Monday, 15 December 2014

A Christmas Conversation
I love this time of the year. Not because I get a truckload of gifts from my students :) , but because there is so much joy in the air!

I know I haven't posted for a very long while. I have two very good excuses, I promise!

Excuse #1: I am moving schools, but still teaching Prep. This has meant a lot of packing and carting stuff home. I then have to re-cart everything into my new classroom next year! I can't do it slowly over the holidays because of construction happening in my new classroom. 

Excuse #2: I've been relaxing  in Fiji with my husband for the past week. Cue obligatory photo:

 Now for the Christmas Conversation:

Most are self-explanatory. 
My "Tradition" happens at home, not at a carols by candlelight event, like Church etc.
 In my family growing up we always brought out all the presents on Christmas Eve and put them around the tree. We then turned off all house lights and turned on all Christmas lights and candles. We would sit around the tree singing carols till late into the night. Now, I'm married so Christmas Eve is spent listening to carols at home snuggled on the couch with my husband. But, when we have children I am definitely going to keep my childhood tradition alive.

Link up with Abby, from The Inspired Apple to share your Christmas Conversations.

Till next time, 
Stay joyful and Merry Christmas!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Christmas Writing Prompts

I'll be honest - this post was meant to be written a while ago. Life, and by life I mean teaching/school, got real busy!

In Australia, we are finishing up for the school year, saying goodbye to our current bunch of students. Marveling at the wonderful things they can do now that they couldn't back in term 1. Like write a full sentence that actually makes some sense :)

I whipped out some of my Christmas Writing Prompts to make use of their wonderful writing skills, as well as get them to reflect on Christmas in more depth. The pack has flashcard style prompts for free writing or brainstorming on the carpet, as well as journal pages to guide their writing.

First we used the "Meaning of Christmas" page. Here are some of their answers:

He wrote, "Getting presents. Jesus birthday."
She wrote, "Because we need to celebrate Jesus' birthday."
She wrote, "Because it is Jesus' birthday on Christmas."

A few days later I asked them, "What do you do on Christmas day?"
 She said, "I celebrate my birthday." Which is true, her birthday is Christmas Eve.
This girl said, "I woke up early and sometimes I go to Japan and we have fun there and there is even snow." Wishing we had a white Christmas here in Australia.
"I go to the beach."  
Yup, let's face it, I can dream of a white Christmas all I want, but this is what I'll be doing come Christmas day.

Speaking of all things Christmas. Check out this gift I got from a student today. Its a Darrell Lea Christmas Coconut Nougat Pudding. Divine.
I took a picture of me holding it for perspective - look how big that thing is!

Yum! Lucky I have a major sweet tooth!!

Stay joyful :)

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Fun Rhyme "Snatcher" Games

Fun Kindergarten Rhyming Games. #Rhyme #RainbowLilyDesigns #education

My class love rhyming games, come to think about it, they love any game!
These "Rhyme Snatcher" games came about because of that love for both rhyming and games. I wanted something that could eventually be independantly done in a small group 
(after I had taught them to play appropriately, of course).

It all started with my dog. Yep, my dog. See, I had the idea of a new rhyme game in the back of my head, but I was stumped for a catchy name. Then one day I was telling my preppies about how my dog loves to pick up EVERY SINGLE leaf when we go for a walk. I showed them a photo of her carrying around a whole heap of leaves in her mouth. That's when one boy yelled out, "She's the leaf snatcher!" 

And the name stuck. 

Every teacher can adapt games to suit their class, but my preppies play this game by turning over a card and if it rhymes with their card they get to keep it. The winner is the first with all 4 rhyming cards or the one with the most cards when the time is up. You could also use the cards as flashcards, a word wall, memory games etc.
Excellent activity to go with the fall theme.  #rhyme #kindergarten #RainbowLilyDesigns

The pack includes 40 cards each with a different CVC word (4 from each word family). I laminated mine for durability. It also includes instructions and worksheets. The worksheets are differentiated so all your students can complete at their level. The simplest one is for students to record their words, the next is for students to record words and then generate more that rhyme, and the more challenging worksheet is for students to record, generate more and then put these into sentences. 

