Saturday, 30 August 2014

Five for Friday


It's Saturday, which means that I'm a little late linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday AND that this is the last weekend before I have to go back to school which is very sad...

While I feel like I've been working pretty much the whole of this holiday, it has been a great break and I think I'll just about be able to manage the next 8 weeks until half term!

An amazing trip to Bruges

A lovely weekend in Cardiff

A trip to Harry Potter World
What was the best thing you did this summer?

This week I finally finished plotting the whole year for years 1, 2 and 3 so all the new teachers in my phase have a rough idea of what they will be teaching!

I have planned a 'Worry Free Morning' for Friday. We will be reading Silly Billy, learning about and making worry dolls; reading Grandmother's Dreamcatcher and making dreamcatchers and making bubbles and bubble wands and going outside to experiment with the best bubbles while blowing our worries away (if the weather is nice)! Come back next week to see pictures!

If you saw my Wordless Wednesday post you will have seen I was excited that this book arrived this week! 

 I am very excited to use it in class and think we will make a great display or class rule book by thinking about what Otters should do or be!

My favourite thing of the week is the cover I made for my teacher diary/planner! This is the third year I have personalised my planner this way and I think this one is the best I have managed so far! 

I'm not sure how often I'll actually find a pen in there as I can never hang on to one for that long (unless it is around my neck), but I will try!

 That's all for this week! Last minute relaxing and planning to be done this weekend, a few hours in class to finish setting up on Monday, staff training on Tuesday and kids back on Wednesday! I'm tired already!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Do unto Otters


Thank you Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice for hosting Wordless Wednesday!

I have seen this book mentioned as a great back to school read in various places over the summer. As my class name is Otters I've been meaning to get myself a copy and I finally did! I love it and it is perfect for our first day back at school next Wednesday!

I think this is one of the most important rules for my classroom:

My question for you is: what is THE most important rule in your classroom this year?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, 25 August 2014

Monday Made It


I'm sad today that today marks the start of the last full week off school and that I am back officially next Tuesday...our 6 week break has flown by quicker than ever this year and I'm not sure I am ready to start again quite yet!

It's also the last weekly Monday Made It so I wanted to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics to share a few bits I have been working on this week - thank you Tara for hosting this great linky each week!

My sister asked me to make pinboards for my 2 nieces after seeing some one of her friends had made. I set to work and my first attempt resulted in this one:

I was pretty pleased with it! (The colour is a bit off on the picture here - both side strips were the colour of the one on the left.)

I then tackled the second one. I bought a polka dot jelly roll in brights and decided just to sew the strips together rather than do anything fancier! 

Here's a bit of a photo collage/tutorial on the steps I took to make it! Any questions, just ask!

And the finished product! I was very tempted to keep it myself and may well need to make another with all the leftover material!

We had our annual summer family BBQ today (which turned into an indoor affair as it has rained solidly all day) and I made a cheesecake to take along! Lemon and Line with a Ginger base. Very simple but very yummy!

My final made it was for my classroom. I currently have a pennant banner with numbers 0-50 along the top of one wall in my classroom. I have seen all the great number posters other people have with the visual cues on them though and knew I wanted something like this. However, as I'm in the UK, I needed it with UK coins so decided to make them myself as I couldn't find just what I needed elsewhere.

Perfect for my classroom this year!

What have you been making this week? Don't forget to link up!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

When we do things in the UK


I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for teacher week to share when I do things in my classroom!

I'll start with a quick overview of the school year here in the UK for anyone who is interested!

We start the school year in early September and break up late July each year. Here is a look at the 2014-2015 school year:

3 terms each broken up with one week holidays (half term). At the end of Autumn we get 2 weeks for Christmas, at the end of Spring we get 2 weeks for Easter and at the end of Summer we get 6 weeks for Summer.

That's 13 weeks holiday and 39 teaching weeks in a year!

There is a new curriculum for the 2014 school year but our timetables are pretty much staying the same.  Here is my weekly timetable for this coming year:

You can see we teach phonics, literacy and maths every morning when the kids are at their best and all the foundation (other) subjects in the afternoons. The mornings are hectic, squeezing everything in, but I love how they fly by and before I know it, it's lunch time!

That is just an overview of the week. Every single one of those lessons above (except phonics) is planned in detail on this template:

We use the same planning format across the school to ensure consistency. This is what I have been filling my days with this summer due to the new curriculum that is being introduced in September.

I'll come back tomorrow which my yearly overview so you can see what topics I will teaching next year!

If you've outlined your school year in your post - let me know! I'm fascinated by how schools run in other countries! If you have any questions about how we do things here in the UK - just ask!

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Five for Friday

Happy Friday Everyone!

That's one more week down and just 6 1/2 to go now!

We made our thaumatropes as the first lesson in our unit of work on animation. Annoyingly, I left the example I made to show them at home so I had to make a very rough example to show them at the last minute! Some of my class were very slapdash about making theirs and didn't take a lot of care over the drawing or cutting out (despite many reminders and lots of encouragement) which was a shame but others really tried hard (focus on the positives!).

My first 4 Five for Friday items are what we created:

We started with a ready drawn example so I could make sure they understood the basics about how to construct thaumatropes - I found a great PDF on Victorian toys and games which had Eric!
He smiles and waves when spun!

Once we had all had a go at making him, I let them design their own. I encouraged them to link it to our travel and transport unit but let them choose something different if they wanted to. We had a tooth fairy appearing by a child's bed, passengers in cars, a boy on a bike, bee in a tree and here are a few of my favourites:

This one looked amazing and I thought it was such a great idea!

A boxer throwing a punch!

This girl worked so hard on her flower - she really took pride in what she was doing!

A butterfly on a flower

Another sweet idea. I loved how creative so many of them were!

A girl jumping up and down

I sent them home with their creations and got lots more back at school the next day which they had made that night!

Next week we'll be making flick books! Any tips?

My number 5 is something different - we had Bumble the Clown in from Bubbly Maths to do some workshops with each year group on Tuesday and Wednesday. The kids were really excited and enjoyed learning about different shapes (I have to say, I was so pleased with how much they already knew!).

How many teachers can you fit into a cube?

The best thing about Bumble the Maths Clown was how he continually praised all the mistakes the children made when they were suggesting things - each time he said:

 'THAT is a BRILLIANT mistake and we have all LEARNED from it!' 

Lots of the kids were saying that back in the classroom and it really got the point across that it's ok to have a go and not get something right. Of course, we say that to them all the time, but hearing it from a clown is obviously more memorable and exciting!

That's all for this week. 

Have a great weekend!  

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