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.
The cards we were making were inspired by Art with Jenny K's craft below.
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!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Week 2 Yahoo!

My first post with my new 'look'. What do you think? I'm in love with it! Gabby over at Gabby's Classroom did an AMAZING job at redecorating my blog. She was so quick, helpful and reasonably priced, too! Be sure to check out her work, if you're considering a blog makeover!
Now, onto some classroom chit chat.
Week 2!
I can't believe 2 weeks are down already! Only 8 weeks and we are on Easter break. Crazy!
This week was another busy one, with lots of writing and number work.
I forget how wonderfully innocent and young first graders are. It melts my heart to see the kids giggle at the tiniest things that we say or do. Makes my job that much more rewarding!
We revised short vowels in CVC words and made silly vowel posters to help us remember them all. This idea came from my amazing teaching buddy :)
We started talking more about partitioning and how numbers can be made up of many combinations. We looked at rainbow facts again, made a class poster and used blocks to represent the different rainbow facts.
One of the kids' favourite activities was one that my teaching buddy lead. Ten children stood as 'soldiers' and had to march forward to show the different friends of ten. They loved being involved and using their bodies so much that we did it nearly every day last week but changed it from soldiers to being crabs (and crab walking to the side to show parts) and ballerinas (and prancing to the side).
This week we also read 'Oh, the places you'll go' by Dr Seuss and did a little balloon collage to go with it. The craft idea was from @smartieeepants on Instagram. One of my very favourite Insta accounts to follow. I just found the ballon and basket templates online, cut up little square pieces of coloured paper, took pictures of the students and printed them teeny weeny.
We decided to print number lines to put at the top of our whiteboards, on display. THIS happened because silly sausage me put the pouch in wonky!! Only teachers would understand the pain of seeing this!!!
In some other interesting news, the HPE department at our school have put together fitness sessions a couple of times a week to promote health and well-being for staff. Well, I went last week and we did boxing. I'm sure it would have been most amusing to watch me attempt to box. I got home and realised I had busted some blood vessels or something in my hands. Oh dear! I'm such a weakling! It was fun, though, and I will definitely be going back this week!
Does your school promote staff health and well-being?
I hope everyone had a fabulous week, too!