September 21, 2009
What a fantastic conference we attended on the weekend! The Consult and Collaborate Joint Conference is now over for another year, but what a time we had! As satchel sponsors, we were overwhelmed with the support that we got from conference participants. Mind you, perhaps the free highlighters and traffic lights were also enjoyed by conference participants too!
The launch of the In the Garden Literacy Package was attended by some 75 conference participants, and there was overwhelming support for our new, innovative and Australian Literacy Package. Thank you to the MANY teachers who visited our stand, and who were generous in their praise for the package itself, but also for what 5energies is trying to do. The conference itself could not have run more smoothly – many of the presentations were very thought-provoking, the discussions and conversations were interesting, and the food was exemplary!
Over the next couple of days, I will be posting some more photos of the conference so you can see how wonderful the conference was. The information about the Conference special, for purchase of the In the Garden series, is now posted in the Resources section of the website as well. Please contact us if you want more information on this wonderful literacy package!
January 16, 2009
There is a sense of excitement in the air at 5energies! Yesterday the first Basic training for 2009 began, with a new group of talented, enthusiastic teachers giving up their holiday time to train in the 5energies model. This surely indicates the commitment that teachers have towards improving their professional practices, but also optimising opportunities for their learners. What is exciting from our perspective though, is the amount of laughter and enjoyment, and the willingness of these teachers to contribute their expertise to make the professional discussions so much richer.
As the presenters, Alex and I find these training sessions so exciting – the potential within their schools to create change is so immense! The exchange of information between professions is also so empowering – each time I listen to Alex, as a very experienced speech pathologist, I learn something new. We also have our first trainer coming online too – this is a person who has been working in the 5energies model for the past two years, and is now embarking on the journey to become a qualified trainer. Now that is exciting too!
We will be putting the new learning calendar up in the next few days, so if you are interested in the next Basic Training sessions, please contact the office for more information.
October 20, 2008
Alex and I have been so fortunate over the past month. During the school term break, we facilitated the training of another five teachers and a speech pathologist who are engaging with our 5energies vision of helping children with learning delays. These astute and intelligent women put in a tiring but highly rewarding three days of basic training, but as with any excellent training, Alex and I also engaged in our own learning journey too, learning as much from the participants as I think they learned from us. These newly trained 5energies people have already returned to their workplaces and the stories that we are already hearing about their successes is phenomenal.
Four of the teachers have engaged immediately in screening in their school, along with a previously trained facilitator, and with a limited amount of assistance from Mel, our talented Occupational Therapist, Alex, our brilliant Speech Pathologist and me, they have successfully discovered the capabilities of some 88 children. We had a planning day today where they are catering intrinisically for the individual needs of these children, and have planned a targeted, focussed program for the majority of these learner, to be implemented over the next term. Congratulations to all of these teachers for their willingness to engage in the process, their high expertise and their sense of humour!
Another facilitator in a different school reported that her school too is doing very well, and providing targeted programs of intervention, and that three words in particular sum up the parent comments about 5energies: caring and compassion with a sense of humour. What a lovely comment to receive.
September 29, 2008
One of our team members Anne – Maree, had a baby boy a couple of weeks ago, so we offer congratulations to Anne-Maree, Patrick and their daughter Alannah, on the safe and healthy birth of their ‘little prince’ (who, at 3.6 kg, was a very healthy weight!!). We hope to go and see the new addition to our extended 5energies family sometime this week. Welcome to the world, little man.
Many of you might not know that Anne-Maree is our technical guru, and has volunteered her services in the development of our promotional DVD, and in a major project that we have underway, to tell the stories of our ‘In the Garden’ series of books. We at 5energies are so exceptionally blessed with the people who assist us in so many ways – and Anne-Maree’s skills are so extensive, and we so appreciate what she does for us.
we also have so many other team members who assist us, and we would like to thank some of them for their contributions as well. Sarah Amies, our talented author, wrote the ‘In the Garden’ stories, Von edited and desktop published them in preparation for printing and Patrick has kindly volunteered to use his skills as actor and raconteur to tell the stories in a variety of ways. A package, with hard-copy stories, DVD of the story told in several different ways for different levels of learners will also be accompanied by lesson notes for teacher use in the classroom as well as some fabulous songs and music, to go with each of the animals. The very talented Angie and Tina are helping us to get that aspect underway – wait till you see Patrick in action, and the songs created by Angie and Tina! Graeme, our IT guru, is also hard at work streamlining the FILTA, and getting it to a computerised state of being: wait till you see how easy it is to use then!
So, thank you to everyone who is working so hard on our behalf, and another welcome to the newest 5energies team member!
*** Keep posted for launch date of the In the Garden package! The dates will be on our calendar.
September 13, 2008
What a brilliant time we had on Wednesday night! it was a three hour Oral Language workshop, and thanks must go to the teachers involved for giving up their time after hours for professional learning. The photos shows Alexandra sharing ‘critters’ from our box of stuffed animals (frill neck lizard, snake, spiders, etc), in readiness for creating an oral story, and making the leap to writing, and how that oral story changes.
