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Friday 29 March 2013

Easter Sale!

To celebrate Easter and spending time with my family I am throwing a 20% off sale at my TpT store, hop (heehee) on over to pick up a couple of bargains.  I am also nearly finished my Spring into Contractions pack so look out for that in the next couple of days.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Easter fun and a freebie

I am probably a bit late with this Easter post but I wanted to share a few pics of the Easter activities we have been doing.
We have been really focussed in the difference between pronouns, proper nouns and general nouns, so I created a Hunt the Easter Noun to help them consolidaate the differences.

Here are my littles on a pronoun, proper noun and noun Easter hunt.  I had one of my darlings hide the cards for me before school, (she was so proud that she knew where they all were!)  Then they had to find them and record them in the correct columns on their sheet.

They also had some Easter sentences that they had to match up.  I put them into the little plastic eggs that they sell at the $2 shop and they got to search through all the eggs, match the sentence beginning with the correct ending then record them into their journals.  They had alot of fun!

We have also been using our little plastic eggs for matching multiplications and skip counting (I forgot to take photos of that one, whoops!)

They are really enjoying our Easter activities and if you would like a copy of the Hunt the Easter Noun packet (a bit late for this year I know) you can get your copy here
I have left one card blank for you to put in your own name as a Proper Noun, I don't know why but they get a real kick out of it!  

 Well, one more school day, 4 days off then back to school for 2 more weeks!  Have a great Easter everyone and if you are travelling, be safe!


Saturday 23 March 2013

How Pinteresting Easter edition

Well with Easter just around the corner it would be very remiss of me to not have a How Pinteresting Easter edition.  This was actually a little more difficult than what you think, there are sooooo many great pins out there about Easter.
Without further ado....

Funny Bunny Hat
This is way too cute!

Craft & Creativity | Pyssel, inspiration, DIY, inredning, fotografering

These would look great as classroom decoration

Bring on the Easter Eggs!

Great activity for number recognition, you could also adapt this idea for just about any concept, number facts, time, fractions, sight words, blends it really is endless.

Awesome Easter idea, found on Facebook, think I'm going to have to give this a try with the kids this year.

An easy and cute craft for the kiddos to do at school or home.

Frog Spot: Egg Smash Game!

This is such a fun game to play with the kiddos, not sure if I would let them get all the chocolate though!

Well I hope you have found some fun easy things to do for Easter in your classroom, can't wait for the Easter Bunny to visit my classroom!

PS Thanks to Mel @ From the Pond for the cute Easter Bunny in my How Pinteresting badge.  It is part of her Graphics Club.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Telling the time and Easter activities

Hi all,
I just wanted to share a few pics of the happenings in my classroom in the last week or so.  I have had so much going on I feel like I am just catching my time to start planning for next term, oh they joy!

Well we have been looking at time as mentioned in my last How Pinteresting post, you can read about it here.

So we made these fabulous flip clocks that allow the students to have the 5 minute mark under the numbers. First we wrote the clock numbers on a small paper plate, this was the first challenge for some of them.

                                        Here you can see one of my kiddos writing the          10 min mark under the number 2

Then we made our minute and hour hand and labelled these, we also divided the clock into quarters and labelled o'clock, quarter past, half past and quarter to.

(Can you tell how well trained my kiddos are already not to look at the camera!!)

When we put our clocks together we were then able to use them to....

make our daily shedule that matched analogue time with digital time.  Match digital and analogue times and count the minutes in 5 minute intervals, and.......

pass the time with our friends!   Yes it was Crazy hair day on that day.
My kiddos loved this activity and I can really see the benefits from them making the flap clocks.  I randomly ask them through the day now what the time is and you can see them counting around in 5's and making sure they are checking where the hour hand is.

Before I go I wanted to let you know about the Easter activities I have in my TpT store, I have been so focussed on school that I forgot to tell you all about them.

Here is my Coin Toss Bunny Hop game.
Students toss a coin to either move to a higher or lower number and try to be the first to get to the other side,  because it uses chance the game is different each time they play it.  I have also included 3 different levels to cater for individual needs.

Click on the pic to get your copy!

Next up is my Easter Bunny Craftivity pack

There are 6 different writing templates to choose from, both fiction and non fiction to go with the bunny template, that you can paint, draw, collage whatever you can think.  Just click on the pic to get a copy.

Hope your week is going well, I will be back with some pics of our Monet inspired Waterlilies collages.

