Friday, 18 April 2014

Math Game Monday is Coming Back Soon!

Math Game Monday has had a revamp and is ready to come back!

Look out for our new game to go live on Easter Monday!

Thanks to Mel at Graphics From the Pond for designing the new button!

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Rocket Block Names

Another quick share of an idea from the last few months! (I did get behind with my blogging, I will be much better during Term 2!

A lot of our beginning of the year activities were to do with the children's names, learning each other's names and making new friends. Many of the children in my class had come from different kindergartens and didn't know each other - we have had a real focus on THEM!

During R week, we made Rocket Block Names. First we graphed the number of letters in our name. This is how I make graphs with younger children (this is not the right graph but you can get the idea).  I have a picture of each student printed out, laminated and with a magnet on the back.
Then we wrote one letter on each piece of paper and made ourselves a rocket! 
 They looked great in our classroom on display!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

April Currently

It's April, it's April!

I am linking up with Farley for another of her currently's!
This months...

I am home with Mum and Dad and Dad is watching (sleeping through) the Australian Swimming Trials for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

R and I get married this weekend - yay! So I took a week off for Long Service Leave to get myself organised and ready to go so I am loving that I get a total of 3 weeks off school!

My friends and family are all arriving during the week - I am very excited to be seeing everyone!

I do need a good night sleep - I need to actually be able to sleep in past 6am, that would be nice!

I get to school early and usually leave around 5pm - depending on meetings. The kids are at school from 8.45am until 3.20pm - very different to Farley (I couldn't do a 7.30 start with the kids!) We are calendar year in Australia so we finish just before Christmas!


Monday, 31 March 2014

Early Maths Ideas

It's starting to cool down, the rain is falling more often and the leaves will soon start to change colour... autumn is here - yay! I think it is my favourite season - love the colours!

The last 9 weeks have been incredibly busy with teaching a new year level and our upcoming wedding this weekend! I have the week to get myself organised, to my hometown and visit with family before the wedding!

But, before I get into full wedding mode, I thought I would share a few pictures of some maths activities we have done the last few weeks!

Brainstorming each number each week! The importance of a tens frame is discussed each week as well as clock times. After 9 weeks of school, my prep (kindergarten) class are able to tell the time to the hour. 

Practising number formation on a whiteboard - children love it, just means I have to take photos to record what they know!

Using dyed pasta for pattern making. I simply soaked the pasta in coloured water for 10 minutes then dried the pasta out. 

Making numbers and representations with play dough! Any activity with play dough is a winner with my class!

I hope you got a new idea to use with your classroom!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Swap, Share, Give: A blog linky from Down Under

I have linked up with Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep as part of her Swap, Share and Give linky! So here it is!
My product swap was with the wonderful Mel from Top Notch Teaching. Mel is based in Perth, Australia and is a Teacher and Learning Specialist. I jumped at the chance to review her pack "Digraph {sh} Activities, Games and Worksheets" knowing that some of my kiddies are going to need this very soon!
This pack is a total of 26 pages, including a little bit of everything to help children understand the digraph "sh". To start with, there are full instruction and then wordlists - like this one!
 Then some flashcards with some super cute graphics! Each flashcard has the "sh" in a different colour to the rest of the word. Here are my flashcards being laminated!
Here are some little snapshots of the worksheets included - there are a total of 11 pages!
Cut and Match
 Un-Jumble the Words
Word Triangles
Jumbled Sentences
The last thing in this great pack is the set of 6 Bingo cards. Perfect for small group work. What I love about this bingo is there are two different ways to play it. You can either a call out the matching cards, or call out the "Who Am I" cards. I love this little challenge for the students and the extra thinking they would need to do to play bingo! The "Who Am I" cards also have another use, use them with the matching cards! Here are my resources ready to use! 

I can see myself definitely using this pack and heading back to Mel's stores to buy the other packs too!

Next I would like to share a new freebie with you!
I have been using these number peg strips since the start of the school year! Each child has a number strip and a peg and sit on the floor ready to listen! I call out numbers and the children move the peg to the number I have called out. Soon I am going to introduce them to the 0 to 20 strips as well as add in some addition and subtraction problems. Great for fine motor skills and number practise!

Download the file here at Teachers Pay Teachers
Lastly, head on back to Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep and visit all the other blogs that have linked up and visit each blog. Then enter the giveaway to receive each product reviewed as part of the Product Swap. Sounds great doesn't it!

Spring Cleaning Time!

Is your Teachers Pay Teachers Wish Lists looking a bit full? Time for some Spring Cleaning! Head on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store to get 20% off everything until the end of March!
I know I will be heading in to check out some things I have put on my wish list!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Sticker Fun!

