Pumpkin Writing

Sam and I had fun this morning reading some pumpkin books and doing a very early introduction to 'writing' and sentence making.

We've somehow accumulated a few more pumpkin books on the shelf. I had one or two on there, but Sam has been pretty keen to learn more. Stay tuned, we may be planting a pumpkin vine in a nice sunny unused patch in our yard.

I did a 'transformation' with him first. I wrote a 'story' (sentence) on a sentence strip and modelled how to point and read. We then cut it up, mixed it and put it back together. We talked about spaces between words and having them positioned to make sense when read.

I took the opportunity to use a worksheet from one of my packets, which is essentially a mini-version of our lesson. Sam could practice all the skills we had worked on together, independently. 

The packet is a Halloween version of our popular "Sentence Maker" resource. It is a collection of worksheets that will help ALL your students with the reading and writing process - not just your emergent learners..

There are four versions of each of the six worksheets

  • Cut and Paste - these are for your newest learners, who are only beginning to understand the concept of a word, and a sentence and how we put them together to make meaning. Students paste the words into correct order to match the model
  • Trace - for students that have a good understanding of words and sentences, and are ready to learn to write themselves
  • Copy - for students who are able to form most letters of the alphabet correctly and are learning to copy print from model
  • Write - for students beginning to write independently and who can try to sound-out and write their own words

  • This file features teaching tips and twenty four worksheets that you are able to print and photocopy for your own classroom use only.

    We loved writing and followed it up with some math games. Then we had some chocolate. I was a tad emotional after realising how fast 6 years travels by. I remember this day like it was yesterday. 

    Thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate you so much. 

    - Mel x

    Fall Addition Math Activities

    There is a new printable activity pack in store that will give you 4 great games/activities for teaching your students to use the "counting on" strategy in addition, with a cute little 'autumn' twist!

    The activities are:

    1. Pumpkin Round
    Students will add 1, 2, 3 or 4 pumpkin seeds to numerals 1-20 and record with a dry erase marker. 

    2. Bat Count On
    Students draw a card and determine the largest number on the domino-style pattern, to 'count-on' from to find the total.

    3. More for Fall
    Students will add 1, 2, 3 or 4 to a dice throw and find the total on their board.

    4. Spider Round
    Perfect for the first introduction to counting on. Students use counters/chips to put dots on 2 sides of the spider. They are reminded that addition is the combination of 2 parts, but are encouraged to 'count on' to find the total.

    These 4 activities will allow you to sequence the skills needed for counting-on.

    They are perfect for math centers and game-rotations, although can be easily adapted for a whole class activity. 

    A follow-up worksheet and cover page (for your organization of resources) is provided for each activity. Find the pack on sale today:

    I sent an email newsletter out to remind you of the haunted house directed drawing project I have to download from Google Drive. Please sign up to my email (scroll to the bottom of this blog) so you are included next time! If you missed out, click the image below to secure your printable from Google Drive.

    Thank you so much for stopping by today, I appreciate you so much!

    - Mel x

    Fun Dot Screen Wallpaper

    I took a week away from my desk and had a well needed little family vacation. I am so energised and refreshed for the next little chapter in my creative work and needed a light and fun new twist in my workspace - so I made a new digital wallpaper. 

    There is no easier and fun way to refocus my week than making these new little additions every Sunday - I hope they help you too!

    I'd love to share them with you too. Simply download the images from google drive from the links below. Store them on your camera roll and choose them for your screen saver and/or wallpaper!

    Find the Computer Screensaver HERE

    and the Phone Screensaver HERE

    {These are for your personal use only and cannot be redistributed or shared}

    Find more posts and goodies for your 'teacher space' HERE

    Find more screen wallpapers HERE

    I am off to finish that fresh cup of coffee and get creative!

    Have a great day lovely friends.

    - Mel x


    Word Family Houses

    You've done all the hard work with your kiddos for word families and you are looking for a creative visual way for them to record their learning. Look no further! Word Family houses will enable you to present the concept of a 'family' of words to your students in a format that will create a lasting impact on your students. When they make and create - they remember!

    Your students can create their very own house to draw and record ANY word family - so this resource can be used for a huge variety of lessons.

    You can create an amazing visual display of the word families in your classroom with this lesson strategy - you know what?! Those sweet kiddos will TALK about their work when it is up on display. Than means MORE learning and consolidating of their word family learning! 

