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Thursday 27 February 2014

Sale time!!!

Have you heard about the huge sale going on at TpT?  If you are anything like me, you are filling up your carts ready for the big sitewide sale this Thursday and Friday, if you don't know about it, check out the pic below :)

Yes!  You read correctly, TpT now has 3 million teacher authors, giving you a massive range of resources to fulfill any classroom need you may have!  The sale starts on the 27th and runs through to the 28th, my store will be 20% off then use the code TPT3 at the checkout to get a further 10% off.

Here are a few items you might like to check out and wishlist ready for the sale.

Just click on any of the pics to check them out!

Sunday 23 February 2014

Maths Centres

Hi friends!  Welcome back for another book review!  Today I wanted to share with you the new Year 3 Maths Centres book brought out by Blake Publishing.

The first thing I noticed about this book was that it is aligned with the Australian Curriculum and you already know that is going to make life easier when you are planning.

Then I started flicking through and I noticed that all of the pages are perforated so you can easily tear out the pages to make the centres.  Each centre has a cover page, a reproducible sheet and the mats or cards you will need for the centre as well as an answer key if it is relevant.  At the front of the book there is a page that gives information on how to use the centre and how to make it.

Here is an example of a cover page for one of the centres.  I like that the instructions are aimed at the students and are easy to read.

This is what the task cards look like from this particular centre. The answer key is on the left, after it is torn out you need to fold it in half as it has the answer for the task cards on one side and the answers for the response form on the other where applicable.  What you can't see is the perforations near the centre, believe me I tried really hard to get a good photo but it just didn't work out :(

The reproducible response forms are all in blackline for ease of photocopying.  In the instructions it advises laminating the mats and task cards, but I would laminate everything that goes with it as well and store it all together in plastic pockets.

Altogether there are 10 centres to make in this book and covers some areas of number, fractions, multiplication, time and graphs.

If you are interested in this or others head over to Blake Education to check out some of their other fabulous Math and Literacy resources for the Australian Curriculum. 

Saturday 22 February 2014

Steve Parish Insects

Yesterday I got a surprise in the mail! Well it wasn't really a surprise I did know it was coming but what teacher doesn't get excited to get books delivered to your door :)  Blake Education Publishing sent me these new Steve Parish Insect Books  (they can be purchased here) and their new Maths Centers book that is linked to the Australian Curriculum.

I love Steve Parish books and have been using them for many years in my classrooms.  He is an amazing photographer and has really made these beautiful shots more accessible to students through these stunning books.  The photographs are always bright and so clear, it really engages kids with the story immediately. The books themselves are written by Rebecca Johnson who is a teacher, so you just know the story is going to support those readers who need it while still keeping the more competent readers interested.  I love that it is a story that still offers information so that these books can be used in so many ways to support different genres of writing.

That is Rebecca in the pic!  This is the inside cover of one of the books, it is chock full of information about the text type, the topic and the curriculum links.  I love anything that makes planning easier as a teacher and having those links so obvious makes this teacher smile.  It also has a a Reading Recovery level up in the corner.

The text in these books are very similar to most school fonts in Australia, the words are very clear and easy to see.  

This is a great example of how colourful and clear the photographs are.  The fact that they completely support the text is amazing!

This is the back page it has a glossary and also includes some interesting facts about the insect, sometimes it also has a life cycle.  BTW I love the look on that bulls face, he looks very indignant or maybe he just swallowed something questionable.

There back cover shows all the titles that are available in the series as well as some from other series.

There are so many opportunities for learning in these books and I cannot wait to get these into my classroom library!

You can visit their webpage for more great Literacy and Maths resources.  Stay tuned for my review on the Maths Centres tomorrow.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Blake Education Giveaway

Get ready for 2014 with Blake Education’s fantastic Literacy Catalogue. To celebrate Blake Education are giving the first 3 people to request a catalogue an Achievement Standards Assessment: English  book of their choice valued at $49.95.

Blake Education is committed to producing a comprehensive range of high-quality literacy materials, which are stimulating, well-written, with Australian quality reading resources.  Choose from over 1000 titles in over 30 different series that feature stimulating, well-written stories and wonderful illustrations. These books are matched to specific year levels, reading levels and broadband levels to cater to each student’s reading ability.

Best sellers include:
•             Sparklers are high interest, well-written and often quirky stories of real people in unusual situations.  There are thirteen sets in the Sparklers series, ranging from levels 15-32 to Middle Primary.
•             Go Facts: The 28 Go Facts sets deliver the clear, exciting and easy-to-read nonfiction your students need. The complete Go Facts program includes 144 student books, 4 Big Books, 2 Videos and 28 Teaching Guides.
•             STORYLANDS is aimed at the needs of teachers of students in the first three years of school.
•             Steve Parish range: Blake Education now stock over 150 fiction and non-fiction titles from the Steve Parish range. The picture and story books all feature Australian animals and are ideal take-home readers. Each book will engage young learners and give them an insight into Australia’s unique wildlife and habitat.

