Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Pout Pout Fish!

Hi all!  Have you missed me?  I've been a very slack blogger lately and I do apologise (if you follow me on Facebook you would have seen the giveaway I'm running to make up for my lack of posts!).  I'm here today to share with you a cute craft and some writing my kidlets did last week after we read 'The Pout Pout Fish'!

If you don't read this book to your class - you should!  It's a gorgeous story about a fish who blubs about spreading the dreary wearies, all because he thinks he is a Pout Pout Fish. All of a sudden he realises that maybe he was a Smooch Smooch Fish all along - so he changes his game to start spreading the cheery cheeries instead. :)

We made a simple paper craft using this template from TpT.  I used light blue card and also gave the kidlets some navy circle cut outs to embellish their Pout Pout Fish with.  They are proudly displayed around the room with the very cute writing that we worked on to tell about times that we spread the dreary wearies and the cheery cheeries!

I spread the dreary wearies when people be mean to me.
I spread the cheery cheeries when people be nice to me.

I spread the dreary wearies when people ignore me.
I spread the cheery cheeries when I get special treats.

I spread the dreary wearies when the next day is Monday.
I spread the cheery cheeries when it is my birthday.

I hope you are having a wonderful week with your kidlets!  

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Five for... Something!

I had the very best intentions of sharing my Five for Friday on time this week... only to crawl home from school Friday afternoon with a horrible flu. :( After a miserable Saturday I'm finally feeling well enough to share a few snippets from a fun week in Prep!

Last Sunday Chris and I spent the day at possibly the most beautiful place on earth - Noosa National Park!  Seriously, photos don't do it justice.  The views are absolutely amazing and the water is the most amazing colour.  We saw a whale and some dolphins, and Chris even managed a swim... luckily the middle of winter here in Queensland is warm enough for that!

I'm always on the lookout for fun activities to add to my morning fine motor groups and a few weeks ago I picked up a cute game called 'Tumbling Chimps'.  It was about $10 from Big W.  The kidlets loved it when I added it to the mix this week.  It was actually quite tricky for them to carefully hang the chimps and bananas onto the tree without making the whole thing collapse!

I snapped this picture when we were working on the 'ng' digraph in phonics.  (Here in Australia we call these shoes thongs instead of flip flops.) Luckily we're covering 'th' in the near future! :)

My kidlets always love stamping sight words.  This week I let them complete this activity independently and was so proud that each team worked sensibly and happily without making a giant mess!

Earlier in the week I shared a post with some easy maths games and activities that would be perfect for working on counting, teen numbers and early addition concepts. The favourite by far was Monster Hide and Seek!  The kidlets begged me to play this every day and I've included it on my plan for next week, too.

That's all from me today friends!  I'm off to get some housework done and enjoy a lazy afternoon reading through the Five for Friday posts. :)

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Easy Maths FUN!

Hello friends!  I feel like I have been really neglecting this little old blog lately - so I'm here today to share 4 easy and FUN ideas that I've been using this week in Maths!

We're working on identifying numerals up to 100 this term.  Using my pocket chart I hid little monsters behind five numbers.  Kidlets took turns trying to find the monsters by asking 'Is there a monster behind the number...'.  I've played this game before using monsters hidden behind sight words and the same thing happened this time - the whole class was absolutely bursting with excitement to have a guess.  And the reaction when a monster was discovered was priceless!  :)

While playing this game it was easy to see who was confident with their numeral identification and who needs more work on this.  You can also ask for guesses that are less/more than specific numbers, even/odd, teen numbers etc. and this allows you to differentiate the game really easily for those who are ready for something trickier.

Nothing is easier to use for number identification tasks than board games!  Whether the kidlets are identifying dot patterns or numerals on a die or on the game itself the idea is the same.  This week I used Chutes and Ladders because the board shows the numbers 1-100.  As each player took their turn I had them count out loud as they moved their piece along the number line.  If you can't find a board game with the numbers you need to work with on it, it would be very easy to whip up a grid and make your own!

You might have read my post earlier in the year all about a DIY game called  Pirate Treasure Ten Frames.  This next game is kind of similar, except the kidlets work with teen numbers.  I call it 'Chook Champs'! ('Chook' is an Aussie slang term for chicken.)  All you need is a whole stack of egg cartons.  Cut them down so that you end up with ten frames - these cartons are perfect for working with manipulatives in any number work you do.  To play Chook Champs each kidlet needs two ten frames each.  They take turns to roll a die, adding cubes (or whatever) to their cartons.  As they play, discuss the number of cubes they have collected.  'You have ten and four more, what number do you have?' 'Who has the most cubes?' 'How many more do you need to make 10 or 20?'  I've found that this is a really engaging way to reinforce that tricky teen number concept.  You can also have them record their number on a whiteboard after each turn to practice writing those numbers.  When both ten frames are full, kidlets get a Chook Champ card! (This is just a picture of a chicken.)  The player with the most chickens at the end of the playing time is the Chook Champ!  Warning: excitement levels often make this game noisy. :)  

Last of all is an idea for working on addition concepts that you can adapt to any theme or for any hands on counters you have.  My version is called 'Dino Dash'.

Use two pocket dice and some dot pattern cards.  Kidlets roll both and add them together to move their dinosaur along the path.  When one dinosaur makes it to the end, they have a rest under the tree and another dinosaur begins his journey.  They player with the most dinosaurs resting under the tree at the end of the game is the winner!  To use this game all through the year I simply change the numbers in the dice.  To work on the 'count on' strategy I have one die with numerals and the other with one, two or three dots.  Later in the year both dice will have numerals on them when we're ready for addition to be a little more abstract.

