Resources for this assessment task have been selected based on (Hughes Hassell & Mancall, 2005):
- Relevance to teacher needs in relation to teaching context.
- Suitability for age range of students.
- Resources cater to the variety of learners and their needs.
- Resources will be used more than once or twice.
- Resources are affordable.
- The resources are current and applicable to state or national curriculum.
- Resources assist the teacher to plan and implement a multimodal teaching program that engages students and caters to their differing learning styles.
- The source is reputable or written by qualified people.
- Available to the school; accessibility
- Appropriate format for the age group
Students in the target age group are proficient in using iPads and interactive whiteboards, however they are not as skilled at independently operating computers. For this reason, much of the student-centred aspects of the web evaluation criteria (Sheridan Libraries, 2010) were not considered, as only teachers would be using the resources.
The iPad app was evaluated using Cantwells checklist (Cantwell, 2013), focusing on functionality, ease of use and relevance to the teaching context.
Selection aids included SCIS, Scootle, LibraryThing, the school library catalogue and the schools teacher librarian, Google search, Apple App store, and hard copy educational catalogues such as Scholastic and Educational Experience.
1. Response Ability
Hunter Institute of Mental Health (2012). Response Ability. Driving child and youth wellbeing. Retrieved from http://www.responseability.org/primary-and-early-childhood
This resource provides fact sheets for informing the teaching of resilience and wellbeing, as well as how to implement throughout the school. This is not a comprehensive resource, and does not provide many activities or extra teaching resources. It simply provides information on wellbeing and mental health in early years students, and other avenues for teachers to explore for further information.
The selection aid for this resource was Google search, using the search term ‘wellbeing and resilience early years’. The resource is a government site, therefore matched the criteria of being from a trusted source. It did not match the criteria of being comprehensive, it gave information as more proactive rather than preventative, in that it helped teachers identify individual students that may be at risk, instead of helping them implement a whole class program. It is a free web resource, so it met budget constraints. The site, being a government site in connection with the Education department, meant teachers can locate further departments and resources to receive support on topics or issues they may have, by following links on the page.
2. Bounce Back
McGrath, H, & Noble, T (2011). Bounce back! A wellbeing and resilience program, years K-2. 2nd Edition. Port Melbourne, Victoria; Pearson Australia.
Bounce back is a wellbeing and resiliency program which can be used across all year levels. The program teaches core values such as honesty, respect, and cooperation. Within each core value is a set of resources, recommended picture books and consolidating activities. There are 2 other books in the series, covering years 3-4 and 5-8.
The selection aid was SCIS, which did not provide very much information, although it did match the key words given, which was why it was given further consideration. Google was used to find out more about the program. The book meets the needs of the program as it provides extensive background knowledge for teachers and a broad range of learning tasks for students. It assists teachers to write a comprehensive program that includes many activities to consolidate concepts using role play, picture books, songs, whole group and small group instruction.
The books are expensive, and would need to be assessed against subject area budget allocations, as well as individual teaching needs beyond this unit. The topics in the book meet the needs of the Health curriculum, matching key ideas in the Personal and Social Development standard.
3. Me and my Smile: Having fun with feelings.
Department of Education, Western Australia (2010). Me and my smile: Having fun with feelings – Health and Physical Education. Retrieved from http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing/S3784/MMS_H&PE_NEALS.pdf
This resource was found on Scootle, and is a lesson plan written to explore children’s emotions. It was found using the search terms ‘health’ and ‘emotions’. Previous search terms such as ‘Personal development’ did not generate results that related directly to the unit. The resource is available online, therefore suitability of the resource was easily determined. The resource met some selection criteria, in particular the needs of the teacher and students in relation to the unit, and in providing a variety of activities and learning tasks. It is a free resource, so it doesn’t impact on the budget. The unit was written for Western Australian schools, which doesn’t meet state curriculum needs according to the criteria. Learning tasks in the unit can however, be adapted to suit the SA curriculum. The resource would be used mainly for the learning activities and ideas, rather than having to rewrite and adapt to suit SA curriculum standards.
The accompanying text, Augustus and his smile, is available through inter-library loan, therefore would not affect the budget or the teachers ability to explore themes from the lesson plan. The unit is age appropriate, as it is aimed at lower primary students.
