Coffee Week

Hi friends! 

If you have been following me on Instagram for a while, you will know that I am really enjoying making my (yay-oh-my-goodness-I-am-so happy-I-finally-got-one-and-am-a teeny-tiny-bit-excited) very own teacher-home-workspace all happy, pretty and 'just right' for me!

This includes procrasti-nspired weekly changes, many pen and pencil purchase and creative nooks where I stick up all kinds of bits and bobs that are either inspiring me or keeping me focussed. 

For next week I have another simple week planner - coffee mug themed.

You can print it out and use it too! Find it in google drive HERE

I've seen people using them in such creative ways - planner add-ons, diary bookmarks etc 

If you love making plans and lists, you might also like my 'Plan Teach Inspire' pack over at TpT! Find it be clicking on the image below. 

To find my previous posts about what is #onmyteacherdesk or workspace, look HERE

Have fun making your space (however big or small) happy, creative, vibrant and perfect for YOU!

Thanks so much for stopping by - please tag me on Instagram if you use the planner - I would love to see it! Have a lovely day.

- Mel x

Let's Learn the Letter Dd

Sam and I worked on the letter sound Dd today! 

We are doing short (15 minutes tops) mini lessons to introduce the single beginning letter sounds of the alphabet.

In a classroom, these phonics mini lessons would be a very small (but integral) part of my overall literacy program and would be ideal for a student's first encounter with letters and sounds. 

I would cover most of my reading and writing concepts within modelled whole group reading and writing lessons from quality literature (big books). 

I introduced how to write d, the shape, size, stroke formation of both D and d and we learnt a little song to help remember our learning. 

We added d to our progressive sound book and revised previously learnt sounds and letter names. 

We also did a very small hit of 'word work'. Each day we look at how we can connect the letter sounds we know to make words. 

In my approach to early alphabet/sound learning, we put emphasis on words that can be decoded, for the first few weeks.

We build them, make them and sound them out. Students learn intrinsically that the alphabet and reading is a code they can crack.

Words that cannot be decoded (sight words, high frequency words, other words) are certainly discussed, but just not the focus. Once we have learnt to blend swords,write words (listen for sounds, write in order) and are confident with a solid repertoire of letters, we can focus more on other words.

A Side Note on Sight Words.
Sight words are words that occur in high frequency and can often NOT be 'sounded out' - e.g. 'was' 'the' 'here'.

As we encounter high frequency words (phonemically irregular) as we move along this first expose to letter and sounds, we don't stop to break them down into letters (spelling). We don't ignore them, but we don't make them our focus.

We pay a little attention to the letters (talk about what they look like, what letters are included, and how they are 'funny' and break the normal code of reading (they don't look like what they say) - but do not devote too much precious activity-time to knowing how to spell them (any task that makes the child attend to the order of the individual letters). 

The majority of your learners will learn the majority of high frequency words by SIGHT. Not by spelling.

The most efficient approach is to progress with reading (they will move faster with reading than writing) and then come back later in the year, or indeed, in their second year of formal schooling, to focus on correct spelling. I have taught students to quickly read 6-10 sight words in a day, yet it may take them a year to master their spelling. You simply cannot hold their reading back to learn how to encode sight words. 

I would cover my sight word spelling in my formal writing lessons - learning to spell maybe 1 or 2 each week and the reading of them in a formal 'sight word' program that would run parallel to my phonics program.

Back to our lesson today - we did a 'd' word making worksheet. This clearly shows the level of 'spelling' that is appropriate at this stage.

There are letters on this page that we have not encountered yet, but as we are singing the alphabet song each day, Sam is beginning to know at least the letter names and I was able to quickly link these new letters to his prior experiences to help him understand.

We also had time to finish with a quick paper craft, which is his absolute favourite. Although some teachers do not see the value in this sort of activity, I have found that for Sam, the craft is what helps him remember the learning. This of course may not be true for every student, but for him - it works! 

These resources come from my 'Let's Learn the Alphabet' bundle.

Find more of my blog posts about the alphabet  by clicking on the image below:

Thanks so much for joining Sam and I - you may like to follow along with snippets of my lesson on Instagram

Here is a FREE letter identification worksheet for Dd! Find it in google drive!

- Mel x


Have you signed up?

Here is a sneak peek at a new printable destined for my TpT store! Your kiddos will love making a cute bunny puppet and then writing a short skit or partner play with a friend to record on the back of their paper bag! 

My two sweeties regularly do 'puppet shows' for us here at home, and they are a hoot! The language learning is authentic, engaging and just plain fun!

You can be the first to download this packet by signing up to my newsletter. It is super easy and I will never bombard you with spam! 

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Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today, I know you don't have much time as a teacher, I'm glad you spent a few minutes with me!

- Mel x

The Easter Bilby {craft and research}

Why not learn about the Australian bilby this Easter? Did you know that some Australian children receive a chocolate bilby on Easter morning instead of a chocolate bunny?

I've just added a short research project to my bilby craft packet, and your students can write or paste the answers in after finding some interesting facts about bibles through reading or on the internet.

We painted ours this morning, but you can copy onto coloured paper to save time.

Find it in my TpT store here, and in the big bundle!

Learning the letter {and word} Ii

Sam and I had a letter-sound session a few days ago to learn all about 'i'. We talked about the letter i, the sound i and the word 'I'.

No wonder the brain develops more between 0 and 8 than any other time in life! So much to master!

We made it fun with a little song, sung to the tune of Farmer in the Dell.

We added 'i' to our growing sound flip book! 

I took the time to introduce the 'sound' and 'word' box. We looked at how both 'i' and 'a' are both sounds and 'words. I did not labour this point, it is fast pace teaching, and I will revisit it many times over this year. 

We put some of our known sounds together, to make the word 'sit', and then substituted phonemes to make new words.

These coloured cards are a big part of the way I start to teach reading - from a phonics base. 

The 123 Train resource I have on TpT is next on my list to update. It was one of the first 'cvc' products on TpT back in the day when NO CLIPART was available - eeek! I made do with some images I could gather up, but I can't wait to freshen it up and make it look fit for 2017! If you have it, stay tuned for a brand spanka very soon!

I have had emails and messages on Instagram asking where these resources come from - they are in my TpT store and the bundle is on sale this week! Find it by clicking on the image below.

I've prepared a bonus worksheet for you to add to the collection, simply click below to find it in Google Drive!

Thanks so much for your support - I appreciate you so much!

- Mel x


What is better than chocolate?

Find out over at TpT!

2 Digit Addition with Regrouping

Uou can explain and model 2 digit addition with regrouping to your students using a simple dolls house, labels and place value blocks!

It is perfect to accompany my new Addition House activity cards. I you don't have a dolls house {that your daughter has finished playing with} you could very easily draw one of chart paper. The key is that students act out, or 'model' the addition process and see how and why the trading occurs.

If you would like the labels I used for my house, find them in Google Drive, HERE

Thanks so much for stopping by - have a lovely day!

- Mel x

Egg-citing Bulletin Board

A new packet has been added to my 'Display in a Day' series that is perfect for spring and Easter!

Simply print the color or backline version of the eggs and ask your students to help you decorate an area of the classroom - a board, windows, door or hallway!

Your students can paint or shade these - add a pattern if they like. They would also look great with the children's photos emerging from the cracked eggs.

Decorative and untracked egg options have also been included!

Find this new packet in my TpT store - on sale today!

Thanks so much for stopping by - as always, very appreciative to have you follow along!

- Mel x

Add some rainbow to your week!

I added a new week planner to my workspace - rainbow themed.

Use it to jot down your plans, motivation, ideas, to-do's, must-do's, want-to-do's or love-to-do's for the week!

Find it for free in google drive HERE

We'd love to have you sign up to our newsletter so you are teh first to hear about new printables in our store. Sign up HERE

Have an awesome week friends!

Let's Learn All About the Letter Sound T

We are on a roll with out letter and sound learning. I think I have inadvertently created a monster - I've sparked a real interest in the alphabet and Sam is literally begging me each day for his next lesson. 

We are moving pretty swiftly, adding a new sound each day. This practice is also taken in the Jolly Phonics approach. After the main 42 sounds are introduced, we will start a cycle of moving back through them for the rest of the year, to reinforce and consolidate. Fast paced teaching can have amazing results if done properly and with a deep and committed knowledge of the curriculum. 

Today we read some 't' stories and talked about the sound, how it is produced by our mouth and looked at how it appears in different words in different places (beginning, medial, final)

We added a 't' to our sound book - to flip through later for revision.

We reviewed all our sounds so far and grouped them to practice letter identification.

We even put sounds together and discovered that we could make words! 
Tip: when sounding out words for students to 'hear', say the first sound louder that the others.

We made a sentence! I introduced the sight word 'I'. I will NOT be teaching the spelling of sight words at this early stage. The focus will be solely on the spelling of phonetically-regular words that can be built.

I will teach Sam at this stage to look at sight words as a whole and not to pay too much attention to the individual letters. 

We made our little 't' book and practiced early reading skills. 

Sam used a dry erase marker to write some 't' letters on a whiteboard. 

We are having so much fun and building our collection of known sounds and letters. 

Please find a free 't' worksheet in google drive HERE

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

If you are keen to teach the alphabet and letter sounds with these resources, find them in my TpT store via the links below:

Learning the Letter Sound Aa

We continued with out mini letter and sound lessons today. Sam learnt his third sound - a.

We read some 'a' focused stories (his favourite part) and talked about words that have 'a' in them. An important part of the Jolly Phonics approach is to learn about the focus letters in all parts of words - not just in the initial position. Another important aspect is to start blending words as soon as you are able. Now that we have s, a and m learned, we put them together to make both 'am' and 'Sam'. 

We are keeping our word cards in a storage box, together with a magnetic letter for each.
I printed my word cards '2 to a page' to make them small and useful for games and activities.

We manipulated the magnetic blocks in different arrangements and found that we could make Sam! Sam even wrote his name for the first time by putting together the letter sounds he has learnt over the last few days.

We made a little 'a' book and learnt a new common sentence structure 'Look at the ...'

Finishing with a little paper craft is another favourite for Sam!

These resources are just some of those included in my 'Let's Learn Aa Resource Pack'

Find a free download for learning to recognise the letter 'a' in google drive HERE

If you would like to see some little live segments of our lessons, be sure to follow my stories on Instagram (stories can be viewed on mobile devices). 

Have a wonderful day, friends.
- Mel x