Wednesday, April 16, 2014

FarFaria and a giveaway!

Recently I was approach by the people at FarFaria to a reviewa great new reading app.

What is it? It is a fabulous app that is chock full of stories! 

It is divided into many lands. You can pick from places such as Animal Kingdom (full of animal stories), Adventure Island, and Mount Make Believe. You pick the one you are after and a range of different stories are available for you to read.
When you are presented the stories, you can choose to sort them by title, newest or even level, which is fantastic in the classroom :)

After it downloads a story, it gives you 3 options- Auto play, Read to Me and Read myself which is fantastic as students can listen to the story and then read the same text themselves.

FarFaria currently has 600 illustrated children books with 5 new books being added each week!

The app is free to download (and you can access one story per day) OR you can try  monthly memberships to access the stories - only $3.99 per month.
Go to to read more.

The great people at FarFaria have given me a 6 month subscription to GIVE AWAY!!!!
Just enter via the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Another Bright Idea!

Collecting data is important for all grades! But how to keep it organised in a neat, easy to use way? 
I think I have a Bright Idea!!!
Thanks to Shelley Gray for this awesome idea!

This is an idea I saw in my teaching partners classroom, so thanks Kim for the inspiration. 
You will need a folder, some plastic sheet protectors, some lined paper and some sticky note flags.

First, put your lined paper in! You want to think about how many pages per kid you want to start with.

Write your students names on the tags. Layer these throughout the notebook paper as shown so you can easily locate the student you are looking for.

Place a plastic sheet straight after each student name flag. This is for you to add any information you might collect on separate pieces of paper or as ongoing assessment task that needs to be consistently updated.

Finally add a cute cover! Font by KG Fonts AND clipart from Krista Wallden.

Add some extras into the folder to help you keep on top of data - here I have pictured reading levels, which I can just highlight as they progress and an alphabet sounds assessment (in each child's sleeve.)

Taa-daa! Data collection, made easy!

Looking for more Bright Ideas? Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

For more bright ideas from 150 different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A peek at the week

I had a bit of a rocky week which started with me having 2 days off with tonsillitis. I probably should have had another day to recover, but teacher guilt got me! Here are some of the things we squeezed into 3 days!

It was 'p' week! We started off brainstorming p words - the kids came up with so many, I ran out of room!

We learned how to correctly write p. This is a handwriting booklet we use every week with our focus letter. You can find it in my TPT store, but in a more generic font (the font pictured is my state font). Click HERE to see it

We looked for p words in this fun activity Beginning Sounds Color It from Lavinia Pop

We had an indepth look at number 8 (another one from my TPT store) Click HERE to see it

P sequencing - each week we read a 'big book' with the same word pattern and different words subsistuted on each page. This week was "I can see the ......" I chose pig because I thought it was a great word for sounding out. Look at the super cute pictures! I am so proud of this writing - after only 9 weeks at school :)

We tried some sight word writing as a group with my pocket dice.

On Friday, we went to the circus on an excursion in the morning which was so much fun for the kids :) Afterwards back at school, we tackled our letter of the week craft - Pink and Purple popcorn. The cute popcorn box is from Krista Wallden's popcorn set. We coloured in in a pattern with pink and purple crayon, then put our fingers to work with some scrunching of crepe paper. The kids found this really therapeutic! 

How was your week?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Currently April and an updated pack!

 I cannot believe its April!! And that means its Currently time with Farley over on her blog

Listening - My husband has a pet peeve about the kids playing with balls in the house. So I *might* let them play when he isnt home....... ;)

Loving - We have nearly reached the end of Term 1! Its hard to believe I have had my current class for only a term. They have to be close to my favourite group of kids so far! And that means school holidays :) Hooooray for 2 weeks off.

Thinking - I am honestly grateful for some of the wonderful and inspiring people I have become connected to in this crazy journey. I have needed some people to lean on lately and time after time, these women have been there for me. So thank you from the bottom of my heart *you know who you are*

Wanting - It is now Autumn and that means an excuse for shopping! How gorge is this cardigan?
Image of Sunrise Hooded Maxi Cardigan

Needing - I have had 2 days off school already! The doctor offered me a certificate to have another day off but I need to get back....I feel slack for the kids (as only a teacher would understand)

Hours - I try to get to school most days by 7.30 as I like the time in the morning to get myself organised. I am always out the door by 4 to go and pick up my kids. (Our school hours are 9-3 in case you are wondering). Days - Being in Australia, we have only just started our school year and we go all the way through to December 19 before our big break for the year.

Thanks Farley!

Just something extra....I updated my Initial and Final sounds pack today and it has DOUBLED in size! For your chance to win one, simply use the rafflecopter underneath :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 29, 2014

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

Since being on TPT, I have made some connections with some AMAZING women and men...and the best part is that some of these people I have been fortunate to connect with are from my part of the world -Australia!

So one of these lovely ladies Lauren from Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep came up with a few of us having a bit of a product swap, I was in.

So I bring you
Mel Lloyd's photo.

