Monday, November 11, 2013

1st Grade Fall Addition and Subtraction Word Problems + Halloween Freebie

One of the skills I have to practice all year when I teach first grade is addition and subtraction facts (for automaticity) and solving word problems. Initially, my students need to act out and represent the problems in various ways so they can 'see' the problem and know whether to add or subtract.

I initially start with acting out and drawing pictures to represent the problem. But this is very time consuming! When students are ready, I show how 'mathematicians' use short cuts to become efficient at math, and we move onto using symbols to represent the objects in the word problem.

When modelling to the class, we always use 10-frames and different colors of cubes to represent the different parts of the problem. Finally, I move onto using number paths and recording in an equation. 

If you are looking for seasonal word problems for Fall, I have a pack in my TpT store. It has 3 types of addition and subtraction within 10 problems:

  • result unknown (20 addition and 20 subtraction)
  • change unknown (10 addition and 10 subtraction)
  • start unknown (10 addition and 10 subtraction)

What are the benefits of using this pack for your class? 


The pages in this pack all follow a consistent format to help in developing student independence. Each page has an addition or subtraction number story (or word problem). Students visualize the problem and draw a picture to represent it. This can help some students work out whether the problem requires them to add or subtract. In addition, students will complete a 10-frame (make it hands-on by using unifix cubes or counters), number line or track and number sentence (or equation) for each problem.


You can use the problems in different ways. For example, to start off the year you might project each page and complete whole class. Later, you might work with a small group before moving the pages to an independent work math tub.


I've included JPEGS of each word problem for you to upload to SeeSaw (or other password protected online app). This gives you complete FLEXIBILITY in how you upload the problems - addition OR subtraction OR both, number line OR number track, problem type, how many etc. Use the word problems how YOU want to use them.

If representing and solving word problems in multiple ways is something your class needs, you can find the pack here. Winter, Spring, Summer and a Seasonal Bundle are also available. 

On another note, the other week we were looking at probability and events that will, might and won't happen. I made up this quick little activity which you can download in Google Drive.

My kids had a lot of fun with it. I hope yours do too!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Five for Friday

What a week! I didn't take photos of most of what we did. I never seem to find time to pick up the camera!

I made these cute witches hats for a Halloween treat. Yum! They took way to long to make for such as simple recipe! They have chocolate crackles inside!

We used key details and inferred to work out  which witch was witch and whose things were whose using this cute unit from Abby at The Inspired Apple. I wish I'd taken more pics of this.... it was a lot of fun and the kids loved it.

We kept on learning about sound in science. And I know, the charts I make with the kids are not very cute! But to the kids I am the 'best illustrator in the whole world!'. Ahh kids, they can make you feel good about things you suck at!!

We finished our Halloween themed math centers. The kids had a hoot! We had grandparents day yesterday (and I took not 1.single.picture.!!). One of the activities we did was to share a favourite game with our grandparents. Many chose Witchy Brew to play. You can pick it up for free in google drive.

This pic was from a few weeks ago, but we are learning about procedures. We have made ice-cream sundaes and peanut butter and jam sandwiches this term using this pack from Natalie's Nook. 

I've linked up with Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday linky

What have you been up to?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Truth: Creepy Stuff

I loved reading all of the fitness My Truth posts last week so I've decided to join Denise this week with her new topic: Creepy Stuff. 
Food: Anything soggy I just can not eat. I hadn't eaten cereal since I was a kid until very recently when I started trying to eat breakfast as part of a health kick. I would dip a spoonful of cereal into the bowl of milk and put it straight in my mouth before it could get soggy! I can't have croutons in soup (or dip in bread rolls), tomato and pineapple have to be separate from other salad ingredients and bread and butter pudding would make me vomit. I think it has something to do with the texture.

Scary Movies: When it comes to scary movies, I don't mind watching them although I am the screamer at the cinemas! And yes, I do get laughed at when I scream (and jump out of my seat) during movies. But I like them anyway. 

Sick movies are another thing though. Movies like Saw I just don't get and really creep me out in a bad way. 

What creeps me out the most: creepy crawlies. Enough said.

Head on over and link up your My Truth with Denise here:

I started up a FB page last night, I'd love you to be among my very first followers! I've just bought my first smartphone EVER and think FB and Instagram will be much easier to update and post to now!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Addition and Subtraction Game Freebies

If you are like me, you love the Halloween season! Even though Halloween isn't a major holiday in Australia, it is getting more popular and it's just so much FUN! 

Here are some math rotations I've used with my class that have a Halloween theme. I use T.I.M.E. for my rotations - Teacher's Choice (usually this is working with the teacher, unless I have individual assessments to do), Independent Work, Math Facts and Easy Revision. You can read a blog post about T.I.M.E. Math here. 

For our T (Teacher's Choice) Tub, we are working on solving and representing addition and subtraction number stories. I am using my Fall Word Problems with my lower group. We are drawing a picture, using unfix cubes in a 10-Frame, number path and number sentences to represent each problem. 

