Monday, 14 April 2014

Alphabet Robots

I had such a productive Sunday!  I made our dinners for the week, beef casserole, potato pie, chicken tikka masala, home made pizza and chicken schnitzel, with a sweet treat pear and blackberry tarte tan, yum!  Even though it is a short week and I am on the count down to the Easter break I am also really tired and very ready for the holidays, so having a weeks worth of dinners ready to go will make the home stretch to holidays a little easier.
What else did I achieve on Sunday?  I made this cute little Alphabet Robots for a couple of my boys who I support.  They need lots of practice with matching lower and uppercase letters as well as identifying initial sounds, and what little boy doesn't love robots :)

Here's a little tip for you when laminating lots of little pieces.  Put a little dab of gluestick on the back of the pieces that you don't want to slip around in the laminate as it goes through the laminator. See in the second photo none of the pieces are slipping out as I lift the laminate.  The glue dries clear so you don't see it.

This is the clip it Robots.  Students clip the lowercase letter that matches the uppercase letter on the robot.  You would easily see if the letter doesn't match.

This file also has a Robot lowercase and uppercase puzzle cards as seen in the pic above and picture and initial sounds puzzle cards.  I have also included 2 recording sheets.

Here is the other thing I got ready for this week

These cards are double sided, so once cut fold them before you laminate them.  

I made these cards so that they would fit into business card sized laminate pouches so minimal cutting.

This is my friends of 10 game.  I love this because it is self correcting with the numbers that add to ten being the same color.  My boys will be busy!
You can get both of these in my store by clicking on the pics or enter the Rafflecopter to win a copy of your own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Bright Ideas! The Literacy Shed

I am so excited again to be part of this amazing group of bloggers sharing some of their best ideas to help you in the classroom. 
Let's get started!

This month I wanted to tell you about a great website I have used in my classroom over the last couple of years.  It is called the Literacy Shed (it is UK based) and houses a store of great animations for the entire range of grade levels.  I have used this website when I was a substitute teacher as well as in my every day teaching.

The Literacy Shed

The videos and animations are organised by themes and genres, after you have read through my description, click on the pic to head over to start browsing through the many videos.  This post does come with a warning though.......once you start browsing through the animations, you will not come out for hours......if I were you, I would use the bathroom now, then sit down with a coffee and a snack.  Comfy?  Good, you are in for a treat!

Right now I have been using this site to help my kids with inferring, many of the animations have no dialogue so students have to really think deep to find out what the authors message is or to predict what might come next.  We also looked at the lighting and colors used in the animations and how this influences our decisions, predictions and inferences.

Most videos have notes on how to use the animation in the classroom or how it has been used in another teachers classroom.  These are great to kick off a unit or to base a unit around the video.  Some of our favourites in my classroom are
Don't Go (this one is very funny!), 
and for the older classess

(very useful for Anzac Day and Remembrance Day)

Here is something I recently discovered.....there is also a MATHEMATICS SHED!!!
Of course there is nothing more left for you to do but to head over there and check out all the amazing videos you now have access to that will support your Literacy program and your Mathematics program in your classroom.  Oh I may have forgotten to tell you this very important thing......there is no sign up, no trial, no subscribing and getting annoying emails, in fact there is NO COST involved at all, yes this is a FREE website.

I will leave you with one tip, do make sure you check the video before you show your kiddos, yes they are aimed at children but you do want to make sure the video you use is aimed at the age or grade level you have.

Now for more Bright Ideas for your classroom head over to the linky! 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Five for Friday

I am linking up with Doodlebugs for 5 for Friday

1. The cooler weather is starting to creep up on us here, so we stopped at a lovely cafe on our way to piano lessons to enjoy some hot chocolate.  Can you tell who is the comedian in our family? Apparently he takes after me, heehee.

2. In French lessons this week, the teacher took all the classes out to play le boule (I have no idea if I that  is how you spell it correctly)  Lucky me I got to join in as I was with one of my support kiddos for this lesson.  It was lots of fun, and my team won, yay!

