Thursday, 19 May 2016

Learning Update

No I am not dead nor have I joined a cult that forbids the use of blogging as a way of communicating. I am just busy getting my butt kicked by a bunch of 5 year olds.

Seriously guys this year is HARD!  I am struggling to fit everything in and that includes blogging :( please forgive me!

On the other hand I have been super busy in the classroom and I wanted to share some of the things we have been doing while I have an hour to myself (yes I know I should be writing reports.....but I don't want to).

We have been all about trying out new technology in our classroom.  We are very lucky to have received and Osmo and some Touchtronics letters and numbers for our Prep room.  The kiddos love how interactive it is and it has now become a favourite hands on ipad activity.

We have been heavy on counting activities as well!  We have used lots of different objects to count below you can see our counting penguins which the kiddos love. 

counting penguins

Adding "river rocks" to help dinosaurs cross the river
Another favourite activity was laying river rocks across a river to help dinosuars cross to the other side.  The kiddos loved it so much I had to leave it out for over a week.  The kiddos rolled a dice and then laid the glass stones end to end, only one dinosaur could cross one bridge so they had to do it multiple times.  The aim was to get as many dinosaurs across as they could.

Threading washers

I also had some bolts, washers and nuts out in a tinkering tray, the kiddos had to thread the washers onto the bolts and then put a nut on to the end to secure it, they then had to pass it to a friend to check, have you noticed the fine motor practice I sneak in heehee.

Balloon Pop!

The last activity I wanted to share with you is a game I made called Balloon Pop to 10, this is great for counting forward to 10 and backwards from 10.  Just click here or on the pic for your free copy.

As you can see in this next pic, we love reading to our Book Buddies :) we do this multiple times during the week in different contexts.  These littles are reading their take home readers prior to them going home, we also use our book buddies during guided reading and free choice reading.

I hope to be back in a week to share some more fun learning from our classroom......who am I kidding, see you in a month haha. (unless I join a cult)

Saturday, 5 March 2016

A peek at our Week

Hey friends, hope this week finds you well and rested.

I wanted to share with you a few things that have been happening in our Prep class.  We have spent the first few weeks of school getting to know the routines and procedures in the classroom and we are finally settling into some serious learning.

We have been doing lots of work around patterns, clapping patterns, making patterns with people, finding patterns in our classroom, building patterns with blocks and peg patterns.  I loved this activity because it also incorporated a little bit of fine motor as well.  Most kiddos did an AB pattern but I did have a couple that did and ABB pattern which I was pretty happy with.  This inspired me to create a Peg Pattern file which will be up in my store very soon!  I will keep you posted

 Sorting was another fave activity for my kiddos this week.  I got these containers at Big W in the party section and just poured some random buttons in the centre.  Kiddos had to justify and explain their reasoning and then draw their sorting into their books.  I kind of think this looks like a flower don't you?

Our Summer tree :)

The change of season to our Autumn tree!  Our tree is also used to display what our sound focus is for that day.  Currently it is Ll, the kiddos collect the letter from the letter nest and we find names, words and pics to put in the tree, I love it because it is constantly changing.

We also found some pics in magazines to identify foods, clothing and activities that would show the season of Summer and Autumn.  Next week we will be making Autumn handprint trees.  

That is it for now, this tired teacher is going to take a Nana nap heehee

Sunday, 14 February 2016

I Survived!

Well I am happy to say I survived my almost first whole week of Prep!

We worked very hard this week in consolidating the routines and procedures of our classroom, in particular walking in a line quietly.  I will say we have had varied success with this one but it is certainly less like herding cats now :)

I must say there have been many things I had forgotten about teaching a Prep class considering the last time I taught Prep was 6 years ago.  One thing I had forgotten about was how much I need to TALK, how many times I am REPEATING an instruction! My voice was quite mangled by the end of the week and I have given it a good rest over the weekend much to the pleasure of my family :)

One of the other things I had forgotten about was how small their bladders are!!!!  Of course once somebody says they need to go, they all need to go!  Every. Single.Time.
On the academic side of things we have been learning about sounds and letters that our names begin with and identifying them in other people's names.  We have also been incorporating sight words that begin with the sound.  We will be doing a letter a day and then going back to look at them more in depth later on.

My kiddos have been awesome at doing rotations which has been the highlight of the week for me.  I have had a range of activities that children rotate around including 

fine motor

Here are a few pics of the activities we have done so far.

These were some cards I made up quite a number of years ago but they still did the job of counting and recognising numbers and collections as well as 1 to 1 correspondence.

Penguins on ice!  They luuurrved this activity!  Roll the die and put that amount of penguins on.

The boys particularly liked this activity from Brooke Beynon.  Parking lot dominoes.  

I have been leaving the afternoons as Free Choice Play (but not really because I put the activities out that I want them to 'play' with).  This also gives them a chance to have some quiet time as everyone has been so, so tired come the end of the day.  I have also been using this time as a bit of one on one time with some of them to get to know them and do some quick assessments.

Next week we start our PIPS testing so it will be a busy couple of weeks for all of us :)

Saturday, 6 February 2016

A new journey!

Hey friends!

Well I went back to school last week and started my new school year with a new grade level and a new team.  This year I am teaching Preps (you might call it Kinder) and I am no longer job sharing. While I was very sad to leave behind my Grade 2 and Grade 3 teaching partners I am super excited to have my own space and my own group.

