Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympics and Planners and Bears OH MY!

1. The Olympics are on. Due to the time difference, the swimming finals are being shown here is Australia LIVE at 4.30am in the morning. not real fun in the dead of winter! I struggled to get out at 5.30 this morning and saw about half.

2. I just made a planner using the cute idea for binder covers that I had. It is the pink version, with a teal, pink/teal to come hopefully today, with a teal dots and stripes version and a coral and aqua version now live in my store. I have them on for $3.50 but for the next 2 days they will only be $2!!! What a steal :)

3. And as for bears... my son comes pretty close. He bit me this afternoon so so so hard I was actually sobbing in pain. Little ratbag! My thumb (where he bit me) is all swollen and purple. And I am his best friend! I hate to think of what he does to people he doesn't like.

Anyway...happy weekend!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Binder/Folder Covers

Do you use binders? (or folders for my Aussie friends) Do you like cute things? Well this might be right down your alley.

I am playing around with some covers at the moment and I would like you to experience them too :) 
Here are the colours you can pick from.

The first five followers who comment with their email address AND the teacher name you would like, will get one :) It can say either planner 2012-2013 or just 2012, the choice is yours.
Choose from colours (from top left and going down each column) green, coral, purple, pink/teal, teal, pink.

Look out for the full set in my store soon :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tell Me More (linky party)

This looks like one awesome linky so I am jumping in too!

1. I am from Australia. I live in Panania, a small suburb on the outskirts of metro Sydney. It takes us about 30minutes to get into the city but to tell you truth, I hardly ever go there. Driving in the city! Too many one way streets.

2. I was on the Australian swimming team for about 5 years. I competed at Pan Pacific Champs and World Champs. I tried out for the Olympic team in 1996 and 2000 but sadly, missed out :( Which brings me to #3

3. Due to my swimming abilities, I scored a swimming scholarship at Arizona State University. I remember talking to the recruiting agent on the phone and haveing him say to me, "Have you seen Jerry Maguire? That is our school!". I remember nearly fainting lol. And to this day when Cuba Gooding Junior says "I'm a Sun Devil Jerry!" I puff up with pride. Fork 'Em Devils.
Thats me with the sunnies on my head and some of my awesome swim team girls standing on the football field

4. I never wanted to go to university. I didnt apply for anything after high school. I wanted to work at a newspaper and start from the ground up. But going to college at ASU forced me to make a decision and for some reason that decision was teaching :)

5. I received an award last year for Excellence in Sport - promoting sport in school in my area. This was a pretty big shock, but sport in my area is on the decline because of families who dont have transport, cant afford it etc. So making school sport better is one of my driving passions at the moment.

6. Blogging is taking over my life!!!! (Is that a bit dramatic?) Since joinging the blogging world 3 months ago, I have improved my practice in ways I never thought of. This morning during our maths groups, My kids were playing all brand new games which I had created. I felt pretty proud.

7. I got engaged after 6 weeks of dating my husband. I was home in Australia for a holiday and we hooked up. Before I went back to the USA he asked me, I said yes and the rest is history. We have been married for 8 1/2 years.

8. I have a *secret* dream of writing a kids book. Maybe one day....

9. I have 2 babies - Madison 4 and Cameron 3. Madison starts school next year. When I think about it I freak out just a little!

10. I really appreciate everyone who reads my blog or follows my TPT store or even more awesome, buys my products. I love the whole feeling of community that this blog world has created for me!

Why not go link up too?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fun Fraction Freebie

Hi all,
What a Monday here in downtown Sydney town.!!! I have had the heater running all day but it can't take the gloom away.

So what did the munchkins and I do?

Went swimming of course!

We went to the Sydney International Aquatic Centre where the Olympics were held. It has a pretty awesome water park We had a great time!

main banner image for purpose of user interest

But anyway. As I was programming my maths for the term, I was looking for an interactive game for fractions. Not a lot that I found suitable. But then I found a pizza game on ABCya and made up some activity cards to go with it.