I was paired up with Bec from Books Bugs and Boxes

The Teacher Wife

I picked her Squiggles and Wiggles pack and had a bit of fun at home with my kids testing it out!

Firstly we tried out the full page squiggle where you are provided with one or two elements to build your picture around. The kids enjoyed this one with the big cheesy smiles.

Next we tried out the mini-squiggle page, where there are 4 small boxes with 'squiggle starters'. We found this one a lot more challenging as it was pure imagination!

Last, I tried out the activity cards. You could chop these up and get students to select one or two, but we used it like a grid, and tried to choose something on each line horizontally. Definitely a challenge! But easy enough to change the difficulty by only including cards you think your kids could do.
For the two squiggles that rhyme, Miss M drew Mum. I asked what rhymed with Mum that she could draw. The answer was "Ive got it covered, I drew a bum!" Insert hysterical laughter here

It was a fun pack to use and would be great as a reward or early finisher activity, especially since it comes with a few writing pages to write about the squiggles.

Thanks Bec for sharing this with me!

More sharing! Just wanted to share with you a great freebie for practicing counting on your IWB. You can find it, and many others in my TPT store.

And for the giving part of my title - all the ladies who have participated in this swap are giving you the chance to win! All of the products showcased will be bundled into one big grand prize!!! Just use the Rafflecopter to enter and goodluck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Reflecting on the week in KB

I have been a bit of an inconsistent blogger. We have been doing so much great stuff in Kindergarten and the kids are a dream! (well most of the time lol) It is one of those groups of kids that for the rest of their school career people will just say WOW (you know, like the 100 year flood, once in a lifetime and you'll never forget it) is a look at some of the things we have been up to in the last couple of weeks.

Every week we look at a letter in focus and end the week with Friday Funday (also known as double bee Friday, where kids get double the reward - bees on their chart). Every Friday morning, we do craft to compliment the focus letter and 2 Fridays ago we made these fun igloos. We try to incorporate many different art/craft techniques to get students feeling confident in all aspects of art and craft. For this one, we used sponges to do the background with paint, then crayon to colour the small elements on the eskimo and penguins and finally the cutting and gluing onto the painted background. I evn made my kids mount their own artworks, as it gave me a little look at their spacial awareness (could they place it in the middle of the backing page). Then for some fun, I sprayed them all with glitter hairspray (which got me in a tonne of trouble from the cleaner!)

For maths this week, it more dice pattern and numeral ID stuff. The kids got really great at it and by the end of the week ( as we played this game 4 days in a row) I only had 3 kids out of 22 who subitizing was not automatic. And of those 3, 2 of them were only struggling with the number 4 for some reason. You can grab these freebie game mats in my post HERE.

I shared this one on Instagram and FB - we have a new reading corner! I had the shelving, benches and mat, but last weekend my boss bought me this tent at IKEA. All it took was a little rearranging of furniture and ta-da. The kids beg to be able to go and read when they are finished so it is definitely working. Do you have a fun reading corner?

Ahhhhhhh book club! It is one of the best presents! Eve if you have to give it to yourself. With both of my own children at school (in K and Yr1) books are definitely devoured in my house. The top spread is all the ones I bought for home while the bottom row is more to add to the classroom library. And for the second month in a row, my book club bill has been over $100....dont tell the husband please lol.
Thursday we celebrated the 40th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We read the story in class and I was surprised to see how many students were not familiar with the story. Then we made these cute headbands to make us look like caterpillars from the story - the kids and the parents loved them! 

We dont just craft in Kinder, but these are the only other pics I took last week. We had a focus on R and made this gorgeous rainbow. The techiniques we use were chipping and gluing and it incorporated a lot of talking about colours as well as the size of the segments of the rainbow. The finished product, with cotton wool cloud, looks so fabulous hung in my room :)

Wow, what a week (and a bit). I will try hard to take photos of some other learning that is going on. AND I am almost ready for a classroom tour now my room is looking so colourful and inviting.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Numeral Identification in Kindergarten

We have been working a lot on identifying dot patterns on dice in the last 2 weeks. We have been rolling and drawing the dot patterns over and over and over! The kids have been getting faster and faster at identifying the patterns and this week we needed to take it somewhere different - and connect it back to numbers.

Some of my kids are quite confident with their numbers to 10 but others are not. With these activities, it gives support and independence to those who can identify numbers but are unsure how to form them by themselves.

So how to play?

Each student needs a dice, sheet and whiteboard marker. Roll the dice, say the number and record the number. Continue with the game until one number "wins".

There are 2 variations for you 1-6 with dot patterns to compliment the numbers or 1-10 with just numerals.

Click either pic to go grab the file from Google docs.

(Sorry for the side alignment here)

It is a zip file which contains the pdf version of the recording sheet as well as a jpeg version which you can use on your Smartboard and turn it into a whole class demonstration or game.

I would love some feedback on what you think :)

And while you're here, have you bought this awesome Educents bundle yet?
Click to go and have a look at the fabulous goodies you can grab!