Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Fancy Hearts Line Art - FREE

Click HERE to find this free set on TpT

I had a few requests for my fancy hearts in a line art version, so here it is! I hope you can use them in many creative ways. I am gradually working through a very long to do list - thank  you so much for all your requests, I will get to them all!

Luckily I had to avoid the housework today after jamming my thumb in the door of my car - ouch! I did find it slightly amusing to consider my response to the pain (it is a wonder my US friends did not hear my girlish screams cries from way down here in Australia) in light of the fact that I will be soon giving birth. I now have a beautiful unique blue thumb nail, and a dull throbbing reminder to make sure the hand is far removed from the door before I slam it shut. Lucky it is on the left hand and I can continue to draw and design (clearly much easier than housework!).

Have a great day

Friday, 27 January 2012

FREE Phonics Packet - Snail or Slug


From the Pond is so proud to be associated with the Classroom Freebies blog! In just 4 short months, CF has had over 1 million page views and it is climbing each and every day! If you LOVE CF as much as the stats show, please feel free to tell other teachers you know.

To celebrate this monumental occasion, the contributors have decided to "fill your inbox" with some amazing freebies for 24 hours!

Don't miss out on our FREE offering - Snail or Slug Phonics Pack - exclusive to Classroom Freebies. I am not sure when it will appear over the next 24 hours, but be sure to keep a look out!



Monday, 23 January 2012

Snail Days - FREE Graphics Set

Click on the image above or HERE to download from TpT


I can't wait to see some of the teaching resources that you are able to create with these cute snails! I have tried to make a nice big space on each snail's shell, so that pictures, numbers or letters can be added (good for centers and games). The set also includes a black/white or "line art" set, so you can make some worksheets.
The set also includes some page backgrounds and buttons in matching colors.

I would like to do a Linky Party soon, can anyone give me some direction in where to go to sign up for the Linky Party capability?

Have a wonderful day and enjoy these graphics!


Sunday, 22 January 2012

Numbers to 30 Worksheets

I have had lots of requests to make a set of worksheets to follow on from our Numbers to 10 and Numbers to 20 worksheets set.

Well, here they are!



Sorry, it is a short one tonight - Sunday night and the Australian Open Tennis is on the TV, so I am of fto put my feet up! Look out for some free graphics tomorrow!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Fuzzy Bumps Borders - FREE


Download these new creations from TpT - click on the image above



What a day! As well as making these borders, I had the great delight in helping to care for my three beautiful nieces today, along with my daughter. She loves having some other children to play with.  We had hours of open-ended imaginative and creative play. I have recently extended my little house (now somewhat larger) and we had a rumpus room added. I wanted this rumpus to be known as the "play room" for at least the next 6 years. With bub #2 coming along, we have plenty of toys! We are so fortunate to have the space to allow for a "home corner", "creative or craft" corner, massive dress up box, two big bookcases and five nice big cupboards to house all the toys. It really is a 4 year olds paradise, and I have to say, part of me was fulfilling a long-held childhood envy. As a child, I had friends with a room like this and I have  longed for one ever since.  I am busy organising and labelling storage in the toy cupboards and will post some photos when it is finished.

This very free and open play space is a delightful balance for the structured activities my daughter loves. She does take after me, and I distinctly remember loving structured and "school-like" formal activities when I was young. Activities that some early childhood teachers might screw their noses up at - oh my goodness not a worksheet - don't give the children any sort of direction! Shock horror!

I am so glad that 12 years of teaching in K-2 settings has helped me to feel confident in what I have always believed, that most children need a little bit of it all. It is wonderful for them to "play in the dirt", express themselves with a blank piece of paper and a selection of art mediums and materials. But what joy some of them get out of being given a structured teaching lesson in a specific skill. What development you can then see develop over the following weeks and their clever little minds apply that knowledge to their own creations! My daughter is thankfully benefiting from a little bit of both worlds.

This has been in my mind constantly lately, as my sister has started and early childhood education degree. I have tried to offer her advice and suggestions as she tackles the assignments and discusses issues with her peers. I do remember the constant contrast between the different styles of teaching, and am trying to help her steer through the same conflicts.

It always made sense to me, to develop a teaching style that encompassed a little of all the theories - surely no one way is better that the others - it was just common sense to me.
Some children like the freedom of open experiences, others like and feel safe in more direct, explicit experiences. Should it not be our goal to provide both of these? Structured lessons or "teaching moments" to help move along the developmental continuum, open experiences to then apply that knowledge and new skill...

