Monday, 30 April 2012

Paws and Pets

Sunday the 20th May is the Million Paws Walk in Australia. It helps the RSPCA to raise funds for animals in need.

Why not talk about pets in the classroom to help draw your students attention to the care and well being of animals? During Term 2 in Kindergarten, I do a unit of work on 'Meeting Needs' and always do a week or two talking about pets and the needs of animals. It is so much fun, and the students love talking about their pets (or why they can't have one)! We get a classroom pet - somehow I have managed to convince the last 5 or 6 classes I have taught to get a goldfish - nice and easy for the classroom :)

To help get you thinking of all-things-paw, I have created these cute graphics and listed them at TeacherspayTeachers. They are FREE. I would love to see what you come up with, so stop back and leave a comment.


Here is a worksheet, similar to one that I like to do with my kinders. It helps to introduce the 'Information Report' text type that we use in the NSW curriculum syllabus.

You can download it from google docs, by clicking HERE, or on the image itself

I used a border from one of our latest sets of borders, to create the box on this worksheet. I called this set "Stix Borders" as the lines reminded me of the sticks that were used when I played 'pick up sticks' as a child! They are listed with TpT:

Thanks for stopping by :)

Sunday, 29 April 2012

More Mother's Day

I just had to share these wonderful books I found while on a quick trip to the shops today (Big W for interested Australian readers). The sleeping and feeding routine we have our little bubba on has a 'nap' time in the afternoon and it encourages you to get baby to sleep in places other than home. So off to the shops it was today and bubba slept the whole time we were there!

I found these little treasures, and am going to read them to my little girl this week and next, in the lead up to Mother's Day. I will of course, find them very useful when I return to the classroom. "More books?" my husband enquired...."Trust me", I replied.


These books were both around $10 and are hardcover - got to love that!

My Mum's the Best has beautiful illustrations on mother and baby animals - you should see the frogs! Short rhythmic text that your students will love.

The Greatest Mother's Day of all brought big smiles to my face - especially the page that tells of Dad running out of time to find something smelly, and needing to get home to watch the football on the telly!

What Mother's Day books do you read in your classroom? Does your school celebrate with the mothers?

Download this worksheet and have your students make a picture of a vase of flowers to give their mum/mom. It is for your personal use only and cannot be used commercially or redistributed.




Friday, 27 April 2012

Marvellous Mother's Day

It is marvellous being a mum! I have the sweetest little baby boy to spend my days with at the moment. He is just about 8 weeks old, and I am constantly amazed at how well he is doing. He looked up at me at 3am the other day, mid feed, and said "ga...goo" - such a moment! Today he was hanging out on his little soft mat, took a big sigh, and then closed his eyes....he is still fast asleep. It truly is a blessing to be a mum. My little girl, who is now 5, is also amazing - she has been helping me out, and being "mum #2" to our bub. I am one lucky girl!

I purchased a copy of "My Marvellous Mum" by Susannah McFarlane yesterday, to read to my little lovelies as we near Mother's Day. It is part of the "Little Mates" series by Scholastic. Each title features an Australian animal and focuses on a different letter of the alphabet.

My Marvellous Mum has lots of "m" words. Great for my daughter, who is constantly asking me how to write 'm' at the moment - when she is sounding out words - 'is it two jumps or one jump, mum?' she always asks. A week or two of working on lots of 'm' activities and writing should help! My Marvellous Mum has Matilda and Max, a koala and possum who are at the beach. They talk about all the reasons why their mums are marvellous. Then they decide to make something 'memorable' for their mums for Mother's Day - a mouth watering mud cake and a modern masterpiece (a painting). The illustrations by Lachlan Creagh are just divine!

I have spent today playing with my two little lovelies, and also working on this packet of resources to accompany work in the classroom for Mother's Day. You could use the activities on their own, or team them up with a reading of My Marvellous Mum or other stories about koalas, such as Mem Fox's Koala Lou.

click HERE to find my resources on TeachersPayTeachers

Here is how the writing and craftivity looks when finished. I have included spellings for both 'Mum' and 'Mom'.


My Australian friends might want to purcahse a copy of this wonderful book - I got my copy yesterday at KMart for $12. It is much bigger than the little ones that are sold through the Scholastic School Book Clubs.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Little Houses

I was experimenting with shapes and effects in my graphics programs today and came up with these houses in the process. You can download them for free! The clear basic shapes will be perfect for worksheets and activities - you can add numbers or letters to the door, windows or roof. I am planning a more detailed and colour set, so keep a look out.

I am making progress on my to-do list, and will have some electricity, rectangle fractions, magnets and 'children of the world' graphics to list very soon. I have some wonderful followers who keep giving me suggestions for more graphics. If you have any, please let me know, I will add them to the to-do list...............gotta love those lists - I would be lost without them.


