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  • 12 March 2020 3:54 PM | Karen (Administrator)

    Project-based learning (PBL) is a teaching approach where students learn by being actively involved in a real-world and meaningful project. They may create a product or a presentation for a real audience.

    When kids engage in this type of learning they can gain essential knowledge and skills like critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication. The students work on a project for an extended period of time. For example, over a week or even a semester.

    The TeachThought Staff have put together 20 Examples of Project-Based Learning. You might want to also check out some identified Outcomes of Project-Based Learning as it is important to have an objective or outcome for why you are planning and implementing a PBL approach.

    If you want to be more specific when it comes to subject areas and year levels, then the Buck Institute for Educators has a library of projects for you to explore.

  • 27 February 2020 4:28 PM | Karen (Administrator)

    Yes, your child is really a genius! In this short audio clip, Karen Bonanno explains the origins of the word 'genius'. 

    If you'd like to know what 'Genius Smart' your child is, then take advantage of Karen's special discount offer for your child to complete an online questionnaire to find out their specific genius. Included in this special offer is a one-to-one coaching session. 

  • 06 February 2020 1:01 PM | Karen (Administrator)

    According to Einstein you are a genius and so is everyone you know. Einstein said, “everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” We’re all born great at something. As we grow up we also find out there are some things we are not so good at. If we focus too much on what we are not good at, life gets tough. Think about the successful people in this world that you know. They focus on what they are good at.

    Did you know there are four types of genius and you are one of them?

    There’s Dynamo genius who loves to create.

    There’s the Blaze genius who loves to connect.

    There’s Tempo genius who loves to serve.

    There’s Steel genius who loves the details.

    Each has a different energy, strength and weakness – a natural way of doing things.

    How about knowing how you can learn like a genius. The way you naturally learn will make you smart. There are four different ways you can learn. You have a natural way to learn best and when you start to focus in on the way you learn best you will be able to pick up, retrieve and remember more information than you have ever experienced before.

    Let’s look at how you can learn best.

    Dynamo is a visual learner. Dynamo energy learns best with pictures, movies, drawings, graphs, graphics, videos.

    Blaze is an auditory learner. Blaze energy learns best when they listen, talk, ask questions, hear stories.

    Tempo is a kinaesthetic learning. Tempo energy learns best with hands-on activities, lots of touch and feel, getting involved in what is happening.

    Steel is Analytic, focused on Read/Write. … into the detail. Steel energy learns best with texts, manuals, handbook, systems, data.

    Now, each one us has a preferred way to learn. But we can also dip into the other learning styles. For example, you might be predominately a visual learner and also like to reinforce your learning by indulging in some read and write and get into the detail. When we understand how we learn best, we can take in information through our preferred format. For instance, if we are an auditory learner and want to know how to do something, then we will ask questions, or listen to instructions, or talk to someone about how to do this.

    Remember, you have a natural way to learn best and when you start to focus in on the way you learn best you will be able to pick up, retrieve and remember more information than you have ever experienced before.

    If you want to know what you are good at, then grab a special discount to access the Talent Dynamics for Young People online questionnaire. The profile test helps to identify your natural talent and suggests ways that you can work to improve and increase the amount of flow in your life, school and work.

  • 30 January 2020 2:17 PM | Karen (Administrator)

    As the new school year in Australia commences, approximately 4 million students will head back to school. Of those students, 10% - 15% will experience ‘learning differences’; that is, they have neurological differences that make learning with conventional methods challenging for them.

    According to Speld QLD, a not for profit organisation supporting young people with learning differences, the ‘lack of identification and poor management of learning differences can cause severe anxiety in children, even leading to depression in students as young as 7 years of age’.

    Early identification, by a professional, of learning differences can help the child (and their school community) cope better with their learning experiences.

    Speld QLD provides a brief overview of the main learning differences frequently diagnosed. Their site provides signs to look out for and the amazing strengths students, identified with learning differences, bring to those around them.

  • 16 January 2020 2:08 PM | Karen (Administrator)

    A national survey, commissioned by Woolworths, found that a third of Australian children could not identify fruit and vegetables, nor where the products came from. 92 per cent did not know bananas grew on plants. They struggled to know what grew on tress or what grew in the ground.

    British kids weren't much better. A third of the primary school children thought cheese came from plants. Kids still don't know where their food comes from. 

