Be Happy Screen Wallpaper

I love Wednesday because it is time to refresh my screen wallpaper for the week! I've made a 'be happy be kind be you' design to pop on my phone and computer screen wallpaper. 

I used lovely KG fonts and a bee designs from my rainbow collection!

If you would like them for the week, I am more than pleased to share them with you (personal and classroom use only) 

Find them in google drive:

Computer image HERE

Phone image HERE

Have a lovely day my sweet friends!

- Mel x

Keep Classroom Rules Simple

Classroom rules make students feel safe, secure and happy. Properly explained and consistently reinforced (place them prominently on your wall) they will make your teaching year run smoothly!

In my experience keeping them simple is essential. Children have a hard time remembering the first letter of their name in the early days of school, let alone streams and streams of long complicated words that express your desired expectations for classroom behaviour. 

When you consider most expectations in the classroom, they will fit within one of these six simple rules. The goal of your class rules should be to have the students remember and fulfil them. Not to explain every aspect of the human condition. Make them simple and easy-to-remember

My printable classroom rules resource includes 6 class rules that will apply and cover most areas of expectation in your room.

Let's zoom in and look at one example. The rule - 'be safe'. 

You see a student rocking on his chair - you point to the rule poster and say 'are you safe'? A student is running. Again - 'are you safe'. A student is sitting in the wrong area for lunch - 'are you safe'?

You can get to the detail of a situation in private conversation with a child when they are ready to listen. When you are managing behaviour in the moment - keep it simple and direct.

I have provided 3 options for you to display:

1. Create a rules display with the large page sized posters
2. Create a vertical line up of rules using the half-page lengthwise rule cards
3. Display the 'all on one page' rule review

This Classroom Rules display will help your students demonstrate positive behaviours. Involve your students in the arrangement and they will treasure it and use its information to make meaningful connections to their classroom environment. 

Two titles (small and large) "Our Classroom Rules" are also included to be a heading for your rules.

Each rule has a colourful picture to help those students not able to read yet.

Ask your students to draw and write the 6 simple rules on the follow-up worksheet to reinforce the expectations. 

The six rules covered are:
1. listen
2. be nice
3. try hard
4. be safe
5. share
6. care

I am certainly not a child psychologist but one thing I have learnt in what seems like a lifetime of working with children is that your words have the potential to induce anxiety.

One sure way to make a child anxious and amplify their inappropriate behaviours is to drown them in long complicated phrases and terms that take much life experience to understand. Stand in front of them with your hands on your hips and demand to know why they are not acting in a way that is represented by a word they do not understand 

In contrast set a platform for growth understanding and learning by helping them understand how their actions fit into your set of expectations called 'rules' using words that are abundantly clear and familiar with. Give them words that they can instantly visualise themselves acting out.

When the foundations are clear, strong and meaningful we can then grow and move into more intricate detail and understanding

Head over to TpT if you would like to take a peek at this resource.

Have a lovely day friends and thanks so much for stopping by!

- Mel x

Sweetheart Screensaver

Friends, I love bringing some joy to you midweek with a new screen wallpaper. This week I have made a spin on an earlier design and created the 'Sweetheart' set!

Download them here from google drive and save them to your device. From the photo, go to your options and use to set your wallpaper background. 

Find the computer image  HERE

and the one for you phone, HERE

They are for your classroom and home use only. 

My resources are on sale over in my TpT store for one more day! Head over if you need one fresh new activities to build our collection!

Have a lovely day friends!

- Mel x

Low Prep Flashcard Games

Build an almost endless potential of classroom activity by combining simple flashcards with imaginative games.

I highly recommend having a set of flashcards made for every main content area you are teaching - sight words, letters, sounds and numbers are just the beginning. 

I created a unique system called the 'Core Drawers' to  support your whole class teaching. The idea is to have  the core of what you teach at your fingertips. I have a box of sight word flashcards on top of the drawers and others sets throughout the drawers. I also always keep blank cards available and a Sharpie to make fast additions to my collection. 

Once you have your flashcard collection growing - use them. It is essential to always remember that your goal will mostly be to have students remember the content quickly - so for example if 'ch' is written on the card, you will be wanting the students to look at the letter c and h on the cards and say the sound 'ch' quickly. 

Of course, flashcards can be used for many other activities, but I'm exploring them in their most basic form today.

With that in mind, when you play exciting fun games with them do not hesitate to stop the class, pause the learning and refocus them on the content. Do a 30 second drill. Ask a few students to repeat the content. Remind them subtly that the content is king. 

As well as building your card collection, build your repertoire of easy to prep and implement games and activities. Here are 5 of my faves:

1. Buried Treasure
Five cards are lined up. The teacher places an 'x' under one of them while the students close their eyes (if no board available, use a post it note). The students open their eyes and guess - for example 'I think the treasure is buried under the word 'can'. The treasure is kept by the student who guesses correctly. 

2. Magic Basket
Place focus cards in a concealed container or basket. Teacher or student takes a card and reveals it to the class. The whole class says the word before another student has a turn. Simple but fast paced. 

3. Missing Card
Words are placed along the ledge of a board/easel - or on the floor. Read and review content by pointing to each card a few times. Students close their eyes and the teacher removes a card. Students open their eyes and guess which card has been removed. 

4. Pay Up
Teacher distributes all cards (money) to students. As the teacher calls the content, the cards are handed back as 'payment'. Teacher can hold up card and whole class repeat as they are handed back. 

5. Fried Egg
All cards (eggs) are scattered and spread out in the middle of a circle of standing students. They are around the pan and the eggs are cooking. Teacher calls out a card and students race to locate the card and 'lift it'. Establish rules for this one depending on the number of students you have in your class so it progresses in a safe way. 

Most teachers know that if you give a simple activity a fun name and it involves an element of imagination for students they will be more engaged from the outset. If you tell them a simple basket is a magic basket they will be delighted!

Take a peek in my TpT store if you need some help getting started with your flashcard collection: 

I have so many more flashcard games and activities and will pop back soon to share some with you.

Have a lovely day friends!

- Mel x

Teach Skills for Writing Systematically

Are you stuck in a rut with writing? New to teaching and not sure how best to teach writing? Pulling your hair out after giving students a blank piece of paper?

My Week of Work writing mini books provide you a focus for each day of the week that will build a structure to your writing program. 

This is a great routine for teaching skills for writing in a sequenced, carefully scaffolded activity that takes just a few minutes each day. It will not encompass your whole writing program, but it will give your students a great start to both writing and reading! In addition to this I also recommend a more traditional 'writing hour' or session weekly where you model and guide complete independent and creative writing. 

I highly recommend integrating the mini workbooks with a DAILY whole group reading/writing lesson that is briefly explained here

In this post I will give you a free resource to provide a glimpse into this structure. It will help you sequence a whole week of activities for your early writing lessons.

 Print the pages and make each of your students their own mini writing book for the week.

 This book has a focus on the sentence pattern "I go to (school)"..

The books are simple to prepare - just a few staples and a slice down the middle. 

 On day 1,

students will read a sentence and then cut/paste words to match. Here you can teach

- where to begin reading (left side of page)
- spaces between words
- one group of letters = one word out of our mouth
- capital letter to begin
- full stop/period to finish
- words match picture
- pointing to text to read with 1:1 correspondence

On day 2,

students will again cut and paste (following a guide), but also trace the words to copy the sentence. Follow up yesterday's learning and also 

- where to start each letter
 - putting your finger in between each word to create a space
- how to be a 'writer' (put words in an order so that they tell a message that can understood)

On day 3, 
students will cut and paste the sentence, without any model or guide and also write the sentence on their own within writing lines. You will be reviewing all skills taught so far and then encouraging 

- independent writing by copying a model
- revising letter formation 
- using lines to contain letters/proportion

 On day 4, 

students will finish the beginning of a sentence "I go to ..." and attempt independent writing

Model all previous learning with the large teacher cards and also changing the end of the sentence to create a new message. Make these word cards in front of the students using blank flashcards and a sharpie so that they can see that a string of letters go onto one card to make one word. Model flipping between the sentence they have become used to and the new one. I promise they will not mind reading this same sentence 100 times in the week - if you pretend it is a HUGE deal, they will think they are wonderful and on their way to being a fantastic reader/writer!  

On day 5
students will attempt independent writing and write their own sentence.

This day will allow for your students who are ready to write independently to have a go at their own writing. Your emergent writers may write random letters and scribbles - you can scribe and tell them they are amazing. 

You can break up these activities and tailor them to suit your own students if you prefer.

Head over to my TpT store if you would like to try this routine or resource!

- Mel x

Free Apple Banner Pennants

I wanted to remind you today about a cute and fun way to explore patterns in the classroom. The best part? You can create a decorative classroom display at the same time! 

The printable pages of this packet will help you make a super cute "pattern" apple themed classroom banner!

I made it to help teach about repeating patterns with little learners! They will love moving the pennants around to make a new pattern each day. 

Simply print, cut and clip to a line or string!

The designs also come in a 'backline' version - ask your students to shade or paint these before creating your classroom banner!

Mix and match them with other pennants from other packets in my collection for a truly unique and ever-changing classroom display!

Hop over to my TpT store to download it for free!

I also have a number banner in an apple theme as an alternative, find it in my TpT store too!

Have a lovely day friends and thanks so much for stopping by!

A Pretty New Wallpaper for Your Screens

Friends, I have a pretty wallpaper for your screens this week! If you are as preoccupied with pencils and books {of all sorts} as I am, you will love this little reminder on your desk and phone for the week.

Download the images from Google Drive which can be used for your classroom and personal use only.

Find the

computer image HERE

and the

phone image HERE

Have a wonderful day and thank you so much for stopping by!

- Mel x

Exploring Length in Measurement Activities

Math Pack #10 is ready and will help you introduce 'length' with a week full of engaging and fun activities. 

My Math Packs are perfect for the teacher who knows how to teach the basics, but needs fun motivating resources that are easy to prepare. 

This bundle of math activities will help students learning to:

  • make direct comparisons of length
  • identify objects that are the same and of similar length
  • read some basic length words
  • use informal units to measure
  • count and compare informal units for length

These activities can be used in a structured game rotation program, as math centers or in guided math. Once taught, they also make fantastic 'fast-finisher' activities for revision of key concepts

Some considerations before you expect students to play the small group or individual game activities in this pack.

  • Make sure students have had plenty of opportunity to play with math equipment and stack, build and join blocks and manipulatives
  • Be sure they have been encouraged to use their own informal math language to talk about and describe their creations - 'sharing time' after play is perfect for this! Ask 2 students to compare their creations and foster their descriptive language. Gradually model more sophisticated terms and they will naturally start to refine their mathematical language. 
  • Be careful when conducting activities for measurement that you consider sensitive students. When we put students in front of the class and compare the height and size of their bodies we may be causing unnecessary worry. Use toys or objects instead.
  • Young students will use terms like 'big', 'tall', 'long', 'high' to discuss size and measurement without a consistent and clear understanding of their meaning. You will need to clearly and explicitly introduce each term and be patient as students learn their correct meanings - combining this with lots of 'hands-on' experience is essential.
  • Make sure students are aware that there is a difference between length and distance. Length is the measure of an object from end to end in one direction. Distance is the interval between two objects or points (in the 5th game in the pack, between the head and tail of the worms). 
  • Gradually move from simple 'sorting long and short' activities to asking students to order multiple objects according to length.

The activities included in this bundle are:

Caterpillar Compare
Students compare 2 caterpillars and label with a card to make a statement of comparison.

My Peeps
Students use direct comparison to compare the length of two people cards - shorter, taller.

Piece of String
Students will place two pictures together to directly compare length.

Snake Measure
Students will use blocks to measure informally.

Worm Match
Students will count units to find the distance between the worm head and end.

Each of the 5 small-group activities has:

  • detailed instructions
  • playing cards/boards/templates
  • a worksheet (either a recording worksheet or a fun-follow-up)
  • a cover page to help you organize your resources for future reference

I've also included this pack in a growing bundle so you can secure the early-bird listing price for the next nine units (and an additional discount) without having to keep checking for my new releases. Each new using will be added to this bundle and you can download the updates when they are ready or wait for the complete bundle to be finalised. 

Throughout your teaching, observe and listen to students to assess their knowledge and understanding. Where you can, capitalise on incidental and routine classroom activities where measurement and length can be easily interwoven in your instructions and activities. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today friends - have a lovely weekend!

- Mel x


Classroom Posters to Motivate

Fun and vibrant classroom posters, carefully planned and presented can be great for classroom community and decoration!

They can help your students become aware of and help begin their journey to a growth mindset.

Today I added a few extra posters to this free offering in my TpT store:

The messages on these posters are uplifting and will encourage your students to think positively.

Switch your classroom posters out often for maximum impact! 

You might also like to check out the creative potential within my Color Create Motivate series. Your students can become 'designers' and make their own message stand out with the template backgrounds or they can carefully paint of color the backline posters I have made. Perfect for growth mindset! 

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

- Mel x

Fun Fresh Pineapple Wallpaper for your Screens!

Friends, I have a fun new wallpaper for your screens this week! A cute little pineapple theme will help brighten your desk and phone!

Download the images from Google Drive which can be used for your classroom and personal use only.

Find the

computer image HERE

and the

phone image HERE

Have a wonderful day and thank you so much for stopping by!

- Mel x

5 Ways I Stay Productive at my Desk

Hello friends!

Today I wanted to quickly share with you 5 ways I make the most out of my time at the desk.

I've spent a fair chunk of my life at a desk of one sort or another and to be honest, some of it could have been more productive - getting into a flow gets easier over time. Here are 5 things that work for me.

1. Routine
I have 3 simple steps that I carry out every time I sit down at my desk and when I finish at my desk. It really doesn't matter what the steps are - the consistent routine will get you ready to focus. It could be for example - 
1. Make a cup of tea. 
2. Do a quick sketch or doodle. 
3. Put some music on. 

2. Goals
At the end of the final stint of work for the day I will quickly jot down 3-5 simple goals or reminders for the next day. They are on a post it note. Some days they don't get looked at, let alone done - but the key is I have a focus for my next session of work if I need them.

3. 5 Minutes
When I can't 'get started' I commit to digging deep and doing at least 5 minutes work. It is the same when I am exercising - the first steps are the most difficult. 99.9% of the time, I keep going, somehow  finding motivation and creativity. 
I spend 5 minutes clearing and reordering my desk at the end of the day.

4. Self Awareness
After much time at a desk I am now an expert and knowing when I have 'hit the wall' so to speak, or not using my time wisely. My mind is wandering I feel a heaviness that I know I cannot ignore.  I get up from the desk and do something totally different - housework, a stretch, get come fresh air, let my mind wander. 

5. Sit/Stand
I've used a standing/sitting arrangement for working at my computer for the last year and cannot recommend it highly enough.  

These practises are also considerations I take to my 'in-the-classroom teacher desk'. My creative work at home has helped me develop fantastic time management practices in my teacher work. Additional paperwork and documentation can be a significant contributor to stress and fatigue as a teacher - but if you develop some routine habits that you commit to - over time this aspect of your work can become much more manageable.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, if you would like some goodies for your desk space, be sure to sign up to my newsletter on my sidebar and check out these past posts!

Because if there was a #6 - it would be to make your desk a place you want to be. If you don't love it or use it - get rid of it! Think about ways you could make your space visually reflect the work you want to achieve! 

- Mel x

Free Flower Coloring Page

Hi friends! 

Some of you may have joined me a few days ago for a live drawing on Instagram. I promised to turn my sketch into a coloring page for you to download - here it is!

We painted it this morning - but it would look great in pencil or crayon too. 

Find it in Google Drive HERE

If you would like to find more creative pages for students to color OR design themselves, check out my 

Color Create Motivate pages 

at TpT  HERE

Have a lovely day friends!

- Mel x

One Page Number Crafts

A number version of my one page crafts has been made by request and added to my TpT store. These fun activities will help you engage your students in a creative activity that will look amazing on your bulletin boards!

A'one page craft' is easy to prep - you will simply copy one page per student to complete the crafts. 

Students color or paint their page before cutting and assembling their craft. Each craft will differ slightly in assembly procedures. 

As an optional extension to the craft or art lesson I have included a bonus collection of coordinating 'handwriting papers' so you can ask your students to complete some practice of numeral formation, number word writing and sentence writing. Along with the words to trace, students will trace a simple picture to match each craft.

The pack includes:

0. Zero is my Hero
1. One Has Fun Clown
2. Two Wears Shoes
3. Three at Sea
4. Open the Door Four
5. Five in a Hive 
7. Fix the Six
8. Eight is a Gate

9. Nine Likes to Dine 
10. Ten in a Den

Find this creative pack in my TpT store HERE and if you like the idea of building your collection of high quality and low prep craft activities - pop over here to see Pack #1

Have a wonderful day friends, thanks for stopping by!