Click HERE to download the graphics set for free at TeacherspayTeachers


I came up with this worksheet using the graphics, for my daughter, who just LOVES colouring and drawing at the moment. I cannot believe the progress she has made in drawing over the last few months - I will post some examples soon - I am so proud of her. It is nice to see children develop their own special and unique gifts and talents. Download your copy of this worksheet form Google Docs,
 HERE

Please check out the entries in the TeacherspayTeachers design competition. And if you feel so inclined, vote for my entry by 'liking' it. You can find it on Facebook by clicking on the image below.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Banner Comp - do you 'like'?

I opened the TeachersPayTeachers newsletter last night and was very excited to read about the competition to design a new banner. My mind ticked over during my well deserved slumber (Sam is still enjoying a 4am feed, after he teased us with an all-night sleep through last week), and I came up with this design early this morning. We are able to submit three designs, so I may very well find the time to do another couple during the week.

I would love you to vote for my design - you can do this by going to the TeachersPayTeachers facebook page and finding my picture (go to their photo library) and 'like' it.

Here it is! I will pop a link through the picture that will hopefully take you to the Facebook page - I say hopefully as I have never had much luck linking to Facebook - I think the sign-in process often mucks up the link.

Click on the picture below to vote!

What do you think? I tried to incorporate the existing colours of the TpT website and newsletter. I wanted the wheel in there, and the apple, and the '3 R's', and the whole wheel/real play on words......so many ideas and such a small banner! I think I managed to get all my lines of thinking expressed.....

To all my TpT friends, I wish you the best of luck if you have entered the competition as well - I am enjoying looking through the list of entries!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Story Spinner

Click HERE to download from Google Docs

This "Story Spinner" is a great teaching activity to do with your Kinders or other students needing help with oral language, listening, telling and creating stories. It is perfect to do when you have a few minutes left at the end of your lesson or in a transition time.

Print the story spinner (on card if possible), laminate it and attach a paper clip to the centre with a split pin (I think you say "brad" in the US).

Tell your students they will use the spinner to help tell a story. Spin the spinner, and start the story for your students using the picture it lands on - e.g. The brown horse was walking down to the pond. A student then takes a turn, and spins the spinner, using the picture it lands on to add to the story. The sun was very hot and so the horse was very thirsty.
It is important that you encourage and support all the ideas of your students (if appropriate of course). This activity works well if stories are kept short. You may need to keep a record of which students have had a turn, so you can be sure to share the turns around (although the students will have  a great memory). Another good challenge is to ask your students the following day, to recall the story that was told! This activity is also great using spinners that contain pictures from familiar fairy tales - be sure to keep a look out in my TpT store - I think I will make some :)


Don't like....

Turn some negatives into positives!

Fellow TpT'ers - I have had some requests for these - you can download them and use them for your blog, pintrest....etc Just click on them to download from google docs. Be sure to link them to your own teaching store at TpT!











Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Free Silly Stars






I also listed these FREE graphics today! I had listed them last year, but have revised them and made them 300dpi for better printing.


 

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Hippity Hop Teacher Shop

Click HERE tsee Ann's store.

I created this cute logo for Ann on TeacherspayTeachers. She was so patient with me. I am quite proud of how it turned out and am so glad Ann seemed excited with it. The first attempts were not so good, and Ann was lovely and kind, but we both were pleased when after a few days to think about it, and a rush of creativity (how it seems to happen for me really) - this one came about.

I am now working on a banner and sidebar piccie for her.

Ann has a lovely little classroom pet, Stormie in her classroom! How lucky are her students! I have had a fish in my classroom for the last few years. I get a new one each year with a new bunch of children, and so have three goldfish swimming around at home in the tank as they have all survived - Sophie, Bruce and Swim.


Friday, 13 April 2012

How does your seed grow?


Do your students love learning about how plants grow? I love to do this little experiment with them using plastic cups, cotton balls and bean seeds.

The clear plastic makes it easy for students to see the progress of their little plant. Growing them on cotton balls makes it easy for your students to examine the roots as they grow. They will enjoy transferring their plant into the school garden once it has grown a bit.

I have just listed this 'Seed to Plant" observation log on TpT to use with a science activity like this. Each day the students will draw and/or write about what they see in their plastic cup!


Click HERE to find it




 

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Flyin' Owls - FREE Graphics

It's almost Friday here in Australia - just an hour away - how quickly the Fridays are coming around lately!

Time for another Fabulous Friday Frog Spot Freebie! This week - some very cute
Flyin' Owls!

I hope you like them - and can show me some love by pinning them, blogging about them or leaving a comment! Thank you for your support!

Download them HERE at TpT!

Please check out my new Earth Day Writing Worksheets in our TpT store also!


 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Some Things Just Seem Meant to Be

Last week, in anticipation of a very chocolatey-rabbit-filled Easter, I had fun reading Ribbit Rabbit with my daughter. We read all sorts of rabbit books. I especially like Ribbit Rabbit though. It has nothing to do with Easter of course! I love the play on words (which Miss 5 is yet to fully grasp), and especially the themes explored of friendship and 'getting along'.

