Indigenous Art: Dots and Beyond

Dot painted lizard magnet
Purchased from Marra Dreaming
I am a firm believer that anything on the wall in a classroom needs to be useful - and shouldn't be there unless it has a purpose and the students are aware of what that is.

For instance, you can purchase a set of fantastic anchor charts and put them on the wall before the school year starts - but if you never teach about them or use them - they are just taking up valuable space. Plus, anchor charts are best created as a class in my opinion anyway.

But (and don't you love how there are always exceptions?) what about the awkward corner that is difficult to get to - where writing can't be seen and you honestly don't want to get up on the ladder too often to put something up?

Let's Play Supermarket!

Whether you teach in a classroom or homeschool your kids there is nothing as fun and exciting as doing role-plays. A favourite of mine is the supermarket role-play. Not only can you teach about grocery names but also prices, money, change (subtraction) and let's not forget customer service!

What can you use then in order to have a variety of food that will not go-off, mouldy, or cost a fortune? Here are a few ideas.

Seating Management for NIT Teachers

Being a NIT (Non-Instructional Time / Non-Contact) teacher can be hard work. On one hand you usually get to plan only a few units because you get to teach it over and over again with anywhere from 2-5 classes who are the same grade. Yes, there are some advantages to being a NIT teacher (as I was in my first year after graduating) but there are some downsides, too. The biggest is behaviour.

The odd thing about students and their behaviour choices is that you will get students who behave well for their classroom teacher and are a monster for you. Then there are the students who behave with you but are a monster for their classroom teacher. Is there any pattern? Not really - I found it random.

So what do you do when faced with students (especially in junior primary) who may hit, bite, spit, pinch, do somersaults, scream, run-around the classroom, not to mention not do as they are told? The best thing I did was create a seating arrangement system. This way I could minimise interactions with certain students and it made relief teachers smile as they knew where they should all sit. Now you are probably wondering how to manage several classes from one system which everyone can see. This is what I came up with.

My First Kitten: Book Review

Title: My First Kitten
Author: Dr. Lisa Chimes
ISBN: 9780143506270

Classification: Fiction with a moral / Informational
Themes: animals, responsibility

Tied Up

If this is your first year as a teacher and you are over the moon about beginning in a junior primary classroom then you need to read this!

A Little Election Flipbook

So I posted a book review of Danny Katz's book A Little Election. Lots of you liked and and emailed asking what activities I did with the book - so I have worked hard to polish up my flipbook so you can get your class as interested in this topic as mine were.

This book is written for an Aussie audience but to be honest it could be used in any country that elects a Prime Minister through a democratic vote for a political party.

This flipbook activity is best done at the start of the year. Most Aussie school who have SRC reps will elect them sometime in the first two weeks of school. I usually complete this activity towards the end of week 1/beginning of week 2 to give them time to get to know each other and finish off the activities.

Now, let's get to the good stuff!

A Little Election: Book Review

Bee-ginnings!'s post is bee-themed! Instead of one activity to do at the beginning of the year, this includes two! Yay!

These activities though could be used at any time. Look out for the link to a freebie as well for you to download for your own goal activity!

Both of these activities go really well with Buzzy, the Bumblebee. If you missed the book review of it you can the cover and have a read.

Get It Sorted!

Here is another great activity to set up at the start of the year. The start is the best as then *hopefully* what the students have learnt will be carried through the year!

Wheeley Fun Goals!

Heading back to my posts about back to school activities and today here is a new one! Writing goals is important to do at any age - notice the writing part? That's because we are more likely to stick to something if we record it - it's like a visual reminder - and we are far less likely to procrastinate about following through!

There are many interesting ideas out there for writing goals for 2016 and here is the first of two goal recorders.

It's a Wheel!
Yes, that's right - it turns! Students love when they can interact with their work and this is a special way to record, display and revisit periodically throughout the year. In addition, if your school requires Portfolio pieces - then you can pop this one in at the end of the year with a reflection about whether the student was able to be success in their goals.

Nobody's Child: Song Review

Song: Nobody's Child
Artist: Karen Young
Year: 1969
Nationality: British

Theme: orphan, blind