3. As some of you may know our school is pretty much on the beach and I have been itching to get my class down there to do something!! There are a number of things going on in our classroom and one of them is looking at water as a natural resource.  So we headed down to the beach to look at how we can transport water.  Our kiddos had a jar each that they had brought in from home and we got them to fill their jars right to the top and then see how far they could walk before spilling any.  I have to let you know that we had to do this twice as some of the kiddos said they walked 114 paces, but these were so slow a snail could have gone faster.  

We also fit in a couple of capacity investigations as well, but the best part.......we let them make sandcastles at the end, I'm calling it art......sand sculptures

This is the view from our beach.

4. We still have next week at school, so 3 days with the kiddos, 1 day as Pupil Free Day and then Good Friday.  We have been playing my Coin Toss Bunny Hop game that is free in my TpT store, but I forgot to take a pic!  Then this morning I found my sweet friend Mel has it on her Five For Friday as well.  So you can grab your copy by clicking on the pic.  This game is differentiated so you can have kiddos playing the same game but at different levels.  

5. This week has also been filled with meetings and lots of computer time making sure I have got referrals in and all the paperwork needed for the end of term.  So this week has included some chill out time and that means reading (re-reading) my favourite series, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, I have been reading this series over the last 15 years, some of the books I have read 4 or 5 times.
Why because there will be a new book released in June, so I have gone back to the beginning of the series, I am on book 4.  I am looking forward to the holidays so I can power through a couple more of the books.  The best news is, in July the series will be released as a mini series, I so hope we get it in Australia, I don't think I can wait for the DVD's to come out to see some of my favourite characters come to life.

Well, that is my week in a nutshell, but thank goodness the weekend is here!

Head over to link up as well.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Five for Frunday

Technically it is Sunday here, but I got so busy on the weekend I did not get time to get in there at the right time!  Please forgive me.   So here goes

We started the week with a bush walk and an adventure into a cave.  I love the look on my son's face, we had turned all our headlamps off and when the flash went off it startled my son, hehe.  We saw lots of stalactites and stalacmites, a creek that runs through the cave, cave crickets and glow worms, it was a pretty awesome day.

We enjoyed yummy burgers at Burger Got Soul, and there he is again my little photo bomber.

We went on an excursion (field trip) to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (sorry couldn't take photos there) and up to the top of Mt Wellington which is a significant landmark in our city.  Unfortunately the weather came in and we couldn't see anything from the summit, so we had to catch some views on the way down.  I took these pics on the bus.

It is Autumn in Australia so I started some Autumn art with my kiddos, looking at warm and cool colours using water paints.  We will revisit the Autumn art later as well as the leaves haven't really started turning yet.

I just had to share this with you, they were trying to make a heart shape, too cute!  This was at my in-laws house for Chinese takeaway dinner, it was delicious!  Hope your week was great!  

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Currently April

I am linking up with Farley for this months Currently.  I aim to try to get this done and link up early but it never seems to happen, oh well it is done now.

My daughter is a beautiful piano player and we usually start our afternoons with her practicing.  It is actually a very relaxing way to start the day as well.  We all hope she goes quite far in her life with music, you can tell by her playing that she is passionate and it is a huge part of her life.  Sadly that talent does not come from me, although I am pretty good on the tambourine.

Earlier this year I bought this gorgeous red mohair long jacket and the weather was cooling down enough (for me) to wear it, but we recently had a spike of warmer weather, which I love but I don't get to wear my red jacket.  People, this is a real conundrum for me.

Tomorrow we have an excursion to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, then a drive up to the top of Mt Wellington and lunch at a park before heading back to school.  I am not a teacher that loves excursions, I always feel like I am not quite organised or I have missed some paperwork or I am herding cats.  I just can't get into it, so I go into tomorrow with reluctance but I am looking forward to hearing the orchestra.

With my new role and having a classroom role 2 days a week I feel like my days are so busy and full that there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day, my list of things to do are just getting longer and longer.