     Simply copy the templates on color paper or give students a white version and ask them to shade with crayons, pencils or paint.

    Students can then draw and/or write to make a word family! 

    Find this printable packet in my TpT store HERE

    Find more posts, freebies, ideas and resources for Word Families right here on my blog!

    Have a fantastic day!

    - Mel x

    Long i Craftivity - My Fly

    Mr Fly is a fun and creative way you can incorporate your students' handprints into their art and craft work. Why use handprints in the classroom? It helps build little learners self identity and awareness. Displaying and valuing them in the classroom also builds community!

    Mr Fly can help you draw attention to the 'y as long i' sound. If you do Jolly Phonics - this can be introduced as early as kindergarten! 

    Use the pieces in this free file to help your students create their own Mr Fly!

    Students paint 2 handprints to help make the fly's wings. 

    If you have the time - ask students to print 3 or 4 sets of hands on additional pieces of paper. When dry, file these away for future art projects. It saves so much time! 

    You could also have a 'hand painting day' where you ask a parent helper to assist you with making the multiple sets of hands for your whole class. Set up a table adjacent to your classroom and select students 1 or 2 at a time to go and do their painting while you continue with your regular program. When you next want to incorporate hands into your projects you won't have to drag out the paint and mess. Remember to ask students to write their names on all their extra handprint pages.

    Find the printable packet for Mr Fly, HERE in my TpT store!

    If you'd love more handprint craft ideas for your class program, find this packet in my store:

    Thanks so much for stopping by today, I appreciate you so much!

    - Mel x

    Autumn Pop Stick Crafts

    We made good use of our time in the recent school term break by sorting and then using lots of materials in our craft cupboard. We've noticed so many amazing Popsicle Stick Crafts on Pinterest  for autumn and after looking through the feed of amazing ideas, went ahead and made some!

    This activity may have also been influenced by the fact that our 'pop stick' drawer in the craft cupboard was full and we still had 3 tubs to empty. Anyone else buy a packet at the dollar store EVERY time they are there?

    We decided to use some up.

    We made 4 crafts - a scarecrow, witch, jack-o-lantern and scarecrow. The basic structure was to create a square. 

    We lined two sticks with PVA glue,

    and placed sticks on end-to-end.

    A third stick in the middle was also glued on to help support. 

    Extra detail sticks were glued to the back once the main square was dry.

    Mr Sam made the pumpkin, so excuse the sticky-finger marks. 

    To add facial features, I printed out some elements and we cut, arranged and glued them into position.

    You could use felt, buttons, cardboard and other crafty details. If you would like to print them like we did - grab them from Google Drive HERE

    If you love doing craft at home or in the classroom, you may like to look through my Paper Crafts and One Page Crafts collection on TpT. 

    If you have as many pop sticks as me, consider following my Popsicle Stick Ideas board on Pinterest as I love saving fun and cute projects for future reference. 

    Thanks so much for stopping by today, I appreciate you so much!

    - Mel x

    Scrappy Vine Screen Wallpaper

    I made some little changes in my workspace today and added some fresh pumpkin vine goodness to my screens! 

    There is no better way for me to stay focussed and happy than making subtle changes to my desk space. 

    I'd love to share these screensavers with you too. Simply download the images from google drive from the links below. Store them on your camera roll and choose them for your screen saver and/or wallpaper!

    Find the Computer Screensaver HERE

    and the Phone Screensaver HERE

    {These are for your personal use only and cannot be redistributed or shared}

    Find more posts and goodies for your 'teacher space' HERE

    Find more screen wallpapers HERE

    I am off to finish that fresh cup of coffee and get creative!

    Have a great day lovely friends.

    - Mel x


    Pumpkin Paper Folding Activity

    Make some gorgeous {but simple} pumpkin crafts with your little learners with a few simple materials!

    I will be honest with you - paper folding takes a tiny bit extra patience than a regular art lesson - but with a clearly demonstrated whole class lesson where you model the steps first, your sweeties will begin to get the hang of it in no time.

    You will need squares of orange, pink and green paper.

    1. Fold your paper in half and pinch the sides - do not fold all the way through.

    2. Here is where your folds will be:

    3. Flip the paper over and fold each corner from the center marks. These can be randomly measured - this way each pumpkin will be different and uniquely shaped.

    Secure each flap down with a small amount of glue.

    4. Measure a green rectangle that is the width of the top of your pumpkin.

    5. If capable, ask students to scallop cut an edge to the rectangle and glue to the top of your pumpkin. Cut another rectangle from scraps to create a pumpkin stem.

