Five For Friday

It is Five for Friday time my friends!

 Here are 5 very random happenings from my week. What a week it has been. I worked a few extra days this week, and although I am now more tired than normal, I have to say, I was feeling very 'at home' being in a classroom for a few more hours. Some of us are just made for it I guess - I am sure you know the feeling.

#1 Scrappy Superheroes

I got time to make some Scrappy Superhero Clipart this week, and I was very happy with how they turned out. If you would like to see the final product, you can find them in my TpT store HERE

#2 Grammar and Punctuation Flippy Flappy Books

I was patting myself on the back for being a bit of a super-mum this week. I found, nestled away in the back of my wardrobe a couple of books that I purchased way back when my daughter was 2, ready for when she needed to learn more about punctuation and grammar. And who am I kidding, they are for me too! LOVE when I find long forgotten treasures, in hidden hidey holes around the house. 

These books explain all sorts of aspects of grammar and punctuation with pull out flaps and are great for visual learners.

# 3 Fat Wombat

Isn't he just gorgeous! I went along with my daughter's class on an excursion (field trip)  to learn more  about Australian animals and reptiles. I could not resist a photo of this fella. 

We also learnt that baby koalas cannot eat leaves, they cannot digest them. So mother koala eats them and baby koala, well she eats mother-koala-poo. There is no nice way to write it. 

Told you, random.

#4 Paper Penguin

We did not see any penguins at the park, but we DID see a platypus. And they are kinda the same. But not really at all. 

The platypusary (yes that is what they called it) was VERY dark, so I could not get a good photo. I tried - but it's just a very dark rectangle with two bright yellow gleaming eyes popping out. I was going to post it, but it just looked evil. And platypuses are EVERYTHING but, so I decided to post a picture of a penguin instead. 

Nothing random about that.

This Penguin with a Pencil is a paper craft that you can find in my "Let's Learn P" resource pack. And its FREE for the moment. Find it by clicking on the image below:

#5 Playing

When I think of platypuses and penguins, I also thing of princesses and playing. Why? Because that is just the way a K-1 teacher's mind works. It also works by reducing my working vocabulary to mostly cvc words, but I will save that up for another fun post ;)  

I did some cleaning out and sorting of my little princess's wardrobe this week. It hit me very hard - how much and how fast, she is growing up. In a blink of an eye and a bit of a growth spurt she has grown out of so many of her clothes, yet I still see her as my baby girl. 

I gave her extra hugs this week so that she knows how much I love her and I also played with my little man (2 yrs old) a LOT.  

I want to treasure as many moments with him, as I can, before he grows up oh-so-fast as well. 

I hope you had a week as crazy and random as mine.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

10 Things to do with a Big Book

I love Big Books. I know what you are thinking, 'you love everything Mel'. But I am quite seriously serious when I tell you I love Big Books. 

If you are not sure what I am referring to - I will explain it.

They are books. And they are big. 

Yep, that is it. See, now you know why I like them. There is beauty in simplicity. 

I like them because they are wonderful for helping students learn the strategies for reading. I like to use them for both 'shared' and 'modelled' reading experiences. When I do shared reading, I like the students to just sit back and find themselves immersed in the 'story'. Upon second reading, we often share the reading roles, and they assist in reading various parts of the text. When I do 'modelled' reading, I explicitly demonstrate various strategies used in reading. 

But what else can you do? You have invested a HUGE amount of energy in creating the reading routine, getting your students engaged and settled - transformed them to a land of imagination with your brilliant story telling. You might as well pack a little more educational punch into your session while you have the book out. 

Here are ten ideas for you to incorporate into your Big Book learning session. I am currently working on a printable pack to work alongside your big books, but these ideas require minimal, if not NO extra prep, print-outs, effort or resources. 

Just you, your kids, the book...

- and as you will know, quite often that equals the BEST learning! 

1. Before reading, ask students to predict what the story will be about. Ask them to go back to their desks and draw some pictures to show what they think will happen!

