Tuesday, 26 August 2014

I took photos!

I remembered to take photos of two of our Book Week art projects yesterday. Here they are:

This is the one that matches The Windy Farm. They looked gorgeous!

And these are some of the chickens we made to go along with Banjo and Ruby Red. 

They were great activities!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Peak at my Week

I'm having a go at sharing my week as a link-up with Mrs Wills Kindergarten: Peak at my Week.


Here is my weekly planning document. We start at 9am and finish at 3.30pm. Recess is 30min at 11am, and lunch is 1hr at 1.30pm. Click on the document to see it up close.


Oral language is when a speech therapist employed by my school comes into my classroom and runs small group activities focused on key literacy skills. This week we are focusing on vowels and medial sounds.

Clubs happens twice a term. Teachers and parents run a 'club' for a group of students. I run Craft Club, but we also have groups who go to the park, do knitting, do cooking, do science, make cool things, etc.

Normally I have another document with more detail on it, lesson by lesson, but I have a student teacher who is teaching everything expect for Reading Groups, so she is planning everything. I don't have her plans yet.

This is what my reading plan looks like for the week:

It has taken me a while to find a reading groups plan that works for me, but this is working so far. We do reading groups on four days. The groups are the animal names on the left. I have goals for each group, and that is what I select their activity based on. They still need fine motor work so I always have the group do a fine motor skills (FMS) activity. I have an aide who helps out with the groups. Other than the activities highlighted in pink or blue, a group does the same activity two days in a row. This gives them time to practice the task.

Have a great week!!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Five for Friday

What an incredible week!!! We celebrated both Book Week and National Science Week. Here is a snapshot of the week and my Five for Friday.


We started off Science Week with some theme writing on Monday. During the week the preps added to a booklet that I'd made called Weather in my World to go with our current weather unit in Science.

The book had three pages (one for each of the 'normal days' of school this week). They had to write about their favourite type of weather, what they like to do on hot days and what they like to do on cold days.

On Tuesday to celebrate Book Week we read some of our favourite shortlisted books. My kids loved the winning book in the Early Childhood category:

Tuesday was also eventful because one of my little guys was swinging on his chair, overbalanced, fell backwards and smacked his head into the window. He was fine (thank goodness) but the glass looked like a giant spider web. I have an appreciation for safety glass now!!

On Wednesday we had a visit from the Star Dome, which is a mobile planetarium. A giant dome is filled with air, you have to crawl through a dark tunnel to get inside, and then footage is projected on to the inside ceiling of the dome. It was INCREDIBLE!!! We got to watch a video about weather (links to our unit of work) and then got to look at some of the constellations in the night sky. My kids were absolutely in awe of it - such an amazing experience. I forgot to take a photo of it...

Thursday... what a day!! We held a Forensic Science Day to celebrate National Science Week. It was the Case of the Missing Chocolate Cake. One of my school's science coaches and our art teacher organised it. They planned out the 'crime', made a video which they showed during Junior Detective Initiation (30min assembly with the whole school), planned 7 different forensic science related activities which the kids rotated through, and then had a video ready to show the 'culprit' being apprehended. The activities were fingerprint analysis, handwriting analysis, powder analysis, cloth analysis, hair analysis, footprint analysis and money analysis - all based on 'clues' left at the 'crime scene'. The staff were the suspects and we all had a Suspect Data Record sheet showing our fingerprints, handwriting, shoe length and a suspect statement. The discussions about evidence and innocent until proven guilty were fantastic. The students ended up solving the crime and the 'culprit' was brought out in handcuffs (he is an awesome teacher and was a great sport on the day with all the finger pointing...). It was a phenomenal day. Absolutely amazing.

To top it off, we then had our first Science Fair and Art Show accompanied by hands-on Science and Art activities. We had great support from our school community, and the displays were awesome. I took some pics of the art work, but forgot to photograph the science stuff.

Friday was our Book Week celebration day. It was a dress-up day, and we had a parade in the morning. I was a pirate:

Every child in my class dressed up! The standout costume for the day was a grade 6 boy who dressed as a pink flamingo princess - such confidence, and he looked amazing!! We also had activities that the kids did. We had three activities for the prep-2s and three for the 3-6s. The prep-2s got to make some Dirty Dinosaurs, some Windy Windmills and some Cute Chickens. At the end of the day with had a Book Swap. Children had to bring in books they were finished with, and for each book they got a token. They could exchange their tokens for new books that had been donated by other students. I always make sure I donate a few extras so that I can hand out a couple of extra tokens to my students who can't/didn't bring their own in - it's always nice to participate!

