Monday, 30 June 2014

Monday Made It Freebie!


Thank you Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for hosting Monday Made It!

We're still busy at school here in the UK - 17 more teaching days left till the holidays start! 
(I'm limping towards the finishing line...)

 Next Monday is meet the teacher morning and I will have my new class with me for a few hours to get to know them before the start of the new year.

It doesn't seem to matter how many years I have been teaching - I can never seem to remember what I did on the last meet the teacher day or first day back in September - wish I knew why!

Ready for Monday, I made a little All About Me booklet for my new class to complete at some point during the morning. I do remember I usually have a sheet like this for them but wanted to include more and make it a booklet that I can display ready for September this time. As they fill it in I will go round and speak to them all individually and find out what they are writing about, their families, favourite things etc.

I have made it so that it will form an A5 8 page booklet. The space on the back is a free choice - they might tell me what makes them unique, some interesting facts, write a summer bucket list or just draw a picture!

Here is a preview of the pages - you can download the booklet for free and use it as a start of the year activity with your new classes.

I'll change this to 'what I enjoyed in Hedgehogs' and What I am looking forward to in Otters' as those are the class names. You could put class names, year groups or grades.

We will use the question page to base a little circle time session on at the end of the morning.

Click on any picture above to download for free. Please leave feedback and feel free to follow me on TpT!

Any other ideas for meet the teacher morning? What works well for you? 

Have a good week ahead!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Five for Friday!


I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday to share a few snippets from my week...


The eggs arrived in the reception classes (4-5 year olds) last week and I popped down after the first 2 chicks hatched. The second one had literally just hatched as I arrived and I was pretty worried about how still it was lying for what seemed like too long... It jumped up in a flurry of flaps though only to fall straight back asleep again as chicks do. Very cute!

Author Visit

We had Josh Lacey visit the school on Tuesday. I'm all set with my Let's talk about books post for next Tuesday! It  was great for the kids to meet a real author and his books are pretty good too!

Idioms activity pack

I've completely updated my idioms activity pack this week. It's gone from a simple 2 pages of matching cards to a pack containing lots of different activities linked to idioms including matching, sorting, story starters, recording, drawing and fill in the blanks sheets!

Book boxes

I know it is very sad to be excited about some folded cardboard but I am! These new book boxes are going to make my room so much neater - I love them!

Class Clocks

I took a picture of this to add to my Pinspired Thursday post (because I didn't have a picture to add yesterday). These really have saved my sanity this year! 
Check out my Pinspired projects here and others on the great linky by Just A Primary Girl!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday, 26 June 2014

A Furry Wordless Wednesday


I'm going for a non-school related Wordless Wednesday today, inspired by my gorgeous kittens (who are not really kittens anymore)!

My question for you is: where does your furry friend like to sleep best?

Can't wait to hear from you!

Pinspired Thursday!


The weekend has almost arrived and I'm linking up with Just A Primary Girl for a Pinspired Thursday!

I browsed back through some of the things I have pinned and spotted these four little things I have tried in the classroom and thought I would share. I don't have pictures of all the things in my own classroom but promise I did try them!

1. Reading Buddies.


I thought this was a great idea when I saw it and when I moved to a younger classroom, I set it up immediately! The reading buddies sign I made fell off long ago but the kids still grab one when they are in the book corner and it's very sweet to see them sitting with their 'buddies' as they read!

2. Pom Pom Pens!

I tried this out last year. I thought it was such a clever idea instead of white board rubbers or tatty cloths (and it is!), however it didn't work that well in my classroom. Only a handful of children managed to hang on to their pom poms for more than a week! Maybe they rubbed out too enthusiastically or maybe I didn't stick them well enough... 

Not a great success for me and back to old bits of cloth to rub out instead!

3. Class clocks

(I can't seem to find a picture of the ones in my classroom at the moment - I will take one first thing and update with it tomorrow!)

This is such a simple and clever idea. My class were constantly asking me when it was play time, when it was lunch, how long till home... Then I remembered I had pinned this!

Now they no longer need to ask me because they can see the clock showing the actual time and the clocks showing those all important times and (try to) work it out for themselves!
 It cut down on so many repetitive questions in my classroom!

4. Non Fiction Text Features

This is a freebie I linked to from pinterest. I used it recently in my classroom and it was exactly what I needed to gather evidence of children recognising features of non fiction texts and being able to locate them in the books they were reading. I wrote a post about it last month which you can read here.

I will definitely be using this again next year - check it out!

That's all for today. Don't forget to link up your Pinspired ideas!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Monday Made It


I'm linking up with Fourth Grade Frolics for another Monday Made It!

I finally got around to making the social media icon links that I wanted this weekend. I used the video tutorial made by Carol at Teachers are Terrific! It was really easy to follow and I'm so pleased with how they look!

Feel free to follow me on bloglovin', TpT or Pinterest!

I was hoping to share a crafty item - a cushion in my classroom colours that I was planning on making this weekend but unfortunately time got away from me and it will have to wait for another time.

Instead, I am sharing another classroom display I made a while back. It's one I keep up throughout most of the year and just add to with new adjectives and a few new decorations throughout the year. The kids really use it a lot to make sure they have some 'juicy' adjectives in their writing. A few too many things are 'gleaming' at the moment though so I think that word needs swapping out so a they can build their vocabulary even more! (Sorry - the picture isn't great quality!)

What displays help build vocabulary in your classroom?

I've also updated one of my free products on TpT. I bought some great new puzzle pieces from Graphics from the Pond and used them to add 20 new compound words to my existing compound adjectives packet. You can download it for free here.
 I would love it if you left some feedback if you like it!

Don't forget to link up with Monday Made It!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Five for Friday

Hello Friday!

Another tiring week has passed by but there are still 4 and a half weeks of school left before the summer holidays - how can that be?!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday to share some of the random things I've been doing this week.

Animation Update

 Sorry! I've been out of class for various reasons this week so have not had a chance to make the cut-out animations that were next on my list. As an animation fix, I'll direct you to a Wordless Wednesday post from a couple of weeks ago where I shared an amazing short film in a pop up book style called the Happy Duckling. If you have a few minutes, it's worth a watch!

Phonics Testing

Each year, all 5-6 year olds have to do a phonics screening check test. It is widely hated and thought pointless but we still have to do it! Last year some children did not do so well for a mixture of reasons so they had to retake this year. It's a mixture of nonsense and real words. Here are some of the words they had to read:


They could not get their tongues around bulm at all (and I can't really blame them although they struggled with pumpkin too!). It's a silly test but I was still pleased with how well they all did!

Work we are proud of

 On Monday Made It I shared this display we have in the corridor. 

We had some inspectors in this week (we had a ridiculous number in actually) and they were big fans of it. The kids love having their own space to display work and I've caught a few of them talking as they work about whether they'll put that piece up on display and why they think it's a good piece of learning etc. Exactly what I wanted!

Author Visit

We have an Josh Lacey coming in on Tuesday to do writing workshops with years 2-5. I've brought some of his books home to read this weekend. We're all very excited about meeting him!


Even though there's still weeks if school left, I can't help but think of the new school year. I'm determined to be super organised next year. This was by far the biggest help in my quest for organisation this year. 

I saw the idea on Pinterest here and replicated in my own cupboard. I know there must be loads of great posts about classroom organisation just waiting to be read by me over the holidays. 
In the meantime, what was your  biggest life/time saver this year?

Have a great weekend whatever you're doing!