Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Summer Bucket List Linky

I was feeling super left out of the fun linky party that Miss Kindergarten is having... Everyone is sharing their plans to sleep, read and travel over the Summer holidays, but here in Australia we are heading into Winter and our long break from school is an age away.  And then I realised... I'm heading to Calgary for our end of Semester break and it will be Summer in Canada - woohoo!  I can join the party after all. :)

Number 1 on my list is to spend lots of time with this boy.  He was here at Easter time, but I miss him so much!  Can't wait to see him again. :)

We're going to go on a road trip from Alberta into BC - my cousin and his wife live in Summerland.  Doesn't that sound like a magical place?  Chris and I have a tonne of fun with James and Tina so it will be good to see them again.  

I'm going to stop by all of the stores that I love in Canada but we don't have here - Jacob, H&M, Walmart, Spring, Target, Aldo, Chapters... There's a good day or two of shopping right there! I'm also going to grab a Pike's Place from Starbucks!  It's tricky to find a Starbucks here (not that I've really looked hard!).

Last but not least, I'm looking forward to seeing all of my Canadian friends again. :)

Link up and share your Summer bucket list too!


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Tuesday Typography

I love Pinterest for school ideas, wardrobe inspiration and finding recipes to try... but I think I love it the most for collecting beautiful quotes.  I had to smile when I saw this one that I had pinned a long time ago, in my pre-blogging days. I love the fact that my blog is my own personal way of getting my ideas and thoughts into the world... even if it's only a few people who ever get to read them. :)  

Wouldn't it be cute framed and on display on the office wall?  Buy it here from Etsy.


Friday, 24 May 2013

Finally Five for Friday! 24/05/13

After a looong week fighting the flu I'm so glad that it's finally Five for Friday!  Link up with Doodle Bugs to share your highlights of the week that was. :)

1.  This snake skin was brought in by one of my kidlets for her 'Show and Tell' and is currently on the 'Discovery Table' in my classroom freaking me out every time I walk past.  I thought a metre long snake skin was bad enough... until one of my teaching partners found a FOUR METRE LONG skin just outside the playground fence while she was retrieving a soccer ball.  The snake that lived inside this skin was a nice, big, fat one - the middle section would be a good 10 centimetres wide.  We are hoping that it has slithered off far away into the bush!

2. Check out these gorgeous collages that my kidlets made today!  I was so impressed.  I think it was the Mozart playing that inspired such beautiful artwork. :)

3. We have been studying 'The 5 Senses' in Science and had a culminating day where all 3 Prep classes rotated around activities that celebrated the wonderful ways we can use our senses.  There was cooking, making musical instruments, a tactile walk and these jars of coloured sands that are beautiful to look at using our sense of sight.  We used cooking salt and chalk - aren't they cool? (And yes, our 5 year olds did all the work to make a jar each!)

4.  My Friday night plans involve the couch, my snuggy and a hot water bottle...

5. well as a few of these babies.  Yes, I am just that cool!

Happy Friday friends!  


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

X and Y!

So I think we're in the middle of the longest week E-V-E-R! I have been busy with professional development seminars that had me out of the classroom for most of Monday and Tuesday so I was glad to get back to my kidlets today and get stuck into our work!

Our phonics focus this week were the letters X and Y - in Letterland that's Yellow Yo-Yo Man and Fix It Max.  After we introduce each new sound and talk about some words where we can find them, we jump straight into a fun craft to match.  All well and good... until I came to X and Y. I was really struggling to find something fun and creative for the kidlets to make for these letters - is it just me or does everyone find them tricky?  I thought I might share what I eventually came up with just in case it might help others who were stuck like me! (These are just my spin on ideas that have been around for a while!)

X = X-Rays!

We traced around the kids' hands with white chalk on black paper.  They then used craft glue to stick cotton tips onto their hands as bones.

Y = Yaks!

I saw something similar to this after I googled, but I can't find my way back to that page!  The kids cut an uppercase Y out of brown card and glued on the horns, mouth and eyes.  I just drew a template for all the pieces, except the eyes that we punched using 2 different sized circles.  We drew nostrils and a mouth on with markers.  

Hopefully this post is inspiring for anyone who was stuck for ideas like I was!  If you have any other clever ideas leave me a comment with your suggestion for others to borrow. :)


Sunday, 19 May 2013

I'm a 'Budding Blog' - A linky with I {heart} Recess!

Today I am joining in with the May Budding Blog linky party kindly hosted by Jess at I {heart} Recess.  It's aim is to showcase new blogs with less than 200 followers.  If that's you, link up too!

1. Why did you start blogging?
I started reading teaching blogs about halfway through last year after following a link from Pinterest and absolutely loved the idea of sharing ideas, concerns and stories with other teachers.  I'd borrowed about a million awesome ideas to use in my classroom and also really loved getting to know other teachers through their posts.  After a while, I thought 'I could do that, too!' and started my blog late in 2012.  I love the idea of contributing to the blogging community, and the first time someone commented on a post I was beside myself with excitement! I hope that US/Canadian bloggers like peeking into the Aussie school system, just like I love peeking into theirs!

2. What is your favourite subject to teach and why?
I love teaching my kidlets how to read.  From read alouds, to phonics, to those first few books with the repetitive text - I love the way reading is so exciting for children and how  proud they are when they can read all by themselves.  Looking back at the end of the year and seeing their progress always amazes me.

3. Describe your teaching style.
I'd like to think that I'm creative and fun... but you might have to ask my Preppies what they think! :)

4. Give three interesting facts about you.
* I lived in Canada (Calgary) all of last year.  While I was there I worked retail, selling jewellery.
* My favourite Friday night meal is a Quarter Pounder with extra pickles and fries with extra salt.  Healthy, I know!
* I'd love to go back to uni to get my Masters in Literacy or Child Development. One day maybe!

5. Do you have a TpT store? 
I have the tiniest TpT store in all of the land! My hope is to add to it really soon. At the moment it has  Mother's Day writing freebie and a Sight Word game on it's shelves. :)

Thanks so much to Jess for hosting this linky!  I'm off to find some new blogging buddies who are just starting out like me.  Thanks for popping by. :)


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Fabulous 'Five for Friday'! 17/05/13

Happy Friday everyone!  I'm linking up again with Doodle Bugs for the wonderful Five for Friday party. :)

1. Winter has officially arrived in Queensland!  I had to wear a cardigan to work yesterday morning!

2. Last weekend I got to spend some time with my gorgeous nephew Mack.  We were at my parents house for Mother's Day. Isn't he sweet?

3.  This week my kidlets learnt all about the letter 'w'.  We made 'Worms in Mud' as a tasty treat.  Gummy worms, chocolate pudding and Milo on the top for dirt.  Seriously gross - but the kids absolutely loved them!

4.  I posted my first paid item to TpT this week.  I still feel nervous when I think about it!

Sweet Treats - A Sight Word Game

5.  Something tells me that my kidlets are getting tired... Prep is hard work! :)

This was a super short Five because (although it's Saturday here) I'm off to work for our school Open Day.  I'm hoping to take some photos of my room to post - taking advantage of it's tidiness! I think I'm going to be jealous later today when I read posts written by all those lucky Northern Hemisphere teachers who are on their Summer holidays.  We are only almost halfway through our year!

Link up and share your 'Five for Friday' too!


Monday, 13 May 2013

Sweet Treats!

Morning everyone!  I gave in to the terrible cough that I've been struggling with since early last week and am at home today resting.  I know my class is in good hands with a lovely supply teacher taking care of them for me.  Before I pop out to the doctor I wanted to share with you my first paid item on TpT!