Well of course this just rolls on from my last comment.  Sleep is elusive at the moment for a number of reasons, some nights I cannot get my brain to turn off, ever have that?  The other reason is that our cat has decided that the middle of the night is a great time to play and chat, friends I love that cat but I love sleep more, this could end up quite badly for one of won't be me.

So I get to school at about 8am, the kiddos are allowed into the classroom at 8:30 for us to supervise and we start teaching at 9.  School here ends at 3pm, then I usually stay from anywhere between 4-5pm depending on meetings, how much work I still have to do and after school commitments for my own children (yes, I sometimes do things with them as well)
At the end of our school year in Australia the kiddos finish the day before the teachers and we finish on the 19th Dec.  I actually would prefer to finish a week earlier and go back to school a week earlier, I hate finishing so close to Christmas.  We don't go back to school until the beginning of Feb here, it feels really late.

Righto, your turn to head over and link up!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Swap,Share Give! A blog linky from Down Under!

I am so lucky this week to be able to participate in this Aussie bloggers product swap not only because I love trying new things in my class but I got to swap with one of my blogging buddies Shanyn from Coffee, Kids and Compulsive lists.
So what did we try out in our class?  This fabulous pack Building Better Sentences Writing Simple and Compound Sentences

Why did I choose this pack?  I have been banging on at my kiddos about boring, blah sentences and ways we can make our simple sentences more interesting....tadah!!!  Enter Building Better Sentences, perfect! 

First I modelled on the Interactive Board one sentence with help from my students.  The week before we had identified conjunctions and adjectives so that we knew what words we had to use to improve our sentences.  

Next the kiddos had a go at their own sentence.   Then I went through all of the sentences and identified those kiddos that may have needed a little extra help in a small group.

Which is what we did the next day!  Those kiddos that had understood the concept were able to complete another sheet independently while I worked with a group on the carpet.  Next week we will be having another go to see if the concept has been retained.  More importantly I am hoping to see an improvement in their independent sentences!

What did I love about this pack (apart from everything?)

It was easy to model to a whole class.
There is a huge variety of pictures in the pack and I noticed they are in a-z order so it would be a great addition to a phonics program.
It is a great addition to my grammar program and once the kiddos were familiar with it most of them were able to do it independently.
I could quickly identify the kiddos who were struggling.

All in all, this is an awesome file that will be visited frequently in my class both as a focussed lesson and as a part of a literacy center.

Now the title of this post also has the word Share in it so let's get on to the sharing bit.  Easter is just around the corner so I am putting my Easter game Coin Toss Easter Bunny Hop FREE so hop over and get your FREE copy.

So what are you waiting for, click on the pic above to get your copy  of Shanyn's fabulous pack or enter the Rafflecopters below for your chance to win your very own copy as well as prizes from other great Aussie bloggers!  Just click on the button at the top to head over to Lauren's blog Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep to find more awesome bloggers with their reviews on some fabulous products.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Frames are courtesy of Ashley Hughes

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Five For Friday!

I have missed the last couple of weeks linking up with Doodlebugs so I made sure this week I had some great (well....) photos taken to use in this post.

We created some African inspired masks in Year 4, you can read about how we did it here.

We used Mel's pack Back to School Maths Centers for a read the room of numbers in order to 30.  My kiddos love doing read the room, it gets them up and moving and sometimes they even co-operate!!  Notice the cards are printed in grayscale, that is NOT how they are in the pack, they were supposed to be color but it just didn't happen on the day......clearly the important thing here is ordering numbers.  Rest assured they are now printed in colour and laminated ready for next time.

This week we have been looking at oa making the long o sound.  We did a word hunt in books and dictionaries and then wrote our oa words onto the boat (please people do not judge my teaching on my drawing capabilities...I am certainly no Mel Loyd, heehee)

At the end of the week we started looking at maps.  The kiddos had to make a map of our classroom and create a key or legend to go with it, we also talked about what a birds eye view was and thinking about directions.  Most of them came out quite well, some were a bit wonky.

This was how I finished my week! Berry cheesecake......mmmmmmmm, oh and the wine was just to accompany the cheesecake :)

Head over and link up!