Big Shape Tracing



Just a quick post tonight to share with you, a sample from my new resource file "A-Z Big Shape Tracing Worksheets".

These worksheets are a great first step on your students' handwriting journey. Ask them to trace the large shape first - this dashed line is darker that the others, so students can find it easily. Students then trace the handwriting pattern lines within the shape to finish their work. Encourage left to right and top to bottom.

Handwriting patterns will help your students get ready for writing neat numbers and letters!

Click on the image below to find a FREE pumpkin tracing page!




Thanks so much for stopping by!

Pinning - Fine Motor and Phonics Fun!


Here are a few of the 'pinning pages' I have been using for the last 12 years! They have been around a long time and were given to me by a colleague in my first year of teaching. Hand drawn, tried and tested, they have been a favourite of mine.  'Pinning' was something that was not exactly covered in my university studies of education, and I have to admit, when I was introduced to it, I was a little sceptical. How wrong was I!! My students LOVED it! I have to say, it is not something I use in prime learning time or something I do every day (or week for that matter). It has been a perfect way to help cranky, agitated students relax and refocus. It helps with fine motor coordination. Once finished, they make a great window display in the classroom. Some of my students have also very much enjoyed the sensory experience of running their finger along the lines created at the back of  the page when its finished. 


I have made a brand spanking new set of 'Pinning Pages' for my TpT store. Just print of the relevant page. Staple it to the front of a coloured piece of paper. 


Provide your students with a drawing pin (push pin) - I like the 'jumbo' ones. Show them how to work on a soft surface or stack of newspaper. You will need to demonstrate and emphasise the safety rules of working with pins. I like to tell my students that I am trusting them with a very special 'grown-up activity' as a reward for being so well behaved, and that I would be terribly sad if they let me down my using the pins inappropriately. I show them that we always point the pin down, and never move around the classroom with it. I also emphasise the importance of putting the pin away correctly when the activity is finished. I have never had any problems with this activity after a thorough  mini-lesson on safety. 


Students push their pin through each dot on the page to create a small hole. Then once finished, the white cover paper is removed to reveal the design.

This spider is just one design out of 26 included in my new "A-Z Pinning Pages" product. Click the image below t o find it! 


If you would like to try out this activity, why not download this FREE pumpkin from Google Drive  and have a go 'pinning' with your class!?


Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday Morning Randomness!


Congratulations to Pamela Petralia who won the $50 TpT gift voucher on The Teaching Tribune! Happy spending Pamela! I just emailed you your voucher.

Thank you to everyone that entered and participated in our hop!

I am not a 5th class/grade teacher but I adore looking at photos of classrooms! Terry has a great post on The Teaching Tribune today and you can see lots of great photos of her room organisation. Honestly, I could look at photos of classrooms all day long! 


If you have purchased my 'Lined Paper' graphics before, please re-download the revised set! I have made them better for teachers around the globe - by making them begin with a solid line at the top. Apparently most other countries do things differently that we do here in Australia. So I have moved the lines around for you....


I created a set that has a DARK baseline. I think this will help your students see exactly where their letters will stand.

And also, a gray shaded set.


And I have kept the original pages in the download as a bonus, so that my Aussie friends can make great worksheets too. We write between two solid lines, and have a dotted 'sky' and 'underground' line for the tall and long letters. It has been  interesting to see the differences around the globe! 




Storybook Saturday


I am linking up with Paula for her Storybook Saturday Linky!




I LOVE the story 'Three Bears' by Cliff Wright. I purchased this book on a whim, for my daughter, and I believe I was meant to find this book. The first time I read it, I am not ashamed to admit, I cried. There is something very special about the way it is written that I find difficult to explain.  Somehow, I believe that it will strike a chord with you and your students also. 

My absolute favourite line in the story is 

" Sometimes, it really is very nice to be looked after".

Melt. My. Heart.

Poor Brown Bear is injured in the story. Black Bear and White Bear conspire to not only help Brown Bear recover, but build him a new house. Brown Bear conjures up a scenario that is total fantasy and believes he is being left out of the friendship. He gets upset and angry.  All is resolved when the surprise is revealed and Brown Bear is reassured that he is not being left our of the friendship. 

For me, the raw vulnerability and most precious beauty of friendship is revealed beautifully in this story. 


I think is is a wonderful story that explores so many different feelings and scenarios that occur in friendships. It would be perfect as a catalyst to talk about feelings and friends. 

If you have not seen this book before - I highly recommend you add it to your home or class library. And if you do have it - here is a little freebie worksheet. Ask your students to draw or write about Brown Bear's feelings at the beginning, middle and end of the book.




Thanks for stopping by!


Five for Friday


It is Friday and I think I might be able to count to five. Just. And that will be all my friends, as I have had a crazy busy week and I am tired! 

School is now out for 2 weeks - so sleep-ins here I come! Most mothers out there will appreciate that, by 'sleep-in' I mean at least 7.30am. Hopefully. 

1. 

I was super excited to get some of my game boards printed on A3 (double our standard paper) this week. It is something I have wanted to try for a while. For my Aussie friends - $1.50 at Officeworks. Love!!


2. My sweetheart Sam (18 months old)  did his first painting at Playgroup. He LOVES it! Paint dots were everywhere - floor, table, door, cubby....  So very proud of him and so in-love with him, my heart near bursts every. single. day.


3. After 18 weeks. Yes 18 (I am sure they had to go cut the wood) - the lap table for my let's-drink-tea-and-maybe-do-some-work-or-just-chat area arrived! 

