Going Bush

Yet another blog post where I just have to show off some of the great work the kiddos have been doing! This group of kids I have are just so wonderful at turning an idea into such a creative piece of work - they bounce off each others ideas and end up with something so much more than I expected!

Have you read this book "Going Bush by Nadia Wheatley". 
It is an Australian book so that might rule out many of you. It is about a group of children (from all different nationalities) who go to parkland in Sydney. As they wonder deeper into the parkland they make observations and include facts about the Australian environment. We read this after our visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens and it inspired us! The illustrations in the book are part drawing, part photo, part computer graphics - we loved this idea!

We are in the process of creating our own Going Bush book about our journey. I printed out around 100 photos from our excursion and the children got to choose 2 to start with (some now have 5 or 6!). They interviewed other people in the class about the photos, wrote down what they remembered and some collected some facts. Now they have created a book page with photos and drawings as well as their writing. They are amazing! Here are a couple of my favourite photos:


I had thought all along that I would make a class book, but now have decided to display it as an open book so others can read it from the outside of our classroom. We have laminated each page. I am so proud of them! 

I love it when I can use a book to help our learning! We have also done some data collection from the book "If the World Were a Village - Imagine 100 people live in the village" - you can also watch a youtube clip here. You can download the worksheet I used here as a freebie if you are interested. It was great to connect some multicultural/world discussion with some maths!
    
P.S. Giants won the World Series - wahoo!
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Making Connections between Fractions and Decimals

What a lovely Sunday it has been. The sun is out, the washing is dry and the Giants are leading 3 to zip in the World Series - Yahoo! My Grandma hasn't been travelling so well lately and at the age of 95 is an avid Giants fan, so I hope they can do it for her! She either mentions the Giants or the Niners in every letter she writes to me! Go Giants!

Anyway, to more important news (as many of you may see it!).... As our Mental Maths book has become harder, the children have begun to be exposed to millions and hundredths. They have dabbled in millions all year, wanting "Wow's" by saying BIG numbers, but never really understood the concept. My teaching partner came up with this idea and I turned it into an activity for us to make as a reference.
The Number Caterpillar

 First we used a ten sided dice and rolled 9 numbers and placed in different circles on the worksheet. Each circle is slightly smaller than the circle before it!
Then we cut it out and made a caterpillar. I was going to laminate them to put them on their tables, but they ended up way to big (60cm long) so I am going to put them on display in the classroom for children to refer to. 

We are also having to work with decimals and fractions a lot more. So I included this caterpillar activity in my new Decimals and Fractions - Making Connections booklet. Also included in this book is a decimals number expander for tenths and hundredths! Here is a sneak peek.... 37 pages in total with full explanations.

 You can download it here on Teachers Pay Teachers

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week inspiring young minds.

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Understanding Place Value with 15+ Activities

Number and Place Value are two Maths topics that I am constantly revising throughout the year - it may be a quick 5 minute game, or a whole lesson, but the importance of understanding place value can never be underestimated. When I am teaching these basic concepts I always have my High School Teacher Mum in my head saying "Primary teachers need to concentrate on the basics".

A month or so ago I had an inspiring weekend - one idea lead to another idea which lead to more, and more and ta da, My Understanding Place Value booklet evolved.

Since then, I have been overwhelmed by the downloads I have received on this product, so I decided to "Make it Bigger, Make it Badder, Make it Awesome" to quote Duff Goldman and added some more activities. Having taught in both the US and Australian systems, I made a full "ones" version and full "units" version to take into account the different terminology used. Full explanation of each activity is included. I've added 16 open-ended place value tasks at the beginning of the document that can be used as discussion points, problem solving activities and whole class warm-ups.

Here are some of my favourites activities from the 70 page document.
Simple expanded form worksheet. This concept is important because it ensures student understand the place value of numbers as well as how to correctly read it. This understanding assists with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills. 

Add on numbers to a certain place value. This activity checks to ensure students know which number is in which place value. 

