Literacy and Numeracy Week!

Wow! What a busy week! I can't believe 7 weeks are gone of Term 3 and we are heading into our Spring holidays soon! This week I was chosen to attend an Australian Curriculum PD - I admit, I went into it expecting it to be quite dry, but I am very excited by the change from state by state curriculum to Australian Curriculum! We will start the transition next year! Judith - I will definitely be asking you some questions! Are there any other Australian teachers who have already started?
This week was Literacy and Numeracy Week. We celebrated a little. Each day I read the children a very special book of mine and shared why I loved it so much. Then on Thursday, we switched classes and read our absolute favourite to another group of children. A new audience!
We also wrote 6 word stories. I told the children I had a special challenge for them and they started screaming when they found out they could only write 6 words - but then when they got started, they came out with some amazing stories - my less able children loved it - it was easy for everyone!
Here are some of my favourites (the rest of the story was told through the pictures):
"Can't talk, I'm in the Olympics"
"Lawson fell from the ceiling, bang"
"Harvey and the pirates opened treasure"
I was amazed by their creativity! They had to think so much about the words they used!
But this activity was my favourite! I put together a stack of my books.
Then I asked the children what Maths we could do with the books.
The first suggestion was share them out. So we had a guess how many we would get each, then shared them around the circle.
The next suggestion was write a problem solving question.
Then we measured the spine of the book. One girl in my class decided to find the surface area!
Then we measured a stack of books.
Then we searched for words with the most number of letters.

The children had lots more ideas: adding together the number of pages in each of their books, finding out the surface area using tiles, finding how many of one word is on one page, making a tally of how many two and three letter words there are on the page. We could have gone on for ever!

If you wanted to do this activity in your classroom too, you might like to use this worksheet I created (just for you all, we approached the task with a more problem solving/investigative approach). In the pack is a version with Australian spelling and one with US spelling - check before printing!

New Blogs, New Stores and New Freebies!!!

Over the last week, I have been looking for some new stores on TpT and some new blogs. I have found some wonderful blogs, stores and freebies and I just had to share them with you all! I have been downloading free items and providing feedback, commenting on blogs and becoming new followers. All the things that excited me when I first started! (Actually, lets be honest - still excite me!)

Snaggle Box
Snagglebox is a blog written by an Australian mother of children with autism. Bec gives advice and offers support to parents and teachers of autistic children. She currently has an AMAZING 69 booklet for sale on TpT - Autism Preparation Kit. It is full of practical information for teachers, what to expect, helping transition, the first few weeks of school and extra resources. I only wish someone had given me the opportunity to download this booklet when I had an autistic child! It would have been so much help! Bec also has a free tactile ideas booklet for children who need to keep their hands busy!
Robyn is a 4th Grade teacher in Ontario, Canada. I always love finding 3rd Grade and above blogs to follow! She is just starting to blog and has lots of free items on her TpT. This is my favourite freebie!!! 

As she is new, she would love a few more followers, comments on her blog or feedback on her freebies! If you have a spare minute, share the love!

Liz at Bayside Teacher is another Australian Teacher. She has some great maths packs for free and for sale on TpT. This is the one I downloaded! I've already printed it out and it is ready to use! And of course FREE! She's offering a flash sale every time she sells 10 items!

Mrs V's Adventures in Teaching
Many of you might have seen this blog before - but she has a terrific post and freebie at the moment. A fabulous maths ideas - and best yet - it is a freebie! Read more about Spin That Number!

This is a fabulous document from Leah Chamberlin on TpT. Another great freebie is Sixty-Five Ways to Practice Spelling. Download and rate today!

Edit 1
Here is another great activity that is a freebie from Primary Partners. I already have 100's charts laminated (used counters to move), so then I used a paper clip and a pencil as a spinner and we played this game as a "Race to 100". The class LOVED it! On Thursdays I teach a streamed maths group (about 2nd Grade level).
I hope you enjoy all!

Pinterest Linky

Are you addicted to pinterest too? I can't believe how time flies when I am checking stuff out and pinning it! Check out some great pages through this linky!


Teaching and Assessment of Sight Words

Today I would like to tell you a story - it's about a young teacher, moving to a country school, 2 hours away from anywhere she had been before. She was teaching Grade 5, then the next year Grade 4 - both years were a great start to a teaching career, she and the children had fun, but the classroom lacked routine - and lots of solid assessment that lead to better teacher. Then this teacher taught Prep (kindergarten) and things changed.... assessment of letters, sounds, words all became important! This teacher is of course me! Following my country school experience I spent two years in the US then back to Australia to teach Grade 1. My big concentration since those first 2 years have been doing meaningful assessment that guides my teaching and provides evidence I need to know!