Fall themed word problems for K-1st grade math

You can pick up my pack of 80 Fall themed addition and subtraction problems for K-1st Grade in my TpT store

For our Math Facts rotation, I made some 'broomsticks' (addition and subtraction facts written on craft sticks) and wrote the totals 7-12 on Halloween themed tubs or 'cauldrons'. Students pull a 'broomstick', solve, and sort the sticks into the 'cauldrons'. 

Here's a recording sheet I made to go along with it if you want to make this activity for yourself. I added some Hundred Charts to work out the answers as differentiation for those who needed it and some flash cards for fast finishers - they love testing and timing each other!

Another game we've been playing to master addition math facts the last two weeks is Witchy Brew. You can download it here in google drive. 

Do you love Halloween as much as me?!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

More Randomness

It's been almost 2 months since my last post - where does time fly?? Here's a little photo update of what I've been up to. 

We had a visit from our local fire department. The kids had a ball spraying the hose!
We made these cute trophies for Father's Day (celebrated in September here). I spray painted disposable coffee cups gold, used double sided tape to join them together and the kids used sticky foam letters to add a message. Totally ripped off of Pinterest.
I went on a cruise with Liz from Bayside Math Teacher for 10 days over our spring break (plus an overnight stay on the Gold Coast and in Sydney). We had a great time and are already planning a ski trip to New Zealand next Winter!

Before we left from Sydney, we did all the touristy things - visited the Opera House, walked the Harbour Bridge and visited Luna Park and the Botanical Gardens. 

While down in Sydney, I had my first Starbucks coffee! I don't think we have them in Brisbane...Once on board the Carnival Spirit, I loved relaxing with cocktails in the Serenity Bar. We ended up collecting all the fancy cups they can get served in. My boy down there was constantly annoying me by not wanting to smile (or pose for) any photos. Ggggrrrrrr. Liz and I dressed up for Mexican (and Caribbean) night and of course the sunsets were amazing as we sailed through Vanuatu and New Caledonia. My head kept getting in the way of this selfie... but the first selfie I've ever taken was on this cruise (believe it or not) and I did get a little bitty bit better at taking them! When I saw Cara's font titled "Oh Poop" I knew I had to use it because that's what I said after about 10 of these selfies all having the same result :)
We ended up having shore days at Isle of Pines and Mystery Island in Vanuatu and Lifou and Noumea in New Caledonia. I LOVED New Caledonia and will definitely go back again. By now I was a little better at taking selfies.... We ended up taking a path through the 'wilderness' at Lifou which was little more than a little dirt track. It paid off, it took us straight to Jinek Bay, which had some great snorkeling. The water was so clear and there were plenty of fish!

After our snorkel in Lifou, we followed this sign to the Cave. I'd read about it online and we'd planned to go there and it was so helpful that this sign was there to show us the way! We passed some traditional homes and Catholic Church and had another little trek down to the cave. The view from where we enter looking back up was beautiful! It is very dark when you enter the cave with just a little light shining in from a natural opening. There is a man there with a torch but it was still really dark. There is a natural pool that you can jump into, which we did! The water is about a metre from the surface and you just have to take the plunge into darkness! I took a photo when I got down in there to see what I was jumping into and you could see the water with the flash, but without it you couldn't really see anything. It was a lot of fun!

The snorkeling was fantastic. We took a tour through Aquanature because it was rated Number 1 activity on TripAdvisor. It was wonderful and Bernard (our guide) was so knowledgeable, that's him swimming down to pick some things up to show us. Most of the good stuff I videoed instead of taking photos, but we got to see a sea turtle, a shark, stingray, schools of fish and lots more! I want to go back and do it all again!

Anyway, we're back to real life now - 7 weeks to go for this school year. Can't wait for summer! We are learning out Sound at the moment in science and the kids had a blast making straw kazoos to explore pitch this week. Click the pic to take you to PBS to view it. I was happy to send the kazoos home in the afternoon for the kids to show their parents!
I'll try to be back more school related things soon!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Photo Randomness

I've got no real direction for this post, just random photos that I've taken over the past month or two at school!

On the 100th Day we read One Hundred Hungry Ants and viewed the book on youtube. We paused the video and made the lines of ants with unifix cubes (1 line of 100, 2 lines of 50 etc). Would the ants have gotten to the picnic faster if they stayed in 1 line? My kids couldn't decide, they were very divided in their opinions!
This is the rotation board I've been using for about 7 weeks (this term). I love it, so easy. I use photos of my kids to show what group they are in (covered with the smilies). Easy to change kids to different groups when needed. Also the flowers are my spelling rotations using Words Their Way.
At the start of this term, we did a lot more work on making inferences and visualising. I got these poems from Deanna at Mrs Jump's Class. I have this awful wall that can open in my room so I put them up there to try and add some colour. This was before it was finished, I have 26 kids so there was a lot more of their work to add when this was taken.
Here was a chart I made up when we were focusing on inferring and others when we were learning length in math.
Have a good weekend everyone! :)

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Teaching Math Routines... so you can teach small groups

First up, can I give a big thank you to the lovely ladies who have volunteered to align some of my packs to the common core. Even though I don't use it myself, the majority of people who download and purchase my products are from the U.S. so it only makes sense to make my packs as user friendly for them as possible. I already have a number of packs aligned so over the next few weeks I'll be updating many of my packs to include this information.