4. The Allen Adventure
Queensland Government – Department of Education and Training (2013). The Allen Adventure. Available from http://www.takeastandtogether.gov.au/under8/allen-app.html
The Allen Adventure is an iPad app that is aimed for children up to the age of 8. Allen is an alien that has just arrived to Earth, and is learning how to fit in with others. The app leads students through the difficulties Allen has trying to fit in. Concepts explored include verbal and non-verbal cues, sharing and other pro-social skills.
The school has a limited amount of iPads, which was taken into consideration when selecting resources, and is the reason only one app was selected. The app meets the criteria of consolidating and enriching learning, and builds on existing knowledge. The app is fully functional and easy to use. It is designed for younger students, so is easy to navigate. It is a free app with no in-app purchases necessary and there are no licensing restrictions or ads. The author is the Queensland Government, so it fits the criteria of a trustworthy source, and is written to fit curriculum standards. The app alone is not designed to teach students new concepts, but to consolidate and complement existing concepts.
The selection aid was the Apple App store, after a recommendation was given by someone familiar with the app.
5. Franklin Fibs
Bourgeois, P & Clarke, B (1991). Franklin Fibs. Toronto: Ontario. Kids Can Press
Franklin Fibs is the story of Franklin, who isn’t honest with his friends. One of the skills to be taught in the program is honesty and trust. The book explores why Franklin fibs, and the theme can be extended to appreciation of talents they already have instead of having to make up interesting stories about themselves. It can also be used to extend the students understandings of feelings, and how they feel when people lie to them, or when people don’t trust them.
The selection aid was LibraryThing, using the search tag ‘Honesty’, which is one of the concepts to be taught in the unit. LibraryThing gave extensive information, reviews, and a link to Google Books partial view. The book was chosen as it is already available in the school library. As it is already part of the library’s collection, it didn’t affect the budget, and I was able to review its suitability. The book is aimed at the selected age group, and the concepts discussed in the book can be expanded upon and discussed in depth, making it useful to the teaching and learning context.
6. The Little Red Hen
Foreman, M (2000) The Little Red Hen. London: Red Fox
The Little Red Hen is a classic fable that teaches children about fairness. It can be used in many different ways in the classroom, such as role play activities or puppet shows, and themes from the story can be used in the classroom to show fairness and for students to discuss their feelings.
Selection aid was LibraryThing using the tagmash of ‘children’s’, ‘fairness’ and ‘picture book’. The book was searched in the school library catalogue, and available at the school. The school TL was consulted when the book was listed as available, but not on the shelf. She said the book was often used in a school literacy program, Accelerated Literacy, therefore teaching notes and other electronic resources may be available for the book. The book is age appropriate, and a quick Google search showed there are many free activities already created for use with this book available to teachers from sites such as Sparklebox and First School. These activities can be used to extend students understanding of the concepts being taught. It is relevant to the teaching context, and is applicable to the curriculum needs of the teacher.
7. Horton Hatches the Egg
Dr Seuss (2008). A double dose of Horton: Horton hears a who and Horton hatches the egg. Hammersmith, London: Harper Collins Childrens Books.
Horton Hatches the Egg teaches children the concept of responsibility. Horton is trusted to look after an egg, and even in adverse conditions, refuses to wriggle out of his responsibility. Students can explore the theme of responsibility, and what happens if responsibilities are not met. They can examine themes from the viewpoint of Horton, and why he refuses to give up his responsibilities. They can also discuss the viewpoint of the bird who decides she never wants to go back to her egg until the work is done.
Scootle and SCIS didn’t retrieve many hits when searched, but LibraryThing produced about 200 possible texts that relate to teaching children about responsibility. 4 books were searched using the library catalogue. The book, A Double Dose of Horton, was available in the school library, which was why it was selected.
The story is age appropriate, however for some of the younger students, concepts may be a bit difficult to comprehend without further exploration. As it is a well known book, supporting activities could be searched to allow the teacher to plan activities that cater to all students. The resource could be used by other year levels, and in other units of work, as part of an author study or literacy lessons.
