Classroom Inspiration

Friday, 15 August 2014

Yee-Ha! It's Five for Friday time!

I always look forward to Fridays! Apart from the fact that it means the weekend is here, it also means it's time to link up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for five for Friday :) So here's a snapshot of my hectic week.

I'm not sure about those of you who live in America, but in Australia we have something called the 'Life Ed Van'. It travels around to all the schools and teaches children about safety and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. As a child I visited the Life Ed Van and looooved it! The soft walls and velcro food drew me right in. Now for the main attraction, the famous mascot.....a puppet giraffe named Harold! 

When I visited the van this week with my class he only made two short appearances, which I thought was a big old shame. The theme of our visit was 'Harold's Heroes', some of my little wonders dressed up as super heroes to make dangerous scenarios safe.

The kids had a great time learning about safety and what to do in unsafe situations.  
This week we took our art inspiration from the one and only Andy Warhol. We watched a video about him which showcased his work and explained to the children what 'Pop Art' was. I paused the video throughout to explain to them who the various people were they saw. They had no idea who Marilyn Monroe was, and only one or two knew Elvis. I'm glad to say a couple more knew Michael Jackson. It makes me sad that these kids aren't going to grow up knowing who these iconic people were. 
We talked about the bright colours Warhol used, and how he often took paintings or photos and turned them into his own. 

I took the little wonder's school photos and turned them into pencil sketched using iPiccy. I then made them into a collage using PowerPoint and printed them onto A3 drawing paper. We talked about using a different colour for each part of your photo, and the importance of using bright colours. The kids then coloured them in using crayons (and as always I encouraged them to colour all the same way) I was so impressed with how much care they all took with their colouring. Even the children who (dare I say it) usually scribble, created an amazing piece of art. I'm definitely using this one in our art show next term. 
How awesome do they look!
Today I was lucky enough to attend a professional development day focused on reading comprehension. I cannot begin to tell you how great it was! The whole time I was writing down things I wanted to take back to school and implement in my classroom. There were so many fantastic ideas to help engage children in reading as well as different ways to teach comprehension strategies. 

It also helped me make up my mind on whether or not I was going to start a classroom library, and the verdict is ABSOLUTELY! We read about the importance of having a classroom library, and how it greatly improves children's reading ability. I came straight home and asked my dad if he would build me a custom book shelf for my room :) 
Excited to finally get to use Maria's Black Series Classroom Library Labels!
This week I also attended our regional  Literacy Leader meeting where we talked a lot about how to foster independent writers. I was so glad we did this topic as I had mentioned it in our previous meeting as something I'd like to explore. 
If you haven't read 'No More I'm Done: Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades' by Jennifer Jacobson, I STRONGLY recommend you do. It's completely changed the way I think about writing and is how I would like to teach writing in the near future. 
If you read my July Currently, then you'll know that I was planning on getting healthier. I'm pleased to say I've made a change! I've been doing the 5:2 Diet which involved having intermittent fasting days. They aren't complete fasts, they are 500 calorie days. I changed it a little bit in that I do 4:3, which means 3 days a week I eat 500 calories, and the other 4 I eat 1,200 calories. To be honest, and I know you probably won't believe me, I actually look forward to my fast days because I don't have to think about food. I know which foods are low in calories and how much of them I can eat on these days so it's easy. My 1,200 calorie days mean I can have more, but I still need to make good choices. I haven't had McDonalds since I've started! Even on my non-fast days I find I'm not craving fatty junk foods.  

Now if you know me, you'll know that I have always been a BIG cola drinker. I am pleased to say that during the day I only drink water, night time I let myself have a glass of cola with tea. I can't give up cold turkey, I need to wean myself off lol. I think this is something I'll be able to stick to. I keep reminding myself that it's not a diet, but a lifestyle change. Making better choices, but still allowing myself a treat on special occasions. I know if I said I could never have sweets again would mean I'd soon give up. So I'm optimistic, wish me luck! 

Happy Friday everyone, have a great weekend!


  1. I love the Life Ed Van! Harold is awesome. That book looks awesome, I find teaching writing to preps the hardest part of my day. My dad has been doing a 4:3 fasting diet for nearly 12 months and has been amazingly successful! It works if you can stick to it (it's not for me, I have food issues....) :D

    Luck's Little Learners

    1. Haha I have food issues too! But this seems to be working for me so I'm pretty happy :)
      I hope I can stick to it as long as your dad has, thats impressive!
      The book is definitely worth a read Jem! It's only $20 something on Booktopia.

  2. Here in the UK we have the Life Ed Bus too and the kids love Harold! Even in Year 6 they like to see him to say a final goodbye before they move on to secondary school!
    Growing Little Learners

    1. It's so funny Pixie Anne, before they go they're all like "He's just a puppet" but as soon as they get there they love him!

  3. The art project is spectacular! I know your parents love you for that priceless piece each child created. Our art teacher did something similar one year, but the kids colored with sharpie. I like your version much better!
    Teachers Are Terrific!

    1. Thanks so much Carol!
      I have three children in my class who's parents work at my school and they were so excited to go and show them as soon as they finished. I love how they turned out.
      Thanks for your kind words :)