Saturday, 9 January 2016

First Five for Friday of 2016

OK so it's Saturday, but its about as on time as I'm ever likely to get! Time for my first link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for 2016 (hopefully I will make it a bit more regularly than last year!)

Last year my TA covered a shoe box for me to make a treasure chest and I found a cheap dustbin in one of the local shops. Now with the help of some laminated coins, I can play Buried Treasure with real and made up words using the focus phonemes that week.

Our story this week was 'Farmer Duck' and we learnt about helping each other and working collaboratively. Here is our finished display that we collaged together!

At my new school, I've been introduced to a great programme called 'Hairy Phonics'. Whilst it's no Phonics Play, it is highly enjoyed by my class. They are fascinated by the hairies we collect as we practise the different graphemes and play the games. It has a fairly limited range of games, however, I do like to get it out occasionally for whole class on the interactive whiteboard or individual work on the laptops. Has a game dedicated the practise for the Year 1 Phonics Check as well. And it's currently a free app on Google Play.

A resource that I simply can't do without now, magnetic boards! Used multiple times a week during whole class phonics, I also have it out on a table for independent word making practise. 

A resource mentioned in my previous post, the Happy New Year hat (updated for this year!) courtesy of A Cupcake for the Teacher. Always fun to start off a week with a bit of hat making and a lovely way to reinforce the new year for the children. 

Now after what seems like the longest first week back after the Christmas holidays ever, I am off for a massage (discount voucher came through my post box this week, yay!)

Monday, 4 January 2016

Throwback - New Year Fun

As I begin the Spring term with my tinies today, I am sharing a throwback post from 2014 highlighting some of the activities I like to do in early January. I've updated the links to the resources if you want to try any of them this year...

Original Post - 11th January 2014

So we went back to school after the Christmas break this week. Despite the time going so quickly for me, it was great (mostly!) to get back into the swing of things in class. Here are the highlights of my week in another 'Five for Friday' (despite it being Saturday!) link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching.


I started off this week with reading 'Squirrel's New Year's Resolution' and then using a freebie from An Educator's Life called 'New Year, New Me' which was just the sort of fun, but meaningful activity to spend Monday morning doing with some excitable 5 year olds! I hung the finished mobiles across the back of my classroom. I have also referred to their resolutions multiple times over the week for behaviour management!


I also added the 'New Year totals' freebie from Kathy Romano and Christina Murphy to my Challenge Area along with the 'Word Sort' that I bought from Doodle Bugs Teaching way back during the Cyber Monday sale! These activities, along with some recount holiday writing scaffolds, are the 'challenges' that the quick finishers may choose from. They can also go to the book corner if they prefer. The Challenge Area is also available during free choice time, so that my slow finishers can also access them.


For my extra-curricular Crafty Kids club, I used this great 'New Year Craftivity' from A Cupcake for the Teacher. These were absolutely gorgeous when the whole group were wearing them (sorry can't post photo!)

Multilink Maths! Using multilink cubes to help decide if numbers are odd or even. 


I have a Reading Roundabout session where I split the class into small groups and they take it turns reading with me or my assistant. The independent groups do different reading based activities, this week one of them used the great 'Roll and read tricky words' that I got from Primary Classroom Resources, although I adapted it into a game that can be replayed by using counters rather than colouring the sheet.

I seem to have used most of my 5 to prove how much of my classroom teaching is now affected by resources and ideas I've found off teaching blogs! Loving this addiction of mine!!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

2016 Here I come!

No beginning of year would be complete without joining in with the Currently link up at Oh Boy 4th Grade. Easily one of the most popular and fun link ups for a teacher blogger, please go check it out if you haven't before!

Listening - I <3 BBC iPlayer! Catching up on the UK Christmas programming and enjoying this adaption of 'And then there were none'. 

Loving - I was lucky enough this year to go with my family to New York City and Washington DC for two weeks over Christmas and although I'm suffering from a 13-hour time difference at the moment, it was totally worth it!

Thinking - After the hectic (but fun!) last few weeks, I go back to work tomorrow, but have one glorious day of holiday time left. Shall I do the laundry etc or just lounge on the sofa?!

Wanting - A 16 hour flight home has meant that I've finished the last book I had on my kindle... any suggestions of what to read next?!

Needing - To get back into the work groove as I've not even thought about it for nearly 3 weeks!!

One Little Word - Positivity. I had some rather challenging times in 2015 with my move and it not going quite as smoothly as I would have liked, but 2016 will be better I'm determined. So no more focusing on what's not perfect but looking for the positive side and moving on! 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2015 The Year in Review

How is it the start of another year already? Time flies (especially when you manage to post as infrequently as I do!!) Today I am joining Mrs Beattie's Classroom for a review of 2015.

I don't have a top 10 blog posts, because let's be honest, I only posted 20 times in total last year. Which compared to 84 in 2014, really seems quite pathetic! My top viewed post though was CNY Freebie where I shared some ideas and resources for the Chinese New Year festival (coming up on February 8th 2016), the freebie is still available should you wish to use it this year! 

The biggest blogging milestone was reaching 100 posts in April, something that seemed a very distant goal when I started blogging just over 2 years ago (incidentally I missed my 2 year blogiversary back in November). It was of course a Currently, my most prolific link up party. 

I am frankly amazed that I have any followers left after the shocking irregularity of blog posts in 2015, but my page views are slowly increasing, I hope to reach 10,000 in January 2016! Again, another number that seemed impossibly far away when I started. 

I do have blogging goals for 2016, starting with a minimum of 2 blog posts a month. I also need to get back into creating things for TpT as I find it so useful in my teaching practice that I want to share my own resources more. 

This review has been rather short, however that is probably an accurate reflection of my blogging achievements in 2015! If you have more to say, please head over to Mrs Beattie's Classroom and link up! 
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