Awesome Aussie Giveaway + Snapshot Sunday

The lovely Brooke, from Teachable Moments, is hosting an all-Aussie giveaway this week. I’m super-excited about this giveaway, not only because it’s the first time I’ve had something included in a giveaway, but also because all the contributors are Aussies, too!

Stop by and enter the giveaway and meet some fantastic new Aussie teachers! There’s 13 Aussie teachers contributing prizes, with a total of over $70 worth of items! Just click on the above banner, created by the ever-talented Mel @ From the Pond!

And, along the Australian teacher lines, Alison from Teaching Maths with Meaning has started a Pinterest group for teaching products created by Aussie teachers. It’s called Downloads from Down Under (I may or may not have had some name input!) and we’d love for people to keep an eye on it!

Now for Snapshot Sunday!

Before classroom clean-up

(Why, yes, I have been playing with the panorama function on my iPhone…!)

I went into school on Friday to pack up the mess I made earlier in the week while attempting to organise my classroom (you need to make a mess to clean up) before my students start back on Monday. This is the before shot.

Now for some specific area photos. I’m so jealous of people with big classrooms, with lots of shelves and storage, but I make do!

My books. Lots and lots and lots of books. I’ve tried to order them as best I can, mostly in themes that my students enjoy. In particular, at the moment, they love Pete the Cat, anything written by Nick Bland and my comic books collection (especially books with 3D components). And yes, there is a pile of books sitting on the floor. I’m so ashamed… but I’m completely running out of room!

These are the computers in my classroom (my students have access to 4 more in a pod just outside our room). Plus, you can see our blog rules and quality comments posters – we’re big on blogging. My Grade 1s love to type up their own comments and share them on the blog, and even a few of the Preps are getting the hang of it, too!

We did some work on Time at the end of the term, and these are the beautiful clocks that my Preps/Grade 1s made. We learnt lots about o’clock and half-past times and all my students are well on their way to being able to read a clock on their own. We’ll do more work on it later this term.

We use a sight-word program loosely based on the Magic 100 Words (M100W) program, so we have all 200 high frequency words on display for easy reference. We also have a rack of our class-made books. And, now that we’re moving well in to Spring (and I refuse to turn on the heater!) we can use it as a big magnetic letter board.

My whiteboard!

Our floor area, IWB, work books and assorted other bits and pieces. Yes, that is a giant kiwi fruit toy AND a koala pillow pet. Badly hidden behind my mini-whiteboard is a bookshelf stocked with Numeracy resources, games and art supplies. (I’ll admit, it’s not really fit for photographs!)

And, after I attacked my classroom, pulled down old work from the back wall and put things away, my classroom is ready for the start of a new term:

What fun things do you have planned for your week?

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Do you ‘Pin?’

A short while ago, Bec posted about Pinterest, which really reminded me that I’ve been meaning to do my own Pinterest post for quite a while. I can honestly say this website has changed the way I approach planning for my class.

Pinterest is an online, visual-bookmarking website that allows you to save images that you find all over the net to folders – called Pinboards – for future reference. So far, there’s been no limit to how many Pinboards you can have (and believe me, I’ve been testing this premise!),

Bec mentioned in her post that she’s constantly finding new ideas to use in her classroom, as a teacher. I completely agree with that statement, because there is a wealth of great ideas out there.

The Pinboards

I started out with some generic pinboards, such as Literacy and Numeracy. I’ve since gone back and revised this strategy, simply because I’ve put SO much content up on my pinboards. Now I’ve broken Literacy and Numeracy into specific areas, such as Literacy – ABC & Phonics or Literacy – Sight Words. This has allowed me to re-find things a little bit quicker when planning. I currently have 104 boards running (and no, they’re not all teaching boards!), and they tend to match my desktop folder tree for teaching resources.

How has it changed my teaching and planning?

It’s actually done it alongside my blogging. Every day I’m reading between 80-150 new blog posts from teachers all over the world, sharing the things that they’re doing in their classroom. From them I’ve become inspired and ‘pin’ their ideas to my boards, and then I follow them on Pinterest and find out what inspires them. And the process continues.

How to pin

Pinterest has a ‘Pin It’ bookmarklet that you can install in your browser, which is useful if you come across something in your online travels – you can pin it quickly and easily to one of your boards. You can install the iPhone app and take photos with your camera and upload them directly to Pinterest.

Pinterest has a great step-by-step guide for using their website for those who haven’t had a go yet.

Be warned, it’s highly addictive!

Great People to Follow

Bec Spink

Alex F

Down Under Teacher

Kathleen Morris

Little Miss Kindergarten

Teaching Blog Addict

Jessica Meacham

A Teacher’s Treasure

Hadar Maor

Follow Me on Pinterest

Ideas to Inspire

Here are a few screenshots of the most recent additions to some of my boards.

Do you use Pinterest? How do you use it?

What inspires you?