Sunday, April 29, 2012

FLASH sale

In honour of finishing what I think is a great little resource, I am have a sale on my new Skip Counting packet.

I am listing it at $3.50 but you can grab it for the next 48(ish) hours for $2.50. Check out my other things while you are there
Click on the pictures to go grab it.
Happy Monday :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Maths Groups 2B style

Hi all
I've linked up at Corkboard Connections

I've been reading a lot of posts about maths station/centres and I must say, the whole idea of it intrigues me. I do maths groups a little bit differently (remember I'm from a different country - Australia) but I would like to share with you anyway.

I'm a 4 day a week teacher (still on maternity leave) and so to effectively teach our maths program, I am in charge of the outcomes (similar to your standards) which fall under the concept of Number. This includes Whole Number (place value, rounding, estimation, money, ordering numbers, greater/less than), Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, Fractions and Chance. You can find the document we in New South Wales work by going here.

My maths groups have evolved since I started teaching. I first began implementing maths groups when I was a Year 5 and 6 teacher so obviously this model doesn't work for Year 2!
Each week has a different focus. The kids are divided into 4 groups but the kids in any group can change week to week, based on the assessment of the different strands. The 4 groups go through 4 rotations - still making sense?

Anyway a lesson on any day would look like this
5min - warm-up drill activities (counting, hundreds chart, friends of ten)

15min - teacher guided lesson and introduction/revision of concept for the week. In this time, I would be using the smart board and getting students to assist. It is also a time to get students to ask questions about what they didn't understand the previous day. In this time I would explain what the activities are.

40min - students rotate through all activities. Each group goes to an activity for 10 minutes, then switch. My 4 activities would be- 2 stations which have a hands on game covering the concepts for the week, 1 smart board/computer station with activities to suit the concept and then an independent worksheet to complement what has been taught. I differentiate the hands on activities if I think my lower groups need it, the computer activity would stay the same unless it was a game which gave level choices and there is always differentiated worksheets to cater for both bottom and top.

I am not attached to a group at all. In my time in upper primary I would always take a group myself because I felt that the rest of the class would do what they needed to. With my Year 2's I have found its more beneficial to be able to go where I am needed and this way I check the progress of all groups more regularly.

The last 10 minutes of the lesson are for problem solving. Our school has been focussing on Newman's Analysis approach to problem solving so I would pick a problem to do with the topic and have the kids solve in their books, including drawing a picture.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about some Aussie maths groups.

Click here to get a simple subtraction game I play with my lower students practising subtraction from 10

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Want to read something? Read on...

I have just created a new activity using skip counting.

I would love to have these looked over before I start using it and list in my Tpt store. The first 3 people who would like to volunteer to read over it and post their email in the comment section, will get it for free. It is 30 pages (72 task cards) of skip counting goodness :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Excitement plus!

I am hope are all feeling a little bit warmer than I am. Last night/this morning we had a massive change in weather. It feels FREEZING! The wind is chilly and my feet are so cold - my kids keep trying to steal my socks....but thats a story for another day.
I'm excited! A cute change is coming to the blog :) I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I will.
A parting is ANZAC day where we commemorate Australian and New Zealand soldiers who have fought and died in battle. At school yesterday (today is a public holiday) we had an ANZAC ceremony but before hand I wanted to make sure my Year 2s knew what was going on.
I asked the class if anyone knew anything about ANZAC day. One boy put his hand up and said "There are two games of football on tomorrow". Ahhh the joys of living in a bubble.
Until next time

