Monday, 23 January 2017

Books


It was a relatively quiet day here at my place. We read lots of books. My sweeties got new bookshelves for their bedrooms and seeing all their books in a new place inspired them to read some treasured favourites. 

It led to lots of talking and chatting. And that lead to some new ideas. Before we knew it we were all creating something. Banners, sketches, craft, treasure maps, a puppet show script... 

And tomorrow, maybe we will start all over again.

I based much of my teaching last year on high quality fiction and will do the same this year. I am starting to pin titles as I come across them - if you are interested you can follow my board HERE

If you have any favourites that you think I might love to work on with my class of third graders, please let me know - I really need to visit the bookshop with an excuse to buy add some more to my wishlist!

I wish you a wonderful day, and if you're in a bit of a bother with nothing to do - grab a book and see where it leads you. 

- Mel x

Sunday, 22 January 2017

My Space


I have a little room of my own now. For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know how long this has taken, and that things have not always been this pretty. I shared a few photos last night on my Instagram story and thought I would do a quick blog post to answer many of the questions I have received, all in one place. 

I will share some links to where I purchased some of the items (all in Australia) - I am not sponsoring or being paid to promote these - this is a genuine space I have created for my creative time. 

My room is being gradually transformed from my babies' nursery to my home office. I would love to paint the walls white, put chocolate brown hard floors down, get a new white desk and pretty light fitting. None of that will be done any time soon, but I will gradually get them done over the next few years. Things take time, I am just so happy the shelves are up. 

The wallpaper that was chosen for my babies - a green gingham pattern is still up and it is nice to still look at it and remember the special memories I have created in this room. I had a bunny rabbit border up but took that down last month. For those who are ever keen to remove wallpaper, I googled many techniques and was about to spend a fortune on chemicals, when my Dad came up for a cup of coffee. He suggested soaking a microfibe cloth in warm water, applying it to a small section, and then peeling back. We did this and it worked. The first coated layer came off first, and revealed a papery second layer of paper. We soaked this again with warm water and rubbed with the cloth. It was a messier, slower process, but I had the whole border off in the time it would have taken me to go shopping for all the materials the tutorials said I needed! It also left my walls perfect, and the edge of the remaining wallpaper intact. 


My cube unit came flat packed and took about 3 hours to put together. We sourced it from The Shelving Shop

I got the teal coloured desk accessories from K.Mart.



I have used bamboo cutlery trays to house bits and bobs. 


And also laundry trays


The Rattan Style tubs also come from K.Mart


These cereal bowls from K.Mart were a steal for $2 and also great for bits and  bobs.




I cannot stand clutter in general and having shelves up full of useless items makes me itch. I do like a few decorative pieces, but it has to be minimal. That being said, I wanted this shelf to be full of things that I actually use and that get my creativity flowing but in an aesthetically pleasing way. 

I am no doubt going to move things around as I get used to having so much space, but for now, here is how I have things organised. 

A = plastic wallets (any resource I made for the classroom is stored in these and then filed in a filing cabinet)
B = cardboard (for crafty stuff and printing posters)
C = plastic sleeves for binders (I use binders at a minimum and prefer filing)
D = stickers (I am a 1980s babe and collected as a child. I am still obsessed)
E = pencil cases (another obsession)
F = drawing station (blank sketch pads & fresh pens for when inspirations hits - I keep my used books in a wardrobe)
G = (tub with stapler, hole punch, bulldog clips - bowl with wash tapes - tin with pegs)
I = decorative shelf (currently 2 favourite pencil cases)
J = ink stamps (another obsession stemming from childhood)
K = inspiration shelf (currently chalkboard lightbox from K.Mart, old teacher stamp, apple ornament)
My current message is 'work hard' - my daughter saw my room and said 'Aw, I want all that'. I told her she might try working for a few decades and dreaming for a while first. 
L = Laundry tray with sticky tape, duct tape. Trinket Box with bits and bobs. Tin with pencil sharpeners. 
M = sticky paper (to print my own stickers and resources that require sticking)
N = 2017 books (current sketch book, week diary, notebooks)
O = clipboards, notebooks
P = phone, tub with erasers, pretty little decorative pieces to add colour
Q = plain white copy paper
R = various notebooks, largely from kikki.K and K.Mart (I have a somewhat large collection of notebooks and swap them out with a larger collection in my wardrobe for a fresh change)
S = craft paper
T = pencils, pens, markers etc + display books
U = fancy paper + gift wrapping paper (another childhood obsession was going to gift shops and eyeing al the pretty paper and Hallmark greeting cards)
V = pens, pencils, markers + bamboo tray with pretty little bits and bobs
W = kikki.K Paper Lovers Books + my favourite teacher resource books (very old and close to my heart) 
X = stash of my favourite sticky notes, box of crayons, box of chalk
Y = cutlery tray with boxes and trays of drawing and shading implements 
Z = ugly computer paraphernalia 
! = laminating pouches
@ = notepads
# = bamboo cutlery tray with more sticky notes
$ - bamboo tray with mini notepads, quote cards and planner decorating items 

Click here for a FREE printable mini banner I created to pretty-up my year planner. 



Teaching is a career where you can certainly immerse yourself in creativity. Making my own resources has always been a choice for me and the part of teaching I most adore. I choose not  to complain about the expense. I chose to accept it as part of how I wanted to fuel my own pedagogy and growth as a professional. I set aside a certain proportion of my wage each year to fund my printing, laminating and creation. Once I did this, it became part of me, not something I was ever being forced, expected or asked to do. It brings me great joy, has challenged me and enriched my own life beyond measure. 

Being able to create my own resources at home, in my own creative space, entirely self funded has also gifted me great freedom and time with my family. It took a while to be able to see this benefit, but once I got into my own groove I realised how much time I was saving by just having a streamlined, self-managed system that worked for me - so although there is a financial outlay from the outset (ink, paper, laminating, storage etc) - I have chosen to only focus on the benefits it brings me and my family. 


Thank you so much for stopping by my page, I hope it may have inspired you to work towards your own little creative space, or reflect on how special yours already is!

- Mel x


SaveSaveSaveSave

BTS


Back to School is in full swing here in Australia - with most of us counting down our last days of summer fun.

I've joined with some TpT sellers to mark the occasion with some super savings. 

My new Clever Bugs Door Display is on sale! You can print this in color or have your students paint or decorate their own bug. 


Teach a lesson on school cleanliness and respecting the environment with my Litterbugs packet. Students will love making a scribbly litterbug craft for the bulletin board. 


I've also marked my Pinning Posters, Bubble Fun cvc Worksheets and Monday to Friday Posters on sale and you can find them by simply clicking on any of the images below:

 


   


You can find more resources on sale simply by typing #AUSBTS17 into the search field on the home page at TpT. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, have a fabulous day!

- Mel x