The school I teach at uses Oxford Words to measure the growth children make in their early years reading and spelling sight words. Oxford Words are basically just sight words, but have been put in the order of the words children most commonly use. So "I" is obviously the first word, followed by "the, and, to, a, was, my, went" etc.

When I was teaching Grade 1, I put together sets of bingo (6 cards per group of 20 words - perfect for small literacy groups), flashcards and an assessment record. My school was, at the time, very conscious with using Victorian Cursive as font. I have altered these documents and uploaded them to my TpT and TM stores for instant download for teachers who need more stability in teaching Sight Words.

Even if you don't use "Oxford Words" at your school, you would easily be able to use these - they are simply words, but in a specific order!

Oxford Word Bingos - 6 cards per set - 10 sets in total, words 1-200
Victorian Cursive
 Included with each bingo sets are teacher cards to laminate and cut between and 6 cards (2 per page)

I used a different colour for each set so I could easily see which set children were working on that day. Purchase from TpT and TM.

If you don't live in Victoria or Australia, then you should download this booklet!
Purchase from TpT and TM.

I have also uploaded flashcards of each word from 1-200. There are 20 words per page. I used these as whole sheets for in class identification, testing and sending home for practise. I also laminated and cut up sets and used them for games. The children loved playing "Oh No" and "Crash" - everything you need to play these games, including instructions, are included in the pack.

Flashcards - 12 pages - 20 words per page - words 1-200
Victorian Cursive
 Purchase from TpT and TM.

Other font flashcards
Purchase from TpT and TM.

The very last thing I uploaded was my assessment checklist. This includes words 1-200 with space for children's names below. Each month or so (depending on children need) I would test children on their sight words at their appropriate level. I would colour in the corresponding box on the checklist when they confidently read the word. Each time I tested, I used a different colour to show the progress children made across the year. Then it was easy to group children together who knew similar words and needed to know others. It also looked impressive when I was asked how I assess sight words!
Purchase from TpT and TM.
I can also email you an editable version of this document once you have purchased the pdf.

I hope if you are sitting there, reading this and you are currently not assessing your sight words correctly, that my booklets can help you get on top of using assessment to inform teaching!

Friday Freebies on my TpT and Saturday Sale!!!!

Hello to all the lovely teachers who are reading my blog!

This Friday I am hosting a very special event! At 5pm Australian time (midnight Californian time) I will be marking each of my items that are $1 and $2 on my TpT store as FREE!!!!! That's right FREE!!!! What an amazing deal! But hurry, this will only last until 3pm Saturday Australian time (10pm California time on Friday). Then all previous prices return. Then I will have a 20% off sale on all my items on Saturday and Sunday. Sounds GREAT doesn't it!!!!!
There is no catch - only if you do download something, I would love to receive a feedback comment as a thank you for your freebie!

Why am I doing this?

1. I know how hard teachers are working on a daily basis and although the pay in Australia is reasonable, US teachers deserve so much more!!!! So an opportunity to give out some freebies is my little way of making someone else's day!
2. I would love some more feedback on my work and people will be able to do it when they don't pay a thing to buy the product. All feedback is requested on my TpT, blog or at

Please come, enjoy, comment and then visit again soon!

New Fun Games and Bulletin Boards!

Happy Tuesday everyone! It is nearly over in Australia - it was crazy hectic for me, how was it for you?? We are in Week 6 of Term 3 - I can't believe it! Time is going way too quick!

Here are some new resources I uploaded!

This booklet is only $1 - It includes a sheet of analogue clocks, a sheet of digital clocks, the heading "What's on Today" in three designs and two pages of subject related pictures.
This is how I use them in my classroom!
You can download it from TPT and TM now!!! ONLY $1

My class love playing Old Maid. I think one of the reasons is that it is an American game so they haven't really played it before! So I made an "Old Owl" for children to use during Word Work time. I have included 14 pages, 28 pairs of words that my class of 3rd Graders are having trouble with.
Here is the Old Owl Card
Some of the words include: excellent, fantastic, amazing, Wednesday, Tuesday, should, would, light, straight, upon, beginning, altogether.
Instructions are included. This resource is only $2 and you can download it from TPT and TM!!!

I have also updated my Place Value Bingo Game thanks to some lovely advice from a follower! I have included more photos to explain how to play and jazzed it up a little!
Thanks Michelle!
I have also recently added a permission to pin button. I have always been unsure whether or not I can pin other bloggers items. Now I have added mine, please feel free to pin anything of interest!


Welcome Mrs O, Great Activity and Freebies!

The world of blogging has given me the opportunity to meet so many great people via email and blog posts - however, over night I learnt that one of my old colleagues from when I worked in Washington is now blogging too! I am so excited, so I would love to introduce you all to Mrs O Knows! And let me tell you Mrs O definitely knows! Her creativity is mind blowing, understanding of how children work is phenomenal, her classroom is oh so beautiful and of course she is just a fabulous person! Already on her blog she has shared some fabulous ideas - I can't wait for more!!!!

