Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Maths in 2B this week

Hi All
For a long time, maths has definitely been my favourite subject to program and teach. There is something about the "break-down" of skills that I really love. The only difficulty I find when teaching maths is that I try to look at the skills at hand from a few different angles. I find it hard when I come across a student that has outside tutoring and is great at performing the skills, yet lacks the understanding of the process. That is a skill in itself yes? Anyway I digress....

This week we are looking at multiplication. I have 4 groups and we do "Number" groups for 4 days, which means each group goes to one activity per day.

Here is my outline for the week.

Let me tell you a little about the activities.
2, 5 and 10 time table bingo is from my TPT collection. It has the kids practicing a rapid recall of multiplication facts. They are getting quite good at this.

Fishing Fun was adapted from lovely Shanyn at Coffee, Kids and Compulsive lists and given a slight twist. Instead of printing everything out (coz I am lazy), I used already printed and laminated times table fact cards for 2, 3, 5 and 10. I gave the kids a bunch of plastic bowls and a container of counters. They had to pick a card, get the right amount of bowls and then give each bowl the right amount of counters. They then had to come up with an answer. I wish I had taken pics (maybe another day) but it was great for those kids who still need that 'concrete' learning. BTW, click the Fishing Fun link and go to Shanyn's store to download it for FREE!

Multiplication Match is another great freebie set of games from the awesome Kylie at DownUnderTeacher, from her Multiplication Madness pack (don't you love FREE!!!). The kids have to match the question with the answer and then I am getting them to record in their books. Practice makes perfect hey?

The IWB games, which I also run on the classroom computers are
This game focuses on matching the answer to whatever question pops up (and you are flying a plane, so coolness helps learning right?)
This one is a huge connect the dots! You can choose to count by any multiple you like ( we stuck to 2, 3, 5 and 10) and as you join the dots it makes a big picture. The levels get harder and longer.

My worksheets vary for each group. My low group (circles) were doing a more visual activity, where my stars (high group) are doing word problems. I am also trying to extend them by doing multiplication with 'trading' - something they don't need to know until Year 3 and 4.

I hope there is something in here that can help you next time you look at multiplication :) And don't forget to visit Shanyn and Kylie, download their freebies and leave some comments!!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday morning madness!!

I just have to share my exciting Monday morning. My Dice and Card Games were in the newsletter!

 I am so humbled by the response I have had. Thank you all so much for the awesome support I receive from you and my followers on TPT.

Here is a little sneaky peek at my latest creations.

Click on any of the pics to take you to my TPT store.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm addicted...to clip art!

You know you're addicted if:
* You have half of your favourites lists dedicated to clip art sites
* You have so much that you don't have enough projects to put it all on
* Seeing a buy two get one free makes it all that much easier to buy some more
* You have an entire flash drive (or even portable hard drive?) dedicated to clip art
* You panic when your flash is not on your person because you dont know what you would do without your clip art stash - don't judge me, I had a hard time sleeping.

Now I have known this for quite a while that this is a small medium-sized large-ish problem. But its fun, not bad for my health and I am certainly not hurting anyone! Its fun and brings a smile to my face :)

Enter totally appropriate linky party.

So who do I love?

She is great! Cute and unique designs on Etsy.

KPM Doodles

I *heart* Kristin. She has a brand new webby and until she gets all her graphics loaded, she is having a 50% sale! (Just don't buy everything - leave something for me!)

Graphics From the Pond

Mel is just great! I was lucky enough to sign up to her Premium graphics club and a get a new set of graphics every work day delivered to my email. You can join up any time during the year! Well worth a look.

Print Candee
I have bought HEAPS from PrintCandee. She has some great sets with graphics and paper included.

Oh man....I am feeling the urge to shop....AGAIN!

Go link up and be prepared to spend spend spend :)

Welcome Guest Blogger Leah from Learning4Keeps

With a very inspiring blog post today, I would like to welcome Leah from Learning 4 Keeps.

Have you ever considered how often we are surrounded by music? In an elevator, walking through a grocery store, riding in our cars… these are just a few places we hear rocking tunes or soothing notes. Children are especially accustomed to music. Consider the children’s shows that fill our television screens. How often do you hear music playing of some kind? It could be to accent a character walking, build suspense or encourage excitement!