This is a little space in my house between my dining room, lounge room and kitchen. And where I do most of my work. I have my computer set up and I can be 'mum' and work through the day and evening. I 'chevroned' it up a while ago with some comfy chairs. I like to take a break from the screen and draw - drink tea - cuddle cute babies and daydream. Anyhow - the table has arrived and it now feels complete!


4. And it must be working as I sketched this up today to complete a 'Scrappy Scarecrow' set for my graphics store. 


5. For #5 I have provided you a visual of my love-hate relationship with Blogger! This afternoon I thought I would whip up a new header for my graphics blog. I had 30 minutes. I was 'in the zone' with post-table-arriving-excitement still in my system. But my dear friends, Blogger is experiencing some technical 'issues' and my talented friend Christi Fultz assures me that all will be fixed soon. So for now, I am stuck with a boring background and headings above every image gadget on my sidebar. 

I DO NOT LIKE IT when things don't work smoothly! Nor do I understand why blogger picks up 'blog' as a spelling error. So what would I know?!



Thank you so much for stopping by - please head over to Doodle Bugs for more FRIDAY 5 FUN!



FREE Apple Writing Paper + Craftivities on Sale



I have just added a Johnny Appleseed craftivity to our growing collection of paper crafts / craftivities in our TpT store. It is discounted by 50% for 24 hours. You can find it by clicking on the image above.




It includes three writing prompts and the template pieces to make this cutie:
If you have previously purchased 'The Paper Craft Collection' - I have added Johnny to the bundle - so just go to your 'My Purchases' tab and 're-download' to grab the new addition!


The Paper Craft Collection is still only $19.95, although it will soon revert to full price. This is a growing collection of resources. It currently sits at around 50MB and I will add files to the set until it reaches the TpT download limit (currently 200MB). 


I had so much fun creating the papers for my new craftivity, I wanted to share a couple of generic ones with you! You can find theme at TpT for free HERE


Thanks so much for stopping by my friends!

Talk Like a Pirate


September 19th is 'Talk Like a Pirate' day! What a great opportunity to add a fun theme to an otherwise
'routine' day! 

Do you have a pirate themed activity, center, game or worksheet? Add a link here so we can get planning for the 19th!

Let's Learn D and a FREE Reader


These word wall cards are from my latest phonics resource: Let's Learn D. I started making these files last year and am gradually making my way through the alphabet.I know, I know, I will hurry up and finish them off soon!

 The activities included have been carefully selected based on many years experience introducing letter-sounds to Kindergarten children.


I have written an original little rhyme for each letter sound. This can be sung to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell". When introducing a new sound to your students it is always good to have a tune, rhyme or song to go along with it. If you can add an action - better yet! 


I printed the word wall cards '4 to a page' so they fit in an index card box. I have about 8 pictures up on the board for each sound on a Monday morning (with magnets, turned around). I play a yes/no game where the students have to ask me questions about each picture before I turn it around and reveal it. I start by giving them a clue e.g 'It's an animal' and we go from there. They LOVE it! The word cards then stay on the board for the remainder of our week. 


The packet also includes a letter formation card. It shows the size and proportions of the letter and where to start writing it from. I display this along with the word cards and refer to it every day. I also have another copy, which I laminate and pin-prick from the back. The kids love to 'track' the letter with their finger, feeling the pin prick bumps right around the letter. This gives them some tactile awareness of the letter shape. 


I have included a printable reader-style book for students to make. If you are only introducing letter sounds, you will not be requiring the students to do too much other 'reading' as obviously they have not learned all the sounds yet! So, a VERY BASIC reader is perfect. I highly recommend having it in the style of a proper reader, so your students are not only learning the sound, but learning essential reading-behaviour skills simultaneously. 


Students build this reader themselves and have to match words and pictures and paste them in!


Try it for FREE by downloading it from TpT HERE


The set also includes 3 or 4 other basic worksheets. You will not need too many more than this, unless you want to implement death-by-worksheet! These cover the basics that you need at the time of introducing the letter-sounds for the first time.



Each packet in this series also includes a basic 'craft'. They can be quickly prepared and easily made by your students. I know from experience that this time in Kindergarten in very busy and students are just learning classroom routines and behaviours - so  you will want to keep your activities as simple as possible. This little duck will help brighten your room. Students can practice a very early handwriting pattern to draw the wing on the duck.



Introducing the single sound sis certainly one of my most favourite times in Kindergarten. I like to switch and change my activities from year to year and even after more than a decade teaching Kinder, I still like to gather new ideas. I hope this post has given you a few new ones too!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!

Big Numbers


Big Numbers Bingo is a resource that I recently added to the 'From the Pond' collection. It will help students learn to quickly identify 3-digit numbers beyond 100.


When playing games with 'caller cards' I like to let students use little tubs to keep the cards in. These ones are travel soap boxes. Use one for fresh cards, and one for cards already played. Staying tidy and organised during game-play will help your students get the most learning out of their time.

I am on-the-lookout for red and green coloured boxes. Red would be great for cards already played, and green for unused (stop/go). 



 This game has been listed in my TpT store. Find it HERE if you are interested.



I made this additional activity for students who are still learning to compare numbers. Ask your students to use the number call cards from 'Big Numbers Bingo' to find combinations that show greater than/less than. You can download this for free from Google Drive!


Find it HERE

If you need a little 'morning table work' to keep your kiddos busy and focused, try this spin and trace style of worksheet! It will help with speedy identification of blends and handwriting. Remind your students to SAY the sound as they spin it - this will help them focus. Ask the students to trace in one colour while they are playing the game, and once the activity has finished, to trace the remaining sounds in another colour - the more practice the better!

Find it for FREE on google drive HERE


Thanks so much for stopping by!