Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Meet the Teacher...um... Tuesday?

I recently found a blog also written by someone new to the teaching blogging world and she has already got her own weekly linky party which she hosts every Monday, so this week I thought I would join in even though its Tuesday! Come join Trina at The Ordinary to Extraordinary Classroom.

Meet the Teacher Monday: The Business of Blogging 

1. How long have you been a blogger? I've been blogging since November!

2. Do you have any blogs other than your teacher/education blog? Nope, showing all my love for this baby!

3. What niche is your blog in? Education, specifically for the younger years.

4. Do you have plans to start any other blogs? Not at the moment, although 
I do enjoy reading other people's personal blogs.

5. What do you enjoy most about blogging? I enjoy the interaction with others, the sharing of ideas, inspirations and resources and the comments/feedback people leave for me!

6.  What do you enjoy least about blogging? Having to be patient while I build up a following, I want to feel that I'm not just writing to thin air!

7.  How often do you blog? No set amount, depends on how much free time and whether I have an idea or product to blog about! Ideally 2-3 times a week. 

8.  If you could meet anyone from the blogosphere, who would it be? Amy from Step into Second Grade with Mrs Lemons. I love her style of writing and products!

9. Are there any hot-button issues you will not discuss on your blog?  I wouldn't comment on other people's parenting style. I'm not one to judge!

10.  Name one thing (or more) that you would like to accomplish with your blog? I want to help other teachers, particularly those just starting out in their careers with ideas and resources. Teaching can be a very rewarding job, but also can take it out of you, so any little help you can get elsewhere is invaluable!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

How to... make goldfish sun catchers

Thought I would write a How to for my goldfish that I made for Chinese New Year. They are considered lucky at this time of year especially due to their association with abundance of gold.

Goldfish Sun Catchers

You will need:
  • sticky back plastic
  • orange/yellow tissue paper squares
  • permanent marker
  • scissors
  • goldfish colouring or outline
What to do:
  1. Print out a simple goldfish colouring or outline (mine was from Activity Village) and blue-tak a piece of sticky back plastic over the top, shiny side up.

2. Using a black permanent marker, trace over the lines of the drawing.

3. Peel off the stick back plastic and cover the drawing with small pieces of tissue paper. I used a combination of yellow and orange. Allow the pieces to overlap slightly.

4. Cut out the goldfish. (You can cover the tissue paper with a second piece of sticky back plastic, however, I chose to leave it open since that side could face the window).

5. Display in the window.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Five For Friday (or Saturday!)

One day I'll actually manage to post this on a Friday...

Ordinal numbers for the Chinese zodiac race. We ordered the toys! Then a bit of cutting and sticking to ordinal up the animals.

Chinese New Year decorations - goldfish! This was something I adapted from several ideas I found on Pinterest and the internet as I had managed to use my entire red tissue paper supply up for Remembrance Day poppies back in November and so decided to use up all my orange and yellow instead!

We went outside to practice our phonics skills. Chalk writing to make it that little bit more exciting!

Using some my version of a freebie I found from Make Take and Teach r-controlled vowels. The children had to choose the correct sound and clip, turning over to check their answers with a coloured dot behind.

I'm the Featured Freebie on Teaching Blog Addict! So so excited as it was only my second time linking up there! 

Freebie Fridays

Monday, 20 January 2014

New products and a freebie!

I've been working on a few more products to share with you all (sorry its taken so long to get my TpT store up and running!).

First, I found some absolutely adorable clip art and couldn't resist using it to make a Count the Room. As its the second half of the year now, I've gone for numbers from 10-20. There are so many uses for this activity - as a whole class starter, in a Maths centre, for quick finishers.

I've also completed the Tricky Word Flashcards series with Phases 3, 4 and 5 (freebie of Phase 2 available here). These tricky words are non-decodable so the children have to learn them by sight. Frequent flashcard practice and games using the words are essential!

And for my freebie...