I've played 'Sweet Treats' with my Preppies for a while and thought that since I (and my class) love it so much, other teachers might like it too!  Sight word games (I'm very anti-worksheets!) are essential for reinforcing those words the kidlets have learnt, helping them to stick in their memory instead of being replaced by other important facts, like what's on their sandwich for lunch!  This game is so simple to play - each child gets a cone and can add scoops to it when they correctly read the word as it is drawn from the pile.  Easy!  And best of all, once they kidlets know how to play you can leave them to it to play independently (especially those little ones who know their words well).  My Preppies love this game, so I hope someone else can use it too.  This version is in Queensland script, but since there's no US/Australia spelling issues it could be used by anyone. :)

I so appreciated the feedback that some of my lovely followers left for me when I posted my first item on TpT... if you would like to check out my description etc. in my store and let me know if I should change anything I'd really appreciate the feedback. :)


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Five for Friday! 10/05/13

I can't decide if this week has been an incredibly long one, or if it flew by in a flash... maybe it was a bit of both!  Either way, it's time for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs.  Link up to join in on the fun. :)


The kidlets had fun in their Kitchen Garden lesson on Tuesday digging in a big pile of dirt to find worms. They inspected them with magnifying glasses and watched them wriggle and squirm. Every two weeks our P-2 classes are lucky enough to spend some time in the specially designed garden, learning to plant, weed, water and harvest a huge variety of fruit and vegies.  They also get to turn their crops into yummy treats by cooking healthy recipes using the seasonal produce they have grown.  It's lots of fun!


Journal writing is always more fun when you can lounge on the carpet!

I love my Mummy because she takes me to the shops.

I love my Mummy because she plays Sight Word buzzers with me.

I love my Mummy because she plays Lego with me.
We celebrated Mother's Day at Prep with a special night for all of the kidlets to bring their Mums to school for games, craft and coffee.  We do it each year and it's always a great time.  We did some writing to display so our Mums could read just why we love them!


Friday was Cross Country Day!  I ended up running with a few of our little girls who were a little overwhelmed by the crowds and the noise.  I came 25th! :)


Last night was my best friend's birthday party.  We went Barefoot Bowling and then for dinner.  I'd never been lawn bowling before... not sure that I'll be joining the pros any time soon! :)

Happy weekend everyone! 



Sunday, 5 May 2013

Mother's Day Freebie (and a first!)

On Tuesday night we have invited all of our Prep mums to come along with their kidlets to a Mother's Night celebration.  We'll do some craft, play some games and enjoy a cuppa and piece of cake.  To have something on display that links in, I've made a super simple writing prompt with the sentence starter 'I love my Mummy because'.  You can download it for free from my TpT store. (It's my first ever TpT product so I am suuuuuper nervous that something will go wrong and no one will be able to use it!)

Happy Mother's Day week everyone! :)


Easy (and fun!) Sensory Play Ideas

Sensory play is such an important part of my Preppies' week.  It's a time for them to explore, investigate and be creative - all the while having a blast with their friends!  I'd love to have a heap of unstructured time each day for them to get their hands messy playing with different materials, but unfortunately the demands of the curriculum require us to hit the books and do some more formal activities than I would like for my little ones.  It is so important to provide young children with a variety of sensory activities - instead of doing a terrible job of explaining why in my own words, I'll let you read this article that lays out the reasons much better than I could! :)

I plan sensory play into group rotations that in my timetable are called 'Handwriting/Fine Motor'.  Each week one of these rotations is a sensory play opportunity for the kidlets.  We also include sensory play activities in craft time, science, maths and literacy groups and outside play.  Here's a few super simple ideas that I have used this year - so easy that you could do them tomorrow!

An oldie but a goodie - Playdough!  We use it to practise letters and sight words, and with number mats in maths.  It's the most fun when the kids can just be creative building, squishing, cutting and rolling it using a variety of tools.  Add sand, glitter, essential oils etc. to make it more interesting and stimulating for their senses.  No-cook Playdough is so easy and cheap to make, we stir up at least 2 batches a week and it really only takes a few minutes - find a recipe here.

Possibly the easiest material to use for sensory play is shaving cream!  We put a plastic table outside and just squirt it straight onto the top (we just hose it off when we're done).  Make sure your kidlets wear art aprons, and keep an eye on anyone who may have sensitive skin or noses.  Some shaving cream really does smell quite strong.  I use no-name brand and it's fine, but I'm lucky this year and don't have any kids with allergies in my classroom.  In these photos we were smoothing out the shaving cream and writing our letters.  You can also use paintbrushes or other tools for drawing, but it's the most fun when you can feel it squishing through your fingers!

