Sunday, 26 January 2014

Patch-up Post Linky

This is such a cute idea from Brooke at Teachable Moments & a great excuse for a link-up. My blog can always use some more love!

We start back at school this week which will look something like:

Monday- public holiday for Australia Day a.k.a. a day at home stressing about what I haven't finished, organised, prepared for this term.

Tuesday- Whole School Planning day. My first at my new school. Eekk.

Wednesday- Kids first day & Preps first day of school! School for the Preps 9-12pm. Lots of stories, toilet breaks & routines.

Thursday & Friday- Preps school 9am to 12pm. Repeat of Wednesday with some craft & hopefully some counting thrown in :)

One thing I will be using a lot of are 'attention getters'. We will start with this one which we had already begun learning during our transition days, but a visual always helps! If you haven't used this before the teacher says, 'Hand on top' {with your hands on your head}, the kiddos then all put their hands on their head, stop and say 'Everybody stop'. I find clapping is not great with little kids, short short verbal cues with an action normally work really well.
Just click on the pic to download from google drive or go here.

Good luck if you are heading back this week or if you are in a part of the world with crazy weather, thinking of you!
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Saturday, 25 January 2014

A Back to School 5 for Friday

Oh my goodness these holidays have gone so quickly! I'm really loving summer but I'm also looking forward to heading back, new school, new class, new teacher peeps. Hopefully it will all be exciting :)


This week has been complete chaos, work wise. My teaching buddy and I definitely need another week for set-up {we've been in at least 4 days out of 5 for the last 3 weeks!} but I am refusing to go in this weekend. I need some me time before work takes over my life again! But our rooms are getting there, we are planning to meet VERY early Tuesday morning to finish the clean up. I'm really looking forward to that, not.

I'm using these clipboards as a revolving display space. Each kidlette has their own clipboard & they'll be able to choose what they display. They look great, even if these pics don't do them justice. I think I may have gotten the idea from somewhere on Pinterest. Love it!


Had coffee at two of my favourite places with two of favourite people this week. Coffee at Percy & Percy on Thursday with my ex-{and extremely missed} teaching buddy M. This place is an old milk bar/corner store and has lots of little rooms, cute corners and communal tables. Love it!
This pic is from here

Yesterday at the Old Green Bean with the Hubs. They leave crocheted blankets on the chairs - how cute is that?! And yes it was close to 30C yesterday but I still used the blanket. The Bean also has a vintage store inside, so it's my version of a coffee/shoppy heaven.


Tomorrow is Australia Day. Normally I would make a bucket load of lamingtons- sponge cake, dipped in runny chocolate icing, dipped in coconut- yummy. But we are on a healthy eating kick at the moment (we are doing so well!) so the Hubs has banned me from baking. We both can't help ourselves, we'd eat the lot. I found this recipe today from Raspberri Cupcakes for Lamington biscuits. These look SO good.


Loving long, gorgeous summer walks around the Lake.


I'm having a 100th post giveaway that ends later today. Stop by & enter :)

I'm heading off to enjoy this gorgeous Saturday. Enjoy yours,

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Monday, 20 January 2014

100th post, a giveaway & some freebies

*Sigh* My last week of holidays is quickly coming to an end but it's probably a good thing because there is only so much cricket & Aussie Open tennis that I can handle!

I'm really excited to be starting this year. I have a really positive outlook and I'm determined to stick with it!

For anyone else starting back to school in the next few weeks or for anyone looking for some new resources here's a quick update/reminder of a few of the freebies I have in my store. Just click on the pics to go the freebie! 

Welcome Back to School Bookmarks

Beginning of the year counting assessment for Kindergarten/Prep

Make 18 Math Game

And this is officially my 100th post {it's only taken a year to get here}! Just follow my Facebook page to win your choice of $10 worth of products from my store.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Back to school- A freebie, Letters Home & Collecting Information

Our school year is scarily getting closer to beginning. I'm a bit excited and a fair bit nervous/stressed about starting over at a new place but I think we are going to have a great year. I have really struck gold with my teaching buddy, so far we are thinking exactly the same way & have gotten a lot done in the last 2 weeks.

