Sunday, 17 March 2019

Flip the Switch on Classroom Interruptions!

We've all been there - you finally get your kidlets settled and started working on a whole class test when there's a knock at the door and a group of Year 6 kids arrive to talk about student council.  Or maybe you're a few pages into the text with your guided reading group and another student taps you on the shoulder to ask if they can get a drink.  Perhaps the worst of all - the precious ten minutes you have to do some one-on-one intervention work with a struggling student is lost when Susie from next door arrives to borrow some blue paint.  Today I'm sharing a super simple (and cheap!) trick to stop those annoying interruptions during important activities.

First of all you need to visit your local hardware store and grab a battery powered light.  Any will do  - the one I have is called a flip light and was $3.99 from Bunnings. 

The light acts as a signal to others that your students are working on a task that can't be disturbed - put it on the wall near your classroom door or your small group table.

Flip the light on whenever you need to - anyone tempted to knock and interrupt your teaching will see it and come back later!

I've popped together a few posters to display beside your light - click on any of the images below to download them for free.

Testing in Progress - perfect to put beside the door:

 We are working hard - put this one beside your small group table to let the rest of your class know that important work is happening:

Do not disturb - use this for parent teacher interviews etc. when you're having a meeting:

I hope you try this easy trick to stop those annoying interruptions while you're teaching!

Friday, 15 March 2019

Let's Go Buggy!

Anyone who has read my blog before would know that my all-time favourite resources to use in any subject area are GAMES!  Joining in with an interactive game is so much more engaging for little learners than a worksheet (and even most other hands on activities) - and best of all they'll be happy to play over and over again, practising skills and concepts without even realising!

Just about the most popular game that I have introduced to any of my classes has been 'Let's Go Buggy'!  It's a counting game that focuses on numbers to 10.  To play, children take turns to roll the die.  Choose either numerals, pictures or number words depending on the needs of your kidlets.  Each time they roll, players add bugs to their jar - aiming to be the first to collect 10 bugs.  I use bug toys from the dollar store, but you could just use regular counters.  Adding an element of fun, the dice include a fly swat and bug spray pictures - if either of those are rolled the player must take away 1 or all of their bugs.

I usually use the pocket dice inserts, but this game also includes templates for you to make your own from card if you prefer!

I love this game because it's super easy to set up, works on number recognition as well as simple addition and subtraction concepts, and can be played pretty much all year.  I can't really remember a class who hasn't wanted to play this game right up until the last weeks of school. :)

Once your kidlets have finished playing the game, they can complete one of the 4 recording worksheets included in the resource!

Click on any of the images in this post to see 'Let's Go Buggy!' in my TpT store.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

St. Patrick's Day Number Fun! {FREEBIE included}

I'll be honest and say that I don't theme a lot of my maths and literacy activities to special days and holidays.  I like to be able to use resources whenever my students need them, not according to the time of the year.  I tend to do themed activities in subject areas like art and writing, where I don't have to prepare laminated resources and can display the work on a bulletin board to get maximum bang for my buck. :)

In saying that.... there's something about St. Patrick's Day that inspires a bit of fun!  Is it the leprechauns?  Maybe the rainbows?  Who knows - but I do have some cute activities up my sleeve that I love to use in March.

I love to use 'Roll and Cover' as a familiar activity with my kidlets because it's so easy to differentiate.  I start the with number recognition and move on to addition and subtraction as the year goes on.  All you need is a mat per child (I like have my kidlets play this game in partners during math center time) and some dice.  You can use counters or cubes to cover the numbers, or grab some gold coins from the party section of your local dollar store.
For 'Roll & Add' or 'Roll & Take', children roll 2 dice and use either addition or subtraction skills to figure out which number on their mat to cover.

By printing in blackline you have a different activity - choose 'Roll & Color' either to save ink or to use as a recording sheet for your kidlets to glue into their math workbooks.

Click on any of the images above to check out the resource that these pages come from! 

One of my all-time-fave games to use in math centers is 'Race to 20'! In my TpT store you can find 3 of these for free - one of which is St. Paddy's Day themed!  

This is a super simple game for children to play - they simply roll the die and add counters to the tens frame on their game board.  The first to collect 20 is the winner!  You can either use regular counters or gold coins.

If you're not in the mood to create laminated resources to have some St. Patrick's Day fun in your classroom, there's a few easy props you can use instead!  Use gold coins or rainbow pom poms instead of counters, print worksheets on green paper or pretend that a naughty leprechaun has 'hidden' things or turned them upside down when explaining activities, or allow your kidlets to use rainbow colors in their workbooks. :)

Beginning Sounds Clip Cards! An easy-peasy literacy center

I'm a big fan of using the "Same same, but different!" approach with activities in my classroom!  I like to teach my class how to complete a variety of tasks, and then use the same activity across different subjects and skills as the year goes on.  This is the perfect strategy to use with literacy centers because it will save you a lot of time explaining tasks - kidlets will see an activity that they know how to complete and get started right away! For this reason, I am a BIG fan of clip cards!  They are so quick and easy to prepare and are perfect to use as a center task, fast finisher option, or even as one-on-one support materials.  

In my classroom you'll find clip cards that cover lots of different skills and concepts - number recognition, counting, punctuation, money, and of course phonics!

These beginning sounds clip cards encourage little learners to apply their phonics skills. They look at each picture, determine the beginning sound, and clip a peg onto the two that match the letter in the middle.  Clipping the pegs on adds an interactive fine motor element to this task - bonus! I usually use regular clothes pegs, but you can find all sorts of novelty pegs and clips if you'd like to use something different!

Make them self-correcting by placing a small dot on the back of the correct answers, using either a sticker or marker.  Children will clip their choices and flip the card over to see if they match!  You can use these cards as skill practise, as an informal assessment tool, or even as intervention work later in the year for those kidlets who need a little help to consolidate their beginning sounds knowledge.

Click on either of the images in this post to check this resource out in my TpT store!