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Tuesday 22 July 2014

Making sense of numbers!

Hi friends!  I went back to school this week after our two week Winter break which I happily spent in my pyjamas on the couch  :)  It was difficult but someone had to do it!  Seriously people it was cold, there was snow on the was cold.

Well while I was on the couch I whipped up a lovely freebie for you and finished off a file that had been sitting in my To Finish File.  Here they are just for you!

There are posters, number cards and number lines that can be printed and laminated for displaying in the classroom.  I have used the cards for a read the room activity which my kiddos love!

There are easy no prep printable as well which include some interactive flip the flaps and number puzzles that can be copied on to card for students to put back together as well as number puzzles that students can fill in the missing parts.  I have also fit in some partitioning, numbers before, after and between.  Oh not to forget odd and even numbers!  Whew, that is quit a list......but wait there's more!  A set of steak knives, heehee, I jest.  You get a bonus game called Balloon POP to 10.  My kids love playing this game and it can be used for counting forward, backward, addition, subtraction, count on and back 1 or 2.  The list is endless.  Just click on any of the pics above to get your copy.

Sunday 20 July 2014

Bright Ideas- Newspapers

Welcome back for another round of Bright Ideas!  I love being a part of this fantastic link organised by Shelley @ Teaching in the Early Years

This month I want to share 3 easy ideas on how to use those mountains of newspapers that well meaning parents bring in for your class to use.  I don't know about you but I just cannot say "No" when parents bring things in for our class to use, which means some years I have lots of magazines and newspapers piled up.

I am going to share a few quick ideas on how to get rid of those papers in a way that is useful and dare I say even educational.

1.  Let's get arty!
Papers are an ideal way to stop getting the tables messed up when you are painting in the classroom.  We have a large art table that we often use for group art work and I like to cover the area with newspapers for a quick clean up.  Students can also put one piece of newspaper on their individual tables to stop any crayon or markers making a mess on the table.  Easy clean up, straight in the recycle bin or fold it up for next time.

Papier mache is a messy and fun activity that my kiddos always love to do.  Most people would be familiar with covering a balloon with strips of newspaper that has been soaked in a glue mixture ( I mix equal parts of PVA glue with water) then let the balloon covered mess dry by hanging it up somewhere it can drip.  When it is dry students pop the balloon and are left with a hard round shell.  What you do with this is up to the imagination.  Here are some ideas
  • Paint a face on it and make it into a puppet
  • Turn it into a pinata by filling it with surprises or treats and paint it in bright colors, cover small hole with some paper, hang and use for parties or Cinca de Mayo.
  • Use a leftover plastic bottle, thread two rubber bands through the edge near the opening, then loop those bands over the top of the plastic bottle.  Paint a face on the balloon, now you have a bobble head!  Decorate the bottle to be the body.
  • Papier mache a plastic plate of bowl and when dry trim the edges and paint as a gift for students to give to for and special events eg Mothers/Fathers Day, Easter, Christmas.
Newspaper is a softer paper that is easy to scrunch up, it can be used to fill plastic or paper bags as filling or to create a puffy look when making paper crafts.  You can also use newspaper to create a 3D look when making dioramas.  

2.  Look and ye shall find!
Newspapers are full of text, which is a major component of our day.  I often give my students a page from a newspaper, a magnifying glass and a highligher, what they are searching for will change depending on the topic or concept we are looking at.  Some of the things my kiddos have searched for include 
  • letters and sounds
  • high frequency words
  • parts of speech (adjectives, verbs, nouns, capitals etc)
  • parts of text (headings, sub headings, paragraphs, etc)
  • types of text (report, procedure, persuasive etc)

3.  Measuring up!
Newspapers are a an easy tool to use for measuring. 

Length- Give all students on double page of the newspaper and challenge them to make the longest paper chain they can.  Students can tear or cut strips, then measure the length to find who's is longest.  This can be followed up with a discussion on why one is longer than the other with the consideration that everyone started with the same size.

Perimeter- Students can measure the area around the edge of newspapers

Area- Students can use different objects to measure the area of a newspaper page or use the page to fill an area that is drawn on the ground with chalk.

You can get more hints, tips and tricks for your classroom by following me on Facebook, Instagram or my blog right here!

If you love these easy ideas, make sure you visit some of the other fabulous bloggers with even more fabulous Bright Ideas!

Monday 14 July 2014

A trip down memory lane

I am really enjoying having no timetable to follow or a place I have to be, ahhhhh, I love holidays!  As it is Winter here I have not really wanted to head out and about, I am not a cold weather person, so staying in is not a hardship for me.

So I have taken this time to cook, clean, create and update.

I took a peek at some of my early products, OH MY!  It amazes me how my standards have changed in such a short amount of time.  So I am going to dedicate my time these holidays at updating anything that is looking tired and old (no I am not talking about me), or that I made in Word, Oh my Word!  (If you create in PowerPoint you will know what I mean!)

Here is the latest update

Before  Yikesville!


I like to make my cards so that they can be folded in half to create a front and back.  It helps to stop that "see through" look when you print them on plain white paper.

So you can get this right now in my store and if you have already purchased this just go to your My Purchases page and download the update with extra activities.

I have already printed and laminated this update for a couple of my special needs boys to use when we get back to school.  My daughter and I tested the cards by having a couple of games first hehee.

Saturday 12 July 2014

Read it, Fix it!

I have been working on a new product for a little while now, it is all about proofreading and editing.  This is an area where I know my kiddos need a LOT of practice, so I created this packet for them to really get a good grasp of what they need to look for when editing their own writing.