We mailed our Prep Letters yesterday, which are just a little welcome pack for our new preppies. They get a thrill having a big envelope sent home!

This year we included-

Welcome Letter
Just without the love hearts {the big one is covering up the school logo}.
We included the link at the end for our parents to fill out our google form. 

We asked them to let us know about any special interests/other information, how their poppet would be getting home each day & if/when they may be available to be helpers in our rooms.I'm very excited that we have already had two parents fill it out!

About Me/Meet the Teacher sheet

A bookmark
With cute Scrappy Kids graphics from Mel at From the Pond. If you would like your own copy of the bookmark go here for the freebie.

Ready Confetti

 That's our fat cat Axel keeping watch a.k.a. trying to play with the sequins.

Isn't this the sweetest idea?! I found this very cute, free poem from O"Fish"ally First Grade. We are really hoping the kidlets get a kick out of this. I filled the bags with paper confetti, assorted sequins, coloured stars and plastic jewels. I made up all 50 bags while watching 4 episodes of Buffy {season 3 incase you wondered}. Totally worth it!

We also put in the Literacy testing timetable and would have normally included a class photo but we decided we'll send this home instead on the first day (shh, we forgot to print it!).

How are your back to school plans or 100th Day of School plans going?
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Saturday, 11 January 2014

5 for Friday {10th Jan}

So I just realised the 7th was my one year Blogging anniversary. And I missed it! :( I have plans for a 1 year/200+ followers (I think it may be 250, whoops) giveaway I just need to get organised...

On another note, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs to share about my week!

1. I'm still on holidays {yay} and it has been HOT this week so we have been either pottering in the garden or staying in the air-conditioning as much as possible. We have been in at my new classroom &school cleaning up. This is the rubbish/stuff we don't want that we have removed from the room. Crazy.

2. The hubs is the more organised of the two of us so he has given up his last week of holidays to help me out at work almost all week (he spent his day off helping a mate lay pavers in 36C heat for 11 hours, the man is crazy). As he said, if I'm organised it'll mean I'm not stressed and it'll save him hassle later. Oh, isn't he a sweetie? {not}
Our rooms had these big, really heavy old computer benches in them. The rooms look so much bigger now they are gone and it will give us a whole wall for storage.

3. Made a huge fried rice to use up the last of the Christmas leftovers. It was delicious!

4. The hubs made me some whisper phones this week. We have been at Bunnings more times this last week than I would usually like! Just need to cover them in something to make 'em pretty.

5. My new teaching buddy and I have been busy getting everything together for our letters that get sent home to our Preps next week. I whipped up this Google Form for our new parents to fill out & we are sending the link home in the letters. Hopefully this will save on paper and help us be better organised.

Have a great weekend,
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Monday, 6 January 2014

Top 10 Tips for Teachers linky

It's almost that time again in Australia- heading back for a new school year. We head back on the 28th. I am not ready to count this down into days yet- I have way too much to do! I'm very excited to link up with Lauren from Love, Laughter & Learning in Prep to share some of the things I have found useful in getting through the school year! If you get time link up as well :)

1. Top Tip for Classroom Organisation
Print out less, use your computer more. I find keeping track of paper really difficult so I try to print out only what is necessary. After moving last year I have really learnt that keeping piles of paper is a waste, I never refer to it. I always go back to my computer. Keep organised files on your computer and keep this year's main file, e.g. '2014' on your desktop. Put previous and unused files into one big folder, I call mine 'school', incase you need to find something quickly.

