Five for Friday - 30th October

Time for the fabulous Five for Friday with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching! Yippee!

1. Ghost Writing

Try this sample of my 'Top Your Writing' series for FREE!

Download it from Google Drive HERE

2. New Bundle Listed

Speaking of writing toppers, I have finished my third bundle, and it is on sale! Find it at TpT by clicking on the image below. It includes fun crafty and easy-to-prep toppers for an owl, squirrel, spider, bat, turkey, scarecrow, pumpkin, crow and black cat writing project!

3. Fun with Artline Stix!

Artline recently sent me some of their fun Stix products to try with my children. It was great, because we already had some and these added to our collection. 

We love them so much! They suit our household so much, because you can DRAW, BUILD and PLAY with them! That is what we spend most of our time doing!

There are pens, connectors and toys to help encourage little ones to interact with writing materials for longer periods of time. 

My little Sam was immediately captivated and I found that he spent longer at the table because he could build and interact with the pens. 

We loved the brush tip markers! They were smooth, bright and easy to use. 

When my daughter got home from school, she joined the fun and was excited to see more Stix in our collection. She particularly liked the toys.

The possibilities are endless, and I am quite certain there will be some more for our collection in our stockings on Christmas morning! 

4. Halloween Aftermath 

Hop over to Blog Hoppin to find some FREEBIES from the amazing Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants, for Monday!

5. Facebook

I would love to have you join me over at Facebook so we can stay connected! 

Thanks so much for stopping by today, head over to doodle Bugs Teaching for more Five for Friday randomness! 

Week of Writing

If you have the Big Bundle of my 'Week of Writing' packets, don't forget that there is a Halloween themed week of activities waiting for you. It is easy to forget what is included in the big growing bundles. This packet focuses on the sight words he, she and is

My writing program has always featured two focuses for the week - based on my wanting students to learn that writing is both a process and a product. I teach them to write, and also teach them ABOUT writing and how we make it look right. 

I do very open-ended lessons as part of my small group literacy learning, where students write creatively using plain white paper and are encouraged to develop ideas for themselves. I then balance this in other parts of my week with very structured, guided lessons where I teach the conventions of writing explicitly. Interwoven with reading, these lessons help students see clearly why and how we write. 

I encourage you to use the 'big teacher cards' to model sentence formation and writing conventions each day before your structured lesson. This will bring together, the reading, phonics, sight words handwriting and writing components of your program in one nice little package. 

Read more about my love of using word cards to assist these lessons HERE and HERE

Using big cards helps students to understand how words fit and combine together to make a sentence, without getting bogged down in spelling and knowing words at letter-level. 

Please, please, please emphasise the spacing between words. Again, using the cards for this is so helpful. When your students transfer their knowledge to paper, you will see them begin to put their finger in to make a space.

Each packet in my bundle features pages to make a 5 day mini book to guide your students through a sequenced week of writing skills. 


After a lesson with the big teacher cards, ask your students to point to each word on the model sentence and read aloud. Do this a few times. 

Read the sentence underneath - point out the dotted boxes around the words. Remind students of spaces between words. Talk about full stop and capital letter. 

Students cut their word strip up and shuffle the words around to match the model. Ask them to read/point once again to make sure it makes sense. Check for spaces between their word pieces. 

Students can glue their words to make their sentence. 

Ask students to read again, and confirm that their sentences match. 

On Tuesday, again do another whole group lesson with the big cards and talk about changing words to make a new sentences. Show how you can change He to She and clown to bee

Students do their page in their own book. They read, point and attend to the text features (spaces, capital, full stop). After cutting, sorting, matching and reading the model sentence, they can trace the sentence underneath to practice letter formation and actual writing. 

A dot on each letter shows them where to start. Use descriptive language to talk them through the formation of each letter - e.g. down to the bottom and jump right over (for 'h'). I have always found the fonts with a zillion little arrows, showing each movement far too confusing for beginning writers. One simple start-dot prompt is far more effective. 

On Wednesday, students are given a word strip and asked to cut and create a sentence - no model provided. This will encourage your students to think of word order and meaning in their writing. Once glued, they can then copy the model to write the sentence. Once again, encourage lots of pointing and reading to check things make sense. 

