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 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. 

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.


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