Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Back to School Gifts

In Australia it is almost time to head back to a new school year! Super exciting and just a touch scary. My room is all finished (I'll post pics later) and I am busy making up some adorable first day gifts for my students.

I purchased these rulers from Studio Calico a while ago (they were super cheap). I then used my School Rules templates to make the little pockets & slide the rulers through.

I have the template I used for the ruler pockets in my store if you are interested in the template.
post signature

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Getting Organised: My Kikki-K Planner

Just before Christmas I bought this fab & sparkly large Ocean Kikki-K planner. I've finally taken the plunge and swapped from my normal diary over to a leather planner which I am loving.

Here it is all pretty on my desk with the awesome name plate one of my kiddos and her Dad made me for Christmas.
It's on sale at the moment! 

I had been looking at them for a while and ended up finding the same planner (with a band rather than the button) second hand on ebay (bargain hunter) then I purchased the cute planner pages to go inside, with this years calendar.

I've been busy decorating and have a few cute bits and pieces from Daiso, Typo, Happie Scrappie & Studio Calico. 

I also bought a 'few' cute other pieces from Kikki-K during the sales.

I'm loving looking at all of the cute planners and decorations on instagram & the Plan with Me YouTube videos, like my friend Stef's at Noveltea Corner
post signature

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

R.I.C. English Resources Review

I have been very fortunate to receive several Year 3 & 4 teaching resources from R.I.C. Publications to review. Please note that all the opinions I am about to share are my own :)

Two of the books I received are comprehension books which is awesome as I am always looking for good comprehension tasks that can be used for independent reading, particularly with NAPLAN  (Nation wide testing) coming up in the first half of the year. 

The first one is Teaching Comprehension Strategies Book D Ages 8-9 ($39.95).

The book is separated into 12 focus areas, one for each of the following comprehension strategies- understanding words; finding information; identifying the main idea; sequencing; comparing; predicting; concluding; summarising; inferring; cause and effect; fact or opinion; and point of view.

There are pages of teacher's notes at the beginning of the book to explain how the resource is designed to be used, and teacher's notes for each section to explain the skill. Indicators state what the expected skill is and what to look for. The answers to the question pages are also contained here.

Each area contains a clearly set out page of reading material, 3 question pages with comprehension strategies designed to be worked through with the teacher to begin with and another reading page with comprehension questions designed to be completed independently.  There are also 4 test pages in the book at the end of a section of comprehension strategies.

I really like how clear these pages are to read and how the questions are set out. They also fit perfectly into how we already teach Reading Comprehension at my school, so I know these will be used within our reading groups and for independent work.

The second comprehension book is Australian English Curriculum Literacy: Comprehension & Writing Year 3 Ages 8-9 ($39.95).

This book is set out in a similar way to the first but has all of the links to the appropriate Australian Curriculum focus. I love the table which shows which standards match each page.

There is also more variety and emphasis on the types of texts given to the students to read, with each text labelled as either imaginative, informative or persuasive.  At the beginning of each text there is a page of Teacher Information explaining the skills you are looking for and suggestions for how to use the material. This resource is more of a testing of skills and contains independent tasks, different to the way the first resource is intended to be used.

After each page of reading material, there is a page of comprehension questions (to show understanding) and a page requiring students to write about the text, given different prompts (creating a text).

I am already intending to use these sheets as part of independent work after learning a comprehension skill. I love both of the comprehension books and now want to check out the Year 4 versions.

The last book I have to share is English Skills Practise D (11.95). These books are designed to be used daily by individual students with each page divided into two days practise, with 150 days total. You can download a free trial of this book here.

I really like the way these are set out and our intended to be quick revision practise each day. They are also great tasks to be used as homework rather than in the classroom.

At the end of the book, there are revision pages for every 10 days work. 

Although I really like the content and think it is very appropriate for my year level, I do have to say I am not a huge fan of coloured work books in general because I find the different coloured text hard to read (I'd say this could just be my eyes). Also, unfortunately there is not always enough money in our budgets to be able to purchase independent work books but they are always on the wishlist. 

I can see myself purchasing and using these books for students who are not working on the current standard and I do often recommend these to parents if they are looking for extra homework tasks.

A big thank you to R.I.C. Publications for the opportunity to review these great products. Make sure you check out their other resources (I'm a big fan of these comprehension cards for Literacy groups). I've also shared my review of the Math resources in this blog post if you'd like to check it out.
post signature

Monday, 4 January 2016

Plans & goals for 2016

To start the year off with some sparkle and focus I'm linking up with Angie & Ashley  for their #2getherwearebetter linky to share my 2016 Goals.

