Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Academic Vocab & a SALE!

Thanks to Lita Lita for the adorable hat and spider graphic in this button!
 
My lovely friend Ann, from Hippity Hop Teacher Spot on TpT is here to do a guest blog post! So exciting! Take it away Ann!
Hi! I am Mel’s guest blogger for today, Ann, from Florida, USA. I hope everyone is enjoying the school year. It is so hard to believe the holidays are almost here!

Have you noticed how hard the academic vocabulary students are expected to know has become? I have some second language learners, etc. in my classroom and it is so hard for them. Sometimes, I feel like I have taught something, and realize that they haven’t fully understood the vocabulary. Second graders easily get confused with words and tend to mix up two words that might start with a d for instance. I started thinking……….what could I do? Charades is always good. Cooperative learning is very effective if monitored. However, while I will continue with those strategies, I thought, what about games? Students love games!

I’ve made two products for science that I feel are helpful . One is Scientist Lingo, which contains the terms we are expecting students to know throughout their science year. It has a bingo game, matching game, mad lab game, etc. This product is geared toward 2nd and 3rdgraders. I particularly like this because after I used with my class, I took some of its parts, and saved it for a substitute teacher. My students already know how to play the games. I am always stressing with having to leave science for a substitute because I love to do hands-on activities and that is too complicated to leave for a substitute. Science Lingo……….. to the rescue! It will reinforce these terms in the event of my absence.


Another product is Science Tools Time. This is also geared for 2nd/3rdgrade. It has games as well.

 

Both products have word cards from the bingo game that can double as word wall word cards.

On Wednesday, October the 31st, all of the products in my store will be 20% off. Mel along with many other sellers is having a special sale for that day only.

Special thanks to Mel for letting me guest blog today. I always enjoy visiting her blog.

From Across the Pond, Ann
 
Thanks so much Ann! I can't wait until I get to teach Yr 2, 3 or 4 (shhh, it might be happening sooner that I thought)- I will be emailing my friend Ann for all her advice. I love the stories she shares with me about her rabbit Stormie and teaching in the US.
 
If you would like to check out our 20% off sales, head over to TpT. Aussies - we are setting the sale up for October 31st USA time, so you have some of Nov 1st AES Time to catch some bargains as well!

 

Please head over to Jennie's blog to find a list of all the awesome sellers having sales today!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Printable Bat Mask

 
My daughter and I had a little 'bat' activity filled afternoon. She asks me all day if we can do 'school work' - can February come any sooner!? She as been very interested in learning about the THOUSANDS of fruit bats that fly over our house every evening. I have promised her that we will research it and find out where they are all flying to each evening.
 
We made this printable bat mask. Just print, colour, cut and stick to a paddle pop stick. You can download it free from google docs, by clicking on the image below.
 
 
We read these books from our home library.
 
 
Then completed some activities from Deanna Jump's latest unit on bats
 
We played this cute '-at word' game -  spin a beginning sound and add it to the 'at' word family to make a word. My daughter LOVED the nonsense words. You can find these activities in Deanna's unit on TpT HERE
 
 
 
ALong with some other sellers on TeacherspayTeachers, I'm having a sale in my TpT store on the 31st! Head over and add some items to your wishlist if you would like a Spooktacular discount!


Friday, 26 October 2012

Five Fab Friday Freebies #6

Frog Spot Five Freebies


I love Fridays! Mostly. Today was... well... one of 'those' Fridays... I am sure you have had one. For many reasons, and every single one of them reminded me of the need to have patience and understanding, and to have faith that people will eventually work things out for themselves.

I am planning a relaxed weekend... heck, who am I kidding, I am planning a very busy weekend, but hopefully including a few relaxing sessions of teacher-blog reading, hot cups of tea, fun filled play sessions with my two beautiful children and maybe a little creating.

What do you have planned? Maybe, just perhaps, you may have time to add these little gems to your bank of wonderful teaching resources! Check them out!

1. The always lovely Cindy at KinderKay has made a free
resource just for you! A fun Halloween game to practice beginning math concepts, with two levels included. Thanks Cindy, I love your resources as much as your caring, happy, kind personality!
 
