Saturday, 15 July 2017

Meet the Teachers! Aussie Sellers on TpT

I'm not sure about you but I just love getting to know more about the friends and acquaintances I make in cyber space!  When I first started reading teaching blogs my favourite posts were the ones that really put a face to the name of the author - tidbits about who they were and why they loved to teach.  It's the same when I buy resources from Teachers Pay Teachers!  I know that when I buy from an Aussie seller they will be familiar with the expectations of our curriculum, and lots of times the themes and language used are more relevant to my kidlets.  Plus, it's always good to 'shop local' and send your money to another Aussie teacher!  If I'm ever teaching something particularly Australian - our history, currency, ANZAC Day, and sometimes even phonics - I always search for local stores to buy from first. {I'll show you how to search by location at the end of this post!}

Today I'd like to introduce you to a few awesome teacher-authors who are waving the Australian flag over on TpT.  I bet you know some of them already!  If it's the first time you've met them, I'd encourage you to click on their info to pop over and check out their resources. 

I'll start with a bit of info about myself, just in case you're new to my blog:

Next up is a teacher whose resources cover just about every subject area in the primary years:

If you're looking for STEM resources, you need to meet Sarah:

There's something for all teachers on TpT!  Kim has your Music needs sorted:

Last but not least, Jennifer has resources in English and other languages - perfect for language teachers or those with ESL kidlets in their class:

If you'd like to find all of the Aussie sellers on Teachers Pay Teachers, it's really easy to search by location and see us all in one handy spot!

First up, hover over the 'All Categories' button to the left of the search bar on the TpT home page:

Move down to 'Sellers by Location', then click 'Australia':

There you have it - easy peasy! Once you've arrived at the full list of sellers, you can refine by grade or subject, just like a normal TpT search.

I hope by reading this post you've discovered some new Australian made resources that will be perfect for your classroom!  

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Sight Word Sunday! Beach Ball Sight Words

Today's idea is a very simple one that's lots of fun - Beach Ball Sight Words!

All you'll need for this activity is a soft ball.  Inflatable beach balls work best because you can flatten them back out for storage, but if you can't find one any large ball will work.  Write your focus sight words right onto the ball using a permanent marker!

If you have outside space (and weather permits) have kidlets stand in a circle and throw the ball to each other.  It's best if the kidlet with the ball calls the name of the friend they're throwing to, so they're prepared to catch it!  When they do, they need to read the sight word facing them, before passing the ball on.

This game is best if played in small groups so that everyone gets lots of turns, but you can also play it with the whole class.  If you need to play inside, have kidlets sit in a circle and roll the ball to each other!

I hope this is an activity that your wriggly little learners will love!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sight Word Sunday! Sight Word Squirt

I love having kidlets up and moving, especially outside!  The change of scenery is often exciting and engaging for them, and a bit of sunshine and fresh air can help to clear their minds after time inside the classroom.  Today's sight word activity is one that you will definitely want to do outside. :)

'Sight Word Squirt' is the perfect summertime activity, although here in Queensland we can play it pretty much all year except in the middle of winter. :)  It's super easy to set up and lots of fun!

Simply write your focus sight words with chalk on a patch of concrete path.  Press kind of heavily because the words are going to get wet and you don't want them to wash off!  If you don't have a path outside your classroom, try writing on an outside wall or blu-tacking laminated words to a fence.  Now you'll need something to squirt water with - a water pistol or empty cleaning bottle are the best.  
Playing is easy! Words are called out by either the supervising adult or another kidlet.  The child/ren with the squirter shoot the word on the path!  You can give kidlets a turn one at a time, or make this a competitive game by having 2 players and seeing who can squirt the word first. :)  Depending on how much energy you want to burn, you could also have them run a short distance to get to the words, which also gives them a bit more time to think about which word they'll shoot.  

One tip - make sure you have access to water in case your water pistols or bottles become empty! You'll need a tap close by or some bottles to top up with.

