Thursday, 31 January 2013

Sharing resources on teachers pay teachers- Check it out!

I have recently started selling some of my unit plans on teachers pay teachers. Feel free to head over and check it out. The unit I just posted is designed with the aim of developing student’s understanding of what it means to be an Australian. It is also intended that students develop a wide range of general knowledge about all things Australian. This will include Australian geography, flora and fauna, animals, Australian landmarks, aboriginal history and culture, food, pop culture, government, history and iconic Australians. I love the work of Gardner and Bloom and feel that the work of these two are a huge part of who I am as a teacher in regards to catering for diversity in my classroom. The link is below. Enjoy View my profile on First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth -

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

1 thought now completed

I have been busy over this last week preparing the classroom for student arrival next Tuesday.
One of my earlier posts I discussed the possibility of using a sewing machine and attempting some curtains. Well I had a go and taught myself to see on my Nan's sewing machine and really enjoyed the experience. I also had left over material and so I cut a row of apples off and sewed around them and used the as a border for my display. Great way of recycling and tying in apple curtains with the classroom. Check out the before and after shots.

Using the colours of the apples in the curtain material I then completed my other displays with those colours. My classroom is now very vibrant and inviting for my grade 5's.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

DIY zen garden

I am always collecting shells from the beach with my girls. When we go on holiday the girls always come home with a bucket full of shells.
Last year in class I took the shells in and got students to choose a shell to sketch.
This year I decided I wanted to make a zen garden to place in a quiet area in the classroom for a calming down strategy. Students can rearrange the shells or rake the sand and calm down whilst doing this. The thing I liked about this most is it doesn't make noise (bonus).
To make a zen garden I brought a photo frame from a discount store. I then removed the glass and used electric tape to tape the base to the frame. I then turned the frame over and filled it with sand collected from the beach. I let my girls place some shells and drift wood on the sand. Completed. Easy enough for all students to make. Give it a go and feel free to let me know how it goes in your classroom.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Eyes, ears and heart!

I was reading a blog this morning from and found some great ideas about ways to get students to stop what they are doing and listen. My favorite was 1,2,3,4 sit your bums on the floor, 5,6,7,8 hands in lap and sit up straight. Definitely something I plan on using this year. My catch phrase which I use is "Eyes, ears and heart!" I teach a lesson to my students about effective communication and what attentive listening is. You can be using your eyes by looking at the speaker and using your ears by listening, but not using your heart, which means not respecting the speaker by not giving them your full attention. I have a few students that go off into daydream land at times so the heart is a very important element of being an attentive listener. I hope you have used your heart and taken on board what I have just said instead of simply reading it and not absorbing it- lol.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Positive Behaviour Support Ideas

I started looking at my positive behaviour support resources and decided to share one of my many ideas with you. I use a bank system for positive behaviour support in my classroom. Students are rewarded with bank money for different activities for example they may receive $50 for completing tasks in a certain time frame, or the person who is first to solve my lateral thinking problem in the morning will get $30 or it can be used for rewarding students who demonstrate the social skill in focus for the week consistently. The beauty of this system is you give out the bank money for whatever you want as an encouragement for that behaviour to continue. When students have saved and reached a certain amount they can cash in on a reward. For $100 they can receive a pencil, right up to $1000 which will allow students to do some cooking of own choice with friends, spend a block helping out in another class or possibly computer time. The ultimate reward is a movie ticket for $3000 which is a year of savings. I keep the bank books and regularly ask a student to update them which sllows students to focus on their numeracy skills. The other positive about this system is it teaches students about savings.

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Monday, 14 January 2013

100 thoughts in process

So I began this journey yesterday and entered sleep zone with 100 thoughts in process. Where do I start. So many things to discuss.

After looking at some other blogs I have decided to start this journey at the beginning of any new year within the classroom and that is "setting up!"

I was made to move classrooms once again and so the torture begins. What do I throw out, what do I keep?

I entered my storeroom to, once again, unpack my resources. 6 boxes down and 2 to go. My brain is in overdrive. I have nearly filled the entire wall of shelves making sure that the desk below is clear for a quiet writing conference area for students.

Upon reflection I begin to think about utilising this space to its best potential which leads my thoughts to working in a cluttered environment. How can students complete writing conferences with a multitude of visual distractions going on above them? It would be like me trying to cook a masterpiece with all my cupboards and draws in my kitchen opened baring utensils. So a simple solution (also a step into unchartered territory) is to make some curtains on a sewing machine to cover the resources. Hence hide the visual distraction and allow my grade 5's to concentrate on their writing masterpieces!

I will take a before and after shot as mentioned on a blog I am following which is Stay tuned...