Music has an incredible way of catching attention and keeping the attention it receives. Toddlers, with their short attention spans, can be transfixed and spellbound by cartoons simply by bright colors and music. There have been many studies on the positive effects of music when placed in stressful situations. This effect can even be seen in a classroom! Many educational professionals have expounded on the great asset music can be when used correctly.

So, what are some ways that we can practically integrate music into our classrooms without ending up with a classroom filled with drumming pencils and bouncing children? This could have its place, of course, but not necessarily during times of concentration. Here are a few ways that I integrated music into my first grade classroom.

Morning Routine!
“Good morning, Good morning to you
Good morning, Good morning to you
I’m happy you’re here, and I hope you are, too!
Good morning, Good morning to you…”

This was a song I made up one morning after our morning routine. As we would sing the song, we would all shake hands and then walk back to our seats. This encouraged student interaction and brought a sense of excitement to the morning.

Important information like math facts or English rules can be added to a simple melody, even a nursery rhyme, and it will increase the student’s ability to retain the knowledge. How did we learn our ABC’s?? We learned with a song! Adults still sing the song to this day should they need a reminder. I learned all of the states of the United States in alphabetical order with a song! I can still sing it today! Many can still remember the old SchoolHouse Rocks songs that would teach everything from verbs to the government system. There is no doubt that music can enable knowledge retention where simple drills can fail. Just consider this: a student may struggle with learning their multiplication facts but they can sing every lyric to the latest CD on the market. Coincidence? Yeah, I don’t think so either.

Some have told me that they can’t carry a tune in a bucket but I say, “Don’t let that stop you!” There are many CD’s available at the library with great songs or raps that teach important information. Many singers and songwriters have made a living creating fun and informative songs. I have seen students from Pre-K to 5th grade enjoy them and learn in the process without even realizing it!

Times of concentration are also a great time to integrate music. Many might think it is distracting but, if chosen carefully, music can add a sense of peace in the classroom and actually increase concentration! In my classroom, I would use piano music to play during seatwork time or even while students were taking their test. You could sense a quietness in the room while it played and if students had a question, they would speak in a whisper just to maintain the atmosphere. Awesome!

So, don’t be afraid to experiment with music in your classroom! You might be surprised by its power to add excitement, promote retention and promote a calm atmosphere. This makes for a peaceful room which naturally creates a peaceful teacher. J

Do you have a favorite music CD that you can share with everyone? Share with us in the comments to let us know! I hope you are all having a fantastic day!

Leah is a public school teacher turned home educator. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies. After working in a first grade classroom for four years, Leah decided to use her passion for education to teach her own children. So began a journey that has entered its fourth year!
When she is not teaching her three girls (11, 8, and 3), you will find her reading a book or creating music. She assists her husband in leading a growing church in Tallahassee and feels passionately about connecting with others.  She also loves creating teacher resources for educators both in the schools and at dining room tables around the world! Thus, she added blogger to her resume.
To sum it up: God and family is life, reading is a love, music is a passion, and coffee is a necessity! :)

Thanks again Leah for being my guest today :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Deep Space Sparkle

No it isn't anything sciencey - it's actually a fantastic art website!

I know that at times, I struggle with eye catching and easy art lessons but Deep Space Sparkle could just help me (and you) to overcome this!

I thought it was great that they separate the lessons by grade but they also can be sorted by topic or even technique used.

I was introduced to this by a friend who did this particular lesson with me year 2 kiddos but it turned out fantastic, even though it is a Year 6 lesson.
Here is some of our efforts - I was so impressed that I mounted them all and laminated them. Energy and time well spent! Apologies about the glare of the laminated pics.

So go and try Deep Space Sparkle for some new ideas :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Guest blogger Heather from Creation Castle

Today, I am happy to introduce my guest blogger Heather from Creation Castle!!

We are honored to be Brooke's guest blogger today! Although it's spring in Australia, autumn is just now kicking into gear over in Texas. We recently got a small cold front and temperatures are finally in the 80's over here.

