Saturday, February 27, 2016

2016 Back to School Buys

Hello, friends!
 
This is my first year teaching Prep (K or Foundation)! 5 weeks in and my head is still above water - hooray !!!
 
I know I'm completely late to the party but I still wanted to share with you some back to school purchases that I made because.....well, let's be honest, I just wanted to! I spent WAY too much but it made me happy.
 
 I don't do a theme every year but this year I went with bees! Our class are the Prep B Brave Bees!
 

Some hands-on accessories for the new classroom: Foam blocks, plastic connecting blocks, wooden blocks and a plastic food playset - all courtesy of Kmart :)

I've seen many teachers that have headbands or hats as a visual to show students they are not to be interrupted (for example, during reading groups). I chose this cute bow headband from the cheap shop.

Some prize box additions!

When your local Riot Art craft shop has a 50% off sale, you stock up!

Thanks to Aldi, my stamp supply shall never diminish! The poster I am going to cut up and laminate.

These books were crazy cheap at Aldi! A nice Australian twist on some classics.

Is anyone else out there a massive Daiso fan?! You just find things there that you can't // don't find anywhere else! Like these amazing magnetic pen holders!

 THESE !!!!
My lovely teaching partner found these at Daiso. They are actually just super cute microfibre cleaning mittens but she has used them for her sensory students. Well, I just needed (yes NEEDED) to have one of each colour :)

 See what I mean??? I've never seen cute memo sticky notes like these before! I love them!

I follow an amazing teacher on Instagram (@smartieeepants) and she made these adorable marble monsters to build strength in her students' fingers and hands. I made some of my own and am in love with them!

I did some handy work (and got VERY sunburnt doing it) and spray painted these perfectly-sized tins for my group tables. I also decided it would be a great idea to spray paint the blue trolley yellow (to fit with my bee theme).
BAD IDEA!
It took forever and was soooo expensive. Not one of my best ideas but at least it looked good.

 I unashamedly went to extreme lengths to acquire one of these Lorna Jane lunch bags. My heart was set on it and I just couldn't let it go. So happy I persevered in finding one!

One last message...
I'll post some classroom pics next post! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Some helpful resources!

Hello friends!
 
 It's been a while since I've shared anything so I thought I would kick 2016 off with a few resources that I found useful in 2015, while teaching first grade.

Although teaching shouldn't be centred around nor relied upon textbooks and blackline masters, I feel they still have their place as a useful tool.

I received some wonderful books from RIC Publications last year and thought some other teachers might find them useful, too.


Being in Australia, it can sometimes be difficult finding resources that are linked to and relevant to our curriculum. What I love about these books is that they are all Australian Curriculum linked. At the beginning of the books (and for some, on the side of the pages), it shows curriculum links.
 
 Here is a closer look (I'm very visual and love to SEE things before I understand or make my mind up about it):

 



The Literacy texts are wonderful for whole class and small group instruction. They are a great tool for modelling those essential comprehension skills.



Don't be deterred by the amount of text for the little ones. I projected some of the pages onto a whiteboard and we highlighted sections and discussed the text and questions altogether as a whole class. Some of your more highly able students may be able to complete some of the tasks independently.


 

 



 They cover so many different skills and I found them very useful. Be sure to visit RIC Publications, if you think that you may find these resources useful in your classroom.

I'll be back soon to share with you some of my back to school adventures!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

End of Year Teacher Tips

Hello teacher friends!

Here in Australia, we have just started our final term of school for the year. This means that we have about 10 weeks until our summer break commences. It is a fun term for us, filled with lots of exciting activities for our students to conclude their year of learning.

It is, however, often a term that can be stressful and busy. I have teamed up with some online Australian blogging friends to bring you some tried and tested teacher tips that you can implement now (or begin to plan for) to make this term easier to manage.
 
 
These tips are simple and relatively easy to implement. Keeping things simple and practical is one effective strategy for easing classroom craziness.
 
So, what's my tip?

An end-of-year events calender!

Sounds like common sense but it can be an absolute life saver for yourself and parents!

My amazing teaching buddy sends home to parents a calendar that clearly shows important dates for the last few weeks of school. I think it's a brilliant idea and will be doing with my class this year. The end of the school year can be pretty crazy for us teachers but it can also be pretty stressful for parents, too. There are often many events and important dates to remember in the last few weeks of school and a calendar is the perfect visual to keep track of all of these.
 

 
 
Visit the other blogs in the link up below to find more ways to cruise through Term 4. For continued ideas and time savers, don't forget to also follow me on Facebook and Pinterest!
 
An InLinkz Link-up
 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Class Pets, Painting and Rockets!

Three weeks since my last post - woops!
 
It has been a very busy three weeks. Let me show you why!
In Science, we have been looking at habitats and minibeasts. I bought the class these hermit crabs to look after. You can imagine the squeals when I put these little guys on the ground and they started to crawl towards the kids! They still aren't named - any suggestions?
 
A tropical cyclone recently went through North Queensland, here in Australia. It had downgraded by the time it got to our area but there was still huge amounts of heavy rain so many kids were kept at home. We decided to make the best of the rainy situation and made some butterfly blob prints. They are SO bright and colourful!
 
We have introduced the idea of MABs to the kids so I made these cute place value pals from Amy Lemons to put on the wall for display.
 
We also have been revising 2D shapes. We made these super cute shape monsters using parts of Kindergarten Smorgasboard's free shape monster pack.
 
Last but not least, we need to practise sight words! In my first year I had a wonderful teacher aide that made me a bunch of reading rocket folders. I needed more so I created a few extras this week. I'm so happy with how they turned out. They will be put to use next week!
I hope you all had a lovely week!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Week 3 Yippee!!!

Hello friends!
 
How was your week?
 
It was pretty busy in our classroom this week!
 
I thought I would join up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for this week's post.
 
 It was Valentine's week and we decided to make cards. We started off by painting some hearts pretty pinks and adding some glitter and stars.
 
We coloured in some cute love bugs to paste on the inside of the cards. Click on the picture to find the download.
http://www.familyshoppingbag.com/img/thumb/jump/1219/Love_Bug_Valentine_Color#.VN7hKS4rank
The cards we were making were inspired by Art with Jenny K's craft below.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Valentines-Day-Craftivity-Eric-Carle-style-textured-puzzle-hearts-1095462
We didn't have time to do the whole activity but we did still cut the hearts up and paste them back together on the front of the cards. They turned out very cute!

 
 

Finally, we wrote 'Happy Valentine's Day' on the inside and pasted this super cute poem on the back.
I found the original poem over at Mrs Albanese's blog. I just typed up my own version.
My teaching buddy made these super cute tags for some Love Day gifts for the students. We just bought some Tiny Teddy packets and stapled these to the top. They were very cute!

I hope you all have a great Valentine's Day - whether you celebrate it or not! My husband is not a huge fan of the day but has sent flowers to school for me every year that we've been together, anyway. Since it is on a Saturday this year, this was what he did instead.
He knows the way to my heart!!!