Last week, as well as blogging, designing, listing free graphics (perhaps my favourite), cooking, cleaning, nurturing and of course, looking after little bubba (now 5 weeks, can you believe it!!!?) - I also offered to  help a fellow seller on TpT with a banner for her store. Just because I have trouble filling my day....he he! No, just because I love helping out, and something in the universe told me too (the more you get to know me, the more you know that this happens often!).

Ann and I emailed, and I found out that she was looking for a logo/banner/icon etc for her TpT store, that had a bunny rabbit theme...of course. She also told me that she had a bunny theme happening in her classroom, and that - you guessed it - her colleague teacher has a frog theme. They often say that Bunnies and Frogs make good friends! We both quite appreciated the fact that here I was " a little green frog From the Pond" helping out a new little bunny from TpT! We eventually came up with a very cute design, I can't wait to share it, but think I will let Ann reveal it first!

Not to mention the coincidence that all week I had been reading Rabbit Ribbit with my daughter - and made a glyph for TpT that combines rabbits and frogs....... o my!

It seems that in my world at least, the frogs and the rabbits were trying to tell me something last week! Please find Ann at TpT and follow her too - she is just getting started and is destined for great things!

I made these cute little Sight Word Take Home Books today - of course with a frog themed version in the pack! They are perfect for encouraging your students to revise their sight words at home. My daughter enjoyed making one today - but we used the short-a words from Rabbit Ribbit to write in her book - she is right into learning words that can be sounded-out.

We wanted to record some words from the book, for my daughter to learn to read!




We printed and cut out the mini-book pages.


After stapling the book together, we wrote a focus word on each page for her to learn to read.


You can find our new resource and make your own mini books, by clicking on the image above.
 
There are five colorful and motivating designs. Each page has room for students to write one of their focus sight words for the week.
We have included black and white versions of each page, so that you can save on printer ink, and your students can have fun coloring the cute covers!
These books are perfect for when you are teaching around 6 words each week - although if you would like to use them with more words, they will work just as well!
Included designs are
- "Pop Go My Words" - popcorn box shaped book
- "Let's Read in the Word Garden" - flower shaped book
- "Whooooo knows their words?" - owl shaped book
- "I can learn LEAPS of words!" - frog shaped book
- "I'm a Sight Words Star" - star shaped book.
These books can be assembled by the teacher or student. We envisage that you would make them to send home with your students for home review or homework.
 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Eggs-actly! Fab Friday Freebie!

This printable game or center will be perfect for your Easter themed activities, but can also be used all through the year. Click HERE to find it at TpT!

It will help your students understand 2 digit numbers, place value, and addition with 2 digit numbers.

To make this activity - you will need to print out the sheet of numbers and attach them to the inside of an egg carton. If you have children will egg allergies in your classroom - find a decorative egg carton at your dollar shop, or a plastic one that has contained chocolate eggs for Easter. The plastic ones can be easily cleaned. When playing the game, your students will put two counters into the egg carton, replace the lid, and shake the carton. The student will use the numbers the counters land on to play their turn.

I have included a worksheet if you would like your students to record the steps they take in the game. This was not in my original resource, as at times it is good to just let your students engage in the activity without having to be concerned about recording their findings. Perhaps you could let them have a few turns of the game without the worksheet and then encourage them to fill it out on their last turn.

I hope you like this Good Friday Freebie! Have a wonderful Easter weekend.
The graphics used in the Eggs-actly file and preview are from ReviDevi @ www.mygrafico.com

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Rabbit or Ribbit?

My daughter has had a great time in her final weeks of preschool before her Autumn holidays (2 week break here in Australia).

We have 4 school "terms" of around 10 weeks each - with 2 weeks "holiday" or break between each of the first 3 terms and a 5 week holiday in December. This term break always seems to coincide with Easter. I do remember a few years back, we got Easter break, and a 2 week holiday a few weeks later - it was lovely!

We raided our bookshelves and got all the Easter themed books off to keep in her bedroom for the next week or so. I like to read her at least 3-4 books each day and it is always nice to have something topical to read about. She is doing lots of lovely drawings and made her own little book at preschool today, called "Little Bunny Emily" after reading "Little Bunny Foo Foo" last night (what an interesting little book by the way, I had not read about Foo Foo before, and not quite sure what to make of it!). She clearly liked it :) I also printed off some egg symmetry worksheets that I purchased with my TpT reward points - she LOVED them - take a look at how well she did! You can find these worksheets by Loreen Leedy at TpT HERE




Two of the stories we read this week are "The Easter Ribbit" by Bernice Chardiet - about a frog that wants to be an Easter Rabbit!


Also, Ribbit Rabbit, which although not about Easter, could not be missed for obvious reasons!

I was quickly inspired to create a craftivity and glyph for when I teach these books in the classroom. What could be cuter than combining a bunny with a frog? How could I resist?

You can find it by clicking HERE