Last year, against everything I had been taught at university, I did a "directed drawing" lesson once a week in my kindergarten class. I will never forget the look of joy and confidence on the faces of my students. Some of the children had struggled all year to "draw" something they were proud of. As much as I told them their naive and scribbly sketches were wonderful, they did not seem to believe me. One little boy was literally jumping out of his seat when I showed him, step by step, how to draw a castle. Yes it was structured, but over the year I saw the confidence in the children increase and they applied many techniques  to other more "open" art and drawing lessons.

I have also been thinking about these issues after reading an article in my local paper about preschools. It is controversial, and I think for the most part our preschool teachers do a wonderful job, but I am interested in exploring the issues it raised, particularly that of the quality of instruction in preschools - teachers really using opportunities for "teaching". Have we been scared into thinking that if we just provide a lovely environment and give children time, they will somehow progress without any sort of structured teaching?   

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Just cooked up! Love Heart Borders

Click on the image above to download from TpT

I made a "flexible" New Years Resolution to cook one family dinner each week from a new recipe and also to draw something new each day to develop my digital design skills. So far, I have kept up my promise....and this evening - while the new dinner was in the oven, I made these cute new borders. I must be getting better as I knocked over both in around two hours.....time for something more challenging I guess!

I hope you like them and can use them. I must also take this opportunity to thank everyone for all your wonderful comments and feedback. I have been truly blessed and I am just sorry I do not have time to get back to each of you individually. I really do appreciate your support, and it keeps me going - thank you!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Valentines Cut, Paste & Write Worksheets



I have just listed a Valentine's Day version of our Trace, Color, Cut, Paste & Write Worksheets. We made one of these for Christmas, and it proved very popular.

The worksheets are a great way for your little learners to practise a wide range of skills - including recognising sight words.


After writing their name, students cut a simple shape, following the dotted lines. Great fine motor, and hand-eye coordination!


Students can then color their cut-out shape.



Paste the colored shape into position on the worksheet - students will use visual discrimination and spatial skills to get the shape positioned correctly.



Students can then spend some time, decorating or coloring the background to their picture - you could provide craft materials and let your students be very creative!



Your students can now trace a sentence (and read it back to you) or write their own "story" on the version that has blank lines.



All finished - courtesy of my 4 year old, who is quite busting to get to big school!



I like doing this style of worksheet in my Kindergarten classroom as all my stduents can be busily engaged, while I get around the room to each of them individually and either help them with spelling, or work with them on early reading skills (getting them to read the sentence back to me, showing awareness of left-to-right progression, 1:1 correspondence, pointing to the words etc). I can give each students a little bit of time, while the others are working independently on important skills. Yes, it is a very structured activity, but it is helping them with very important skills on their journey to independent writing.
 

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Platypus & Penguin


Have you taught a penguin unit of work? This latest creation of ours will help you extend on that learning and help your students discover one of Australia's favorite animals - the platypus!

We have provided a selection of worksheets on both the penguin and the platypus, and encourage your students to compare and contrast the two animals.

The unit includes instructions and templates for a glyph, where students can create their own crazy mixed-up-combination animals: a Platy-guin!



Click on the images above to find this mini-unit in our TpT store!


Friday, 13 January 2012

Squiggle Borders & Badges!

 
We are excited to show our latest set of graphics, perfect for your next teaching resource file!
You could use these borders and badges in your classroom or a teaching document. Please make sure you place a credit in your document if you are going to distribute it (for free or for sale).


Have a wonderful Friday! We have a beautiful blue-sky summer's day here, and I am off to enjoy it with my little girl :)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Graphics for Math


I have just listed these bright and colourful graphics that might help you with your next K-2  math resource. Click above to find them at TpT. 24 graphics in the set!

I needed a project for this evening that didn't require too much creative energy - I think the sun zapped all my energy today. What a lovely day my daughter and I had in my sister's pool. My little-Miss-4 has come such a long way. She is now splashing and floating about with such confidence. Not "swimming" yet, but she has come so far. I have resisted taking her to formal swimming lessons so far, as I know her so well, and knew it would be little more than a scream-fest.  A friend gave me some great advice about real authentic experience in a pool rather than scheduled "lessons". Although I can see the wonderful benefits of lessons for some children, I have to say, it would not have worked for my daughter! I was so proud of her today. On a totally different thread, does anyone know if you can feel a baby with the hiccups when you are pregnant? I have had crazy weird little thumps in my tummy all day today, not as big as kicks...what a strange feeling!

I hope you have had a great day too :)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Oh So Pretty - Graphics

This set of elements will help you to create cover pages for your next teaching resource file. I have created them all in coordinating colours, so you can have fun selecting any of them and putting them together. remember to use the png files to get a transparent background if you are layering them on top of one another. Feel free to send me a message if you need help using them. Please feel free to stop by and leave a link to any products that you create with them - I would love to see them!