Sunday 17 March 2013

How Pinteresting Teaching Time edition

Welcome again to an edition of How Pinteresting.  This week I have been focussing on teaching time in our maths lessons.  I don't know about you but every year I still have those kiddos who have trouble with telling time so I decided to turn to Pinterest for a few ideas, here is what I found!

peek a boo clock!

This is the activity we did in our room this week, I added labels such as quarter past and to, o'clock and half past as well as labelling the minutes and hours hand.  My kiddos loved it!  I even had a couple saying "oooohhhh, I get it now, they are 5 minutes!"

Teaching time

I definitely have to lable my classroom clock...this one is so cute!

Teaching Time-anchor chart connecting telling time to the quarter and half hour with fractions of a circle.

Great to have an anchor chart, I will make one next week and hang it near my new and cute flower clock!

fun way to teach time

and for the kinaesthetic learner!

Teaching Special Thinkers: Telling Time is EASY PEASY

This shows the 5 minute intervals as a block of  five one minutes

I hope you found some great ideas for teaching time, I know I have some fabulous review activities planned for the next couple of weeks now.

Have a great week all.

Saturday 16 March 2013

The excuses for rudeness

I am going to preface this post with the statement that this is my opinion and yes I may get flamed by parents and some of my colleagues but I am going to post it anyway.  I feel like I have this burning in my chest (no it's not a heart attack) and if I can get this out on my blog then I am hoping it will go away.

I had something happen to me this week during playground duty....twice ......with two different children.  Both children were being talked to for using inappropriate language and having arguments and or fighting with another child.  Both students gave me this as their reason for doing what they did....."I have ADHD" in fact in one incident it was also another student that told me "He can't help it if he is naughty, because of his ADHD."
My response was this, "ADHD is not an excuse for rude behaviour or for not following the rules, the rules are the same for everyone."

It got me thinking; I wonder who is giving these children the message that if you have ADHD (or any other diagnosis for that matter)  it is ok to hurt others and flaunt the rules?  Is it parents? teachers? peers? medical practitioners?  All of the above?  Who can say, but I think it is a very dangerous line we reach when students are justifying their actions with their diagnosis and hoping they will not get punished for poor behaviour.  Don't get me wrong I am not saying all students should be educated in the same way, definitely we should be catering for differences.......but this was not catering for differences, this was a kid feeling like he had a licence to do as he pleased and blame his actions on a condition.  Personally I will not accept that.  We can all work toward making sure these children are able to cope with conflict and conforntation without giving them the permission to using ADHD as a cop out.  I can't speak to what treatment if any these particular children were undertaking but I felt if that is the reaction they are giving to a teacher and peers, their treatment needs to be reviewed and parents and students need to educated about ADHD and that it is not about being a naughty child.

As I said this is my opinion but it is based on experience.  Now I don't usually share private details about my children but in this instance I feel it is important for people to know I come from a place of knowing what these children deal with on a daily basis.  My son was diagnosed with ADHD a couple of years ago and we have worked very hard to get him to a place where he copes in the classroom and at home.  I was actually the one that looked at his behaviours and realised that he had an issue that needed to be addressed.  He is an intelligent, curious boy but there was such a disparity between his intelligence and what he coul produce to show his intelligence, he couldn't sit still......ever......he slept poorly, he had trouble following 2 step instructions, he had difficulty focussing on, well, anything, he had periods of aggression.
We have never excused or accepted poor behaviour or rudeness and brushed it off as his condition, on the contrary, he needs to know that poor behaviour is unacceptable in our society at any level. So he does get consequences at home and at school, woe betide him if I get a phone call from school!!!!
We also work very hard on making sure we have a solid routine, good diet (minus the colours, preservatives and flavours) and adequate sleep and exercise.  Through this we have had some successes, and like others good and bad days, but we take it all in stride and we aim to raise him as a hard working, polite and courteous boy who has a happy childhood and grows up to realise his potential.

Don't get me wrong this is not an easy road to take and we have made some very hard decisions about his education and health and I do empathise with parents and children who have to struggle through this.  My reason for posting today is that I want to get the message out that I believe we are educating our children to excuse poor behaviour instead of taking responsibility for their actions.  Children need to learn that their actions at school and home will have consequences the same as anyone else.  ADHD is not a legal defence in a court of law and should not be a defence in the playground either, where do these children end up if the message they get now is "It is ok to hurt others because you have ADHD."  The thought absolutely saddens me and I was appalled at the fact that these children and their peers saw it as an excuse.  Now we have their peers and friends enabling these students as well.

