Sunday, June 25, 2017

Alphabet and Number Insects

Found these little wooden insects when I was sorting out left over craft resources. They are perfect for my students to practice counting and ordering the letters of the alphabet. I like to find interesting ways for them to do this and one way is to use unique objects to write on. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Creating a positive classroom

I was once the teacher in a classroom that seemed to have a lot of conflict. Students consistently displayed negative behaviour towards others and could not solve problems in a positive way. This meant I had to try extremely hard to create a more positive classroom environment and explicitly teach social skills. 

The focus in the following activity, was ensuring children felt good about themselves and that they could also identify characterisitcs in others that are admirable. I began by asking a student sideways in front of the whiteboard and trace around their head. Students were then asked to say something positive about that child. I asked that students try to identify something about their personality, temperament or behaviour, not focus on their looks. Many times they began with saying, "She has nice shoes" or "She's beautiful". While we all may like hearing these things, the objective was not to focus on the physical appearance of others. Afterwards, the student was able to decorate their picture with a friend if they liked. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Gingerbread Man

I will be reading my students the story, The Gingerbread Man and started collating resources. I thought I would share them with you.

Character Cutouts

Gingerbread Man Cut Out 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Meet Mr Printables

I was recently shown this website by a friend of mine who had printed off  a USA Jigsaw Puzzle and Haunted Houses. They looked fantastic once she had laminated them. I took a look at the site myself and fell in love.

You can select one of the categories up top or you can scroll down further and see a selection of the resources. Once you have selected the resource you like, the next screen will show you photographs on how the printable resource can be used. You then scroll down for the desired link. More complex activities give you step by step instructions.

The site is extremely easy to use and well worth taking a look. Click here to go to Mr Printables.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

'Upcycling' in the Studio

At the beginning of last year, I had a beautiful net from Ikea that hung down around my reading area and looked really cosy. By the end of the year it had holes in it, texta marks and someone had tied some wool through the little holes in the net. I still couldn't let it go though and gathered the net, tying it up to hide the holes. I finally decided last term that I needed to do something about it. It could have something to do with being pregnant and nesting at home just isn't enough but I decided that I couldn't throw the whole thing out, instead opting to find a new use. I cut all the netting off and added some lines of string. It is now an additional place to display children's learning.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Assessment Folder 2

For those who don't know, I am aiming for Term 3 to improve the way in which I implement summative assessment each term. One of the ways I am doing this is by storing all my assessment charts in one folder. If you want to read the first post about it and download my other charts, you can see it here

Alphabet - Capital and Lower case

Download this here

Alphabet - Capital and Lower case in random order

Download this here

Friday, July 8, 2016

Assessment Folder

Wow, has it really been that long since I last posted? This term has been so hectic and I guess finding time out from that has been difficult. I did think I would share some of the things I have been doing. My focus this term has been assessment and a way of managing this with our two classes, which is over 40 students. If you are not familiar with the Intensive English Language Program, each term we are asked to assess each student using a large rubric type document. One for literacy and one for numeracy. Our assessment includes observational, diagnostic, formative and summative. We aim for authentic assessment and my school particularly encourages the inquiry approach. Having said that, there are basic skills that we need to document each term that might not be covered by our inquiry and so we needed to find a way to assess these efficiently.

I started to make assessment charts that are stored in a folder, so when I have a moment, I can individually assess a learner. The 'Possible activities' all link to an outcome in the assessment rubric. These are not sheets that I use for recording. There will be more made so keep and eye out, but the following are available for you to download for use in your classroom. 

Numbers 0-19

 Download this here.

Numbers 1-20

Download this here.

Numbers 1-100


Download this here.

Numbers 101-200


Download this here

Colours. This was one I didn't think I would have to make but it was very difficult to find any colour charts that did not have the name of the colour printed next to it. 

Download this here

Friday, July 1, 2016

Preparation for our Insects unit

It is our last week of Term here in Adelaide and I am ready for our 2 week break. During this time, as well as some relaxing, I will be planning for the following term. I am going to bring my spiny leaf insects into my studio (classroom), however I want this to be meaningful, not simply so I can get them out of my house ;). Before I start the planning process, I wanted to know what students already knew about insects in order to make the classroom curriculum more relevant to my specific learners. 

Today we brainstormed what we knew about insects. To begin with, we had to establish a common understanding of the word 'insects'. Having EALD learners, they were more familiar with the word 'bugs'. They had some interesting and some inaccurate ideas about insects but I wrote them all down because it proved a great starting point. I am hoping that the language used to talk about insects will be developed throughout our learning and I hope together as a group we can go back to this brainstorm to reflect on our learning.

I then asked students to draw what they think an insect is. Again to inform me about what students knew and also as an assessment tool at the end of our unit of learning. While some are absolutely adorable in cartoon form, I am hoping that they will be able to draw some more realistic pictures next term. 

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.