A new school year begins!

School begun for Victorian government schools this week. Teachers spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday doing professional development in schools before meeting their new grades on Friday.


Last year I took on the role of the Prep-Grade 2 Literacy Co-ordinator at my school. I will be doing this again in 2011, and my responsibilities will extend to managing the school’s literacy professional development throughout the year. On Monday afternoons staff will attend (on a rotational basis) Literacy, Numeracy and I.C.T workshops, designed to provide hands-on ideas and strategies that can be implemented in classrooms immediately.


My principal asked me at the end of last year if I would give a presentation to the whole staff at the beginning of 2011. The title of the presentation was Effective Elements of Effective Literacy Teaching. I agreed, thinking it would be a relatively straightforward task. However, once I started preparing over the holidays, I realised what a broad topic this really was. I was finding it difficult to find an approach that would suit Prep-Grade 6 teachers, as there is a huge range of literacy skills needed to teach various grade levels.


After a bit of thought, I decided to take a more practical and hands-on approach to the presentation. I decided the staff at school would be more inspired and motivated if they were given some examples of literacy activities that they could introduce into their classes straight away. The idea was to provide short and sharp explanations of things I like to do in my classroom, resources I have come across and ideas I found online. I will then go into more detail with some of the ideas in the Monday afternoon professional development sessions.


I prepared an “A-Z of Literacy” PowerPoint for the staff, which you can view below…


  What is your favourite Literacy professional development experience?

How does your school structure professional development?

What Literacy ideas would you like to learn more about?

  7 comments for “A new school year begins!

  1. @Jessica_Dubois
    February 5, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Kelly – brilliant ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

    I especially agree with the need to be explicit when we teach and discussing with students what we are going to do in a lesson and why we are doing it.

    I would love to find out more about the handwriting test you mentioned. Is that something you’ve developed?

    It sounds like a strong start for literacy for the year in your school – keep it up! 🙂

    • Miss Jordan
      February 5, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      @ Jessica,

      Thanks for the positive comment! 🙂

      Explicit teaching was a real focus at our school last year and it helped us stay very focussed on our lesson objectives and goals. The kids also knew exactly what they were learning and why, so it was great.

      I emailed you about the handwriting test.

      Thanks again,

  2. Michelle
    February 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Hi Kelly,
    Great slide show. I have shared it with the rest of our staff and hopefully it will provoke some discussion and “oh what a good idea” moments.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Miss Jordan
      February 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the slideshow! My hope was that teachers at my school would learn a few new ideas that could easily be implemented in their classes. So hopefully that is the case!


  3. mrsw
    February 6, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Hi Kelly,
    Great post and slide show. I love seeing what is happening in other schools and being able to say ‘I do that’ or ‘that’s a fantastic idea’. I also have a handwriting test. I use it at least 3 times per year – at the start (like you) to see common strengths and weaknesses, and then several times through the year to see what has been learnt and letters that need extra attention. I use the test for both lower case and capital letters.
    I will be interested to see your posts this year on how daily 5 and reading CAFE are implemented as well as the impact of the National Curriculum.
    Keep on inspiring.

    • Miss Jordan
      February 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      It is always great learning what other schools are doing, it can be quite inspiring at times. I found the handwriting test was a good way to learn about my kids, and it enabled me to easily determine which letters were consistently written incorrectly across the grade.

      I’ve just finished reading the Daily5 and CAFE books, so once student assessments are complete, I look forward to implementing it (probably in a modified way). Stay tuned for future blog posts about it!


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