Here is a post I love for upper elementary: Number of the Day

Please show her some bloggy love by visiting her blog and TpT store and leave her a comment or two and some feedback! It is so hard to get started and get your name out there to people, so in fact I would love to help speed the process along for Mrs O! Here is your chance to get a FREEBIE!
Simply visit her blog or TpT store and become a follower and I will let you choose any item $2 or under from my TpT for free! (Just leave me a comment on this post with your email address and your choice of freebie after you have visited Mrs O and I will get it to you as a HUGE thankyou!) Comments and feedback for Mrs O would also be appreciated, you all know how hard it is to get started!

Thanks lovely blogging world!

Quick Place Value Freebie

A quick and easy freebie for you all!
Simply print it out, enlarge and laminate a class set and you will be amazed how many uses you find for it in the classroom! This Place Value Board shows the MAB equivalent of ones (or units), tens, hundreds and thousands. We play games with them, use them for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division sums as well as demonstrating place value.
My favourite - Race to 100:
You will need a copy of the board between 2, a dice (6 or 10) and counters, buttons, MAB or icypole (popsicle) sticks.
Simply start with zero icypole sticks. Roll the dice, add that number of icypole sticks to the ones column. Continue to do this until you can trade for a ten. Icypole sticks are great because you can just tie a rubber band around groups of ten to demonstrate a bundle. Continue rolling the dice and trading 10 ones for a ten until you get to 100! I played it with Grade 1 and we had race to 40. But with my Grade 3's we play race to 1000! We just use MAB because nobody has that many icypole sticks!

Download it for FREE from my TPT store or TM store. 
If you do download it, I would appreciate some feedback to let me know what you think! Thanks!


Teaching with J

I'm so excited to have found some Australian teachers to connect with. One is Judith who is a teacher in Queensland. She had a great post a few weeks ago about using pegs in the classroom. Here it is! Teaching with J - she has a fabulous idea of dying pegs and putting on jewels as a reward - just lovely!


New Blog Design!

I love my new blog design! I had been experimenting with free blog designs, then I read an article that talked about if you want a good blog, then pay for it! So that's what I did! I looked at some of my favourite blogs and found Dreamlike Magic Designs! Highly recommend! They were cheaper than most, very fast and BEST of all, they uploaded the blog design for free!!! Check it out!


Rafflecopter - Teaching Fabulous Firsties!!!!

Corinna at Teaching Fabulous Firsties is having a 100th follower giveaway. Lots of teachers, including myself, have donated activities for free to the Rafflecopter! So check it out today! I have donated my Pirate Maths Booklet - 19 pages of great maths ideas!

All you have to do to enter is to follow blogs or TpT stores connected to the Rafflecopter! Simple!


Fantastic News! Teachers Pay Teachers are having a Back to School (for US teachers) sale! If you need any classroom resources, this is the weekend to get them! Visit the site on August 12th and 13th and use the promo code and you can save sooo much money and buy more stuff!!!!  EVERYTHING in my store is on SALE! Check out my page here. Don't forget the promo code!

Here is a booklet you could start with! Look who lost a tooth today!
This pack is inspired by Ready Freddy: Tooth Trouble by Abby Klein. A book every first grader would love! Included is:
 - Idea, a poster (above) and favourite book list
- certificates for when children lose their teeth at school

- class and individual graphs

- outline for writing a letter to the tooth fairy
- a big tooth

It is available here from my Teachers pay Teachers store and here from my Teachers Marketplace store.


Great Activity - have you seen this?

A colleague of mine found this website and used the Subtraction Triangles in our afterschool class for "gifted and talented" Grade 2 and 3 children. She made a example and cut out numbers for the children to put together also. The kids (28 boys and 2 girls) LOVED the challenge! See what you think.....


Place Value Bingo!!!!

A few months ago, I posted this pack on my blog - I wondered whether other teachers actually understood what I meant! So I finally membered to take photos of my set that I use in my classroom. This year I am teaching Year 3, so we have been working in the thousands, so this is the bingo game I printed off twice (in two different colours). Last year I taught Year 1, I printed off the Tens and Ones only. When I taught Year 5 I used up to millions. It is soooo versatile!

You can download it on TpT here or TeachersMarketplace here. All the instructions for using it in your classroom is included in the pack as well as 7 pages of bingo cards you can use over and over again (and in every year level you teach!) $2 definitely worth it!
To play, children write a 4 digit (in the below bingo card) number on a piece of paper. Then as you call out the numbers, they cross them off. When they have all four numbers, they call out "bingo" then they read their number out and you can check it on the board!
I store the cards in a zip lock bag with the game board.

As I call numbers out, I put them onto the board so I know exactly what numbers have come out!

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