Classroom Inspiration

Sunday, 27 April 2014

You're my Queen Bee!

I've just added a cute Mother's Day craftivity to my TPT store. 
It's a bee themed booklet for children to fill in to celebrate all that their mothers do for them. 

I love anything to do with bees (as you can tell from my signature and blog heading), and was dying to use this gorgeous clipart set by Krista Wallden.

Click on the picture to be taken to my TPT store. 

I can't wait to do this with my little wonders :) 

Linking up for great Mother's Day ideas!

Monday, 21 April 2014

New Products for Reciprocal Reading

Hi all!
So I've decided to spend the last days of my holidays creating some products to add to my TPT store. This term I am starting reciprocal reading with my top reading groups, which I am very excited about, as I love reciprocal reading!

If you’re not sure what this is, it is an instructional activity in which students become the teacher in small group reading sessions. Teachers model, then help students learn to guide group discussions using four strategies: summarising, questioning, clarifying, and predicting. Once students have learned the strategies, they take turns assuming the role of teacher (leader) in leading a dialogue about what has been read.

However, before introducing reciprocal reading, it is important that students know exactly what is required of each role. To do this I use ‘Sticky Note Reading Strategies’ by Leanne Prince to teach predicting and summarising. It is a great resource that the little wonders absolutely LOVE! We also practice using a dictionary and creating questions from a text. The three types of questions we use are heart, head and hand questions. If you visit my TPT store I have a product explaining the three types of questions.

Click on the picture to be taken to my TPT store. 

Once you students know what is expected of each role you can jump into a reciprocal reading session! I created a reciprocal reading pack that contains a flowchart, which shows the order of the roles, and role cards, which explain what each role entails. The flowchart can be used by the leader to keep the session on track, while the other children read their role cards to ensure they know what they have to do. 
Click any of the pictures to be taken to my TPT store. 

I hope you all like my new products!
 I'm looking forward to using them to teach my little wonders how to run a reciprocal reading session. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

First term holiday update

Hello all!
You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet here at Oh the Little Wonders, that’s because we’re half way through first term holidays. I’ve spent them so far reading books and blogs, online shopping, and watching movies and YouTube hauls and tutorials. I have also enjoyed catching up with friends from high school who have been back in town. The circumstances of their visit have been extremely unfortunate; nevertheless it has been great reminiscing about the old days and supporting each other through a difficult time.

After recently reading some blog posts on how others run their Daily 5, I have decided to make some changes to the way I run mine. For those of you who don’t know, the Daily 5 is a literacy program focusing on 5 aspects of reading and writing. The book is suuuper easy to read and gives you a step-by-step guide to introducing the Daily 5 into your classroom.

In the past I’ve organised the rotations so that I hear each group read everyday, spending 10-15 minutes with each group. I read a post by The Curious Teachers that made me rethink the effectiveness of only spending 15 minutes with each group.
I definitely recommend heading over to their blog to have a read! They have some great ideas for guided reading.

I've decided to change my rotations to be able to spend half an hour with 2 groups each day. The other groups will continue through their Daily 5 rotations, and when the teacher group is finished they will return to rotations as well. This will allow time for tuning in and focus activities, sight word work, listening to children read, assessing comprehension, sequencing texts and other essential teaching opportunities. 

I plan on doing a post after I’ve implemented the changes to let you know how they go. I’m also going to show you what’s in my ‘Teacher Time’ basket that I use during guided reading. I hope all the other Australian teachers are having a lovely break so that they feel excited and ready to take on a new term.

I'd love to hear how you all run your Daily 5 or literacy block, so please leave a comment.
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 5 April 2014


Notice something different?? Of course you do!
Thank you so much Kassie from Designs by Kassie for the AMAZING new blog design! I absolutely love it! 
You listened to every idea I had and made it 100 times better than I could have imagined. 

If anyone is thinking about starting a blog or giving your blog a makeover I HIGHLY recommend Kassie. 

I love my new blog and I hope you all do too :) 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Rice bubbles, marshmallows and chocolate, oh my!

Today the little wonders and I made the cutest Easter treat. 
Rice krispie eggs! Wow were they delicious (and sweet)! 

We used the recipe from the Kellogg's website, and were lucky enough to have our fantastic LSO Irene with us to help with the melting of the marshmallows and butter. We mixed the melted ingredients into our rice bubbles to create the stickiest mixture ever known to man. 

I think I had the best job, watching the little wonders try with all their might to get the sticky rice bubbles into their egg mould. Mind you, they were not complaining when rice bubbles got stuck to their hands as there was only one good way to get them off. 

After the longest thirty minutes of their lives, the little wonders' eggs were set enough for for them to eat and boy did they enjoy themselves! 

As an extra chocolaty surprise, we added Cadbury Mini Drops in the centre of the eggs (yummy!).

If you're after a great Easter treat to make with your class or you own kids, they are sure to love this one. 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Stained Glass Easter Decorations

I think they might even be my favourite Easter craft..big call, I know! And if you know me, you know how much I love art and craft. 

I found the idea for these on Pinterest but changed them a bit. I couldn't find the link back to the blog but if someone does please let me know. So as I said I changed them a little bit. The original post showed an egg cut out on one side and nothing on the other. Being in a Catholic school I wanted to tie it back to Jesus and the Easter story, so we made it double sided with a cross on the back. 

To save a lot of time I cut out the cross and egg shape from each plate in advance (I kept the cut outs to use in other Easter crafts). I wanted them to be nice and bright so the children chose a colour to paint them. I emphasised the importance of doing our brushstrokes in the same direction to make them look neat, which surprisingly they all listened to.

Once they were finished painting they stuck coloured pieces of cellophane onto a piece of plastic, one piece for the egg, and one for the cross. They then stuck the plastic onto the inside of each plate and staples the plates together. 

They turned out wonderfully. Very proud of the effort the little wonders put into them. I wish I didn't have to take them down in 2 days for school holidays, they look so great in my classroom!

Hoppy Easter!

Easter preparations are in full swing and I am looooving all the fun Easter art and craft we have been doing!
I wanted to incorporate finger printing into our Easter card this year, so I thought to myself
 'Whats cuter than finger printed bunnies and chicks?!' 
The answer was nothing.

I have a fantastic book by Ed Emberley called 'The Complete Funprint Drawing Book' which has hundreds of different characters made from fingerprints. It is a great visual for showing children how to add simple details to create super cute people and animals. 

I absolutely love the art my little wonders produce. They are all so individual and I love seeing their uniqueness come through in their art.