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Sunday, 29 January 2017

Birthday Cake


We had a birthday celebration today. The cake was magnificent

I have some sweet and favourite cake themed resources in my store that may help make your back-to-school a little sweeter.

Candle themed cards to help you make a birthday display:


or try a cupcake birthday display!


A cupcake door or bulletin board:


and a 'sprinkled with kindness' packet that can help you get a display up in your room in a day (or less)!



I hope you can make your Saturday super sweet somehow, you deserve it! 


Saturday, 28 January 2017

Friday


Wishing you the happiest possible happy-happy-joy-joy Friday, friends!

Provided you don't have a truly legitimate reason to be down-in-the-dumps today (and as such, I do send you big hugs and more happy wishes), I suggest getting rid of even the tiniest little bit of a grumpy disposition by:

1. Drinking coffee
2. Singing all the way to work
3. Making a list of horrible nasty things with a pencil and then erasing them
4. Drawing pretty flowers all over some important thing you should have done 2 weeks ago
5. Eating chocolate for breakfast
6. Remembering 5 things that made you grumpy as a 5 year old and then relishing in the adult realisation that they are now somewhat amusing
7. Doing the Friday dance
8. Doing something kind for others - like abandoning the frown.
9. Finding a funny (and highly appropriate) joke to share with your family or colleagues.
10. Drinking more coffee. 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Confession


I know - shocking! 

I DO laminate all games and activities that will be handled by the sweeties. 

But after many years I have come to an understanding with my dear darling husband that a printer-ink budget comes along with life married to me. 

I would rather print a new set of things each year than waste time laminating. 

Here are a few things to consider before you laminate EVERY piece of paper that is going into your classroom.

1. Time vs Money
How much is your time worth? I replaced the coloured ink in my printer twice last year, and printed everything I wanted. What can you do with your time that you usually spend laminating? 

2. Laminating Expense
If you don't laminate you are not purchasing pouches, and you can offset your ink cost.

When I laminated, I had to accomodate storage of the laminated treasures. Because they can NEVER be thrown out you know, you are laminating them to use FOREVER. 

When I went to a print and recycle and print again system - I didn't have to worry about storage or tubs or the hassle of storage for the storage tubs. 
Life got much easier. And less expensive funnily enough. 

3. Glare Baby Glare
I love decorated classrooms, but walls full of plastic glare. Not for me. Nor is visual overload. If you need a poster for every mortal concept covered in a curriculum, consider rotating them or having them in a flip file format.
Posters without glare are more readily accessed by students.

4. Environment
Plastic can take from 450 to 1000 years (and even more) to disappear off our planet. That is a huge burden. Plain paper? About 5 months. 

Glass (hmmmm iPad) - 1,000,000 years. 

5. Consume vs Create
I like the message plain uncoated paper sends my students. Paper is creative. Flexible. I can change, modify and make with it. It reeks of opportunity. 

6. Need
Do you really need to laminate those alphabet posters? Are they really going to be rendered useless after a year if they have not been laminated?
Are you honestly going to use them again next year and not want a change in style and design to match your newest decor? 
Laminate only the things you know you will use for a lifetime. 



These fun math activities have been laminated and certainly will need it with all the little fingers using them!

Fill it Up will help students work on counting up to 30!



Heart Number Order is a fun way to practice counting and numeral formation up to 50. 

By laminating this, students can use dry erase markers and practice over and over again! 




Have a lovely day, friends!

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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Dots



Personally, I love all the dots

Having been on the internet a while, I do see some frustration with the dots being vented.

His dots. Her dots. Those dots. The dots that are put together like my dots. New dots. Old dots. Repeated dots.

Some people like the dots to be very well behaved and to only be put together in ways that are familiar and in keeping with their expectations for dots. 

Sigh. 

Love the dots, love them all. 
One day you will no longer be able to see the dots, and you will know that being cranky with the dots was a waste of time. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Writing Hub


Hi teacher friends! 

I have been wanting to stop by at some point and show you some new writing resources that I am very excited about.

A super fun Writing Process Pencil Poster to help keep your kiddos on track and achieve independence. 


And a new addition to my Write-A-Story series - "Bees are Cool". This will help get kiddos writing in an opinion or persuasive text structure. 


I've put together a little video to show you how you can use my printable packets to get organised for a week of writing quickly in your classroom. I am a huge advocate for setting up consistent routines and structures that will last the year in your classroom, yet are adaptable to accommodate changing needs, learners and resources. 

The Writing Hub is just that!





Thanks so much for stopping by and watching my first video! I still have a lot to learn but am so happy to be able to more freely share some teaching tips and ideas with you in this format!

Have a great day.

- Mel x
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Meow


I've felt uneasy about my cat-bum face comments all week, so I drew some cute cats tonight to make amends. 

