Monday, 21 December 2015

Gift Tag Templates

It's that time of year when people seem to really pull out all the stops with gift wrapping. Each year the presents seem to more and more creative and beautiful. From the outside that is. 

I will admit, I have never followed through with any well made plans to decorate my gifts in a pin-worthy style. Sure, my boards are filled with great and clever ideas. They just never eventuate in real life. 

This year I decided to make one small step toward pin-worthy gift giving. Granted, Christmas is not all about the gifts, but I know how much I appreciate a well presented present. 

So this year, instead of writing the names in marker on the front, I decided to add a cute gift tag:

DIY Gift Tags

Now, my mission to find cute gift tags was a tricky one. I didn't want to spend much, but all the cheap tags are super tacky with santa's and reindeer motifs all over them. Not what I was after. 
So I made my own! Using my birthday present (Wacom Tablet) which has sat unused in its box for half a year now!

I wanted to share the tags I made with you too. You can get them from my TPT store here. There are 40 different tag templates altogether.

When you download them, they are just clip art. But print on pretty paper and voila! Cute gift tags!

DIY Gift Tags

Hope you find them useful this Christmas!
Gift tag template

Stay Joyful!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Five for Friday - 16/10/15

It's been a busy start to the term. Here's what we've been up to in Prep this week:

#1 - Vowel Surgery
We reviewed our medial vowels using Elizabeth Hall's Vowel Surgery pack.
They loved pretending to be surgeons fixing up their patients! 
vowel surgery medial vowels

#2- Vowel Mailbox
Later in the week we played Lauren Kuhn's You've Got Mail Game. They found this game so funny for some reason. They couldn't stop giggling every time they "posted" a letter. I didn't get a photo of this-sorry!

#3 Intro to Weather Unit
We started our Weather Unit this week. First we watched scenes from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and discussed what we thought "weather" was. 
To get into weather symbols, we went outside and observed the sky and I asked them how we would draw what the weather was like today.
To help them we played a matching symbol game. I gave someone a word and they had to match it to the symbol. 
weather symbol matching game
Then I let them choose 4 symbols to draw and have a go at labeling them. 
weather symbols
To take it one step further, we drew "weather patterns" using Down Under Teacher's Pack.
weather patterns

#4- The Little Red Hen
This week we started our mini book study on The Little Red Hen. 
We have been doing lots of work on finding word families we know in the text as well as learning the "ea" digraph in wheat, reap and eat. 
Here is our version of a craft I found off Pinterest. Good ole Pinterest!
The Little Red Hen Craft
The Little Red Hen Craft

#5- Texture Rubbings
In art we are looking at textures and mixed media. The Preppies had so much fun finding objects and seeing how they turned out on their paper after running a crayon over it. Again, I forgot to get a photo of this!

Well, that's how my week went. How was yours? Link up with Doodlebugs Teaching. 
Till next time, 
Stay joyful!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Warm and Cool Art Ideas

Warm and Cool Art Ideas

Here in Australia we are entering Term 4 - our final term of the year. Time certainly has flown by!
It's been a while since I've blogged here, things got really busy. I was trying decide what my next post would be about when I came across a heap of old photos from our mini unit on colour in art last term. 
So I thought I'd share those:

warm and cool art

To introduce the unit I showed the class a few photos. I just typed in "Warm colour landscapes" and "Cool Colour Landscapes" into Google Images and selected a few good ones to show the class. We discussed the colours in each and how they made us feel. 
Then I labelled one Warm and the other Cool and gave students a sheet with 2 blank T-shirts on it. I got them to decorate one t-shirt using only warm colours and the other using cool colours. They were allowed to copy from the list on the board. 

Abstract Drawings

The next lesson also included revision of shapes and lines. We went over what we learned the week prior then I gave them all a black piece of paper and a black crayon. I gave them instructions such as "draw a small circle" or "draw a large square" and they followed. 
abstract drawing shapes

Then they had to draw straight lines that could join shapes together or join shapes to the edge of the page.
abstract drawing lines

Each child then choose a colour scheme and they filled in the shapes with crayons. 
abstract drawing

Warm and Cool Landscapes art
This was the culminating artwork of our unit. It also served as an assessment tool to see which students could work within a colour scheme and describe how the art made them feel. 
The first step was to paint the sky. They were told to choose warm or cool colours (and yes, there were a few who did every single colour because they wanted a rainbow in the sky, but at least they could describe to me why they chose those colours and how it made them feel...right?). 
The next day after they had dried we used watered down black paint to do the trees by blowing the paint through a straw. They LOVED this step!
warm landscape art
cool landscape art

Hope you get some ideas for your next art lesson! And I'll try not to leave too much time before my next post...
Till next time, 

Rainbow Lily Designs

Monday, 2 March 2015

Cupboard Curtains - Monday Made It!

Sprucing up your classroom on a budget:
I have a brand new classroom, in a brand new school... so a lot of little projects have been happening to get it looking cute and fabulous for my preppies. I have been restricted with a limited budget and supplies, and I know many others are too. I have seen others make them with cloth, but even that was too expensive/time-consuming for the time being! Today I'm sharing a really cheap and easy way to make cupboard/shelf "curtains" to hide all your resources from curious hands and prying eyes!

#1 First, you need to buy some plastic tablecloths. I brought mine from a cheap store for $2 a packet. I only needed 2 packets of each colour to cover 7 cupboard spaces.

#2 I kept the plastic folded in half and cut pieces to match the size of my cupboards. I cut them double the size so I could have a "curtain" look with folds.