 


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Groundhog Day Graphics

I got inspired to create these from a request by Anna from Crazy for First Grade.
Thank you to everyone that has sent requests, I am gradually getting to them all!




jpg or png? + Free Borders Update

A few friends have recently emailed me to ask me about jpeg and png files - and using them in their teaching resource files. You can use both, png files are great for when you need a transparent background. This comes in handy if you want to layer the graphic on a pretty decorative background, or a coloured background - a black background in the example below:

I am including both jpeg and png files of my graphics when I list new sets in my graphics store on TeacherspayTeachers. Some people prefer to work with one over the other. For what teachers do with graphics in their teaching resource files, the transparency issue is the only main one I can see.

When you download a zip file of mine, how can you tell what they are? Save the file, go to its location on your computer, and then click on "details" to see the file types.


This icon should be on the top right of your screen when you locate your graphics files through 'My Computer'. Click on it. It will give you a list of options.


Click on "Details". You will then see all the details of each file within your folder that contains all your graphics.


You will see here, I have opened a file on my computer called "Kitty Cat". It contains all my graphics for the set. Once I have clicked on 'details' - I can see the details of each file and can choose either the jpeg or the png to insert into my resource file.

A quick way is also to hover your mouse over the file name, and you will see the file type in the description that comes up also.



I listed my set of borders/frames called "All Stitched Up" in my new store today. It contains the same borders as the ones I listed a while ago in my regular TpT store. However, they are now at 300 dpi. This means they will be a lot clearer and crisper for printing - if you downloaded them last time, you may like to get the "new" set. Perhaps you won't notice the difference! I am pretty fussy when it comes to the crispness of graphics in my documents, especially when it comes to printing. Nothing worse for me than printing something that is all pixelated (is that a word?) and blurry because of poor quality graphics - like nails down a chalkboard to me.... worse when you have paid for the file.....we all have our "things".

I know many of you will know already all of the information above, but I am hoping I may have helped some :) Have a wonderful week!


Friday, 6 January 2012

Valentine's Day Numbers Set - THANK YOU!


I promised you a freebie, and here is one!
Thank you for all your kind comments and supporting my new graphics store.
Click on the image above to download from TpT.
Have a great day!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

2D Shapes Packet

What a wonderful bunch of bloggy friends I have here! I have been amazed at all your wonderful comments and support for my graphics and my graphics TpT store - it means so much and I promise to reward you all with some fabulous new freebies very soon.

My 2D Shapes packet, which I have had in store over the last year, is on sale for this week, at just $6. Click here if you would like to see it!



Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Tens Block Clipart Graphics

 

Just listed these in our TpT store, I hope they can help you!
I can't believe I got them listed today -  have spent the day cleaning through my computer files, and trying to consolidate my home computer and two laptops.....and get a back-up on my new favourite friend (external hard drive). OMGosh! What a job. Never leaving that job for a few years again.......

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Ice Cream Pile Up!




A TpT buyer called Deb, asked me to make some ice cream graphics with the scoop and cone separated. Here is what I came up with - it did make me hungry! We are having the warmest day of our summer so far, and ice cream would be just perfect right now!

Deb, if you follow this bog, could you get your email to me so that I can send you these for free. Thank you for the suggestion - ideas are always welcome!


Monday, 2 January 2012

Fancy a Freebie?


FREE! Put them to good use and make some wonderful new teaching resources.

 Please follow my new store at TeachersPayTeachers by clicking on the image above.

All Green and Froggy

I just listed these new graphics in our graphics store - what more can I say? I love everything green and froggy-like!

Linky Party

Little Miss Kindergarten

Mrs Coe from Little Miss Kindergarten is having a Linky Party to showcase supportive bloggers!
Without a doubt, Deedee from Mrs. Wills Kindergraten came to mind straight away for me. Her blog is an absolute favourite of mine, I love her teaching resources and when I check my blog stats, I have a lot of traffic coming to my blog from hers. So a HUGE thank you to Deedee from me! I really appreciate all the hard work you put into your fabulous posts and especially the support your blog shows mine by driving some web traffic!


 
 

Valentines Day Graphics - Conversation Hearts


Just listed - use these to create some wonderful new teaching resources for Valentine's Day!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Graphics for Teachers & Teacher Bloggers


Happy New Year! 2012 is going to be a wonderful year for me here at From the Pond. I will start maternity leave in February and will hopefully have so much more time to be creative!

I have decided to kick off 2012 with a new TeachersPayTeachers store. This store will just feature my graphics, clipart, borders etc that have been designed with teachers in mind. My graphics have relaxed terms of use, so you can be more the sharing-kind-of-teacher or blogger. Please contact me if you have any questions about the Terms of Use, to be very general, as long as you pop in a short link back to this blog, you can use them how you like.
I am moving all my current graphics from our TpT store (which will remain open selling our teaching resources) to the new store