A Place Value Game that can be used as a warm up or for early finishers. A total of 8 worksheets are included with a focus on numbers in the place value of hundreds and thousands. Answers are provided where applicable. 

This is a worksheet can be used as a game. Children roll 3 ten sided dice, make a 3 digit number then write the number in the correct location and then roll again. The goal is to fill the whole sheet in correct order.  

These cards can be used for ordering activities. Included are 2, 3 and 4 digit numbers. 36 cards are included for each place value. 

How to Number Expanders. Using the template, children create number expanders to understand the concept of expanded form. This is definitely one of my favourites from the pack and the students agree. Full explanation is included. 

Everyone loves bingo! This one is bingo with a twist! Find out more when you download the pack. 

My class love this activity. License plate math! (Number Plate math version also included). Get your class outside and use the staff car park as your inspiration! Students practice reading and writing numbers and then put them in order from smallest to largest. 

Expanded form game. This is great clipart from Mel at From the Pond. Simply cut between each number set (the zigzag is so much funkier than just straight lines) and children can have fun matching the number with the expanded  worded form. Thirty 2-digit cards and thirty 3-digit cards are included.

The makings of a flip book is also included. This is what each child will need. Then put the numbers in order from 0 to 9 and staple to make a book. Everything is included in the pack!

Children cut along the dotted lines (and a little above) and fold numbers up and down to create different numbers. This is definitely another favourite with the students. There is something calming about making little books! 

There are few more classroom resources in the pack too. You really do get a bit of everything when you download it! Find out more information here, you won't be surprised when you find out it is my best seller. 


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Why I Will Never Use A Behaviour Chart Again - Linky

Nikki at Teaching In Progress recently made a post about the negative impact of a whole class (one size fits all) behaviour chart. It was a very interesting read... If you haven't read it, check it out here.
I related so much to what Nikki was saying so I decided to join her linky:

When I taught in the US I was introduced to a coloured card system. I had already been teaching for 3 years without a system and didn't really understand the need, but I went along with it. Everyday the children coloured in their square at the end of the day and had to show their parents, who then had to sign and bring back to school - a bit hassle! This was a one size fits all model for children - I had children who never moved from green, when then did, they would cry, others who threw tantrums when they got to red - surely this isn't the way it should be...... 

I will admit, I did have great success with it as a substitute teacher, it was consistent and a way we could easily implement the teachers behaviour management system.

So what do I do instead of a clip or card system? 
- We have a class essential agreement - we came up with together what we want our classroom to look like. Everything is listed in a positive way. We refer back to it when we need to.
- We reward positive behaviour constantly instead of negative behaviour.
- We talk a lot about how we feel when we do something great vs bad - it is the intrinsic reward!
- I use table points to motivate children - it is amazing!
- I constantly make reference to appropriate behaviour and congratulate those who do a great job!

That's not to say that all of the above works for every child. I may also need to bring in a behaviour chart for individuals, but I make it specific to them and where they are at making sure not to set the expectations too high for them. Some children have issues and don't fit the "box" that behaviour charts put them in. 

Join in the linky and read on with lots of other great ideas!
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Great Giveaway and 20% off Sale!!

Another weekend is over! I can't believe how slow the weekends seem to take to get here and then they go by so quickly! As usual, the house is clean, the ironing is done, the laundry is done, the schoolwork was left to the last minute is done - but alas no more booklets to upload to TpT yet - so sad...... :( Why do I leave the fun stuff for last!!!!! I even went to my first spin class today don't talk to me about climbing up stairs right now. I have a few half finished booklets - I just need a 3 day weekend already just to finish them off!

Another great Aussie blogger is having a fabulous giveaway, so head on over to Mrs Poultney's Ponderings and enter!


Edit - P.S. I am throwing a 20% sale until Tuesday on my TpT - so if you want some great little treasures head on over!
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Friday Freebies - Link it up!

Freebie Fridays
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Making Math More Fun FREE Magazine

Have you visited this website? Making Math More Fun is a website designed by Teresa, an Australian teacher who has created some wonderful resources!

