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Monday 23 June 2014

GoNoodle for Brain Breaks

Over the last couple of weeks my Year 2 class has been using GoNoodle to help get us ready for learning. So far my kiddos are loving it!  I have to admit I am loving it too :)

If you haven't used GoNoodle yet, you need to check it out, here is a sneak peek at how it works.

Your class gets to choose a Champ, each time you complete a level your Champ morphs and develops.  My kiddos love seeing how our Champ Squatchy Burger has changed as they have moved through the levels.

Our kiddos need to move, this is evident when we see our kiddos getting the wriggles when we are too long on the carpet or getting that glazed look in their eyes.  When this happens you know as a teacher that getting those kiddos up and about is essential.  When you use GoNoodle you have a range of videos at your fingertips to get them going and activating their brains for learning.  My kiddos love any of the KooKooKangaroo videos, but Dino Stomp has been a definite favourite.

Here are my kiddos stretching to get ready to do the 100 m hurdles, serious business friends, they got a bronze medal.

We have also been loving the calming videos.  We use them after lunch and recess and I have seen a definite change in how quickly one of my students who struggles with transitions has been able to calm and be ready for learning.

Here are my kids doing yoga with Maximo, (who I think sounds like Antonio Banderas).  This is called the Surfer Dude

Airtime is a great way for kiddos to learn how to use breathing as a calming technique, which I think is an important self regulating skill we all want our kiddos to have.  When you use Airtime the children get to watch how far they have moved the bubble on the screen across America, when they reach a new destination they get a postcard with some fun facts about that place.  I know that being in Australia does not make it as relevant to us and I would love to be able to customise this so that it includes our own country, but the kiddos still really love it.  We started in Alaska :)  

There are many more features to GoNoodle and the best way to find out is to visit their website and have a look at a couple of demos.  Oh, did I mention that this is FREE!!  Gotta love that and I guarantee you will love using GoNoodle in your classroom too.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Bright Ideas- Laminating 101

Welcome back for another round of Bright Ideas!

This month I wanted to share some laminating tips with you.  If you are a teacher a laminator is to you what a stethoscope is to a doctor, an invaluable tool.

So here are my tips!

1.  You Get What You Pay For!
When I got my first laminator it was a cheaper make, don't get a cheap brand, you know the old saying, you get what you pay for well it is true.  This is an investment that you should not skimp on, I also decided to get an A3 size so I could laminate larger posters as well as smaller sizes.

2. Size Matters
Have a range of different sized laminating pouches on hand.  I like to have A3, A4 and the smaller business card sizes. The reason I do this is for those times when you need to only laminate one small item you can use the small ones.  I also make a lot of my game cards the same size as the business card pouches so I don't have to bother with all the cutting.

3. Snip And Save
Cut the pouches to size.  You know when you have laminated everything and you have one piece leftover that won't fit into a small card size what do you do?  I have seen some teachers use a whole pouch to laminate one piece, NOOOOOO!!!  Just cut some of the pouch off, it is best when you cut it lengthways so you still have the folded piece to put through first.  The part that you don't use gets put away for the next time!

 4. Stick To It!
There is nothing more frustrating than having lots of little pieces to laminate, you place them carefully in the pouch and then cross your fingers as you lift the pouch like it is a newborn infant to feed it ever so steadily into the laminator, saying a prayer that nothing slips or moves on the way.   Or......get your faithful gluestick, put a little dab on the back of each piece and stick it down.  The glue dries clear and not one of those little pieces will move.  Easy!

See, nothing falling out even when I shake it!

5. Feed It In
This might seem like a no brainer but make sure you check which way you put the pouch in.  The folded edge needs to go in first, otherwise you might end up with this...

If you liked this Bright Idea then make sure you follow my blog, Facebook or Instagram for more.

I hope you have picked up a couple of little tips here, make sure you check out the other Bright Ideas from over 100 bloggers!

Saturday 21 June 2014

Five for Friday

We have an art exhibition that takes place in our city every Winter, it is called Dark MOFO and I cannot remember what MOFO stands for, something about Modern art.  Anywho, there are usually installations around the city that involve lights, this is one of them it is a giant rabbit that is illuminated from the inside.  This is my two checking it out.  There are also these huge searchlights set up around the city that the public can move around, it is pretty cool.  We are heading out tonight to the Winterfeast, so lots of yummy Winter food in our tummies tonight!

Last week my kiddos went on an excursion to a Wildlife Park, we made a classroom mural to show a map of where the animals were around the park.  It is a little larger than I thought it would be!