The first pack I've had time to update is my new 173 page Teaching Math Routines pack. I finished this pack before my eye surgery but have only just got it listed now. This pack was created as I tried to teach my firsties this year many of the types of math activities, or routines, we do during math workshop so they could be successful and independent while I worked with small groups. 

The 10 routines included in this pack are:
  • Matching activities (2 centers)
  • Spin, Tally and Graph activities (2 centers)
  • Bump games(12 game boards)
  • Tic Tac Toe games (6 game boards)
  • Using a 100 chart (2 centers)
  • Task Cards (2 centers)
  • Dominoes (2 centers)
  • Write the Room activities (2 centers)
  • Pocket Chart activities (2 centers)
  • Independent Work (4 worksheets)
  • Bonus Thinking and Listening with Unifix Cubes whole class activity.
The aim is that once students know the routine I can swap out the centers and they will transfer their understanding of how to play/what to do without me having to reteach or explain it each time (who doesn't get tired of kids not knowing what to do when it's the same activity, just different content!!). As the year progress, I add different routines to the mix, but this gets me started with working with math groups for the first term. 

I have included in the pack a sample schedule for the first four weeks of teaching kids these routines, although you don't have to follow it. It was just what worked for me this year with the bunch of kids I have. I also explained how I introduced each routine, so that they practice it multiple times over the week to help them learn the routine. There are 2 centers for each routine so that kids can practice each routine with different math skills or concepts. 

Each activity comes with a cover for your baggie or folder and an I Can chart to help kids be independent. 

 Here's a little of the 173 pages!

As always, it's 20% off for the first few days. Sorry to bombard you with new products over the past two days, once I get back to school I'll have other things to post about!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beanie Baby Strategies

Firstly, thank you to my son for typing this post for me, saying that, I apologise for any mistakes since spelling and grammar are not really his thing!

Sorry that I haven't blogged much lately. I had eye surgery about a week ago and am still recovering. First it was really hard to look at any type of screen because of the light coming off it, now that is less, but my nose basically needs to be on the screen to read the text - and even then it is blurry! I return to school in 5 days so hopefully I'll be right by then. 

This is just a quick post to let you know that I was able to upload my beanie baby strategy cards. Since I posted about them a little whiles ago, I've had a few emails asking if I was going to post them. Well, it's taken 6 months (we start school at the end of January here) but I finally was able to make up the last 2 cards this past week and get it posted. And I tell ya, those last 2 cards took me aaaagggggeeesss since I couldn't see the screen properly and had to keep taking breaks! Luckily I had my sweet boy available to help me convert it to pdf and get it posted! (I had to add that in, he wouldn't type it :D)

Here are examples of two of the cards. It's 20% off for the first few days.

I use the beanie babies in conjunction with CAFE, however I know that many teachers use the beanie baby strategies on their own. I've uploaded my CAFE headings as a free product on TpT (and since I've been using them since January, I don't know why I haven't posted them earlier!). I've already had someone ask for a chevron version, so once I can see a little better I'll make them up. I'm hoping by Sunday I'll be able to work on the computer so I can plan for Monday!
Ok, that's it. Time to rest my eyes, they're straining just from reading over this post. I tell ya, it gets very boring not being able to watch TV, spend a lot of time on the computer or read. It's also depressing being in a dark house for a week! Short term pain for long term gain I guess! Oh, I did join Instagram as something to do when I got my new Samsung Note 8 delivered. I haven't posted much at all being stuck at home, but I'd love it if you followed me! I think it will be easier to keep up to date with what's going on in my class because it doesn't take as long to write as a blog post. I'll get a button soon, but I think you can just search for downunderteacher. Thank you!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Non-Standard Measurement Freebies

This week in math we were working on non-standard measurement, focusing mostly on length. I was only able to snap a couple of photos of one of our whole class activities this week. For this activity, we had a box (I grabbed 3 blue and 3 pink kitty litter boxes from the dollar shop) of different supplies in our groups and we had to choose an appropriate unit to measure each object on our sheet with. We did a similar activity on another day but we measured real objects in the classroom.
When finished, we underlined the shortest and circled the longest object. We then had to explain how we knew which object was the longest and shortest. During the I Do and We Do parts of the lessons during the week, we had worked on writing 3 sentences to explain how we worked it out: 

First sentence:      Say what you did and what you measured with. 
Second sentence:  Say what the measurements are. 
Third sentence:     Say which object was longest.

This helped most kids get past the "I looked at it and just knew" explanation!

This week we only did one rotation over four days using my T.I.M.E. rotations. 

For T: Teacher's Choice we rolled cars labelled A-F down a ramp (made from a Really Good Stuff portable desktop pocket chart propped on a tub!) and measured the length each car travelled. I have groups of 6 so 3 students sat on each side of the ramp. One measured the length with unifix cubes by laying out trains of ten and then extra ones (great counting practice!) and the other side measured with paddle pock sticks. After 3 cars, they swapped what they measured with. Because this was the first week back after our Winter break, I had mixed ability groupings and did the same activity with all the groups. Most of the time, I do homogenous groups and tailor the Teacher's Choice center to what each group needs.

