Sunday, 20 May 2012

Casual Teaching Resource

This is one of my casual favourite teaching resources. "Feral Animal Hunt" is a game that combines Numeracy knowledge & skills of addition, subtraction and grid referencing/coordinates, as well as the Environmental knowledge of Australian native and feral animals. 

It is a simple as handing out a sheet to each student, and them plotting the required number of feral and native animals on the grid as they like. The teacher then calls out a series of grid reference points. When the teacher has called out the desired number of grid points, the students then add up (and subtract for any native animals) the total number of animals caught in traps. The student with the highest score wins!!! 


Magic School Bus DVD Questionnaire Pack

Well it's going to take a little longer than I thought, but I'm slowly getting through the 12 DVDs, 24 episodes of the Magic School Bus. I am creating one A4 sheet per episode, as well as some find-a-word activities to go with each series. This pack will be available very soon at both of my stores, so keep an eye out!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Learning about Water

Not so long ago, Australia was in the midst of a terrible drought. From 2003 - til 2010 Australia suffered through it's worst drought in recorded history.  During this time I met my husband. He was a Goulburn boy that had moved to Wollongong for work. We went to visit his family, and this was my introduction to the drought. I had never experienced a place so dry, and so devoid of life! They were one of the worst affected townships in the state of New South Wales, and were on level 5 water restrictions. I became very aware at how precious water was - especially when staying on his parents' property that was supplied by tank water! I had the quickest showers of my life!!! It also struck me when I learnt that his nieces and nephews had never seen rain before!!! It wasn't until the many flood events from 2010 - 2012 that the drought was declared over.

So when it came time to teach my coastal students about the different ecosystems in Australia, and teach them about the importance of water, I was excited when I heard that the ABC had created a game that taught students about how water is used, and how important it is for our survival. The ABC Catchment Detox game challenges students, individually or in groups, to manage their own river catchment area so that after 100 years they have a healthy economy and a healthy environment. There's plenty of information to support teachers, and the key messages students will get from the game are about the catchment ecosystem, water planning, having a healthy environment, producing food, agricultural practices and research. So check it out, and set it up in your classroom. (If you're student's have ever played the game The Sims, then they will quickly pick this up). My student's really enjoyed the challenge provided, and learnt about the precious resource that it water!!!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Baking time

My lovely husband and son know that I love to bake (and they love tasting my efforts) so for Mother's Day they kindly got me a voucher to spend at our local DIY Cake place. While I am planning to experiment with my purchases this weekend, I did wake early this morning and decide to try making some Oreo Cupcakes! Using the Perfectly Chocolate Cupcakes recipe from Glorious Treats Blog I made 24 chocolately cupcakes!

The icing was a combination of Wilton Butter Cream icing recipe (for those of us in Australia, you can use softened Copha where it says shortening).

Combine 250g Copha, 250g Butter, 2 tbls vanilla extract, 4 cups Pure Icing Sugar and if it's a little stiff, add milk gradually until desired consistency, and about 1/2 pk of crushed Oreo biscuits.

 They look lovely, and from all reports taste devine!!!! I used mini Oreo's to decorate, as I felt the large ones would overpower the cupcake.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Getting the kids involved

Next time you're out at the clothes line, take your little one with you and work on their colour recognition using pegs. Place the peg basket in front of them and ask them to hand you a red, blue, green peg etc. As they get older, you can ask for 2 yellow pegs, one yellow and one red etc.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Daily Maths Drills

When I taught Special Education, Maths was a subject that was very hard to teach to my students. Some things worked, but most didn't. Whilst doing a day of casual on Monday, the teacher had a Daily Maths Drill book that she went through with the students, each day. It covered the days of the week, months of the year, counting 0-10, 0-20, 0-100, 2D & 3D shapes, and time. 

I loved it!!! Such a simple, yet repetitive activity wouldn't bore these kids, but would mean that eventually they would retain some of the information from the booklet. So... I decided I'd create my own for future use - in my own classroom, or for casual teaching. You can check it out at my stores!! 

Monday, 14 May 2012

A Special Kind of Day...

Well I did another day of casual today, and loved every minute of it! I was on an I.O class in a school I've done regular casual at. After having a year of working in Special Education in 2010, I forgot how much I enjoy it and how wonderful the children are.

I was covering whilst the class teacher was undertaking some Accelerated Literacy training (in school) so she had left me the day plan, which was good as it helps keeps the kids settled and in routine. While the day was similar to my own class, once upon a time, I loved some of the resources they had - again, similar to what I have previously created, but slightly different, and in a way I wouldn't have before considered. The first was the Morning circle routine, and I after going through the day, date, weather etc the children are sent back to their desks to complete a 'daily diary' activity - which is simply them writing out the day, date, weather etc.

This was my old way of doing it: 

And this is my new and improved version:

Below are some examples of the kids work today in the different formats. You can see where I got my ideas, and how I have changed it to make it my own! You can also see that it was made into a book and bound, so that the kids just pulled it out each day and went to a new page. Just print enough pages for one term, then students can take it home at the end of the term, or the teacher can use it for assessment.

You can purchase this morning circle activity from my Teachers Pay Teachers store