Click the pic to go to my TPT store to download it - FREE!

Enjoy your week! Hopefully some more new stuff coming soon (thanks to an obsession I have with buying clipart). Eeeek! If you suffer from the same affliction go to Sassy Designs - they are having a sale all digital papers (like backgrounds) are 25c! Most sets have at least 9 papers. Needless to say the $4.50 I spent went a very very long way :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Growing seeds

We have officially started our unit "What's Alive" and we kicked it off talking about what plants need to grow. This week we have been writing rockstars! and written a whole information report. There was quite a bit of guided writing but that is ok as we are just beginning this text type, having not done information/factual texts since last school year.
Anyway, you may recall a post I wrote about Friday Funday. Basically, on Friday afternoon from 2-3pm last term, I chose a bunch of fun activities like free craft, movie time, bubbles and balloons. This past Friday was our last Friday Funday as we start a sports program in this timeslot next week. So I decided it would be a planting session.

Forgive the total photo overload that is coming :)
 Seeds from the cheap shop ready to plant.
 We made markers for our cups so we knew whose was whose. This is just a star coloured in and laminated, then stuck to a paddlepop stick.
 Seed diary created by me! Click on the picture to grab it from TPT for only $1.50
 Our other planting goodies
 Our finished broad bean cups. We used potting mix because it worked out to be cheaper but you can use cotton wool or even paper towels.
 I bought 6 little buckets and divided the class into groups. Each group was given 2 seedlings to plant.
 Cute hey?

 Our finished product! The two little pots were spares that I repotted - just in case :)
 Close up of the broad bean cup. Each student got 3 seeds so hopefully at least one will grow.

Fingers crossed we don't kill everything :) I don't have a very good track record.

By the way, I have just joined Facebook! Come and befriend me (pretty please!)
Hopefully that link works. Can you please let me know if it does not.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Website Wednesday

This term, Year 1 and 2 at my school are studying plants and animals - life cycles, habitats etc. So as I was scouring the internet for a cool and easy life cycle video, I stumbled onto this site.

A lot of these games and videos say they are aimed between PK-1 but having looked through a few, I think that it was be appropriate for Year 2 as well.

Home Page - The top tabs are where the money is :) The following pics are screen grabs from the Games and Videos tabs, but having looked through the stories and worksheets ones, think there is lots of value in the sheets and online story books too
Some of the Maths Games, but I couldn't fit them all in this grab. Includes topics such as addition, time, numbers and fractions.

Language Games including vowels, sequencing, phonics. Lots of easy to use independent games.

Science Games to support many units including life cycles, senses, animals and space.

A grab of the videos page (again I couldn't fit them all in). The videos are short and simple to follow, perfect to illustrate simple concepts.

Go and check out TurtleDiary. I'm sure your students will enjoy it :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday (we) Made It!

I haven't made anything crafty (the crates are still sitting in the backyard and the clipboards are begging to get covered) but every Monday on my day off, my 2 kids beg me to bake something. So bake we did.

All I had left was some vanilla cake mix so I thought I could jazz it up with a bit of Nutella. Do American's have Nutella? Its a chocolate hazelnut spread that is totally yummo.

So the kiddies mixed and licked and slurped raw batter and I luckily had enough to make 12 cakes:)

The baking cupcakes

Finished cakes. Yes I know they are upside down, but when they were cooking, the Nutella sank to the bottom and when I pulled them out of the pan,the Nutella was stuck. I had to reinsert it with my finger (insert inappropriate giggles here hehe)

Nutella icing on top - YUM!

Hopefully sometime soon Ill actually make something crafty. As these were cooking, I had a flash of inspiration for my crate seats. Will hopefully have it done by next week!

Before you go, if you like to win stuff, go and check out The Hands On Teacher! Marie is having a huge giveaway
The Hands-On Teacher In First!


There are lots of great prizes including this from me!

