Thursday, February 28, 2013

Teacher Tip Thursday - Making Maths Games

Well it has been a very busy and somewhat disheartening week.

Firstly my main USB storage device was left in the computer overnight - and we had wild storm and weather which resulted in our house having a blackout. The result - power surge through computer and fried USB with no way to recover data :(

But it is

Making maths games for your class doesn't have to mean lots of printing and laminating. You can also create some really great games with things you find in the local $2 shop. This game that I am going to share with you cost me a grand total of about $6.

So what do you need? I bought some plastic shot glasses, some small craft sticks (you could use match sticks too) and some little plastic ziplock bags (snack size fit this game perfectly).

I divided the glasses into groups of ten and then stuck a label onto each one with numbers 1-10 (I didnt include 0 but you could!) Then I put about 50 sticks into the bag.
 I made 5 sets of these, but I did each set of numbers in a different colour, so that WHEN kids don't pack up properly and I find the cups on the floor later, I can return them to the correct set.
Here are all my little sets in a big plastic folder .

 The kids sort all the cups onto the table and then place the correct amount of sticks into the cups, as determined by the number. I have some students who are still struggling with numeral ID so I am actually going to add a second sticker that has dots on it, so that they can participate in this activity and build their number knowledge too.
For my capable students I was asking them to order the numbers too. For those who could do that, I was getting them to order them in descending order too.

Because the activity it very hands on, my kids found this one extremely engaging. As we progress, I will make another set of cups for numbers 11-20 and just switch out the old cups.

I hope you have enjoyed this tip and go and do some $2 store shopping on the weekend to create your own version of this game :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Practicing Letters Freebie

So far in two weeks in KB we have learned the sounds that 6 letters make. By learning all the sounds that letters make, we give kids strategies to be able to 'sound out' words by going through their choices.

We have started handwriting and forming letters but lots of the lovelies need lots more practice. I thought this might be a fun little activity for them to practice and it integrates math as well. I was planning on getting them to write on little whiteboards so it incorporates some variation on fine motor too.

I have only included the letters we have started with, but there is a lower case and upper case version for you to use. I will add to this file as we learn more letters and will keep it free! But there will be no bells and whistles for this one. You will have to follow me on Facebook to get notified of the updates.

Click the pic to go and grab this doc from TPT.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bee Police - Teacher Tip Thursday

Ahhhhh news - it is one of those 'necessary evils' in K-2. We want to encourage them to talk, express themselves, build confidence.....the list of skills goes on. However, news can be a painful experience at times if you don't have any guidelines (as I learned the very very hard way in my first year of Year 2).

Enter the tools of news :)

1. Timer
We have a IWB and I usually select a timer. I put a count down clock on the board and show the kids how to set it for 1min 30sec (I think thats pretty generous). It counts down and the timer usually choose a fun sound effect to indicate that time is up. The students know that as soon as the noise goes off, it is their cue to ask Any questions?

2. Limit of 2 questions.
That's it. No discussion.

3. Bee Police
Our behaviour system is based on our rules Be Kind Be Safe Be Fair and the students get bees for being a great student/trying hard/giving me presents etc etc. In order to promote good listening during news, I have a Bee Police who watches for listeners during news and gets to award those students bees at the end. This year they also get to wear a cool badge that I made and also a set of bee antennae that I bought at Woolies (sorry no pic of the headband-yet!!!).

What are your tips for news time?

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Weeeee problem

Oh man.


Two kinder kids.

Did tinkles in my room.





One on the floor.

Didn't tell anyone - just left a puddle.

One on the chair.

More bucket than puddle.

It is just someone told me.


What a day.

Any tips for helping train my kindy kids about the right time to go to the loo?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

School Sport Smile Linky

School - My school has the UGLIEST school uniform - Brown and Yellow. In secret some of my teacher friends and I call it Brown Town (you won't tell anyone will you??)

Sport - I love playing Texas Holdem Poker and it is my dream that one day I will play in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. It costs $10,000 US to enter, so i better start saving.

Smile - My husband sent me 12 long stem red roses to school for Valentines Day :) I have to admit, I cried for about 10minutes hehe. 

Go and link up with Steph.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Kinder Maths Freebies

To make up for my absence, I am going to share with you two maths activities that I will be doing in rotations this week. At this stage, we are just practicing our numbers and becoming familiar with them (and the practicing of rotating groups is part of the learning too!)

The first freebie is numbers 1 - 20. Give the students a bag of numbers and a little bag of pegs. They clip the number of pegs onto the card and then you could have them order the numbers. We are starting with 1-10 this week but the document has numbers to 20. I bought these little pegs from the $2 shop

The second freebie is a trace, copy, draw the right amount of dots and then fill in the ten frame. It includes numbers 1-10.

Click on the pics to go and grab them from google docs. I would love if you left a comment if this is something you can use.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Teacher Tip Thursday on Saturday!

