Happy Book Week!

It’s Book Week again. I was thrilled to have been invited to last Friday’s Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA)’s Book of the Year Award presentations for 2016 at Teachers Federation House, hosted by CBCA NSW.

Classes at Penrith PS have been busily creating displays for the school library. Every few minutes, another display arrives and we seek out an ideal spot for it. This has been a tradition at the school for many decades.

Apart from the links at Mrs Mac’s website and the Kids & Books blog, here are some useful Youtube clips to help us celebrate “Australia! Story Country”, the 2016 theme:


Story Country – Book Week 2016

Read All Day for Book Week 2016 (Guildford Grammar School)

A Vimeo for Silver, Information: Sticky (Phasmid)


Gold, Early Childhood: Mr Huff by Anna Walker – book trailer (Official)


Gold, Early Childhood: Mr Huff trailer (Unofficial)


Play School – Mr Huff – Benita, Karen, Luke, Andrew, Eddie, Leah, Zindzi and Justine

Revisiting the ugly duckling

The last time The ugly duckling came along in our K-2 literacy cycle, I made use of some personal photos taken of a Hans Christian Andersen memorial statue at Sydney’s Observatory Hill.


The ugly duckling – Silly symphony Walt Disney 1939


Our Khaki Campbell ducks~


Khaki Campbell… ducks a must see!!!

Make way for ducklings, the famous picture book by Robert McCloskey, and based on a real life event, is also immortalized in statue form at Boston Common, USA. These statues get dressed thematically at various times of the year.

More about light for Stage 3

For the Stage 3 science & technology unit, “Light me up”, here are some more Youtube clips that may prove useful.


What color is a mirror?


3 easy kids’ science experiments with magnifying glass


The science of rainbows


How a prism works to make rainbow colors


Special LED lights in infrared and ultraviolet spectrum


Rainbow walking water – easy kids science experiment

More transport video clips

Stage 2 students continue their investigation into the history of transport.


Sydney Trains Vlogs special: Red Set F1 test run


Japanese high speed bullet train


Futuristic straddling bus allows cars running underneath


Future transportation technology / China straddling bus HD

In the final days before Sydney’s Monorail ceased on 30th June 2013, Powerhouse Museum staff filmed the ride from the driver’s cab. The Powerhouse has acquired this cab and a carriage for its collection:

Driving Sydney’s Monorail


J.A.Y. Walker Deceased (1950). [Re-released for Walk to Work Day, 2012.]

The intelligence of crows

Students in Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 have been studying the Aboriginal Dreaming Story of “How the birds got their colours”. This week, they are investigating birds. Our playground is currently well-populated with large crows (or ravens?) and the students have been enjoying (or being blamed for) their hilarious antics: tossing scraps out of the bins, stealing shiny rocks from a memorial garden, and frog-marching pigeons out of the playground.

I found some fascinating Youtube videos that demonstrate the intelligence of crows, as they complete an exercise involving a three-step plan, and then an eight-step plan.


Crow intelligence – multi-step tool action test


Are crows the ultimate problem solvers? – Inside the animal mind – BBC


Smart crow uses cars to crack nuts in Akita, Japan near Senshu Park

Remember Aesop’s fable of “The crow and the pitcher”?

Causal understanding of water displacement by a crow

Investigating the Rainbow Serpent

Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students are learning about Aboriginal Dreaming stories.


The Rainbow Serpent


The Rainbow Serpent (by Dick Roughsey)


Batik painting, inspired by Dick Roughsey’s Dreamtime picture book, The Rainbow Serpent


Rainbow Lorikeets wild and free in their native Australia