I hope this is an idea that you can add to your sight word teaching bag of tricks!  

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sight Word Sunday! Sight Word Hide & Seek

Hello again! I'm stopping by today with another interactive sight word activity that you can (hopefully!) use in your classroom.  

This activity is one that is perfect to use during your whole class teaching time.  It's also a great time-filler if you ever have 5 extra minutes that haven't been planned for. :)  I call it Sight Word Hide & Seek!

As you can see I use my pocket chart to play this game - but you really don't need one!  Blu-tacking the words to a white board or wall is just as effective.  To prepare this activity you just need some cards with your focus words written on them.  I use the flash cards I already have - you've probably got some made up, too!  On the back of 4 cards you want to tack on some little characters for your kidlets to find.  I used monsters but you can use any images that fit your classroom or current theme.

The aim of the game is for all of the monsters (or whatever) to be found.  Kidlets take turns to ask the question "Is there a monster behind ____?"  Flip the card around to reveal if there is or not.   (This is a great time to create a bit of drama just for fun!)  When a monster is found everyone cheers and whoever asked the question basks in their 5 seconds of fame. :)  Keep playing until all of the monsters have been found!  Usually this game is nice and quick so you'll have a chance to play a few rounds at a time.  Just turn your board around (or have your class cover their eyes) to hide the monsters again. 

My class loves this simple game - I'm sure yours will too!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Sight Word Sunday! Tower of Power

Sight words are a super important part of the learning our kidlets do in their first year of school.  Due to their frequency in simple texts, and the fact that many can't be decoded by 'sounding out' the letters, it's so crucial that little learners have a bank of words they can recognise instantly when they're reading.  We need to work on sight words every day.  The only problem? Sometimes sight word activities can be a little *cough* boring.  Sometimes it's tricky to think of hands on, engaging tasks that our kidlets will be excited to try, and that also flash those important words in front of their eyes as many times as possible.  To help you out, I'm going to stop by on Sundays and share a simple idea that you can use to spice up your sight word teaching time each week!

First up, my all-time favourite sight word activity: Tower of Power!

All you need to play this game are a bunch of plastic cups with sight words written on them.  I use about 40 cups with 10 words per set - that way each word is seen and read multiple times.  Just give each group of kidlets the set that contains the words they need to practise.  The best way to store your cups is in empty Pringles tubes. :)  Writing words on cups is a great job to give parent helpers, too!

Tower of Power can be played in pairs, small groups, or individually. Kidlets take turns to choose a cup, read the word and add it to the tower.  If the tower falls, all the cups go back into the pile and the game starts again.  The aim is to have all the cups built into a tall tower!  I use this game as a literacy centre activity, then add it to 'Fast Finisher' tubs for the following weeks.

I hope you'll try playing Tower of Power in your classroom! Please let me know if your kidlets enjoy it. :)

Monday, 9 January 2017

Party Packs - birthday celebrations in the classroom!

Back to school is always such a busy time - there's literally a million things to do before you meet your new class, with a perfectly set up classroom all ready to go, of course! Today I'm stopping by to share an idea that will pay off for the whole school year, each time one of your kidlets celebrates a birthday!

Make up a 'Party Pack' to give out every time a birthday rolls around (which sometimes seems like every second day!).  I spent about $20 and made enough packs for a whole class - they include a crazy straw, novelty pencil, glowstick, party blower and balloon.  You could use anything festive that strikes your fancy! I tied them together with ribbon and display them in a labelled jar.

When one of my kidlets celebrates a birthday the class sits in a circle together.  The birthday boy or girl tells us all about their special day - how old they are turning, what presents they opened, if they had a party, what they will have for dinner etc. - before we sing Happy Birthday! Then they receive their 'Party Pack' - with specific instructions to go home and use the items to celebrate their day. :)

What do you do to celebrate birthdays in your classroom?