Thursday, October 2, 2014

Best Bloggy Friends Meetup!



I have to admit, for a while I have been jealous of all the bloggy meet ups I see. I have been lucky enough to meet up with Mel (From the Pond) quite a few times, as well as Stef (Miss Galvin Learns) and most recently Emma (Clever Classroom) but I was hoping for something more.

Boy did I get it!

I had a fabulous weekend in Sydney (my home town) meeting up with some of the most incredible women. They have been my support - not just for blogging and TPT, but personal stuff too! for 2 years and we finally came together to celebrate this friendship!!!!


We spent the night in a hotel very close to Darling Harbour and kicked it off with some drinks and a game - thanks Tania! Many laughs were had :)


No blogger meet up would be complete without our blog buttons on a lanyard, would it? Many thanks to Holly at GoNoodle who sent me these goodies all the way to Australia.

And awesome Mel at From the Pond and Graphics from the Pond gave us all a block of chocolate with a cute scrappy girl on it - we thought it looked a little like Shanyn from Classroom Chit Chat.


Then it was time for fireworks on the harbour (totally arranged *cough cough*) and a delicious dinner. There may have been a cocktail involved!



What a night! I am in total awe of these women who went out of their way to come to Sydney and meet up! 

Thanks so much. You all mean a lot to me :)



Monday, September 22, 2014

Using Phonemic Awareness to Construct New Words

Something that can be quite tricky to introduce to students (especially in Kindergarten) is switching phonemes within words. It is often something they need a bit of practice and support with. I thought this new pack would help fit the bill.



I have made this pack with 2 activity cards to a page but if you are printing (and laminating) conscious, they are still a pretty good size when you choose to print multiple pages on one page. I have also included both colour and black and white so you can pick which one you would like to print!!

Let's look at the activity :)

The card tells you to start with a given word. The students are given a picture clue to get them started as well as Elkonian boxes to write in (and these will also give them support with which 'size' letter should go in each box - tall, short or long)

Move to the second picture. It tell me to change a sound in the word - this time the beginning sound. I have done it with red here to illustrate what has changed. You might want your students to do this too or just do it all in one colour. Again, students are supported with pictures and Elkonian boxes. 

Now onto the third picture. This time it is telling me to change the ending sound. Throughout the activity cards, there is a mixture of changes to beginning, middle and ending sounds to keep it challenging and interesting.

Click any picture to go and grab it in my TPT store.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Comprehension Sticks for Little Learners

Hi All
I have been a little quiet of late. If you follow me on Instagram (brookeb80) you would know I havent been in the classroom!
Photo: Family dolphin swim!!!





I have been on holidays with my family....the highlight of which was a family dolphin adventure!!! More about that another time :)

I just wanted to share with you something that I cannot wait to use next term


This pack includes 28 different comprehension questions that you can ask students during guided reading time. I have them available for you in colour and black and white, so you can pick which one you would prefer to print.

You could use them during a whole group reading of a text or during a guided reading group.

Here is some of them printed out for you to have a look at. You could pre-select the questions you want students to answer or just take a lucky dip!
I recommend you laminate them, and then stick them to a paddle pop stick to make them more sturdy (and less chance of little fingers bending them).

Go and find them in my TPT store by clicking HERE or any of the images above :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Currently SEPTEMBER

OMgeeee its September! Time to link up with Farley

Listening - my kids are finishing their icecream for desert ;)

Loving - It's spring baby YEAH!!

Thinking - I am lucky enough to be taking the last 2 weeks of term off and going on a holiday with my family! I have never taken any long service leave before and I am sooooo excited!

Wanting - my poor pooch is a bit undesirable in the smell department. My first job for my first day off - puppy parlour for a wash :)

Needing - I am on the verge of getting sick and need to take something else to make my dull headache go away :(

3 Trips - 1. Vegas - not just to go to the TPT or ITeachK conference but I LOVE Texas Holden Poker and would love to play at a Vegas casino!
2. NYC - because I think you have to before you die?
3. Vegas - I can have it twice right?