    6. Free cut some hearts of circles for the cheeks and add extra detail with a Sharpie. 

    Voila! Happy pumpkin! 

    Thanks so much for stopping by today - if you need more carefully structured lesson resources for a pumpkin craft - head over to my TpT store and check out THESE

    - Mel x

    Owl Paper Craft + Reader

    I've added an owl themed reader to our Print Cut Make Reader Ultimate Pack

    To complete these readers, students color the 5 or 6 pictures that are included and carefully cut them out (all have easy cutting lines perfect for preschool and kindergarten scissor skills). 

    They then read the simple text on each page and find the picture to match. This can be done step-by-step as a whole class and give you the opportunity to present some reading strategies in context.

    If you have the ULTIMATE PACK you will find that it has been added today along with 3 other new titles.

    To expand the learning experience in your classroom, have the students make the owl from their story using paper or the templates in THIS packet.

    The template pieces can be easily printed and prepped. Ask your students to shade/paint them and you are ready to go! Alternatively you could copy them on brightly colored paper.

    If you are keen to try this simple and fun craft, head over HERE to find it!

    Thank you so much for stopping by today, I'd love to stay connected so feel free to find me on Instagram or sign up for my email newsletter. 

    Have a fantastic day!

    - Mel x

    What's on our bookshelf this week?

    I shared over on Instagram last week our new addition to the home office - a little reading and writing focus shelf/bench/storage unit. I do some creative work in this office and my children join me at times - especially Sam, who is 5. This little activity center gives him some 'work' to do, as he is often eager to be busy like his mother!

    It was also my little way of being able to subtly influence and guide him into some new choices to see if they would spur new interests, play and language. He is rather partial to trucks, cars and lego as themes for his play and also book selection. 

    I am selecting a small selection of titles from our larger home library to display on this shelf. We started last week and it is working so far. Sam is excited to sit and 'read' these 'special' books. 

    I have just set up the titles for this week today, so we have not read them yet. Here are the books I have selected and the main reasons why:

    1. Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
    A story with no words so we can talk and create our own details. I thought this might be a nice way of showing Sam the importance of the pictures and to make sure he is really taking notice of them to guide his understanding. 

    2. The Scarecrow's Wedding by Julia Donaldson
    There has been a lot of chatter about weddings and marriage here in Australia over the last months. Sam is too young to have a detailed discussion or understanding of the issues, but reading this book might create an opportunity for him to ask any questions he has about what he might have heard. And anything with the words 'Julia Donaldson' on the cover, I buy immediately! 

    3. Unlikely Friendships in Nature by Linh Dao
    We purchased this little beauty at the Australian Geographic last week and have not finished exploring it. It certainly opens up new ways of looking at the world. 

    4. Easy to Read: Slithering Snakes
    A beginning reader - simple words and sentences that might encourage Sam to see that reading is something he can start to learn. Snakes are also topical in Australia at the moment so it will give me a chance to have a casual chat about safety. 

    5. Bright Yellow Flower by Judith Hoffman Corwin
    It is spring here. Sam's sister tends to her daffodil daily, so it connects with his life and will be a good book for making connections. 

    6. I Spy a School Bus by Jean Marcello
    Sam is LOVING the I Spy books (as his sister did) and I chose the school themed one as starting school is something we are preparing Sam for over the next few months. 

    7. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
    A beautiful classic that will give me the chance to explore rhyming words in a natural and meaningful way with Sam.

    8. Wombat Goes to School by Jackie French
    Starting school is something we are preparing Sam for over the next few months and a few 'school' themed books will help me create opportunities for him to talk  to me about it and ask questions in a secure and familiar way (he loves chatting about books and stories). 

    9. Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London
    Sam loves the 'Froggy' books. 

    10. We're Going on a Picnic by Pat Hutchins
    This is not something Sam would naturally select on his own, so I am hoping it is something new for him that he will enjoy and might spark an interest in animal stories. 

    11. Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site
    A very well read favourite. Sam may start to 'read' this on his own as he is so familiar with the story, this will encourage confidence is his reading ability and help him become comfortable attempting to read bookish the future. 

    If you love learning with books as much as I do - pop back through some of my past posts to find some new titles, ideas and free resources.

    Thanks so much for stopping by today, I look forward to sharing with you some of the activities and ideas that stemmed from our reading!

    - Mel x