Sunday, March 22, 2015

Easter is just around the corner

I can’t believe Term 1 is nearly over and Easter is just around the corner.
We have had fun in grade 1 as the time has flown by. So much fun that I haven’t had time to post anything. Sorry New Years resolution, broken again!

For our Prep (Kindergarten) to Year 2 Easter Hat Parade we will parade to the local shops where the kids will get some Easter goodies. We have been busy investigating, designing, producing and reflecting on our Easter Hats for our technology unit this term.

Yes I got the glitter out and was on glitter patrol for the making of these hats. Can’t wait to see the kids wear them and they can’t wait either. They ask me every day when they can put them on!

Here are some snaps of the Easter Hat Production.

If you are looking for some Easter themed activities to use in your classroom be sure to check out my Easter literacy, numeracy and card packs.
Easter Literacy Activity Book

Easter Literacy Contents

Easter Literacy Preview

Easter Math Activities
Easter Maths Contents

Easter Maths Preview

Easter Cards

Click Here to purchase all 3 sets in a bundle now reduced!

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Meeting my new class

Hello again! It is getting to that back to school time and even though I’m supposed to be on holidays I have started work! I’m sure I’m not the only teacher.

I am starting at a new school in 2015 and was lucky enough to meet my new class in the last week of school. We had just under an hour of getting to know each other, which went too quick!

I have grade 1 next year. They were as excited as me and were a very chatty bunch! Not like last year.

I will be Mrs Wilkes this year not Mrs Hayley and I think it will take me awhile to get used to my name!

Of course I over planned for the hour and had too much to do but now I’ll save some of the activities for the first day.  The activities we did can also be used on the first day or week of school. A lot of ideas were found on Pinterest (where else)!

Here is a look at what we squeezed in.

Getting to know you ball
1. After lining up we walked to out new class

2. We sat on the carpet and I introduced myself then we went around the circle saying our names

3. My ‘All about me’ power point with photos couldn’t be played as I did not have my new teacher laptop yet! I’ll save that one for the first day

4. Getting to know you beach ball was thrown around the circle. When the students caught it they had to read the first word they could see “looking at them” to tell us about them. Words I wrote were: family, colour, sport, school, movie, I like, pet etc. Most of the kids loved this and we made sure everyone had a turn. It was a bit long for some of the wriggly ones! I’d plan for at least 20 minutes.

5. Eyes Shut Self portraits. This was fun! I modeled my portrait first and the kids had such a giggle at my drawing.  Then they went to a desk, wrote their name, closed their eyes and drew themselves on the left side of the page. They opened their eyes and looked at the silly drawings then drew their real portrait with eyes open on the right side. Of course their were some kids who ‘cheated’ and peeked to make their drawing perfect but others followed instructions and had fun squishing eyes closed or covering their eyes with their hand. We were going to colour these drawings but time ran out. I am deciding whether to colour them on the first day or to hang them up  and leave them in pencil.

6. Aaargh! Time went so fast. Just as they were leaving I took a quick photo of each child so that I could make a display for the first day of school and use the photos in  my student profiles.
Phew! Cannot believe I ran out of time. I also had a story to read and was going to take a photo of them holding a chalkboard with their name but alas this will have to be done on the first day.
Eyes Closed for Portraits

Trying not to peek!
Eyes Shut Self Portraits - My Model
One of the kids portraits! So funny.
Another student who didn't peek the first time!
Did anyone else get to meet their class? Leave a comment below and share what you did.

Aussie teachers enjoy the rest of your holidays!

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Top 10 Classroom Dancing Songs

All ready for the school disco!
Those who know me well know I love to dance. Whether it be at a bar, club or pub, at a concert, in the lounge room, in the car or just sitting in a chair I love to dance.  I’ve been to lessons since I was young and have tried a bit of everything including jazz, hip-hop, ballet, tap, ballroom, Latin, rock and roll and belly dancing.
Love school discos!
My favourite place to dance is in the classroom. I love playing music for brain breaks, transitions and in the back ground while we work. I am always encouraging kids in my class to show off their moves. Watching them bust a move always makes me smile.

I have had many giggles, eye rolls and groans at some of my most gracious and elegant choreographed steps. Even better is when the kids copy these ‘Mr Bean’ style moves.

I thought I'd share with you my Top 10 Classroom Dancing Songs.

Most of my top 10 classroom dancing songs already have easy dance steps for the kids to copy and are great for getting everyone dancing (even the reluctant kids). You’ll find videos on you tube so you can copy and learn these easy steps. The others are great songs to make up your own moves. My advice if you are not a confident dancer is to pull out some hip shakes, walks forward and backwards, claps, stomps, knee bending, spins and nothing beats the old grapevine!

