Whale Wallpaper

Kat, one of our darling followers over on Instagram requested that I draw a whale. I was delighted to. You may have seen the initial sketches I made over on Instagram. I have added a coloring page of our whale friend over in the Coloring Club and also made a screen wallpaper for you too.

We 'd love to share this fun new design with you, for your home and classroom electronic boards, iPads, computers and phones.

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}

Thank you so much for visiting us here on the blog. Have a lovely week!

Ten Frames and Monsters!

Combine a fun monster theme with maths using ten frames for addition!

Ten Frames 

  • support students in multiple content areas of mathematics
  • help move students from an emergent understanding of joining two groups to a more structured and coordinated process for addition
  • help students visualize the 'turnaround' strategy and bridging

Make learning fun

Playing games with ten frames makes math so much more fun!

Our monster themed ten frame addition packet includes 4 activities to help you introduce and/or reinforce addition within ten.
  • Monster Teeth will require students to pin the answer to a problem that they can read as an algorithm and also visualize using the ten frame monster. 
  • Add More Monster will require students to draw more teeth to complete the card and find the total. 

  • The worksheet packet includes 10 worksheets that will help your students draw and solve addition on a ten frame. Loads of practice will give them time to process the strategies. 

  • My Monster's Teeth Mathtivity will allow your creative learners to create and display their understanding of addition on the ten frame. They make the classroom so happy and engaging too! Win-win!

Head over to TpT to find this bundle, we are confident it will provide you with fun engaging activities for your lessons this week!

Monster Chef

Read Aloud For Halloween Monster Chef

Monster Chef (Amazon affiliate link) is a fun children's book about Marcel, the monster who isn't scary. He has crotchety horns and googly eyes. He is lumpy and grumpy and suitably hairy! Sam and I read this together several times this week.

Words, words, words

The thing I noticed most, beyond the alluring illustrations (they seriously draw you inward towards the page).. was the author's word choice. The book provides a great opportunity to analyse how to write clear vivid descriptions while keeping a nice flow and pace through the text.

We noted that there are:
  • vivid descriptions 'He made earthworm spaghetti and hot cactus pies, with smelly-sock soup and a cockroach surprise.' 
  • rhyming text
  • varied sentence types and length
  • interesting (but not too-tricky) words that encourage a deeper understanding of how the action progresses through the story - flicked, crossed, stirred, poured, plucked, sizzled, fried, boiled, crawling, hot, smelly, bite, lurk, climbed, rode, hopped, screamed, ran, fright, horrified, terrified, pride, delight, snarling, snorting.....  Write these up on a chart. Identify verbs, adverbs, and adjectives.
Monster Chef Book

Also note with students - Marcel certainly has monster-like features, but we are told with text evidence, that he is not scary. How has the author created this scenario? Make a list with your students of how the author convinced us, in illustration and words, that he 'just wasn't scary'.

What would it take to make him scary if this was a different version of the book? Ask the students to imagine how as an author they would do this.


Monster Chef features stunning illustrations, serving up detailed interesting scenes on every page turn through the book. A simple but effective vocabulary activity to do with younger students would be a picture talk. Ask them to identify every single item they see on one of the pages. Ask contributors to point to something and name it. Build up with them, some noun groups - e.g. if a child identifies 'cockroaches' from the kitchen table illustration, encourage 'plate of cockroaches'. Write these noun groups down on a chart as you create them. Title the chart 'noun groups'.

Written Response

There are so many written response projects that could follow on from this story

  • procedural writing: how to be a scary monster
  • descriptive writing: describe your monster
  • opinion writing: monsters should be scary
  • report writing: scary monster caught last night
  • procedural writing: recipe for 'Beetle-shell Bake'

My Monster Descriptive Writing

We have a printable 'My Monster' descriptive writing packet that will make prepping a quality week of writing for your students fast and effective. It includes everything you need for a week of writing!

Monster Writing Pages

  • Monday - read, brainstorm, plan
  • Tuesday and Wednesday - draft
  • Thursday - edit + revise
  • Friday - publish
Print the prompts and papers to guide your students through the PLAN - DRAFT - EDIT - PUBLISH stages of writing.

Writing Pages For Third Grade

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Bright and Boo-tiful Monster Wallpaper

With Halloween fast approaching I thought a funny monster design for our screens would be just perfect. 