2. Tracy Tegeler has made a free
for you to download. They would make great page toppers. Just pair them with a writing prompt!
 
3. I was most intrigued to read that pinetreelia had a free resource that included a free songtivity and chantivity! I'm super glad I headed over to take a peek, as this file is super cute! It's called
As students sing, have them subtract or add bats to their Spooky Bat Cave according to the song. You can use counters or little dollar store bats for fun. Students write the equation to match each part of the song!
 
4. mrstucker has for you, as very delicious looking game for learning contractions called,
Students "dunk" chocolate chip cookies into a glass of milk. Each cookie has a contraction that children must match with a glass of milk that contains the two words that form the contraction.
You won't be able to resist, and your students will find this game very motivating I'm sure!
 
5. Michelle Hudgeons provided me with a great Goldilocks craftivity for my class today! I just used the craft out of this super cute file called
as it suited another writing activity I had planned, but I have saved this whole file ready for when I am doing The Three Bears again with my class. This file includes a student response sheet and the Goldilocks craftivity.
 
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

More Spiders, A Freebie and a Giveaway

I made this simple spider drawing activity for my daughter today.
 
You can get it HERE at google docs
 
Simply print it...
 
 
And trace 4 fingers on each side:
 
 
Then colour!
 
 
It got me thinking about my journey of using spiders as a theme...
 
One of my maternity leave projects has been to sort through and re-organise all my learning resources.
 
Here is one that I must have kept purely for sentimental reasons... I made it when I was 15! I won't tell you what year that was! I was a Junior Leader for the Gumnut Guides (5 year old Girl Guides/Girl Scouts). Each week I would write a program for the hour long meeting, that included a story, activity, game and sharing time. I also found my little program book, it is amazing to look back and see how many of the skills I learnt through my years as a Girl Guide have actually helped me in teaching.
 
I had made this one, by hand drawing spider webs on round pieces of paper, and then pasting hand draw spiders onto the back. It was a colour matching/memory game.
 
 
 
I did not have cardboard available at the time, so the double layer of paper made it harder for the girls to cheat by seeing the colour through the paper.
 
 
And another blast from the past, one of our first From the Pond games. I had hand drawn the spider, scanned and used MS PAINT to add a little colour circle to each spider. I made the spider as basic as possible, as once I had scanned the drawing, there was no way I could edit or clean up the lines, I just didn't have the skills.
 
 
Then we paid a graphic designer, Luke Flannagan, to design for us, some cool looking spider clipart. At this time, there were no websites where you could purchase clipart to use commercially for digital downloads. I took out an ad on Gumtree.com to ask if there was a designer that could draw some child-friendly art for me. It took months to find someone! And then trying to explain what I wanted and what I was going to do with them! I paid Luke about $50 for 5 or 6 images. I thought this was outstanding value and had no hesitation paying him for his hard work, after all, I had exclusive use of the graphics. But it does help me to remember how far the world of digital teaching resource design has come, when you can now purchase whole sets for as little as $1 and download so many wonderful free images to make your own resources. We are still using some of Luke's wonderful designs and our standard cover page layout was designed by him also.
 
 
 
 
A very sweet Australian blogger, Tania Poultney, is having a giveaway to celebrate 100 followers on her blog! Please head over and show her some love! I must have missed the opportunity to donate something to her giveaway, with a house of sick children the last few weeks. I am sure she will be having another one soon to celebrate 500 followers, so I will join that giveaway!
 
 


Free Font Friday.... A Few Days Late

 
Over at our graphics blog, we have a free font giveaway every Friday. We list the fonts on our sidebar and you can click on the links and download them anytime.
 
I've had a busy couple of weeks and didn't get to post one last Friday, so here it is. Aptly called 'Fat Friday'.
 
Fat Friday is a tradition my husband an I started shortly after we met. Fat Friday is termed to reflect the very casual attitude we have toward our food choices on a Friday.. well it started with food, and it has slowly moved across to most other aspects of our lives. We are quite laid back here in Australia, but on Fridays, my husband and I are even more so - and just about anything goes - cause its FAT FRIDAY!
 