Hope you are enjoying your time off - I'm back to school tomorrow. Only 10 more weeks until holidays

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hi this is Brooke...I'm not home at the moment

You can find me over at Wolfelicious. April is letting me crash as a guest blogger today. I'm giving you the skinny on easy science experiments so come over and share the love.

And because you are all awesome a sneaky freebie.

I had to redo these for my class so I will share with you. They are not super fancy and do not contain clip art ( I can hear you screaming!). I intend the print these division mats out on 2 different coloured bright papers - one for divided by 2 and a different colour for divided by 5 and laminate. Click either picture to download from googledocs

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It is rainy and miserable here. I am sick and tired of it already! And its only halfway through winter :( Is anyone offering to have me come stay somewhere sunny for a while?

I just wanted to share what I have been up to instead of as well as programming. Two peg-tastic activities for practising multiplication and division.

Here is a sneaky peek inside :)

I would love to get some feedback from a couple of people before I put it up on TPT. The first 2 people to comment I will send either the multiplication or division.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Website Wednesday - Techie Tips

Not a website this week but some information I found from some websites that I think you will find useful!

I was trying to find a suitable division sign for something I was making for my class and I wasn't happy with just using the stroke or the one you find in the shapes section. So a bit of googling later, this is what I found out.

For a Division symbol
If you hold down the Alt key and type 0247, you should get a proper division symbol. NOTE: you need to type on the keypad, not the numbers on the top.

For a Multiplication symbol
If you hold down the Alt key and type 0215, you should get a proper multiplication symbol. NOTE: you need to type on the keypad, not the numbers on the top.

Hope this nifty little trick can help you sometime :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Maths in Minutes and a Debacle

First the debacle. Ahhhhh what a debacle!!! Kind of a funky word hey? Debacle. Anyway I digress....

I have a phone, its maker rhymes with Shnapple and the other week this happened to it.

That pillow looking thing is my battery! Scary hey? Shnapple wanted me to pay close to $200 to replace it, even though it is obviously a faulty pillow battery. No way I said. The bummer is I am still on a contract for it for another 7 months. I have another old phone I can use but don't expect your phone to blow out the screen like this. Not cool Shnapple. That being said I really really want a new one :(

But anyway...I am in the midst of creating a maths unit called Maths in Minutes which is a mentals activity. It is broken up into number recognition, addition and subtraction to 10, addition and subtraction to 20 and multiplication. I have 69 levels (eeek!) and I am after some advice on whether I should include an answer key to go with it. Here is a sample level.
I think I know the answer that I will get given, just after some honest feedback :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Here I am in week 2 of my 2 week mid year break. I usually dedicate a bit of time to programming so that I feel prepared for the term ahead but so far, I have found it hard to be disciplined enough to get started. As a nod to my programming, I thought I would share with you some things I do to get ready for the term.

1. We have a check list that gets given out by our supervisors to make sure we include/address all the Key Learning Areas (KLA's) in particular ways. Our KLA's are 1. English 2. Mathematics 3. Human Society and Its Environment (known as HSIE which is like a social studies topic) 4. Science and Technology 5. Creative and Practical Arts (CAPA) and 6. Personal Development/Health/Physical Education (PD/H/PE). Obviously the biggest areas you plan around are English and Maths and at my school we integrate our science and HSIE topics into our English.

The check list addresses whether we have included the following info for each KLA

  • Outcomes to be achieved (these are like your new Common Core)
  • Teaching Strategies (how are you going to get there)
  • Content Overview
  • Assessment
  • Evaluation
2. We also need to include things like class timetable, Student information such as ESL, learning difficulties etc, Specialist staff (learning support team and how you use them) and Class discipline plan. The line of thinking about the program in its current format is that it is so explicit that anyone should be able to walk into your classroom and teach from it.

3. Since I do a lot of my programming in the holidays and due to the fact I do not work on Mondays, I often include any worksheets or things I know I will need to copy for that particular week as well as I find it helps me with my organisation.

