Sunday, 29 April 2012

The 5 Star Blogger Challenge

Well I was determined to make my debut to the blogging world a positive and worthwhile one. That's why when I came across Charity Preston's 5 Star Blogger Challenge, over at The Organised Classroom Blog, I was keen to make sure I ticked all the boxes and became a top-notch blogger. So to prove that I have achieved the requirements of a 5 Star Blogger, here is my proof:

1. You can contact me in a variety of ways - email, Facebook, Twitter & even Pinterest.
2. I haven't as yet received any awards for my blogging, so there's none to display!
3. My last three blogs were about things I have used in my classroom, from hand-me-down board & card games, DVD questionnaires and a fun novel study activity.
4. I'll always make a conscience effort to provide details about any products I have in my stores.
5. The previous blog was about one of my most memorable teaching activities - and it is something that can be done using the same book, or any others. I really engaged my students, and became very popular across the school! 

Whole class reading activity

One of the best activities I have done during my Literacy lessons was based around the book "Perry Angel's Suitcase" by Glenda Millard. This is the third story in a series by Millard about the Silk family, and tells of a young boy, Perry, who is a foster child and comes to live with the Silk family. 

The main theme in the book is about belonging and finding one's place in the world, but there are many other themes within the book that teachers can explore and focus on with your students. 

The main activity I did with my students was to create 'Perry' (I did this by drawing, painting and lamenting a picture of a boy) so that he could become a part of our class, and that each day a different student was to 'foster' Perry and take him home with them and share their family's activities and lifestyle. The students had to write in Perry's diary and share what they did with Perry while he was staying with them. They were also allowed to take photos and stick these into the diary as a visual representation of what they did. (Perry also was with them throughout the day at school, and participated in many classroom activities). I don't think my students had written so much!!! I was really surprised and happy with how they embraced the task, and made Perry feel part of their family. Perry went horse riding, took tennis lessons & music lessons, attended a birthday sleep-over party and even went out on a boat!! The students really loved sharing their diary entries, and were so excited when it was their turn to take Perry home. I made a letter for students' to take home to parents about the task, so they knew what to expect when they fostered Perry for a night (or sometimes a weekend).

A lovely part in the story is when the Silk's share one of their family traditions, which is the ceremony of Cake and Thankfulness. To explore this, we looked at the different traditions our own family's had, and the traditions of our school and society. As a ' reward' for doing such great work in fostering Perry, we had a morning of Cake and Thankfulness. I made enough cupcakes for each student and made some icing in different colours. I then set the classroom up so that each student could decorate their cake as they desired. We then went outside, sat in a circle, and went around and said three things that we were thankful for. Then we ate the cake!! It was a lovely activity, and got the students thinking about how fortunate they were.

If you would like to know more about the book, check out the synopsis

This idea came from another book, Flat Stanley, written by Jeff Brown & associated activities.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Magic School Bus

Who doesn't love the Magic School Bus? I know when I was a kid I would race home from school to watch episodes. And now you can have the entire series on DVD from Scholastic! It's great when studying units such as the Human Body, Mini Beasts, Machines, Weather, Space and many more! 

I have created some questionnaire's to go along with the DVD episodes. While I like to let my students enjoy the cartoon, it's also important that they take something away from it. These can help. So go to my store and check them out! They're free!!! 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

As I look out my window on this wet and dreary day, it got me thinking about what I used to do with my cherubs on days such as this, when indoor play was called. A great tip is to have some board games and card games for varying ages on hand. A family friend was having a clean out and found some old games of her son's that she graciously gave to me to use in my classroom - UNO, Snap and Old Maid cards, along with Panic, Boogle and a giant snakes and ladders to name a few. I had them stored along with some old comics and children's magazines. I was always very strict on who played what game, and how many were playing together, but it meant that they had something fun to do during what would normally be their outside play time. I also allowed students who had earned free time to play these. Playing games like these are actually educational (but shhhh, don't let the kids figure that out) and it teaches them communication and social skills such as taking turns and good sportsmanship. So ask some friends and relatives, or better still go down and support your local charity shop by purchasing some pre-loved games cheaply. Wet weather days will always happen and it's always good to have something fun the kids can do.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

My Resources

Hi everyone... Whilst I've been busy looking after a teething baby, and haven't had time to keep creating resources, you can check out some of the ones I have put up on Teachers pay Teachers website... I've got some great casual teaching units covering Australia & The Gold Rush, a Christmas matrix, two "The Magic School Bus" DVD questionnaires, and a journal writing task sheet.

Please leave feedback for me too! Love hearing from other teachers!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Foster a positive and confident mind with "Fostermind"

Thank you to 'Lime Tree for Kids' for posing about these FABULOUS posters! Aren't they brilliant? They would be lovely in a classroom (as well as a child's bedroom - definately getting these for my Son), and could become a mantra that the kids go around and say everyday. This makes me think of Abileen giving Mae Mobley a positive affirmation in "The Help" - "You is Kind... You is Smart... And You is Important".

Check out their product:

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

First Post

This is my first time 'blogging'... I wanted to create this to show things I have created for the classroom, and share things that other teachers have created. Once I figure all this out (in between taking care of bubs) I hope to bring my followers some exciting teaching resources.