For I: Independent Work, I put out a tub of classroom objects that each student estimated the length of in unifix cubes and then measured. When we reviewed estimating whole class, I had to reiterate that the estimate didn't have to be perfect, it just had to be sensible! Earlier, I had students wanting to change their estimate to make it the ACTUAL measurement. This saying, which they could finish saying for me (!) really made them think and write down a sensible estimate.

For M: Math Facts I put out some review games from Lory Evans and Donna Boucher. The links take you to their TpT stores. I always put in a 100 chart and flash cards. The 100 chart they use for working out equations they don't know. 

For E: Essential Review (which I call Easy Review with my firsties this year) we reviewed 3D shapes. I love this tub because we get to review topics that may not show up again in our math units for a little while. Sometimes I put in activities that we did during whole class lessons a few weeks earlier for independent practice or I put in new activities that covers concepts that I want them to reinforce (like this week with Natalie Lamont's C3PO's 3D shapes booklet).

You can pick up just the four sheets that I made this week on Google Drive by clicking here and here. Visit the TpT links above to grab the other great centers. 

You can read more about my T.I.M.E Math set-up here and here.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted

Today I am linking up with Mrs Reed and her fabulous Tic Tac Toe Let's Get Acquainted Linky.

I'm going with the middle row. 

First Year Teaching
I LOVED my first year of teaching mainly because I had my friend Liz (of Bayside Math Teacher) teaching right along beside me! It was all very unexpected. I got a job teaching 6th grade at the school I did my internship at. I was having a new male teacher teach beside me but 2 or 3 days before school started he pulled out as he was moving. 

So my deputy asked if I knew any new teachers who would want to interview. Well, I recommended Liz and she must have blown them away at her interview because she got the job!

Besides teaching next to an awesome teacher like Liz, I had a wonderful class (even though in the first 15 minutes of having my own class I had a student vomit all over their desk....). They all got along really well and I rarely had any behaviour issues. Being a K-12 school, I still get visits from some of my first class of kids even though they're in Grade 10 now!

Favourite School Memory
I don't have any one favourite school memory as the school I was at for grades 1-7 was so great. In hindsight, our whole cohort were really great. We all got along and it was 'cool' to get an A - even in Grade 7! I remember Tanya crying once because she thought people wouldn't like her because she got a C! There was one group of kids though, a girl and two boys, and looking back I think they had a bit of a hard life. The girl held hands with another boy in grade 7 and we were all so shocked! One of my friends and I whispered to each other that she was such a 'tart' and then giggled because we used a swear word and because we were being so bad to say it!

If I had to narrow it down to one memory though it would be our Christmas Under the Stars performances. We don't do this at my school, or even my son's school, but they were so much fun to do growing up! Even though I was quite quiet and shy, I got chosen for some key parts over the years. My favourite was playing the kookaburra in The Kookaburra's Christmas Cake. I was dressed as a kookaburra and I had this HUGE cauldron that I was adding ingredients to throughout the performance and I had to stir it with this huge rowing oar. So. Much. Fun.!

