Saturday, 25 July 2015

Pizza Procedure Writing

There are so many fun and exciting activities you can do when teaching procedure texts and it is definitely my favourite writing genre! We have just finished our unit on procedure writing and our 'Pizza Procedure Writing' task was definitely a highlight! I asked the students to create their own recipe procedure text on how to create their perfect pizza! As an extra incentive I told the students we would also be making pizza's, following the procedure of the 5 best pizza procedure texts that the students created. This would be based on practicality, accuracy, effort, and presentation.
Loving my 'Procedure Pizza Writing' display!
Nom nom nom!
What is your favourite writing genre and why?
Miss A

Friday, 26 June 2015

My Classroom Pack Up Routine

I've never been a super neat person. I remember as a child looking into my big sisters neat and totally organised room, with all her dolls lined up perfectly and wishing she would let me play in it! Meanwhile my room had looked like a tornado hit it a bit more character. This has carried on into my adult life. However that all changes when it comes to my classroom! For some reason I cannot have a messy classroom, whether is be dust, cluttered shelves or even lop-sided pillows, I can't stand it! I live an hour away from school so the LAST thing I want to do every afternoon is spend half an hour cleaning my room. So I created my pack up routine which I must admit has been my life saver!!
I thought about all the area's of the classroom that needed to be attended to each afternoon and made this chart! I printed the students names onto chalk sticks and then attached them to a peg. Each week I move the pegs over one place so the students have 1-2 weeks on their assigned jobs. The jobs I've included on my chart are: Bins, Sweeper, Pencil Pots, Library, Teacher Library (I have a separate library with books I have bought), Desk Cleaner, Board Cleaner, Cushions and mats, Maths Shelves, Messenger, Reader Packs, Inspector and Rubbish (out in the yard). I think most jobs speak for themselves. One of the best things I did was add the 'Inspector' job. It's basically the Inspectors job to make sure that everyone is on task and doing their assigned job. They then give a report at the end when all the jobs have been completed. This had made a big difference to how well our pack up time has run!

Not only has this pack up routine saved me soo much time the kids really love it! I'd definitely recommend teachers to give it a go!

Want to learn more about my pack up routine? Leave me a comment and let me know!
x Miss A

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Mothers Day Flower Bouquet Cards

I've been so busy preparing my students for NAPLAN that I nearly forgot about Mother's Day this weekend! Yikes! For those who don't know, the NAPLAN (National Assessment Program- Literacy and Numeracy) is a national standardised test that all students in year 3, 5, 7 and 9 take annually. This test is conducted under exam conditions. Because my babies students are in year 3, they will be taking the NAPLAN test for the first time. I've been trying, to the best of my ability, to prepare them as much as possible, and in doing so COMPLETELY forgot about Mother's Day. I basically raided my arts cupboard today to come up with a quick but effective card craft my kids could complete in an afternoon. Fortunately, luck was on my side!

Here are the things you will need for this craft task… When it comes to craft material I am a hoarder make sure I don't throw anything that may come in handy!

The first thing I got the students to do was fold their paper doily to create the base of the bouquet.

Then students cut strips of green paper and slid them inside their doily pocket for the flower stems.
Flowers can be so tricky! But I loved using this no fuss method to create them. The students traced around the top of a plastic cup for a large circle, and then the bottom of the cup for a smaller circle
We then put the smaller circle inside the bigger circle, and then added a button in the middle to create our flowers.
We added a a lovely gold bow and voila! I just love how these worked out! Might have to make one for my mum too!
xx Miss A

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Birch Tree Art Project

Every Saturday, I take care of 3 amazing little boys! They are so adorable! Each of them has their own unique (and very different) personality. Whether we're making taco's, having pretend ninja fights or watching a movie these boys are a constant joy. With them around, my Saturdays are always entertaining!
One of my favourite things to do with the boys is painting! This week I only had black and white paint (note to self: always order well ahead of time!) so I used trusty Pinterest to see what sort of art activity I could scrounge up. There really is some great black and white paintings out there, but none that were really kid friendly. Then I came across this pin from A Little Lovely
I love the effect the card-paint combo makes, it looks so pretty. This inspired me to create a birch tree art project with the kiddies!
First we painted a small circle at the top of the page, then used different shades of grey to create a glowing moon effect. 
We then filled the rest of the page in black. I got the kids to flick watered down black paint to create a starry night sky.
My favourite part! The boys dipped a card (preferably one you don't use anymore!) in white paint and then swiped across to create their birch trees. We created the leaves by lightly dabbing paint and ta-da! A beautiful starry night, birch tree portrait!
xx Miss A

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Colour Mixing Activity

Teaching colour mixing is always fun and exciting! I love this colour mixing activity, and it's always a hit with my students. You will need: diluted blue, red and yellow food colouring, matchsticks  newspaper, pipettes and a the colour mixing chart template which you will find here

Follow the dot pattern on the colour mixing sheet using the food colouring- make sure your students have one pipette per colour!

