Friday, 25 May 2018

A Beginning of a New Chapter

This year has been crazy!  I can't believe it is nearly June.

The reason why I have been so busy is that at the beginning of the year I took on a new adventure.  After being out of the classroom for just over 4 years I decided to leap right back in into a totally different kind of post.

The taught of going back to work has been on my mind for a while and although I think I had probably forgotten why I stopped in the first place (there was not time in the the day for my own children after all the prep, sport coaching and grading) I still kept my eyes open for the 'perfect post!'

Then one day I saw it advertised on Facebook - of all places!  I emailed the employer, went for an interview and got the job - yippee!

So you might be wondering what exactly it is that I committed my self to...  I am a facilitator to a first grader.  He struggles with concentration, dyspraxia and had been assessed and found to be highly functioning autistic.

And so it has been five months and we are loving working together.
This opportunity has given me a chance to use my special needs training and think out of the box when assisting with all forms of learning.

Many of my posts to come will be focusing on our journey together.  Watch this space!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Learning the Alphabet with Digital Task Cards

With my daughter starting to read, my son has become more and more interested in learning the alphabet and heading in her direction.

You may have heard about Boom Learning™.  It is a platform for Digital Task Cards.  You can read about it here.  I decided to create a set of Alphabet cards for my son to play around with.

They have worked really well!  The variety of activities included in the deck has kept him engaged and encouraged him to complete the deck.  The different activities required him to select, move and type in answers.  The repetition of the sound and letter built his confidence with each card.

Each deck includes the following activities:

  •   Finding the picture that starts with the letter
  •   Matching Upper and Lower Case letters
  •   Finding Upper and Lower Case letters
  •   Finding pictures beginning with the letter
  •   Sorting pictures according to their beginning sounds
  •   Building a 6 piece puzzle of the letter and corresponding letter.
  •   Completing words by typing in the letter.
You can try out Letter C for FREE here.

And view the bundle here.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Recycled CVC Spelling

So, if you had to ask my husband to define a hoarder, he would probably do so my mentioning my name.  I keep all kinds of packaging which may be useful in activities for my children.  There are toilet rolls in a kitchen cupboard and plastic disposable containers in a bedroom cupboard - all 'meticulously' sorted, but none the less, filling all the little spaces I can find.

There are so many interesting shapes in packaging, that I can't bare to throw them away.  Call it recycling if you must.

I found this container in a supermarket containing two hot dogs.  It was the perfect snack for my children on a busy day out but also caught my eye for another reason...

"Hmmm I'm sure it would be perfect for a CVC center I am planning for my daughter!"

And this is what I did with it...

I printed a colorful cover...

I converted some recycled bottle tops (yes, I have a jar of those squeezed in a linen cupboard) into letter disks with craft letters from our craft box. I placed them on one side with CVC pictures from a CVC reading center...

I filled one of the sides with Kinetic sand and...

...this was the result...

The container sealed beautifully and is easy to store. We had a lot of fun building CVC words in the kinetic sand using the easy to handle bottle tops.

These CVC sentences are also fun as they encourage comprehension and independent reading.  You can check them out here.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Digital Task Cards Make Teaching Easy!

I can't believe it has been a year since I first started with the BoomLearning℠ platform to create BoomCards™ task cards as part of the Beta group.

If you haven't heard of this App before, you are seriously missing out!

The BoomLearning platform for digital task cards which can be used as a group activity or on an individual basis.

With the younger generation being more and more technologically minded, the BoomLearning service has come about at the perfect time.

There are so many positives!  Check them out:

If you would like to experiment with digital task cards, you can test it out with this FREE deck:

Subscribe for FREE here.  Click on the 'Sign in' tab.  Create an account.  Set up a classroom and get started.  The FREE subscription allows you to have 5 students in your classroom but you can upgrade to a better subscription for as little as $9 a year!

You can access the BoomLearning store via their website or download the App onto your devices (Google Play and Apple Store)

You may also want to check out some of my other decks:

This post about the BoomLearning service has earned me a year renewal of my subscription - yippee!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Share the Love Blog Hop

 February is the month of Sharing the Love.  This post is doing exactly that...Sharing the Love.  A blogging friend of my has started a collaboration with another TPT seller and together, they decided to share the love with all of us.  So this blog hop focuses on Introducing The Crazy Daisies.

 The Crazy Daisies is part educational resources, part clip art! They’re putting their heads together to make learning fun for their students and OURS. 

Amanda Smith of Daisy Designs is a 2nd Grade teacher in Florida. She also teaches Musical Theater and Dance at a local theater. She’s passionate about reading and is a total dog-lover! In fact, Daisy is the name of her 5 pound chihuahua. She has a 5-month old son, Isaac. 

Jodilyn Blake @DaisyADayDoodles has been teaching for 8 years on the Indian Reservations of New Mexico. She has taught as a reading specialist, 2nd grade teacher on up to Middle school Language Arts. Her TPT shop has teaching resources along with her artwork. She has been doodling since she was 12 years old for fun. However, her doodles became digital creations in May 2015. She is relatively new to the clip art world, but she loves to share her joy. 

By  combining their powers, they wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day with free valentines featuring Jodilyn’s art and Amanda’s witty puns.

I thought to take this opportunity to Share The Love from my side too.  This fun little Valentine's Day puzzle is great for vocabulary development and problem solving (to build the puzzle).

You can grab this for FREE in my TPT store.  If you find it useful, please consider leaving some feedback.

 Grab your Free Crazy Daisies Valentine's card here.

Once you have downloaded your freebie, enter the giveaway to win two $40 TPT Gift Cards:

And then don't forget to click here or the image below to move on to Kooky Kinders' Blog to grab the next Crazy Daisies FREEBIE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 12 December 2016

Teacher Time Saving Tip 6

My students loved getting involved in the class.  I taught sixth grade and they were all eager to do anything (well, most of them).

 One way I got my students involved was we set up a daily cleaning roster, where a group of students would stay behind on a certain day to do some 'cleaning'.  This involved sweeping, cleaning the boards, wiping down counters and even disinfecting desks.  It was on a volunteer basis but if a student committed for a certain day, that's when they were expected. It taught them responsibility and respect for their environment.  I graded papers and organised my planning  while they were busy. I also enjoyed the 'bonding' session between my students and myself during that time.  

I was also given a lot of files from a previous teacher.  They were fairly disorganized with numerous duplicates spread throughout a number of files.  A few of my students loved coming in and sorting the files for me.  They threw away duplicates and placed pages in plastic sleeves.  This would have taken me ages had I done it on my own.

These are just two ways in which I got my students involved.

You might be thinking that my students were in sixth grade, but you teach a lower, less responsible grade...  try placing an advert outside your door for older students.  Mention the job you would like done, the number of students needed and the date and time and see what kind of response you get.

Getting this right can free up a lot of your time!  Let me know how you got your students involved!

Monday, 5 December 2016

Teacher Time Saving Tip 5

I am one of those people... when I'm asked to volunteer for something, whether it be retyping a worksheet or heading up the English department, I can't say NO!  This is a problem for me!  Sometimes my plate was so full and I was stretched so thin that I felt I was not coping.   My inability to say NO forcefully and like I meant it, was my downfall.

I thought it was a sign of weakness, but it definitely is not!  Sometimes it is good to say no and mean it.  You don't need to be rude about it, but be firm.  "Unfortunately, I  will not be able to ..."  "No, that will not be possible."  Don't leave room for negotiations.

You also deserve down time, family time and me time.

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