Elf on the (Classroom) Shelf!

 

 

Hello, friends!

 

It’s been way too long. The last few months have been very hectic and the end of the school year is fast approaching here in Australia. Friday is our last day and after our Summer break I’ll return to a brand new group of Foundation students.

But, it’s December, and that means the Elf on the Shelf is back and up to mischief.

In November my students wrote to Elfina (who has quite the reputation now) to see if she would visit for a third year.

Lo and behold, on the 1st day of December, look who turned up:

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She made special books for the kids…

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Someone needs to buy Elfina some skydiving lessons… she always lands on the fan and gets stuck…

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We had a new elf visit for the day. Buddy was travelling between houses and spent some time checking up on us for the day.ElfontheShelf2015_04

 

Efina and Toby hung out reading Christmas books today.ElfontheShelf2015_05

 

Elfina’s friend from one of the Grade 1 classrooms, Mr. Magic, returned our Pigeon… and a bus!ElfontheShelf2015_06

 

Today was a chilled out day in the stockings. The kiddos were greatly relieved she wasn’t in the day’s stocking.ElfontheShelf2015_07

 

Every year Elfina has a marshmallow fight with Hush. Round Three. Not sure who won…ElfontheShelf2015_08

 

 

Do YOU want to build a snowman?
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Elfina and Mr. Magic had some fun with the photocopier. These are two cheeky elves!

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Check out Elfina and Mr. Magic’s other adventures on Instagram, and let me know if you’re doing Elf on the Shelf, too. I love seeing other people’s ideas!

Happy Sunday!

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Five for Friday | October 30th

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This week in maths we’ve been learning about sharing and fractions. We used play dough and lots of IWB activities to model halves and quarters.

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#2

This week I pulled out my Halloween decorations to decorate the front hall at home. I love Halloween!

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Set-up my annual classroom spiderweb on the floor. It’s a novelty, what can I say?!

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Special treats for the kiddos. Decorated mandarins and some stickers in a cute little bag.

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Today we decorated two pumpkins. For many kids it was the first time they’ve ever touched the insides of the pumpkin, too (which is always hilarious). One bat, one witch.

We also learnt about adjectives and described the inside and outside of the pumpkin.

So proud of the kiddos. They did an awesome job!

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Term 4, No Chore! | Greet Your New Class

11233799_410623752469019_7156324090602102368_oHere in Australia we’ve just started our last term of the year.

That means, soon we’ll be saying good bye to the beautiful students we’ve been teaching all year long.

It also means that we’ll be meeting and greeting our new grades for 2016, too, which is always a very exciting time, too. But it does involve a bit of organising!

I teach Foundation – the entry year to school, sometimes called Prep or Kinder – and next week we start our Transition Program for 2016. That means students enrolled for next year come for five 1-2 hour sessions where they become familiar with our school and surroundings, they meet the current Foundation teachers, and their buddies (a Grade 5 or 6 student who will help look after them) for the following year.

It’s a really wonderful program that I’ve had the privilege of participating in for the last 5 (soon to be 6) years.

At the culmination of this program, the fifth session is where incoming students get to meet their teacher for the very first time.

It’s only a short time, but it’s special. Students get a special show bag with simple, fun activities for the holidays and walk away knowing who’s going to be teaching them and what their classroom looks like.

But, do I leave it there? No way!

My special treat for meet the teacher is to give each student a special little badge to let them know that they’re part of my class. (Because, we’re going to be an awesome, class, right?!)

All it takes is some colour, a fun graphic and a bit of text:

Slide1These are my badges for the last two years. I just print them off, laminate them, cut them out, punch a hole and attach a safety pin. Every child gets one, and the whole class walks out knowing their part of my class. It’s a lovely way to foster community even before students ‘officially’ start school!

(Also, this is handy for new families to spot students who are in their child’s class so they can approach other parents and network. Bonus!)

I’m in the process of designing my badge for this year, but if you’re interested, I’ll share it with you later!

Don’t forget to check out the link-up and all the other fab ideas, tips and tricks for term 4! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram, too, for more ideas!

I’d also love for you to share YOUR tips and tricks in the comments, too!

Until next time friends, happy teaching!

 

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Five for Friday (Sept 25th)

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I’m on Term 3 holidays at the moment here in Melbourne, and that’s meant sleep-ins and doing general computer work in bed (because hey, I can, right?!). It also means puppy cuddles. Clearly Benny does not like me working on the computer and this is his way of reminding me that he’s clearly cuter!

