Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Christmas craft ideas

We have been having so much fun in my class since December 1st!! Every day we've made a Christmas craft. I thought I'd share photos of the crafts we've made. 

Pin pricking pictures in aluminium foil. 

Rudolph made with paper bags. 

Paper plate baubles with confetti. 

Paper plate Santa faces. 

Christmas bags to store all of their goodies in. 

Paper chains to decorate the room. 

Spiral ornaments to decorate the tree. 

My class has had so much fun making these things, and we've got a few more planned before the end of the school year. 

Monday, 23 November 2015

Transition Showbags - collaborating with Australian Teachers

I've joined the collaborative blog Australian Teachers. My first blog post with them went up today. I'd love you to check it out, it's about Transition Showbags.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Wrapped books during December

A stack of Christmas books from the school library, all ready to be individually gift wrapped and then opened (one each morning) to read and enjoy during December. Looking forward to this Christmas idea!! 🎄🎄🌟🎄🎄

Here's the original image from Pinterest. 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Sight word stations

We've been working on reading and spelling sight words and three-letter words (CVC words). Six stations: Pop for Sight Words, play dough, magnetic letters, letters hidden in coloured rice tubs, CVC word game by @lozzybeck called Shark!, and shaving cream writing. Lots of fun!! And lots of practise!

Here are the Sight word stations in action!

Making words with play dough. They also had to read the word out to their group to show that they knew what it was. 

Writing words in shaving cream. They also had to read the word out to their group to show that they knew what it was. I like using plates with the shaving cream (rather than directly on the table) because it makes cleaning up easier.

Writing in shaving cream is messy, but it's so much fun!!!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Ordinal number fun

Maths today. Great fun! This sheet is from a great resource by Tina Rubie. We started off with some 'walking races' in the classroom and talked about who came 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Then we made lines of 10 people and I gave instructions like "the 4th person in line needs to bob down, and the 7th person in line needs to spin around". We talked about what 'ordinal numbers' are, then discussed how to read the shorthand version of ordinal numbers to colour in the right pictures. This student matched the number with the picture so they could colour in the other pictures when finished. 

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Remembrance Day craft activity

Remembrance Day craft activity. We'll watch a YouTube video called The Poppy Story, then listen to the poem In Flanders Field. They'll make this craft to take home, hopefully knowing a bit more about why we recognise Remembrance Day. 

Beautiful poppy pictures for Remembrance Day. I love that each of them is a little bit different.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Doorbell Rang - early division

A lesson about fair sharing (division) using the text The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins. Students arranged the teddies and shared the M&Ms while we read the story. They then drew their 12 teddies and 12 M&Ms. It was lots of fun, and a great hands on maths lesson.

I love how they arranged their teddies differently. 

One of the great drawings showing the teddies and the M&Ms. 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Learning intentions and a fair sharing activity

These are our learning intentions for the week. The posters along the bottom of the board are the reading strategy posters I show my students, but I can't remember where I go them from. I'm looking forward to doing fair sharing in maths - so many great activity ideas out there!!

This was our 'fair sharing' activity in maths today. It's a freebie on my TpT and DBT stores. We watched a Numberjacks video on YouTube about fair sharing, then talked about the important points from the video. Students got the sheet and stickers, had to share the stickers fairly, and then finish the sentences. It was great to talk about strategies, some shared the stickers one at a time, some new that 3 lots of 4 would make 12 stickers, so there would need to be 4 stickers on each monster.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Fun Friday!

Having a go at using a bead frame to work out some crazy animal addition sums. 

Getting ready for a school sleepover. My room looks so big!! The students are very excited about sleeping at school 😴

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Investigation Station Writing

Today students wrote about the Movement Investigation Stations. They had to write what they noticed and provide a reason why they thought it happened. The explanations were really interesting, and I loved this one!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Movement investigation stations

For inquiry our students were investigating how changes to size, shape and weight affected how things move. They rolled different sized cylinders, rolled different shaped objects, dropped feathers and tennis balls, took ten steps to see how far they got, jumped from standing and with a run up, kicked a ball from standing or with a run up, bounced different shaped balls, and rolled themselves along the grass. 

Now they have to write what they noticed about movement from the activity they were photographed doing. It was great fun, and the students loved experimenting!!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Term 4 No Chore!

Hello teacher friends!

Here in Australia we have just started our final term of school for the year. This means there is only 10 weeks until our summer break starts. This term is filled with lots of exciting activities for our students to finish their year of learning. 
It can be very busy. We have assessments and end of year reports, preparing for new grades, finalising work to be sent home, planning for the following year - the list goes on as you well know! I've 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 easy to manage.

After you have read my tip, please visit the other blogs in the link up below to find more ways to cruise through Term 4.