Actually I fib. I am working through a year long 'doodle-a-day' challenge and today was 'cat'. You can see my Instagram story, over at, well, Instagram to see me draw this one:


The wonders of modern technology. To think that years and years ago people were working out how to put a person on the moon, and now we are watching people draw cats. Amazeballs. 

I turned it into a coloring page too, so you can colour it in. Actually your students can color it in. You can get planning on how to get a cat to the moon. Or some other profound thing. 



Find it to download for free in Google Drive HERE

I used one of my new 'Edge It' borders. These are perfect for worksheets and add a little 'something' when you don't want too much 'something'. 



I must be going meow, I have some sleep to catch up on. Have a lovely day and thanks so much for stopping by!

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Monday, 23 January 2017

Books


It was a relatively quiet day here at my place. We read lots of books. My sweeties got new bookshelves for their bedrooms and seeing all their books in a new place inspired them to read some treasured favourites. 

It led to lots of talking and chatting. And that led to some new ideas. Before we knew it we were all creating something. Banners, sketches, craft, treasure maps, a puppet show script... 

And tomorrow, maybe we will start all over again.

I based much of my teaching last year on high quality fiction and will do the same this year. I am starting to pin titles as I come across them - if you are interested you can follow my board HERE

If you have any favourites that you think I might love to work on with my class of third graders, please let me know - I really need to visit the bookshop with an excuse to buy add some more to my wishlist!

I wish you a wonderful day, and if you're in a bit of a bother with nothing to do - grab a book and see where it leads you. 

- Mel x

Sunday, 22 January 2017

My Space


I have a little room of my own now. For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know how long this has taken, and that things have not always been this pretty. I shared a few photos last night on my Instagram story and thought I would do a quick blog post to answer many of the questions I have received, all in one place. 

I will share some links to where I purchased some of the items (all in Australia) - I am not sponsoring or being paid to promote these - this is a genuine space I have created for my creative time. 

My room is being gradually transformed from my babies' nursery to my home office. I would love to paint the walls white, put chocolate brown hard floors down, get a new white desk and pretty light fitting. None of that will be done any time soon, but I will gradually get them done over the next few years. Things take time, I am just so happy the shelves are up. 

The wallpaper that was chosen for my babies - a green gingham pattern is still up and it is nice to still look at it and remember the special memories I have created in this room. I had a bunny rabbit border up but took that down last month. For those who are ever keen to remove wallpaper, I googled many techniques and was about to spend a fortune on chemicals, when my Dad came up for a cup of coffee. He suggested soaking a microfibe cloth in warm water, applying it to a small section, and then peeling back. We did this and it worked. The first coated layer came off first, and revealed a papery second layer of paper. We soaked this again with warm water and rubbed with the cloth. It was a messier, slower process, but I had the whole border off in the time it would have taken me to go shopping for all the materials the tutorials said I needed! It also left my walls perfect, and the edge of the remaining wallpaper intact. 


My cube unit came flat packed and took about 3 hours to put together. We sourced it from The Shelving Shop

I got the teal coloured desk accessories from K.Mart.



I have used bamboo cutlery trays to house bits and bobs. 


And also laundry trays


The Rattan Style tubs also come from K.Mart


These cereal bowls from K.Mart were a steal for $2 and also great for bits and  bobs.




I cannot stand clutter in general and having shelves up full of useless items makes me itch. I do like a few decorative pieces, but it has to be minimal. That being said, I wanted this shelf to be full of things that I actually use and that get my creativity flowing but in an aesthetically pleasing way. 

I am no doubt going to move things around as I get used to having so much space, but for now, here is how I have things organised. 

A = plastic wallets (any resource I made for the classroom is stored in these and then filed in a filing cabinet)
B = cardboard (for crafty stuff and printing posters)
C = plastic sleeves for binders (I use binders at a minimum and prefer filing)
D = stickers (I am a 1980s babe and collected as a child. I am still obsessed)
E = pencil cases (another obsession)
F = drawing station (blank sketch pads & fresh pens for when inspirations hits - I keep my used books in a wardrobe)
G = (tub with stapler, hole punch, bulldog clips - bowl with wash tapes - tin with pegs)
I = decorative shelf (currently 2 favourite pencil cases)
J = ink stamps (another obsession stemming from childhood)
K = inspiration shelf (currently chalkboard lightbox from K.Mart, old teacher stamp, apple ornament)
My current message is 'work hard' - my daughter saw my room and said 'Aw, I want all that'. I told her she might try working for a few decades and dreaming for a while first. 
L = Laundry tray with sticky tape, duct tape. Trinket Box with bits and bobs. Tin with pencil sharpeners. 
M = sticky paper (to print my own stickers and resources that require sticking)
N = 2017 books (current sketch book, week diary, notebooks)
O = clipboards, notebooks
P = phone, tub with erasers, pretty little decorative pieces to add colour
Q = plain white copy paper
R = various notebooks, largely from kikki.K and K.Mart (I have a somewhat large collection of notebooks and swap them out with a larger collection in my wardrobe for a fresh change)
S = craft paper
T = pencils, pens, markers etc + display books
U = fancy paper + gift wrapping paper (another childhood obsession was going to gift shops and eyeing al the pretty paper and Hallmark greeting cards)
V = pens, pencils, markers + bamboo tray with pretty little bits and bobs
W = kikki.K Paper Lovers Books + my favourite teacher resource books (very old and close to my heart) 
X = stash of my favourite sticky notes, box of crayons, box of chalk
Y = cutlery tray with boxes and trays of drawing and shading implements 
Z = ugly computer paraphernalia 
! = laminating pouches
@ = notepads
# = bamboo cutlery tray with more sticky notes
$ - bamboo tray with mini notepads, quote cards and planner decorating items 

Click here for a FREE printable mini banner I created to pretty-up my year planner. 



Teaching is a career where you can certainly immerse yourself in creativity. Making my own resources has always been a choice for me and the part of teaching I most adore. I choose not  to complain about the expense. I chose to accept it as part of how I wanted to fuel my own pedagogy and growth as a professional. I set aside a certain proportion of my wage each year to fund my printing, laminating and creation. Once I did this, it became part of me, not something I was ever being forced, expected or asked to do. It brings me great joy, has challenged me and enriched my own life beyond measure. 

Being able to create my own resources at home, in my own creative space, entirely self funded has also gifted me great freedom and time with my family. It took a while to be able to see this benefit, but once I got into my own groove I realised how much time I was saving by just having a streamlined, self-managed system that worked for me - so although there is a financial outlay from the outset (ink, paper, laminating, storage etc) - I have chosen to only focus on the benefits it brings me and my family. 


Thank you so much for stopping by my page, I hope it may have inspired you to work towards your own little creative space, or reflect on how special yours already is!

- Mel x


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BTS


Back to School is in full swing here in Australia - with most of us counting down our last days of summer fun.

I've joined with some TpT sellers to mark the occasion with some super savings. 

My new Clever Bugs Door Display is on sale! You can print this in color or have your students paint or decorate their own bug. 


Teach a lesson on school cleanliness and respecting the environment with my Litterbugs packet. Students will love making a scribbly litterbug craft for the bulletin board. 


I've also marked my Pinning Posters, Bubble Fun cvc Worksheets and Monday to Friday Posters on sale and you can find them by simply clicking on any of the images below:

 


   


You can find more resources on sale simply by typing #AUSBTS17 into the search field on the home page at TpT. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, have a fabulous day!

- Mel x


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Cute


So apparently cute is baaaaaaaaaaaaaad. 

Oops. 

There goes a few decades. 

From now on, I shall appreciate foxy things. Or, pop my Queen-of-England accent on and go with fetching. Or perhaps masterful. I'll try cool, and say slick. Be minimalist and just have white with black letters. Or black with white letters. Consider splashing out with a burst of...... gray. Throw a few cushions around. Sophisticated. 

Nah. 
I'm good with cute.

- Mel {lover of cute for ever and ever} xxx

Monday, 16 January 2017

Teachers on Instagram


I love Instagram and remember the day my sister said 'Mel, you gotta get on here'. 

 If you are not following my account, I would love to see you, but if my feed is not your cup-of-tea, I am certainly not offended. That is the beauty of Instagram, you will mostly always only see the things that interest or intrigue you. 

Warning: my feed may reveal my love of the color pink and anything made of paper. A few pencils perhaps. Tea. Coffee. Some sketches and a whole lot of my teaching printables. I love sharing tiny moments of my day and what feeds my heart, fills my heart and comes from my heart. 

They are just tiny moments, and as with any social media it is important to remember that what people share only reflects a very small part of their life. 

I love following other teachers and adore seeing ideas from those who have permission to post from their classroom! The curriculum ideas being generated and spread are amazing. 

I feel honored that I get to see inside their world and as such, respect their choices. 

I was surprised to find my feed named in a 'top ten' list of account to follow recently and was very humbled - thank you Book Widgets

Image Credit: bookwidgets.com


I've just put a blog widget on my sidebar so you can see my posts here, and in posts like this: 


The widget code comes from Iconsquare. Iconosquare if offering my followers 20% off a yearly subscription by using this link to sign up! If you have a blog and would like to generate widget codes and get some fantastic analytical information about your feed, I can highly recommend it.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, I hope you have a fabulous one - I might catch you over on Instagram! Pardon me if it takes me a while to get to know you, I have a habit of following hundreds of people and often get lost in so much awesome content from you all!

- Mel x

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Classroom Labels


Brighten up your classroom with some star shaped labels! These could be used for name tags, bulletin boards, birthday charts - anything! You can write or type on them. 

They are FREE and in my TpT store. Find them HERE

I you like to mix things up and have a variety of formats for wording and display in your room, take a peek in my Classroom Category and find some more fun ways to get labelling! Here are a few:

  


 



 


Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have a lovely day!

- Mel x