Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas Crafts

Christmas crafts!!!

1. Stained Glass Windows

I used this template from ,  I had my aide cut out the star before hand (as my students are only 5yrs). The students used oil pastels to colour the window in and then used cellophane and stuck it on the back for the star.

Looks so effective all together like this.

2. Marble Art Candy Canes

For some unknown reason, my students have loved any marble art activity and even ask for everything to be done using the marbles.

For these we chose either red or white paper. We had to be careful to use the opposite colour paint!

I just hung them straight up, but I have seen nice poems to go with this artwork.

3. Class Christmas Tree

This was a complete mess! But the end result was worth it.

Each student had an equilateral triangle that they decorated. Then we put them all together to make a class one. Awww – so pretty. I got this idea off pinterest!

4. Angel bobble heads

This worked so well. My teacher aide actually found this idea online and showed me. It did require some preparation. I had to print pictures of every students head and cut them out first. The students traced their hands and one foot and put them all together to make a “bobble headed angel”. Very Veggietales like I think.

5. Tissue Paper Angels

6. Glittery Stars

These stars were messy to make! We cut out 2 star shapes from yellow card and then glittered them (some students were very heavy handed with the glue and glitter!). Then we cut up the middle of each star and slide them together to make it 3D. They all hang along the wire in the classroom at different lengths and move in the breeze. So pretty!


We had to be clever and find places to put all this work to dry every day. We had glue, glitter and paint EVERYWHERE!

I love it! Best part of teaching – getting messy and being creative.

Till next time,

Stay joyful!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

November Currently

Wow - where has this year gone?

I'm loving linky parties at the moment so I'm joining Farley for this one:

Listening - Have you seen Pitch Perfect? Then you will know exactly what I am talking about! Not a fan of the movie, but this song is pretty cool when you see it in full.

Loving- I told you I love the Cup Song! I found a tap dance version and have it on repeat. Watch it here:

Thinking- My husband just turned 28 so we had family over. With family comes waaaaaaay to much food. Hence, the food coma :)

Wanting - I love love love these cute gift tags from Kate Hadfield. I so want to give them away this Christmas but my class has so many allergies it would be unfair to some kids who couldn't eat them. Oh well, maybe another year?

Needing - Goes with the food coma, and report writing all weekend. Major nap needed right now.

A yummy pin - I was inspired by this pin to make a similar salad for the birthday lunch today. Mine was mesclun lettuce, cooked chicken, feta, sundried tomatoes, shallots, and avocado all mixed together. Yummy!

That's it for November!

Till next time,

Five for Friday - Linky Party 18th Oct 2013

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday.

Here goes...

1. Spring Fair 

Our school had its Spring Fair on Saturday - boy was it huge! The kids had such a ball. There were carnival rides, dunk a teacher, animals, stalls, face painting, more stalls, competitions and of course- performances. My wonderful students danced to Bible Bop by Go Fish and sang to I Can Sing a Rainbow (with Auslan Sign Language). They did so well.

I don't have any photos of their performance :( but I do have pictures of the artwork they created to sell to parents. We put masking tape over a canvas, painted each section a different colour, added some texture prints and then removed the tape.

2. Lesson on Fluent Readers.

I had a brilliant, aha! lesson on Tuesday about fluency. 

3. Colour by Sight Word

We did some colour by sightword fun!

4. Testing

It is term 4 here in Australia, which means end of year reports. Blah! I have been testing students on numeracy skills all week - soooooo over it...

But, in general, my class are meeting expectations so far, so I'm a happy teacher :)

5. Lack of Sleep

This week has been characterised by all as a "tired week". After the festival on the weekend, everyone (students and staff) started the week tired. Then came, staff meetings, professional development meetings, more staff meetings, Bible College class, and updating Report Card subject overviews. Not to mention a normal week of teaching, testing, students having allergic reactions during a lockdown drill, students walking into poles and cracking their heads, and students so tired they are constantly at each others throats!

So glad it's the weekend. Hopefully all students (and me!) catch up on sleep and can start next week fresh. We have a student free day on Monday, so it's looking good!

In the meantime,

  Stay joyful!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Inquiry and Reflection Skills- Posters and Worksheets

Hello all!

I was de-cluttering my teaching resource boxes and came across these:

I made them when I was a student teacher for a science unit on insects. Posters like these are so handy to re-use each year for different things so I thought I would update them and let you all have a FREE copy too. Click here to get your FREE COPY!
inquiry and reflection science posters

I printed them out on coloured paper, cut and laminated and then stuck a magnet on the back so I could use them on the whiteboard at school.

I also created worksheets to go with the posters which you can download from my TpT store.

inquiry and reflection science worksheets

They are designed to help scaffold and build important inquiry and reflection skills in students. The worksheets get students thinking about their learning in meaningful ways.
Simple enough for younger students to engage with, but relevant even for older students to benefit from.
Included are posters:
*What did you learn?
*What did you discover?
*It makes me wonder...
*It makes me feel...
*It makes me think...
*It reminds me of...
*How could we find out more?
*Who could we ask for more information?
*What will I do with this new information?

