about Dave is he is a full-time practicing teacher. I can’t wait to finish the book. In the meantime here is a review of the book Teach Like a PIRATE Book Review by Steve and Cyndi Goodgame. In their review they mention Harry Wong’s book “The First Days of School” which I highly recommend. I purchased this book when I was a pre-service teacher and it really helped me with my classroom organisation and teaching strategies. “The First Days of School” comes with lots of helpful resources as well as links to electronic versions of many of the resources. 

Two great books to check out happy reading!