For your chance to win simply request a catalogue -

Saturday 15 February 2014

Five for Friday

I went back to work this week for an almost full week, we had a long weekend last weekend so it was sort of nice to ease back in to full time work.  Having said that I was exhausted by Thursday, my new role is challenging but interesting and it sounds like my caseload will be increasing, yikes!
Anywho I haven't done a Five for Friday for a looooong time, so I am happy to link up this week!

As I mentioned we had a long weekend so I started the week with a big cookup, so that I wouldn't have to cook during the week.  I made a double batch of bolognaise sauce, a double batch of beef and potato casserole, 2 home make pizzas, a beef and bacon pie and for a sweet treat an apple and blackberry tart.  Smartest thing I have done all week, it was so great to come home from a long day and not worry about what we are having for dinner or cook it!   I am going to try to make this a habit.....notice I said try :)

The first part of my week at school sees me in a support teacher role which translates to a lot of walking around to different classes, visiting with students and gathering resources for teachers as well as meetings with various people.  It doesn't make for great photos :) So in the second part of the week I get into my Year 2 classroom, it is kind of nice to have that different pace.  This week we started maths groups, my group is looking at number to 10, we used Brooke Beynon's  Interactive ten and twenty frame flashcards you can choose 3 different speeds that the frames flash up, we started slow and got to the fast speed.  The kids love it.

Then we made our own number line!  The kiddos were given a card and a number to write then had to come back and arrange themselves in order.  We had a lot of fun with this and I also took a couple of cards out when they weren't looking and they had to tell me which was the missing number.  

After that I gave them numbers to twenty on these cute cards that are a part of my latest product Number sense to 20 (still working on it, should be ready soon!)  We used the number line again to order numbers, lots and lots of learning about number sequence.

We also spent a couple of days talking about capitals and fullstops in our writing and how we need to edit after writing.  I love that this kiddo made sure I knew he had put in fullstops, heehee!

We finished off the week making a loving hearts paper chain.  The kiddos wrote a message to someone they cared about, then cut them out and we joined them all up in a paper chain.  It is hanging above one of our windows but I forgot to take a photo!

Well I hope next week I will be more in the swing of full time and won't be as exhausted at the end of the week, wishful thinking maybe.

Hope you all had a good week as well!

Friday 7 February 2014

In the classroom and a new challenge!

Well, I jumped straight back into the classroom this week and it felt GREAT!  I have Year 2 again for two days of the week and the rest of the week I am undertaking a new role in the capacity of a support teacher.

I am really excited to be taking on this new role, I love being in the classroom but I also love delving into new ways to support our kiddos, particularly those kiddos who need that extra bit of help and this new role will see me visiting with kiddos of different year levels.

I have to say my feet are killing me after two days of standing up and moving around all day but I loved meeting my new class and just know we are going to have a great year together.  You know I was so busy getting to know my new little people I forgot to take photos!  Next week I promise.

To help my kiddos review some of their Year 1 learning I am working on something new over this weekend, here is a little peek

both of these packs will include activities that will help students review numbers in every form that they may encounter them.  Matching numbers, numerals and number names, making numbers using ten frames, partitioning numbers, odd and even, number sequence, before and after.....well there will probably be more than that but that is what I have so far :)  

Great news is, we have a long weekend here so I have plenty of time to finish it off!

Enjoy your weekend people, I am off to put my aching feet up and refresh with a glass of wine.

Sunday 2 February 2014

Bright Ideas! Hop on!

I was so happy to participate in this Bright Ideas Blog Hop!  
I bet there are millions of fabulous ideas floating around in classrooms everyday, but I am just going to share one with you before you hop off to the next fantastic blogger!

I love to use cards and dice for games in the classroom, especially as a sub.  You can pretty much be guaranteed the classroom you are in will have them and if not, they are easy to carry in your bag.

First I wanted to share with you how I use one game and differentiate it for the different abilities in the class.
This game is a card game that I call Higher or Lower.  I'm sure it has other names like War or something like that, but meh, I like to be specific.

The basic premise is that students decide if the other player has to get a number higher or lower than the other player, then they turn over however many cards you as the teacher has decided on.  These players have turned over three because we were focussing on place value but if you had kiddos who needed to focus on 1 digit or 2 digit numbers you would tell those kiddos to turn over the appropriate number of cards.  When one player wins they get to keep theirs and their opponents cards, play continues until all the cards are gone.  
I love that I can have kiddos working on different skills with this game as well and they can venture into adding or subtracting 2 or more numbers.  I make sure my pairs are at a reasonably even level of ability so that they are both getting the practice they need.

Now onto a dice game that is great to use in any classroom.  
I like to use this game in many different ways.  We call it Race to________ (whatever number you want!)  I play this using number charts to 100 or 200.  I also play this with Kinders using counters to create towers.

Depending on the abilities you can give kiddos dot dice or number dice, they can build towers to 10 or beyond that number.  They love to see who can build the highest tower first.....and they are counting while having fun!  

I hope you are able to take a couple of these ideas into your classroom this week!  Now the best part you get to hop over to Mary at Teaching with a Mountain View to check out her bright idea for some quick and creative ideas for improving critical and creative thinking!  WOW!