Hope you find these FREE posters useful! Make sure to get the WORKSHEETS to use with them.
Stay joyful :)

Power of Positive Words

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." (Proverbs 18:21 ESV).

Okay, so I am meant to be on "holidays" but as a teacher that means spending my "down time" to plan for next term and get prepared for end of year reports!!!

So I was looking through my students results and one child in particular caught my attention. At the beginning of the year I thought he would have to repeat - see, he was this cute little button who his parents and siblings did everything for. He had 'learned helplessness', but at times it appeared as though it was more than that - almost like a learning difficulty. So when I saw just how much he had improved, (he made it to C- yay!) I thought about what it was that did it for him.

I remember back to a particular day when we were doing addition. Now, this worksheet had two sides - an easy and a hard side. I had been sitting with him helping him with the activity prior to the worksheet so I said to him, "Have a go by yourself, and when I come back I want to see you have finished one page." He needed a bit of a push so I even showed him which side to start, pointing to the first question and talked him through it - then went to help other students.

By the time I got back he had his head in his hands, looked up and me with this helpless look and said, "I tried but I just can't do it!" I looked at his finished page and exclaimed, "You did the hard side!" I sat down fully expecting to see it all wrong, but was very surprised to find he had finished the page correctly (and no one else beside him had finished that page).

"Guess what!", I said with joy, "You got them all right! You got the hard ones right!"

"Really?" He said, looking at his work, with these wide open eyes, "I told myself to have a go like you said and I did it!"

"I am so proud of you," I said. "For that you get a stamp on your page."

He was so happy he hopped straight up and ran to his friends at a nearby table telling and showing them about his work he did by himself and how proud I was of him.

In the weeks to follow I made sure to praise his efforts, no matter how small they were. Eventually, his mum caught me after school one day and said, "All he ever talks about is how clever he is and how proud you are of him. Thank you so much for getting through to him."

I was blown away that those simple words, "I am proud of you", could change a little boy's self worth, and in turn his parents view of him as capable instead of helpless.

It is true what the Bible says concerning our words:

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear" (Ephesians 4:29 ESV)

"Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body" (Proverbs 16:24 ESV).

God really is teaching me a lot about my words and their power. Not long after I made this connection with the student in my class I saw this Joel Osteen sermon : Be Positive or Be Quiet. I recommend you all go watch it right now!

So, all you teachers out there, or anyone who works with children - watch what you are saying. Speak only positive things over your students and see their potential as learners.

There's a message here too for everyone - be positive or be quiet. Our words have so much power in them. We can make or break someones day just be what we are about to say. The same goes for what you say about yourself or your life.

So, my challenge to you today is: BE POSITIVE OR BE QUIET.

Stay joyful!

Bottle Blossom Trees

Every year my school puts on a Mother's Day Art Show where artwork from each class is displayed in the hall for all the mothers to go see with their children. I had a whole Pinterest board dedicated to finding the right artwork for this project! I eventually found the perfect artwork - simple enough for my Preppies (Kindergarten) students to do independently, but still so effective as art.

I found this image and liked the look of it:

Here is how I adapted it for my class:

1. Because I had to use A3 paper I started collecting mini softdrink bottles (250ml). Make sure you have a look at the pattern the bottom of the bottle makes because they are all different.

2. As I teach young students I drew an outline of a tree for them to fill in with brown paint.

3. Then I put out 3 different pastel colours for the blossoms. I let them choose and print using the bottom of the bottles.

4. I then matted the art onto coloured card and named them. See the picture below for the final outcome (I have removed student names for privacy reasons). The first is a close up, and the second how they looked arranged on a display board in the hall.

I titled the artwork, Bottle Blossom Trees. I was very impressed with the final outcome.  Even more impressed when mum's came back with good comments!

I love it when ideas from Pinterest actually work :)

See you next time!

Symmetry In Insects- A Freebie!

***Since this post I have updated the free version and added an amazing full version with over 30 choices of insect worksheets!!! Click here to get the FULL VERSION***

 Symmetry in Insects Free Drawing Worksheets

Symmetry Worksheets - insect edition

So I joined Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) not long ago, and I must admit I am hooked! I had been meaning to create my own products to post on TPT for a while and eventually decided to make something based on an activity I had done on a Gr 2 prac as a student teacher. The class were learning about symmetry in Maths and insects in Science, and because I love art, I joined the two. Symmetry in Insects! I drew a detailed, close up of a bee and left off half the drawing so the students could finish it off. You should have heard the room go quiet as they all sat there trying to make theirs the most symmetrical!

Years later I now have my own classroom of gorgeous Preppies (or Kindergarten I think it's called in the U.S). I have been blessed with a class that are obsessed with drawing and quite a few that live on farms and love nature. So I thought it was about time to bring out the ole' symmetry drawings again. This time I made easier ones, of course!

This is a picture of the final outcome from one of my more artistic students:
For the FREE pdf of symmetry worksheets including easy ones to harder ability level worksheets- go to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store :

Don't you just love symmetry in nature? 

Stay joyful :)