8. The Bad Tempered Ladybird
Carle, E (2010). The Bad tempered ladybird. London: Puffin Books
The Bad Tempered Ladybird teaches children about cooperation, sharing and respect. The story follows the ladybird through the book as it challenges creatures bigger than it, until finally it learns humility and cooperates with the friendly ladybird. The lesson that can be learned through the book is that being disrespectful to others, and acting like a bully will get you nowhere. The book can be used in other learning areas, such as time, measurement, and art. Students can role play different parts, and discuss differences in the two ladybirds actions and behaviours.
The selection aid was LibraryThing using a tagmash of cooperation, sharing and respect. The book was found in the school library, which met the criteria of affordable (as it is already part of the school library collection) and available. The students are familiar with the author, and the book is both format and age appropriate. As it is a well-known book, teaching resources that accompany the book may be available for students, to allow the teacher to plan a variety of teaching activities. The resource is relevant to the teaching context, and fits into the literacy curriculum.
9. Room on the Broom
Donaldson, J, & Scheffler, A (2002). Room on the broom. London: Macmillan Children’s Books.
Room on the Broom is a story about making new friends, kindness and cooperation. It fits into the theme of the unit, demonstrating kindness to others, even if we don’t know them, and the importance of having friends to help us out. It teaches students that if we are kind to others, they will more likely be kind back. Students could discuss what may happen if the witch had not been kind to the animals, and who would help her if the dragon came?
The first selection aid used was SCIS. The search terms ‘friendship’ and ‘kindness’ turned out almost 10,000 items. The next selection aid used was LibraryThing, which gave reviews of the book, but no book preview. The book was found in the school library catalogue, and available through inter-library loan. The story and the picture book format is appropriate for the age group, and ideas from the story are relevant to the teaching and learning context
The book has activities that go with it, available from the authors website. These activities don’t reinforce the skills, but can be used when revisiting the key ideas being taught through the book, to provide an engaging teaching task for students.
10. Exploring Emotions
Bayley, R & Margetts, K (2004). Exploring emotions: How you can help children recognise and talk about their feelings. London: Step Forward Publishing
The book gives teacher background information, task cards for students and teachers, blackline masters to make masks, puppets and games to reinforce concepts. It gives students scenarios to explore and discuss, which can be used in small group ‘think pair share’ activities, and role play performances.
Selection aid used was the Educational Experience catalogue located at the school. The catalogue did not offer very much information, so a search of some educational bookshops, and the Educational Experience website was conducted to find out more. The Educational Experience website gave a little more information than the catalogue, but no book preview.
The resource is affordable, relevant to teachers and students needs, and accessible. It is suitable for the age range, and ideas and activities from the book can be adapted across other classes, making it reusable by others. The book contains a variety of activities and games, therefore fits the criteria of being able to assist the teacher deliver a multimodal teaching program. The format is appropriate for the age group, and activities are designed for primary aged students. The variety of the activities caters to the needs of the students, providing dramatic play, hands on, tactile, artistic, as well as small group, whole group and independent working.
Cantwell, K. (2013). Living appily ever after in the library. Connections, 86, 6-7. Retrieved from http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/connections/issue_86_2013/articles/living_appily_ever_after_in_the_library.html
Educational Experience (2014). Retrieved from http://www.edex.com.au/
Education Services Australia. (2014). SCiSWeb. Retrieved from www.scis.curriculum.edu.au/scisweb/orders/php
Education services Australia. (2014). Scootle. Retrieved from http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/p/home
Hughes-Hassell, S, & Mancall, J (2005). Collection management for youth: Responding to the needs of learners. Retrieved from http://www.eblib.com
LibraryThing (2005). Retrieved from https://www.librarything.com/
Sheridan Libraries (2010). Evaluating information found on the internet. Retrieved from http://guides.library.jhu.edu/evaluatinginformation
South Australian Curriculum and Accountability (SACSA) (2001). Health and Physical Education: Personal and social development. Retrieved from http://www.sacsa.sa.edu.au/index_fsrc.asp?t=CB
Williams, I. D. (2002), Ensuring quality in the collection of free internet based resources for Australian schools. Access 16(3), 27-30. Retrieved from https://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/ereserve/pdf/williams-i.pdf