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I made a trip to the local art store AND THEY HAD HALLOWEEN STUFF! *cough*
(Sorry about that. I just can’t help myself! I’m that crazy Australian Halloween fan. It’s just my holiday!)

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#3

I got conned into having a hit of tennis the other day. I’ve not hit a tennis ball with a tennis racquet in at least 10 years. (And no, I was no magically still good at it!)

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Mum made these today. Suffice to say, they did not last long.

Plus, she didn’t like the hot pink icing, whereas, I? LOVED it!

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#5

Got out some paint today and just had a play. Hot pinks and oranges and blacks, oh my!

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That is a snippet of my week. If you’re curious to find out more of the goings on in my life this month, I’ve been blogging every day on my crafty blog the Noveltea Corner as part of Blog-tember. There’s been a lot of fun things going on!

Until next time, my friends, have a fabulous Friday!

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Five for Friday, September 18

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I’ve been working on designing some journaling cards for my Project Life projects using digital stamps by Kellie Stamps.

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Some fun happy mail arrived, in the form of traveller’s notebook inserts from HelloTodayCreate.

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Wednesday and Thursday were our school concert notes. Even the teachers had a number. We were minions. I looked ridiculous. I guess that was the point. 😛

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The star prop of our concert – a full size TARDIS. Hoping the school doesn’t get rid of it. No other school in our area can (currently) claim to have a Time Machine, right?! (Plus, I want to turn it into a fun reading nook for the kiddos.)

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#5

It was my birthday on Thursday. I’ve had lots of lovely birthday wishes and I treasure each one. However, between work and concert I don’t actually think I celebrated my birthday and by Friday I really didn’t feel like it either. It’s been kind of a non-event.

But there was cheesecake with Mum and Dad at about 11pm on the day. That’s gotta count for something, right?!

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Five For Friday | September 11

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#1

If you follow me on Instagram (or over at The Noveltea Corner) you may know that I’m on the Design Team for the very lovely Anna Brim (aka Mrs Brimbles) and I received my very first box of goodies from her to play with which is amazing. This is a sneak peek. I’ll be uploading an unboxing video this weekend of what else is inside.

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#2

I checked on my class veggie patch this week. Looking good!

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#3

This week I’ve been playing with some  of my favourite stationary bits and pieces!

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#4

Yesterday was R U Ok? Day. No matter who you are, wherever you are in the world, know that I’m happy you’re around! ❤

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Next week is our school concert (over Wed/Thurs night). I’m currently brain dread. BUT. I do love our major prop for the whole night! THE TARDIS! (And yes, it lights up!)

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The Jungle Bully (R.I.C.)

Slide1Welcome to part 3 of my review for R.I.C. Publications! If you haven’t already, check out my reviews of some of their English and Maths resources.

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The last item I have for review, is the textless big book The Jungle Bully ($29.95). This book is A3 in size (see below for comparison with an A4 book).

IMG_4602This beautifully illustrated book deals with the topic of bullying, and how those situations can be dealt with and resolved, all through oral discussion about what is happening in the illustrations.

The following narrative description is taken from R.I.C.’s page:

A small monkey is bullied by other monkeys in his community and, feeling sad, runs away to be by himself. Seeing a group of happy animals, he decides to take his frustrations out on a harmless gorilla, and does this while the gorilla’s friends are distracted or sleeping. Although much bigger than the monkey, the gorilla doesn’t retaliate; but rather than remain silent, he finds his friends and tells them what happened to him. The animals decide to confront the monkey and talk about what he did to their friend.

The monkey, now realising the gorilla has a support network, appears worried about what they will do to him. The animals give the monkey a chance to tell his side of the story and are saddened by what they hear. The gorilla and monkey are left to discuss how they can move forward and how the gorilla and his friends can support the monkey.

They come up with a plan where all the animals can work together so they can all enjoy the jungle and keep the monkey safe.

IMG_4603I love using wordless texts with students, because not only does it reinforce the practise of using/paying close attention to the illustrations, but also because it allows students the opportunity to make their own meaning rather than purely being influenced by the words the author has chosen.

IMG_4604At the back of the book, you can find extensive teacher notes, or you can download them from R.I.C.’s website, too. These notes have extensive questions for discussion with students, ordered by page so you can tailor the depth of your book discussion to the needs of your class.

