Pets and templates for recording

I have been adding to this pack as we go and have spent about an hour on it today and it is done - polished and published.

A planner for 2013-2104

This is my latest effort.
 I have been playing around with a planner that I would like to use.
So it contains the elements I like.
I have placed it in my digital shops to see how it goes.
I have to say I am in love with the black board theme that is going around at the moment too.

This current version is for the USA school year and in November I will move the calendar slides around to reflect the school year in the Southern Hemisphere.

There are two page spreads for each month as well as a two page whole year calendar.

There are pages for meetings and places for actions, reading and emailing. 

There is also a two page spread for each week - the above picture is one half of that.

I spent ages getting this right - but fell in love with it! Hope you love it too.

Making arrays

I am at home today not feeling 100% - so here is a post I had sitting as a draft.
Making arrays with boards, counters and recording the skip counting pattern is so important for children to see how an array works.
The connections between this and later 'seeing' times tables is often misunderstood or not clearly linked.
So we have spent lots of time making arrays and skip counting.
Our learning buddy works alongside almost like 'read to someone' EEKK.
They watch, don't comment, check for us and only if we get stuck do they help.
We want problem solvers and persistent mathematicians.
I just loved the conversation after they had finished and were getting feedback from their buddy.
They then swapped roles and had to watch, learn and give feedback.
I love maths in our shared space.

What is that?

What is that on the side of my blog? See that little green tab on the side?
I came across this app that places a tab on the side of your blog to look at the USA Common Core.
It has standards, concepts and questions for Reading and Math. It is super easy to install - has only one line of html code to place in your blog template and automatically installs it on the side.
For those of us that add these to our units of work it is easy to access and supports the tasks we produce. Check it out.
If only the authors of the Australian Curriculum were as innovative for us bloggers.

If this is something you want on your blog - click on mine at the side and follow the instructions to get your html code. While you are there on the side - have you clicked on my bloglovin button?

How do I plan a unit of work?

I have been asked this many times - how do I plan my units of work?
This has evolved over time and most likely will continue to change as I see a better way - more efficient way to plan.
Firstly - I ask my students what they know already. I do not want to prepare tasks if they already know things. I ask them what they want to know about a topic and then reference this with our curriculum. I have started to add the USA Common Core as well.
I am working on three units at the moment - Plants, plants and more plants - Pets and Vets and Under the Sea. The reason I do this is because I add things as we learn and then put in extension tasks that other teachers may like to have access to. Then I move slides around - so that they are sequenced and make sense - work on instructions and contents - proofread and then publish! Then celebrate

 These units are not in my stores yet. They are still in draft form.

I make a list of curriculum outcomes that we need to assess against that will challenge my group and then beside each one list learning tasks that would be appropriate.
I use power point to put together the unit. On my first slide this is where I can put together my colours, clip art and fonts. This slide is the base slide for the rest of the unit.
The last slide tracks where I get my papers, clip art and fonts from. When I insert a new object I check where I get it from and make sure I have acknowledged the source. This way I don't have to come back and remember at the end. I have a terrible memory and  this does helps.
I then start the learning tasks using a simple formula using the Inquiry Process.
1. Tuning in - what is the focus of the inquiry, what questions are related to the inquiry and who will we work with
2. Finding out - what sources will we use
3. Sorting out - how will we sort, how will we record information and how will we present information
4. Reflection - how will we make connections between ideas, experiences and learning
5. Taking Action - what will we do with our new learning
Hope this helps answer some of the questions I have had. If not post a comment and I will get back to you.

Pets and Preps

I have to say it again - this is a big term for me!

There are animals everywhere, however this one I organised and I was much more comfortable with it.
 I have a parent in my room who is a vet. An amazing lady and she was so prepared to talk to our preps about pets.
Kate come in and bought her dog Ellie and some other bits and pieces to share with our grade.

Now when I say grade - I should say all 82 of our Preps.
Kate spoke beautifully and helped to make a list of all the things that our pets need, how to look after them, what food they eat, how to clean their teeth (toothbrush and bones). Kate spoke and demonstrated how to approach animals safely.
We were impressed with the x-rays and how similar they were to us. They had backbones, ribs and leg bones.
Kate bought bones, worms in a container and stethoscopes and we listened to Ellie's heart beat.
Ellie was a well behaved dog and - here it comes - she is welcome in our room anytime.

Supporting kids who need more of you

 In our team teaching space we work with two of our children every day in a focus group for reading and writing.
 These lovely cherubs are working below our current level and are now speaking much clearer, offering ideas and asking questions. 
We work with them each day for a few reasons.
They need
- repetition
- sound and letter connections
- handwriting  practise
-  and the teacher to work with them often
So this week this group are now
- writing three letter words independently
- recognising many sounds
- repeating and seeing common sight words in texts
- even writing a sentence that has some beginning sounds recorded

We use lots of games and many Reading Recovery strategies to motivate, encourage and get results. We have also used the rhyme 'ants on the apple a-a-a' and some Brain Gym tasks.


Our girl is sweet sixteen today

This post is a not about work - it is about my gorgeous daughter who turns sixteen today. 
We have two children - well young adults really and we are very proud of both them.
Our son is 18.
 So we off for dinner - then on the weekend we have a house full of giggling girls for a sleepover and probably not any sleeping really. So tonight a night for family!


10 things I have learnt

I was excited when I saw this linky.
So here are my 10 things I have learnt after 28 years
1. When a child says they need to go to the toilet - as the consequences are not worth it
2. Do not tie up boy's shoe laces - think urinals!
3. Be planned and remember if you don't plan you plan to fail
4. Learn all your parent names
5. Take lots of notes about you kids - you will need them
6. Have a well organised space so that the kids and you know where everything is
7. Don't solve problems for kids - let them solve it- it is much quicker in the end
8. Embrace change - it is inevitable
9. Listen and listen and listen and then respond
10. Have a work life balance - don't think I have done this yet!

My blog as a book

I gave myself a present.
I don't do this very often.
I friend at work who has a great blog called  Flower Garden (which is about her garden, home and sewing) shared her blog book and I knew I just had to have one.
Now you know I live in Australia - well I placed the order on line and in five days my present was in my hands.
Bloggers you absolutely have to check out blog2print there is a 15% sale.
It is now sitting on our coffee table at home and the number of people who have flicked through and said - oh I missed that post or I remember that....
I love it as it gives me a hard copy of all the hard work I put in and collates it beautifully.
It would be nice to do one each year as a
blog - versary present to yourself.
With a few simple clicks - change the front cover picture, check the back page, decide to add comments from other bloggers or not from my blog - click paypal and five days later
my blog
arrived as a book!
I am so happy with it

I am helping another blogger celebrate

Mrs Pauley's Kindergarten is celebrating 400 followers. I am donating one product of your choice from my store. Check it out - it ends in 20 hours on Sunday (7/21 at midnight).  
You have still time to enter and there are amazing give-a-ways on offer - check them out!
While you are here on my blog- click and join my bloglovin' and google friends! It will make it easier when you enter the give-a-way
Help Amanda celebrate!
Oh - and sorry two posts in one day, but I couldn't let this end and not tell you about it.


Flip Flop Swap #2

This is my second 'flip flop product swap' and I was asked by Evelyn from First Grade Class to do a swap for one of my products. She really wanted to check out my Addition pack.

When I was looking at her blog I discovered we both have the same maiden name. What is even funnier is that generations ago there were three brothers in Ireland. They had a falling out and one stayed, one went to Australia and that is my family line. One went to America and maybe that is Evelyn's family - we are investigating.

This is my Addition to 20 pack

This pack is 115 pages and is split into 3 units, they each, as the title suggests follow a living things theme.

The pictures are great and easy to use for littlies, they are engaging and they are able to link them to the write the room task easily.  I am very new to the concept of write the room - but this works to let children know what words are part of a theme.

Thanks for swapping Evelyn.

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