It was a super amazing week!!! I do have some photos of the Forensic Science Day but I left my camera at school. I might write another post when I have the photos and explain a bit more about the activities. It was just awesome.

Personal goal - take more photos!!!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Five for Friday

It's Friday, yay! Time for Five for Friday.


It's been a relatively normal week at school, which has been really lovely. No excursions. No days off. No extra stuff. Just classroom, curriculum and time with my students. I love that after it's been so busy. It certainly wasn't the easiest week with a couple of my kiddoes, but the tough stuff is always balanced out by the cute things they say and do. One of my preppies wrote me a very cute note in their diary this week - love deciphering prep writing!

We are working on a Science unit called Weather in my World. Last week we made paintings using air because we had been learning about wind. The preps put blobs of paint onto cardboard, then blew through a straw to spread it out. Some over did the paint and I had to hold the paint over the sink to drain off some excess. I think they look fantastic. I love how unique they are. They also look amazing in my room - the bright white background with the bold colours looks awesome.

This week the preps have been learning to count by 5s. We've been using stacks of five unifix to help us remember that counting by five means counting five numbers at a time. We also made this awesome chart as a class:

And we loved singing along to this fun counting by 5s song:

We are a GoNoodling class! We have done 185 minutes so far. My preppies love it! This week some GoNoodle stickers arrived in the mail. I was so excited to get the cute pink envelop, and my kids were beyond excited to get a massive GoNoodle Champ sticker. Of course, I forgot to take a photo of the sticker, but I took a photo of the envelope.

We have a VERY busy week coming up next week, part of which is a dress-up day. Here is the start of my costume:

I'm going as a pirate. Next week is Children's Book Council of Australia Book Week and it's National Science Week in Australia. My school is celebrating both. We are having a visit from Stardome Mobile Planetarium during the week. We are running a Forensic Science Day, a Science Fair and a Family Science Night. We are having an Art Show. And then our Book Week Day is a dress-up day with activities for the kids based on the shortlisted award books. Whew!! I'm going to have heaps to write about next Friday (just have to remember my camera!).

Last week I was part of the Swap Share Give link-up with some fellow Aussie Bloggers. Thank you for your support, it was my first link-up of this kind. I also ran my first Rafflecopter giveaway and the winner has been announced - congratulations Kirsty!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Swap Share Give! A blog linky from Down Under

I was lucky enough to be included in a linky with some amazing Australian bloggers and TpT product creators. Bec at Books, Bugs and Boxes is hosting for us - thank you! We paired up, swapped a product, and now here is my post about the awesome product that I got to try, the free products I'd like to share and at the end of the post you'll find a giveaway too!


I was paired up with the awesome Stef from Miss Galvin Learns. She kindly let me try out her product called Hens Love Tens. It is a product all about counting by tens and the pattern that is so important to learn. I didn't use this awesome game exactly as originally intended, which just shows how versatile it is.


Stef made it to be used as a small group card game, and included 'CLUCK' cards. Taking it in turns, each player draws a card and decides if it fits the counting by 10s pattern. If they draw out a 'CLUCK' card all of their cards go back into the middle. In this way it is self-sustaining, and can go on for as long as you want it to.


I used the product a little bit differently. At my school we follow a sort-of-strict outline for our maths lessons. We have to include a warm-up (based on a familiar maths skill), hook (something to get them thinking, could be the materials being used or a YouTube clip for example), tuning in (teaching and modelling the task and coming up with success criteria), independent task and reflection. I love finding different games/tasks to do during our warm-up and I used Hens Love Tens for it last week.


I had a bit of a false start with the cards because I accidentally printed them double sided and confused all of my kids! So, after recreating them (and this time enlarging them on to A3 paper before laminating and cutting them up) we started using them. I had my students sort them as a whole group. On the first day we sorted them into hoops, and then we sorted ourselves into groups based on which card the student was holding. I used the cards for all four maths sessions, and we sorted them each day. It was a great chance to revise that counting by 10 starting from zero means that all of the numbers we say end in 0. We repeated that discussion a lot. It also helped with a few of my kids who still get muddled up about which numeral to look at first in a number with more than 1 digit. They had to identify the last digit in the number, then recognise what the number was and whether or not it was a zero.

