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!

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.

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!

More Spiders

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!

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

Big Bad Wolf Craftivity

I had my first day back in the classroom yesterday. It was a great day!

Teaching Kindergarten certainly is a blessing and something I hope to do for a very long time!
Another thing I love to do is make teaching resources. After just a short stint in the classroom, I really needed to sit down and create!

Here is something I just finished - a nice simple writing activity that will integrate well with a Fairytale study or when you teach The Three Little Pigs or Red Riding Hood

The Big Bad Wolf is a character that holds student interest and provides many discussion points! This packet includes four writing options and a simple, yet effective page topper to help you make a gorgeous display in the classroom.

Find it in my TpT store HERE

I blogged around this time last year with some other big bad wolf free writing pages - if you missed them, they are still free!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

A Spooky Stew

If you are unable to integrate Halloween spookiness into your curriculum, think beyond the ghosts and ghouls!
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.

Wombat Stew 

Wombat Stew is 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. 


A Non-Spooky Halloween Alternative

The billy can 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.

Procedural Text Project

My daughter and I jointly constructed part of a procedure for Wombat Stew (see photo above). 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.

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.


Wombat Went Walking

My daughter is LOVING 'I Went Walking' at the moment. It is a great read, but she loves it even more now she can read it TO me! I have read this to her since she was a baby, and it has a very similar pattern and rhythm as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, by Bill Martin, which we also love. I Went Walking is a modern Australian classic written by Sue Machin. If you have not got this in your home library, you should!  The beautiful illustrations are done by Julie Vivas, and my US friends may be familiar with her work in Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge.

I have purchased a set of felt board characters from Felt Fun for this book. They make retelling the story lots of fun for my students. We can also work with ordinal numbers in maths, by talking about which animal came first, second etc 

I found this little beauty yesterday! It is another Australian book called Wombat Went A' Walking, with beyond-superb illustrations by Lachlan Creagh. The story follows a familiar pattern of animals going on a journey, and collecting a new animal with each page.

Wombat begins walking and stops to cool his feet in the creek. He meets turtle... and the adventure begins. This book features SO MANY action words it would be perfect for starting a lesson or unit of work on verbs with your students. Lachlan's illustrations are PERFECT for bringing the action words on each page to life. Your students will gain a sense of the meaning of a verb, just by looking at these illustrations.

I always introduce verbs to my kindergarten students by challenging them to get up and move around the classroom. I tell them that 'jump' is a verb, because we can DO it, and 'clap' is a verb, because we can DO it...
'Chair' I tell them... "Computer" I tell them...... and we all laugh as they realise that they cannot 'chair' or 'computer" like we can 'run', 'skip', 'talk' and so on. We play a fun game of calling out words, and if they are action verbs they perform the action. If the are 'things' or nouns, we pretend to take a photo of them.

This book will now be my staple for introducing verbs and action words in the classroom, and playing this game.

Here are just some of the verbs I found in the book today with my daughter:

We also did a retell of the story with my collection of puppets. I have been collecting hand puppets for a long time, and buy them whenever I see them. The wombat and platypus are my favourites and I picked them up at Toronga Zoo last time we were there. The koala puppet was a dollar bargain at the dollar shop. Tim the Emu was named by my students on a school excursion I had with a kindergarten class back in 2006. He is very special!

Puppets are a wonderful tool for helping students to retell stories and think about the structure of the text.

Here is a close  up of my wombat puppet... isn't he just too cute!

If you visit Australia,  you simply must take the time to try to see some wombats, they are adorable... very sleepy, so you may have to wait around to see one come out of its burrow.

I made these writing worksheets to use with my daughter this week, and you are welcome to download them to use if you get the chance to share this wonderful story with your class. For my Australian friends, stop by your local Big W if you can and get it, I got mine yesterday for around $10. Awesome value!

Click on the image below to get the worksheets from google docs. Thanks to scrappindoodles for the lovely clipart.

A NSW font version is included in the file too!