So I have a new teaching journey this year, I haven't taught Prep for 6 years so I am going into this new adventure with some knowledge but also a lot to learn :)

I wanted to share some classroom photos with you today.  I love my room, it makes me smile.

This is our library corner, the lanterns and fluffy decorations now hang from the ceiling.  In the cloud storage basket is lots of book buddies and puppets for the kiddos to read to.

This is going to be my Sounds and Seasons tree.  I will change out the colours each season to match, there is also a little birds nest that I plan on putting our letter of the day in.  The students will pull it out and then choose from a range of objects, student names and words that will go on the sounds tree.  The tree is now in a pot to protect his roots :)  Next to the tree is our class calender.

Looking towards our IWB and my maths shelf

Looking from the door back towards my desk

Our home corner is very popular!  Once again the lanterns and fluffy decorations are now hanging up thanks to my lovely groundsman.

Our home for the rest of the year!

I'm really looking forward to sharing my journey with you this year and even though I am physically and mentally exhausted right now, I am also brimming with excitement for the amazing learning that is going to happen for all of us here.

I'll be back with some posts about our rotations we have been doing,

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Setting goals 2016....I'm Back!

Hey there friends!  Wow it has been such a looooong time since I have blogged!  I will tell you that 2015 was an extremely busy time for me both in the classroom and at home and as I am only human I knew that something had to give, I had to slow down with a few things so that I didn't implode haha!

I am happy to say that 2016 will see me finally in my own classroom teaching a Prep (Kinder) class.  I have been job sharing for the last two and a half years and while I have loved collaborating with my teaching partners I am very excited to finally have my own class again.  I have about a month before I head back to school and I am busy, busy, busy getting things ready and sorting through all of my resources at home, oh and of!

I have really enjoyed my Christmas break catching up with my family and still have more to go.  I have also finally got around to having a little look at some new resources to create for next year, make sure you keep posted for those.  In the meantime I know lots of my Northern Hemisphere friends have already gone back to the classroom so here is a little freebie to help your students with goal setting in 2016, hope you like it!

One of my goals this year is to improve my blog posts and to post more regularly :) Enjoy friends!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Five for Friday!

I am linking up with Kasey at Doodlebugs Teaching for a Five for Friday!  
What a busy week it has been!

Technically this is from last week but it certainly needs to be shared and anyway, sometimes we just gotta break the rules.

We had a Halloween dress up last week at school to raise money for Brain Cancer.  Of course I had to go as the Wicked Witch, it was so much fun!

We have been investigating mixing in our Chemical Science unit and I couldn't resist a little bit of Sci-Art, heehee.  Our students chose two primary colours to mix to make a new colour.  We then cut out circles to create a Kandinsky inspired class collage.

This is my amateur effort to create an x-box one cake.  We celebrated my son's 11th birthday this weekend, time has gone too quickly!  One more year at Primary school and then he is off to high school. I. Just. Can't.

I am so in love with Jamberry Nail Wraps! It just suits my lifestyle, no dry time, durable and easy to apply.  I love them so much I have become a consultant and I am excited to see where this journey will take me!

Sometimes you just have to let loose and be  a kid  with your kids :) 

Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Term 4, No Chore!

Hi friends!

We are heading in to Term 4 here in Australia, the end of the year is in sight and that means a busy, time coming up!  Even though this last term can be filled with fun activities it seems like there is always so much to do besides teaching as another year wraps up, cleaning, sorting, passing on information to new teachers, end of year concerts and performances...the list could go on and on.

To help keep you on the right track I have teamed up with some of my favourite blogging buddies with some simple tips and tricks to get you and your students through to the end :)

After you have read through this make sure you head over to my bloggy friends to see more tips!

I have 2 easy and simple things to share with you to help ease the transition from one year to the next for your students.

1.  If your school has a transition time for kiddos going up a grade then that is great!  This is such a wonderful time for them to get a feel for their new classroom or area of the school and lets face it some of our kiddos need lots of time to get used to a new setting.  In addition to the mandated transition visit, I like to take my class to the new area of the school at different times of the day, for example my Year 2 kiddos will be eating lunch with the primary students next year in a different area, so I will take them to eat lunch a few times before the end of the year.  I also take them on a "new playground tour" so they are aware of the boundaries and area they will be playing in.  We often detour through the new area on our way to library or PE, it only takes a few minutes more and is very reassuring for some of my kiddos to be able to familiarise themselves.  I have found this particularly useful for my special needs students.

2.  Have your current class write a letter to the incoming class, this can be done as a whole class or individually.  We leave each letter on desks so the incoming students are able to read them on their transition day, the smiles on their faces shows how much it helps them.  We then display them on the bulletin board for the first few days back at school the next year.  This is a great way for them to gain an understanding of classroom routines and expectations as well as letting them know a little bit about your through the eyes of your students. New parents may also find this information useful when visiting your classroom for the first time.  Words written by children can be very powerful!

Just to help ease the pain of the end of year busy, I am giving away a $10 TpT Voucher, just enter the Rafflecopter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now make sure you check out the other fab bloggers who have some end of year tips and tricks for you

 You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, TpT or Pinterest for more great ideas!