My class loved them so much I had to make more, so Cupcake Snatcher, Treasure Snatcher and Present Snatcher were born!

All the Rhyme Snatcher games work the same and include cards and worksheets. They just focus on a different set of words and have a different theme. 
Cupcake Snatcher uses of digraphs and blends. Treasure Snatcher  uses of CVCe words and Present Snatcher uses CVC words but with a christmas theme.

Cupcake themed rhyming game and worksheets #education #cupcakes #RainbowLilyDesigns
Pirate themed rhyming game and worksheets #education #pirates #RainbowLilyDesigns
Christmas themed rhyme game and worksheets #education #christmas #RainbowLilyDesigns

You can purchase the packs separately, or you can save money and purchase the bundle. 
Great rhyming games #education #teacherspayteachers #RainbowLilyDesigns

If you just want the Leaf Snatcher, it is on sale for October only. Grab it before it goes back to its original price!

Till next time, 
Stay joyful!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

October Currently

Wow! October already, that means I'm about to head in to the 4th and final term of school here in Australia. The final stretch!

Here's what I'm up to currently: 
(It feels odd that it is Spring where I am, however this linky is hosted by someone on the other side of the world, Farley). 

Listening- If you haven't already, you need to check out Kimberly Geswein's Podcasts about Inspiring Entreprenuers. Not only is she an amazing font artist, but she is totally authentic and inspiring! Check out the interview with Deanna Jump. Definitely inspiring! Okay, I'll stop with the word inspiring.

Loving- I woke up to an email alert saying I had reached 30 followers on Bloglovin! Yay! Okay, so for some of you that is small, but it's a personal milestone so I'm celebrating.

Thinking- September was my 1 year anniversary on TPT. So now that it is October, I am officially in my 2nd year of being a seller on TPT. Double yay! 

Wanting- Yeah, it's a little weird that I'm talking about Spring yet the currently is clearly meant for my northern hemisphere friends who are enjoying fall. But, regardless of the season, my holidays are coming to an end. Back to school next week for the final term.

Needing- I need to get out and go grocery shopping ASAP. Unless I want toast with vegemite for dinner, because that's all I've got. Yep, time to do the shopping.

Trick or Treat- TREAT! Because most of you reading this will be from the northern hemisphere I will discount my Fall themed game - Leaf Snatcher, ALL OCTOBER! 
It is a fun game that using simple CVC words to help students identify rhyming words.

Till next time, 
Stay joyful!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Brain breaks in the classroom

GoNoodle Inspiration Blog

I'm a blogger who brain breaks-do you?
I have to say I have mixed opinions about the level of technology in student's lives these days. However, GoNoodle is hands down a fantastic use of technology in the classroom. I cannot speak highly enough of this website. Having said this, "old-fashioned" brain breaks are just as important and useful in maintaining engaged (not to mention healthy) students.

A recent study in Australia indicated that: "Australian kids (are rated) D- for Overall Physical Activity Levels" (2014 Active Healthy Kids Australia Report Card). Time to do something about that!
I'm linking up with GoNoodle to spread the word about brain breaks.

They posed some questions:
1. Often times adults see exercise as a chore, but for kids exercise should be all about fun and play. P.E. and recess offer great opportunities for kids to get their play on, but how can we bring this idea into the classroom as well?

 It is sad that so many adults see exercise as a chore, especially when it is so vital to a healthy life. But, it's understandable, we live in such a busy, fast paced world that it is hard to find time to look after our bodies. That's why I love ideas like GoNoodle. They offer a range of movement breaks to get students up and moving in a fun way (and let's face it - the teacher too!).

2. Something awesome happens in kids brains when they are active. Have you observed students to be more focused and engaged in learning when you regularly incorporate movement into your classroom?