2. Play listening games – e.g. say to your students ‘roar like a tiger whenever I say the word tiger’. This will encourage your reluctant students to pay attention to the text.

3. Have groups of children chorus read, upon a re-reading of the text. You can alternate pages between groups of students. This will encourage them to attend to print and follow along.

4. Before reading, place random post-it notes through the story, over the text. When you get up to each note, in your reading, have students predict the word.

5. Tell the students that nouns are naming words and we can take a photo of most of them. While reading the text, get them to pretend they are taking a photo whenever you say a word that is a noun.

6. Before reading, identify 2 or 3 focus sight words (high frequency words). Whenever these words are read, students clap their hands.

7. Listen for mistakes – bring a puppet of some sort to school. Tell your students that he/she/it is learning to read, and will need some help. Tell your students to quietly put their hands on their head, whenever they hear the puppet making a mistake in their reading. You may ask students to explain the mistake too and describe how they knew the mistake had been made. This will encourage students to think about strategies for reading and give you the opportunity to explicitly identify them.

8. After reading, leave the big book and a pointer in your reading corner and let the children read and ‘be the teacher’ during independent free reading times.

9. Make a copy of one of the pages of text from the big book. Provide your students with highlighters to find all the occurrences of an aspect of print. Ask them to highlight all the spaces between words, all the capital letters, or all of the full stops, for example.

10. Create a character web. On chart paper, write the name of a character from your book. Encourage your students to tell you everything they know about the character from the text AND pictures. Ask students if this character reminds them of anyone they know. Encourage the link between what they read and their life experience. 

Is that all, you say? No that is not all, I will be back with 10 more ideas very soon!

Have a great day friends, and thanks for stopping by!

Ladybug Art

For the Tuesday Art Linky today, I am sharing with you a very easy Ladybug paper-arranging artwork. This idea would also look very effective with torn paper.

We started with a square of blue paper and 2 green squares that were equal in size to the blue. We also had 2 red paper circles, glue, goggly eyes and a black crayon.

We cut the green square into strips - in random, rough strips. Then we cut the circles in half. This gives  you an ideal opportunity to practice folding a circle in half. 

We then attached the green strips to the blue square paper by gluing them down in a random arrangement. Then the red half-circles were placed on top of the green strips. 

We used googly eyes, but you could also use white sticker circles. Let your students draw the detail of the ladybugs in their own creative style!

Please add a link in the comments below if you have ANY post about K-6 art or craft ideas!

Follow my art ideas board over on Pinterest for more inspiration!

End of School Year Memory Book

In case you have not had time to make a school memory book with your little ones yet, I wanted to show you some pages from the 'Scrappy School Memory Book' file I put together with Deanna. It is a simple, fuss free booklet with a 'scrappy' feel. Your students will need to finish each picture and write a few words or short sentence to complete the book. Use all the pages - or just a few. 

It started off with 10 pages, and we have already added 6 more. 

Your students will have a lovely bright and happy record of some of their favourite school memories for the year!

You can find it in Deanna's store by clicking on any of these images.

We would also like to offer you this FREE page today. Your students can make a page for a special friend. They will need to finish illustrating the picture and write 6 describing words in honour of their friend. This activity can be done as a stand alone - or once given out, students could attach their extra special friendship page to their own book.

Click on the image below to grab it from Google Drive

Thanks so much for stopping by today - have a great week!

Funny Ice Cream Directed Drawing

It is time for my Tuesday Art Linky - sharing art ideas and blog posts for K-6 art teaching!

Today, I want to share with you a simple directed drawing. I have been doing directed drawings with my students for a few years now, and have been amazed oat how it has helped develop students confidence and creativity. Many students will take the techniques and ideas they learn in directed drawing and apply them to there areas and lessons.

You can use this printable with your students in a range of ways. You can just take the idea, and model it with your students, using the blackboard, whiteboard or Smartboard. Alternatively, you can give them the worksheet and have them follow along for themselves. 

Directed drawings are a fun way for students to draw new and unfamiliar themes and topics. They are also helpful for learning new techniques for shape and line making. 

