Monday, 25 March 2013

Counting Down!

Three more days until two glorious weeks of holidays! After a huge day at school today I'm wondering if I can make it. :)  Why-oh-why does the busiest week of the term have to be the last?  Today we had Crazy Hair Day (read: Crazy Kids Day) to raise money for a cancer charity, tomorrow we have our Staff Dedication Service that the whole school attends, Wednesday is 'Prep Spring Cleaning!' day and Thursday we have a last day party. Oh, as well as parent teacher conferences until about 7pm tomorrow and Wednesday nights.  Bring on Friday!!  

As well as being the first day of holidays, Friday is the day that my Canadian lovebird (and most loyal blog reader) arrives from Canada!  I'm super excited to see him after 2 and a half months apart. :)

Happy last day of term Australian friends!


Saturday, 23 March 2013

It's 'Five for Friday' Time!

I don't know about you, but I love having a peek into other people's lives with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday linky! Today I'm especially glad that Friday has rolled around once again because we only have four more days of school before 2 weeks of Easter break!  

My week at school was looooong and frustrating. The kidlets are tired, I'm tired, and we're rushing to squeeze everything into our short term.  That's why most of my Friday five are non school related - I need a break from thinking about it! :)

1.  Last weekend we had some gorgeous weather, so a friend and I sat for a couple of hours at the beach enjoying some wine and cheese.  Such a lovely way to wind down and  people watch.  Please excuse the below par presentation of the picnic - it's the atmosphere that counts!

2. I absolutely l-o-v-e having fresh flowers at home - aren't these pink roses beautiful?

3. After I parked my (brand new!) car at school on Monday morning I got a call from admin saying that it had rolled backwards and hit the school ute.  What the?  The handbrake was adjusted a few days before so it looks like it somehow failed and caused the car to move.  Poor little car!  Of course the damage could have been much worse but these things are always a pain in the bee-hind to get fixed up.

4. Since I left for Canada my friend Lauren has had not one, but two babies!  She was 9 months pregnant with the first when I left and had the second a few days before I got home.  I finally got a chance to go and visit her. Her newborn, Elya, is absolutely divine. 

5. I hope you have something more exciting planned for your weekend than me!  I need to draw faces on and cut out 24 handprint giraffes as well as get a good head start on planning for next term. 

Happy weekend everyone!  Head on over to Doodle Bugs and link up too! :)


Saturday, 16 March 2013

Five for Friday!

Hooray for Fridays! And since it's already Saturday here in Australia (we're the future, people!) hooray for Saturdays too!!

Here's my random 5 for this week's linky with Doodle Bugs.

1.  We have finally had some gorgeous weather here on the Sunshine Coast!  The rain seems to have disappeared for the moment so I have been enjoying the sun. :)

Snapped this pic on my way to school one morning - 6:30am is a gorgeous time to be at the beach!
2.  To celebrate the sun, my friend and I had lunch at a cute little pub last Sunday.  We sat on the verandah and were having a great time... until a cattle train stopped on the tracks a few hundred metres from us.  We ended up eating our lunch with the smell of cow poop in the air! So gross!  No idea why the train stopped right there... maybe the driver was jealous that he wasn't at the pub too?

3. Spent $3 at Kmart this week and scored these little beauties. 5 packets of reward coupons and 2 packets of adorable owl magnets - some for me, some for school!

4. Most valuable time spent at school this week?  10 minutes printing and displaying sticker charts!  The kidlets had been taking their stickers home each afternoon but decided they would like to have them in the classroom to look at (which I had suggested right from the beginning!).  Keeping an eye on their chart has kept them motivated to 'move their peg up' so they can all add a new sticker in the afternoon. :)

These also serve a double purpose - blocking the window so parents don't peer in and wave at their kids in the afternoons!

5. Nothing better than spending time with my nephew, Mack!  "Smile for Aunty Lauren?" "No! Nonononononono." That's what I get for putting Mary Poppins on for him to be distracted by.

Link up to share your random Five for Friday too!

Happy weekend everyone. :)


Friday, 15 March 2013

Little Monsters!

What a 'monstrous' week my Preppies have had!  One of our Letterland characters this week was Munching Mike (a purple monster), so we did a super cute directed drawing to make our own little monsters.  I grabbed the idea from Mrs. Jump.  We painted them with watercolours today and I'm so pleased with how they turned out.

