Merry Christmas!

I was very excited to read our Grade Twos a Christmas story today in the library.  Christmas is definitely my favourite time of the year and I always look forward to sharing the festive season with the kids at Oatlands.  The story we chose to read was ‘The Christmas Caravan’ by Jennifer Beck.

The christmas caravanWhen Simon puts his whole heart into decorating his caravan for the local Christmas competition, the world around him begins to change.  Without the money to buy decorations, he collects rubbish from around the caravan park.  A Christmas wonderland with a difference is born and the caravan is cleaned up in the process.  Simon waits in proud anticipation for the judges to see his handiwork, but they don’t come.  Simon’s mother phones the council to find out what happened and learns that the town’s big houses with their elaborate lighting displays took up all the judges’ time.  The Mayor has the cheek to admit that he thought the caravan wasn’t really a home!  After receiving the phone call, the Mayor decides to take a look at the caravan.  He talks to Simon about the decorations he has made and even though the prize has already been awarded the Mayor has a wonderful solution.  Simon receives a special award, one that will change his life forever.  I will not spoil the ending.  I can only say that it will make you smile.

This is a truly heart warming story about the value of dreams and perseverance.  It has some strong messages about the importance of community and it is definitely one that you should add to your Christmas wish list.

After being inspired by Simon’s wonderful decorations we made our own.  Unlike poor Simon, we were lucky enough to have some wonderful materials to work with including wooden baubles, sequins and pipe cleaners.  They will make a fantastic addition to our Christmas trees at home!

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Thank you for a wonderful year in the library Grade Twos.  You have all worked very hard and have produced some fabulous work.  I hope you have enjoyed your Tuesdays in Information Literacy and we have inspired in you a passion for books and reading.

Have a wonderful Christmas with your families.  Enjoy the holidays, read lots, stay safe and rest up.  I look forward to seeing all of your happy, smiling faces again next year 🙂




You Never Stop Learning

Learning is a lifelong journey.  You don’t stop learning when you leave school.  As a teacher, it is my responsibility to keep learning new skills so that I can pass on that information to my students.   Most of the skills that I learn on the iPad are related to the apps that we use with the lower grades (Preps, Grade Ones and Grade Twos).   However, as learners it is important that we challenge ourselves, so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and navigate my way around some apps that the middle and upper grades use in Information Literacy.

One of the apps I explored was iMovie.  I had a go at making a book trailer for one of my favourite Julia Donaldson books, The Paper Dolls.  Take a look….


I also experimented with iMotion Pro and Lego Movie Maker…..

Samone 1 Play Dough

Samone 1 ball movie


Samone 2 MonsterSamone 2 creature movie


Samone 3 MonsterSamone 3 monster of the deep


Samone 4 Lego

Samone 4 first lego car


Samone 5 Lego

Samone 5 final lego car

I will need to keep using these apps so that I can refine my movie making skills.  However,  I feel more confident when using these apps and the skills that I have learnt are transferable.  It is very empowering to learn new skills.  I am always so proud of my students when they acquire new knowledge and I must say that I am feeling very proud of myself!










The Singing Mermaid

the singing mermaidWhen we first introduced this book to the grade twos the boys took one look at the cover and rolled their eyes.  However, two pages in and they were hooked!

The story begins with the beautiful mermaid singing to all of her friends in Silversands Bay.  One day she is heard by a Circus owner (Sam Sly) who lures her away with promises of a marble pool and the chance to sleep in a feather bed.  Her friends try to warn her that he is lying but she goes anyway.   Despite making new friends at the circus, she is desperately unhappy because she is kept in a small fish tank with no room to swim.  She longs to return to her home, but how can she possibly get there when she has no legs to carry her?

The solution to this problem is just gorgeous.  I’m not going to tell you what happens, you will have to read the book.

After reading the story we created our own mermaids using sparkly sequins for her tail.  They look amazing……

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More from Strip Designer

We are becoming more confident using this versatile app.  Today we experimented with more of the tools it has to offer.  I’m sure you’ll agree that the results are pretty awesome!

Even I had a go!

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What the Ladybird Heard

what the ladybird heardWe are loving all of the fabulous books by Julia Donaldson and ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ is no exception.  This humorous, rhyming tale is the story of a silent ladybird living amongst a noisy cohort of farm animals.  She is almost overlooked until she witnesses Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh attempting to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow.  A plot ensues, hatched by the ladybird herself, to confuse and fool the thieves and put a stop to their dastardly plans!  The grade twos loved the animal noises and being able to find the glittery ladybird on each page.  It is a thoroughly engaging book which is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of all who read it.

Julia Donaldson on Strip Design

Strip DesignStrip Design is a very creative app that can be used in a number of ways.  It is essentially a comic editor but is also a wonderful visual way for kids to create and demonstrate learning.  Strip Design allows children to describe, compare, explain, organise thoughts, design and implement ideas.

Today we saved some images from the internet to create a collection of our favourite Julia Donaldson books.  What do you think……

Tiddler: The Story-Telling Fish

tiddlerTiddler is another gem of a book by the marvellous duo of Donaldson and Sheffler.  It captured the  imagination of our grade twos and had them wanting more.

Tiddler is a little fish who likes to tell big tales.  Every day he arrives late for school and every day he has an elaborate excuse for his tardiness.  These tales involve octopuses, shipwrecks and turtles and the stories spread like wildfire from one fish to another and another.  One day, Tiddler is on his way to school when he is so distracted by his daydreaming that he gets caught up in the net of a fishing boat.  He eventually gets thrown back in the water and finds his way back to school when he hears some anchovies talking about one of his stories.  He tracks the story back home and arrives at school just as everyone else is leaving.  Tiddler explains what happened and of course not everyone believes him, but still his story spreads until it is told to a writer, which is how the book is written.

This is a book which celebrates the power of storytelling.  It would be great inspiration for a creative or imaginative writing session.

Stick Man


This week we shared the wonderful ‘Stick Man’ with the grade twos.  Julia Donaldson takes us through the epic journey of Stick Man who is taken away from his Stick Lady Love and Stick children Three.  We follow Stick Man through the realities and dangers of being a ‘stick’ as he longs to get back home to his family tree.  He is used by a dog to play fetch, used as an arm for a snowman and even ends up in a fireplace!  Surprisingly, he is saved by Santa and is reunited with his family in time for Christmas.

Well done Julia Donaldson.  Another great book to add to our favourites list.


We decided to put the Grade Two’s skills to the test this week and ask them to complete a task without any assistance.  These are the instructions they were given:

1. Take a selfie with the camera app.

2. Open Drawing Pad and draw a gorgeous picture of yourself then save it to the camera roll.

3. Open Pic Collage and insert selfie and drawing.

4  Add text (name and grade), then change the font and text colour.

5.  Change the background.

6.  Open Web Dav Nav and upload your work to the designated folder.

And here are some examples of the fabulous work the students produced (without any help)…….


The Snail and the Whale

snail on a whale

A snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on a whale’s tail.  Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and the snail feels very small in the vastness of the world.  But when the whale is beached in a bay, it’s the tiny snail who saves the day.

This is such an engaging story with a powerful message.  It tells us that no matter how small or insignificant a person may think they are, a little bit of effort and determination can make anything possible.

After sharing the story we created our own whale using paper cut outs.  See if you can spot the snail on the whale’s tail…..

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