2. Top Tip for Behaviour Management
The big one is get to know your students! Spend time each day talking to your kiddos and try especially hard to befriend "that" kid- if they like you they are more likely to listen to you. Be consistent & make sure you use & know your school's behaviour policy. If they don't have one (they really, really should) speak to your Principal/Leadership about their expectations and what will happen if you have a really extreme student.

3. Top Tip for Being a Team Player
Don't use excuses when it comes to extra-curricular activities. They are put on by your school and yes most times you are expected to go. There is no better way to annoy the people you work with than being the person who always has an excuse card. Being at the extra stuff (graduation dinners, picnics, award nights, information sessions) is great way to get to know your parents and it is an easy way to show that you care about the school and their kids.

4. Top Tip for Time Management
I used to be terrible with this when I first started but it is now one of my strengths. Using visual timers and visual timetables is the best way to keep track of the time. It also helps your students be accountable for the daily plan and they will help you keep track if you forget about something.

5. Top Tip for Engaging Students
This can be summed up with Story Telling & Be Interested!
Find a hook and use it in a fun way. The best teacher I ever had at primary school used to wear odd socks every day and tell stories about how the lights went out and he couldn't see in the dark. I tell stories about my cat Axel (some real and some fake). Every child I have taught, even the big 16 year olds I ran into before Christmas remember my cat. 
If you get time, showing up to one weekend soccer match, dance recital or football game will make a big difference.

6. Top Tip for Getting Along with Parents
Listen and Inform. Talk to your parents about their child and take the time to listen to their stories. Get to know all the members in the family and call them by name. Sometimes no matter what you do you will get angry parents from time to time. Just remember that people only ever explode at others when they are up to their eye balls in stress. I can guarantee if a parent comes in yelling, something else is wrong that they aren't telling you about, for example, a marriage break down, a sick parent, a bad week at work. Keep it in perspective and keep the lines of communication open.

7. Top Tip for Teacher Fashion
Having different work clothes and fun clothes helps with my mind set. If I have had a bad day at work I don't want to have had it in my favourite dress or it will ruin it forever (is that weird?). 
I am not a dress shirt and black pants kind of person. No matter how hard I try to wear that stuff I just don't feel comfortable. I wear a lot of dresses or patterned pants. Check with your school about their dress policy- most schools don't like jeans. I always try to add weird, colourful jewellery to have a talking point with my kids like my dice earrings or apple core necklace. 

8. Top Tip for Bargain Hunting
My iPhone is a lifesaver because I google everything before I buy expensive items. I visit all my local cheap shops and check online for other cheap stuff like stationary. For Australian websites I use ozsale and brands exclusive for spot sales on stationary or furniture, booktopia, fishpond or book depository for books.

9. Top Tip for Eating Well at School
During the holidays I try to cook a few meals in bulk and keep them in the freezer. I keep things that are quick to put together like couscous, tins of tuna, instant soup in the pantry as well as a few microwave meals for when all else fails.

10. Top Tip for Staying Sane
In my first year of teaching I went to an amazing PD where the speaker referred to "Bricks in the Wall". Basically make sure you balance your wall (your life) with different 'bricks'. If your life is made up of all work bricks and work sucks then your wall will fall down, same with family or friends, etc. She spoke about needing routine and keeping things that keep you happy, it could be as simple as reading the Sunday paper (if my husband doesn't have an hour to read the paper on a Saturday all heck could break loose). My big ones are a Body Balance class (it's a mix of yoga, tai chi and pilates) on both a Saturday and Sunday, walking regularly,  laughing!, time to read and have a cup of tea.

Looking forward to reading your tips,
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Saturday, 4 January 2014

A holiday 5 for Friday

I am so out of it this week- how did it get to be Friday (or actually Saturday morning) again? I haven't linked up with Doodle Bugs for a while & I'm looking forward to reading what others have been up to! You can tell I have a lot planned for today :)

~ One ~
We had an awesome Christmas! I love decorating the house. We had lunch at home with the hub's parents and then travelled to Echuca for tea with the hub's Mum's family. We spent New Years camping at Gentle Annie reserve (near Lake William Hovel). The hubs loves a road trip, his car sick wife not so much but it's all about the compromise! We went to Milawa for a side trip & picked up some yummy delicious produce and stopped at the Brown Brothers winery for some wine. 