Do you have lots of little stickers that you have bought in packs and never used. I did, probably over a thousand stickers! Last week, we traced over the word little using "little stickers". I must tell you, that if you want the children to work independently and do some individual testing, then this is your activity. They were the most focused for the longest time I have seen so far! 

We are learning sight words and I am trying to come up with a way to teach the children the word, while combining fine motor skills! 
I cut the stickers up into little sheets and put them in the middle of the table for the children to share. 
Finished product! They were very particular! My ASD student even separated each letter into a different picture on the sticker and went searching around the room to find the sticker he needed.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you a great idea a student of mine had when we were looking at Ii. He froze water to make ice, then put an "i" on it using material, then more ice on top. Plus it was made in an ice-cream container! Very creative parents! We watched the the ice melt across the day!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

LOVE Packages #3

Today I have my last lot of Blake Education books to share with you – and I wanted to say that I left the best until last, but I loved all the books!

I have been very excited to share these Steve Parish Kids Story Books with you. I remember reading my first Steve Parish book when I was at Primary School, the photos are always amazing! He really is the David Attenborough of photos - AMAZING! The author Rebecca Johnson is a part time teacher and part time writer and has turned concepts children need to learn into a story book format – LOVE!

Each book takes the children on an adventure with the insect, teaching the children along the way. A perfect addition to any mini-beast topic lessons or for reading just for fun!

Cassie the caterpillar takes children through the life-cycle of a butterfly. Stella the Silkworm not only shares a story about a silk worm and it’s importance to us, but also the life-cycle of the silk worm. There are lots of other titles too!

There is a total of 10 books in this set and they are very reasonably priced! At the moment they are up to 30% off plus a free Steve Parish book! I strongly recommend your year level or library getting a copy of these books – they would also be great for guided reading! See here for more details.

Monday, 24 March 2014

LOVE Packages #2

Here is my 2nd review of the Maths Centres Books, this time Year 3. I was teaching Year 3/4 last school year so this one is not too much of a stretch for me! I actually organised with one of our Year 1/2 teachers who was looking at ideas for extending her children who needed a challenge to try out this activity.
Included are 10 full-colour centres that cover important Maths skills. There are instructions on how to put the centres together, but basically it is rip out (as I said yesterday, I love the ease of taking the pages out), laminate and cut, then put into a pocket folder to keep organised and safe!
Topics included in the Year 3 books are:
-       Number patterns
-       Numbers to thousands
-       Fractions (love this activity!)
-       Multiplication and Division
-       Which operation?
-       Time
-       Length (conversions – love!)
-       Graphs (love)

As with the Foundation level book, I love that this book is again easy on the pocket – no need for photocopying and printing. If you choose to use the follow up worksheets (included), that is the only printing you will do!

Here are some photos of a centre I put together – there are more pages included in the book (such as the answer key) but I decided just to use the student cards.

These activities are perfect for centre activities but also for early finishes. Everything is included, including instructions, so children should simply be able to pick up the folder and use it!

You can purchase your own copy here. Blake Education has some wonderful other resources too – you must check them out!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

LOVE Packages!

How excited are you to receive packages in the mail? I have been ordering lots of things for the wedding over the last few months (2 weeks to go!) and with a change in year levels there has been plenty of school things coming in the mail too!

I recently received not one, but two Maths Centers books from Blake Education (very lucky) and 10 Steve Parish books. I want to show you all about them, so I am going to blog over the next few days about each book!
Today I am going to start by showing you all about the Maths Centers for Foundation. Firstly, this book is the Australian Curriculum Edition so it is current for schools right now! Back in 2006 when I taught Grade 4, I remember buying the literacy literacy centres and using them all the time – these are the maths ones!
Included are 10 full-colour centres that cover important Maths skills. There are instructions on how to put the centres together, but basically it is rip out (I love the little perforations so I don’t have to colour photocopy), laminate and cut, then put into a manila folder or pocket folder. EASY!
Here are some photos of some centres I put together ready to use!

The little pieces also have the name of the activity on the back – very handy for when pieces get misplaced!

I love that everything is included, the centre and a worksheet to check and see if the children are learning!

Here are the topics covered in this book:
-       Count to 20
-       Count to 100
-       Counting sets
-       More or less
-       Addition
-       Clocks
-       Shapes
-       Length

Do you want your own copy of this fabulous resource? You really can’t go past 10 centres, full colour, full instructions and consolidating worksheet. You can find out more information here. While you are visiting Blake Education, I also recommend checking out Bev Dunbar’s Exploring Maths Books – we have been using mine to help with our weekly planning each week! While I love online resources, sometimes it is nice just to read a book and not have to make constant trips to the store to get more ink cartridges! This book is very easy on the pocket!


Have you got an area of Maths you aren't really sure how to teach? Email me ( today and I will email back some engaging and purposeful ideas!