This was my effort!
This is Mumford - drawn by one of my Jakes. (I have 3!)
We also worked through 'The Day a Monster Came to School' - a freebie unit written by Kathleen at Growing Kinders.  I'd mentioned in a previous post that I had planned this into my week - but I was over the moon with how the kids responded.  They loved it!  We organised the cards into above/below the line and bottom line behaviours to display on the wall.  I've been pleased to hear my Preppies referring to it this week and trying hard to stay 'above the line'!  

All of these monster activities together with our Dippy Duck Disco this afternoon left the kidlets and I completely exhausted.  I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend to get me ready for another week with my 'Little Monsters'. :)


Thursday, 14 March 2013

What Did They Say?! Wednesday Linky

This could possibly be the cutest idea for a linky ever: Jessica at A Turn to Learn is hosting What Did They Say!? Wednesday.  A chance for everyone to share those pearls of wisdom that our kidlets impart to us every day. 

Here's my story of the day - 

Me (pointing to ankle): Can you tell me what that body part is called?
Kid: Well, it could be brains but your brains are in your head I guess.
Me: OK, so what else might it be?
Kid: Could be heaps of things really.
Me: Want to pick one then?
Kid: I'll go with stomach bone.
Me: Good choice.


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky

Mrs. Reed over at Flying into First Grade is having a linky designed for everyone in bloggy land to get to know each other better. The idea is to use your initials to name 3 things that you like or like to do.

L is for living near the beach.  I'm lucky enough to live close enough to the beach that I can pop my togs on, grab a towel and a book and walk there in about 3 minutes. :) There's nothing like falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing, or walking with a morning coffee to check out the surf, or spending an afternoon floating in the water enjoying the sunshine... I could go on and on!

R is for reality TV.  The trashier the better!  The Bachelor, Dance Moms, The Real Housewives, Say Yes to the Dress and The Block (an Aussie one!) are some of my faves.

K is for kids.  I know, I know - so cliched for a teacher to say!  But I really do love my Preppies, and every kidlet who has been in my class over the years has a special place in my heart.  I also 'specially love babies and will offer to cuddle any baby nearby... even if I don't really know their Mum or Dad!

So there you go.  Head on over to Flying into First Grade and link up!


Monday, 11 March 2013


Happy Monday everyone!  I hope your day was better than mine.  I had one of those days where I just couldn't shake a bad case of Monday-itis.  Here's a few photos of what happened in my room even though I was in a grump!

Turns out I made a slight miscalculation when making the templates for some sight word watches that we made this morning.  The little wrists of my kidlets are so much tinier than I had imagined!  Nevertheless, they loved their fab accessory and wore them proudly all day.  A quick, easy way to have their sight words visible.

I finished off this guy - a letter monster who is going to chomp away at some initial sound pictures tomorrow morning.  I'm going to match this with an awesome freebie - 'The Day a Monster Came to School' - from Kathleen at Growing Kinders.  It's all about manners and following the rules and is super cute.

What a lovely surprise waiting for me when I came back from dropping the kidlets at French - 10 iPads for my classroom!  We have 30 altogether in Prep but decided to divide them between the 3 classes so we can have them all day, every day!  Anyone got any terrific ideas of how to use iPads in the classroom?

Anyway, since everyone knows that the only acceptable way to end a horrible day is by eating a whole tub of ice-cream, I'm off to get stuck into some mint choc chip while laminating and slicing. :)


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Five for Friday!

I'm very excited to be linking up for the very first time with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday (even though it's Saturday already here). :)

1. I finally found some cute bugs to use in the 'Gone Buggy' game I pinned from Kindergarten Kindergarten.  The kidlets played it in Maths groups and L-O-V-E-D it!

2. This little man decided to wear my playground duty hat back from lunch.  It looked so cute on him.  It's the moments when my kidlets make me giggle that make teaching Prep so fun!

3. Notice something missing?  My last job on Friday afternoon was to pop these number posters on the wall... and the laminator ate number 9!  :(

4. I had to drive down the highway to get back to Brisbane for the weekend, and this little mishap made the normally 55 minute journey take over an hour and a half.  Sigh.  Luckily there was no one injured - just a lot of cars all over the road.  I can't tell you how exhausted I was when I finally got home!

