Saturday, 6 February 2016

A new journey!

Hey friends!

Well I went back to school last week and started my new school year with a new grade level and a new team.  This year I am teaching Preps (you might call it Kinder) and I am no longer job sharing. While I was very sad to leave behind my Grade 2 and Grade 3 teaching partners I am super excited to have my own space and my own group.

So I have a new teaching journey this year, I haven't taught Prep for 6 years so I am going into this new adventure with some knowledge but also a lot to learn :)

I wanted to share some classroom photos with you today.  I love my room, it makes me smile.

This is our library corner, the lanterns and fluffy decorations now hang from the ceiling.  In the cloud storage basket is lots of book buddies and puppets for the kiddos to read to.

This is going to be my Sounds and Seasons tree.  I will change out the colours each season to match, there is also a little birds nest that I plan on putting our letter of the day in.  The students will pull it out and then choose from a range of objects, student names and words that will go on the sounds tree.  The tree is now in a pot to protect his roots :)  Next to the tree is our class calender.

Looking towards our IWB and my maths shelf

Looking from the door back towards my desk

Our home corner is very popular!  Once again the lanterns and fluffy decorations are now hanging up thanks to my lovely groundsman.

Our home for the rest of the year!

I'm really looking forward to sharing my journey with you this year and even though I am physically and mentally exhausted right now, I am also brimming with excitement for the amazing learning that is going to happen for all of us here.

I'll be back with some posts about our rotations we have been doing,

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Setting goals 2016....I'm Back!

Hey there friends!  Wow it has been such a looooong time since I have blogged!  I will tell you that 2015 was an extremely busy time for me both in the classroom and at home and as I am only human I knew that something had to give, I had to slow down with a few things so that I didn't implode haha!

I am happy to say that 2016 will see me finally in my own classroom teaching a Prep (Kinder) class.  I have been job sharing for the last two and a half years and while I have loved collaborating with my teaching partners I am very excited to finally have my own class again.  I have about a month before I head back to school and I am busy, busy, busy getting things ready and sorting through all of my resources at home, oh and of!

I have really enjoyed my Christmas break catching up with my family and still have more to go.  I have also finally got around to having a little look at some new resources to create for next year, make sure you keep posted for those.  In the meantime I know lots of my Northern Hemisphere friends have already gone back to the classroom so here is a little freebie to help your students with goal setting in 2016, hope you like it!

One of my goals this year is to improve my blog posts and to post more regularly :) Enjoy friends!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Five for Friday!

I am linking up with Kasey at Doodlebugs Teaching for a Five for Friday!  
What a busy week it has been!

Technically this is from last week but it certainly needs to be shared and anyway, sometimes we just gotta break the rules.

We had a Halloween dress up last week at school to raise money for Brain Cancer.  Of course I had to go as the Wicked Witch, it was so much fun!

We have been investigating mixing in our Chemical Science unit and I couldn't resist a little bit of Sci-Art, heehee.  Our students chose two primary colours to mix to make a new colour.  We then cut out circles to create a Kandinsky inspired class collage.

This is my amateur effort to create an x-box one cake.  We celebrated my son's 11th birthday this weekend, time has gone too quickly!  One more year at Primary school and then he is off to high school. I. Just. Can't.

I am so in love with Jamberry Nail Wraps! It just suits my lifestyle, no dry time, durable and easy to apply.  I love them so much I have become a consultant and I am excited to see where this journey will take me!

Sometimes you just have to let loose and be  a kid  with your kids :) 

Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Term 4, No Chore!

Hi friends!

We are heading in to Term 4 here in Australia, the end of the year is in sight and that means a busy, time coming up!  Even though this last term can be filled with fun activities it seems like there is always so much to do besides teaching as another year wraps up, cleaning, sorting, passing on information to new teachers, end of year concerts and performances...the list could go on and on.

To help keep you on the right track I have teamed up with some of my favourite blogging buddies with some simple tips and tricks to get you and your students through to the end :)

After you have read through this make sure you head over to my bloggy friends to see more tips!

I have 2 easy and simple things to share with you to help ease the transition from one year to the next for your students.

1.  If your school has a transition time for kiddos going up a grade then that is great!  This is such a wonderful time for them to get a feel for their new classroom or area of the school and lets face it some of our kiddos need lots of time to get used to a new setting.  In addition to the mandated transition visit, I like to take my class to the new area of the school at different times of the day, for example my Year 2 kiddos will be eating lunch with the primary students next year in a different area, so I will take them to eat lunch a few times before the end of the year.  I also take them on a "new playground tour" so they are aware of the boundaries and area they will be playing in.  We often detour through the new area on our way to library or PE, it only takes a few minutes more and is very reassuring for some of my kiddos to be able to familiarise themselves.  I have found this particularly useful for my special needs students.

2.  Have your current class write a letter to the incoming class, this can be done as a whole class or individually.  We leave each letter on desks so the incoming students are able to read them on their transition day, the smiles on their faces shows how much it helps them.  We then display them on the bulletin board for the first few days back at school the next year.  This is a great way for them to gain an understanding of classroom routines and expectations as well as letting them know a little bit about your through the eyes of your students. New parents may also find this information useful when visiting your classroom for the first time.  Words written by children can be very powerful!

