Saturday, July 05, 2014

6 Traits of Writing Bulletin Board a quick post today to let you know that I've just updated my 6 Traits of Writing Bulletin Board pack. I've given it a fresh new look with new images and fonts. 

It comes in two versions - chalkboard and polka dot - and includes 89 skill cards ready to go. I've also included an editable version of the skill card so you can add your own if needed. 

I've also included two different types of headings. The page size version shown here:
 and the large circular letters with a smaller description card shown here:

This is the bright polka dot version: 

If you are one of the 1,222 people who has this pack wishlisted, you can pick it up for the next couple of days 20% off!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Winter Crafts

What I would do to jump in a plane and fly off to somewhere nice and warm! Maybe to the amazing oceans and Mayan ruins of Belize, or perhaps to see the beautiful art and countryside of Tuscany.... well a girl can dream, right?! Instead I am suffering through our Winter where my entire wardrobe consists of flannel pj's, woolly socks, ugg boots and a very warm and comfy dressing gown!

Not that I'm comfy at the moment - I am SORE! I have reluctantly pulled myself away from Game of Thrones season 2 (yes, I've only just started watching the series!) to head out for 6km bush walks the past few days. Ouch, if I'd known that half the walk was uphill I probably would have reconsidered! I even did a bit of jogging so I can up my fitness and attempt to keep up with Liz and her hubby when we do The Stampede in a few weeks. I really don't know what I've gotten myself into!

Besides the cold, I have been enjoying the Winter holidays! It always feels good to go into the holidays with assessment completed and reports done. Before we left, we completed a few Winter themed crafts I thought I'd share. 

The first was done by my student teacher on her last day - thanks Katherine!

During the last week of term, I went with some simpler crafts that the kids could do independently while I worked with some kids to finish off other work. Did I mention that we also had our Grade 4-12 sports carnival going over 3 days during the last week and the oval (where about 1500 kids were running around) is just metres from our room?! Luckily, instead of getting all riled up with music playing all day, my kids worked quietly so they could hear it! Happy teacher :)

We started with a torn paper penguin after we read The Emperor's Egg. Boy, did they LOVE this book! 
I found this craft here - I copied the steps onto a powerpoint and displayed it so the kids could work independently. 

We also did a snowman in a snow globe for no other reason than it was short and easy. The day before, we did a marble painting for the background and the next they just had to assemble their snowman. Many of the kids tried to show movement - like the wind knocking their snowman over, instead of just having a standing snowman.

Hopefully I'll be back with another post before another couple of months pass!

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Very Blue Thingamajig - Visualizing

Tuesday was our first back after our Easter break. I always forget after holidays how good other workers have it by being able to go to the bathroom whenever they want!

Anyway... on Tuesday we reviewed Picturing Penguin while reading The Very Blue Thingamajig by Narelle Oliver. This book is great for teaching about visualising because of the rich descriptive text about the physical characteristics of the very blue thingamajig (as well as being a great text to celebrate difference!).

Before reading, we reviewed Picturing Penguin and then I read the book without showing the pictures. Many students closed their eyes as I was reading to help them see a picture in their mind.

After reading, I displayed the final page that describes what he looks like on the interactive whiteboard. We read through it several times while examining the meanings of some of the vocabulary used to describe his physical characteristics (twisty twirly, ferocious, waxy, tangerine etc), including the mathematical language like odd, even, four lots of two etc.
Each student was then given a piece of paper and as we went through the description one last time, they drew what they pictured the very blue thingamajig looked like based on the description. Here is what they came up with:

Side note, one little girl had a very PINK thingamajig... because pink is cuter, why else?

We also did some work this week on identifying the nouns and adjectives and writing sentences. We'll continue working with it next week. I'm sure many of my Qld readers have also read this book this week... do you have any great ideas to share?

Next week, my school is starting to stream our Year 1s for reading. I've got 24 of the highest readers from across our 6 classes for an hour each day. Has anyone else tried this at their school and have some tips for making it as successful as possible? 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Photo Dump

I know that I've been all over the place and quite absent with my blogging for about a year now, I just can't seem to get ahead now that I'm teaching year 1! I don't know how other bloggers are able to blog a few times a week!

Anywho, I have been trying to remember to take photos of what we've been doing and even though I'm a bit sporadic with it, here are some that I haven't shared before.

I updated our whole brain teaching rules for this year. I'll be able to share this file with you once I receive the back up of my hard drive (which I dropped and broke.... and have just paid over $600 to have the data restored from...luckily they were able to retrieve 100% of the files, yippee!!).  

Random charts. I have made a simple editing checklist that my kids use along with the chart when writing. I'll be able to share that too. 

Adjectives About Me is from this Parts of Speech pack by Amy Lemons.
Cat the Splat Easter craft is from this Splat the Cat Easter pack by Christie at First Grade Fever. Inside the egg book, the kids wrote about some story elements which was a good review of our English unit in Term 1. Some of the kids chose to also make a little Seymour to join Splat - isn't this one cute!

  Guided reading and spelling choices (from Term 1) drawers.

Random photos of the back of my classroom.

If you're in Australia, I hope you are enjoying your Easter break. I'm back to school tomorrow!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Five for Friday

First up I can't believe after spending aaaggges trying to catch up on blog posts I still have this many left to read....
I am very tempted to 'Mark all as read'. I've had to do it a couple of times before when there was too many for it to register a number. How do you guys keep up with all the posts? I haven't been able to keep up the last few months - once I miss a day or two it just gets too many to keep under control. 

Anywho, it's probably been a year since I linked up with Five for Friday over at Doodle Bugs so thought I'd give it a go this week.

1.Smartie Spellers
I've been a little tired of my firsties asking me to spell every. single. word for them. We made up this chart last week to give them some strategies to use instead of asking me. I'd prefer them to try and work out the word as best as they can and move on so that they don't lose their flow of ideas. So far it's working!

2. Author's Purpose
We've been learning about author's purpose the last couple of weeks - just to entertain and inform for the moment, since we are only in our 6th week of the school year. We've compared and sorted books, identified non-fiction text features and story elements and graphed our preferences. I was very surprised that with 14 out of 24 kids being boys that only 6 preferred information books! (Please ignore my terrible drawing!)
3. Representing Numbers 
We've been rockin with our number unit! The chart below was incomplete - we added number sentences, 20-bead strings and a number line as we learned how to use them to represent numbers. You can pick up the sheet below here in google drive.
4. Digraphs
We've been learning about digraphs the past 4 weeks. Each week we've made a new phonics crown. They are a huge hit! I bought them from The Primary Techie. I also love her Freeze Dance videos (kids LOVE the Gangnam style ones!), Move It and More Flash, Less Cards packs! They make great brain breaks and warm ups. 

5. Spending too much money :(
This week I received a number of packages. Lots of goodies from Really Good Stuff and Lakeshore plus more books to contact from Scholastic!

I'm headed for the couch to watch chick flicks and contact some books. Hopefully your evening is a tad more exciting than mine!
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