There is just something about Summer break that manages to put glitter on everything which I just love. I am feeling energised and ready to handle 2016 with passion & focus. I already discussed my one little word on my currently for this month but my word for the year is:

Get ready for the most over use of the word hope in one blog post :)

I have hope for our future for our family & that the universe has a gigantically wonderful plan for us.

I have hope that we are on the right path and our following our hearts and that all the hard work we are putting in will pay off.

For the year ahead I have hope that I will deal with problems calmly & with confidence. That I will take deep breaths when needed & seek help from others.

For my students
I have hope that we will form a great working relationship & set future goals which every student will succeed. 

Looking ahead, I send them hope that they will grow to form their own opinions and ideas and will grow up in a world that will be accepting of whoever they become and whomever they want to be.

I have hope that every student will be in the best place to learn with the best resources to help them succeed and that they will be accepted and listened to by every person they encounter.

At work
I hope that my plans for being better organised will work out :)

I send hope that as a staff we will deal with the year ahead together and form great learning plans and have directed focus. I hope that my school community will shine and work together for the benefit of every student.

This year I know with some changes ahead that I may need bucket loads of patience which is not my strong suit, so I plan to be focused on that as well.

My other plans:
-Meditate more
-Continue with exercise & healthy eating- EVERYDAY
-Be thankful every single day
-Blog more and keep working with all the amazing blog and TpTers who are out there supporting one another. It's just the best community to be a part of!
-And the one I aim for every year but never quite succeed at "Leave work at work!"

Looking forward to reading your 2016 goals too!

post signature

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Classroom Set-Up for 2016: Part 1 & a Freebie

How did it get to be that time again?! I have to admit this is my favourite part of the start of the school year, searching for cute stuff & ideas for my room. The actual setting up, not so much. I'm not so much a theme person more a anything cute person, so my room is always a mishmash of stuff. This year I'm going towards a pencil theme with a fair bit of Minions (click here for my Minion post & freebie from last year) & some other random stuff thrown in. Plus, be prepared for this shocker...... I'm a teacher who does not like laminating *Gasp* Yeah, I hate it. 

After that revelation, here is a list of random things that I will be including in my 2016 classroom:

I have already purchased these gorgeous pencil containers. Ok, yes I do already own about 20 different containers but none that are PENCIL shaped, so there (said to my 2015 class who were always on my case about how much stuff I kept buying. The cuties).

I already have these crayon's ready for my door display to kind of match my pencil containers but I haven't laminated the wonderful things yet (sigh). I think we'll read the Day the Crayons Quit in the first week, even though I'm teaching Grade 3/4 a refresher of colouring never hurts. I'm you'd like a free copy of the door display click here to download.

Read & the Force Will be With You Bunting for my reading corner. It's a great freebie from Mrs O Reads Books (I completely stole this idea from a friend who is having a Star Wars theme, too cute not to include).

I want to buy coloured bracelets for group sorting like these ones Christi has used from Mrs Fultz's Corner.

I love this tree for our reading area from A Batty Life but not sure if we'll have space for it.

I've been meaning to add the vertical & horizontal labels for a while as I get it confused myself (yeah, I just admitted to that) like this one from The Applicious Teacher.  

I love this "Be" display. It might be a good idea for a first week of school activity.

I'm sure there will be more added to this list soon. Stay tune for another post & more freebies.

post signature

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Currently January 2016

Happy New Year! With this fresh start comes my vow to blog more often in 2016 :) Resolution 1 has at least started off well! To celebrate the new month & year I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade to share the currently love.


We have had a HOT start to Summer here and the air conditioner has been our saviour! I love the heat though so no real complaints. My hubs, not so much.

We both really, really needed the break at the end of the last year. It's been so nice to be home and to chill. Plus it's week 2 of our school Summer holidays so I am just enjoying life!

2015 was not the worst year ever but it was certainly not a great one either but after everything that has happened (or not happened as has been the case) I know I am just so lucky to have this amazing life. And no matter what it IS amazing. My husband and I are both well, I have the best hubs anyone could ask for, we have our house, great friends and a pretty lovely little life. Us and our cat, it's enough even sometimes when we are struggling we ARE lucky.

Last year was super stressful in a lot of ways but it's time to let the personal stuff go & sort it's self out and get back on the blog wagon.

To just chill for a bit before I start organising work stuff. Shopping is a must as I've lost a bit of weight (yay, that's my brag for the post) but I really am not looking forward to buying new work clothes. Ba-humbug. 

One Word....
HOPE! The universe has a plan for us, we just have to keep putting in the work and following the different paths that we come across and I know it'll work out! Sorry if this post sounds a bit cryptic if you're just visiting, read some of the background here if you are utterly confused :) I might post the latest updates & decision making at some point but for now we are just trying to sort things out.

Thanks for stopping by & THANK YOU to those gorgeous, over 2000 ppl who are following me on FB. You are legends!


post signature
09 10