You can grab Fat Friday HERE and find more free fonts and our terms of use HERE


Lesson Ignition - Let's Light Up Their Minds!

 
How do you ignite the learning in your classroom? Lesson igniters are short and snappy ways to begin your lesson or session. Igniters snap your students to attention! Igniters are simple, focus on an explicit, or narrowly defined learning area.
 
We have created a set of igniters for the interactive whiteboard! These are short one screen games that will help you revise (or introduce) basic kindy content. There are no fancy animations or voices in the games, which although I admit, can be fun, will let you control the ignition and allow you to guide your students the way that suits your own learners.
 
We made them in PowerPoint so that they will open on most whiteboards.
 
These ignition mini-lessons are simple and short - as if you are anything like me, you want to control the amount of unnecessary screen time your students are getting. I like to incorporate some Smartboard into most of my lessons, but just for part of the lesson - like the 'ignition' or at the end to conclude the lesson.
 
This packet includes 5 games and can be used when you are teaching the same content areas, or use them just for review or to fill in those little five minute empty spots in your day!
 
I did all the graphics for this file and kept that as simple and clean as possible. Here is one, where the students practise their 'counting on' strategy and then drag the little bees to the correct beehive.
 
There are games for adding, number counting order, cvc words and matching upper and lower case letters. You could do these activities with a small group, or the whole class.
 
Head over to TpT to see the listing
 
 


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Big Bad Wolf Craftivity

I prepared this Big Bad Wolf craftivity for my first day back in the classroom yesterday. It was a great day!
 
Anything I prepare for my classroom, I share freely - so here it is in google docs if you would like to use it along with a unit of work or shared reading of Red Riding Hood.
 
 
I blogged around this time last year with some other big bad wolf free writing pages - if you missed them, they are still free!
 

Monday, 15 October 2012

A Spooky Stew

If you are an Australian kindergarten teacher and looking for a few ways to incorporate some of the wonderful and spoooooky resources around the traps at the moment, for Halloween... you may want to think beyond the ghosts and goolies...

My recent post on wombats and the many comments and emails I received about how utterly fabulous wombats are, got me thinking. There are SO many wonderful wombat stories, and one of my favourites is 'Wombat Stew' by Marcia K. Vaughan.

 

For those of you living under a rock who are not aware of Wombat Stew, it's the story of a dingo who captures a nice fat wombat, with plans to cook him up in a stew. Various other Australian bush animals happen by and offer Dingo suggestions as to what he should put in his stew before adding the Wombat. Dingo follows their advice, adding all sorts of weird and wonderful bush ingredients. In the end, Dingo is encouraged to give the stew a taste test, and let's just say that our lovely plump Wombat friend is saved! The text has a lovely, captivating rhythm and the illustrations are very entertaining.

The billy that is used to make the stew, looks a lot like a cauldron! It would be great to read to your class in the lead up to Halloween along with, or instead of stories of witches, spells and cauldrons.  Meg's Cauldron is one you find find appropriate for kindergarten.

After reading Wombat Stew, you could possibly follow it up with a writing lesson on procedural texts. Talk with your class about the purpose of procedural texts and the organisational features of them.

My daughter and I jointly constructed PART of a procedure for Wombat Stew. We just did the first half - what you need part. In the classroom, I might have done the what to do part as well.

We cut a simple billy (cauldron) from black paper, and a worried looking wombat from brown paper. I then helped her recall the text and find the ingredients that were needed to make wombat stew and wrote each of a different piece of coloured paper. Making an enlarged version of the procedure will help students to understand the organisational features of the text type. You can have it in your classroom to not only talk about and discuss, but as a decorative display.

 
Here is a writing worksheet that you may like to use in conjunction with Wombat Stew or another story in the upcoming weeks. Your students can decide what they will make in their cauldron and list the ingredients they will need.. Click HERE to download it from google docs.
 