Since our seasons are a little different, we thought we would share about one of our favorite authors - Margaret Wise Brown. Most are familiar with at least Goodnight Moon or Runaway Bunny, but Ms. Brown wrote over twenty books during her short-lived time as an author.

One of our favorites (especially for the fall) is The Little Scarecrow Boy. This is a tale of a little boy who wants to be just like his father. Each day the little boy watches his father scaring away the crows and longs to join him in the fields. Finally he decides to try it on his own. The boy makes his fieriest faces and finally scares away the crows with some help. This sweet story shows the bond between a father and his son, as well as how knowledge is passed down through generations.

We have some fun activities in our store that can be used with any scarecrow book. The activities included are:
  • Roll a Scarecrow
  • Writing Prompts/Paper
  • Emergent Reader
  • Making Words
  • Story Map
Come by and check it out! It will be on sale all weekend.

Another Margaret Wise Brown book we enjoy is The Important Book. This fun text encourages students to find the important things in everyday objects. From an apple to the sun, this book will really get your students thinking. The predictable text also makes for a great class book. We've included a free template for you; just click on the picture below! You can change the templates easily to fit any subject you are teaching. We've included one to do with the months of the year.

We hope you enjoyed reading our thoughts on Margaret Wise Brown. We'd love for you to drop by our blog or TpT store anytime!

Thanks again Heather for stopping by :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Last Chance to enter

Our Awesome Aussie Giveaway is almost finished! Make sure you follow all the awesome Aussie blogs and TPT stores to get your entries :)

See my Giveaway post to enter.

Happy Friday!

Don't be good...Be GREAT!

This is the quote that came to mind when I was talking to a parent this afternoon about her sons less than perfect behaviour. This kid just could NOT get it together today. After saying his name close to 50 million times...well it might have been closer to 100, I told him to go to the class next door for a time out (agree with me or not, we both needed a break from me saying his name!) Anyway my idea for mum was a little piece of cardboard. It would stay in his bag and at end of each day, he would bring it to me for a stamp if his behaviour was in the class rule boundries. Bad behaviour = no stamp. Then he would show his parents each night. Too many missed stamps in a row (because lets face it, we all have bad days and we need to take baby steps) would be a phone call home.

So here is the little card. Its black and white so its easy to copy. If you can find another use for it in the class, great :)

The fonts are from Jen Jones and the border from Mel of From the Pond

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Awesome Aussie giveaway!!

Have you noticed all the new Australian's wading into the world of blogging and selling on TPT? I certainly have! Can I get a round of Aussie Aussie Aussie! {oi oi oi}...
Anyways we decided to put our heads together to bring to you...

Here is who is participating!
Teachable Moments
Thats me! You can pick any item from my store!

Shanyn Newell
Shanyn from Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists is donating any item from her store!!
2D Shape Bingo and Poster Pack
Melinda from Top Notch teaching is donating her 2D shape bingo and poster pack
Alison Hislop
Alison from Teaching Maths with Meaning is donating her Problem Solving Made Easy pack
Classroom Fun
Rhonda from Classroom Fun is donating her Bats Bats Bats unit
The Paper Maid
Deborah from The Paper Maid is donating her Consonant Blends 7 & 8
Ladybug Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Match BOO to You! An 'oo' sound game.
Stef  from Miss Galvin Learns is donating her Ladybug Upper case and Lower case Match and her Boo to You 'oo' game.
Emma Farrell
Emma from The Clever Classroom is donating her Social Skills Posters
Teresa Evans
Teresa at Games 4 Learning is donating her Complete Tic Tac Toe Basic Facts Board Games Collection
My TpT Store
Tina from Good Morning, Mrs Rubie is donating her Hidden Pictures Ordered Pairs/Coordinates and Little Blue Owls Classroom labels
Melanie Lloyd
Mel from From the Pond is letting you choose up to $10 worth of stuff from her store
Kylie Crase
Kylie from Down Under Teacher is donating an item of your choice from her store
Tania Poultney
Tania from Mrs Poultney's Ponderings is donating her Fun flower facts to 10.

Click on the pictures to take you to see their wonderful items or browse the store!

Use Rafflecopter below to enter. This giveaway begins on Sunday and will end on Friday. 

I hope this is only the beginning for Australians on TPT and in the blog world. We are usually a bit slower to catch onto stuff (I mean we are now getting those new TV series the same week as you guys) but I hope it explodes in a big way for us soon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fractions Assessment Freebie

Today marks my last day of holidays. Part of my job for my stage team was to create a fractions assessment task for our Year one and Two kiddos. I thought I would share it with you guys too!

Feel free to use it, frame it, mount it in a frame or just put it in the trash receptacle hehe. Just remember that our students are entering their final stretch of learning for the year whereas many of you are just beginning your year.

It is nothing fancy but assesses the things from NSW outcome NS1.4 - describing half and quarter, using fraction notation, describing fractions as more or less than half and describing half or quarter of a collection of objects. To separate the 'men from the boys' so to speak, there are two fractions word problems at the end.

Enjoy! Click wither picture to grab from googledocs.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I can't believe its Currently time again! Go and link up with Farley here. And before I get into my currently, did you know she has currently templates for your classroom? They are definitely on my wishlist for the 2013 school year!

Ahhhh school holidays - the sweet time of year where I can be in my house and it is QUIET! My kids do not go to school yet, only preschool, and I have to pay whether they attend or not. So I use holidays as a time to just take some me time. And with my oldest going to school next year, its my last holidays by myself!

LOVE LOVE LOVE Spring! Except for all the flies - I hate flies!

Term Four at school is usually hectic to say the least with reports, picnic day, presentation days etc. I am trying to block it for a few more days and then will let all the stress start creeping in. And we have a new principal starting on the first day of this coming term. I am hoping for some positive changes.

Wanting an Ipad! I still havent joined in the hype and really really want to be a cool kid. The next couple of weeks is my goal.

As for books, I am a super reading nerd! The newest Harlen Coben one is awesome! If you like a bit of suspense, try the book, although it has a book previous to it (like a little series). Definately worth a read. And I *heart* Jackie Collins - you know you do too!

Don't forget Aussie TPT sellers and bloggers, I will be closing the interest for the giveaway on Saturday so I can get all the info together. See my previous post for more info. And if you aren't Australian, I hope to see you back next week when we show you how awesome Australian's are and enter to giveaway!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Calling all Australian Bloggers

I have been noticing so many Aussie bloggers floating around on blogs and on TPT. I think its great! I am forever thankful that I started this journey :)

I was thinking that maybe as a group we could do an Aussie giveaway. You don't need Australian themed items to participate but you need to live in Australia!

So what do you think?

Send me an email to b_beynon@hotmail.com with all your details such as Name, Blog Name and Tpt store link. Also tell me what you are willing to donate. 

I'll keep this open until Saturday night (Australian time) so that it gives me time to do the Rafflecopter business before we go back to work on Monday - or Tuesday if you are like me and only work a 4 day week.

Please share this blog post with any Australian bloggers that you know and hopefully we can show that Aussie bloggers are awesome!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The shame cloud is lifting...

Thank so much for the responses to my post about my baby girl :) Made me feel very validated in my role as a parent. I know I often just struggle through and hope that what I am doing is the right thing. Your comments made me feel and *warm and squishy*.

Well today was the day. I went into work with the sole purpose of reorganising that horrible terrible mess of a storeroom.

After 2 bags of rubbish, one trip to the recycling bin and about 3 hours... here is the result.

Lots of things still need labeling but how pretty does it look? I even lined all my paint up in rows! My yellow boxes hold my text books - I have a Literacy one, Maths one and then "other" which has themed stuff in it. And look my MAB fit on the shelf!

Yes that is indeed my floor (and I wasn't cheating much in this picture - I gave all the apples away to the kids on the last day and my handbag was outside the storeroom!)

My black and white stripey boxes hold all my games for Maths and Reading. My supplies shelf still needs a little work but I need to buy a few storage boxes to sort it all out.

And that's it! I am pretty proud of my effort....Now how long will it last?