Friday, 27 December 2013

New Year's Resolutions

So the Christmas fuss is dying down and I'm beginning to think it might be time to do some work! However, much more fun is writing another blog post...

Just thought I would share a craft photo, although this wasn't for school! These were the Christmas cards I made for my family this year. Something very relaxing about cross-stitching, I really must find the time to do it a bit more (although when, as teachers, do we ever have time to do anything?!)

I think I may be addicted to link ups... today's is with Brandi from A Peach for the Teach and is about resolutions.

Personal - fairly obvious one to put and not one I'm a general fan of starting in January (not a good way to kick off those post-Christmas blues), but my level of fitness is just plain ridiculous right now! So I'm determined to do something. I have access to amazing sports facilities and I'm simply not using them... but from January I will be!

Professional - In order to have more time to blog/make resources/actually have some free time, I want to get more organised with my weekly planning ahead of the weekend before I teach it! 

Classroom - In previous classrooms, I used to have multiple interactive displays. My current layout is very much not ideal for this, but its a great independent learning/assessment tool so I need to do some thinking and get them into my room!

Blog/TpT - Blog is ticking along nicely (over a whole month of posts now!), so my focus is going to be starting my TpT store with some resources. This weekend I'm going to be working on the first ones hopefully!

Just-for-fun - I want to go wake-boarding again (will help with the exercise too!) as I used to go fairly regularly and was actually getting ok (I'm far off 'good') at it! 

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Season's Greetings


Wishing all my blog followers and readers a very Merry Christmas! I hope you get everything you wish for both today and in 2014!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Double figure posts!

This is my 10th post whoop!

I very much enjoyed the link up from last week with Doodle Bugs Teaching so here is another link up, this time with Miss Kindergarten, A Teeny Tiny Teacher and Dragonflies in First.

My purple boots that I bought about 7 years ago. I looooooove them so much! Where I currently live, it does not get cold enough to wear them, however, I've come home for the holidays and am all booted up and in heaven!

Catching Fire. I was disappointed by the first film after adoring the book series, however, I was pleasantly surprised by the second film. Of course, now the long wait until the third!

I already mentioned my obsession with 'I'm a Celeb' in another post but it is probably my favourite tv show!

Din Tai Fung. It's a Chinese restaurant that has branches around the world (I've been in 3 countries!) and I can't get enough of their speciality 'xiao long bao'. To die for. 

This is an easy one. 

I turned *cough* 30 *cough* this year, so I was lucky enough to receive some amazing and very generous gifts. I'm not sure I could choose a favourite although the surprise trip to the Harry Potter studio was way up there!

Here is a photo of some marshmallow snowmen I made with my class. No recipe, but I got the inspiration from a pin from Dusti's Cupcakes

Since I only have 9 blog posts other than this one to choose from, I think this might be better answered nest year! However, the most popular page so far for visitors has been my link up for the Christmas Questionnaire.

Surviving my first year in my new job.

This is my favourite mainly because the actual Nativity set is one of my favourite belongings (you know the whole 'What 5 things would you rescue if your house was burning down?', this would be one of them!)

Going home in the summer in time for one of my best friend's wedding.

To open up my TpT store properly and put some resources into it!


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Randomness and websites

I thought this was quite an apt quote for today's post as I'm certainly trying hard to be patient while 'struggling' to build up a following for my bloggy! I was very excited when I received my first comment and used that as proof I wasn't the only person reading this and now that I even have a couple of followers I'm investing in my very own blog design (hopefully coming early January!). If anyone has any tips for increasing readership I'll be very grateful, I'm already trying linky parties and commenting on my favourite blogs to get my name out there!

Anyway, working with the idea that 'if I build it, you will come' (quote totally stolen magpied from one of my favourite films of all time!) I am going to persevere with posting as often as I can/have something vaguely interesting to say!

So for today, here are my top 5 educational websites.

Phonics Play 

Literally couldn't teach phonics without this. Completely worth the subscription fee, although I also send it home to parents with the advice to use the free games. 


Loads of free display resources, lettering, writing frames etc. 