Books I'm Reading
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9kmEQdJvCRKgQe0PASa8ifEmcxA5g4r95JF4CrH3wajsTgFKFknmbWA89qt2McaaTKwFE7Dfy2/XnVOz7pKVdlNufL0HKr43KT4RZW+iDxaAgkbn4VGvPE0o89PjTZQr0Yr7NUjGivdNL4bArc1aEKVpEqIFgOZPCr9F0r4Q3p5luWqfdQ0iNSzCZIAnfc+VXTov7PkLXiEYmQ6yvq1ISbDUmUr1DvA3jham3R/2e4ku6lHqEtrkLV3joPeQnlaZMCsnkXKN1p5tRlVpiGG6PIwWOZTjQlxlY7wkIk2k8wlUSORmtkZ7lbywlLeIGGYCT1mgAKgbaVSAlMfLjTXpTlLeOwh6opWUFSmykyCRZabTvEeYFQXQPOwtlWHeV2kJjtKOkt7EEG1trcI5GOaUnJbvaPRhCGOez0+n/yyuZ1kjDryW8uS48oCHDdSZ4LCzHjJsOVNM96GvYNKFuFGlViUmYP9kyL25Wq2Zj0vwuGT1WDb1qFiUqWloHxIMuH9TUJhMmdzDU889CUKAIsD2iI0p2SIm5k241qpurfC/wBnNkw45PbHmT+ukVrB4Bx1wJaQpShwAk+M8hUw70WxGpJeTCIkXJF9gAmYG0wBVmzLIncKCvBEgJAC21dsL37V91cfy2qLwXSx0/8AMZQuOCLL3uQIIj1FVeVyVwol6PHi+OdtP79GWTIWVKSerShF0jSRYn+yCINuPrUTmJGHcUFmby3aSEnbSDZN5HO24qfXnrOq5DalROqBHmUzWOdZKl1CFIUFLF0FcqSQfX15VlGbUvkuGd2TSwy6bZjkpOPJRsS+XFatMAbkSTvuSeNdZ9A0xlmCER/w7VjcjsDjXK2IYc1Q6SL3Aj3gC0V1R0B/ZmC3/wCna337g3ruieC4uLpk/RRRViAooooAooooApPEd1XkflSlJ4nuK+yflQHP+R5MvqkrcOmBtICjA31bJ47Sbm1PjnIT1ndSLbASTEG5Ak7b8KgcrzRaWkILaygpTp0wQdtjIVw2n31HZzmTnWQUJEJiClSYH+EX+XCvM2OUjCuRLNsdNwtRi02iPfE+lVtx+ZpbEYjTaIB47fPamKlT+vzruxxpGkVR4DXk0AV4K1Ll2yDoY11bT2Jcs7pLaJCQdR7IJ3JNrJ99THS/FqweHQhhCEJdJQqABACRaIEyCbma17gsSQ60oknQpESZgJUDA5C2wrZXtRw+rChUg6HQZBk3Ch+VcuRNTVvg9bBOLwT2Rppd+yE9nGdrONcC1lSn0GVKJUSpHaB3udOsU59qOKfC20hw9SpM6R2RqHemLq3Sb86peTY4sPNPC5QsKjaQD2h6iR61aMdjMVnCwllkJabJIJ2EjdbnOB3R7qtKNT3ejnx5rwPHzd8DLop00OFQ42QpQUdSQCBCogyT+6RExfs+NZ5R0cfzF5x3sttlfbVyJE6UJmfwq1dHugLTKUuvjUsCVBwpLaf8uxi4kn0FR2SZw0xmDgaVqwrh0lWyEqN06ecKJTPI+VUclbcOy/inGMI5n8b69i2dezNIbBwyla0idKiJUY3CgBB8DbxqF6OKdae6pxOkOKShQkatSVpUJB8AoW51sfNsw6lIcIJbFnFAElExCgBuAd/ORsaZY7LW8T1TqCgqnUh0DgkEi4NxqCbedYLLLb8jtlpIxmpYuGua+yPzPH6HAlc6VmAqYAVwCj48D/KK3nuQ6pcZB1GSoao1HmDz3qydIMIHUKBCTxFjBUJKeO08agcvzfUEtuLR1m0pED7MD94fHz3yx2luiejn8cpLDm6kuH9MpChpc7YkgmQCFX9DU5lnStbKxqJLfFANxzI8bbbU/wA96OhwlxB0KAlXj4771WPocLhEum5UANvM16EZwyxPntRhy6HLV/p/aL5nGPwjzOpxesKHZg/WJPgm2n1tW8fZ/wDsvBfdmv4BXKGLwjqbrQUi24tfaK6v9nw/qvA/dmv4E1bHBR6ZnqdS9Q02kv0WCiiitTlCiiigCiiigCksT3FfZPypWk8R3FeR+VAcptZkUkFYWUqSlMIlsDSANOoQY4k333NeY7DGC51xCTYanCoJnyBJHlTTFONrS3dcpjrVEwDO4GpSpHkkete4jM0KQUtiDEbazHHtLkgxy0Vz1zaKUNse2lIGlSVk731K842HzvUesXvPuqTfzFSUhISGxEAJTBPjJtPjUc60N1H3n9H5VrHoCShxrMn9GvUwLqt4b/D868OpagADcwkAT7gNzVrLnqBe38/16Vcc+6YuY8fRsMyqFkE6oKzBB4WSAYufhUHjei+IYbDj7amkKjeJvMawLomDEgTFWP2RrR9NWkWlokTvZaD+NZyprd9HRhlJPZdWRGC6NBrGNMYkfvoC4PYGsDSNQIkSRMHnW2M8zBvA4QrQ1KG4CUNkADUbfZTJ+NUb2m4VacYy8AAQ2Dx3bWSI9CK2Nh9GJa2QptwAwRqBBvBB73D1Fc+R7kmzu00FCU4rtezVhfx2Z3shvdKVEoQY2gwS4fEyPKqmh8tKUlYkg3E2B/XK9bnz7pRh8MQiUrcGzaYEDkeCQeA32ttWqX8rfx2JcU0z2nFlRSmyUydyTYDxNaYpffCObUwjwt26Xs2R0Q6QDGYUdYNTiOw4CJ1CCAqOSk2PiFVUca+7lWIKUyphZ1pQTaCbgHgsWBPHjNZZLgcTl2LbQ7