Tip - Assessment Checklist
At the end of the year there are lots of assessments to complete in preparation for reports. I create a checklist for the assessments I need to complete. I record the students names down the left side of a table, then write in the assessment tasks across the top. When I've completed an assessment on a student I tick it off, that way I can see what data I've collected about each child and what I'm missing.

I hope this tips has been useful. Make sure you check out the other great tips shared on the blogs below:


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Photo snippets from Reading lessons

I have been a terrible blogger lately! But I've been a very regular Instagrammer, so I thought I'd share some of the photos from our Reading lessons that I've been putting on Instagram.

I bought these fantastic little lights on Amazon a couple of weeks ago. We've been enjoying using them as pointers during guided reading sessions.

Pop for Letters is one of my students' favourite games. Early in the year they just identify the letter name. Then they begin to identify the letter sound. After that they identify a word that begins with that sound, or end with that sound. Now they have to provide the name, the sound and a word!

These are some reading groups activities. Top left is making high frequency words using playdough. Top right was the guided reading group I was working with. Bottom left is an awesome game called Shark! (my kids love the shark attack cards). Bottom right is Pop for Letters.

In the last couple of weeks I've had to change reading groups to make five groups because the range of reading is expanding. Now we do two activities, as well as silent reading. The top two are the books that I read with my guided reading groups. Bottom left is Pop for Rhyming Words (love!). Bottom middle is playing Memory/Concentration with high frequency word cards. Bottom right is matching CVC words with the matching pictures.

When we were focussing on rhyming words I would write a nursery rhyme or tongue twister up on the board each morning. We'd read it, identify the rhyming words, and then brainstorm more words that rhymed.

We'd been focussing on these letter combinations for a while, so it was time to check what they could do. Each child had a card and had to look at the picture, say the word, and then identify the letter combination in the word. This was a whole group activity so there was lots of 'helpers' for those who needed it. I used cards from two different photo cards boxes: Learning Resources Alphabet Photo Cards and Learning Resources Kindergarten Vocabulary Photo Cards.

I'm a very visual person when it comes to reading/looking at blog posts, so I think this is a format I will try to stick with for a little while. Let's see if I can blog more than once every two months!

Friday, 12 June 2015

Teaching with Intention: Chapter 1

I signed up with Greg Smedley to do the Book Study, but being in Australia I'm not on holidays yet so I'm a bit behind. Time to play catch-up!!

I have owned the book Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller for about two years and had it sitting on my shelf, unread, the entire time. When I heard about the book study I jumped at the chance to join in knowing that it would encourage me to read this amazing book!

My ideal classroom is lived-in and well-loved. I want the students to feel proud of their room and to take ownership over it - it's their learning space. It would have bright colours, but not look too busy. It would have student work on display, and anchor charts to show learning. Students would have their own space to store their things so they are responsible for their learning tools. They would have some choice during the day to engage them with their learning. Students would know what was expected of them for both their behaviour and their academic outcomes. There would be chatter, but not loud noise, with music to signal transitions. There would be charts documenting their achievements. It would feel welcoming, open and caring.

The students are involved in their learning and engaged with it. There are conversations about what they are doing, as well as conversations about their interests and what they've been up to. The students take ownership over the things in the classroom so they have pride in packing up their room. Students are working together and working independently. The teacher roves to support students, or works with small groups, or works 1-on-1 at a conferencing table. Students know what is expected of them, and the teacher has high expectations of what they can achieve. The teacher records learning, but lets the students share their learning in their own words. The teacher facilitates while the students do the work.

My students know my expectations of them, but we are still working on some behaviours (like calling out). I have charts around the room to document their achievements, like the number of days at school and a score chart for specific behaviours.

When they follow the description below a character as a whole class I tick off a number, when they've shown that behaviour five times they get a whole class prize.

I have bright colours in my room using furniture and posters, and the laminated cellophane on some of my windows.

I display a lot of student work, give them lots of jobs to help me so they are involved with running the classroom, I use some music for transitions and I document reflections in subject-specific journals to show their learning.
My students have an assigned seat and a tub that is under their desk, so they have their space which they take ownership over and which they have to keep tidy and organised.

At my school every student Prep-Grade 6 (prep is the first year of school) has to have three individual learning goals - 1 for reading, 1 for writing and 1 for maths. My students have these. They also have to independently provide three pieces of evidence before they can achieve the goal and get a new one.

I need to work on transitions! I have a lot of wanderers, and other kids follow them. It drives me nuts, so it's definitely something to work on. I think my room can look cluttered, so I need to work on that, particularly with my 'office' area. I've got problems with lighting in my classroom because where I sit to teach is in front of a big window, which can cause problems for my students looking at me.I also need to brush up on my 1-to-1 conferencing. I get stuck roving or sitting with a group, and don't prioritise short, structured conferencing. I need to work on goal-setting. I set the goals for my students, rather than with my students, so they forget what their goal is and forget to show me evidence of it.

This was a great first chapter, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest!!