Every two months, Teresa produces a FREE magazine called "Let's Make Math Fun". If you sign up for her magazine at the moment you also get a FREE Math Game Collection!!!! How amazing is that! You can sign up here!

She has just uploaded her September/October magazine and the exciting news is that I contributed to her magazine! Yahooooooo, it makes me feel SO GREAT! You can check it out here, but I definitely recommend you sign up to receive it free each month. This version is 32 pages long!



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How Great Do These Look!?!

Don't you just love Pinterest? As a teacher, Pinterest has been close to my best friend for the last year! This is a Pinterest inspired project that some children have finished and I was so excited I just had to share!
You might have seen the "My Place in the World" project by KidWorldCitizen - it is a great little activity for young children. Well I loved it, wanted to use it, but had to make it fit into our current unit of inquiry and make it appropriate for Grade 3 children.
Our current unit is "Events in our past have shaped our future" so we started with the smallest circle. We drew a picture of ourselves doing our most favourite thing ever!
Then the next circle was about our family doing our favourite thing or an event that changed our family.
The 3rd circle was looking at our town and important events in our town.
The 4th circle was important events in our state (Victoria) and things that have made our state what it is today.
The 5th circle was important events in our country (Australia) and things that have happened in Australia's history to make it the way it is.
The last circle was important events in the world.
Here is the result:
 They look so great on the wall - we have been gradually doing another circle as we have completed research.
This is what it looks like close up.
This is important events for Australia.
Suane comes from South Africa, so she did her best to draw Australia but got a little confused with South Africa - it looks great anyway! I loved her technology portion!

I was so proud of the kiddoes. I am so glad I laminated each circle - I hope they are a definitely a keeper!
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My Week in Pictures...

First week back at school for Term 4 and what a busy week it was! One of my programs was after having writers block all holidays, I kept coming up with great ideas for booklets all week! Now I don't have time to make them all!

Anyway, here is my week in pictures:
Monday
We had an all day PLC Training Day - I was tired by the end of the first day!
But fantastic news - I got some new maths books in the mail - I can't wait to read them with the kiddos. Tuesday
Doesn't this look fabulous? We used three pieces of paper, folding them at intervals to create a fraction book. The idea came from this booklet from TPT by Chrissy Beltran. Some fabulous ideas in this fractions book!
Inside the book
Wednesday
We went on an excursion (field trip) to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.
 We went on an Aboriginal Resource Trial that began with a Welcoming Ceremony - give the kids two sticks and you know they are going to hit them!
Ochre Painting. Do I regret organising an excursion in the first week back - certainly, but we didn't have much choice!
Thursday

By Thursday we were exhausted! We figured out we hadn't done much spelling at all this week - so we had a fun 15 minutes doing some fun spelling activities. I loved this story a girl wrote (even though it has spelling mistakes, she spelt all her spelling words write) and the boys were so cute writing on each others backs and then guessing the word.
Friday
Another great idea from Chrissy Beltran's fractions book! We put the fractions in order from greatest to least - we need a little more practice at greater than and less than!
I also organized a Free Dress Day for State School Relief and we raised over $900 - WOW! A great end to a very busy week! Ah now, the weekend is here....

P.S. Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway and also headed over to Teachable Moments to enter the Aussie Giveaway!
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Awesome Aussie Giveaway at Teachable Moments

The fabulous Brooke at Teachable Moments is having an Awesome Aussie Giveaway! 13 Australian Teachers have got together (including me) and donated teaching materials close to the value of $70!!! How amazing is that! You don't have long, so make sure you pop over and check it out now! It is simple to enter!

Graphic made by the very talent Mel at From the Pond

We have also put together a collaborative board on Pinterest. You can check that out at http://pinterest.com/alisonh88/downloads-from-down-under/ 

Don't forget I am still having my giveaway - don't forget to register your entry in both rafflecopters - there are two prizes to be won! See my previous post here
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