BbWk6iDqQEk3MnilUGPHxqe6Z4JlbLpc0pI09WsEC4BJjmO1B8xHCseIz/AAzthuyYu6nAcs5uh9rW2QbCU7KB5KHA/A8KpnSnCdViStlE21LiCASbi+yrHa96r2XukOgIWUA7mSmwudj4bVcMvwrmMUpjCNlyEkm4CUg7qWokAep99Wji8cvj0zn1P8h58ShJcr2Vx/OVvT1itKR+4Lf6juaXfzRbLSUdWpGtIUglJRKZIkW7aTG9TeSZQ3hcw6nNsNCFp0haldlBV3HRpMOJ4E8N+FWrpG1l4w7mX4pbmEdZBXhVOgutpBv9Q8AVLYX/AGF3GwuIrp2RPPlKU3cnZp1/FKWe0Z8K619n37LwP3Zr+AVyS1hSb2A5k/hvXW3s/H9V4H7s1/AKulRUsFFFFSAooooAooooApPEdxXkflSlJ4nuK+yflQHKrGZ9iO+f7KEhR2HOQPdUGyu5ISBKt1RA8JNp9KdtZtoAQE3iJBi542uT7qZ4l4EARpjewT/M++sVGrK0ZLQVLGpWuBwKvdJG3lFJvJUeykCN7fiakMryBeKlLWogRqVGlsSQLncm+wk1e8r9neHQiHF9YpQ70QBBB7Ans7b7+U0lkjDs6sOkyZeV19lU6PdAsQ/CiAy2ROtYJkf4U2KqsfspQB1yykKXqACoulKQNUcpKxMXtUhmnSQtoU21DyoISoqhAkRqUQDqI89xTX2aYRYbd7XaS4oAjumzcyLTWDyOUWztx4sUc0YRdv2WkaHn8ShUOIUwwADBBCi+NMefH5QKpeS5AcvzZpKSSh0KDat7FJJSocwQPS9TbGZqTjnklOlKikJc1AjUEmE6DuCpZFyL1YtANnBEKCkKmYUNjBuk38rkcapva/wdHjjlTa7TKn7WGz9HYcBj6xSCfBSZj3pqY9nWJDuAZB1dnU2QZA7KpEja6Vp91J9Pwr6Gs6VK0KQqxFgLEydrE8KrnsvzgqL7azJlDqQDG0pWAOUFNWXOMyktupX5RIY72apex7j63AhhagsJb75MDVfZCSqbid+FXLD4dtpAS2hKEjgkfEnifE1FZ10laYSpTqwkTCQI1KEAjSOO5qq4fpocVISpLaVL0BAu7zBIkSCJ22IvNZNzmr9Gs3g01yf/AKEvaZ0hbKUtIIW6FSqLhIjYnYzy8PfCt4TU2hTq+tMDRJJSBAEBO1rb8qb9L8ve0JeKFBorKEk37UaoJ5wSYq75fkWEa+i5f1Q143Cpd+mOOOA9Y4BCWUIsYIjSSJtPj1Qx3BUePmzPNLd0R+U9CkPtIdecLaHVltlLTCsQtRSYUooSOwgHc0z6LLTg3cdl+PnDt4lABdKS2UlJJZXpN+rVNx7+NXrKMGMvS7hlKxKWQZHVODVqkapkWCxyI9JqsdPXmsYhTq0hoMthpkyVKATcalbrMki9r+phZoLhGCaGPTzMMOnA4XCoxCcY8wpRLyB2EtqBhoKPevFpMaeG1UXE4p5/TrWpYbSEI1qKglI2Smdh4UnlrIWsAmL+dTeIwGlMq1AknvQT5+tbSkouiWyvuqNpBFdZ+z39lYH7sz/AmuUcSsHclSuEbCurvZ7+y8D92a/gFXRJYaKKKkBRRRQBRRRQBSeJ7ivsn5UpSeI7ivsn5UBx3h3giwKiT+6mw9TXmKgkatIHJIHxJuabKcjVe+3j4VjgmC44hFzqUB7zeq17JSt0bJwuWhGXKQjsFbRWpRkHfXcjwgelVXKH8ZiQjDsklKAZkwkAme2rlPC9XVjEBaFNqulSIgGLGARPKKMZnDWFZ7MIAnQkADygceFefHLy1Vuz6nPoPjH5VFLn8ms8XmbpUUlRgGCAbW+dbT9mmICcKNAMqWsyYBI+rSSfUVqTryL7SZJ8a2L0QxhRg24UZ+tMf+Qe/aa6c6qB438dj356RCdPMas4t8FZAC7JBgDsiNhvVy6D9MPpTeh1UutiF2krTsF+d4PjB41UMyyJL2IccdWQFKBhIA4DifyrxrCN4VaXWC4lxMxJBSRsQQRdJFVe2UEjPzeDUyvq2bB6TFP0V9JUA31aidRuDpOkDwkbcyK1T0WRiut14YQQCkqUAUQdwZseHupvn3SN/EmHXCUp2SBpSP8ALxPiavHRXL+rwQxOLeThsOQepAguOkTOhsGY1CJtx86mGOUIcc2Rq9Sssk8fFFUzbKVBRcxDxcUd9PlYBRtHkIEVaOh/s2c+ltpWlS2X8GXUvNFSUNl1Cg1qXaSFCNPM7ECqhm2dLxMJbSdKSdJi9+fAe/jVrXnjv9E4FtLym38LiFHq9SglSAdbSlQIJSqwHnWsW0vkcVt8yLj0SytDGExGBWRrCS8VqVA6xIAWAT3bWHgJO9Q+I6cu4Vnq0hvU2FdS64gLca1b6FHb9eFVTMPaU66pwuIQFqUTqQLCTcAGeQvPCoN9TuLMpHZBAKlGBqMxc8TBsKxjCSlcuiqTQ+Y6evJme0VGVqUSpSyBA1KN9ItbwrDGJccaSvEKXJhSU91GlUQYA3/lUXiMgdRMgW5KB93Op1HSJlTHUraLbiUWJlSVKG2oKPYsE2Hwq0klzBD9EOWUiYAEWnj7+NNnsYqYJJjahzFCI3vNNVJUbwfdW237JHOFwhcJVskbn8BXWfQRIGW4MDYYdqP9ArlXBZilLekiCDNuPmK6p6BKnLMERxw7X8AqU3ZKJ6iiirEhRRRQBRRRQBSeJ7ivsn5UpSeJ7ivsn5UBxs+pJTCUSTuq9vAU46OYUnECQezJPA8t+G+/hTBbkKiJjh/IVPdG0GFymAYgbbA8/Ossj2xZ2aLH5M8V/ZLZri3GUo6rUVGQAdMADiRE8YqCXlDrx6x1c8zuLcJ2HlT7HM9Yoa1KITYpB38zxFtqWQiAQNhNptbw53rljLauOz2tRp56jK9zagvRE5lkYaY1ReQArWDvwiByNWvIsxaawjS1jTCDfhddoi591QD2ISmZBJ8BO3GKQdzptIMBRVEREDyNXac4pM8+eohpMz8S9V/YjiukpLilJHZk6Z5cKdNYl19l1xDRKW9IWsRpTrICQTNpOwqy9CPZvhn0sO4xxz/iUrW0ywk6ghBIU66uCEIBFhxJF7xSns7y5eMy/MsKwEhU4YpKzpFnV6lKMW7KZNdHjSXCPKm98nN9vkhujmRJcwWZrdSlTreHQ40Tcp0uAuFPKUwJq8dD3MO5kTYxLzTTaFvMuLUkF0tqVrU0yTcFWoSRNqon9JKwWJxjDa0YzrcOcKVp7KO2ElRSOOk6gL73qNY6OR/zVgCJhJt7zSUlFclbowz7MmVOK+ioLbOo6UkiSNklQH70CvMTnDriNIaO1zCvU7VMHLsO0mU6QRG6gTfaOMz86h8bmSRMHV4T+NZpqXSKkLoNyeG9WvInEpw7Znt6lqQJIE2BKrb92OJqtBlS5UEwPcPSaXwWJfQeqbKgVGNP62860mtyolol8dig2syoSBBgc94qvvKLjnZ3UQB+FTI6NkjU4u5mQBx8VH8qjVYYsLCjBAMi4vVYOK67CJJOVBoRZSzxItw28L16AU95QPIAb+F6RGYCNSlSYsBJAv8AypucSDJPpt+pqEpewK48JVcgA8PyFdR+z39lYH7sz/tprkouSZrrb2ej+q8D92Z/201slRYsFFFFSAooooAooooApPE9xX2T8qUpPE9xX2T8qA46bfj+XlUtg31pSmRA2N+fDlVd0SoAK3IHyqUxuYJSAkK1njy9/GsZpvhHoaKSx7sjfRLYp8WURHLbccbTUZmOZuEdmEoHMiTWGS5fiMdiAywnU4q97JSBupSj3UjmfnVt6LdC1MZyrD4otLDDTjqlquyIZlCzqAslS0m44VWOKuWW1H8hPJajwios5UtTKcQ4qG1rLaSSBKkgKUAN7Apv4ir7nnRDDM5My6EDrULQt9REqjEI1NpJO8At24SedMulWVYVDGU4ZvEasOVPOLeUnQFanEJcWAdkwhUcdudNul/tQxOJbfZhAwzxSltBRCm0NqlMGe+exJM920VtR5pYx7RP6PYyhKSS11BcdQjSFKGtYSkk7A7x861+z0ndh5OHSUJdMrhR2lRAVsDGo1XUEEidqeJxaBMCeVqhxIYszg1IlUp1e+jFqdNlOJHAif5U1VjjMgAelNlrJMkyaJP2RQqpJkJCpm1p91OV4VCRBPa4g/kKYoXpII3F6XDoJ7tz4/nUtE0OMSUlCSN9hw+FY5fjtDgUoTwtbakXcSSdhyHH3UiU86VxQos+Y5ikHvFQjxt51CYnG6gRApnqmlFJAEiarHGkEqMEm340rhxxMGkSa9CjtWhJkd6639n/AOy8D92a/gFckhQrrb2ffsvA/dmv4BQFgooooAooooAooooApPE9xX2T8qUpLE9xX2T8qA4tW1BjlXilpgjTfgeX51mMMTufxpVOGQNyaiwXfonkD68s/wCHSrXjMUGVrAgIZZTqc1r/AHUFagTJvoio5fSptl7MdCnH+vaXh2XFq1KKVLSC4tXihFgBxAsBSOG6ZvN4BWCbcKGlKUSAAFHV3kle4STw/CqoU0A6xmauOhsLUSGk6GxwSmSYA8yT601Usne9Y0VIPRXuqvKWYwpV4CgEZoqQ+gJAvNJYjBgCU8pqNyIsaCn7OXjTqKgRyH40xSYp31rhHJPuFQwZKWALAD0poVUq4I3puTUpEns3pRx6RERSVeg1IPUoJrMopV8RHiKb0B7F6649nn7KwP3Zn/bTXIwNdc+z39lYH7sz/tpoCw0UUUAUUUUAUUUUAUlie4r7J+VK0niO4ryPyoDi04gb1ip2R4VtJH4D5ClF7UBqXX416kjmK2nXtAavhMTIpIkeHvratBoDVbcSNqfIfA4/EVsdulTUMGssRjxp08+X6vTVzFk7mtomvKVQNVaqUGI8a2jRUg1at2eNYTW1aKA1VNe6q2pRQGrOsrHVW1aKA1Wk3rrv2efsrA/dmf8AbTWmK3l0T/6HDf8AaR/CKAlqKKKAKKKKA//ZMy son had to read The Enemy by Charlie Higson as an English novel study last term. He kept on talking to me about it so I read it so I could discuss it with him back. It takes place in London after a worldwide sickness has infected everyone over the age of 14. Most died, but some turned into something like zombies. The book tracks a group of kids who are trying to survive in this post-apocalyptic world. He liked the book so I ordered The Dead, The Fear and The Sacrifice which we are starting to read now. 

