Classroom Inspiration

Friday, 30 May 2014

It's Friday again, and aren't I thankful!

Another super busy week is done and dusted. I don't know about anyone else but as a teacher, there are always things popping up during the school week, that take away from actual teaching, and leave you feeling like you haven't accomplished as much as you'd wanted. 

However reflecting on the week, I'm blown away by just how much I've manage to squeeze into a single week. Reports - check, Benchmarking - check, Whole school art - check, Meetings - check, Student Assessments - check...and thats not the whole of it!

Here is a glimpse into my week...

We began our unit on Pentecost this week (my all time favourite unit), and started it off by learning about the Fruits of the Spirit.  This super cute activity is from Doodle Bugs Fruits of the Spirit lesson pack available from Teachers Pay Teachers. 
We also made Holy spirit headbands which the kids insisted on wearing all day. 

This week we celebrated a massive milestone for one of our little wonders. It has been a year since he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Guillain-Barrè syndrome is an autoimmune condition in which the person’s nerves are attacked by the body’s own immune defence system. This little trooper had to spend three months in hospital, re-learning how to walk and regaining control over this body. We were very lucky to share in this moment with him and his mum, and were even luckier to get a slice of that amazingly delicious cake! 

Woolworths in Australia brings out collectible cards for kids to collect and at the moment they are Jamie Oliver's 'Jamie's Garden' cards. At the moment I am saving for a house deposit, and have decided that when I do build my own house, I will have a veggie garden and chooks! So I have decided to collect the cards myself (don't judge me), I figure if it makes gardening easy enough for kids, then surely I will have some success! 

Yes it was messy, but boy was it fun! We finger painted in art this week to create a garden scene, complete with finger print bugs and a white wooden fence. I got the idea from a post on Pinterest. I will  post a picture on my blog of the finished product.  

 Soooo I volunteered to help out a colleague yesterday, by making him a lactose and gluten free chocolate cake for his wife's birthday. It is the very first cake of this kind I have ever made so I'm a little nervous about how it's going to taste. Fingers crossed its alright!

Happy weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


You all know what I'm talking about, right?? One of the best feelings we as teachers experience!

and oh what a feeling it is!! 
For weeks it's all I've been thinking about, and I know the teachers among you can relate. My team had our report writing day today, and I was able to allocate all my progression points, print out my 47 pages of reports, and hand them in for proof reading. 
I must say I'm a little proud of myself for completing them 2 weeks before the due date. 
I think I might reward myself by buying a little something off ASOS, after all it's been a while.  

I'm thinking of all of you who are still slaving away on your computers, and am sending my motivational thoughts your way.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Roll & Colour

Man have I been productive today! Just finished my Roll & Colour packet which focuses on the most common word families. They require no preparation so are super easy to incorporate into Daily 5 or Literacy groups. My little wonders love doing these and they're a great way to recap word families if you use them during Teacher Group.

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

Celebrating with a freebie!

I finished the majority of my reports today, whoooo! So to celebrate I've got my Number Tic-Tac-Toe activity to share with you all. I'm going to do this with my little wonders on Monday during our open day for Catholic Education Week. I thought it would be the perfect activity for parents to join in with when they visit us.

Click the picture to be taken to my store to download.

Hope you like it!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Five for Friday

Thank God for the weekend! My week has consisted of benchmarking, report comments, progression points and wet days. Boy do I hate wet days! Now don't get me wrong, I love the rain! But when the little wonders are stuck inside all day and can't get out to run around, I'm not such a big fan. You all know how kids get when they're cooped up, they get restless, and that means no concentration, no focus, chatting, and dobbing! But with the 'not so good' comes the 'good'. 

Julia Donaldson is by far one of my favourite authors of children's books, and the kids love listening to her stories. As our library activity this week we read Julia's book 'The Gruffalo'. The little wonders loved the bright illustrations and the catchy story line. As a response to the story we made our own Gruffalo masks, complete with orange eyes and green warts! 

As far as I know, every teacher on the planet it obsessed with Pinterest, and I am no exception. My favourite use for Pinterest is to find lessons for my classroom. It is a treasure trove of fantastic ideas! I especially love it for art projects that I can do with my little wonders. I found this great idea, based on Edvard Munch's 'The Scream'.  We looked at his original painting and discussed the importance of it in the art world. We also spoke about the techniques he used to create movement in the sky and water. We then had a go at drawing out own versions of the famous painting. 

On a non-teaching note, look who I found in my classroom Thursday morning! I'm not sure if he was in there all night, or wether he flew in through the door that morning. He must have been trying to get out for a long time because he was exhausted when I attempted to catch him, hence my success! I had to take a photo to prove to the little wonders that I really did catch a bird with my bare hands.
The were very impressed to say the least!

A shot I took today, just messing around with my camera while my little ones worked away on their 'Scream' art work. These are one of my favourite items in my room (its always the small things). They are my pencil buckets, purchased for $2.80 each from a discount store in Melbourne. Shout out to my friend Emma for a great find! 

