Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Hallowe'en craft: Simple woolly ghost

The Hallowe'en holidays are fast approaching and it's time to get stuck into some nice spooky crafts. Here's a simple ghost craft for children to make. 

I had previously blogged about making woolly octopuses. Simply make them in white, following steps 1 - 3 you have a ghost! 

You could also make the full octopus, adding scary faces (using wool or felt) to make different types of spooky monsters.

What you need:
  • Scissors
  • Wool
  • Book
  • Googly eyes (and glue if they're not self-adhesive)
  • An elastic band
Step 1:
Wrap the wool around the book 60 times.
Step 2:
Put and elastic band tightly around the wool, about a third of the way down. Then tightly tie some wool (of the same colour) just above the band. Remove the elastic band. Do the same a few centimetres from the top. 

Step 3:
Snip the loops at the top and bottom. (You should now have 120 strands of wool at the bottom.)
 Step 4:
Take 15 strands of wool and plait to form a leg. Repeat this to create 7 more legs.

Step 5:
Add the eyes et voilà!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Creative Drawing Activities

Ashleigh from Ashleigh's Education Journey wrote a great post about how she organises her early finishers activities. These are focused on critical and creative thinking.

 I particularly like her creative drawing task cards. The child is given a squiggle to begin and has to create a meaningful picture with that as a starting point. She has also shared some examples of how the children have used it. Visit her blog post and scroll to the end to download those creative drawing task cards for free.

Some other great creative drawing resources are:
The Anti-Coloring Book by Susan Striker

This is a series of books for children and adults in which you are given a part of a picture and some instructions. As the instructions require reading, this is more suited to older children. You can download some sample pages from this book for free on her site.

Do you Doodle? by Nikalas Catlow
 This is along the same lines as The Anti-Coloring Book series. You are presented with the start of a picture and some written instructions to help you to complete it.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Behaviour management clip charts

After seeing so many creative clip charts on teaching blogs, I've decided to give this behaviour management technique a go this year. The idea is simple: Everybody has a clothes peg. Everybody starts the day on green. The children are asked to move their pegs up or down according to how they behave.

I am teaching 5 and 6 year olds this year and so far, have found this technique really effective. The children get really excited about moving their pegs up. It's great for trying to target specific behaviours e.g. "I will move everybody in the most cooperative group up after this activity. They also really don't like moving it down. A very calmly worded, "Please move your peg down" is a lot more pleasant than raising your voice and getting angry.

The clip chart I have been using is from Jessica at Under the Alphabet Tree. You can download it for free from her TPT store.

Here are some of my favourite clip charts that I've stumbled upon:

This rock 'n' roll clip chart from The Inspired Apple:
A basketball-themed one from Mrs. Tyner at Create 2 Educate:
 A cute jungle-themed one from Curriculum to the Core:

This pirate-themed clip chart from My (Not So) Elementary life:


Thursday, 3 October 2013

Join the dots for various, differentiated lessons

I had a little problem this week. I wanted to create lots of differentiated (but in some way similar) homework tasks. Some children in my class are counting in ones, others skip counting in 10s and some really need to be challenged. I decided to give a join the dots activity. Little did I know how many different types of dot-to-dot worksheets already exist online.

Source: Kidscrafty.com
Here are some of my favourite sites with FREE join the dots activities. Kidscrafty.com has some great dot-to-dot activities based on sequencing capital and lower case letters,counting in ones (some are incredibly simple!) and skip counting in 2s, 5s and 10s.

I found some multiplication dot-to-dot activities on prasinipriza.com like this 6 and 7 times tables practice sheet.

For more challenging worksheets, look no further than this resource from Education.com! It has skip counting activities for 2s, 3s, 4s etc. and the sheets contain many dots (so the children have to skip count beyond 100!). There are 15 sheets of various difficulty levels in this pack.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Identifying narrative elements and writing stories

I came across a lovely post from Jenn at Finally in First about how she approaches narrative texts in her classroom.

She has used the same flashcard headings to organise the children's responses to a story and to plan their own narratives.

Jenn has shared a freebie with these headings and a story planning sheet. I really like the simplicity and clarity of these resources. Click on the image below to download them for free from her TPT store.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Instagram inspired lesson idea

Whilst a-browsin' around Pinterest, this display board really caught my eye. The students were given the task of presenting a pictures that they think Dr. Martin Luther King would have shared with the world. The teacher, Lindsey Fuller, provided her class with the opportunity to stage photographs to capture his messages. She got a fantastic response. The children annotated these photographs with captions Instagram-style. They were then mounted on an iPad backing. Have a look at Lindsey's blog post here.