4. In my program, I usually include any planning notes from meetings we have as a Year 1/2 team in the back so I can go and check if there is something I am meant to be doing for the team and haven't gotten around to yet.

On top of all this, I still keep a (very minimal) daybook so I can organise my thoughts

What are your school expectations for programming? Do you not have a program? Would love to hear about your programming stories.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tutorial - Make your own Favicon (instead of Website Wednesday)

Now I know this is something that lots of people already have but to tell you the truth, I was feeling a little left out! So I thought "Brooke. You are getting ok at the internet techy stuff. Why don't you try and work it out?"

So here is a quick outline of how I did it! I thought it was fairly straight forward. Apologies for the extra large pictures but I thought the print was a little hard to look at.

1. I used . Choose Import Image. Its a good idea to know which image you want. 

 2. For mine, I copied the image of the button from my blog and saved it as an image (not the code!) before I did this step. Choose your file to upload. The second thing I circled was keep dimensions and I did this because my original image was a square. But you might like to play around with it if you have a different shaped image. Then click upload!
 3. Fingers crossed, your page now looks a little like this. This is your pixelated image. Now if you want to play around here you can change colours etc but I just stuck with what I had. Boring I know hehe.
4. Don't get tricked on the next step. Underneath your pixel picture you will need to scroll right down. There is where you find a preview of your Favicon and the button to download. It will give you a file extension of .ico

5. now the fun part - putting it on your blog! You will need to go to your layout to edit. Find the little gadget that says Favicon and click Edit

6. Choose your favicon file. You should see it pop up after it has uploaded to the page.
7. If it doesn't appear on the blog sidebar or on other people's blog sidebars, then you will need to clear your cache/ browsing history. I am using Google Chrome so I go to the spanner tool, click Tools and the choose Clear Browsing Data. In Internet Explorer, you would be looking for the same thing. Now refresh and have another look. You should have success!!!

I hope you have found this helpful and look forward to seeing your new favicon pop up in my sidebar :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mystery Blog Hop

It is a hoppin' kind of day. Jump on the QR code blog hop and read some great technology related posts from some great bloggers. Just follow the codes below. And if you dont have a special ap on your iphone, ipod or ipad, all the links are clickable :) Enjoy and thanks again to Christi for organising this unique experience.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Which sight word list?

Hi all
Just a quick one as I am deep in creative thought (and trying to ignore the mountain of housework that seems to be piling up behind me!)

I am creating a sight word game and the question I need answered is which sight word list? Dolch? Frys? Another one? Please give me some guidance here as I am super excited about creating this product :)

Also thanks to those who reviewed my Splashing into Maths Dice and Card Games packet. It has been edited, fixed and spruced up and is now for sale in my TPT store HERE! Be quick. I have it listed for $4.50 but for the next two days you can snag it for $3.00. 20 games that take next to no time to set up! All you need is some dice and a pack of cards. Easy right?

Oh and one last thing...did you notice I now have a Favicon? How cool hey? Is it worth doing a tutorial for that for anyone? It is super simple :)

Dice and Card Games! and a very unique Blog Hop!!!

Do you buy awesome units? Do you hate laminating? Do you then hate cutting all the laminated bits? Then I have a packet for you.

I have been working on something that only requires minimal cutting :) And the best part, it is based around either dice or a deck of cards, both which you can pick up at a cheap shop.

Here is a sneaky peek

There is a total of 20 games which you can print, laminate and forget about (or use it in your classroom - you choose hehe).

I would really appreciate a few sets of eyes to look over this for me so the first three people to comment with their email can have this set for free. If you miss out, I'll list it at a discounted price on TPT when it has been checked.

I hope you enjoy it

Onto the blog hop. Do you see those weird code things in store windows and wonder what they are? Do you play with codes in your classroom with students on ipods or ipads? Well you will enjoy this.

Stay tuned for details :)

This July 4 will be a bit of fun put together by the tech-savvy Christi at Ms. Fultz's corner.