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Behaviour Management in 2B

My class 2B :) This year they are the sweetest, kindest bunch that seem to genuinely care about each and support each other. I found this so refreshing as last year which was my first year in Year 2, that there were some very nasty personalities amongst the bunch (boys and girls). But this year so far has been smooth sailing (just remember that we only started school for the year in late January).
In my classroom, my main rule is to take chances. And if someone takes a chance, that noone should be laughing, rather they should be supportive. And my kids totally get it! Amazing right?
To reward positive behaviour, I give out bees. Yep a little bee printed on a piece of cardboard which kids can 'keep' in their bee keeper.
Their bee keeper is just a small envelope which I get the kids to decorate and then write their name on. I then mount them all on a big piece of cardboard on the wall and the kids put their bees in there. I did have a picture floating around somewhere but cant locate it. I will take another one and post it soon.
We decided as a class at the start of the year that 10 bees would be a good number to collect before we could trade it for a prize - a lucky dip. In my world famous lucky dip box there is lots of little things like cool pencils, sharpeners, notepads, little toys and some lollies. The kids love it and I find its not an expensive reward system. I do do special things for them throughout the year for different reasons but this is a great week to week system that the kids enjoy.
What works in your classroom? I love the fill the bucket idea that I have seen a lot of teachers doing. How do you reward your kids?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A-B-Seymour 100 Follower Giveaway :)

I jumped onto this blog when there was not many followers because it caught my eye. And now Rachel at A B Seymour has hit 100 followers! She is hosting a cool giveaway. Jump over to
to get your piece of the fun.
As a side note just wanted to give you a peek at my latest creation - Buggy about the Alphabet, an alphabetical order activity using the Grade 2 Dolch sight words.

Now off to write my program for this term - Maths is first on the list :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Good morning from soggy old Sydney. I must say, I am feeling slightly jealous of all the talk about warm weather, cute dresses and strappy sandals. All I can think about is tracksuit pants (sweats to my US friends), warms socks and how long can I wait to turn the heater on - not yet thank goodness! The craziness of living on the opposite side of the world. I must say though, I lived in Arizona for 2 years and experienced a Christmas there. I found it very hard to wrap my head around the fact that it was cold! I much prefer hot Christmases, swimming in the pool :)

But anyway.....IKEA!!! The word sends tingles down my spine. I am going there today to hopefully pick up some cute baskets for my classroom. What is your favourite thing about IKEA? Or have you never been?

Teaching wise, I am halfway through my 2nd week of holidays and think its finally time to get myself into gear. I spent a lot of the last 2 days laminating and cutting up all my goodies that I have been hoarding collecting from all the awesome blogs and Tpt stores I follow. But amist all the new 'stuff' I have some cool ideas for lessons this term which should be fun.
Courtesy of Mrs Lirette's Learning Detectives - Contractions match

Down Under teacher Place Value Dominoes (2 digit) - I also just downloaded the pirate ones which deal with 3 digit numbers 
Cupcake Alphabetical Order by ME! Free download here on Teachers Pay Teachers

Our big unit this term is transport. Do you have any favourite transport resources?
Until after Ikea.....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The best things in (*maths*) are free...

Hi all
Been a busy weekend here in Sydney. My husband had the thrill of a lifetime when he flew in the Red Bull Stunt plane (like the ones you see racing and doing tricks on TV). The explanation from the pilot had me in fits of giggles though, as I saw him demonstrate where to vomit and then what to do with it hahaha. Needless to say, the chuck bag wasn't necessary and the man had a great time - vowing to do it again.
So to the freebie. I am going to upload my Take 2 subtraction game to Tpt on the weekend, but I want to give it to you first. I have decided I'm not cool enough for give aways with random numbers - I am going to do it old school and if you comment and that you follow me and my Tpt Store, you get it! As an added incentive, if you blog about my freebie and leave me the link, I'll give you my new Number bond flashcards to 20, which will also be going into the store.

Too easy right?
Then jump to it :) Don't forget your email address.
I'll be back with more pearls of wisdom when my kiddies are asleep

Friday, April 13, 2012

Awww shucks

Now I know I'm only new to this blogging game....but I must admit I was getting a little down. Noone was following  me, I had a giveaway that noone entered (thanks for the support Jessica), there were plenty of people downloading my freebies on Tpt but noone leaving feedback. I was left wondering what was I doing wrong?
But then something happened! I saw some hope! Followers in the distance! So I would just like to say thanks to those people who have jumped on board with me :)
Rachel @ A B Seymour
Heather @ Heather's Heart
Jessica @ A Turn to Learn
Clever Classroom
Thank guys for helping spread the love *insert hearts and roses here* and here's hoping it continues :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In the holidays....(or vacation time if you will)

