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Monday 31 December 2012

Happy 2013

This is just a very quick post as I am still on holidays at the beach with my family.  I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish all a Happy New Year and best wishes for 2013.  I have been most fortunate to have stumbled across the blogging community and feel that I have made some wonderful friends and made some connections with people that will last long into the future.  A special thank you to all my followers new and old (don't worry those wrinkles can't be seen) and I hope for wonderful things for all of you in the coming year.  I am very excited to be continuing my blogging journey and to increase my store products in TpT and also in Teachers Marketplace (if you are an Aussies and you haven't checked it out should!)

So with the sound of the waves in the background I plan on heading to the beach this evening with a glass or two of bubbles and watch the fireworks splash across the sea.

 My beach babies


Thursday 20 December 2012

Santa's Little Helper Blog Hop!

It's a blog hop!!  Yessiree you are in the right place at the right time.  On your next stop of Santa's Little Helper Blog Hop journey you have the chance to pick up a Winter/Christmas themed 10 More or 10 Less Maths Game.

This is a great game for helping students to understand counting over the decades.  Kiddos also get practise at counting forward and backward by 10's, place value and number patterns.  I have included a Winter theme and a Christmas theme, both with a black and white copy and recording sheets.
To get your FREE copy click on the pic below!

So your next stop on your blog hop journey is to Yara at Sea of Knowledge, just click on the sign to go in the right direction!
If you have jumped in to the blog hop here then boogie on back to the beginning to to make sure you don't miss out on some fabulous freebies from some fabulous bloggers!

I would like to say a big thank you to Mel at From the Pond for the fabulous blog hop buttons and to Shanyn from Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists for organising the blog hop, you ladies ROCK!

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Last photo for 2012 and a soon to be released Blog Hop

For my final photo of my students for 2012 I wanted to share this with you.  This is my friend "Mary" and if you haven't read about her in my previous posts you can catch up here.  Mary is profoundly deaf without her cochlear implants and she has a visiting teacher that comes to school 3 times a week to help her with speech, cognitive skills and a range of other valuable teaching in both the classroom and in a 1 on 1 situation.
There is no way either of us could have gotten through this year without her help and the help of our Teacher Aide, so thank you to all the staff who support the students and the teachers in the classroom.

Mary made this with her visiting teacher, it is a button wreath inspired by Pinterest

This is the Pinterest pin.

So as I finish my year with one of the most inspiring students I have had the pleasure of teaching I am happy to say that I have gained so much from all the students in my class and hope that we have made a difference in each others lives.  Thank You to all my students!

Now this just coincidentally falls into place to help celebrate the end of a great year for me.  A few of my fabulous blogger friends are putting together a Santa's Little Helper Blog Hop, it will be full of fabulous freebies so you do not want to miss it.....stay tuned this will be happening very soon and I can tell you there is a huge surprise at the end!
Coming to a blog near you soon!

Monday 17 December 2012

All over the place

This post will be a bit all over the place...just forewarning you, actually it reflects how my life is at the moment.  As I am finishing up at my school I am moving all my resources and bits and pieces out of my classroom and we all know that means I have to find somewhere at home to store it, tricky.  I only started my Christmas shopping on the weekend and really don't know what I have and haven't got......I know I have forgotten someone.  
In the middle of this I am still trying to undertake some meaningful learning that has a Christmas/holiday twist.  Now last week I gave my students a paper chain challenge, when I was a primary school student I remember making these looooonnnngg paper chains and I loved it!  So I put my kiddos into teams of 4 and gave them 15 minutes to create a paper chain (using magazines and junk mail catalogues) as long as they could, I asked them to really think about how they would cut their paper to ensure it would be longer and allowed them some discussion before they started.  Some of the discussion was interesting, one group debated how to cut the page another group decided they would cut strips of paper until there was 10 minutes left and then they would start the chain.  When 15 minutes were up they were allowed to join the 4 chains together.  If they had created any links that were a teardrop shape instead of a circle it was disqualified (we didn't have any disqualified).

All students were hard at work trying to make long paper chains


So busy!

We then went to measure each paper chain, recorded the length and the team with the longest chain won a prize from my prize box.  The longest chain was 9.00 metres (29.5 feet).

This was the first time some of my kiddos had used a trundle wheel, what fun!

I put the measurements on the whiteboard and then the students had to estimate how long the chain would be if we joined them together, the student that got the closest (using only mental computation) got a prize.  In the afternoon we went out and measured how long our paper chain would be if we laid it out, it was 46.25 metres (151.74 feet).  The students had such a great time and the co-operative learning that was happening was so great to see!  At the end all the students got a prize for showing co-operation and a love for learning.

So to finish this post I want to share a giveaway that my friend Alison at Teaching Maths with Meaning is having.  Hop on over to visit and enter for the chance to win a $25 TpT gift voucher.

Finally I wanted to say a big thank you to Michelle at 3am Teacher and Farley at Oh Boy 3rd Grade for organising the Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary on Sunday.  It brought me to tears to see all those hearts in my feed and I continue to hold those little ones and their families in my thoughts and hope that soon they will begin to heal.

Saturday 15 December 2012

Too sad....

Today I was going to fill people in on my paper chain challenge that we did in my classroom last week.....but to be honest I just can't bring myself to be upbeat about something like that with the recent events in Connecticut. My heart absolutely aches for those involved and in particular for the families who have lost loved ones. I will be posting on Sunday for the day of Silence to show respect and solidarity for the community of Newtown.