I have some cards I used for a speech and language intervention. They are simple he/she cards of verbs which I use for a variety of one-to-one games with an EAL child who struggles with this concept. Games I've used include: basic sorting into the correct group, using two sets and playing snap (but saying 'he/she' instead of 'snap') and oral describing of the picture, using the correct pronoun repeatedly. I have included a recording sheet as well which initially can be used for simply writing 'he' or 'she' as appropriate, but later I integrate some verb practice and ask them to write simple captions 'he is washing', 'she is cutting'.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Like the new look?

Courtesy of the fabulous Christi at Design by Christi (and Mrs Fultz’s Corner) I have a lovely butterfly themed blog design. Since I've had it done, I’ve found myself logging on just to look at it!

Ms. Fultz's corner

To celebrate this new look, I have a freebie to offer you all at my TpT store. It is some butterfly-themed (what else could it be, really?) tricky words. These are aligned to the UK Letters and Sounds programme and I’ve coloured coded them by the phases. Click on the image below for a link to my store to download Phase 2 for free!


For more great freebies from other bloggers, why don't you check out Teaching Blog Addicts' Freebie Friday? I've linked this post there and there are loads of other great things to choose from.

Freebie Fridays

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Must Read Mentor Text - The Great Pet Sale

This link up with Collaboration Cuties has a different focus each week, this week's being Maths and I've chosen one of my most useful books for Maths teaching. 'The Great Pet Sale' by Mick Inkpen. 

The little boy goes to the Pet Shop and looks at all the different animals he could by for different prices (in English pence) all the while being distracted by a rat who desperately wants to be bought. Each page has a lift-the-flap, great for younger readers and ends with a pull-out page to reveal the twist!

Lesson Plan
I start by sharing the book as normal, predicting the content from the cover/title. Relating to their own lives (Have you ever been to a pet shop? What can you buy there? etc) and then read the story. I usually point to each pet as I read as some of the animals are quite unusual. After a brief response to the story (likes/dislikes, events, characters), I focus on various pages asking children to read the price tags in the pictures. 

This leads onto a discussion about money and paying for things in a shop.

I set up a class role play pet shop. I tie price tags (differentiated) around stuffed toys necks and split the class into groups to 'buy' different pets they like with their pennies. We practice one-to-one counting out of the pennies for the different amounts. For higher ability children I ask them to buy two pets and add together the price tags to calculate the amount they need to give the 'shopkeeper' (me initially, but I allow the children to swop into this role). 

Later in the week, I give them cards with pet pictures and varying prices on to use for addition where they record their number sentences in their books. Can also be extended to subtraction and taking away with to work out change. 

Go link up (admittedly I'm linking on the last day of this theme, but at least I made it there before the subject changed!)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Gong xi fa chai (early!)

This topic probably ties with Christmas as one of my favourite topics to do with children in every part of the world I've taught in! I'm going to be teaching this for the 2 weeks leading up to the celebration and using some of the following 8 suggestions (8 because its a lucky number for Chinese!)

1. See-through lanterns for the windows made using tissue paper on tracing paper.

Fun Lesson Plans

2. Teaching ordinal numbers with the help of this video from the British Council called The Great Race. There is also another helpful video on that website called 'My favourite day - Chinese New Year' if you are looking for some simple background to the festival.

3. Last year I used a craft kit to make these lanterns with the children, but this year I may need to try and make my own since my school did not order another kit!

4. The children always love a bit of Chinese calligraphy. I give them some simple Chinese characters to copy such as numbers to 10. 

5. Chinese New Year cards. No picture of this as since the Zodiac year changes each year, I have to come up with something original. This year will be the Year of the Horse, so something horse-related I guess! Look out for pictures in a future blog post.

6. Always a popular end of unit event is to have the children all dress up either in Chinese cheong-sam or simply red (a lucky colour!) and then we taste some Chinese food. Remember if you are buying one for you, long ones are for married women, knee-length for unmarried.

7. Another one for improving gross motor skills is to have them take part in some traditional ribbon dancing. I tie long (1.5m) bits of ribbon to pieces of dowling wood and have the children attempt to copy youtube videos like the one below! 

8. Flicking through Bloglovin' and found this post from Clever Classroom about books she recommends for Chinese New Year. Some of my personal recommendations would include.

Let me know if you try out any of these too and Xin Nian Kuai Le!
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