(Talking about zombies, or walkers as I prefer to call them now, who else LOVES The Walking Dead?? There's something about Daryl Dixon that just does it for me!),TopRight,1,0_SH20_.jpgMy sister has given me the Hush Hush series to read, but I'm just not feeling it at the moment. That being said, I haven't even read the blurb or one page for that matter, it's just looking at the covers that doesn't do it for me!

Remember to go and link up with Flying into First Grade!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Play-Doh storage for Word Work

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Last week one of my teacher aides commented on the way I stored my play-doh for Word Work and thought it would be useful for the prep/kindergarten teachers so I thought I'd share it here too (wow, what a long sentence....). 

Basically, I just separate the homemade play-doh into individual sized portions and plop them in a paint palette. Simple. Stops arguments over who has the most play-doh and if you only put out the one color, it stops that argument too. I've found this a good alternative to the store bought play-doh containers, as my kids never put the lids on properly and the play-doh ended up drying out. 

To store, the kids just put it back in the Ziploc bag, seal it and put it back in the drawer with the play-doh mats (blank sheets of paper that were laminated for a window display last year!). 

Friday, May 24, 2013

End of Year School Party Games

In December, I wrote a post detailing some of the party games I play on the last day of school with my class. I thought I'd re-post it below for my northern hemisphere friends who are finishing school and are ready for Summer now. I can't wait to feel the Summer heat again... boy has it been cold in Brisbane the last week!

Don't you just LOVE class parties? I do and there's a couple of games that I love to play each year and you only need a few simple materials: 
  • balloons
  • table tennis balls
  • straws
  • plastic plate, knife and fork
  • dice
  • bar of chocolate
  • prizes for the winners!
All of these games I learned from another teacher so you may have seen them before. I play these games during our end-of-year party so the desks are moved to the side the room leaving a nice big (safe) playing space.

The first game is an oldie but a goodie and you only need balloons. Throw one up in the air and the kids have to try and stop it touching the floor. For an added challenge, throw in more ballons or they can only touch the balloon with a certain body part (e.g. elbows). Split the class in groups and see how long each group can keep it up for and the winning group receives a prize (Freddo frogs or other small chocolates/lollies are always favourites at the end of the year). This game can easily go for a few rounds!

Another game I tried out last year was table tennis ball races! I split the class into groups and stuck down masking tape for the start and end lines. Each group took their turn to line up (most on their hands and knees!) with a straw and a table tennis ball. On go, they have to blow through the straw to push the  ball past the finish line. They found this a real challenge, it's not as easy as it sounds! You could also use balloons from the previous activity instead of the table tennis balls. Of course, the winner of each race has to receive a little prize! We played a few rounds of this - they got better at blowing through the straws each time!

The final game is my fav by far! A chocolate eating competition! All you need is a yummy bar of chocolate, a plastic plate/knife/fork and 2 dice (forgot to take a photo of them!). Everyone sits in a circle with the chocolate on the plate with the knife and fork in the middle. Your kiddies take turns rolling the dice and if they roll a double they get to scoot into the middle and use the knife and fork to start cutting out a square of chocolate. Once they cut one out, they put down the knife and fork and pick up the square with their hands and eat it! Once they finish eating, they can start cutting again and eat as much chocolate as they can before someone else rolls a double. Once someone else rolls a double, they have to put down the knife and fork immediately and go back to their spot so the next person can start.
The kids LOVED this game last year! They didn't even get annoyed when they started to go in the middle and someone rolled a double straight away or if they *just* finished cutting out a piece and before they could pick it up someone rolled a double! It was all just so much fun they didn't mind at all!, these bubble wands are WONDERFUL!! I give them to the kids for their Christmas/end-of-year gift and take them out in the morning before it gets too hot. Seriously, they can play outside for an hour and complain when it's time to come inside!
What are your favourite party games?