Thursday, December 31, 2015

Almost No Sew Sit-Upons

Back to school is just around the corner here in Australia. I am excited about starting a new year and meeting my new group of kids!

This year, instead of a classroom mat, I have decided to make sit-upons for carpet time. Although I like mats, they can be a bit of a tripping hazard and I think the variety of sit-upons will add a nice pop of color to the room. As I am not much of a sewer, I have managed to make the sit-upons with the least amount of sewing as possible! I thought I'd share how I made them for any other stitching challenged folk out there ;)
The sit-upons are approximately 18" square. First I cut an 18" and a 19" square template from cardboard. I mixed and matched fabrics, tracing and cutting an 18" square of fabric for the top layer, and a 19" square of fabric for the bottom layer. I also cut an 18" layer of wadding.
At the ironing board I sandwiched the materials, with the top layer showing the good piece of fabric, then the wadding, then the bottom layer with the wrong side facing up and the good side against the ironing board. I centered the materials and then folded and ironed the bottom piece so the raw edge of the bottom layer was against the raw edge of the top layer. Armed with my glue stick, I then ran the glue along the edge, folding and ironing it to the top layer of fabric. This really sets the fabric in place and means no pins when it comes to sewing!
I then folded the corner and set with glue. I repeated the steps above along each edge - folding, gluing and attaching to the top layer (glue and fold) until all edges were set on the top layer. 
I couldn't avoid it any longer. I then needed to get the sewing machine and sew around each side of the sit-upon. This really was super easy as the glue meant that everything was fixed in place really well! Not nearly as scary as I anticipated!
And that is it! I'm really excited about these little sit-upons. I am thinking I will have each child 'own' one through the year so there is no fighting over them and they will need to take responsibility for their own mat.

Today, I'm teaming up with some very talented blogging buddies for an I Teach Kinder Linky! Check out their ideas and resources below!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas Tree Craftivity and Freebie

Christmas really is my favorite time of the year! I love spending time with family and friends and showing my love to them through gifts. I also love celebrating Christmas in the classroom with Christmas Countdowns, Christmas Sight Words and this Christmas Tree Craftivity!
I love this simple activity for helping students write lists and think about others (not just themselves!) at Christmas. It also makes a beautiful bulletin board display.

 As a whole class, we discuss that while it is nice to receive presents at Christmas, it is also a great time to show our family and friends how much we love them by making or buying gifts. Then we brainstorm things that parents, siblings and friends might like as gifts. This is a great opportunity to read shopping catalogues and explore the value of money within a budget context.

Following this, I model writing a shopping list for friends and family using a sheet included in the download.

The students then view the Power Point (also included in the download), which has step by step instructions of how to construct the Christmas Tree Craftivity.

I think the end result makes a lovely Christmas display. Just remember to hand the trees to your students to take with them on their shopping trip! Click HERE for more details about the craftivity.

And for sticking with me until the end, a little gift for you! This Free Sight Word Print and Go is a great Christmas activity for your literacy centers! Click HERE to download.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Term 4, No Chore!

Hello teacher friends!
Here in Australia we have just started our final term of school for the year. In 10 weeks I will be relaxing poolside in my hammock enjoying a good read! Before I can get to that though there's a lot of learning and assessing to be finished, report writing completed and cleaning done. It can be stressful and busy, but this term also provides lots of opportunities to have fun!
I have teamed up with some online Australian blogging friends to bring you some tried and tested teacher tips that you can implement now, or begin to plan for to make this term easy to manage and to find some nice opportunities for memory making amongst the classroom craziness! These tips are simple and relatively easy to implement.
After you have read my tip, please visit the other blogs in the link up below to find more ways to cruise through Term 4.
My Tip might sound crazing in October, but trust me! I know what I am talking about! Plan your Christmas Countdown now! After assessing and report writing, it can be hard to muster the enthusiasm to continue creating authentic learning opportunities and memory making moments. Do it now to avoid Term 4 burnout!
Find yourself 10 boxes from the dollar store (I was disappointed I couldn't find 10 identical boxes, but in the end I was happy with the result) and place an End of Year or Christmas activity in each box. At the school where I teach, I am allowed to teach the nativity story so I also divided the nativity story into 10 sections. As well as the activity or activities, each day a section of the nativity story is read to the class. By the end of the 10 days the entire nativity story has been read. If the nativity story is not part of your curriculum, you could easily adapt this idea to include Christmas Around the World information in each box.
I just love the Christmas tree display this arrangement of boxes makes! Decoration and countdown in one. Students love the suspense of revealing their activity each day, even if it is something they would have done anyway like wash the tables (life skills is counted as authentic learning, right?) or play a Christmas themed math game.
I hope this tip helps make this crazy term a little easier! For more ideas and time savers, don't forget to also follow me on Facebook and Pinterest. Find more tips for crusing through Term 4 in the link-up below:


Thursday, May 28, 2015

End of Year Fun and a Freebie!

The End of Year comes around so quickly! While there are a million things to finish during this time, it can also be such a fun time in the classroom! Disguising education in fun activities is part of the role of a teacher throughout the year, and particularly as it comes to an end!

Putting one 'treat' per day inside these cute envelopes is a great way to count down to the end. In my experience, some favorites include:
  • Sit next to a friend for the day
  • Create a page for our class year book
  • Conduct one lesson outside
  • Reflect on your goals achieved this year
  • Write a letter to a kindergarten student starting next year (if you have a kindergarten class)
  • Eat lunch in the classroom
  • Trace around your hand, write your name inside and collect positive affirmations/memories from your classmates about you and your school year
  • Use the fancy pens
  • Create a scavenger hunt of your favorite classroom games for a friend/s, and play the game at each stop
  • Make a photo collage of the year
Rolling out the red carpet and celebrating student success is another favorite event at the end of the year! I love recognizing the individual through Awards, Crowns and Letters specific to their individual achievements and progress!

I've just created these cute Superhero themed awards. You can type your students' names straight on these the awards, and if none of the 36 awards suit a particular student, you can type a new award title on the customizable award. It's SUPER easy, promise :) I've created a little clip if you want to see just how easy it is!

And here's an OUT OF THIS WORLD freebie award for getting to the end of the post! Click HERE!