Classroom Inspiration

Friday, 27 June 2014

HOORAY for school holidays!!

What a term! Despite it being 10 weeks long it has gone extremely quick. Having said that, I am still most definitely ready for a break. Now to decide how I'm going to spend my break....Books? Yes! Sleep ins? Yes! Lunch dates? Yes! Shopping? Sadly no :( Saving for a house deposit means no shopping for this little duck. 

What a better way to start off the holidays than with a Doodlebugs linky party!!

 Our profile books are up and running! We dedicate one teacher group session to goal setting every 2 or so weeks depending on how the children are going toward achieving their goals.
I'm looking forward to adding more personal info in our profile books in term 2. 

 As part of our Inquiry unit 'Past and Present Family Life', we made board games based around this topic. The little wonders used the information they have learnt to create challenges and successes for their game. It was great to see them coming up with things like 'Dad built you a wooden rocking horse, move forward two places' and 'Your horse is sick, miss a turn'. They used mini patty pans, clay and paper to create their game pieces. 

I had to show you this one!! It took all I had not to burst out laughing when I saw his flag hehe.
 As all grade 1 and 2 teachers know, losing teeth is a common occurrence in our level, and when a tooth goes missing, we launch a search party! This little guy (who happens to be one of the most animated and happy children I have ever taught) took it upon himself to get some gloves from the office, and search the bin for the apple the other child was eating when he lost his tooth. 
Unfortunately the tooth wasn't retrieved, so the Tooth Fairy was informed by letter, and all was well! 

 Don't you just love monkey bars??
Thank the Lord it wasn't her writing arm!

Thursday was pyjama day at school. It is amazing how calm and relaxed the little wonders are when they are in their pj's. We spend the whole day doing winter themed art and craft, needless to say they absolutely loved it! Now if you work with me you will know that my teaching/blogging/organising inspiration in Maria Manore from Kinder-Craze. She has amazing ideas and beautiful craft activities to brighten up your classroom. 
After getting over my anxiety of using contact paper in the class, I was super excited to have the children do Maria's 'Stained Glass Mitten' craft. I was a little unorganised however, so the little wonders helped me get everything organised. They loved having a part in the set up. 
Here are some of my little wonders cutting up the crepe paper squares for our mittens. How cozy do they look in their onesies! 
I was very relieved when not a single child made a mess of their contact paper.

The mittens look absolutely amazing on our windows and brighten up our winter days. I'm sure you all already follow her but if you don't, do yourself a favour and follow now! 

I hope everyone has a relaxing break!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

One week to go!

The last 2 weeks have been hectic to say the least. For those of you who don't know I'm currently studying to gain my Catholic Accreditation, which so far has been nothing but stressful. Any of you who have completed an education course at university can attest to there being those first year units that have no relevance to teaching whats so ever. Add this unit to that list!

Not only has it no relevance at all to actually teaching Religious Education, it was also due right at the time of reports. Needless to say, myself and my three colleagues, who are also completing the accreditation, asked for a significant extension. I can honestly say it was the first essay I have ever written that I actually thought I wouldn't be able to complete. I was lucky enough to be given a study day on the day before it was due, in order to complete it. I have never worked so hard and furiously on an assignment before in my life!! and boy was I relieved when I finally submitted it. 

How well I did is yet to be seen...keep your fingers crossed for me! Let's hope next semester's unit has more to do with teaching. 

So as the title of this blog post suggests we have one week before mid semester holidays, YAY! For me this term has gone so quickly, and I'm beginning to see some significant growth in some of my little wonders. As is said in an earlier post, we have finally started our goal setting. With English, Classroom and 2 Maths goals already completed I'm feeling pretty good about them. I've been super impressed with how in tune the children are to what they need to improve on. 

To tie up all we have learnt in our 'Past and Present Family Life' inquiry unit, we have organised an excursion to Flagstaff Hill in Warrnambool. Flagstaff hill is a maritime museum and outdoor village tat provides a glimpse into the lifestyles and trades of the 1870's era. 
The kids are very excited about our visit, and I'm looking forward to taking lots of photos to share with you all. 

