The Literacy Shed



The Literacy Shed is a great resource for visual literacy. The Literacy Shed has done all the hard work for you by looking for educational visual resources from around the web and categorising them into different thematic sheds. There is everything from Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Fairy Tales, Adventure to a shed just for the World Cup. The videos are embedded and come with suggested activities.





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100 Word Challenge


100 word challenge


The 100 Word Challenge website founded by Julia Skinner was developed to give students an authentic audience for their creative writing. Each week there is a creative writing challenge prompt posted either in words or a picture. Students then need to set about composing their writing in response, up to 100 words. Once they have completed their writing students must publish their writing in a blog post usually via their classroom blog. Then to enter the challenge a link to that blog post needs to be entered on the 100 Word Challenge website (more information on how to do this, including a video tutorial can be found on the website). Then comments are made on the student entries giving them feedback on their work. Julia has also set up ‘Team 100 WC’, a volunteer team of adults to assist with trying to ensure that students work gets feedback.

The 100 Word Challenge is a great idea, not only to give an accessible task to students, but it is an excellent way to get students involved in blogging and becoming a part of an online community.

What has been your experience with using the 100 Word Challenge website and what benefits have you seen for your students? Please respond by leaving a comment.


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Poetry Interactives


The following Poetry Interactives come from a site called readwritethink.org. They would be very useful on an Interactive Whiteboard to help introduce different types of poetry or as a follow up activity for your students.














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How did English evolve?


Please find embedded below a TEDEd video from Educator Kate Gardoqui on the origins of the English language and how it evolved. You can find more information on this video by visiting TEDEd.



skoolboSkoolbo is a free downloadable program for both Macs and PCs. There are also apps available for IOS and Android devices. Skoolbo is essentially a literacy and numeracy program designed for 4 – 10 year olds to practice their core literacy and numeracy skills. This is done through a 3D world where the progress through this world is determined by students successfully answering questions. The questions focus on the following areas:-


  • Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Spelling


  • Number Development
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Number Patterns
  • Time
  • Multiplication
  • Division

Each student is required to sit pre-tests on Reading and Numeracy to work out the difficulty level for the student, this is continually assessed and the difficulty adjusted when needed. Students receive ‘Bo’ coins for answering questions successfully which can be used to purchase rewards such as racing worlds, toys and other items.

Below is a video of Skoolbo in action. 


linkSkoolbo iTunes App Store


Skoolbo Google Play Store

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World Education Games


worldeducationgames2The World Education Games is a world wide event, where students from around the world compete with each other in a World Maths, Literacy and Science days. Each of the different learning strands uses well known resources such as Mathletics, Spellodrome and IntoScience to power each area. Registered students can practice their skills for free leading up to the event. The competition is also free. There are prizes available as well. Unicef have teamed up with the World Education Games to promote with schools to raise money towards a ‘School in a box’. This program provides all the essentials a teacher would need for their classroom and students in areas of disaster, crisis or poverty.



linkInformation on the ‘School in a box’ fundraiser.


linkTeacher’s Guide

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Splash is ABC Australia’s new Educational Website that is linked to the National Curriculum. The site is for Teachers, Students and Parents. It contains articles, video, audio and games. The content is separated into three areas Early Primary (Foundation – Year 3), Upper Primary (Years 4 -6) and Secondary (Years 7 – 10). There are four subject areas to choose from English, Maths, Science and History. You can filter your searches by year level, subject and media type. There is a Parent’s area with articles from how to support your child with reading to transitioning from primary to high school. The Teacher’s area contains articles to support teachers with the Digital Age to developing your personal learning network and many more. This website is well set out and easy to use and hopes to be even better as more and more content is added over time. The YouTube clip below explains a bit more about Splash.


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BoomWriter is a creative writing website. It works by teachers creating a story starter and choosing how many chapters the story will have. Then students continue the story starter and write a chapter of the book. The chapters written by the students are then submitted anonymously and are then voted on. The winning chapter is then added to the story and the process continues until the story is complete. Once the story is complete it can then be published.

You can sign up your school and then encourage students to sign up. It would be nice if they had included a better way to sign up your class from a class list rather than waiting for students to sign up individually. Below is a short YouTube clip explaining a bit more about BoomWriter.

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With NAPLAN coming up soon teachers will be looking for resources to help students prepare for the NAPLAN tests. Being a teacher of year 3s it will be the first time for these students to see questions presented in the manner they are in the NAPLAN tests. From experience it is important to prepare these students for the format in which the questions will be presented to them. Visiting the official NAPLAN website I discovered that they have now removed past NAPLAN test papers and replaced them with example tests. You can access these example tests by following the link bellow.


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SpellingCity helps students learn their personal spelling word list in a fun way. Students start by typing their list words out. Then students are able to choose from a wide range of ‘free’ activities to learn their set of words. A list of the possible activities are pictured below. There are Premium resources available at a cost. I have found SpellingCity to be a useful extension activity in my spelling lessons.



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