Monday, 31 August 2015

Boggle Board Freebie

I love using Boggle as an activity for early finishers or as a game during indoor play on rainy days. In the past, I've had a Boggle board permanently on display on one side of the board. This year I didn't want to make space for that so I decided to make a table top version.

I had been collecting the plastic caps from milk and juice cartons since I moved into my current apartment. I didn't even know why I was collecting them but that's the problem with being a teacher - we HOARD! I knew they'd come into use some day. I didn't even think about it. I just had a plastic container in the cupboard above my shelf and threw one in each time I washed out a carton for recycling.

I've laminated these boards and keep will them in the "Boggle" drawer with my bottle top letters of the alphabet and some sand timers. The children pick out the bottle tops at random and place them on the board. They know that they need a mixture of consonants and vowels. I've written the consonants on the white tops and the vowels on the coloured ones. If all your bottle tops are the same colour, you could write vowels in a different coloured pen to the consonants.

You can download the board and answer sheets for free from my TPT store. 

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Get Your Desktop Ready

No, not your computer, literally the top of your desk! Here are 4 useful things to keep nearby as points of reference. You could laminate them and stick them on to the surface of your desk, put them on a noticeboard near you or put them in a file of "go to" resources that you keep near your desk.

This post was inspired by some freebies in Ms Forde's Classroom's TPT store so I'll start with those!

Briathra Neamhrialta - Irregular verbs (questions and answer in positive and negative form)

Prepositional pronouns glance card:Ag, ar, le, as, do, ó, roimh, de
#3: Another handy one from the PDST are these examples of phrases you can use as Gaeilge at each age level. Click here to download it.

#4: This question card based on Bloom's Taxonomy to make sure you ask a variety of lower and higher order questions (and everything in between!). Thanks to Gareth at Not Just Any Brick in the Wall for sharing it in a very interesting post (do go and have a read!).

...And as we're on the topic of desk space, I highly encourage you to go and get a unit with 5 drawers and label them Monday through Friday. I did this for the first time last year and it has made such a difference to the tidiness of my desk! 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Yearly Planning - Dates for the Diary

Hello there,

The school year is on the horizon so it's nearly time to open up those yearly planners and get scribbling. Here are some resources to help you get started.

Earlier in the summer, Seomra Ranga shared this comprehensive list (created by Ciara Brennan @PrimEdTeacher - thank you!!). It's an absolute gem of a resource that you'd be a fool not to utilise.

You can download the official INTO 2015-2016 school year planner by clicking here.

If you are working in an Educate Together school, this interfaith calendar from Williams College will provide you with dates of celebrations from the major world religions for the academic year 2015/2016. 

If you can think of any major dates that are missing, please comment below!

One major sporting event taking place from 18th September - 31st October is the rugby world cup. I have two resource packs available in my TPT store for less than €3 - one in English and a leagan Gaeilge. Click on the images below to find out more!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Prepare Your Classroom for the Price of a Pint: ENGLISH EDITION

Welcome to the English edition of "Prepare Your Classroom for the Price of a Pint." I'm bringing you subject-specific suggestions for filling your classroom walls for under a tenner. Again, if you're not interested in paying for resources, there are loads of freebies at the bottom of this post!

For this one I've chosen just two items that amount to $6 (about €5.50). Think of how easily you could blow €5.50 on something pointless. These two items (along with the tonne of freebies at the end) could give you a good headstart on getting your classroom ready quickly.

Off we go!

Reading comprehension strategy posters from Ms. Jacobs' Little Learners - $3.50
It's very hard to find a pretty set of these that uses British English spelling of visualisation and summarising. I think it would be worth spending this much on a set like this as it's something that's applicable to many class levels and it's a staple that you can refer to daily.

"Are you a capital letter detective?" display from A Crucial Week - $2.50
This one does as it says on the tin. It's a set of posters with reminders of when to use capital letters. It's a very useful point of reference for the children to use when self-correcting their writing.

And when you've finished spending the price of a pint or you don't want to spend anything, check out these freebies to brighten up your classroom and create a print-rich environment.

These writing process posters, designed to be used as a clip chart were created and shared for free by The Teacher Wears Prada. I put the children's names on pencil clip art and stuck them to pegs. You can see how it looked in the photo below.

This giant pencil is from The Teacher Wife is famous online. You've probably seen it in a lot of classroom pictures on Pinterest. In fact, here it is in my classroom (along with the capital letter detective display from above):

This wonderful display of "criminal words" i.e. overused words such as "said," "went" and "walked" from Teacher's Pet.  You can download this for free here.

This very sweet owl-themed "I love reading!" poster is available for free at Kelly Benefield's TPT store.

This story elements poster set from Primary Polka Dots would be fantastic for a younger or middle primary school class.

I'm definitely going to download this free prefix and suffix poster set from Rachael Parlett. It's a whopping 19 page set. Oh, and it's pirate-themed!

If you've got a young class, these are two very simple AND EXTREMELY ADORABLE posters to remind them about the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Thanks to Hayley O'Connor for sharing it for free.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Wonder Walls Galore!

Hi there,

As a PYP teacher, our wonder wall is a big part of the classroom. Here are some different ideas of ways to create a space for displaying the students' questions in your room. 

This is my wonder wall. It was very quick to make. I just cut out some thought bubbles, laminated them and then the children stick up their questions on post-it notes.