To my fellow Australian teachers, enjoy the last week before holidays.
To the rest of you, keep enjoying your summer vacation.

Happy teaching :)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Worksheet Wednesday!

Hi everyone! It's the third day of link ups with The Teaching Tribune, and today is Worksheet Wednesday.  My free maths worksheet is a divide and colour activity.


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Two for Tuesday!

It's time for a Two for Tuesday link up with The Teaching Tribune! 

Head over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store for 50% off two of my products.



I use both of these products all the time in my classroom, I hope you will too! 

Happy teaching :)

Monday, 9 June 2014

Monday Meet Me with The Teaching Tribune!

 Today I'm linking up for Monday Meet Me!
Keep an eye out for a full week of link ups with The Teaching Tribune. 

I teach.....grade 1/2 at a Catholic School in Victoria. I work with an amazing team of experienced teachers and have been blessed this year with a beautiful class of imaginative and funny students. I am in my fourth year of teaching and am still learning so much, and this year my principal asked me to work alongside her as Literacy Co-ordinator, exciting!!

I have.....a passion for literacy and art, and if you walked into my classroom you'd know that right away. I love all things bright and colourful, and I always look forward to teaching my little wonders new artistic techniques. 

I watch.....too many YouTube hauls and makeup tutorials. If I'm not reading blogs, creating new products, writing blog posts, or doing the plethora of other school jobs I have to do,  I am watching YouTube videos. For those of you who don't know what a haul is let me let you in on a good thing, people from America and the UK show you clothes they have recently bought. And if you're like me and live in Australia where the shopping can be less than exciting, and the prices less than reasonable,   you'll love looking at all the new clothes and accessories. 

I Ed Sheeran and Sia. I am absolutely obsessed with these two songs at the moment. Ed Sheeran can sing any song and sound amazing, and this is no exception. In my opinion it is definitely better than the original. And Sia's Chandelier just makes me feel good :)

I read......The Next Step in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson. Well I PLAN on reading it when i get the time. It's been on my bedside table for a fee months now and I'm dying to get into it. I think these holidays will be the time to start.

I lots of clipart. Who can say no to the super cute clipart thats available at the moment! It makes my products look 100% better. Especially the clipart made by Krista Wallden and Kari Bolt (my absolute favourite clipart artists!). I'm currently hanging out for Krista's Zoo Animal set to be released. 

Goal setting and recording, how do you do it??

Public holiday means one thing... more time to blog and create new products!

As I've mentioned before, my school has begun on the journey toward personalised learning, and this has meant a lot of changes and trial and error. One thing we have been battling with is trying to find an effective and hassle free way of setting, displaying and recording student goals. 

We decided that children would set an English, Maths and Classroom goal, all with teacher input and guidance. Last year we tried displaying our goals in the classroom on a pinboard. This however turned out to be visually unpleasing, messy, and a pain in the...well you know. This year we have been a little slow off the mark to get a goals up and running, but we believe we've found a way to display and record student goals that's going to work for us, and not be a royal pain. 

If you've visited my TPT store you would have seen my Student Learning Profile pack. After conversations with my colleagues (and a stroke of brilliance from one of our foundation teachers) we decided to include extra pages in the profile books to display students English, Maths and Classroom goals. I've added these pages and the Goal Cards to the pack if you're interested in doing the same.
This solution means we aren't creating any extra work for ourselves or the children, and it will be easy for the kids to get their profile books out to refer back to their goals. I will take some pictures of our profile books to show you this week sometime. 

On the topic of goals, I have created a set of Classroom Goal Cards that I plan to use with the little wonders when setting their personal/classroom goals. When beginning the process of goal setting, I think it's important to give the children lots of ideas for goals, before guiding them to choose one they think applies to them. 