If you don't have plastic dinosaurs just make up a board that suits whatever you have!  Maybe bugs along flowers, or teddies walking towards a picnic - the possibilities are endless really.   :)

I really hope you found an idea that you might be able to use in your classroom!  I'd love to hear from you if your kidlets enjoyed these simple but fun activities.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Swap, Share Give!

I am so excited that it's time for round two of the Swap, Share, Give linky!  A bunch of Aussie bloggers have teamed up to bring you honest reviews of products to help kick off your school year in style, or for us Aussies - to finish off the year well.  We've also got freebies to share and a huge GIVEAWAY!

I was very lucky to be paired up with the lovely Brooke from Teachable Moments for a product swap.  I absolutely love her products and use many of them in my classroom - they are always top quality, effective and cute!

As I scrolled through her store one product caught my eye.  All year I have been wanting to spend more time teaching Health - it's part of our curriculum but has been pushed to the bottom of the priority list most weeks.  There's so important many real-life skills that are learnt in discussions about food and activity choices, and I just didn't feel I was doing this subject justice.  Until now!

Brooke sent me her awesome Healthy Choices unit and straight away I knew that my health lessons were sorted - probably for the rest of the year!  This pack includes a tonne of options to use with your kidlets - charts, posters, information passages with matching activities, cut & paste worksheets, meal design tasks, a writing prompt... phew! Let me show you what I've used so far. 

We started by discussing healthy foods vs. sometimes foods using the pie chart guide in the pack.  We listed foods on a chart that I blew up to A3 size to use with the whole class.  

In our next lesson we revised our charts and then completed the cut & paste activity to sort healthy foods and sometimes foods.

Brooke has provided a cute template for each meal - breakfast, lunch and dinner - for kidlets to design a healthy plateful of food.  Instead of drawing foods, we did a magazine search.  My class loved this because their plates were so bright and colourful when they were done!

I'm so excited to keep using this pack!  I plan to print the information passages and posters and add them to a display folder for our class library - and I can't wait for my kidlets to design a Super Fruit Man!  Check out the Healthy Choices unit in Brooke's store.

Now it's my turn to share a freebie!!  If you're starting back for a new school year I'm sure you will be spending lots of time teaching behaviour expectations.  I love using dollar store bubbles to teach kidlets what it feels like to use self-control.  I do this activity at the start of the year, and then again whenever we need a little reminder! :)  Click on the picture to download this for FREE!

Is there anything better than an awesome giveaway?  Nope, didn't think so!  Enter for a chance to win ALL of the products swapped as part of our Swap, Share, Give linky.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you have time to check out the linky hosted by the lovely Bec to find a heap of wonderful products made by my very clever Aussie blogger friends!  I'm off to walk the Noosa National Park path  in the glorious sunshine. :)

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Getting Set for the Sale!

Hi friends!  Are you as excited as I am for the back to school sale TpT is hosting on the 4th and 5th? I can't wait to grab some bargains! I've already got quite a few things on my wishlist, but need to whittle it down a bit before I check out.  I know some of you check out multiple times during big sales... but I get shopper's anxiety and usually make one big purchase in the last few hours! :)

I wanted to share with you all a few of my products that might come in handy as you head back to school (or further into the school year if you're here in Australia!).  My products are pretty much all hands-on activities or games, perfect for small groups, centers or fast finishers!  Click on each picture to go see the listing.

Let's start with the hands-on stuff! These guys are my best seller:

I made these two hands-on math activities to use in my fine motor and math rotations - I'm really proud of them because the kidlets LOVE them!  I love the fact that as they are working they talk about their thinking with their friends.  You can grab Link It Up with either numbers 0-20...

...or 2D shapes.

If your kidlets love sorting activities, they might like these guys:

Now for the games!!  I have lots of sight word and reading fluency games in my store.  They are used almost every day in my classroom, either in Guided Reading groups, as a center activity or because the kidlets have chosen to play them in free choice time.  Here's a few of my faves:

(If you're in the market for some reading fluency card games, the best value is the BUNDLE!)

Thanks for sticking with me through this shameless plug post!  I hope you find some really great resources to use in your classroom during the big sale, either from my store or one of the many others offering great discounts.  :)

Saturday, 2 August 2014

It's Currently August!

Hello, August!  I hope you've arrived to get me out of my blogging slump. :)

You know what the arrival of any new month means, though... Currently time with Farley!

Listening: We've been having odd weather here this week -  it's right in the middle of Winter, but a few days have had temperatures around 27 degrees C. This afternoon the wind has picked up and is absolutely howling.  I bet it's cold on the beach!

Loving: Lately I've been coming home from school and crashing on the couch - zonking out for a 20 minute snooze.  I've tried all sorts of tricks to increase my energy but I've just been really lethargic.  Those lazy afternoons are not so great... but weekend afternoons with nothing to do but watch a movie are awesome!  Today I watched 'The Jane Austen Book Club'.

Thinking: I've really lost my TpT and blogging mojo these past few weeks (see above...).  I have two cute products that just need to be finished off, and lots of fun ideas from my classroom to share.  Here's hoping I can post them this week!

Wanting: We had our school carnival today!  I bet you can imagine how excited my kidlets were all day yesterday. :)  I looked after my friend's little girl while she sold strawberries and cream on her stall and we had lots of fun on the teacup ride, patting some piglets and calves, getting her face painted and chatting to the other kidlets.  It was hot though - isn't a day in the sun always exhausting?  I can't wait for a hot shower.

Needing: Tomorrow I'm going to spend all day getting my house in order... fun, hey?  

1st Day: Here in Australia our Summer vacation is during December/January.  We went back two weeks ago for Term 3 after our Winter break. :)

I'm headed showerwards, and then I'm going to spend this evening catching up on my Bloglovin' feed and getting my wishlist ready for the TpT sale!  My store will be 20% off - use the code B2S14 for a total of 28% off. :)