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. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Whose is this?

I got a little tired of hearing "Ms Hiedi, whose is this?". Easy solution was to have a no name box. Works a treat.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


It's the beginning of Term 4 for us in SA. We are starting a 4 week unit on the weather and so like always, I wanted to learn what prior knowledge my students have. We started with a brainstorm.

As students suggested words, I placed these pictures on the board to help those students who may not be familiar with them.

We then made individual calendars to record the weather, using weather symbols. I made this class calendar (ignore the wonky lines and bad drawing)
The data on the calendar will be a way to introduce tallies and graphs. We'll also use this information to discuss clothing we wear during different types of weather.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Introducing Money

I began a unit on money with my R-3 EALD learners this week. It ties in very well with our Supermarket and Chinese Restaurant role play areas (I'll share those soon) and the Royal Adelaide Show, which starts tomorrow. 

I really wanted to find out what my learners knew about money in the first session to determine content needed, possible sequence and how explicit teaching might need to be. We started with a brainstorm. During the brainstorm I took note of individual students who offered ideas and those who appeared to have no prior knowledge or confidence to participate.
As you can see, their ideas did not really include mathematical language, however I have total confidence that we can improve this over the unit. 

From there, we looked at Australian coins. 
I asked individual students to locate and trace over the numbers on each coin. A few students did not know that the value of the coin was there so this was a good activity for them to create more awareness.

I then circled the 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c coins and asked students to think about what they noticed. They were able to tell me that each one had the word 'cents', 3 of them were 'circle shape' and they were the same colour. 

We then followed the same process with the gold coins. Tracing the numbers on the coin and discussing the similarities. 

We ended the session by counting how many coins there were. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Minton Goes Sailing

I read this book to my studio (R-3 EALD learners) as part of our unit on transport. The story centres around Minton a salamander and his turtle friend. Minton wanted to explore the island across the sea and needed a boat to get there. At this point we stopped and I asked students to write a prediction of what kind of boat they think Minton will make. At this stage students were familiar with the words sailboat, canoe, kayak, gondola and ship. Some students were able to use their decoding skills and predict accurately from the picture on the front. I also asked students to record what they think Minton could make a boat with.

We then continued to read the story and then constructed a short text together about what happened in the story. 

It also has the instructions to make your own Minton sailboat. Worth a look.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Secret Buddy

Yesterday, the teacher next door was talking about secrets as part of the Child Protection Curriculum. She began with talking about secrets and then they identified 5 people they could tell their 'sad secrets'. I was pleased that I had made the cut and pleased that students felt that I was someone that they could trust. 
Today I received this beautiful flower and note, which was made for each person the child trusted with their secrets. 

 It reads " Dear Ms Hiedi, I have picked you to be my Secret Buddy. A Secret Buddy helps me with any secrets that make me sad. If I feel someone is hurting me I will tell you. From _______"

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Our Finished Transport Mural

In an earlier post I showed our transport mural ready for our transport to be glued on. Over the term we added modes of transport and it finally was complete.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sorting: The concept of noticing

I began our maths learning this year with sorting. The idea is that students will begin to see differences and attributes that objects have in common. Without the skill of 'noticing', I believe maths can be extremely difficult for students. We have started sorting by using a variety of things, many which would easily be found in a classroom.

The group of students working with these counters were so engaged, they chose to continue working until they had sorted the whole container of counters.

 This student sorted these cartoon monsters by how many eyes they had. Other students sorted them by the expression on their face, number of legs etc. You can download these monsters here.

We collected objects from outside and this student sorted them by texture e.g. dry leaves, soft leaves, sticks.

Other ideas for sorting are (objects that may have more than one attribute)

  • bottle lids
  • jars
  • bread tags
  • popsticks
  • straws
  • pipe cleaners
  • receipts
  • small boxes
  • photographs
  • pieces of material
  • student names
  • letterheads
  • company logos e.g. from brochures/catalogues 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Making in the Studio

Every day after lunch my studio and the neighbouring studio, PLAY. There are so many opportunities for learning and conversation, which when you teach an EALD class, you want to encourage as much as possible. One of the choices children have is to make. Last term our making materials and tools were probably not presented in the most appealing way and children were less interested. This term I have noticed more students choosing to be creative, which has been great for practicing those fine motor skills e.g. cutting, folding, taping, gluing.

Ideally I would love clear trays or boxes and do away with the need for labels, but we have made use of the storage we have. 

Small making materials are stored in old coffee jars.

Some children are struggling to find their own creativity and need some inspiration. For those students we have taken an old notebook and glued in pictures of what other children have made or found some photos online. 

Storage is still a problem and big boxes are stored in the hallway while smaller materials are stored in the trays. 

I would love to see your making areas and continue to improve ours as the year goes on. 

Happy making :) 


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