Absolutely! If I see them getting fidgety halfway through teaching time, I stop and get them to do jumping jacks and then they are able to re-focus. If we are transitioning between lessons and they are about to do some sitting, I put on GoNoodle or play a game that gets them up and moving. Likewise, if they come in from lunch (recess) all hot and tired, I put on a calming brain break from GoNoodle, such as AirTime and watch as they all relax, ready to learn again.

3. Kids are watching and following your lead! How can teachers model healthy, active lifestyles to their students, inside and outside the classroom?

I think it is so important that we are healthy role models for the students. We may even be their only positive role model. I love getting up and dancing with the kids during the brain breaks (even if they dance better than me!). If they see you having fun, giving things a go and getting active, they are more likely to follow suit too. Even though I teach preppies (kindergarten), I still tell them how important exercise is to their bodies. We are told to be transparent and tell students learning goals and how to achieve it for academic lessons, why not for brain breaks. When they know why we do it, they will hopefully maintain a desire to do it even after they move on from our class.

Since I started "class champs" (as I call them) in my room I have seen many positive changes. Suddenly, kids will become engaged for that all important point :) A handy thing when I have a particularly energetic bunch! Our class favourites from GoNoodle, are: Air Time (both versions), all things Zumba,  Dancing Robots and of course, Frozen. :)

How do you incorporate movement into your classroom? Do you use brain breaks?
Do you GoNoodle?

Till next time,
Rainbow Lily

Friday, 19 September 2014

One Year Anniversary

I feel so bad - I have sort of neglected this blog for the past month or so! Life got REALLY busy for a while there, and now...well SPRING BREAK! Yep, 2 weeks holiday starting right now!

 1. Dinosaurs
This one is technically from a few weeks back :) 
The original idea is from here. Thanks Babbling Abby! I tried it with my students- they loved it!
"If I saw a dinosaur I will run away."
"If I saw a dinosaur I will scream and run."

2. There's A Wocket in my Pocket!
To reinforce the concept of rhyme I read Dr Seuss' book: There's A Wocket in my Pocket. We brainstormed words that rhymed with "pocket". Then they chose one word and drew a picture of it in a pocket. Below are: Flocket, Tocket and of course, Rocket in my pocket. I saw several good ideas on the internet and ended up making my own worksheet and finding some clipart of pockets to use.

#DrSeuss #rhyme #WocketInMyPocket

3. Jellybean Maths.
Today as a fun, "last day before holidays" activity I brought out the jellybeans. I wanted to revise a whole heap of maths activities so first they had to share the jellybeans equally. This was a very serious task. Every student was making sure every group had exactly the same amount. When you put lollies in the mix, suddenly they get the concept of being equal!
Then they sorted and made a addition story to match. You could incorporate subtraction as well (but we haven't learned about that yet.)
Then we recorded our findings on a graph.
#Jellybean #Maths

4. Holidays.
It's hard to imagine there is only 1 more term left to go for the school year! Having said that, the last term can wait for 2 weeks while I relax and try to do anything but schoolwork. :)

5. Anniversary SALE this weekend!

This weekend marks one year on TPT. So much has happened in that time that I wanted to celebrate. My entire store is 20% off all weekend. Ends 22/9/14. 

Rainbow Lily.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Five for Friday 8/8/2014

I love being able to give highlights of my week by linking up with Kacey, from Doodle Bugs Teaching.

1. Ladybird Addition
We have been doing lots of practice with addition this week. I saw this on Pinterest, originally. They turned out so cute!

2 Questioning
This week we focused on asking questions when we read. I have been modelling how to question and the sorts of questions we can ask when reading until now.
On Wednesday, I read a book and stopped half way. I let the students ask some questions. I scribed them all of course! We then continued reading and realized that some questions we could answer by reading the book, others only the author could answer. I stuck all their questions on post it notes and referred to them as we went along. 

