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 :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Be a Word Building Wizard!

Sight words! We need them to help kids with all aspects of literacy. But learning them can be quite a chore for some. So why not give it an extra dimension?

You can use it with any set of sight words! Or use the ones I have included as they are a good size to put on the mat. I made multiple copies onto different colours of paper so that each student has their own set to work with AND there wouldnt be a set of words which at the end has 3 'the' know what I am talking about! You also need some magnetic letters/letter tiles and a whiteboard marker.
So let's make some words! Choose and word and put in the box. Read it!

Now let's build it! Find the magnetic letters to make the word. Encourage more repetition of the word.

Now it's time to write. Making connections to words is so important so the 3 types of practice will (hopefully) help kids understand the words better and have better recall of them next time. Plus it is a fun way to practice!

Click any of the pictures to go and grab them in my TPT store.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Swap, Share, Give!

I am so excited to be part of this awesome product swap, linky and giveaway with my very talented Aussie blogger friends. We have lots of great products, freebies and a GIVEAWAY to share with you to help as you get back into the swing of a new school year, or for any Aussie teachers, to help you finish the year off well.

The Low-Down

We will each link-up to:
SWAP a product with a partner from the same year level;
SHARE a great Freebie; and
GIVE you a chance to win one of each product from the swap, just enter the giveaway on any of our posts.

Without further ado...

I was teamed up with Lauren from 
Grab button for Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep
It was hard to pick something to try out...they all looked so cute! But I settle on this fun CVC game.

The great thing about this game is that Lauren has included HEAPS of cards with different CVC words. I picked a couple of pages and to keep it simple and have a really good practice of those words included. You can always switch out the words and then you have a whole new game! 
 Pick a card and read it. If you can read it, you can keep it!
 Uh oh.....this was my first go :( Shark means all the cards go make it even more exciting, we might have been yelling out Shark Attack ;)
Sorry....all those cards are going back

I enjoyed using this game because it encouraged sounding out. Thanks Lauren for sharing it with me :)
Make sure you go and check out Lauren's TPT store too.

Grab this cute number matching freebie from my store. Perfect for little learners.


Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a copy of each of the fantastic products that have been included in our linky. Make sure you check out all the other link-ups below to find some more great products & freebies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 4, 2014

Secret Sight Words

Over the weekend I added a new sight word activity to my store. Let me give you a quick peek at

You will need the cards, magnetic letters and a white board (although if you laminated the cards, you could use a whiteboard texta!)
Choose a card. Each letter in the secret word is represented with a picture. Work out the initial letter for each word and find the right letter to place underneath.
 Build It!!! The secret word is be!
There is also a recording sheet for students to write their secret sight words on.

Keep making words. The cards are grouped into 12 words per coloured card, so you could just choose one colour per group or give each student a colour of their own.

It is a lot of fun and puts a new spin on sight word reading, while combining other literacy skills such as identifying initial letters/sounds, recognise and identify letters and reading sight words. Lots of fun and practice all in one activity :)

Click any picture to find it in my store

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Bundles of Fun!!! and a TPT sale :)

Have you heard about the TpT sale coming up! One of my fave things to do in the sale, is stock up on  fabulous teaching resources by buying bundles!

What is a bundle? A bundle is a collection of teaching resources that a teacher-author has grouped together in a zip file, so you can purchase it in one time-saving, value-packed swoop!

Not only are they time saving, but they are $ saving! Teacher authors will often give you a significant saving when they price their bundle. 

So you get time and dollar savings!!

Here are some of the bundles available in my TPT store for at least a 30% saving!

So, the lesson to be learned here - is 'Buy it Bundled"!!

I have put all my bundles in my store, in one time-saving store category for you, click below to find it! 

Head over now, and add the ones you like to your wish list! That way, you will be all set for sale day! 

Remember to use the code BTS14 on August 4-5 to get your 28% off!

I have been chatting to some of my friends about the sale, and discovered that they too, have some awesome bundles in their TpT stores! Head over to their blogs to find out more about their resources and special offers! Click on the links below to find them:

I would also like to give you an opportunity to win a TpT gift voucher to spend during the sale. I am giving away a $10 TpT gift voucher - just enter your details in the rafflecopter below!
Have a great day and go get your bundle on! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway