Patch Up Post

I have been a bit better with blogging the last few days, but there has certainly been a couple of months where my blogging has been sporadic! So when I saw Brooke at Teachable Moments created a linky about Patch Up Posts, I had to join. My greater dedication towards my blogging world starts from NOW!

This weekend I have been working on my new classroom design for this year. I have moved into a new classroom, with an office, storeroom and little workroom (I am very excited) but it too me so long to clear stuff out, sort through my stuff and be happy with my layout, that I am only just getting to my classroom design now. I was in school this morning finishing up a few things and getting some material up on bulletin boards. No sneak peak yet - I will take a few photos this week and show you. I will share though, that my room seems to be a Graphics From the Pond themed room this year. Everything I make seems to use Mel's resources or clipart!

For Victorian followers, here is a sneak peak at what I am creating at the moment, I plan on doing a few different fonts too, so if you have a request, now is the time to let me know! I will let you know when I upload it to Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Marketplace.

If you need to do a Patch Up Post too, head on over to Teachable Moments and link up!


All About Me Time Capsule

My classroom is still progressing at this stage - I am still at the cleaning and re-organising phase, but that has to get done this afternoon! Before I pop into school, I thought I would share a great idea I have done for a few years - a Time Capsule!

Firstly, children work through this booklet, it is a great beginning of the year activity to help you to get to know your children a little better, as well as forces the children to reflect on themselves.

Then take a picture of each student and measure their height. I like to use paper streamers (not the stretchy kind) that I found at my local party store. Paper streamers are easy to rip and the children can write their name on their streamer.

Then put it all together in an envelope, then into a box and seal.

My favourite part of this activity is the last day of school (mind you, my class last year wanted to open it many times throughout the year and I got regular reminders, including emails from parents, about not forgetting to do it). When you open the time capsule, children love reading what they wrote at the start of the year - discussing how things have change, then seeing how much they have grown. I am going to do it with Prep (Kindergarten) again this year, by altering the task. Last year, one student couldn't believe how sad he looked in his picture at the start of the year - it was nice to have that quiet reflection with him.

You can get more information and download the pack here.


10 Top Tips for New Teachers

Three posts in three days, I am getting much better at staying on track! Thanks to all my loyal readers who have put up with my absence. You would think over the holidays you have more time, but perhaps we just waste more time....

Today, I'm linking up with Lauren at Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep for her 10 Top Tips for New Teachers. This year I am teaching with a Graduate Teacher, so this is a perfect time to reflect on what I have been discussing with her! If you are a beginning teacher, head on over to Lauren's blog to read what others have had to say.
Top Tip for Classroom Management
Get yourself organised at the start of the year so you have everything you need done ahead of time. Little things like labelling books, getting out resources ahead of time, knowing where things are in the school, can save you a lot of time in the long run.

Top Tip for Behavioural Management
If you are going to have classroom rules, develop them with the children. They need to take ownership of the rules so they are accountable. Have each child sign around the outside of the rules (or underneath) so they all commit to it. Reward the positive behaviours instead of punishing negative behaviours wherever possible.

Top Tip for Being a Team Player
In your first year of teaching, many teachers may help you by giving you lots of great ideas. But remember to have a little look online yourself - there are some great resources out there, especially on  websites like Teachers Pay Teachers, Teachers Notebook and Teachers Marketplace. There is also Enchanted Learning and DLTK for younger children. Don't be afraid to offer suggestions - it takes give and take!

Top Tip for Time Management
Be organised. Know what you are going to do in your day, how long things will take and make every single minute purposeful with your class. You are going to waste time if you don't have all your resources there, ready to go! Where possible, correct on the go, so you don't have a pile of books left for you to correct at the end of the day.

Top Tip for Engaging Students
Variety, excitement and enthusiasm. I have always said that in the classroom I could make the most boring task exciting, just by using an exciting voice. Try it - hide the task inside the activity if you can. For example, you might tell this huge story first and then have children complete a task from the story, is that more engaging than saying "Today we are going to do this...." - YES it is! Mix things up occasionally too - it doesn't mean you change your whole room around - just change a task, or the way it is done.