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Setting Writing Goals

Students taking ownership in the classroom is such an important thing - even in kindergarten. At the moment, our staff is building these goal setting and bump it up walls for writing. But being me, I had to cutify it!

Before beginning the wall, I spent time to talk to each student in my class 1 on 1. I had their current writing cluster in front of me, plus what skills are required to move to the next cluster. I let the students have a say in what they wanted their writing goal to be, but had to keep it realistic and appropriate for their level. In all honestly, the time it took me was only about 1 hour in total and I did this over a week, just pulling kids here and there. The talk that it generated was awesome - "I've got a goal! Have you got one yet?"

Next I typed the names of my students onto a photo themed clipart piece. I laminated all of these so that I can write on them with a white board texta and once a goal is reached, can be easily rubbed out. The kids were intrigued.

Next was transferring those goals we had discussed to their picture. The kids were fascinated by now and we looked at it and remembered what our individual goals were.

Finally my title - Snapshot of KB's Learning Goals. We will refer to this each time for writing. If a student has achieved their goal in a writing session, I will stick a little camera (similar to the clipart one) into their piece of writing, as well as tick underneath their goal on the wall. If they can achieve this goal 3 times, They will be able to wear the goal necklaces.
The aim is to get students talking about their learning and achievements in class to EVERYONE!!! After they have achieved this, we will set a new goal.

I don't expect that this will be an instant success overnight, but I am determined to work at it. The conversation being generated is priceless and just can't be manufactured. And anything that makes students more self aware and in charge of their own learning is OK with me!

Do you have a goal wall? Is it something you would like to try? Leave me a comment about it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blocks on a bowl!

Do your kids need more visualising practice?
Blocks on a bowl is an awesome activity to help with this!

To introduce the activity, pair students up (I did similar ability levels). I gave each pair a plastic bowl and 5 counters.
One partner chooses some to put underneath (no peeking!!) and the other counters on top. The other student has to visualise how many are underneath. The first partner can then reveal if the answer was right.
1 on top, how many underneath?


4 on top, how many can you visualise underneath?

This activity is easy to differentiate for different levels and learners, simply by increasing the number of counters. We did do it for 6 counters so we could talk about our strategies of counting on and back, and then we did it again for 10 counters so we could talk about Friends of Ten.

You could also introduce a recording sheet or write on mini whiteboard

Why not try it?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bee a helper!! - Bright Idea!

This has to be one of my favourite link ups. Why? How often to you get so many AMAZING bloggers giving you so many AMAZING ideas and most of them can created with what you have in you classroom?
I know......AMAZING right?
And the AMAZING lady behind it - Shelley from
Teaching in the Early Years

My Bright Idea is about helpers and jobs. I have done traditional jobs in the classroom where everyone has a job for a week, or a term. You have to pick kids who volunteer, some miss out on the job they reallllllly wanted, others forget to do their job every week.

So this year I decided to try Bee Helpers.

So what is it? Simple really. I choose a boy and girl on Monday who is responsible for everything for the week - lunchorders, line leaders, messengers, lights - EVERYTHING!

The beauty of it is everyone knows they will get a turn and everyone knows who the helpers are each week (I display them) so reminding people to do jobs is easy.

So how does it work?
I typed everyone's names on them cute bees that I bought from Pink Cat Studio. I laminated them and cut them out. I sorted into boys and girls because I have an even amount of each and clipped them together to store. Each week I grab the one from the front and display it on my whiteboard.

It doesnt take much room and the kids can see who is the helper. When the week is over, I move that student to the back of the pile and grab the front one. Easy!!

If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, why not follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or TeachersPayTeachers for more?

And for more Bright Ideas from over 100 bloggers, take a look at the link up below! Each idea has a recommended grade level for you :)