 
We have a cauldron themed write, draw, make math center activity in our TpT store if you would like to check it out HERE!
 
 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Five Fab Friday Freebies #5

Frog Spot Five Freebies

Well, here we are again for another round of 5 Fab Freebies! It was another wonderful and relaxing way for me to unwind this Friday. What is not fun about finding cute and creative things to add to your classroom for FREE? And downloading them feels almost like shopping!

1. Mrs H has listed some awesome
FREE Addition and Subtraction Key Word Posters
for your classroom! 
These Key Word Posters serve as a colourful visual, for introducing important mathematics ideas. Simply print and laminate each poster, then display as you introduce each skill.



2. K is for Kinderrific
as listed some very effective 
Pumpkin CVC Word Builders right HERE
They are a fun way for your students to practise sounding out CVC words AND deciding if they are real or nonsense words. Simply cut apart the pumpkin pieces, mix them up, and have students put them back together. Then they sound out the word and decide if it is real or not! There is a cvc word included that Australian teachers may have to veto. It obviously has a different meaning in the USA :)


3. Jessica Wilson has created a
Shape House Craft Activity
that I would love to do with my students when we first introduce 2D shapes. It is a simple craft activity to help your students arrange four basic two dimensional shapes. It also has some writing/tracing to go with it. These would look very effective on display in your classroom.
 
4. Grace Ferricks has posted a very cute and totally FREE
You can use these simple templates to create fun and cute snowmen this Christmas. This file contains a template for the body, hat, beanie and nose. Use these along with paint, glitter and crepe paper to make a beautiful Christmas display.


 
5. Ambedu has listed a simple, but very effective  
that will be perfect for your "all About Me" unit of work. Students can fill in information about themselves.
 
Check these out soon - you will not be disappointed. Please remember to leave some lovely feedback for these kind teachers that have shared their hard work with you.




 

Animal Puzzle Pastes

I created this product as a request from a very important person - my daughter! She has spent the last few days in bed sick, and today, when asked if she would like to complete one of our new Halloween Puzzle Pastes, she said "how about some puzzles that have God's creatures Mum'... talk about out of the mouth of babes!
 
My jaw near hit the floor. And the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I definately needed a set that included alternative pictures - for those of us that do not celebrate Halloween in our classrooms or homes.
 
So, here it is, an animal version of Puzzle Pastes. The numbers and sums are identical to the ones in our Halloween version, we have just included very cute animal pictures for your students to colour. The animals featured are: fish, turtle, butterfly, polar bear, seal, cow, sheep, fox, hippo and a lion.
 
 
 
Just cut the worksheet in half.

 
Cut the pieces out.
 
 
Paste them into the correct position, using the numbers - to make a picture.
 
 
 
If you would like to buy this item, it is currently listed for the special introductory price of $2 in my store HERE
 


Sunday, 7 October 2012

'Puzzle Pastes' and a Giveaway

Do you love puzzles? Do you love cut-and-paste? Do you love a worksheet every now and then?

Yes, yes and double yes!

I am very excited to show you a new resource I just finished working on today. I have had wonderful feedback on our Number Worksheets and how they are good for helping your students recognise different ways of representing numbers. I get regular emails requesting some more worksheets that have the same focus.
 
So 'Puzzle Pastes' were created. Your students start with a worksheet:
 
Cut the worksheet in half.
 
 
Then, cut and paste the number pieces that match each representation on the top half of the worksheet.
 
 
Once completed, a picture has been created, ready for your students to colour!
 
 
There are ten worksheets included, featuring adorable graphics from www.scrappindoodles.com
 
 
Our first version of these worksheets is a Halloween one with  numbers to ten - there are more on the way!
 
We priced this file at $3.75 as there is a lot of work in each page! However, you can grab a copy over the next few days at the special price of $2 - it is not showing up at this price in the main pages of TpT, but when you click on the actual product, it should come up at that price.
 
 
 
You can also have the chance to spend $10 in my stores by heading over to the lovely Brooke's Teachable Moments Blog. There are some great resources to be won!
 
 
Have a wonderful beginning to the week everyone!