Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Must Read Monday - Susan Laughs

Even though its Tuesday, its in keeping with my linky party tradition to be a day late! So here is my Must Read for Monday (or Tuesday or any day of the week!).

Must-Read Monday Linky

This is a complete lucky find for me. I literally picked this book up off the library shelf amongst others when restocking my class book corner, then a child chose it for the before lunch story and I was blown away by it!

Susan Laughs is by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Tony Ross (which I think is what attracted me to the cover). Its a simple story told in rhyming couplets (perfect as our English topic was rhyming poetry) with funny illustrations, however, its the end of the book which made me love it. On the very last page, you realise that Susan is in a wheelchair. When you then go back through the book, you realise that Susan is never unassisted in the pictures, and yet she manages to do everything other children can do. My class were fascinated and the discussion about diversity and differences was phenomenal, especially for a complete random book choice!

I highly recommend this book to all teachers of younger classes, although when I searched online, I also found lesson suggestions for older age groups on the Teaching English website. Also on that website is a whole list of books which promote diversity (my Amazon wish list just got longer!)

Go link up at Teaching Maddeness for more great books!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Five for Friday-ing

Haven't linked up in a little while, but still one of the best linky parties out there, I'm joining in with Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday (albeit a little late)! Here is this week's randomness...
Tigger and his diary spend their time visiting different houses. This is one of the photos I used for my model entry and my personal favourite!

Found this game randomly in my local bookshop. Love the letter dice, they will be used for something in my classroom very soon!
Didn't get around to posting this when I blogged about Easter, so here is the display board of some of our work.

One of my besties from home had a baby last Sunday and cause I stupidly live the other side of the world from her, I sent her some biscuits as the pre-gift (real gift coming with me in the summer obviously!). She sent me picture to prove they arrived safely... well let's just say I might need to order some for myself, how amazing do they look?! Well done The Biscuit Box!

After hearing it blogged about by first Collaboration Connection, then Ms Fultz's Corner and now half my Bloglovin' feed! I knew I had to check out GoNoodle. And I'm so glad I did, my class have completely got on board with these brain breaks this week! I introduced it to my team on Wednesday and now we are all using it. If you haven't used this free website for brain breaks, I highly recommend you check it out!
Don't forget to link up yourself!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Easter bits and pieces

We interrupted regular lessons to squeeze in a few Easter/Spring activities.

The children wrote acrostic poems for EASTER (sorry forgot to take photos!) which were very sweet (even the one that had randomly the line "elephants are big" in). I've decided to put them up in a display interspersed with bunny rabbit faces we made using an idea I found on dltk-kids.
They made chick Easter baskets which I filled with packets of mini eggs at lunchtime. I told the kids that the Easter bunny visited while they were out playing! The baskets were based on a pin I saw from Blog Me Mum.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


Here is a fish-themed product I've recently put in my TpT store.

I created this one to help my class with their capital and lowercase letter work. They have really struggled this year with remembering their capital letters so I'm frequently using games such as this matching one to reinforce their knowledge. I have included a recording sheet as well.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Must Read Mentor Text - Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes

I actually found out about this book from a mention in a blog several weeks ago, although unfortunately I can't locate the post (if its you, comment and I'll give you credit!).

Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes is part of a series called Maths Start and although this is the only one I've used or read, I am impressed enough to try and locate some of the others for future use in my classroom.

Amazon blurb
Captain Invincible and his intrepid space-dog, Comet, are on a perilous journey back to Earth!
Throughout their mission, the fearless captain and his canine sidekick encounter asteroids, poisonous gas, and alien beings. But will their knowledge of three-dimensional shapes, including cubes, cones, and pyramids, help our heroes navigate past these obstacles -- and make it safely home?

Classroom uses
I used this as a hook-in to my unit on 3D shapes, the children had to look out for what shapes were mentioned and then we discussed them at the end. 

We made our own 3D space themed models (rockets anyone?!) and took photos. 

Having the space theme for the week also helped motivate my boys!
Head over to Collaboration Cuties for their weekly Must Read Mentor Texts link up (including some other Maths Start books!)

Friday, 4 April 2014

Bonding those numbers (Freebie Friday included!)

Number bonds are something that seems to come up each year as needing practise to get them really secure. I thought I would gather together some of the things I use to try and help the kiddies learn them. I would love to hear any other suggestions you all have for what you do!

Froggie number bonds flip flap
This was not an original idea, but given to me on my first ever teaching placement! You have 10 frog cards positioned amongst other blank cards in-between sticky-backed plastic. If you follow the arrangement correctly, the flip flap can then be folded in such a way that all combinations of number bonds to 10 can be made. I use it with a simple "You can see 3 frogs, so how many can I see?", after they answer, turning it around so they can check. I can't remember now where my frog graphic came from, but grab a (slightly different) freebie of the cards here

Loop cards

Still a freebie from my TpT store, I'm working on similar loop cards with other themes.

Numbers to 20 Bingo
I usually ask the children to pick 4 numbers on a quarter whiteboard, or you can download game boards from the website.

Alien pairs to 10
Children have to match the number bonds to 10 pairs. 

I don't seem to have any photos of them, but I have A4 blank ladybirds which I give to the children with different amounts of counters (depending if doing 5, 10 or 20 number bonds), which they use to derive all the different number bonds, recording either in their books or on whiteboards.

Freebie Fridays

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Currently time!

It's that time again, a new month, a new Currently, hosted as ever by the amazing Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade

Listening - Night Vision by Imagine Dragons. Not my usual sort of music, but I've been quite converted and have several songs from this album on repeat (Demons, On Top of the World, It's Time).

Loving - have made an impulsive trip home to visit my mother (home cooking, a decent-sized tv and time to doing blogging/product making!)

Thinking - I am slowly working through my to-do list of product ideas, I've noticed that I seem to prefer games/activities to worksheets which probably reflects my teaching style, although not many other bloggers that I've read, maybe I should experiment more if I want to sell more!

Wanting - a new tv series to get into, while I'm working. Something that I don't have to go back years though for series 1!

Needing - to write a few emails, work related, but so little motivation at the moment!

Hours and Last Day - 8:00 is morning duty, so most days I actually start with my class at 8:30, finish at 4:30 if there is no meeting. Last day in July as we follow the British summer break. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Letter reversals b and d

Quick blog post about a product I created for a couple of my littlies who are still struggling with recognising the letters b and d. This is a simple sorting activity, although can be extended in several ways. Click on the images below to visit my store.

A quick and simple activity that could be used in a centre or as intervention work to target specific children. Cut (and laminate) the letter cards, including some that are blank for you to write your own in your handwriting, and ask children to sort onto the appropriate mat. There are mats with and without the guidance letter (clipart gives clues to the correct letter for each mat). You can extend to asking the children to write their own b's and d's either on the mat or on the blank cards. You could also ask them to label the pictures.

I am considering making these for other common letter confusions such as p and q and i and j, but will wait to see how popular this product is! Any other suggestions of letters that frequently get confused?
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