Sunday, 16 February 2014

Five for Friday (on Sunday...)

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday linky!

This week we learnt the letters Aa and Tt. The kids made Alligator Hats for our Aa craft, and we made old school televisions for our Tt craft. Both of these came from the Alphabet Hats pack by Simply Kinder.

Each year at school we have a Welcome BBQ, and it was on Thursday night. It was fantastic to mingle with the families who came, and chat in a less formal setting. And, boy, do the kids love running around while eating their sausage in bread!! I had one of my sweet little preppies come up to me at the end and say "I had a fun time!". He didn't want to come to begin with, so this was a pretty big deal.

The Science team have been exploring some different 'hands-on' ideas for our school's new Science Area. We currently have a touch tank that is full on sand and shells which the kids can look at and touch. On Friday we were testing out those vase water balls. You put tiny bead-like things in water, they absorb the water, they you can keep flowers hydrated in a vase while looking pretty. We were just exploring them because they are a polymer and polymers are endlessly fascinating to kids. After school on Friday a few of us were enjoying the therapeutic benefits of running yours hands through a bowl of these balls:

I've put two new products up on Teachers Pay Teachers (check my last two blog posts for details and links).

I started Fine Motor Skills groups this week. They were AMAZING!! It is the quietest I've had my class while doing an activity at their tables. They were totally engrossed in their tasks. There were four tasks:
  1. Free play with construction blocks
  2. Threading beads onto string
  3. Sorting out 30 random items (eg. plastic dinosaurs, screws, marbles, pompoms, shiny beads)
  4. Weaving straws through a basket
Can't wait to do more next week!!

Week 4 here I come!

New product: Number Playdough Mats 0-20

I've just uploaded the set of Number Playdough Mats that matches the Alphabet Playdough Mats I put up yesterday on my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. These have the number, the word, tens frames and pictures. I'm going to print them, laminate them and use them as part of Fine Motor Skills.

Hope you like them!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

New TpT Product: Alphabet Playdough Mats

I have just uploaded a new product on Teachers Pay Teachers. It is an Alphabet Playdough Mat set. There are two sets of the alphabet included. One set uses Victorian Modern Cursive as the font, the other is in Comic Sans MS. The awesome clipart is Graphics From the Pond - I love that stuff!!

I think I will make a numbers set to match this one tomorrow!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Five for Friday link-up

I'm joining up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

Our second week of school went very well. We did our first Science lesson this week. The lesson was about listing things that we need to stay alive. We compared what chickens need and what people need to stay alive. This was our T-chart (sorry about the glare):

We started learning letters this week. I start with S then M, and do two letters a week. I always start with a brainstorm of words that start with the sound we are learning. Here is our circle map for /m/:

After the brainstorm the preppies do an initial sounds sheet from my TpT product. They love that we do the same thing each time we learn a new letter - it gives them a sense of routine:

Then we do a craft that links to the sound/letter we learn. Here are our /m/ monsters!

We practiced subitizing, recording, using dice and writing numbers in maths this week. The group I've got this year are stronger in maths than in literacy so far. It has been really interesting.

So that's part of my week in pictures. It was a fantastic week! Looking forward to next week. We are learning A and T.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Currently for February

This is my first time linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her Currently link-up.

Listening: It is about 35 degrees Celsius where I live in Victoria, Australia today. I spent the morning hanging out with my mum at the cinema, but now I'm at home with the air-con on.
Loving: One of my favourite things about being a teacher is getting to know a new class of students!
Thinking: I have a very long list of "to-do's".
Wanting: I much prefer to rug up in the cooler weather, than have to try to stay cool when it's hot.
Needing: I have a few new subjects this year and I still haven't made the new visual timetable cards for them; it's on my to-do list.
Truths: You can probably guess by now that I don't like hot weather. And I am most definitely a newbie blogger.
Fib: I hate olives! Yuck!!

I have nearly finished next week's planner. Mine isn't a fancy visual planner, but it has all of the info on it that I need. Here is what Reading looks like this week:

It is very text heavy, and I think I need to look at how I can make it simpler. But that's a project for a different day.

Have a great week!!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Five for Friday (but written on Saturday...)

What a week!! It was our first week of a new school year this week. And it was fantastic! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.

I was exhausted Friday evening, which is why this post wasn't written on Friday. And during the day on Friday my voice kept going funny. Five weeks off means lots of rest for your voice, and three days with a group of 20 preps means lots more talking! It will take some getting used to.

At my school we are super lucky to have a brand new Intervention Teacher. For this week she spent time with my class to help the preps settle in. On the first day, one of my new preppies went up to her to tell her that she liked her "chocolate fingers". I was standing with the teacher and we both looked at each other in bewilderment, until the preppie pointed to the teacher's fingernails. The teacher had painted her nails with a purpley/brown colour which, to that child, looked like chocolate. It was hilarious! I love what little kids say.

I'm finding it really tough getting back into the swing of learning intentions and success criteria. We are supposed to share our learning intention with our class during every 'core subject' lesson, and then develop the success criteria with them. I didn't have to do it for the first three days of school, but I have to start next week. Writing it has been tricky - I have to get back into that headspace!

A selfie of me in my "home away from home".

This is from Instagram. If you want to follow me I'm @jemluck

I'm having a sister date tonight! My sister and I are going to eat fish and chips and watch a girly movie. I love hanging out with her, and we've both been so busy so it will be nice to just relax and catch-up!

Have a great weekend!!