Cloud Dough is awesome!  It feels like flour when it runs through your fingers, but is mouldable when pressed together.  Make it by stirring together 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil.  It has a lovely scent and feels really silky.  We added dinosaurs to ours (just for fun) and I plan to use it again this week to hide letters and sight words in.  For everyone to have their own Cloud Dough to play with, we just tipped it onto plastic trays and put them on a table outside.  You could play with it inside too because it's not too messy, but I'd probably avoid having it near carpet. :)

Paint + sand = finger painting with a bit of attitude!  Sandy paint has a lovely, gritty texture that my kidlets love.  We had fun with free painting, but to use it in a more formal way you could ask them to paint numbers, letters or words.

Hopefully you are now inspired to add a bit of sensory play to your plans for this week - I'd love to hear if any of my ideas were useful!  Please let me know what you use for sensory play in your classroom and how you organise it - I'm always on the lookout for more great ideas.

Have fun playing!


Friday, 3 May 2013

Five for Friday! 03/05/13

Can you believe it?  Friday already!  I've had a doozy of a week so I'm excited for the Five for Friday linky with Doodle Bugs so I can spend a couple of hours blog hopping on Saturday morning!

1. How much does a hipster weigh? An Instagram!

On Tuesday I joined in with the Instagram fun for #teachertalktuesday and something great happened... Kristin - the Teeny Tiny Teacher - liked my post!!! It was super exciting!  Follow me on Insty @lozzybeck. :)


We learnt all about the letter 'b' this week.  We made these cuties - Bears in Bubble Baths - as a sweet treat.  I found the idea on Pinterest (of course!) from what2cook.  I modified their recipe a little.  The baths are chocolate cookies and we added some vanilla frosting as water.  The bears are Tiny Teddies, with mini-marshmallow bubbles.  Bake for a few minutes to warm the marshmallows. The kidlets loved them!


My Preppies needed to do some more work with ten frames and counting, so I turned some dollar store treasure chests into the easiest maths game ever.  The kidlets rolled the dice and then added that many pieces of 'treasure' to their frame.  When they had 10 pieces, they poured their treasure into their treasure chest.  It was great for questions like 'How many more do you need to make 10?' and discussions about who had more or less.  Oh... and lots of talking like a pirate, too! :)


Using paint dabbers to show 'how many'.  Easy, right?  Uh, it appears not!  Although the little one in this photo is dabbing the right number... pretty much everyone else just dabbed away to their heart's content, paying absolutely no attention to the numbers at all!  You win some, you lose some! :)


Found this quote this week and loved it. :)

Happy Friday everyone!  


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Currently: May Edition!

Can you believe it?  May already! Link up with Farely at 'Oh Boy, Fourth Grade' to join in the linky fun.

Listening - It is blowing a gale here this afternoon!  I'm worried that my little garden outside will blow away.  The news just mentioned a line of thunderstorms coming up the coast, so I'm guessing the wind has something to do with that.

Loving - Have you jumped on the Rekorderlig Cider bandwagon yet? All sorts of flavours - Orange and Ginger, Strawberry and Lime, Wild Berries - and absolutely delicious. I've got some Passionfruit flavour tonight!

Thinking - Chris is busy working on my blog design - in between working 12 hour days - and I so appreciate the time he has taken so far.  He makes a few changes, I check it out and then email him back.  With the time difference and our work hours it's a bit tricky, but I'm sure we'll get there eventually. :)

Wanting - Is there ever enough time in the week?  There seems to be just enough to get lessons and activities organised for school, but not quite enough for a walk on the beach or a sleep in!

Needing - One word: filing.  Ugh.

Summer Bucket List - We are actually heading into Winter here, but I'll be in Canada for 2 weeks in June/July! I really want to drive from Calgary to my cousin's new house in Summerland. Doesn't that sound like a magical place?  It's in the Okanagon.  I'd love to roadtrip through the Rockies and spend a few days there!

See you at the linky party!