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

I'm going to use these cards tomorrow to set our classroom goals. 
Big shout out to Kari Bolt for her super cute clipart! 

I would love to hear how the rest of you display and record student goals in your own classrooms. 

Happy teaching everyone!

Friday, 6 June 2014

YAY!! Five for Friday!

Fridays have always been my favourite day of the week, and now they are for another reason. 
Doodle Bug Five for Friday Linky Party!! 
It's a great way to sum up the week and I love getting a sneak peek into the other amazing classrooms that link up.

So! We ran out of hand sanitiser this week, I promptly went to the supermarket to get some more. I chose a Dettol brand at what I thought was a great price. Turns out I didn't buy hand sanitiser, I bought hand soap instead (sigh), and didn't realise until the kids came to me with soapy hands saying 'It won't rub in!'. So back I went to the supermarket and came back with this deliciously inviting GREEN hand sanitiser. Needless to say the kids were very impressed. 

I also decided that I needed a new set of hand sanitiser labels, so I made these! They are available in my TPT store now!

I always drill into my kids how important presentation is to their completed work. My little wonders have heard me loud and clear! No more sloppy grey lead drawings with stick legs and mixed-match colours. They now give me background, bright colours and gorgeous drawings. 
It's great to see them show such pride in their work.

This week, as part of our poetry unit, we wrote some free verse poems. To inspire us we went outside and sketched whatever inspired them. The little wonders sketched magpies, galaghs, trees and flowers. I really love this photo, the little wonders have learnt to carry on working when I'm taking photos, I love catching honest moments. 

I've decided to begin the long process of organising a classroom library. The first step is to level the books I already have. Wouldn't the world be a better place if there was a single program/website/app that could level ALL my books?? Of course it would, but alas, there is no such tool. 
The inspiration for my library is, of course, Maria Manore's classroom library. 
Who isn't in love with it??

I purchased her Classroom Library Labels which are absolutely gorgeous! 

Anyone else out there a HUGE Mo Willems fan?
He is one of my all time favourite authors, and for good reason. His books are entertaining, funny and full of character. The little wonders love hearing about the Pigeon and his adventures. 
I am suuuuper excited that this little beauty, Mo's newest book, is currently on it's way to me and will land on my doorstep any day now. I can't wait to read it to the kids, a title that I'm sure they can all relate to!

Thanks for reading :)
Enjoy your long weekend!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Happy World Environment Day!

Happy Thursday everyone, and happy World Environment Day! 

The little wonders and I had a blast today, talking about ways we can help keep our environment clean and healthy, and the importance of acting now. I found some super cute ideas on Pinterest (where else?) that we had a lot of fun doing together. 

The first was a great craftivity from Lyndsey Kuster's 'The World is in Your Hands' Packet. The little wonders thought of some things they could do to help our environment. They then chose one of those actions and made a promise to the environment. This craftivity is such a cute way to display their promises. 

 I got the idea for our art lesson from Mrs T's First Grade Class
They turned out so great! They look fantastic up in our classroom.

First we traced our hand and arm, coloured it in, and then cut it out.  
We then painted our Earth with blue and green acrylic paint, being very careful to stay in the lines. My little wonders are amazing little artists. They take such pride in their work and show amazing imagination when given free reign. 

Once our globes were dry we cut them out and pasted them onto a black background. We then glued on our hands and to hold the earth, and decorated the background with gold stars. 

I LOVE how they have turned out. 
My OCD tendencies are hating the fact that there wasn't enough room for me to put them in a uniform pattern. I'm sure many of you can relate. 

On a non-environment day note - At the end of the day I had the children fill in their personal report comment that we include in their report. They colour in one of the faces to show how they feel about the different curriculum areas, their organisational skills, and their behaviour. There is also a space at the end for them to write about what they like about school. I had a read through them after the children left today and my heart was warmed with what some of them wrote. 

I'm glad they like spending time with me as much as I do with them. 

I hope you all had a great day, I sure did :)