(Please ignore the fuel consumption sticker still on my car... I keep forgetting to peel it off!)

 5. Is there anything better than Pinterest and 'Say Yes to the Dress' on a Friday night? :)

Happy Weekend everyone!


Thursday, 7 March 2013

It's The Small Things!

There's nothing like a tidy drawing trolley to make me feel happy as I leave my classroom for the day.  What are the small things that makes you smile at school? :)


Monday, 4 March 2013

Retail Therapy!

Sometimes rain is wonderful.  When I was in Calgary last year I would actually daydream about the sound of the rain on the roof and the clean smell in the air after a shower - it's so dry there even though there's so much snow!  This afternoon with a coffee, Little Women on the TV and a whole hour to while away reading blogs (I've set myself a time limit because I have so much stuff to do for school!) the rain outside makes the couch feel extra cosy.  Other times, however, the rain stinks.  We've had nothing but rain (seriously, torrential rain) since the end of January.  Everything is damp, the beaches are closed and I am aching for some time in the sun!  I decided to venture out for some retail therapy to cheer myself up and to try to forget about the depressing weather.

Forever New is my absolute favourite store! I grabbed this super cute very practical cover for my phone there for a few dollars..

I have a pair of leopard print flats that I bought in Canada and have almost worn to death, so when I saw these ones at Kmart on sale for $5 I decided I had to have them. I love Kmart shoes, they are so cheap that you can have a pair to match every outfit without feeling guilty.

I moved into my new apartment a few weeks ago and there are lots of little shelves around the place that I need to fill with cute things. I picked up these bottles, frame and birdie for about $10 total - bargain!

I hope wherever you are the weather is nicer than here!  :)


Saturday, 2 March 2013

March Currently

I'm linking up with Farley for the first time ever for her awesome 'Currently' party.  

Listening - The rain has been falling here on the Sunshine Coast for what feels like forever!
Loving - My Canadian boy will be here on Good Friday!  He's here for 2 weeks and I absolutely cannot wait to see him. :)
Thinking - I'm off to a birthday dinner tonight and have no idea what to wear!  I also need to decide whether I should bother to straighten my hair - I know it will just go frizzy in this weather!
Wanting - I really want some nice new jeans... but the thought of the dreaded fitting room is enough to keep me in my old ones. Does anyone else hate how the sales assistants are always banging on the door asking how you're going?
Needing - I really need a cuppa... but forgot to buy milk today. :(
Like - Maynard's Fuzzy Peaches are the only lollies I brought back with my from Canada, and they are almost all gone!
Love - Nothing better than a sleep in and some TV on the weekend.
Hate - That feeling of absolute lethargy that seems to plague me after a huge day with my Preppies... maybe I need a multivitamin!

Head on over to check out the other bloggers' Currentlies. :)


Simplifying Splat

What a long time between posts!  My Preppies have been a little crazy these past few weeks due to the torrential rain we have had almost the whole time they have been at school.  Wet weather lunches, missing out on PE and incessant mozzies mean that by the end of most days they have cabin fever and need to let off some steam.  They love to play games, and 'Splat!' is one of their favourites.

Do you play 'Splat!'?  If you don't, you should! The basic idea is that sight words are written onto creepy crawlies (flies, cockroaches etc.) and the kidlets are given fly swats. Mine are in the shape of hands and I got them years ago from Crazies or somewhere similar.  When one of the words is called the insect showing that word needs to be 'splatted' with the fly swat.  You can play it as a race (first to splat gets a point) or take turns around the circle.  It really helps them to quickly recognise their words and is great for kinaesthetic learners.

I used to have laminated flies that I would write words on with whiteboard marker.  I'd then change out the words weekly/fortnightly.  That started to drive me nuts, so then I typed the words onto the flies before laminating them.  Certainly a more permanent solution... but then I ended up with piles of cards that I was constantly trying to keep sorted into lists and lost flies that needed to be replaced so that all of the words were covered.  This year I've settled on 'Splat! Mats' - A3 sized laminated posters, organised into the sight word lists we cover each week. I can choose 1, 2 or 3 mats depending on the ability of the group playing the game and which words we need to revise.  At the end of the game they are clipped together and tucked away beside my filing cabinet!  Best of all is knowing that next year they will all be ready and waiting for the kidlets to play - no searching for lost flies or writing words in marker!

What games do your kids love?