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Tuesday 21 May 2013

A change and a new adventure

A little while ago I wrote a post about moving to Tasmania at the end of the year, you can read about it here.
About a week and a half ago we found out that our posting has been brought forward and we will be moving at the end of this week.  That's right friends I am packing up and moving on in A WEEK!  This move is quite a blessing as it means we will be close to my husbands family which is not something that happens very regularly for us as a military family and one of the reasons we applied for an early move was to help my in laws who are not well at the moment.
While this is good news for our family, not such great news for my class.  I had the unfortunate task of telling them yesterday and it wasn't good friends, not good at all.  Yes there were tears and some sad faces and while I have only been there a short time I have really enjoyed having these kiddos this year and we have had a lot of fun. I can unequivocally say they have been one of my favourite classes I have ever had.  I have told them that for the rest of the week we will have happy faces and we will even have a last day party on Friday....funnily enough that seemed to do the trick at cheering them up.

What does this mean for my blog?  Well at the moment I am having to do reports before I leave, and then spend the weekend getting packed, put the dogs and the cat on a plane to go ahead of us and the general cleaning up that goes with moving from a house.  If I am a bit MIA I'm sure you will understand but hope to pop in from time to time until we are in our house and settled.
I am looking forward to a new adventure and the opportunity for my children to be around extended family but would like to acknowledge the wonderful times I have had at both the schools I have had the pleasure at being part of.  I have made some wonderful friends who I will be sad to leave but I know that they will keep up with my journey through my blog (thanks to those teachers who are now following my blog, you know who you are).
On that note I must go and try to get some more reports done, so bye for now and I will pop in again from TASMANIA!

Thursday 9 May 2013

Fill it up!

I wanted to show you a little preview of a pack that I have been working on but didn't get finished before the Teacher Appreciation Sale, which is nearly finished, so jump in if you haven't yet!

So my kiddos got to test drive my Fill it up!  Volume packet.

Here is a sneak peek at it in action!
Prior to this activity we discussed what the difference between volume and capacity was and how we would need to fill our containers to find the volume.

First the students had to cut out 3 different sized box templates and make them into an open box

Voila!  The boxes are labelled A, B and C

They then had to fill the boxes with MAB blocks that are conveniently a 1cm cube and then record on the recording sheet.

There were some very interesting ways that the students tried to fill their containers making sure they had no spaces

This little treasure worked out that if she did one layer on the bottom and then counted how many high it would be, you could work out what the volume is!  Yay for hands on activities!

Tomorrow we are going to explore how we can find out how many times one container can fit into one of the other containers as we ran out of time for that today.

I am hoping to have this packet finished in the next week and now that my kiddos have helped me work out a few kinks, it will be good to go!  
Remember you can still snag a bargain at the TpT site wide sale!

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Have you been living under a rock?

Hey there, check out my new digs!!!  I want to send out a huge thanks to Christi at Design by Christi for my new blog design, do you love it? I love it.  She was so lovely and patient and listened to my views on the design, I would highly recommend her.

Well I couldn't think of a better time to get a new blog design than on Teacher Appreciation Week and to coincide with the TpT site wide sale.  You will find 20% off all items in my store  then use the promo code TAD13 at the checkout to get an extra 10% off!  Here's a little tip, chek if you have any items in your "My Purchases" tab first.  Leave feedback for your purchases and gain TpT credits, then use them to get a little extra off your total!  Crazytown!  That is some huge savings right there.
Here are a few items you might want to check out

Mothers Day Crafts and Cards

Before and After Bingo

Just one of my Spring packets, this one is all about contractions

or one of my most popular items

I hope you find a few bargains, I know I am heading over to revisit my wishlist!  Enjoy!

Sunday 5 May 2013

That itchy feeling

This post may make your skin crawl, it may have you scratching your head but I think it is an important issue that should be discussed.
Yes that is right my friends I am talking about head lice.......yes head lice.  Those crawly little fiends that have us all scratching our heads even if we don't have were itching just then weren't you.
I have decided this needs to be discussed because lets face it there are many misconceptions and myths out there on why people get them and how to treat them and I consider myself somewhat of a reluctant expert on this subject.  Why is that you may ask, well I'm not sure how this happenend but for some reason I have always ended up teaching at schools where it is just endemic and my children would also be at that school. At one point I was treating hair on a weekly basis for 4 months, and not short hair, long hair.  Let me show you a picture

This is my daughter and my son (I know they are cute, but you try living with them!)  As you can see she has quite long hair and so treating hair of this length on a weekly basis became time consuming and expensive.  My hair is the same length as hers and as a precaution I would treat my hair as well, so double the amount of time was spent.

The thing that I wanted to discuss is how it impacts our kiddos in the classroom, seriously it is annoying as a parent but think of those students who sit there and itch and itch, how on earth do they concentrate on any learning!  Not only that the itching can lead to infected scratches on their little heads.  The fact that it is so easily spread from one person to another should also make us more vigilant in the classroom.  
In the 3 different states I have taught in the approach to headlice has varied greatly.  In one state the policy was that you could not exclude that child from the classroom, nor could you send home a note to that child's parents, instead a blanket note had to be sent to ALL the students so that kiddos were not singled out.  I understand this, however I think that system means that parents could easily ignore a note that says be vigilant about head lice when in fact it was their child who had the head lice.
Another state I have taught in had the Teacher Aides check every childs hair once a term (with permission from parents).  If eggs or lice were found it was sticky taped to the note (I kid you not) and the children were to sit outside the office while the parents were contacted to collect their child for treatment.  
Neither of these approaches were effective in my opinion, one was too vague and the other too harsh on the feelings of those students.  I prefer to ring the parent myself or to write a note to let them know I have noticed that their child had been complaining of an itchy head or that I had seen live lice in their hair.  As we all know we are not allowed to touch students, so spotting them can be tricky unless they are so infested that you see them crawling around in there (yes I have.)

I want to include a list of facts and fictions for you so here goes

  • Headlice like clean hair, having headlice does not mean you are dirty or unclean.
  • Nothing kills eggs so all eggs must be removed to ensure you break the life cycle
  • Headlice can live away from the body but only for a very short period of time, less than 24 hours so it is important to launder all bedding and toys that the child may sleep with but not necessary.  ( I do it to make me feel better)
  • You do need to treat hair 7-10 days after the initial treatment or earlier if live lice are spotted.
  • They feed on human blood so will not be transferred to pets
  • Headlice do not jump, swim or fly.  They are transferred from head to head  or hair to hair contact.
  • Hair products prevent head lice eggs from attaching to the hair shaft.  Nothing prevents head lice however using hair products may help to keep stray hairs close to the scalp to minimise hair brushing against another person's hair.
  • Head lice can be passed around by sharing hats.  They will rarely leave the hair as this is their source of food, so sharing hats will not transfer them
  • Only kids get headlice.  No my friends and I know this from personal experience.
They are just a few of the the important things you need to know in regards to head lice.  It is important to try to minimise head to head contact in the classroom (near impossible sometimes I know) including YOURS.  

I have not gone into treatment of head lice in this post as it was getting a bit long, however I will tell you that smothering dry hair in conditioner and then combing through with a close toothed metal comb (see pic below) seems to be the most effective way of removing lice AND eggs.  

Using tea tree oil sprays do not repel or prevent lice.  Even if you only find one small louse in your hair, treat it!
Did you get throught this post without scratching your head?  I know I scratched while I was writing it, heehee.  Thank you for reading this important public announcement and to reward you I will share with you that I will be joining in the Teacher Appreciation Week Sale at TpT on May the 7th and 8th then an extra day just for kicks. See the pic for more info.  My store will be 20% off so make sure you have left feedback for all of your previous purchases, that way you get my discount, TpT's extra 10% AND you can use your TpT credits AS WELL.  

Gosh may as well just give it away.  Enjoy your school week friends and you can stop scratching now.

Friday 3 May 2013


I am linking up with Farley for Currently in May.....already May.

My poor doggies are cuddling up outside waiting for their dinner, the temperature has dropped here so it is time to get their winter blankets out.  They are not liking the cooler weather!

I have just started watching Season 3 of Game of Thrones. I watched the first 2 series back to back, then went and read all the books so I didn't have to wait for the next season to find out what happened.

Some of you may be wondering why I would think to start horse riding at the age of 40...well I could rabbit on about how we are life long learners and I have always wanted to ride horses and isn't it great that I am trying something new......but that is not the reason.  My daughter wants a horse when we move to our property in Tasmania, it is 400 acres and for safety reasons she will need someone with her if she rides further afield on our property, so lucky me I was nominated Safety Supervisor.  I must say it has been quite the experience and I have a wonderful, nurturing teacher, this was his advice to me when I was learning to trot....I quote...."You're arse  buttocks aren't supposed to make that noise when it hits the saddle" say it in a broad Aussie accent.....get the picture.  In all seriousness he is a very good teacher and trainer and is always ready with a good laugh...usually at my expense.   

A new pair of grey boots is on my list for Winter, also a red pair.  I just saw these fabulous pair of gum boots/galoshes with a wedge heel, get out of town!  

Ok this will show how lazy I am at home at the moment, we have been home from our holiday for about 5 days and my suitcase is still not unpacked.  The kids and the hubby's have both been unpacked (by me) but I just haven't gotten to mine yet, oh well I'm working on a drip feed system, I will take out what I need when I need it.

I haven't got a Summer bucket list as it is Autumn going into Winter here so it just depresses me to think how far away our Summer is....enjoy it all you Northern Hemisphere friends!