I am sorry for being such a downer and posting such a heavy topic but I think the only way to get through to parents, teachers and students is to talk about it and not brush it aside.  As I said I am sure there will be many that disagree with me and you are certainly entitled to your opinion......this is just mine.

PS I will end this by acknowledging that I know there are parents who work very hard at helping their child and schools and still come up against walls and I feel their frustration, they are not the people I am targeting here.

Sunday 10 March 2013

How Pinteresting Art Edition

Welcome to this weeks How Pinteresting Art Edition.  Lately I have been finding some great art activities on Pinterest and I have even got around to trying it out in my classroom, read about the first pin we tried out here.

So I thought that I would find some great activities that you might try in your classroom.

Do it yourself, 3D hand

This is the one we did the other day, it looks deceptively easy but alot of my kiddos had a couple of attempts at it when they realised the arc they had to put in needed to be straight on the other side.  Some of them looked like one big arc.

wet chalk & tape resist Easter eggs - a fun art activity for kids

A great one for Easter coming up!

my class would love this, but I'm sure it will get messy!

and another one

Van Gogh Sunflowers

This is always a favourite to do with my grade threes.

Expand an image

I will be doing this activity in a couple of weeks, but I will be using watercolour to finish it.

I hope you have found some artistic Pinspiration to help you with your art lessons.

Friday 8 March 2013

Bingo and a Giveaway

Hi friends, so glad it is Friday here!  Handed in my program today, so I feel like a weight has lifted........until I get my feedback I guess, eeeek!
In the meantime to keep my mind off that I have made a Bingo game that focusses on numbers before and after rather than the number called, it is very creatively called......Before and After Bingo!  This is a game that I have revamped for my store but I have been playing it for years in my classrooms.  My kiddos love it because they actually have to think about what number it is they are looking for, rather than just plonking down a counter.  I have included a co-ordinating number line for those kiddos that need a little extra help. It will be on sale for a week at my store for 20% off.  Just click on the pic below to get your copy.

Now to tell you about a little giveaway my friend Brooke is having at her blog Teachable Moments  You can win her Roll- a - sentence bundle from her TpT store, here's a peek at what you get

Wow!  What a great pack and I heard she may have more to add to it!  Head over and enter now!

Thursday 7 March 2013

Don't forget to leave a TIP

I am just checking in really quickly today to share a freebie with you and how this freebie came about.

I am trying to get my littles to become more aware of the responsibility they have for their own learning, very gently shoving  moving them toward independence and awareness.  So to help with this I have a "make your own choice" about where you need to work to become a better learner.  Students have the choice to work at their desk (independent), with a peer or with the teacher, if they are with me, they need to make sure they get to me when the activity starts and not half way through (and yes there are some that do not have the option).  So far it has been working quite well and the kiddos who are independent are able to complete activities without me hovering and I am able to work with the kiddos who need me the most at that time.  My kiddos that can be extended have open ended activities that they can move on to if I am still busy.

Anyway, I was having trouble keeping track of who was with me for each activity until......TIP was born!

The students simply need to mark their work with a T I or P and highlight it so that I know how they were working and how often they are utilising me as a support.  I can also see that I haven't marked work because they were with me.  So simple and easy!  You can get your copy of this poster by clicking on the pic!

Monday 4 March 2013

Fractions are parts of a whole

Hiya friends!
Just popped in to share a couple of things we have been doing in our classroom today.  In Maths we were exploring fractions, now this has always been a tricky and not exciting thing for me to teach but I have become better at it as the years have gone by.  The one thing I want my students to leave the lesson with is that fractions are parts of a whole.....that's it.....just parts of a whole.
So we started off by folding a piece of paper into parts, then labelling the parts of the whole and the equivalent fractions.  Looked a little like this.

This is one of my students.
Next we found groups of things that we marked as a whole, then cut a part away and labelled it as a fraction
On Monday afternoons we do art, we have been looking at warm and cool colours and line.  Today I wanted to have a go at this cool art project (from Pinterest, where else!)  Click on the pic to get the pin. 

Hand art!

I wasn't sure if they were going to get it but they gave it a red hot go!  Here's a few that turned out reasonably well.

I really love the 3D effect that they were able to achieve and they are keen to do it again now that they have explored how lines can change the 2D shape into something almost lifelike.  I have to say I was super impressed although some of my little darlings ended with just an arc going across the page, they were still happy with them. Can't wait to get them up on display.

The rest of the week will be exploring more fractions, then money and more, more and more expositions!  Well we had a great start so hopefully the rest of the week will go just as well.  Hope your week is going well too.