~ Two ~
On the way home on New Years day we stopped at Glenrowan to visit the Ned Kelly museum. Had a chat to Bob the 80-year old owner. If you ever go get a chance to go there allow a bit of extra time to talk to Bob! He is quite a character, very typical Aussie lariken.

~ Three ~
I'm in the process of putting together our Prep Letters that go home to our preppies over the holiday to welcome them to school. This is proving a little tricky to do because I have no clue about timetables at my new school yet. My principal is going to be sick of me emailing him questions.

~ Four ~
I love a good vintage shop! We spent the weekend before Christmas visiting my gorgeous cousin Jess and her new bubba Ruby. We stopped at the Mill Markets in Daylesford on the way looking for a cabinet for our lounge room but we are still on the hunt.

~ Five ~
We spent yesterday pottering in the garden & shopping to find to try a screen to cover our clothes line on the paved side of our house. We finished off the night with fish & chips in the park. Have I mentioned that I love holidays?!

Wishing you a fantastic weekend,
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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Welcome to 2014! Goals and a OLW

Day one of 2014 is complete and I am feeling really great about this year and having a fresh start. 

I'm a little late in participating in these link up's because we have been camping but I love both the ideas so much that I am joining in anyway!

First up I am linking up with Sunny Days in Second Grade to share my One Little Word for 2014.

My hubby and I had a huge chat in the car on the way back today and this about sums up our plans for this year. I am, admittedly, a stress bucket. I take on every problem, even when they are not my own, no matter how hard I try not to. We also both think that we are the only one's who can get things done which and's extra stress at times when we could let stuff slide. I am also going to look into getting a cleaner so that at least that is one less stress (we have a very hairy cat, plus my long dark hair so we need to vacuum twice a week & it's driving me crazy). Our plan is to appreciate our lives and each other more.  Taking some time to smell the roses peeps!

I'm normally not big on resolutions but we made a list of ours in the car today. We are on a roll for being positive! So I am linking up with Jessica at First Grade Nest to share a few of mine.

My resolutions

My hubby and I need to make more time for each other, not work or eBay or Minion Rush or Pinterest. Just us. The hubs added that the talking must include EYE-CONTACT... Hmm, I must be better at multi-tasking than I think :) Our plan is to make the talk meaningful & listened to, a priority rather than an interruption. 

I'm about to start at a new school this year which is scary and exciting. I AM going to be more organised! See how determined I am? :)

A new job means that I will now have to drive to work rather than walking, like I have done for the past 4 years. I drive past the gym and the lake on the way so I will either walk, go to a gym class or run on the treadmill at the gym each day. It doesn't have to be big but it has to be something.

I always keep saying this but I don't follow through. I have brought a new journal from kikki-k and I plan to list 3 good things about each day to keep me on track- either from work or home. 
We have had some truly awful things happen to the people around us in the last few years and I truly am so grateful for what we have but sometimes when I am bogged down in work stuff I forget to take the time to appreciate us & my achievements. I really do believe that everything happens for a reason, like getting my new job so easily (made my mind up to change schools and had a new job 3 days later... when does that ever happen?!) so the same must be true for the things that haven't worked out for us this year (in a nutshell our grand plan of having a baby... a long story & not one I'm quite ready to share in more detail on here yet). The universe must have a bigger plan for us and this year I am determined to be calm enough and open enough to all ideas to find out what that plan is.

With being more organised I am going to be more positive. I will not sweat the small stuff (this is a huge thing for me to say, so baby steps).

Did this post get a bit preachy? I hope not. Can't you just feel all that positive energy I'm throwing out? lol Hope you have an amazing day,

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