3. Fruit Loop Words
This week we covered long and short /oo/. And, because we had bags of fruit loops left over from our 100th day activities, what better way to use them to make /oo/ words!
Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos (I must get better at remembering to take photos!)
Basically, the students had pictures and they sounded them out, wrote the words, but instead of writing /oo/ they put fruit loops there instead.
We may have had a few fruit loops somehow end up into little mouths..."by accident". :)

4.Catching Up With Friends
I will admit that I've been super sneaky this week and scheduled this post, so I could spend the evening catching up with my best friends. :)

5. Long Weekend!
It's Ekka (Brisbane Exhibition) week next week. So I get a long weekend! Yay! Enough said :)

Till next time, 

Stay joyful!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Get ready for the big sale!

Although, it is not Back To School time here in Australia, it is in other parts of the world. 
So I'm joining in the fun by throwing a 20% off sale in my store during the TPT Back to School Storewide sale. 
That means if you use this code (BTS14) in my store you will get 28%off!

I can't wait to grab some bargains! I've already got quite a few things on my wishlist!

I wanted to share with you all a few of my products that might come in handy as you start the school year. 

No classroom is complete without a birthday wall and birthday treats ready for your students. I find it really helpful to make all the birthday certificates and treats at the beginning of the year, that way I don't need to think about it during the year!

Click on the pictures to put these on your wishlist, ready for the big sale!

#1 Birthday Month Posters:
I printed mine off two on a page, but you can use them however you want! I stuck each child's name along with their birthday on the correct month. It sits on the window that looks into my office (giving me a little privacy!). 

#2 Birthday Certificates:

 In this pack, you also get several options of bookmarks. I use the certificates and printed and wrote a generic message on each (with no name and just the year on it). I then laminated it and stuck some cute small rubbers on the back of each one. These all sit in a box on my desk ready to give out whenever a birthday arrives.

#3 Birthday Gift Tags:
These super cute gift tags are FREE! So you can grab them before the sale even starts! I designed these for those teachers that have such creative ideas for birthday gifts already. You simply print, cut and attach to your existing student gifts! 

While you're at my store, don't forget to grab these too:
Great to engage young learners to find, decode and record CVC words. They look even better printed on coloured paper and then laminated.
Numbers worksheets australian

This numbers product was one of the first I ever made-  have an "American" version in store too!

These Thinking Skills Worksheets go with my Thinking Skills Posters FREEBIE.

Thanks for sticking with me through the shameless plug of my products!  I hope you find some really great resources to use in your classroom during the big sale. I know I am really looking forward to it!

Stay joyful!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Currently August

Is it August already? 

Listening - I have been so busy at school this week that I neglected a lot of cleaning duties around the house. So right now, I am listening to the sound of the washing machine. 
Loving - The weather in Brisbane has been wonderful lately. Also, a bit weird though with a massive bushfire near my school resulting in a orange glow all day on Thursday. Made it feel like Christmas for some reason... I don't know why?
Thinking- Like I said before, it has been a very busy week. We have started Term 3 here, so things are gearing up for Grandparents Day, Sports Carnivals, Parent Teacher Interviews etc... 
Wanting- I have a copy of Good Health Magazine open on the sofa. It has sat there all week and I have not managed to progress any further. I just want to finish reading it, but I have more pressing work to do. You know how it is.
Needing - As always, more sleep! 
1st Day- It is in Jan sometime, I think from memory I went back on the 20th and the kids came back on the 27th. I could be wrong. It was a long time ago!

That's it for me. Link up with Farley to join in the fun.

Till next time, 
Stay joyful!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Five for Friday - 100th Day of Prep!

Today was our 100th day of Prep!!! 
So I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a 100th day style Five for Friday.

1. 100 Creations
 The students had the option of bringing in a project made from 100 of "something". We had some incredibly creative ideas! One girl had sat up "all night long" (so she said), to cut out 100 paper people chains. That's dedication!