IMG_4619You can also download printable masks in black and white and colour (I printed the BLM ones) for use with the class. This provides plenty of opportunities for role-playing to build the connections established through the storytelling process.

I think this would be a great book to add to any school’s collection of student well-being resources – no matter where you are in the world – because it deals with a topic that students really struggle with. Discussing it through the medium of a story can make it very accessible even to young learners.

Thanks so much to R.I.C. Publications for the wonderful opportunity to review all of these fabulous resources. Don’t forget to check out their website, and my reviews of their English and Maths resources.

Happy weekend, friends!

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R.I.C. Maths Resources

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Last weekend I shared with you a review of R.I.C.‘s new Australian Curriculum-linked English resources. This weekend I have the 2nd and 3rd parts of the review, starting with this review of some of their recent Maths resource releases, and I can’t wait to get started!

IMG_4606First up I want to look at the New Wave Mental Maths A book ($11.95). There are 7 books and a teacher resource book in this series, so there’s something for all year levels. You can download some sample pages from the R.I.C. website here by clicking on the Book A link.

Because Book A is aimed at 5-6 year olds, it’s a scrapbook size book (see below, compared to an A4 resource book) and slightly larger. It also has coloured pages and the best way to use it would be to have one book per student.

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As a daily maths activity, students can track the tasks they complete at the front of their books.
IMG_4608Activities are organised by Week # and Day of the Week, with each weekday having between 4-5 different mental math activities to complete.

IMG_4609 These books would be great for students to use first thing in the morning (as morning work) or as an early finishers task during math lessons. Alternatively, if you run math rotations, it could be one of the activities during the rotations.

I really like the variety of questions and the visuals and visual prompts students are given which will eventually aid in them being able to complete most tasks independently.

IMG_4611Next up is the Number and Algebra Foundation book ($6.95/$7.95). Again, this book series goes all the way up to Year 6.

Like the Mental Maths book, this book is a colour resource and as the title would suggest, focuses on the Number and Algebra strand of the Australian Curriculum.

The Foundation book has two sections: Number and Place Value and Patterns and Algebra as per the curriculum. The bulk of the Foundation book focuses on Number and Place Value, and the sections are marked by colours – blue for Number and Place Value and pink for Patterns and Algebra (see below).

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IMG_4614Wearing my Foundation teacher hat, the layout of this is wonderful because it’s clean, simple, and very easy to read. The text and images are large enough for the little learners in my class to have room to work on the activities.

IMG_4615The final maths resource book that R.I.C. sent me to review was the Year 1-2 Fractions Book ($32.95).

I was really excited to get a peek at this book because even though I’m not currently teaching in a Year 1 or 2 classroom, fractions are one of my favourite maths topics to teach, especially over the last 3 years when I had my Prep/1 class.

IMG_4616The book itself is broken in to two sections – Year 1 and Year 2.

Within those sections, there are teacher notes, warm-ups, resources, BLMS, assessments, checklists and answers – everything a teacher might need to keep track of student learning and progress.

Most of you know I’m a firm believer in hands-on learning (especially in maths) but having access to a collection of high quality resources such as the ones found in this book do make it easier to collect student understanding, because we do still need to collect evidence and these can form one aspect of that evidence.

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IMG_4618These are perfect for copying for your class – whether as a whole group, small group, or even using the activities included (enlarging them) and completing them as part of your focus or summing up activities.

Like all the reproducible books produced by R.I.C. the layouts are clean, free from any unnecessary distraction with all activities being relevant to the topic.

 

I’m looking forward to using these resources in the classroom, so a huge thanks to R.I.C. for the opportunity to do so!

Don’t forget to check out my review of their English resources and stay tuned tomorrow for a review of their new anti-bullying Big Book! Also, head on over to R.I.C. Publications to check out more of their wonderful resources!

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Five for Friday (August 14, 2015)

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Happy Friday, friends! Here’s this week’s random five things!

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Since when did Kit-Kat start putting stuff on their packaging?! (Doesn’t matter, both of these breaks perfectly suit me!) Also, tea in a double-wall glass tumbler = perfection.

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#2

Total geek moment – found a Batgirl hoodie and couldn’t pass it up!

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#3

Pinterest inspired art. (Need to track down the original link.) We did these with the kiddos during Investigations and now have a MASSIVE display all around our central/shared space. These are my more mini-versions done at home!

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This appeared in the staffroom at lunch one day. No idea why!

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#5

The sky as I left work yesterday. So pretty!

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