Well it has been one of those weeks...but I am so happy with what I have accomplished with my Kinders in such a short time. We are sitting quietly on the floor, raising our hand to speak and taking turns like champions. Go KB!!!

One thing we are trying to do a lot of is name practice. I have about 5 kids who cannot write their names. Each child (Courtesy of my awesome teaching neighbour) has their own handwriting car where they must trace and copy twice with a whiteboard marker. Then they rub out and repeat.

This was causing a bit of drama which leads me to....

To help your munchkins rub out their whiteboard marker work when it is on laminated paper, you must get yourself some of these - 

These little babies are a little expensive, but if you chop them up and make small ones, you can probably make a class set out of a few packets.

I bought mine at Woolies for $4 a pack, but I managed to make 8 out of this 2 pack. And it means that the kids aren't complaining about not being able to rub out!

I hope this tip is helpful to you :) And I promise I will be back more regularly soon.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My first week of Kinder....

May I just begin with how my week was?


My first week of Kinder was all these things and more! I take my hat off to anyone who has ever been a Kindergarten teacher - OMG!

It had an extra layer of stress and emotion added as this week my own little girl started Kinder at a different school. Its been hard being absent Mummy and then trying to be dedicated Mummy while a never ending list of things to prep for the next day rolls through my head constantly. Forget fun, TPT, socialising or even talking to my husband at night - I am just too.damn.tired.

And on Wednesday I lost my voice for the first.time.ever. Yep! Kinder teacher + no voice = interesting time.

But it has definitely opened my eyes!

The Kinders we have are an outgoing bunch but academically, it looks like we have a long road to travel together. We are still grouping them together (45 little smiling cherubs) but next week will start separating them into classes after the morning session as they seem to settle a little bit better with some breathing room.

My daughter seems to be doing ok - super tired and not a lot of information shared but that is ok, I understand. The poor little thing had her birthday this week as well (and a vomiting bug to cap it all off). Can you see why I am glad this week is nearly ending.

Hopefully this madness will settle in the next couple of weeks as my darlings start to find some independence and social skills (and I hope they can find the fine-motor skills that they left at home as well - their scissor skills are shocking!!!!)

I'll leave you with my happy little girl, who will be even happier at 3pm today when I pick her up from her first week at big school.

Photo: My gorgeous girl first day of kindergarten xx

Friday, February 1, 2013

Currently February!!! O M geeee

Are you serious? Feb already? Link up your Currently with Farley

Here we go!

I always seem to be listening to the TV while I'm on the computer and LEGO Batman has been going strong for a few good hours :)

I love my grown up little girl is starting school on Monday and then  it is her 5th birthday on Tuesday :)

Thinking that I can't wait to get started with my new class. We have now assessed all the kids and seem to have a lot of work in front of us!! Wish me luck!

My husband and I have decided to build a home so now it is going to the architect. We need some ideas about the inside and the outside, colours, layout.......

I am keen on a new computer with more hard drive space.

You know those people that I am talking about - I'm older so I know better/everything. Sorry love, simply not true!

Super Sunday Sale!

By now I sure you are excited about the ads during the Superbowl ;) But in between the ads, what can you do?

Go shopping!!!

Thanks Jessica Weible for the cute graphics.

Make sure you get up to date on all your feedback to make sure you get your TPT credits which you can spend in the sale which means more stuff for you!!!! (That was quite a long sentence!)

Here are some of newies and favourites in my TPT store

 My best seller with 20 games including instructions. All you need to do is print and laminate, add some dice or a pack of cards and away you go!
 These board games were a favourite of my Year 2's last year. Practicing division is hard but this game makes it fun!! There are 7 different games included focussing on dividing by 2, 3, 5 and 10.
 This one has been super popular lately. It has a range of activities to help your students understand adjectives and how to use them to improve their writing. There is even a craft and writing exercise to finish the unit off - it is a super cute Cheshire Cat!
 This is one of my newer games and is Kindergarten focussed but would be perfect for RTI or your struggling Year 1 students. Concentrating on being able to match numbers with dot patterns, it includes 4 recording sheets which would be perfect for assessment and 3 different games so you can cater for different levels.
 Another Kindergarten focussed game, this one is BINGO style and gets students recognising numbers as both written form and on ten frames. The included resources allow you to create 4 different leveled BINGO games and has 6 assessment/recording sheets to monitor student understanding.
This one is another Kinder/RTI activity pack which students can practice making numbers on a ten frame. It also moves into making addition facts on a ten or twenty frame and is perfect for your visual and tactile learners.
And finally, my Seed Diary has had a massive overhaul so if you already have this one, make sure you redownload it. But it is perfect for your seed adventure in the classroom with lots of room to write and draw.

So go and grab a bargain! Some of my friends will be on sale too so go and check out their store and fill your cart!!