Friday, 28 March 2014

Jumping on the band-wagon!

I turned on Bloglovin' today to find loads of my favourite bloggers are hosting Spring Cleaning sales at their TpT stores and I just had to join in!

Of course, I'll be checking out their stores to see what bargains I can pick up, but I've also put my entire store on sale! That's 20% off everything! You don't need a code and the sale is on right now. Click on the image below to go to my store.

To find the other stores who are also on sale, check out Georgia Grown Kiddos blog.

Georgia Grown Kiddo's

Monday, 24 March 2014

Sunshine on a rainy day

So I've been nominated by Ashlee at Teacher Will Run For Books for a Sunshine Blogger Award. Which considering the non-stop rain I've had recently, is a lovely gesture. In order to accept it, I am supposed to do 4 things.

1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 facts asked by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Nominate bloggers you think bring sunshine sunshine to the world.
4. Make up 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

11 facts about myself
1. I read every single night, if my kindle broke, I would probably have a break down.
2. I read to my class every single day (trying to get them into my habit!)
3. I am addicted to technology, and social media (I blame the fact I am far from my family and friends).
4. I have given up chocolate and cakes and desserts and basically anything sweet for Lent. Lent is very long this year...
5. I took part in the teachers art piece for my school's art auction this year despite my lack of painting skills (I went for bushes since they seemed hard to get wrong!)
6. Pink is my favourite colour.
7. If its pink and Cath Kidston I will own it.
8. I've just started to experiment with pedicures I see on pinterest.
9. I have managed to keep an orchid alive for nearly year. This is a new record for me, usually I measure plant life in weeks.
10. I'm in my 9th year of teaching.
11. I am terrible at printing out photos and am years behind with my albums.

11 questions from Ashlee
1. What do you order at your favorite coffee place?
Hot chocolate cause I don't like coffee!
2. Give your #1 behavior management strategy in your classroom.
Happy and sad faces, and saying that they have made me sad so thats why I'm moving their name there.
3. Why are you a teacher?
Because I never really grew up and love that I get to play and earn money!
4. What's the best part of teaching?
Anything I can laminate!
5. What's the worst part of teaching?
The marking. Hate it. I try and make my lessons as practical as possible with a big part of my motivation being so I have less marking to do!
6. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Travel around the world with my closest friends. Like a round-the-world cruise or something.
7. What's your favourite thing to do over the summer?
Go home.
8. Do you have any siblings? Are you close with them?
One younger brother and yep, we What's App or Facebook most days and speak at least once a week.
9. Do you have any pets?
No, I'm currently living in 'no pets allowed' accommodation
10. Why do you think so many people leave teaching after 5 or fewer years?
The bureaucracy!
11. If you weren't a teacher, what would your profession be?
A lady that lunches? I could be good at that! Or more realistically a librarian.

My nominations (in no particular order)
1. My Teacher Friend
2. A Cupcake for the Teacher
3. A Teeny Tiny Teacher
4. Chicken Soup for the Autism Teacher's Soul
5. Happiness is Watermelon Shaped in 3rd Grade

My questions for my nominees
1. Best way to unwind on a Friday night?
2. Favourite book to read?
3. If you could meet one person from history, who would it be?
4. What did you wear to work today?
5. Where would you go on your dream holiday?
6. Favourite festival to celebrate in the classroom?
7. Best tv programme on at the moment?
8. What's your guilty pleasure?
9.  How often do you blog?
10. Your best-selling product?
11. Your favourite product from someone else?

So thanks again to Ashlee for my nomination, which I happily accept! Please go check out her blog and those of my nominees! We all could do with a little more sunshine in our lives!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Storybook Sunday - Leaf Man

Another favourite book of mine, especially when I've taught in Reception (Kindergarten) is Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.

The best part of the book is without doubt the amazingly clever illustrations which are pictures completely made out of leaves.

The children are fascinated working out what they are. And of course, once we are done, we all head outside to look for our very own leaf men! This book is obviously best introduced in autumn. There is also a page at the end which allows the children to identify common leaves.

As I usually do a whole week on leaves and autumn, I often follow up Leaf Man with We're Going on a Leaf Hunt (based on a familiar story!) which is another gorgeous book to read about that time of year.

Go link up with Paula's Place for more great book suggestions on Storybook Sunday!

Friday, 21 March 2014

What we did this week

Or in other words, another Five for Friday post!

This week I've found some truly random things to talk about! But that's one of the joys of linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching!

On Monday, the cooks served us green food, on green plates with green dessert. The children found it hilarious!