There was lots of laughter, lots of fun, and it was lovely to meet teachers from two more schools. We will be putting up the schedule of workshops for term 4 very shortly so if you are interested in any of these, please check the calendar.
August 27, 2008
Today I happened to be listening to Question Time in Parliament, and was intrigued by the concept of ‘quality teachers’. There would be few who would dispute the need for quality teachers: there is so much reseach which shows that quality teachers and teaching / learning programs contribute integrally to the success of children in classrooms. This is also the year of the ‘education revolution’ and it is long overdue for children with learning delays.
What makes a quality teacher? Is ‘quality’ about professional application of practical skills, classroom and behaviour management, high-level understanding of curriculum or interpersonal and communication skills? Is it about the curious and seeking teacher, the one who continually updates knowledge and skills or the teacher who collaborates with others to find workable solutions to assist children to learn? I have been fortunate in that most teachers of my acquaintance are dedicated, committed individuals who would do somersaults if it meant that it would help children to learn, but is that enough in today’s world? What do you view as an essential characteristic of the ‘quality teacher’?
*** 5energies Basic Training (three days of professional learning about our integrated framework of screening, assessemnt and strategy development will take place in September: please contact us for more information if you would like to participate in this professional learning.
August 23, 2008
On Wednesday, another successful professional learning session took place! The PD on untangling the learning pathways, an exploration of the role that perceptual motor or sensory motor skill development plays in the acquisition of literacy and numeracy, was a wonderful experience (according to feedback). Again, lots of laughter and learning, lots of fabulous people, wonderful presenters and excellent food (thanks again Rochelle). Our aim with these sessions is to tap into what participants know, but to extend those understandings and share our knowledge. Alexandra (Alex) is a speech pathologist with an explicit understanding of the classroom, Lisa is teacher extraordinaire and Melinda (Mel or ‘M’), with her dual degrees in Occupational Therapy and Education, has such a unique pespective on the classroom as well. Additionally the participants of this PD were wonderful, contributing so much to the success of this interactive PD.
The picture shows one of the activities, where participants are untangling learning pathways! What can I say? If you want more information, please check the website for the next PD session!
August 12, 2008
What a fantastic evening! Last Wednesday nine teachers, parents and learning support assistants from a variety of schools joined Alex and Lisa for a professional learning evening devoted to sounds, syllables and spelling. There was much enthusiasm, laughter and deep and meaningful ‘AHA! ‘ moments. The main outcome of the evening was a greater understanding of how to help children who require assistance with phonological awareness, and their understanding and use of spelling rules. It was just such a fantastic evening for parents, teachers and learning support assistants who all worked together so well.
We are so fortunate in the calibre of the people who facilitated the PD as well. Alex is a very experienced Speech Pathologist, with a passion for assisting children, and sometimes we, as teachers, overlook how much speech pathology can offer educators! Lisa, who also presented, is one of the most knowledgeable teachers around, in terms of her professional approach, and developing effective strategies and programs for children with learning delays. Thanks also to Rochelle. Her professional support and her wonderful catering contributed immensely to the success of the workshop. What a fabulous evening of learning, laughter and fun!
*** Come and join the next workshop on perceptual motor development with Alex, Melinda (another super star with dual degrees in education and occupational therapy) and Lisa. The three day workshop covering the ten domains underpinning learning and use of the FILTA has been scheduled for September 2008 and January, 2009. We look forward to your joining us for more fun-filled and interactive workshops!
July 22, 2008
Ahhhh, term 3. I love term 3.
Term 1 is the term where you get to know the children in your class, and see who works well with whom. Term 2 is the term where you really get engaged in good teaching and learning programs – but it has so many holidays to interrupt the schedule. Term 3? Well, by now, most teachers know who is struggling and who is sailing, and the program gets fine-tuned so much more effectively.
This is the term where referrals happen for those children who are struggling. Most schools have a list of screening and testing tools which offer snapshots of information, but many are not for classroom teachers to use: these are the assessments which guidance officers, speech pathologists or occupational therapists use. There really are limited screening tools which offer value for the time investment within a classroom. It has always been the belief of 5energies© that well-informed teachers are effective teachers and we offer a three day-training program which includes use of our teacher–friendly FILTA© (5energies© Integrated Learning Tool of Australia).
What does the FILTA© do? It gives integrated base-line information about a child across ten key learning domains, such as visual and auditory perception, fine and gross motor skills and receptive and expressive language. It also gives direct information to the teacher about areas of delay for each child, and opportunities to build in skill development sessions to engage and assist those children. Our recent cohort studies (screening of 60 new Prep students starting school) at the beginning of Term 1 raised some interesting results, which have allowed the two schools involved to really fine-tune programs and cater for these students.
The learning community is such a unique one. Teachers give so much of themselves, but operating from a position of greater knowledge is very satisfying. 5energies© will be running FILTA© training in the next mid-term break. Please give us a ring for more information and welcome to term 3. May it be a satisfying term for teachers and their students everywhere.