We 'd love to share this bright and happy new design with you, for your home and classroom electronic boards, iPads, computers and phones.

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}

Coordinating Printables

I've also added Funny Monsters, in print quality to the 'Banner and Paper' pack. This pack allows you to coordinate your home office or classroom elements with printable papers, folder covers and banner pennants.

Monster Directed Drawing

We're pretty sure if you love this screen wallpaper, you will love our Monster Directed Drawing Art Project too! Find it HERE

Thank you so much for visiting us here on the blog. Have a boo-tiful, happy week!

Funny Monster Directed Drawing

Turning directed drawings into art projects can be a wonderful way to support the planning of your next visual arts lesson. The directed drawing steps can give you various levels of support depending on your confidence in art. 

Have the students, for example
  • follow the steps exactly; 
  • watch as you demonstrate using the steps as an idea; 
  • follow the steps as a warm-up sketch; or
  • use the steps as inspiration for their own creative extension.

Today I want to share a 'funny monster' directed drawing project with you. Easily extend it to a more complex 'art project' by:
  • encouraging students to extend the picture by adding extra details
  • using art quality large paper
  • using paint, oil pastel or water colors
  • talking about the ideas, themes, shapes, lines and colors used at the end of the activity

The steps

1. Draw 3 little circles

2. Draw a half circle.

3. Draw an arch over the top.

4. Draw some teeth (a zig zag).

5. Draw 2 vertical lines down to the bottom edge to become a body. Draw some arms. 

6. Draw eyeballs and horns to finish!

Find the free printable

Simply find this free printable from Google Drive instantly - Funny Monster Directed Drawing and Writing Papers 
It includes the project in our unique 4 styles, which are repeated through every directed drawing printable we make. 

Classic Draw

Our classic directed drawing is in a style that has been used traditionally for drawing activities. It has the steps and drawing space provided on the same page for students to simply draw, with guidance.

Big Draw 

Big Draw is photographed here on our blog today and provides the steps on one page, and a page sized, bordered worksheet for students to create a large artwork. 

Draw and Write

We created Draw and Write after we had made a few packets in our series. It has a blank space for students to draw (using the separate page of steps) and a few lines to write a sentence or two. Great for early emergent writers. 

Read, Draw, Write 

With more room for writing, we created this style worksheet to encourage students to use a word bank to stimulate ideas for writing. They follow the directed steps to draw a picture and then write a sentence or two about their picture or the topic.

We are also very pleased to let you know that we added an additional drawing to our 'Monster Directed Drawing' printable pack on TpT. Hop over to grab the new pages!

We love bringing new drawing and creative projects to the blog so you can engage your little learners tomorrow! Enjoy your week and stay tuned for a few more 'monster' posts this week!

Cause and Effect with Dragon

We asked our newsletter email subscribers to give us the names of their favorite dragon books. Ohmyword, there are some amazing dragon books for children! We added several from the amazing response we had, to our home library. 

Dragon Post by Emma Yarlett was our favorite. The vibrant illustrations alone are enough to drool over, but the letter-reading format kept Sam engaged to the last page. The story begins with a little boy finding a dragon and hoping he could stay. 

The story unfolds with a series of scenarios that call into question, the suitability of having a dragon for a pet. The reader must open an envelope on every other page and read a letter that explores a new aspect of dragon-pet ownership in some way. 

The dragon setting fire to the house is the first potential issue to explore for our little boy and he writes to the fire brigade. The advice given is to dunk the dragon in water. 

Here, an opportunity to discuss cause and effect presents itself. Understanding cause and effect relationships will help our little readers strengthen their comprehension of texts - in particular the what and why of a story or event.

Dragon Post serves up more opportunities for a deep dive into cause and effect. The dragon is not a fan of jam sandwiches, he roars loudly, grows very quickly and disrupts the neighbours. Each of these situations has an effect. The story concludes with the most significant 'effect' of all - saying goodbye and separating - the cause being the acceptance that dragons do not make suitable pets.

I made some printables to help you introduce and explore cause and effect. Use them with this book or any other book - most will have a cause/effect aspect somewhere. Dragon Cause and Effect Posters and Worksheet

We hope you love this book as much as we did! Hop over to Instagram and DM me any other fabulous dragon books you have read. We also love The Different Dragon and The Night Dragon. I have a few more to share with you this week - hint, Sam is currently elbow deep in green paint and egg cartons - stay tuned!

