January 27

Ssh….it’s gone Quiet

This will be the last post on my Blog. I will keep it active, as the reason I started was to share my collaborative learning methodology. So if someone finds anything useful that they can steal, change and adapt or be inspired to do something different, it will be a useful bit of cyber flotsam.

After teaching for twenty five years at Grange Primary School I have decided it was time to hang up my chalk and pursue other interests, while also spending more time with my family. Although I dearly loved building trusting relationships with students and supporting them to be the best learners they can be, I knew it was also time for me look after my own wellbeing and spend more time with Peter my understanding husband. He retired too!


So my teaching career, which I excitedly began in 1978, ends in 2018, as I will take long service leave before officially retiring later in the year.

So on the 15th of Dec 2017 I said goodbye to my last class ever… with a few tears I have to admit. They were happy to be off for their annual summer holidays, but like me we were sad to say a final farewell.


One of the hardest things was to dismantle the room and disperse my resources. How bare this looks on our final day. I will miss this bunch!

There were more tears as I had to farewell the students who, of course, mean everything to me. It is these small folk that I will truly miss the most and it was a difficult thing to say good bye. I was very touched by the beautiful book presented to me at the final assembly. I absolutely loved the Star Trek Theme…now how did they Know?

A clip from the presentation


I want to thank my dear colleagues and students, past and present at Grange Primary School for their heartfelt well wishes and an absolutely hilarious and gracious retirement send off, I will miss the intellectual discussions and friendships. Maybe not the homework or yard duties!

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Good byes are never easy. I have never perfected that.

But as I shut my classroom door for the last time, with yet another tear in my eye, the love and respect that was showered over me during those last weeks will always remain with me. It gave me the strength to close that chapter of my life and to say. “Well, I reckon I did a pretty good job.”

Thank you friends, colleagues, parents and children, I wouldn’t change the the past forty years for anything. Now let’s see what these new doors lead to!


” Good Afternoon Everyone.”



January 27

Post Script to Remembering our Armed Forces and Giving Back

I was delighted to receive some mail in the holidays from some of the armed personnel who were given our care packages. That they took the time to write back to us was very thoughtful. All were impressed to hear we were learning about the conflicts and reasons for them being away from their families. We are glad that we made their day a little brighter and spread some Christmas cheer.

One from Jade from The RAAF who is currently deployed to the Middle East and missing her 4 year old daughter and Fiancee very much. Read her story.

We also received this lovely Christmas card from RAAF Officer Linda also serving in the Middle East who wishes you all the best of luck for year 4. read on.

The final card was from Lieutenant Fiona an Army Officer experiencing her first visit to the Middle East. She really loved your letter Matthew! She writes….

In 2016 I visited Vanuatu and saw first hand the tremendous support the Army gave to the Islanders after they were devastated by a severe Tropical Cyclone. We are indeed fortunate that these folk are working hard to support communities and protect Australia and her Allies. Once again we say a big Thank You.



December 12

Let’s do Lunch, the Collaborative Way

We don’t do class parties in our room, we have shared lunches! So at this time of year, we plan a collaborative shared team lunch.

Each team had to decide on their menu for Christmas lunch. Our school has a healthy eating policy and once a year we can have a red food day. However in this case they could only have one red food in their lunch. The menu needed to be healthy choices with one sweet.

In their learning teams they needed to organise the food as well as the accessories such as plates napkins and utensils. Most wanted some kind of Christmas theme so decorations were up to them. It took real team work.

The biggest challenge was to cater only for four people. A few teams over catered!

They had plenty of time to set up, indulge in pleasant dinner conversation and clean up.

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I loved the way the worked together thought together and acted together. A real collaborative effort.


Well done everyone I was impressed. We had some very festive tables indeed.


December 12

Our Champion Readers

We have just received our medals for the Premier’s Reading Challenge.

Rocco has completed the Challenge for three years and has a Silver Medal. Way to go mate.

The main part of our class has been completing the Challenge for Four years, they all received a Gold Medal. How proud are they!

These two Book Worms have finished the Challenge for Five Years and received a Championship Medal. Bravo Cleo and Emily.

I have just sent off 21 certificates for our Principal to sign for reading achievements in Accelerated Reading too. Hs hand will be sore!

I am proud of your efforts everyone. Keep up this love of literature.