I LOVE this one with the children's photographs. I bet they enjoyed doing those thinking faces! Thanks to We Are Teachers for sharing it on their Facebook Page.
image source
Another firm favourite is this burning questions display from Kate's Science Classroom.
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You could make one that looks like a brick wall like this one from Connie at Welcome to First Grade.
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This is one that Mrs Bright's Class used for genius hour. The coloured sheets (one per student) are very striking against the black background.
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You could go all out and use IdeaPaint in your classroom. It's a special paint that transforms any wall into a whiteboard surface. The children could literally write all over the walls!
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Friday, 21 August 2015

Rugby World Cup Resources As Gaeilge

Dia daoibh!

Mar is eol daoibh beidh an Corn Domhanda Rugbaí ar siúl an mhí seo chugainn. Chruthaigh mé achmhainní m
úinteoireachta as Béarla. Tá leagan Gaeilge le fáil anois i mo shiopa TPT. Ní ach $3 atá air. 

As you know, the Rugby World Cup is taking place next month. I created teaching resources in English. Now, an Irish version is available in my TPT store. It's just $3 (not even €3!). This could be very useful for teachers in gaelscoileanna or if you choose to do "caitheamh aimsire" as your téama in September or October. If you're not too confident on the rugby terminology as Gaeilge, is féidir foclóir a bhaineann le rugbaí le feiceáil ar an suíomh TG4. 

  • Póstaeir
  • Luaschártaí
  • Tionscadal taighde
  • Stiallbhratacha chun an seomra ranga a mhaisiú
  • Cluichí mata
  • Tráth na gceist
  • Teaching ideas (written in English)

*To clarify, I've only translated the materials that the children will use and the questions for the tráth na gceist. The teaching ideas and instructions are still written in English.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Prepare Your Classroom for the Price of a Pint: MATHS EDITION

Welcome to the maths edition of "Prepare Your Classroom for the Price of a Pint" where I'm going to give you suggestions on how to spend a little and have your maths area bright and ready for the start of the school year. As always, I have included lots of freebies at the bottom of this post. If you're not looking to spend any money on maths posters, just hop down to that part and grab the freebies! Don't forget to check out A Crucial Week again next Tuesday for the final part of this series - the English edition.

This post totals to $4.50 (about €4.15)  for the older classes and $5.75 (about €5.30) for the younger classes.

The first one is a unique poster set that I came across a while back. It's an alphabet poster set with maths vocabulary made by Little Lovely Leaders for $2.50. It would be absolutely perfect for a maths-only classroom. However, I think this would look great in a maths corner of a mainstream or learning support classroom (maybe printed at 50% or 25% to fit them in if you are stuck for space!). 

"A mathematician is someone who..." posters from Kaitlynn Albani.  - €1 There are two versions of this poster - a male and a female.

This one is a must-have for the younger end of primary school. These posters have touch spot numbers, tally marks, ten frames, base ten blocks and words. So many ways of representing a number on one poster.


And now that you've seen what you can buy for the price of a pint, here are some things you don't need to spend anything on to acquire. Get downloading!

This one is free to make and you can just type it up or stencil it. TIP: Search for "display lettering" on Twinkl and you will find a myriad of patterned and themed lettering for creating headings or parts of displays.
Image source: Angela Silverwood via
If you don't have space for that one, you can download a printable version from Teacher's Pet. It's A4 but you could enlarge it to A3 on a photocopier and display it somewhere central for handy reference.

There's also this version of the same idea from Barnard Island. I think I may be printing this one in September! Apologies for the teeny tiny previews. Click on bigger image to see the previews better.

If you'd like to display word problem strategies, check out these posters from Réalta Ranga. There's an English version and a set as Gaeilge.

It's a good idea to display number resources in a variety of forms to suit different types of learners. In my school we use Numicon which I have found to be fantastic for my visual learners. They offer lots of free resources on their site including these number lines.
Image source:

Here is another bright number line. This free to download set by Keri Brown contains a number line with ten frames and very cute alphabet posters. 

Again for the little ones, why not create a classroom calendar board? I used this owl-themed classroom birthdays display from Halle Hird in Across the Hall in 2nd Grade and this lovely owl-themed calendar set from Apple Girl Amber. 

Here's how they looked on the display board in my classroom (with a heading from Sparklebox).

Check out these "greater than" and "less than" posters are great visual aids from Ms. Forde's Classroom. Pick them up for free here.

I've had these odd and even posters from Step Into Second Grade in my classroom for the past few years. Click here to download them from her blog.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Monday Made It - Lego superhero classroom decor

Hi all!

This post is part of 4th Grade Frolics' regular link-up, Monday Made It. Click on the link-up's button to see what other teachers have been making.

If you're a regular follower of this blog, you'll know that I like to pick a theme for my classroom each year. This year I'm planning to keep lots of the display resources from last year because I really like them. However, I wanted to put in a few bits and pieces to liven up the classroom. I've always wanted to do a superheroes theme and I thought Lego superheroes would be cute.

Though I'm still not back to school for planning and prep until next Monday, I couldn't stop myself making these cardboard superheroes. They're going to hold up our class' essential agreements (that means classroom rules for those who aren't familiar with PYP terminology!). Obviously, deciding on these is a perfect first day activity at school so I wanted to have something ready to go on day 1 with the children.