I went to a PD about Transferring Trauma in schools.  It was soooooo interesting and helpful for me in my role as a Support teacher.  There was a lot of information about how trauma can affect the development of the brain depending on when the trauma occurred.  I love anything to do with brain development and learning so I really enjoyed the day and came away with something rather than feeling drained at the end of it.

I am working on a Proof reading and Editing file and my kiddos have been trying them out, they have really been enjoying them (so they tell me) and it has helped them to hone many skills like using a dictionary to find how to correctly spell words.  I plan on getting it finished and uploaded this weekend but I keep thinking about extra activities I can add to it, so it may take me longer than I thought :)

Remember my glitter pegs?  Here they are in action!  This is a charcoal drawing of a Tassie Devil that my kiddos have been doing with my teaching partner.  Love this pic and I love using glitter pegs!

That's it for me but I will be back with some Bright Ideas for you soon, stay tuned!

Saturday 14 June 2014

Five for Friday on a Saturday


I am linking up with Doodlebugs for Five for Friday and what a busy, busy week it has been for me!

1.  We spent the long weekend up at our property in the north of Tasmania.  No mobile phone service, no internet.  We played board games and had a cosy fire.  I did take my laptop to work on reports lasted about an hour before I packed it in, good intentions though :)

It was pretty frosty up there, Winter certainly kicked in!  

I love this photo of a frosty spider web, there were heaps all over the fence, it looked really cool!

 This is some oooold machinery we found hiding in the gorse, we think it might be an old haybaler.  It looked like it was covered in icing sugar on that morning.

This is my son holding up some of the ice that had formed around the edge of our dam, it was pretty cold.  There is also a platypus that lives in the dam, we saw him for the first time on this trip, it was AMAZING!  For those of you who don't know what a platypus is....

it is native to Australia and a very shy creature, we have had the property for 5 years and this was our first sighting.......didn't have my camera with my though :(  

This is what we were doing up there, clearing a noxious weed called gorse.  It has taken over the property and needs to be cleared and burnt.  It is a big job and will probably take us around 2 years to completely eradicate it.

2.  We made seasons of the year paper chains.  The kiddos had to choose a colour that represented a season and write the month of the seasons on three pieces of paper.  On one link they drew the weather for that season, on the second link they wrote a special event ( we had access to calendars) and on the last link they drew an activity they liked to do in that season.  I won't lie to you it took us a couple of sessions to get it done, but I loved how they turned out!

3.  I made these little beauties for our pinboard!  I put velcro on the back of the pegs so they will stick to the carpety board.  Cannot wait to have some kiddos works to put up.  I am in love with them!

4.  We started a whole class mural, but will have to finish next week.  It is a map of a wildlife park they went to for an excursion this week.  They will be drawing the animals and then will stick them on the map where they were in the park.

5. I printed and laminated this really great pack Link it up that I won from Lauren at Love, Laughter and Preps.  I used this with my support group who are still having some trouble identifying numbers and number order.  We will also be using them to show the different ways you can make numbers.  Click on the pic to check it out at Lauren's store

Well that is it from me today!  Head over to Doodlebugs and link up too!

Thursday 12 June 2014

Throwback Thursday!

I missed linking up yesterday with TTT for Worksheet Wednesday but I am here for Throwback Thursday to share with you a photo of me in the grade level I am teaching now.  I had to crop this one from my actual Year 2 class photo.  I have to say I was pretty cute, heehee.  I actually remember that skirt I was wearing it was one of my favourites, it was green curdoroy and velvet, the year was 1980.  I don't think I wanted to be a teacher when I was in Year 2, I wanted to be a mermaid and or a princess, maybe even a mermaid princess!  I do remember playing teachers and thoroughly enjoying it, so maybe it was always there.

Head over to the Teaching Tribune to link up as well!

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Two for Tuesday link up!

I am joining The Teaching Tribune to offer two of my products at 50% off for the Two for Tuesday linky.

I chose my newly uploaded Blends No Prep Pack and to compliment that there is also my Long Vowel Digraph Pack both at half price!  Just click on the pics to check them out

Just click on the two images above to add them to your cart and make sure you head over to The Teaching Tribune to get some more great bargains.

Blends No Prep Pack

I just uploaded Blends No Prep Pack into my store

This pack complements my Long Vowel Digraph pack and is all you need for your kiddos to explore blends. Lucky you it is 50% off for the next 24 hours, just click on the pic to get your copy.

If you are like me and you love a bargain you can also get both these packs in a bundle saving yourself 10%


If you have already purchased the Long Vowel Digraphs pack and want the bundle email me to get the details on how you can get 10% off