Here I sit, bathed in sunlight in my front room, surrounded by books, paper, thumbdrives and other teaching materials (including some plastic eggs I want to use) with absolutely ZERO motivation to get started. A hard emotion to overcome or summon I think. Which leave me much work do you do when you have a holiday or vacation break? I usually devote one whole week to 'rest' and then think about prepping for the next term. So what about you?
As I'm in procrastination mode - searching blogs and Pinterest are the thing to do. As I was doing my daily blog reading updates I stumbled across this awesome giveaway from Run!Miss Nelson's Got the Camera - think Oprah!
She is hooking up with SchoolGirl Style to giveaway an awesome classroom decor set. Go here to check it out :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another giveaway? A Turn to Learn

Ms Jessica at A Turn to Learn has designed these ultra cute Uno cards to help her kids with sight words. What kid doesn't like Uno? (This one certainly does). Some of these could be yours FOR FREE if you follow the link over to her blog and Like it :) Great ideas Ms Jessica!

Great Giveaway! At Rowdy in Room 300

I know I love a freebie. It takes some of the pressure away from creating everything yourself PLUS it gives you some new ideas about what to do next. If you hop on over (yes I know the Easter jokes should be banned now) to Rowdy in Room 300, you can pick up some great stuff just by following her :)
Check it out :) and while your'e at it, follow me too to enter my giveaway.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I've linked up with Farley at oh Boy, Fourth Grade for April's Currently....


Takeaway Giveaway! (try saying that five times fast)

I'm really excited that some people out there in blog land have been looking at my new page and downloading my freebies from Tpt. So I spent a lot of time last night working on something that I have used with my kids in maths groups.
Number combinations to 10 and 20 are things that form the foundation of a lot of maths. So if we 'train' our students to instantly recall them, their maths will be less work and hopefully, the kids will find maths easier right? Let's hope so because that'e the theory I'm going with.
Subtract 2 Bingo is a game I have played with my students for the last 2 years and its great because you can actually see some kids having 'lightbulb' moments when they just remember the answer, rather than have to work it out.
Before I list it on Tpt I'd like to give it away to some people :)
How do you enter? You get one entry for each thing that you leave a comment for....and don't forget your email!
1. Follow my blog
2. Follow me on Tpt
3. Blog about my giveaway!

That's it! It will end on the 12th April. Here is a small sample of the unit.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Happy Easter!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sensational Syllables

In 2B, we place a great focus on sounds in words. And let's face it, when it comes to spelling difficult words, the longer it is, the harder the kids struggle. So when we work on spelling, we think about the syllables or chunks we can break a word into, rather than all the individual sounds that make up the words. Instead of remembering a string of letters, kids may only have to remember 3 chunks of sounds.
Clear as mud right?
That's where Sensational Syllables come in. I use this as one rotation activity in my guided reading groups, when students pick their own words from their novel or guided reading book and think about the chunks that make up the word. I have them write the initial word in the top of the pyramid, chunk the word in the middle section and then in the bottom, list the blends or spelling rules that they can find in the word. I believe this builds more understanding in spelling and about how different sounds make certain words work.
Please visit my TPT store and download it for free but please leave me some feedback as I would love to know if you found the activity useful in your classroom.
Teachable Moments TPT store

Have a great Easter weekend.

Welcome and a FREEBIE!!!

Hi all!
My first post on my brand new blog :)
Let me introduce myself. My name is Brooke and I am a primary school teacher in Sydney, Australia at a school west of the city. I have been teaching for 7 years on and off due to my 2 beautiful children arriving. Lately I have been obsessed with Pinterest (a story for another time) and teaching blogs! I love technology and trying new things so I thought I would give it a go. This year I am teaching a Year 2 class which I love...which brings me to the FREEBIE!
Visit my store at Tpt to pick up this
Alphabetical Cupcakes
My students are just beginning to explore alphabetical order and I luuuurrrrrve cupcakes so I thought, why not put the two together? My first item on TPT includes 3 different sets of words and 2 variations on the recording sheet. So go and check it out and follow me :)