Swap, Share, Give: A blog linky from Down Under!

When Lauren from Love Laughter and Learning in Prep asked me to join with her and some other wonderful Aussie teacher-bloggers in a 'Swap, Share and Give' blog linky, I HAD to say yes! So much fun! Giving and sharing are two of my most favourite things to do.


Lauren and I swapped a resource from our teaching collections. 

Lauren sent me her new Caterpillar Sight Word Game that reviews 220 Dolch words. Perfect timing as we are working hard at the moment on Sight Words in my First Grade class! 

Lauren has colour coded the different sets of words, which makes game set-up a breeze! I like that she has put the word on the left of the card and the picture on the right. We teach children left-to-right progression in reading, and this card design will assist in reinforcing that concept!

The game includes fun 'caterpillar' and 'butterfly' cards which adds an element of fun to the activity! Your students will LOVE them! They read sight words and try not to have their cards gobble dup by that hungry caterpillar as they go!

You can find this fabulous resource by clicking on any of the images above!

Visit Lauren's TpT Store HERE

And her adorable blog by clicking on the button below:


I want to share an idea and printable with you today. 

As I have just printed Lauren's card game, I will be adding it to my resource boxes. Over the years,  I have tried many many different 'organisational systems' for my classroom resources. I settled on this one a few years back. I have a 'file box' for basic areas of the curriculum (mainly the ones I cover in small-groups). I also have a box for some themed areas of learning. 

I once had all these resources in a traditional 4 drawer filing cabinet, but when I made the shift to part time teaching, I found these boxes perfect for my travels to and from school. I also like that I can grab a box that will be used for the week, and have it out ready, while the rest are packed away out of sight. 

Here are some of my mathematics boxes.

In them, I place each different activity (game, center, word cards etc), in its own plastic document wallet. I do not worry about files, as these just add weight and bulk to the box.

These are the wallets I use. They are 'compact' and do not have a button or zip. They sit flat and you can get lots of them in the box!

In each pouch/wallet, I try to put a cover that, in a glance, tells me a bit about the activity. After a decade or so, of gathering resources, I do forget what-is-what sometimes. 

I also put an 'instruction' sheet in the pouch. It is helpful for when you have parent helpers in the classroom,, working with groups. I have also found, when I am brain-fried, I just need to read out what students have to do. You know how it gets by 1pm on Friday, when it's time for groups.... I cannot string three words of thoughts together, let alone explain the rules to a game!

Today, I want to share with you a pro-forma that I just prettied up for you. I have in the past, just scrawled notes on a scrap of paper or on post-its. This page can be added to the pouch/wallet of each activity you have. It helps you remember quickly, how to differentiate your activities. 

This makes your planning easier, saves you in prep time, and helps you suck every last inch of educational benefit out of a resource. Why make 5 resources when you can just use 1!?

When I plan for 'small groups' (maths groups, reading groups, guided reading, play groups etc), I usually have 5 or 6 groups of children, and they are grouped according to their ability or achievement on our continuum of learning. In the past, I planned 5 different activities, depending on what level of learning they were up to. And sometimes, that is still appropriate. BUT.... if you have one of these pages in your activity wallets, you can quickly differentiate one set of resources for ALL of your groups!

As you see in the example below, a basic sight word game "Carrot Crunch" can be played in 5 different ways, by changing or adding to the original instructions/outline. 

I am planning to add this sheet to all of my pouches, and the next time I get them out to use, I will just jot some ideas down. It is not meant to be a planner or program, just a way to record ideas. I put the heading at the top and the teaching area. Then I listed 5 activity variations ranging from basic at #1 to more advanced at #5. 

You can download this differentiation planning sheet from google drive, by clicking on the image below!


We are giving you the chance to win a copy of ALL of the resource featured on ALL of the blogs in this linky! Just follow each of the TpT stores, and add your details to the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And I am giving you the opportunity to win a $10 TpT gift Voucher to spend in my store, Lauren's store or ANY where on TpT. Just leave a comment here and enter the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Head over to Lauren's Blog to find more links to Swap, Share Give posts! 

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