These are the original sizes cards printed on A4 and the larger ones which I printed on A3 paper.
I loved using this product! It was lots of fun, there are heaps of cards and the clip art is super cute. I'm excited to have the cards in my room for number identification practice, sorting into different groups, and reading numbers bigger than 100 (the cards include 10s cards to 300 and other cards to 209).

Now on the 'share' portion of the link up! A couple of freebies that you might be interested in. On Miss Galvin Learns TpT store there are some amazing free fonts, and my favourite is MGL Free Font - All Write. It's a great font to use for headings and is very clear to read.


Over at my TpT store there is a freebie called Alphabet Chart in Victorian Modern Cursive. It is an A4 letter chart that shows each letter in capital and lower case and a picture from Graphics from the Pond for the initial sound (except for x which has a picture of a fox).


And now for a giveaway!! There are a couple of giveaways you can enter. There is one massive giveaway for all of the products that were reviewed as part of the Swap part of the link-up. There is also a giveaway that I'm running and I'm giving away my product that Stef reviewed and Stef's product that I reviewed. Stef also has a similar giveaway on her blog - feel free to enter all of them!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I've had such fun being a part of this link-up! The community that has been built by teachers who are blogging and creating products is phenomenal. It is a privilege to be a part of it!

And don't forget to pop over to Miss Galvin Learns to read her review of my 100th Day of School Party Pack. And you should follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Begin Again: The Movie

I went to see the film Begin Again today with my mum. O.M.G!! Awesome!!! It was absolutely fantastic. If you get a chance to see it, you should.

The basic premise is that a record executive is having life trouble and gets very drunk one evening. While drunk he goes to a bar and sees a young singer/songwriter perform one of her songs. He immediately sees potential in her and approaches her to offer a recording deal. But what comes next is so interesting - they end up recording songs outside all over New York City.

The music is lovely (very folky, indie sort of music) and the story line is great. I absolutely loved the ending, and so did my mum. We were both blown away by the simplicity of the lovely storyline, the great characters and the music. It is a feel-good movie, it isn't overly dramatic, it isn't depressing, and it's not cliched. There are some fantastic laugh-out-loud parts and a few pretty cool cameos (in my opinion).

Friday, 8 August 2014

Five for Friday, but no photos...

I am very glad it is finally Friday, I'm so tired this week!!


On Monday we had a pupil free day and all of the staff at my school went to do a training day called A Framework for Understanding Poverty. It was fantastic! It is all about the ways children from disadvantage are different to those who have more resources. I really liked that there was a broader view on these children as lacking in resources (such as social, emotional, support, and vision for the future) rather than just the economic thing. We talked about the hidden rules of the different groups in society and about mutual respect. The whole day was incredible!

On Wednesday my class went on their first big excursion. We drove almost an hour in a bus to Ecolinc. It was fantastic!! My school is incorporating Science as a big curriculum component and this facility has a focus on environmental science. We did a program called Living in the Extremes and talked about plants and animals that live in extreme weather, the kids got to make their own bug with plastic pieces a bit like Mr Potato Head, and then we got to look at insects found in the pond under a microscope. I was so incredibly proud of my little preppies behaviour during the excursion! For 5/6 year olds it was a very long day, but they really enjoyed themselves.

Today my school held our Athletics Day. It was meant to be last Friday but was postponed due to an 'extreme weather' warning. I supervised the triple jump which was absolutely hilarious at times! So many kids find the required 'hop, step, jump' really hard. It was a really fun day and all the kids tried their best.

Ooooh, I have one photo, which is non-school related. I bought a new handbag!!
The brand is Timberland. It is beautiful soft leather, a great size, fits everything in it and I love the colour!! I was so excited today when it turned up in the mail - thank you eBay!

I am finally over my cold so I am really looking forward to making the most of this weekend. I've got a few boring jobs to do, like clothes washing, but I'm also catching up with my bestie for afternoon tea tomorrow (crepes, yum!) and I think I'll go to the movies. Maybe Begin Again?

Now, I'm totally stuffed from a very hectic week, so I'm off for an early night!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Sale Time!

Teacher Pay Teachers is throwing a Back To School Sale. While in Australia, where I am, we are half way through the school year, in the northern hemisphere teachers are gearing up to get back into the swing of it. But, like most teachers, regardless of what stage you are at in the school year a SALE is awesome!!


For August 4th and 5th all of the products in my store will be 20% off! Grab yourself a bargain and pick up some awesome products.

If you're wondering who else is joining this sale have a look at the Blog Hoppin' Linky Party. There will be some incredible products on sale judging by the amazing teacher sellers who are joining in!