A few weeks ago we went to Hamilton for a PD on 'The 7 Steps to Writing Success', which turned out to be a fantastic learning experience. We have been implementing these steps into our writing lessons and they have proven to be fantastic ways to engage the children in the process of writing and identifying various parts of a text. This week we focused on 'pebbles, bricks and boulder', which is a way of classifying the problems in a story. Pebbles are small problems, bricks are medium size problems and the boulder is the big problem/tension scene. We read a big book called 'Rose Rat and the Scary Plant' and drew the pebble, brick and boulder scenes. I absolutely love how the children illustrated each problem from the text, and was especially impressed with how quickly they were able to grasp the concept.

I hope everyone has had a great week, enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

It's that time of year again

If you're a teacher in Australia, you have no doubt begun the laborious task of writing reports. And if you're anything like me, you feel guilty doing anything BUT report writing. It is for this reason that I've had no time at all to share with you the great things I've been doing with my little wonders lately. From week 4 of term 2 reports are all I think about! And don't stop thinking about until they are all completed, uploaded, and ready to be sent home. 

I don't know about the rest of you, but my report writing sessions usually consist of pyjamas (or anything super comfy), the TV on in the background (disney movies with the volume down low), and a plethora of junk food (including chocolate, chips and candy). So far this has proved to be the most productive setting for me, so I'm sticking to it! 

The past few weeks have also been super busy at school. A highlight was our whole school Cross Country which was held last week, and it was the first time the Foundation, 1 and 2 students were able to participate. It turned out to be a beautiful day, which really brought out the best in our kids. Within our level there are some very spirited children who have been dealt an extremely unfair hand, and as a result have to overcome physical challenges daily. But these absolute little troopers didn't think twice about competing with their friends. Hearing the cheers from the other children as they neared the finish line made me feel so proud to be their teacher. They showed so much compassion for being so young. 

I wish I could show you all these determined little faces!
Turns out we have some exceptionally athletic little ones. I'm always very impressed when I watch our little wonders compete, they are all super stars in my eyes! 

Well, I suppose I'd better get back to my reports...please pray for me.
Happy teaching!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Mother's Day Necklaces

I'm sooo excited to write this post! I've been waiting to share this with you since we first made these beauties nearly two weeks ago. There are three children in my class whose parents work at my school, so keeping their mother's day gift under wrap was a mission in itself. 

For our mothers this year we made polymer clay bead necklaces. I was so excited to make these with my little wonders, and watching the care they put into creating each and every bead made my heart swell! They put so much effort into making sure they did their very best for their mums. 

We used metal skewers to make the holes in our beads. I coated the skewers in baking spray to ensure the beads went on and off without sticking. 

We baked our beads at 110 degrees celsius for 45 minutes. 

 We put our beautiful necklaces into re-purposed cupcake boxes with this lovely chevron tissue paper. 

This was my absolute favourite Mother's Day gift we've ever made! 
It will definitely be a go-to for years to come. 

Hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

For all we do!

Head over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store for 20% off all my products! Don't forget to use the code TPTXO before checkout to get the discount.

How lovely it is to be appreciated!
Now is the time to stock up on all your favourite products. 

Happy shopping!

Sunday, 4 May 2014


The amazing people at Primary Chalkboard are giving away 3 $35 vouchers for TPT. Head over to their blog to enter for your chance to win! 

Click on the picture to be taken to their blog.

Good luck!

Saturday, 3 May 2014


Wow! What a busy week! I am so glad it's the weekend just so I can have a rest!
This week at school we held our first learning conversations for the year. It was great to meet all the parents of my little wonders and to have a chat with them about the progress of their little one. We held our meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday after school, up until 6.30pm. In previous years we had allocated 15 minutes per child, this year however we changed it to 10 minutes. After talking with my colleagues, we all felt that 10 minutes kept the conversations on point and the time was used effectively. Overall I felt that the conversations were a success. I am very proud of how much my little wonders have grown since we first came together at the start of the year. 

Along with learning conversations this week, we have been working hard to complete our Mother's Day gifts. And I must say that this year's gifts are the best we've ever made! I just know our Mum's are going to love them. I can't wait to post some pictures to show you!

While we were working on one part of our gift, I witnessed one of those moments as a teacher that make you truly proud of your kids. As each child finished their work, and without prompting, they went over to someone who needed help, picked up some scissors or crayons, and helped them finish theirs. I couldn't help myself and just had to take a photo of my busy bees, all working hard to help each other finish on time. 
I love this so much!

This Monday is a student free day at my school, as we are off to a writing workshop in Hamilton called '7 Steps of Writing'. I'm looking forward to it as we have just begun personalised writing groups in our learning centre. I have also just finished reading 'No More I'm Done; Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades' by Jennifer Jacobson, which has got me thinking of ways to improve and build on how I teach writing. I highly recommend reading this book. It completely changed how I think about writing.

The school we are going to for the writing workshop is a new school with an open plan design, custom built for personalised learning. I will try to get some pictures to show you, we've been there before and the school is gorgeous. 
Unfortunately the school wasn't presented as well as it was last time we visited, so I wasn't inspired to take many photos. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend!