Black Cat Screen Wallpaper

I added some sweet little black cats for Halloween to my teacher home office today! On my screen wallpaper. I also changed by banner and switched back to my dollhouse pencil storage.

Serious priorities folks.

I love having changeable accents within my home office to help create a space where I am relaxed and focused but also invigorated and inspired.

I'm so happy to be able to share this new screensaver with you. 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!

The black cat design this week is fun and whimsical and will make me smile when I pop the computer on. I have similar cats as clipart over in my TpT store if you'd like them.

Find the Computer Wallpaper HERE
and the Phone Wallpaper 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 catch the last few special moments of Sunday with my family!

Have a lovely day sweet friends.

- Mel x

Pumpkin Paper Weaving Craft

We made a funny little pumpkin paper craft today! I'd love to share it with you. It is a simple, one-page-prep and you will also need:

Free Pumpkin Halloween Craft
  • crayons or pencils
  • scissors
  • glue
  • black paper scrap strips
Prior to your craft session, cut slits in the pumpkin along the lines provided.

Free Pumpkin Halloween Craft

Assist your students in weaving the paper strips through the slits you have prepared - over under, over, under..

I prefer to teach children to do all the weaving first and then secure the ends, however you may prefer to do the alternative of securing and trimming the edges after each row. 

Free Pumpkin Halloween Craft

Certainly for 'new weavers' securing each piece may help ease the frustration levels that often accompany weaving.

And voila! Funny toothy little pumpkin friend! 

Free Pumpkin Halloween Craft

Although paper weaving can be something that requires extra help {and patience} in the early years classroom, I cannot emphasise enough how important the 'over, under, over, under, over, under....' pattern and skill can help many other areas of their development - {so scientific proof, I've just observed it}.

Give your little learners plenty of opportunity to develop this skill - it is also a perfect opportunity to also develop positive growth mindset habits. Children will often tell themselves it is 'too hard'. Keep telling them they can do it! The smile on their face when the skill finally kicks in, will be worth all the teeth clenching patience!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Find the pumpkin template in google drive, HERE

Bat Coloring Page

I drew some bat kids this week and have turned them into clipart for my TpT store.

I've also made a coloring page for your kiddos of a little bat kid hanging on a branch.

Find it in Google Drive HERE

Thanks so much for stopping by friends, have a lovely day!

- Mel x

Ordinal Number Activities

Math Pack 14 has been added to my TpT store. Math Packs include 5 printable, original and engaging activities that are sequenced to support a week of targeted learning.

This edition will complement a unit of work on using ordinal numbers to refer to the position of items. There is a focus on position of numbers, rather than quantity.

Some tips for teaching ordinals:
  • make sure students can use the language of ordinal numbers before learning the symbols
  • an ordinal number refers to one object in a  position, not to a quantity - as regular counting - so make this explicit
  • let the children have plenty of 'acting out' and race type play where they can experience the positioning of objects

Using the activities in my math pack, students will gain practice in sequencing events/pictures, identifying ordinal number names, identifying ordinal number symbols, matching ordinal number names and symbols and labelling ordinal numbers.

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

The activities included in this bundle are:


Lining Up
Students will match ordinal names to a sequence of events.

Race Time
Students will match ordinal number names to their ordinal symbols.

On the Bus
Students will match ordinal number names to their ordinal symbols and words.

Kids Bingo
Students will match ordinal number names to their ordinal symbols and words.

Students will order ordinal symbols without visual reference.

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.

You can find this pack as an individual listing in my TpT store 

or included in a big growing bundle!

Thanks so much for stopping by - have a fantastic day.

- Mel x

Scrappy Heart Screensaver

I added some sweet scrappy love to my teacher home office today! 

Hearts, hearts, hearts - give me all the hearts! I love adding pretty little accents to my home office to help create a space where I am relaxed and focused.

I'd love to share this new screensaver with you. 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 delight in my freshly updated space and get creative!

Have a lovely day sweet friends.

- Mel x

The Sentence Maker

I blogged earlier this week about our pumpkin writing. I thought I'd show you a little activity you can use to extend on those ideas in your classroom and incorporate into your early writing routines. 

Use our sentence maker to learn to write

The Sentence Maker can become a central mini focus of your week and you can use it to incorporate teaching early reading and writing strategies and specific content like sight words, punctuation and letter sounds.

I have an early blog post that also describes a Sentence Maker - it's simply a piece of timber with some grooves cut down in the top. I couldn't find anything to buy so I had my dad make it for me - it cost about $2.50. 

 Use it for your beginning guided and modelled writing lessons. Model with whole words rather than sounds - although you can begin to incorporate phonics work as time goes on.

Create a sentence (cut up a sentence you have written on a sentence strip) on the stick each week for your class to work on. Have it displayed throughout the week so you can reference it and create short mini lessons whenever you have a moment. The kids will also love to come out and 'play teacher' and this will further assist their development.

 As the year progresses your collection of cards will grow as you make new sentences - keep the cards you create in a alphabetised index box to use again and again.

You can use a set of prepared word cards if you would prefer - however to model the writing process in a more natural way - use hand written cards that you prepare in front of the students. Keep the typed cards for when you are modelling how to access prepared text - i.e. purely reading skills.

In your little mini lesson you can model things like:
  • left to write progression
  • spaces between words
  • words vs letters
  • sentences being a collection of words that are separate
  • starting star (to mark left to right reading)
  • punctuation
  • word order

A great idea is to have it mixed up on certain days -get a student to come out the front and put it in the correct order. Model how reading needs to make sense and we monitor what we read.

Once you repeat this lesson structure a few times you can use it as a staple in your routine and you will naturally start to be innovative and create your own little mini lessons that fit perfectly with your students' needs.

You might get a student to write their own story as a model for the class - cut it up, pop it into the sentence maker and work with it together. 

As you look at punctuation in more depth you can cut those off to become separate cards and talk about how they influence the words. Swapping a period for a question mark for example can be quite significant learning for students. 

As your week progresses, you can start to introduce new words and demonstrate how we can make a new sentence simply by replacing the word and keeping the same basic sentence structure.

Here is one we did today, replacing one word at a time:

We arrived at a totally new sentence - The spider is black.

Have a stack of sentence strips or cards that you can easily cut up, at your fingertips so that you can make new sentences quickly and show students how easy it is to become a writer!

Where are we headed next? I think in a few days time I will switch the word out and show Sam how we can make 'Is the pumpkin orange?' - which will enable me to talk about capital letters and the question mark.

My Sentence Maker worksheets will support this hands-on work in your classroom and can be found over in my TpT store.

And the spider Sam created after we wrote our final sentence is from this packet:

Thanks for stopping by friends, have a wonderful weekend! 

- Mel x

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