1. Cha Cha Slide – DJ Casper
Best ever classroom dancing song. It is fun, easy and gets all kids moving. Just listen to the lyrics and follow the words of the song.

2. Blame it on the Boogie – Michael Jackson
Best song for some disco style moves.

3. I Like to Move It – Reel to Real
This one will give you and the kids a work out!

4. Hoedown Throwdown – Miley Cyrus
Who can resist a line dance? The kids love a bit of Miley Cyrus (pre-wrecking ball days).

5. Macarena – Los Del Rio
An oldie but a goodie. Most of us know the Macarena moves.

6. Wobble – V.I.C.
Great song to dance like no one is watching. We love doing silly ‘wobbles’. The Wobble is another line dancing style dance. A word of caution though; some of the lyrics are a bit inappropriate; “Hey big girl make em back it up”, “I got em shaking their boobies like congos”. I think the kids don’t pay attention to the lyrics but parents might!

7. Happy – Pharell Williams
I don’t think I need to say anything about this Happy song.

8. 5, 6, 7, 8 – Steps
Another line dancing style. You’ll need plenty of grapevines for this one.

9. Nutbush City Limits – Tina Turner
Another song to get your heart rate up. It just doesn’t get old.

10. Greased Lightnin – John Travolta
Channel your inner John Travolta and pretend you’re wearing your leather jacket, tighty whitey shirt and skinny jeans.

Do you have a favourite song for dancing in your classroom?
Leave a comment to share and have fun dancing!
Click here to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

2015 Goals

2015 is just around the corner and resolutions and goals are on the mind.
More blogging is definitely one of my goals however you will not find it on my resolutions list. I have deliberately left it off the list to save room for other more achievable goals and so I won’t face the blog guilt when/if I don’t achieve it!
To start the year off on the right track (with a blog post) I’m joining Second Grade Nest with a 2015 Resolutions Linky.

 Here are 5 of my 2015 goals!

And a couple of extra goals. 
For my teaching professional goal I want to continue learning in my favourite area, literacy and teaching reading and writing. A long-term goal of mine is to become a literacy coach or specialist and I have loved studying Reading and Writing Difficulties for my masters this year.

Another professional goal is for my Teachers Pay Teachers store. It is more of a general or widespread goal to become more active by creating more products for my class and to share, linking up with other stores and bloggers and learning more about both the business and classroom practice. Broad I know but there are lots of little goals in there!
A personal goal of mine is to stop shopping! GASP! Yes a tough one I know. I have managed to live for 2 years on a remote island with only minimal online shopping. On visits to Brisbane however, I have hit the shops and bought myself all sorts of goodies from clothes to shoes to jewellery. My fear now is that having the stores just a short drive a way is very dangerous. 

I want 2015 to be more about the experiences not the material things. Yes I know I want those shiny new shoes but do I really NEED them? Probably not. So 2015 will be the year of wearing things until they fall apart. Clothing, shoes, jewellery and underwear (holes are acceptable in my opinion)! By working towards this goal I am also helping myself achieve goals 1, 2 and 4 from above, winning!
Check out Sarah Wilson’s blog posts for her take on material things and some inspiration; Why Iwore the same pair of green shorts for 8 years and Buy experiences not things.

Get active! Notice I didn’t use the word exercise? I think getting active sounds better don’t you? That means walking my chocolate labby Dexter, escaping to the beach, finding some bush walks outside of Brisbane and generally getting out of the house. I think it can be done.
So there are my goals. What are yours? Leave a comment below to share….  
Thanks to Second Grade Nest for the Linky!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Motivational Monday Freebie - Rock On! with Sight Words Four in a Row Game

24th August 2014 Motivational Monday Freebie

It’s been some time between not only blog posts but also Motivational Monday Freebies.

Today’s freebie for your Monday is a sample from my Rock On! With Sight Words Pack 1

This is a Four in a Row Bingo Game with sight words and an awesome kids rock star and glitter theme.

Print and laminate this game to use in literacy lessons and centre work.
Sight words included are: 
a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you.
To get your hands on this freebie from my TPT store click here.
To access it through google docs click here.

Please click here for my full Rock On! Sight Words Pack 1.

Also available are sets 2-5
Pack 2 Rock On! with Sight Words
Pack 3 Rock On! with Sight Words
Pack 4 Rock On! with Sight Words
Pack 5 Rock On! with Sight Words

Finally get all 5 packs in my bundle. If purchased together you can save $10.
Rock On! with Sight Words Bundle
Preview of Rock On! with Sight Words Bundle
Enjoy this freebie and have a wonderful Monday!

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