Teacher's Pet

Like Twinkl, also full of fabulous free display things. I've also just subscribed to the Activities portion, hopefully the children will like some of the games from here that I'm currently making up for my Challenge Area. 


Online e-books. So useful for the end of the day or a spare 5 minutes. I train the children to read along with the words and press turn themselves. 


Unfortunately a subscription-only website, but worth it if you can get your school to pay! Loads of fun games to use as plenaries or hook-ins. 

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Five for Friday

Thought I would try out another linky party, this time a 'Five for Friday' with Doodle Bugs Teaching.


In Maths we have been looking at repeating patterns, what a good excuse to make paper chains to decorate my classroom! They also had a go at using Christmas-themed stampers to make repeating pattern wrapping paper.


I made the wreaths I mentioned in my post 'I wish it could be Christmas everyday'! They were quite small but looked great! Randomly interspersed with reindeer antlers for the Christmas production... I also made the paper-plate Christmas trees. 


Stained glass windows! See my post 'How to... make stained glass windows' to make your own.


Adorable Handprint calendars that I found on Things to Share and Remember. These were my class' gift to their parents (wrapped in the paper they made earlier!)


It's the last day of school today! Whoop, let's go home for 3 whole weeks!! See ya in January kids *waving energetically* Oh and how perfect for me was this gift bag that one of my presents arrived in?!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas Questionnaire

As I am still trying to mark out my corner of the blogging world, thought I would join in with this link up with Fabulous in First to introduce myself a little bit more!

Hot chocolate or egg nog?
Hot chocolate all the way! Ideally with mini marshmallows on top.

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them underneath the tree?
Everything is wrapped, sometimes if I'm he's organised the wrapping paper will even match!

Coloured lights or white?
White but with plenty of coloured baubles.

When do you decorate?
1st December both at home and in the classroom, no earlier!

Real or fake tree?
Real for home, fake mini one for classroom.

Favourite Christmas memories or traditions?
Going round to my Grandma's house to Christmas lunch and then opening the huge pile of presents under the tree after we had given them all out.

Do you remember your favourite gift as a child?
The year my aunt had knitted/sewn my Barbies an entire summer and winter wardrobe. It was amazing (and I still have it ready to pass on to the next generation!)

Do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving, especially if I'm pleased with the gifts I've found.

What is your favourite Christmas song?
Lonely this Christmas (I know it has depressing lyrics, but the tune is so catchy!)

Candy canes, yuck or yum?

Favourite Christmas movie?
Love Actually (its got to be done once every December, sometimes more than once!)

Do you shop online or in stores?
Online a lot more nowadays, but nothing beats finding the odd perfect present in a shop.

Photo cards, letter or store bought card?
Mostly store bought, but for a few special friends/family I will make one. This year I'm cross-stiching them.

Monday, 9 December 2013

How to... make stained glass windows

Another 'How to...', please please post a comment if you try it out!

Glitter Stained Glass Windows

You will need:
  • Sticky back plastic (A5 size) x 2
  • Black card (A5 size)
  • Easy Christmas colourings
  • Wool
  • Glitter
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
What to do:

1. Fold card in half and use the ruler to mark out a smaller rectangle from the folded side (I usually do this for the children).

2. Cut out the small rectangle.

3. Stick one piece of sticky back plastic onto the frame (adult help needed)

4. Place the colouring underneath the frame (sticky-side up!)

5. Use wool to mark out the lines of the picture.

6. Sprinkle glitter into each part of the picture.

7. Seal the glitter with another piece of sticky back plastic (adult help needed).

8. Display in a window.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Reason Number 2

I started this post a few days ago and it was going to be about some websites that I find invaluable in the classroom and some of the things I find inspirational. Then of course, someone incredibly influential, not only to me, but the whole world died, so I decided to keep the title of the post and completely re-write the rest!

A friend of mine was devastated by the news of Nelson Mandela's death and asked on Facebook for some positive and upbeat news. Another replied "Nelson Mandela lived". I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment, yes, the world has lost an inspirational man, yet we should be so glad that we had him at all.

Here are some of my favourite Nelson Mandela quotes:

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