Lindsey has credited Erin from Kleinspiration for the inspiration. Erin's class used this method to show book characters' points of view. It's a fantastic way to undertake a character study in reading or creative writing. Visit Erin's blog post to find a link to templates for this activity.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Classroom reveal: bee-themed decor - FREE resources

Wow! I've been back at school for over a week of planning and training. Today I finished my decorating! Here's a photo-filled post for you to browse through.

The classroom features FREE clipart from My Cute Graphics and Phillip Martin as well as frames from Ink N Little Things.

Colour splat posters from Teachers' Toolkit. 
Colours heading (FREE!) from Sparklebox.

Bee-themed class birthdays display:
Heading by Sparklebox (FREE!)
I got the birthday hats from Jennifer Squires' TPT store and changed the font to Comic Sans and black.
I made the balloons.

Give Me Five display (FREE!) from Elementary School Garden

Cubby labels, made by me. Please excuse the copybooks!

Word-wall - part of the bee-themed kit I won from Classroom Decor and More.

Calendar - part of the bee-themed kit I won from Classroom Decor and More.
Days of the week cards from Johnson Creations.
"The day is/ The month is" sign from Sparklebox.

FREE polkadot behaviour management clip chart from Under The Alphabet Tree

My desk area (look at the adorable house full of stationery!)

My bee-themed learner profile display. You can download it for free on this blog.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

IB Learner Profile Display Set - Freebie

The summer's coming to a close and I've been blog-stalking and reviving my Pinterest addiction. As it's not always easy to find IB (International Baccalaureate) resources, my search for IB "pinspiration"didn't take long today. It's funny, as I hunted for learner profile resources, I came across other blogs that had used my A4 learner profile posters. I didn't expect to see my own work staring back at me when looking for new ideas! 

One of these led me to a fantastic blog post from "Ms. Twist's Classroom." Here I found some fantastic IB displays, showing the learner profile attributes, transdisciplinary skills and a great self-assessment idea. If you're a teacher in an IB school, you have to check it out! 

I love how Ms. Twist uses circle time to focus on the learner profile attributes. The children are encouraged to choose an attribute they wish to work on each day. Each child shares their choice and explains how they can show this trait during the day.

I plan to do this slightly differently, by asking the children to choose one trait that we will all focus on for a week. Then, at the end of the week, I will give an award to the child/children who has/have best fit this aspect of the learner profile. 

I also came across another fantastic learner profile display board from The Echols Four.Kendra has created a beautiful display with clothes lines. She has displayed all of the learner profile attributes on this board. When a member of the class displays one of these attributes, their name and/or a picture and an explanation will be written on a slip of paper and pegged onto the line.

Having been inspired by both of these ideas, I've designed some resources to create my own learner profile board, pegs and all. As I'm going a bit bee-mad this year, they're yellow and black with bee-hive headings. Click here or on the image at the top of this post to download these resources from Google Drive. 

I will be let loose on my classroom next week so pictures of this display are coming soon! If anybody else happens to download and use these materials, please comment and/or share a photo or two.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

End of year advice book

Hi there,

Once again, I apologise for my absenteeism. Perhaps this summer, I'll stick to a more regular blogging schedule. I've had this one in my drafts since last summer but I thought I'd wait until the next end of school year to post it. It's a handy one for the last week of school!


Rachel at Sub Hub had a great idea for allowing your students to reflect on their school year, while simultaneously preparing a little welcome gift for next year's children. 

It's this little book:

It contains pages for the children to list what they've learned, draw diagrams and point out the best, funniest, scariest bits about their school year. I think it's a really sweet idea and plan to try it out this year. Click on the image of the book to download it for FREE from her Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Free multiplication loop game

Hi there followers,

It has been an awfully long time since I've posted new resources. This is due to a combination of factors leaving me with a little less time for blogging. 

Anyway, here's another freebie to keep you ticking over until the next post!

Click on the image below to access simple multiplication loop game cards.

I've also previously posted addition and subtraction versions. If anybody downloaded the subtraction one when I first posted it, there were some mistakes. I have since changed them and uploaded the edited version.

Simple subtraction loop game cards

Simple addition loop game cards