Mix the colours together with a toothpick, if you start from the yellow and go in an clockwise direction you won't need to change toothpicks.

Gently place the paper towel over the colour mixing sheet and watch the colours form!

I love the results, a real colour wheel with no fuss!
Keep smiling!
Miss A

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Maths Make 10 Game

One thing I always try to do is differentiate my maths games so that all learners are being challenged at their individual level. Even though I have a straight year 3 class, I still have a very wide range of learning abilities! This activity helped me with that- same game, 3 variations to ensure all students are being challenged at a level suitable to them. I created this game for students to review their 'Rainbow Facts'. Rainbow facts are numbers that make 10, such as 9+1 or 7+3. Developing automaticity with addition facts is so important! If a students is able to instantly recall 7+3=10, they begin to develop efficient strategies for addition of other addition facts, such as the answer to 7+4 will be 1 more than 10.

There were 3 Islands to choose from; Make 5, make 10 or make 20 (obviously for those who were already fluent with their make 10 facts!). The students studied their 'Number Island' activity sheet and searched for groups of numbers that totalled the number they were looking for. They then circled these numbers.

I also encouraged students to use unifix blocks to represent their addition sums, as well as to ensure their grouped numbers totalled the number they were searching for!

You can download this activity for free HERE.

Interested in more fun and engaging make 10 maths games? Click HERE to check out my Rainbow Facts (Make 10) Bundle, available at my TPT store!
Keep Smiling!
Miss A

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Writing Process Pencil Display

Don't you just love it when you come across a teaching strategy and you don't understand how you ever managed without it? That's exactly how I feel about my Writing Process Pencil!

I got this idea from pinterest and thought I'd make my own version and give it a go. My students each have a pencil peg with their name on it. All pegs start on 'Pre-write' and then as they progress with their writing, they move their peg onto the next stage until they have reached the tip of the pencil which is the 'Finished' section. I LOVE using this for my writing tasks. Each section of the pencil has a different writing stage; Pre-write, Draft, Edit, Good Copy, Illustration and Finished.

All the student's pencil pegs start on the 'Pre-Write' section. During this phase students brainstorm what they want to write about. They may also have a chat to the person next to them for some ideas and inspiration. This is also the time to write the title and date on their work.

Once students have completed the pre-write phase they move their pencil peg onto the 'Draft' section. This is when students begin their actual writing. Once they have finished their draft they need to re-read it to make sure it makes sense, then they can move their pencil peg up to the 'Edit' section.

During the 'Edit' phase, students come to me so I can check their spelling and grammar. I underline words that they have spelt incorrectly and ask them to either try and spell the word again, or check their dictionaries for the correct spelling. I also give them feedback on their work. The only time I will check students work is when they are right next to me. I've realised there's no point in checking and correcting work when the writer is not there- how often will my year 3's actually flick through previous writing work to see what errors had been corrected?!

Good Copy
After students have corrected all their errors, students move onto writing their good copy. I only use this section if I'm planning to put their writing on display, like my Earth Day writing task or my creative writing If I had a million dollars task. If they are just doing writing in their writing books, they skip this phase and move onto the illustration section


I always get my students to draw a picture when they have finished their writing. It doesn't have to be a big fancy picture (although some students prefer it to be that way!) just something small and neat so that they can really value their work! Presentation is important!

This part speaks for itself- the student has finished their writing task!

I've found this pencil gives students accountability and really motivates them to stay on task- everyone wants their peg on the 'Finished' section by the end of the lesson! It also gives me an indication of where each student is at with their work. If a student has remained on the 'Pre-Write' section for a while, I'll ask if they need some assistance with their work. If I feel like someone is flying through the stages, I'll make sure they are on the right track
and their work is NEAT.

Keep smiling!
Miss A