#3 Then I rolled out a piece of duct tape. I used clear because that was all I had. But you could use black or any pretty colour and skip step 6. Make sure the sticky side is facing up.

#4 Begin to lay out the plastic, creating folds as you do so. You can just lay it flat as well if you want flat curtains. Make sure it only reaches half way up the sticky tape as we are going to fold it over later.

#5 Fold over the duct tape to secure the plastic.

#6. Fancy up the front with coloured duct tape or skip this step if you like it clear or used coloured duct tape in step 3. 

#7. Stick velcro dots on the back. I cut mine in half as the top of the cupboards was a thin area. Place the matching velcro dot on the cupboards.

#7 Viola! A really quick and cheap curtain to hide all your resources!

I make a rule in my classroom. If the curtain is down you do not touch. If it is up, you can use the resources in that cupboard. Works really well for early finishers, free play, morning work etc. 

Hope you found this useful!
Till next time, 
Stay joyful.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Five for Friday- 27 Feb 2015

1. Bippity Boppity Bumblebee:
I introduced the concept of syllables this week. Because their names are the most important and familiar word right now, we sang Bippity Boppity Bumblebee to help us figure out the number of syllables in everyone's names. It took a few goes before they really got the idea. For a while, a few thought we were counting letters in our names!
I got the idea, words and images from Deanna Jump's Names Unit.

2. Guided reading groups:
This week we continued using Tara West's Introduction to Guided Reading tracking strips. I am so excited to see my students starting to make connections between spoken words and written words.

3. Building Humpty's Wall
We focused on the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty this week. The students helped me to build his wall using words from the song. This activity was great as a meaningful word work activity. Because they were so familiar with the words from the song (and we have been reading it using the big book lots too), they were able to identify even the "tricky" words like "couldn't" with a little prompting.

4. Fixing Humpty
Keeping with our Humpty theme this week, we revised the sound of the week /c/ by sticking /c/ words onto bandaids to patch poor Humpty together again. I forgot to take a picture of this one-sorry!

5. Sale-my purchases:
I stocked up on some products that have been on my wishlist for a while! Yay!
Here is what I purchased in the sale this week (click on the image to go to the product page):

I am so excited to start using this resources!!! What did you buy at the sale?

Hope you all had a great week! Don't forget to link up with Kacey from DoodleBugsTeaching for some Five for Friday fun!
Till next time,
Stay joyful.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Five for Funday!

Yep, this is a very late Five for Friday post! 
Working in a brand new school has its perks, but it also has its challenges - like all the extra paperwork and preparation  that comes from starting from scratch!

So, instead of these photos being from the past week, they are from the past 3 weeks. Just a snapshot of what we have been doing in Prep so far:


First day hand prints:
On the first day of every year, I like to talk about how each person is special. We make these hand prints as an art activity to go with it. They always look so good on the walls (or in this case windows).


Self Portraits and Rainbow Names: 
Another activity I do every year is self portraits. I do them in term 1 and then again in term 4 as a comparison. This year I had access to blocks with mirrors inside them. Every student had one to look into as they drew themselves.
Later that same week, we discussed the colours of the rainbow and painted over our names. The inspiration for this activity came from Deanna Jumps product: Names Unit.
 Don't they look amazing all together on the wall like that?
I also like this activity, because you can see who has got the concept of drawing a body, and who needs more work with their fine motor skills.


We have been sorting in Maths this past week. Every day, before we break up into small groups, I get the students to practise sorting into hoops on the carpet using different objects. In this picture, I had asked my volunteers to sort by colour. 


Fine Motor Activities:
At the start of each year I'm reminded just how much preps grow in a year. As always, they come into school with very little, if any fine motor control. Week 2 saw lots of practise as they picked up objects using tongs.


This week we started our number unit. To catch a quick glimpse of who knew what, they helped me order 1-10, match to quantities and count using one to one correspondence in their small groups.

Hopefully, now that things are settling down a bit, I will be able to post Five for Fridays on a Friday and more regularly! I have several ideas for upcoming posts because I had to make so many things from scratch and I was forced to be somewhat creative, using limited supplies. Ideally, I'd like to share some of those things with you. So, stay tuned!

Till next time, 
Stay Joyful.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Sanity Savers!

With the new school year almost upon us here in Australia, I am linking up with Elizabeth from Kickin' It In Kindergarten to share some sanity savers!

I absolutely love GoNoodle and I am eager to try out the new brain breaks they have made while I have been soaking in the summer sun!

Fav GoNoodle Brain Break: Definitely the Zumba Kids videos. It's so hard to choose just one! These ones are great because they get the kids up and moving.
Happy Place: I got to enjoy many moments like this - curled up on the couch next to my husband with our dog sprawled out on top of us, between us or on our feet. It has felt so good to just sit and relax, watch some TV and not have a to do list running through my head. With only 1 week till work starts again, I'm sure going to miss those relaxing moments.
Guilty Pleasure: I am not really a tea drinker, to be honest. But last year one of my student gave me a box of peppermint tea and cookies as a Christmas gift. I am now slightly addicted to peppermint tea (maybe because it tastes like candy canes?).
Keep Calm and...: I have been making the most of the nice weather the past few days and have managed to take my dog for a walk every morning. Normally, my husband walks her in the morning, and we both do in the afternoon (well, usually he does while I collapse on the couch after a busy day at school). One of my "new year resolutions" is to get fitter and healthier. I have found going for a morning/evening walk to be calming and great for clearing my head. Hopefully, I can keep it up once school starts! 

What about you? How do you stay sane? 
Don't forget to check out the linky at Kickin' It In Kindergarden!

Till next time, 
Stay joyful :)