Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Maths Journal

One of the suggestions during my Natural Maths training was that as a studio (class) we keep a journal of our numeracy lessons. I have actually found that this works really well with my learners and acts as a quick revision at the start of the each lesson, as we look at what we did the previous lesson. I will be the first to admit, it is just another task that has to be done daily and there are times where I struggle to keep it up to date. I started out making each page quite elaborate last year and it just wasn't sustainable. This year I have simplified the structure with a couple of photos and quick explanation. Sometimes I will glue the photos on and as a group we construct the explanation together. 
I bought this very cheaply from the Reject Shop




Saturday, May 14, 2016

Creating Toy Town

Loosely following the lesson plans from Ann Baker, my students made "Toy Town". They began by making a house for a teddy bear and we progressed to constructing a little town for the rest of our toys. We first brainstormed what types of buildings would be found in a neighbourhood and went from there. You can find the lesson plan in the Ann Baker Natural Maths Strategies: Beginner Level 4-5 Years.
The photos below show the town they made.





Then following another idea from Ann Baker's books, we decided we would draw a map of our Toytown. Mapping was something that was totally new to my students and we will continue with this learning over the year. 

I decided to begin the task, we would make the map together. I put the photo up on the board and we traced around the parts of the map with a whiteboard marker. 

We then turned the projector off and were left with an outline, which the students copied.





Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A bottle cap resource - Fill in the Missing Numbers

I went to a Jolly Phonics training session a few years ago and there they showed us this wonderful idea of using bottle caps to write letters on them so children can make words. This is a great idea simply because they are durable and if lost, very easily replaced. I have since become a little obsessed with bottle caps and people gladly hand them over. I have taken the idea and used bottle caps to make a "Fill in the missing numbers" game. 




Thursday, May 5, 2016

Holiday Recount

This week was our first for Term 2 and we constructed a holiday recount. My literacy group are Reception and Year 1 EALD learners. Currently they do not write independently so we started with pictures on Tuesday.



Today, I turned their work into books. Instead of stapling it, I folder a second piece of A3 paper and glued it down the fold in the middle.

I asked children to decorate their front covers with the words "In the Holidays". While they were busy doing that, one on one, we wrote about their pictures.
I asked children to trace over my writing and copy it underneath. Some did this very well and everyone had a go.

If you would like a copy of the writing templates, you can find them here.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Free images to use in the Classroom

I prefer to make resources for my learners using photos rather than clipart, however these can be hard to come by for free or low cost. I did happen to stumble across the site freeimages.com today while looking for a new background image for this blog. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see how many free images there were. 

First sign up and you will receive a confirmation email. Once registration is finished, you can search for the subject of photograph you are looking for. 
You will then be taken to the search results page. You can choose to look through them all or click the Free Files tab. There's also Advance Settings on the left to filter results: Order, By Photographer, Date Uploaded etc.
Once you have clicked the image you will see all the details and the photographer. You can then choose the size to download.

It's brilliant! 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Using table top space

I have limited space to display work on my walls. I have 2 pin up boards and am not allowed to hang anything directly on the walls. I also have plain white laminate tables, which do not really match the rest of our studio and so I solved both problems. 


I bought the clear plastic from Lincraft but you find it in many places. The plastic has flattened out over time, however you could lay them out in the sun to or use a hair dryer on a low setting to smooth it out.

The students have responded well and asked for their work or photos to be displayed on the tables. They do get dirty still and some students may get creative with the scissors around the edges but I am still happy with the decision.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Our Backyard Role Play Area

This term we are learning about homes. As usual I have been planning with the teacher in the next room and part of her room has been set up as the inside of a house, and I have set up my room as the outside of a house. It is complete with an outdoor setting, plastic dinner set from Ikea, a weber from Kmart ($15) and some fake grass from Bunnings. I have also been busy making some felt food and will endeavour to find some children's aprons. 

Our word wall will be used to display vocabulary and pictures related to homes.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Our first recount of the year

One of the first things we did this week was make a joint picture about our holidays. It was actually interesting watching their interactions and problem solving to enable all students to have space and resources. They did really well and all of my EAL students were able to participate.




Friday, November 20, 2015

Camping Role Play Area

I have recently removed my supermarket and Chinese restaurant role play areas and replaced it with a campsite. 

 This is a 2 person tent but it would work just as well with one of those pop up sun shelters. Notice our 'rock' to fish from.

 As the poles would usually be held down with guy ropes and pegs, they will not stand up freely. I had to use a rubber band around the base of the poles and the tent loops. 

 This magnet fishing game was bought from Kmart. Children place the material however they like to create the 'water'. The jar isn't exactly authentic but it stops the strings from being tangled.


These are vocabulary flashcards I made using a Google image search (free for non commercial use). SparkleBox has a cartoon set but I try to avoid cartoon images. 

The plan is to go on a bit of a 'hike' around the school to find some sticks for a fire and add this to our campsite. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Use those old calendars

Okay, so people always say that teachers never throw things away and I for one am guilty of that. With an upcoming house move and possible classroom move, I HAD to clean up my study at home. I decided that unless I could use it now or in the very near future, it could not stay. It has been working well because it has forced me to actually get moving on all those projects I have swirling around my head. 

What I did find was a pile of old calendars, which I had kept probably to use as posters or the photos were just too nice to throw away. I've now made use of these in two different ways. 

The first, I have used to make a birthday chart. With limited wall space, I don't have a birthday chart hanging up but this is a good solution. 

Each page is placed and stapled inside a plastic sleeve, which can be written on with a whiteboard marker. The sleeves are then stapled together and the edge is covered with thick tape. 

I used a coloured piece of paper behind each picture to hide the used calendar on the back. 

I am also always looking for different ways to encourage writing. I used these calendar pictures of animals to inspire students. 

Like the birthday chart, each page is placed in a plastic sleeve to make for easier cleaning. Children then write a sentence/word/story about the picture. What I like about this is that it is suitable for a variety of abilities.