Top Tip for Getting Along with Parents
Be welcoming towards parents (a simple hello and goodbye can do it), aim to learn their names as quickly as possible, contact them for BOTH positive and negative issues and always listen. LISTEN, listen, listen to the parents and if you are challenged by what they are saying, ask a colleague to help or pop in to help answer their questions.

Top Tip for Teacher Fashion
This tip is curtsey of my Mum, a teacher for many, many years. She said she always rotated her shoes. I know it sounds basic, but I do have some favourites, especially in summer, but after wearing the same pair of shoes all week, your feet can hurt. So mix it up - this idea really just gives you an excuse to buy more shoes!

Top Tip for Bargain Hunting
I've discovered Op Shops or Goodwill for games, puzzles and basic furniture for my classroom this year. It is amazing what people will give to Goodwill, definitely things classrooms require!

Top Tip for Eating Well at School
I always pack salads the night before (or make a big pot of soup at the start of the week) so my lunches are ready to go. I am also keeping some vita wheat crackers and some cans of tuna in my desk this year, for those just in case times...

Top Tip for Staying Sane
Go for a walk, chat with friends, watch some TV or play on the internet - anything to give you a little rest everyday! Also make one day a school free day, mine is usually Saturday!

Head on over to see some more tips at Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!


Australia Day is Coming Up... Resources 50% off!

Days are going by too fast, too fast! Still so much to do before school starts again! We do get Monday off school though, in celebration of Australia Day! Australia Day is on Sunday the 26th of January, so this year we get the Monday holiday instead of! I'm pretty excited to have R home for 3 days to play with Lexi so I can get some more work done! A puppy sure does distract you.....

Since Australia Day is coming up, I thought I would quickly remind you of my Australian activities!

Firstly - Australia Day Resources
Secondly - Put Australia Back Together

Thirdly - Australian Fact File

And if you are wanting to make your own Australian Resources, this clipart set might help!

If you head over to my store, all of my Australian Resources at 50% off until Australia Day! Happy Australia Day!


Starting to Say Goodbye to Holidays....

It is getting closer to the date when school is to start again for the new year. With a change to a new year level, it means all new resources. After spending a couple of days at school unpacking my Early Years resources, I spent the day at home today....

PRINTING, PRINTING, PRINTING (I am sure I went through 3 or 4 ink cartridges .....



ALL WITH THE HELP OF LEXI (who chewed up a box)

I hope to be able to post classroom pictures soon, still getting quite a few things organised!

Happy Wednesday everyone (jealous of all of those who have a snow day today - enjoy!)


January 12th - Wait... already!

I've just checked the calendar and can't believe it is the 12th of January already! That means a few things...
Firstly, I haven't blogged in over a month
Secondly, I have only two more weeks of school holidays left (How does that happen so quickly)
Thirdly, I really need to get myself organised and get some jobs done around the house
Fourthly, I missed the Currently again, and this time for my birthday month! Boo!

The school year is so busy, yet we still seem to find time to get most things done - I often say "I'll do it in the holidays" and of course, I don't seem to get around to it, does anyone else do that?

Well, my lack of blogging, school work, organisation, cooking and cleaning may possibly be a result of this new arrival in our house!

Lexi is one adorable puppy, but soooooo much work! The first week I think I was just tired, now I am glad it is hot so she runs around all morning and then sleeps all afternoon - it might just give me time to sort a few things out! She did love her trip to the beach!

I will continue to bring you up to date with my happenings (especially a very cute end of the year activity I did), but I will leave you with a freebie and a yearly calendar worksheet that you can download from my store.

Download these files now and make use of the updates each year - no extra cost required each year as the file is updated. What an absolute bargain! If you teach Grades 2 & 3 you will not be disappointed in this product!

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