Just to help ease the pain of the end of year busy, I am giving away a $10 TpT Voucher, just enter the Rafflecopter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now make sure you check out the other fab bloggers who have some end of year tips and tricks for you

 You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, TpT or Pinterest for more great ideas!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Yikes, yikes and yikes!  I cannot believe it has been a whole month since I last blogged!  I wouldn't blame you for thinking I had fallen off the face of the earth, the truth is I have just plain been busy! But now I am on holidays and enjoying the finer things in life :)

So I could do a huge dump on you about all of the things I have been doing over the last month but I won't bombard you with it.  Instead I am going to share just a couple of things.

Fractions have been our big focus in both my Grade 2 and 3 class and we have been doing loads of different activities.  This was how we could show the fraction of an amount, it was super easy to do and helped those kiddos move from just showing the fraction of a shape to showing a fraction of a collection.

We have been using lots of different strategies to help with reading.  This one was my very own idea (although I am sure it is not original!)  So I noticed my kiddos were really bombing in comprehension but were considered to be 'good readers.' Truly they could decode some really tricky words but had no idea what the word meant, this then lead on to not understanding what they had just read and no or little comprehension.  So we started off by writing down words we weren't sure of as we were reading, then finding out what it meant and re reading.  This was a bit cumbersome and kids would lose where the words had been written in their books, so I gave each group a stack of sticky notes and they stuck them write on the page where the words were, found our what they meant, discussed with the group and then re read.  I cannot tell you how much their comprehension has sky rocketed with the added bonus of increasing vocabulary.  Peeps this has been a gamechanger in my room.

We have also been using sticky notes in our spelling books to record ways we can remember to spell words, what we notice about words and sharing these with others. I have been getting students to work in pairs to write a "noticing' about a word and then their partner to write a word/s that would also fit with the criteria ( I didn't say criteria to them, I said noticing which I know isn't strictly correct but that's the way we roll)

My gorgeous team mate Louise got our kids to make these adorable portraits of their Dad's for Fathers Day.  This Dad always wears sunglasses on his head, isn't funny the things kids notice!  On the back they wrote 10 Things About My Dad!  I just loved them and they were a big hit for Fathers Day.

Well I promise to be back with more later in the week, I have been busy, busy making some new multiplication games to put in my store,so keep your eyes peeled for them :)

If you are still on holidays I hope you are relaxing and not thinking about school.....but then you might not read this, so just think about school for the 5 minutes it will take you to read this and then don't think about it again!

See you again sooner than a month :)

Monday, 31 August 2015

RIC surprise!

A couple of weeks ago I received these books in the mail from RIC Publications

The exciting thing about these books is that they are all related to the Australian Curriculum, which really makes them easy to fit in with your planning.

So if you are not an Aussie teacher I will apologise in advance as some of this may not apply to you, I will also forgive you for not reading any further :)

If you are a long time reader then you will know I teach Grade 2 and Grade 3 this year so I was so excited to see both Grade levels in this little surprise.

Let me say that I have been struggling with teaching an area of Geography in Grade 3, the standard that talks about the feelings people have about places and this book just rescued me.  Seriously it has everything I will need including web links, blackline masters, background information and extension activities or further studies.  Last week we looked at the poem by Dorothea MacKellar, "My Country" and I was able to use so many ideas from the book, even better so many of my kids were able to dig quite deeply in to the poem and understand how she felt about Australia.  I really loved it and we will definitely be using this book for the rest of this term and going into next term.

I actually used some of the Poems for Grade 3-4 with my Grade 2's last week as well.  I did have to adjust the activity a little but they were still able to complete the task without any problems.  We looked at Onomatopeia in poems and they created one for themselves.

I haven't had an opportunity to use the Grade 2 History book yet but my teaching partners were oohing and aahing and already making plans for next year.

Let me show you just a quick peek inside so you can see what I mean.

You can see that these books are more than just BLM's, I love that there are links and further information.

If you want to check out some of their other Australian Curriculum resources just head over to their website here

Disclosure: These books were provided for an unbiased review.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Bright Ideas- Student Timelines

Welcome back for another Bright Idea for the classroom!  Today I am going to share how I use timelines in the classroom.

We have come to the time of year when we are looking at time and timelines, this is something we cover both in Mats and History.  

I really think it is important to get kiddos up and moving during learning activities to help them.  For our first timeline I got the kiddos to write their birthdays on a card and then I taped it onto their shirts.  They had to then get in order from youngest to oldest without any assistance from me.  It was great to see how they worked together to make sure everyone was in the correct place.  This was when we were working on calendars in Maths and on our personal histories.
There was so much discussion about how many days, weeks and months were between people's birthdays and how long between our oldest student and our youngest.  So much Maths!!!!

Our next timeline adventure was using clocks!  Students were given an analogue clock and they had to write an o'clock, half past, quarter past or quarter to.  They then had to get in order from earliest to latest time, again I didn't intervene but just listened to the discussions about time.  We then had to make sure we didn't have any double ups and the students decided who would change times and what that would be.  

We then followed that up with a discussion about AM and PM and how we would need to write that on the time to ensure it was in correct order.

This is just 2 ways I have used student timelines in the classroom in just the last couple of weeks, there are so many other ways you could use this!  The hardest part is standing back and letting them put themselves in order but you need to remember that right there is your teaching moment and instead of correcting THEM, ask them to justify why it is correct/incorrect.

I hope this has given you a couple of ideas to use student timelines in your classroom, to make sure you don't miss any other Bright Ideas make sure you follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Now just click on the links below to see what some other fab teacher bloggers have to share with you!