100 pictures, 100 petals, 100 paper punches, 100 paddle pop sticks, 100 Cheerios (to make an abacus), and 100 pieces of Lego.

2. 100 Year Olds
 I originally saw this idea from Howywood Kindergarten
First, they finished the sentence, "When I'm 100 years old...", then they crumpled up paper and flattened it to make a wrinkled face, added a semi circle for a shirt and then added details on the face using felt pens. I used white paint for the hair instead of cotton wool (because I had none!).

3. 100 Activities
 We practised counting in 10's up to 100 and then made ice-creams to go along with it. 
We also counted out 100 beads and timed each other to see who could do it the quickest.

4. 100 Songs 
 We sang lots of songs about the number 100. Thanks to GoNoodle's new feature where you can add your own YouTube clips, I had a few counting to 100 songs ready to go! And, because they were getting points to sing them, they were more than happy to count to 100 so many times!

5. 100th Day Party!!!
You can't have a 100th day without a party. We had SO.MUCH.FOOD! Seriously, I had trouble fitting it all on the tables. The kids kept coming back for seconds and thirds...until I shut the door and made them go run around outside and use up all that new sugary energy they had obtained from mountains of cupcakes and chocolate biscuits.
What a day!

Till next time, 
Stay joyful!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Five for Friday 18th July 2014

Here in Australia, it is the beginning of Term 3. For me, the students don't come back till next week as we have a full week of professional development and meetings this week. 

Here's what happened...

1. Windy Weather!
This past week has been freezing in Brisbane! It has also been incredibly windy. So windy in fact, that a branch was blown onto a powerline today and brought down the power for the whole suburb that my school is located... while we were all at school madly preparing for this coming Monday! No lights, no internet, no phones, no photocopying, no laminating.....not fun!

 2. Sugar Free - attempt
I have the biggest sweet tooth. I have been very well meaning in cutting back for so long now. I finally decided to try to do an artificial sugar "cleanse" for a few weeks. Well...failed 4 days in a row...noo!! I WILL complete 21 days of no articificial sugar.. (eventually).  

3. Digging Up CVC Words.
I finally printed my Digging up CVC Words pack ready to laminate and use this term.
So excited to use them!

4. Cleaning/Re-organising my classroom.
I have been inspired by all the classroom organisation blogs and back to school posts by all of you on the other side of the world :) So I did some "winter" cleaning/culling of my classroom. I moved around some furniture too. Fresh start to the term I say! I must remember to take before/after photos next time.

5. My SitSpots Arrived!!! 
That's by week done and dusted!
Till next time,
Stay joyful :)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Book Talk Tuesday - Do Your Ears Hang Low?

I was recently given a stack of children's books for my birthday. This was one of them:
Do Your Ears Hang Low? (Published by Scholastic)
It is a classic children's song turned into a book. 
The first thing I did when reading this book was to put small post it notes over some words. We read the book and predicted what the covered words might be. Surprisingly, it took a while for them to catch on to the fact that I was covering the word that rhymed with the last word in the sentence above:) They were being so creative with their predictions, though!

Then we read it normally (and sung it!). 

I then gave them a "special listening activity" (aka mini test to see who knows what about sentence parts!)
I had typed out some sentences from the story. I stood in front of the class and gave them the "special instructions" for them to complete on their own. 
E.g Circle the capital letters/Underline the sight word your/cross out the question marks/colour the spaces yellow and so on.
They then drew a picture of what their ears could do. This students said, "My ears look like love hearts". :)

The students loved it so much and did so well on their "special listening activity" that I decided to spruce it up a bit and give it away for FREE for all my wonderful blog readers and Facebook Fans.
So, you can either click on the picture below to download the FREE Do Your Ears Hang Low Special Listening Activity.
 Or you can head over to Facebook, become a Fan (like Rainbow Lily Designs) and then click on the 'Freebie's for Fans' tab on the left hand side to get the activity.

Hope you find it useful!
Till next time, 

Stay joyful!