This is a sample of one of the worksheets

There are 2 different Quick Reference Guides for your students to have with them when proof reading and editing their own writing.  I didn't want to leave anyone out so I included the US version which uses period and an Australian/UK version which has full stops.  I also have boys and girls as well as having a colored or black and white version of them all to save on that all important printer ink!

This gives you an idea of what else you will get in this file and as a special treat you can click on the worksheet above to get your free sample!

Five for Friday


This is my first week of holidays so I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!


Mostly I have been sitting on the couch, reading

I have been waiting for this book for months and had to ration myself while I was reading it so it would last.  It is my favourite series and in about a month it will be aired as a TV series called Outlander, I am beyond excited!! My family know that when I am reading one of these books I am not in the now I am living in the 18th Century and it takes some time for me to come back to reality.  Sadly I have finished the book and now have a book hangover :(


I have been getting out and about, kick starting my fitness before heading back to school in just over a week.  Long walks on the beach and short skipping sessions my legs and arms are feeling it!

This was a lovely sunny Winter day and I made my "babies" come out with me for a walk, they have boundless energy!


In between I have been working on a new product that is all about proof reading and editing.  This is a skill I have been working on with my kiddos and they have really enjoyed using these worksheets.  I am waiting for a day when I can't leave the house because of the weather so I can finish it.  Here's a sneak peek!


This is Jaspurr, he has really been enjoying all the extra attention from the kiddos this holidays.....I think.  My son has also made a fort in his bedroom out of cushions and blankets with a "prison" for the cat, not sure what his crime was to get locked up though?


I have been blog/FB/IG stalking all the fab pics of the TpT conference in Vegas and I have made a concerted effort to start saving for next year.  It looks like everyone is having a blast and it is so great to see everyone meeting up!  I will admit to feelings of jealousy at not being there ;)

Well that is it for me I am off to have lunch with the family and to visit a cheesery (?) I think I just made that up, heehee.  

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Two for Tuesday

Wow, being home on holidays makes such a difference to my blogging schedule, who knew!  Today I am linking up with the Teaching Tribune for Two for Tuesday.

You will find two of my products at 50% off for you for a limited time, click on the pics below to get your discount!

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Monday Meet Me!

I am linking up with the Teaching Tribune for the last week of their Summer Linky's.
Head over and meet some other fantastic bloggers!

Monday 7 July 2014

Getting back on the wagon!

Hi friends!  I have been a slacker with blogging lately, but the last week of school really kicked my butt! Parent Teacher Interviews are exhausting, on top of that I was frantically updating IEP's and writing nominations for our Special Needs kiddos.

Well now I am on our Winter break and I have decided it is confession time.  Remember this post......ummm....yup, didn't happen.  I think I was being a bit ambitious and not only did I fall off the health and fitness wagon I skydived off.  My aim back then was to maintain my weight and create some healthy habits......didn't happen.  What did happen was I started this when I was on holidays and I had time and I was not stressed and clearly maintaining that kind of timetable was unrealistic.  My Support Teacher role is very demanding on many levels and by the end of the day I am exhausted and I then have to make sure I am putting in time with my family.

So we are now halfway through the year and I have PUT WEIGHT ON and I generally feel like cr*p. What happened I hear you ask.  I am the queen of finding excuses, my biggest excuse has always been that I don't have time, I just don't, please find me 15 minutes in my day and I will use it to get healthy.  Right there that is a big fat lie. I have really had to re-think how I look at my week, I do have time I just had to adjust my thinking.  My weekends used to be my sit on the couch days and just veg out.  I now look at my weekends as a way to wind down and then kickstart my week by exercising.

I decided to make 3 small changes in my week to help me get back on track.

1.  Use my weekends to get my exercise started.  
I bet like me you get to Saturday and you feel like a wrung out towel.  I have 2 main jobs that I HAVE to do on the weekends.  First is grocery shopping, the other is laundry.  Here is where I find time :)  I do not take my kids shopping, (sometimes my daughter will come with me but not both) Our supermarket is right near our local beach and walking track, so I make sure I am dressed for walking and then I do a 45 minute walk BEFORE I do the grocery shopping.  I am finding it is a great way for me to let go of the stress from the week and just breathe. I go early and then the supermarket isn't as busy.  I also do a 45 minute walk on Sunday mornings and this is my kick start, I also carry a couple of small hand weights to help stop the jiggly arms.  What about the rest of the week I hear you ask.  This is where I fell down at the beginning of the year, it really is hard to find time and motivation during the working week.  On Tuesdays I drop my daughter off to a 30 minute piano lesson, while she is making music, I walk. Right there I have found 3 times a week I can fit in exercise.  My "rest" days are now Thursday and Friday and I skip on Mondays and Wednesdays, easy to fit in 15 minutes of skipping in the hallway, I also plank every day.  Goodbye excuses!

2. Reduce my time with the bottle
I love nothing more than to relax at the end of the day with a glass of red, a good book or a TV show.  But, the calories I was putting in to my body have settled themselves on my butt and my muffin top.  I do not want to jiggle!  So here is the second change I am making, no more mid week wine, boo hoo.  I am replacing it with tea.  I allow myself Friday and Saturday drinkies and one week night if I really need it.

3. Increase my H2O
I am not great at making sure I am hydrated during the day and this is the other area I feel I can make a change.  This will help me to reduce feeling tired and sluggish and help me flush out any toxins.  I bought a water bottle that is easy to carry around and I make sure it is full in the morning and empty at the end of the day, it has also helped me decrease the amount of Diet Coke I drink.

So these are the 3 small changes I am making to bring on a healthier me, I *think* I will be able to sustain this but check back in a few weeks :)