You can make the activity a simple one with pencil and paper, or add as many different arty add-ons as you like. Think of creative papers, paints, oil pastel, glue, collage items etc! Have fun with it! 

You can download this Funny Ice Cream directed drawing from Google Drive by clicking on the image below:

Follow me over on Pinterest for more great art ideas!

2D Shape Puppets

Today I want to share with you a simple but fun idea for learning 2D shapes and their properties. It also encourages students to talk and build up their mathematical language. 

Have your students cut some basic shapes from thin card. They can trace some templates, or wooden attribute shapes if you like. Alternatively, you could have them pre cut and ready to go. 

You will need to assist your students with the cutting of finger holes at the bottom of their shape. You could let your students use a craft punch that has a large circle shape to easily punch out the holes. I don't have one yet, its on my wish list. The list I am still searching for (its incredibly long you see, and well hidden). 

Your students can use coloured paper to add fun features to the puppets and also googly eyes. 

Once all you students have a puppet - the mathematical discussion can begin. This lesson would be best carried out when you have already reviewed all the features of 2D shapes with your students. Perhaps you could have some posters displayed around the classroom to remind students of the features of each shape. 

Model for the students some ideas before they have a turn of their own. Your students can work with a partner to create some 'shape talk'.

Here is a rough transcription of the shape talk my daughter and I had in preparation for this blog post:

Me: "Hi, I am Mr Triangle"

A: "Hi Mr Triangle, I am Mr Rectangle"

Me: "I like your green hat."

A: "I like your orange hat. Your eyes look funny too".

Me: "I have 3 sides and they are all straight"

A: "I have 4 sides and they are straight too".

Me: "I have a friend with 4 sides, he is a square"

A: I am like a square, but stretched out. I have 2 long sides.

Me: "I have 3 corners"

A: "They are called vertices"

Me: (picking myself up off the floor, cause I didn't know she knew that yet) "Wow, that is clever, how many do  you have?"

A: "He he he, your eye just fell off".

Oh!.... the learning that can take place when students are allowed to talk and interact. Get them away from that smart board for a few minutes and get them talking, looking, and conversing with a real person! Ignore the noise and chatter for a while and focus on the good quality language (hopefully) being created!

Ideally, it would be good to pair up students with less knowledge, with a more confident students that can encourage some good questions and focus attention of important features. After a few minutes with one partner, ask your students to move on to a new partner. You will see your less-able students really grow in confidence as they use some of the ideas that they developed from working with their first partner. 

Find more ideas for teaching 2D shapes, on my blog HERE

Build a Number Wall - Activity for Emergent Number

Hi friends! 

I wanted to share with you a fun little idea for your students that are still working at the emergent number stage. They are students that still need to touch items to count and find the total. 

Working with visual representations of numbers will help them move up to the next level. Helping them moved from concrete to abstract will also assist. I like to do little activities like this one, AFTER a hands-on activity using equipment like counters, tokens and blocks. 

For this one, you can use up sheets of old stickers, use ink stamps, dot markers or just drawing pictures. Students work to fill up the number wall with corresponding groups of pictures in each row. 

You can download it from google drive below:

If your little ones need more work on understanding numbers, you may like my 'Number Books'. They are bundled up to include all numbers 1 to 10. Each book contains 5 days of sequenced activities that cover many areas ofnumber and numeral identification. 

You can try these books, by downloading Number Three for free. Find it at TpT by clicking on the image below:

Thank you for stopping by, I hope your week is going well!

Paper Circle Dinosaur

It is time for another Tuesday Art Linky.

Please link up any blog post {in the comments below} that shows a Pre/K-6 classroom art idea. It can be a project, idea, management technique or tip. 

Today I would like to share with you, an idea for a paper craft that you can make out of paper circles. I like to have a stack of craft ideas that are simple to prepare and help with essential paper skills. Once you have done a few projects with your class, you will be amazed how efficient and creative they will become. And how you can whip up a creative lesson in minutes.

You can have a new classroom display up in a small 'spare time session' that might otherwise be time wasted.