I have no idea what this is, but 2 boys spent the whole of their Golden Time making it and wanted a photo taken at the end.

Brandi from My Teacher Friend wrote a post about safe links on youtube for stories and I'm addicted to the pinterest board already, its so so useful for these spare 5 minutes when I want to sort a few things out and yet keep the kids engaged in a story.

This is the post that is going to inspire my class' Easter cards this year I think (we have to do them next week as then school is closed for 3 weeks until Easter Monday). It's from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.

I've been nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award, I need to think carefully about my post accepting it and who to nominate in return!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Acing that phonics check

If you teach in a UK school in Year 1, you will be familiar with the oh-so-popular Phonics Check that has to be done in June. Not one of my favourite things as a teacher, but since it has to be done, obviously I want my kiddies to do the best that they can in it.

I'm a great believer in drip feeding or spiralling the strategies they need to be able to pass. Below are just a few of the activities that I use over the year.

iPad app 'Check Your Phonics' by Pearson Education
This app (unfortunately paid) generates both real and fake words. 

Lollypop word sort 
I made this product so the children could sort the real and not real words.

'Reading Robot' on Phonics Play
There are some other good themed games on here which are grapheme-specific, which generate selections of real and fake words such as 'Buried Treasure', 'Planet Pluto' and 'Dragon's Den'.

Flashcards from SmartKids
I have a box of these for each Phase so I can use throughout the year. 

Buried Treasure also from Smart Kids
Again, I also have this game for multiple Phases.
Monster Names
Since the 'real thing' will involve fake words with monster/alien pictures beside them, I get them used to reading 'names' of different monster characters. (You can find this product in my TpT store).

For this game, I split my class into teams (usually 2/3) and they take it in turns to roll my large whiteboard dice to find a word for their team to read. Then they circle it on the board. The first team to get three words circled wins. (My current class are ace at the reading, but a lot to work on with strategy to win!)

And of course, lots and lots of shared, guided and individual reading!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Let's go green!

And celebrate St.Patrick's Day!

What are you doing with your class? 

We made leprechauns that I found from a pin from Theme Party Palace.

We also made a different type of leprechaun adapted from one I saw on I {heart} crafty things

Next week during our Reading Roundabout we are going to be using the sight word board games from Make, Take and Teach, but with some little counters that I made from some St.Patrick's Day clip art from My Cute Graphics.

The Challenge Area is equipped with my Leprechaun Number Bonds to 10 (grab this freebie from my store!).

I'm also quite tempted to make the children watch Leprechaun Gold because its a classic!

Happy (early) St.Patrick's Day to you all!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Five for Friday and a Freebie!

One of the main reasons I love the Five for Friday link up as it is my chance to post all sorts of randomness about my week!
Playing with boats as part of a Science lesson this week.

Loving the Creative Clips Club as I get new clipart every week! So far have some very cute spring and Easter sets that have given me several ideas!

Had to do a cover lesson this week with Year 2 so I figured lets make some leprechauns (though had to beg, borrow and steal enough green paper!) I got the idea from a pin from Theme Party Palace.

2 evenings of parents evenings this week = tired!

Rhyme has been a focus as we start poetry and the kiddies have got into this Roll a Rhyme game I made. Click on the image below to get it for free from my store! I would also really appreciate feedback if you do download it!

Freebie Fridays

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Take a challenge

The Challenge Area is a very popular spot in my classroom so thought I would blog a little about it and what I do there.

Basically its for my fast finishers, who have completed their classwork before the end of the lesson. I try and make them quite practical activities that the children can complete independently so that myself and my assistant can continue with our guided work with the slower workers. The children always have the opportunity to go into the book corner instead.

I like to put out a mixture of activities, usually making sure that there is a balance of reading, writing and maths. I will often put something they have already done in a lesson there as a reinforcement of previous learning. I do give them an explanation and demonstration of anything new.

Most things stay in the Challenge Area for about 2 weeks, but I swop themed activities in for a shorter period if appropriate. I also make sure that there is a mixture of old and new activities so they have some they are familiar with as well as new ones to try.

Some of my (and their!) favourites have been:
Word sort (from Doodle Bugs Teaching)

Colour by number - they also loved a Chinese New Year lantern version I found (forgot to take pictures of it)

Valentine's themed sentences

Alphabet puzzle 

120-square puzzle (template from First Grade Blue Skies)

Lollypop word sort (in my TpT store!)

Popcorn words (soon to be in my store as am trialing it with my class at the moment!)
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