If you would like to join in visit Farley at Oh'Boy 4th Grade  to get the button (sweet job 3am Teacher) and then just post this pic only on Sunday 16th.  For us in Australia that will be 1 day earlier than the States.  
I know I hugged my sweeties a little tighter today.  

Blessings to the families and the lost babies.


Tuesday 11 December 2012

Linky and number caterpillars

As some of you may know I have a split class this year of Year 2's and 3's.  Anyone who has taught composite or split classes understands the balancing act you need to maintain.  I only have 6 Year 3's and making sure that I cover all the maths concepts included in our syllabus can be a bit tricky, I have had to spend a bit of time making sure that I have them ready for Year 4 next year and one area I had neglected has been fractions and decimals so over the last couple of weeks we have been getting into this area with a vengeance.  I actually think this has been a great time to do it as my Year 2's are at that stage where they are able to work independently and consolidate many of the concepts from the year while I work with my little group of Year 3's, (see what I mean about balancing act!)
So I was super happy to get this awesome packet from Alison at AliMath.

Decimals and Fractions - Making Connections
You can also check out her blog post about it here

It has some fantastic activities for helping students identify parts and whole numbers and the place value of decimal numbers.  The number caterpillar has been a favourite of my students, take a look

The students rolled a 10 sided dice and wrote the number in

This little girl had been holding her caterpillar up just waiting for me to take her pic.....couldn't dissapoint, plus I loved her caterpillar teeth, heehee

This student has a number expander that he has written his number with tens, units, tenths and hundreths

This is the expanded number, ( see the little girl next to him.....waiting for me to take her photo.)

If you want your copy just click on the pic of Alison's packet above.

While my 3's were working on this some of my 2's were practicing and consolidating place value using matchsticks.
They counted out the sticks and put them into bundles of 10

Then they had to write the number using correct place value.

So now you have got to the end of  this lengthy post on what we are working on it's time to enjoy the Christmas break and how better to do that than to link up with my linky party on holiday destinations.  Just click on the button below to link up! 

Monday 10 December 2012

Holiday linky!

Graphics courtesy of From the Pond

I cannot wait for the holidays to start!  Here's why....I will be heading up to the Sunshine Coast for Christmas with my family and catching up with my Grandma, Mum, Dad, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins and 2nd cousins. Some of this family I have not seen for a couple of years, it is going to be great! Here's the other reason, I have not seen a beach for 2 years, cannot wait to paddle my toes in the salty water of Moololaba.

Sunshine Coast you say, that sounds divine! Yes it will be, these last 2 weeks at school are just going to crawl I know to help it move along a bit faster I decided to host my first linky party about where you are heading off to for your Christmas holidays, just post a pic and link up. To tantalise you here is a pic of the sunny Sunshine Coast

So your turn to link up and here's to dreaming of the sand between your toes

get the InLinkz code

PS because this is my first linky I am a bit nervous I haven't done it right so please let me know if there are any problems.

Sunday 9 December 2012

Christmas boards

I have started to put up our Christmas display boards.  I started with a tree and we are adding decorations to it  as we continue our Christmas craft.  I have also been using Shanyn's Christmas packet for literacy and maths blocks. (Get your copy here).

Ultimate Christmas Math and Literacy Activities Bundle

One of the items we used this week from Shanyn's pack was Festive Words . We brainstormed words that we might use in our Christmas writing and I wrote it on to a piece of poster card, then the students each chose 2 words and either used a dictionary to find the definition or wrote down what they KNEW to be the correct definition.  They then had to write a sentence for each word.  We have been focussing on how to make our sentences more interesting so they really had to think about having adjectives, verbs and making sure it made sense.  I think they look great!

(Not all of them are finished yet)

We have also completed my Candy Cane Craftivity which includes an acrostic poem, they LOVED this activity and were very happy with the end result.  (Get your FREE copy here.)

Candy Cane Craftivity

It looks a bit bare at the moment, more craft to come to fill up the space....stay tuned.

 For the star on the Christmas tree I cut out a template and each student used their thumb print to put some yellow paint on it, I am thinking about adding some glitter on Monday.  The kiddos all let out an "Awwww" when I pinned the start to the top of the tree.  Magic!  I am so happy we get to share the magic of Christmas with our students.

I am having a great time checking out all the Christmas craft on other blog as well, so make sure you post pics!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend and if you are in Queensland....enjoy your last week with your students.  

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Narratives Update

First of all, I have to apologise for being a slacko blogger!  The end of year round up really threw me this year!  So I wanted to give you an update on our Minties Narratives (you can read about them here ) Well we finally finished them!  My students published them and read their stories to the Kinder/1 class, they loved it!  We also showed them at our assembly item and a few of them read the blurbs from their stories.  Here are a few pics of them reading .

They had to include a front cover, back cover, illustrations and blurb in their publication.

We also shared some tessellated patterns and our angles posters to finish off our assembly item we signed and sang "An Aussie Jingle Bells". I was so proud of them, they have picked up signing so well this year and often correct me or help me when I forget a sign.  I only have 10 school days left with this class and I have to say this year it is going to be hard to say goodbye to ALL of them.
We have started our Christmas activities this week and will have some pics ready to go in the next couple of days, starting with my Candy Cane Craftivity.

Hope you enjoy your Christmas activities in your classroom!