Motivation Monday

Give and stay rich


This week I have found myself, in Anne’s world. She created a text; a story that connects the average child to a world of complex views and horrifying situations. How lucky the world has been to have her story; to share with the generations that followed. To teach about the devastation a war can bring.


Five fool proof ways of: collecting useable Data.

I know I am a little but late on this post and most people will have finished their reports but for those last minute people and those who have had disaster strike and have lost  their data. Here are some tips


5 foolproof ways:


Have a few activities leading in to report time that give you precise data that you can use to support statements like “has made significant progress” I like to use standardized testing for this one.


Have observations about what the student is accessing independently, this is also know as their interests but I am wary of writing that because the parents often know of the Childs true interests vs. what they sometimes like to do.  I like the post –it note observations where I carry a pack of post its, when I see a child doing something amazing, different, engaging well, etc I write a post it with the: date name of the child and what they are doing I then stick it into a exercise book with each child having a double page. This means when I go to write reports it is all there ready to go.

A simple method of collecting usable Assessments in the Busy Classroom Setting.


Check lists, we love them, I use my checks lists to develop social connections with in the class. Many of the parents like to know whom their child is hanging out with. So I make a grid about 4 weeks before report are due. (This data is always changing and it is important to have it as up to date as possible) every time the student get to choose working partners I take note and every time I am in the play ground I take note of it. P.S. in the report I tend not to give specific names of kids I rather talk about whether they are consistently working with the same few people, the sex of the people they work with, if they get along with lots of people, and if they have a leadership role within any friendship groups.



Have the students do a self-refection about the term. Something as simple as  2 stars and a wish. Gives you an insight to how the child felt they went. You can this adjust to reflect how you think they went over all accordingly.


For maths or science have a statistic ready to go, I have found that the dad’s often enjoy the maths results and if you can have a figure saying has made a 20% improvements on timetables fluency or if now identifying and using 3 more problem solving strategies.  I like the idea of monthly pop quizzes to do this. 


By the Way I am in Prague, is it rather Hot and sticky, but wow it is an amazing place.  


Motivation Monday



I’m in St Petersburg today, mission: to see what a Russian school looks like. I’ll let you know if I find one. I hope non of you are feeling this way, I hope if you are you have a student show you that getting out of bed was worth it. 

Always room for diet coke

fitting 3 months worth of travel into 20kg is a little hard, but there is always room for Coffee (light coke as it is known in Europe). 🙂 Image

The mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions – and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

“The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house and your car.”

“The sand is everything else – the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and enquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.

“It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”