Phonics fluency

Have you seen our Zoom Cards? Zoom Cards provide a very practical and easy way to prep a structure for your phonics fluency instruction for the entire year! Students can work at their own level, practice and self-monitor their assessment. 

Phonics Fluency Reading Cards
ccvc words
Each of the sequenced phonics cards is now provided in the original hand-sized format as well as a new page-sized versions, perfect for students who need large print. Why not also use the page sized cards for a whole-class fluency focus lesson? 

The cards are numbered from 1 to 34 will step learners through a sequenced set of letter sound patterns and words.

They include cards for
  • single sounds 
  • word families 
  • cvc words 
  • consonant blends 
  • ccvc words 
  • cvcc words 
  • consonant digraphs 
  • nasal 
Phonics Fluency Reading Cards Consonant Blends

Teachers who have used these cards have told us they are:
  • comprehensive; 
  • fast to prep ; 
  • easy to implement and maintain; 
  • engaging and independent; and 
  • sequenced and challenging
  • a weight off their mind that 'phonics' is being covered in their curriculum consistently
The cards are backline so you can copy them onto brightly coloured paper to add some interest. 

Give each student a small plastic pouch to keep their cards in. You can assess the students quickly on a Friday to determine if they are ready to move onto the next card. It is personal choice, but I would recommend aiming for 100% accuracy. 

Self Assessment Phonics Fluency Reading Cards
Students record their times and self-assess their progress.

Students have a card for the whole week and time themselves reading the sounds/words each night. They can record their best times and try to get faster as the week progresses. With 34 cards, there is enough to cover the whole year. 

Our printable Zoom Cards file can be found in our TpT store!

Phonics Fluency Reading Cards
New large page-sized cards are included in the pack.

We hope this system helps you think of ways you can master phonics fluency in your classroom and that this printable packet can support you in your pedagogy. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out - we are here to help!

Cute Classroom Posters Set 3

We have had such amazing feedback about our Cute Classroom Posters. Set 1 and 2 have provided you with the opportunity to decorate your classroom and motivate your little learners. Set 3 is ready!

Cute Posters For The Classroom

From the feedback we have been given, we know that you will love:
  • that they are kid-friendly;
  • being able to combine them with lessons in character education;
  • the option of a blackline version - especially for your little ones to color;
  • how many compliments you receive when you display them in your learning space;
  • the vibrant colors; and
  • the fun phrases!

Cute Posters For The Classroom

We have heard some wonderful creative uses for them too! People have:
  • put them in frames to display in bedrooms as well as classrooms;
  • printed them small (use multiple pages per sheet option) to use as 'brag tags';
  • popped them in colleague's mailboxes as a pick-me-up; and
  • used the blackline version to create a hallway displays.

Cute Posters For The Classroom

Here are some of our new favorites from Set 3:

Cute Posters For The Classroom

Cute Posters For The Classroom

Cute Posters For The Classroom

Cute Posters For The Classroom

Cute Posters For The Classroom

We would love to share an extra poster with you today, that is not in any of the current sets. 'Don't forget to be owlsome' is a lovely fun way to remind students this time of year to remember how special and unique they are and not to forget it!

Cute Posters For The Classroom

Included in the download is also a blackline version so you can save on ink and color yoru posters or turn it into a creative activity for your students. Find this free sample in google drive: Free Owl Classroom Poster and Coloring Page

Free Coloring Poster For The Classroom

Find the third set over at TpT ready and waiting for you!

Pond Coloring Club

We just added a new and very special space over on our website. Our Pond Coloring Club will be a dedicated member space for downloading our coloring pages. 

If you've followed me for a while, especially over on Instagram, you will know that I love to draw and I love to turn some of my drawings into coloring pages. For a few years I also shared many of my daily colored diary doodles. 

I've always shared my coloring pages here on the blog, however to serve you even better we have now created a dedicated space for them on the website. It is a place where the collection can be nurtured and grow. 

The best part is, it is FREE! Hop over now if you would love immediate access and stay tuned for more lovely printables coming to the collection very soon!