On Thursday, use the big teacher cards for a whole group lesson, but encourage lots of variations and new words to be creative. Have blank index cards or a word box ready. Students can attempt writing on their own, or for very new writers, you could scaffold them through one together. 

On Friday, ask your students to independently write. This makes a perfect time for assessment and to see how your students are taking in the skills and information from the week. It gives your more-able students the opportunity to show you what they can do! 

Thank you so much for stopping by today, friends! 

Please note that although some of the earlier packets in my bundle say "Kindergarten Writing" on the cover, the word Kindergarten is not used on the actual product and they are suitable for other grades as well. 

I will leave you with a little thought I shared on Facebook today - if you are not following me yet, I would love to have you join my over there!

100 Chart Activities for the Year!

At the beginning of October, I shared a 100 Chart Pumpkin game for small group math time. 
I had several requests for a seasonal bundle to last the whole year. 

Once you set your routine up, students will love completing these puzzles, and with lots of ways to differentiate, you can be assured that this activity will challenge you students right through the year. 

The first way to differentiate is to create sets of puzzle cards that can be used with any base. You can start the year by making these pieces large and simply-shaped. Think big rectangles and squares. As the year progresses, or to cater for more-able students, make challenging puzzle pieces in irregular shapes - these are harder to fit on the chart and will encourage your students to test their knowledge of place value. 

Keep these sets in different colours - it makes pack-away time easy and will help you get organized. 

Your students will re-build a cut-up 100 Chart

For each month, there are two versions - numbered and blank. Use them for this puzzle activity, or dozens of other math games using 100 Charts

Each month also has a worksheet to follow-up with. 

Early in the year, simply have your students match the numbered pieces to the numbered chart. They will become familiar with numeral identification, counting, number order and place value. This little chick is great for April. 

As your students become more confident, allow them to use the blank chart, but keep a numbered reference chart adjacent to assist with placement. 

Once students are very confident with counting, number order and 100 Charts, give them a blank chart to work with, with no reference.  This turkey is great for November!

Gifts for December. 

Sweet cupcakes for February. 

Apples for September. 

Happy sunshine for June. 

Sandcastle for July.

School bus for August. 

Snowman for January. 

Flowers for May. 

A pot of Gold for March. 

If you are in Australia, like me, you will most probably use any of these cards at any time of year. Our students are used to using a variety of themes all through the year, especially in small group math, where we care more about skill development than themes.  

Find the bundle of activities over in my TpT store HERE

Try the pumpkin 100 Chart Puzzle for FREE, HERE

Thank you so much for stopping by today to see my puzzles. I have started a 120 Chart bundle and hope to have it ready soon! 

- Mel x

A Monster of a Day

I am having work done in my house.... work that involves a jackhammer or two, dust, more dust and the removal of some tragic 1970's gold peacock tiles. 

I've waited twelve long years to see the back of those peacocks. Tonight is a good night. Today.... today was challenging, but we got through it! 

In one little room, for six or so hours, Mr 3 and I got busy with games, Lego, books and craft. We made a monster. Well, I made a monster, he enjoyed directing me and snipping confetti like pieces of paper all. over. the. floor. Because, you see, I didn't have enough to clean up already. 

Here is how "we" did it!

A few sheets of paper, scissor and glue... 

1. We cut a monster shape.

2. We cut out a mouth and tummy space.

3. From another piece of paper, we traced the tummy shape and cut it out. 

4. We glue the tummy into the space. 

5. We snipped some shiny silver teeth. Mr 3 was good at this. 

6. We glued the teeth into position. 

7. We snipped some bumps for the monster's back. 

8. We glued the bumps on and cut out some big white eyes. 

9. We drew some black crayon eyeballs and found some sparkly jewels to decorate his back. 

10. Finished! 

I used him as inspiration for a new 'write and wipe' activity card printable. Your students will enjoy learning to count and draw with these cards. They need to identify the numeral and count and draw bumps onto the monster's back. 

Just click on the image below to find this printable in my TpT store. 

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today! I am off to clean up some more dust.