All you need for this one is coloured paper circles (we call them Brenex Circles here in Australia), scissors and glue. You can also use the printable template I have provided at the end of this post, if you prefer. 

Simply teach your students how to fold a paper circle into halves, quarters, eighths and sixteenths. Ask older students to record the fractions on each piece of the artwork.

A good idea is to get a good bundle cut out and then let students explore different shapes and creations of their own.

I have more of these ideas in a resource file on TpT. To find it, click on the image below:

Click on this image to crab the dinosaur template for FREE

Thank you for stopping by sweet friends, and please link up to share YOUR art idea!

Join me over on Pinterest to find more fun art ideas to get your kiddos happy and creative!

Caterpillar Number Game Freebie

This number game is simple to prepare, and can be easily differentiated to cater for a range of learners in your classroom. Just print and copy the caterpillar page and gather some dice and matchsticks. 

You can adapt this game to focus on a range of different number skills.  

The main focus/skill I have in mind, is for students to build sets of ten. 

They can play with a partner and work together. They roll a die and add legs on the caterpillar (two on each body section) until they have a collection of ten caterpillars - 100 legs in total.

As students progress through the game, stop them and ask them for a running total. They will need to count by tens and then add the additional ones to find their total. Ask them how many more they need to make the current set of ten they are working on. 

Differentiate this activity by changing the method for finding the matchstick number.

Ask students to use a dotted die - or a numeral die....

Students just learning to count-on, can use a numeral AND a dot die. They add the total of the dice.

Advanced learners could throw a double-dice and a single die. They find the total of the double-dice and then subtract the single number from this total. 

I hope your students have fun with this number game. You can download the game boards by clicking on the images below!

Have a great beginning to the week - thank you so much for stopping by! 

Five for Friday Fun

Five for Friday time! 

1. My little man just walked through the door, this very minute. Well, maybe ten minutes ago, with a bunch of my favourites. Pink roses! An early Mother's Day surprise. 

Excuse my face. I have had a head cold for 3 days now. Feeling very tired and well, just yuk! But with this little man by my side, how could I not be happy! Don't think he is too fond of selfies.

2. I am still excited about my Thermomix - but moving on from raw salads and green things to homemade chocolate dairy deserts and other yummy stuff. Stuff that is still very good to eat, because its made from scratch. With real ingredients. From farms, like eggs and milk and stuff. So it's OK. I am being thermo-healthy. 

3. Scrappy drawings. With my head cold this week, I have been drained of energy. Sometimes even too drained to do housework. Imagine that. But I did get a bit of time to draw. Scrappy style. Now, just to find time to get them all prettied up.. 

4. Hubby earned HUGE points today for coming home from the shops with this. For me. It has been on my wish list forever. I am not sure where my wish list actually is, but one day I will find it and maybe draw some scrappy stuff all over that too. 

But for now, I will be on the lounge. With Kleenex. Chocolate thermomixed-yogo, and ten seasons of Friends. Heaven.

5. Speaking of FRIENDS... to end my 5 days of Teacher Appreciation - I asked around and 5 FABULOUS friends of mine offered one of their files up, so I could give you the chance to win an awesome prize! They are even more fabulous because I gave them about 5 minutes notice and they didn't yell at me. I had sweaty palms and could not sit still, cause I simply HATE asking for things. But they were all so wonderful and were excited to help me. How nice it is to have great friends! 

In this bundle, you will find:

An informative writing packet: How to Make an Ice Cream! Yum! 

A printable file to teach prefixes, from the fabulous 'explain it all' series!

A close reading packet, about the farm. I have this file, and my word, it is ADORABLE - you will love it!

A very handy and practical set of printables for ANY WORD LIST! You can never have enough of these!

Thank you so much, Emma from Clever Classroom

And in perfect time for my USA friends, a FUN bundle of end-of-year printables! 

Thank you so much Wendy from Teachers Tookit

This give-away is open to teachers only. To enter this give-away, simply add your name to the rafflecopter below to enter!

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