    So, let's bring gardening into the lives of our kids. Grow a Living Playhouse for Your Kids gardening is a great way to introduce these food types to kids and help them appreciate where they food comes from. There are lots of benefits of gardening with kids, including nurturing their physical and mental health. 

    Find out how to build your living playhouse at Grow a Living Playhouse for Your Kids. 

  • 14 November 2019 2:41 PM | Karen (Administrator)

    I'm sure many of us, at some stage in our life, has kept a diary about events, happenings, significant moments and lots more. Maybe we did this on a daily basis or endeavoured to regularly capture our thoughts and reflections. 

    I came across a blog by a young tween who lives in New Zealand. Kate's Blog has been going since 2017 and she regularly posts about what is happening in her life. She sees this as something that will support her learning and encourages her readers to support her with comments that fall into three categories:

    1. Something positive (something you like about what she has shared).
    2. Something helpful (add more information or ask a question).
    3. Something thoughtful (how have you connected with her learning).

    The last blog post I read from Kate was her ambition for 2020. Yes..we are about to enter into a new decade. 

    Congratulations Kate on your sharing and wishing you well for your life journey. 

  • 08 November 2019 1:27 PM | Karen (Administrator)

    Karen Bonanno was a guest on Ignite Your Life podcast with Leanne Blaney. 

  • 31 October 2019 1:20 PM | Karen (Administrator)

    Most of us may have kept a book log or journal about what we've read. At school, we probably had to do a book talk at some stage.

    Sentence stems help students to start thinking about what they're reading. These sentence stems can help them to capture their thoughts, which they may then record.

    The author of 'Critical Reading: 50 Sentence Stems to Help Students Talk About What They Read' has three categories for the sentences:

    1. Stems that help students talk about themselves as readers
    2. Stems that help students talk about the topic
    3. Stems that help students talk about the author and author purpose

    Check them out and help your students explore the texts they read.

  • 27 October 2019 3:39 PM | Karen (Administrator)

    The latest young mental health reports from Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute have unearthed some startling information. 

    24.2 per cent of young people experienced mental distress (up from 18.7 per cent in 2012). 

    Mental health experts say they are unclear as to why the rates are getting worse. More detail in 'Mental health concerns increasingly common among young Australians, report finds'. 

    There is no simple and easy answer to what is being reported in this article. There are multiple things happening that have an impact on young folk like pressure from various perspectives, social media & easily accessible technology, self, school & family expectations.

    I'd also say that the news media has to be included as well. Also, role models, e.g. family, sporting, can sometimes send a negative message to youngsters.

    There are lots of agencies and programs available to support young folk. It's articles like this that reinforce the work MyGenius Inc is involved in with Genius Camps; helping tweens and teens to find their inner genius, confidence, clarity about who they really are and the courage to be the person they need to become. 

  • 17 October 2019 1:44 PM | Karen (Administrator)

    Sometimes, when I set a task for the students in my class, I'd get the question, 'Is this for assessment?' When I said that it wasn't, I'd then get, 'They why do I need to do this?'

    I'd try and explain the many reasons with 'because....' answers, where I would focus on things like skills development, extending previous learning, new learning, connections with the 'real world', future job scenarios, it's just interesting to know (and the list could go on).

    One thinking tool I'd use when starting new work was a KWHL chart (What I know, What I want to know, How will I find out, what have I learnt).

    In a post on '75 questions students can ask themselves before, during, and after teaching' by Terry Heick, he provides a great list of questions that could guide the KWHL process and help learners take control of their learning experiences.

    The questions fall into sub-sections under the main headings of Before, During and After. Here is an overview, but make sure you check the post by Terry to capture all the questions.

    Before teaching & learning

    1. What's being learned?
    2. What seems most important about what's being learned?
    3. What do I already know and not know about this?
    4. Why is this important?
    5. What is my role in learning this?

    During teaching & learning

    1. What's going on?
    2. What seems most important?
    3. What am I doing to help me learn?
    4. What is my mind doing?
    5. What is this connected to?

    After teaching & learning

    1. How did that go?
    2. What seems most important about what was learned?
    3. What should I do with what I've learned and how should respond to what I didn't learn?
    4. Based on what we learned today, what might we learn tomorrow?
    5. How have I been changed by what I've learned?
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