Saturday, 30 August 2014

Five for Fiday! (on a rainy Saturday afternoon)

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday Linky Party!

Work, Work, Work! 
 I have had consistent days for the past few weeks. It has been awesome as well as tiring! I finished up on the Year 4 class and spent this week mainly on Kindergarten. It was definitely different, going from a class of 31 students, down to a class of only 19! I mainly focused on Reading Groups, TEN Groups (math) and Writing. The rest of the time was spent practicing for the school production next week.

I got to help paint a backdrop for the production. One of the teachers asked me if I could help her out as she knows that I am into all that artsy stuff like drawing and painting. It was fun, I added a bunch of glitter to the sky and trees so it will POP while under all that stage lighting. I don't think I will actually be going to the production, but I'm sure it will be a great night!

Book Week Parade
The best part of the week was the Book Parade. Last weekend, I brought a black wig and a witch's hat just in case I was working on the day of the parade (I didn't want to be THAT teacher that doesn't dress up). I wore them with a cute, black, corset dress with purple bow print. Of course, I had to wear leggings and a cardigan with it to make it work appropriate, but it looked pretty cool if I do say so myself :P I just love the book parade and seeing all the awesome costumes that people turn up in.

The weather this week was pretty lousy. It rained pretty much everyday. Quite a few days were spent inside all day. Luckily, I had GoNoodle to keep the kids active and not so fidgety. I love that site, it's so useful and the kids love earning points to make the monster grow and change.

Teachers Pay Teachers
My store has been flourishing! I never imagined that it would have taken off as much as it has. I spent the past few weekends making my covers and Pinterest images better - as in they show pages from the product. I think they look ten times better than before and I have noticed a huge jump in sales. I don't know whether this is just a coincidence with the time of year, but I think my store looks much better now so the effort was worth it :)

I love food! One of my favourite things to do is go out to a restaurant and eat, especially after a week of cooking. Tonight the boyfriend (or am I too old to be using that term and should I be referring to him as my partner?) and I are going out to dinner with his parents. We are going to a Chinese restaurant, they make a delicious Sizzling Mongolian Lamb. It's that good, that I could eat two servings of it! I can't wait.

That rounds up my Five for Friday, enjoy your weekend! :)

Saturday, 9 August 2014

A Week on Year 4

This week I was lucky enough to have one class for the entire week! I had a lot of fun. It's nice when you can plan a series of lessons that connect, rather than just turn up and do random, one off lessons.

So this post will be about my favourite lessons of the week, because if I write about everything, this will turn into a TLDR post.

For Literacy, I focused on The Gizmo by Paul Jennings.

I love his stories, I remember reading them as a kid and would spend hours reading them in one go. The Gizmo is a great story to do with the older grades as the story is interesting and has themes the students can relate to. If you haven't read this book before, it's about a boy called Stephen who is pressured into stealing by the school Bully, Floggit. Stephen feels guilty about stealing so he tries to make it right by returning what he stole. However he can't, so he tries to rid himself of the item in different ways. Along the way he faces a few entertaining mishaps and by the end of the story he has learned his lesson.

I had only read the first chapter, when the students started to ask and answer their own questions about the story (by themselves! I didn't even have to ask them to!). The main question; "Why would Stephen hang out with this Floggit guy when he is such a jerk?". So that started a big discussion on how sometimes people hang out with people they don't necessarily like because they don't want to be an outcast or seen as a loser.

Throughout the week we did a few activities around the book such as; coming up with excuses to tell Floggit to avoid stealing the Gizmo and character profiles. The character profile activity produced some great responses. I let the students design it however they wanted. So some of them did it as a wanted poster, some as a profile and one student drew a picture of Stephen and wrote paragraphs about his personality around the picture.

We finished the book on Thursday and I told the class that if they liked the story they could go to the library and check out other books by Paul Jennings. I also mentioned how he wrote a few other books about The Gizmo, so they begged me to bring them in for Friday.

On Friday I read The Gizmo Again.

Which, automatically lent itself to Text to Text Connections. Similar theme as the original; nice guy gets influenced by the bad guy to do the wrong thing and so he learns his lesson to not listen to the bad guy.

We also did some Reciprocal Teaching. I got to use my Reciprocal Teaching Pack (don't you just love shameless promotion?).

The text we used was Possum Magic by Mem Fox. To start off I went through each of the roles, the class was already familiar with this strategy, so it was a quick recap. Then as we read the text, students practiced using the roles. The text was good for the clarifying strategy, as it involved a lot of Australian terms and since some students were from different cultural backgrounds they didn't know what some of the things were. The internet was used to help with the visuals.

Another great Literacy lesson was about the book, A Little Election by Danny Katz.

After we discussed the story, I gave the students the task;
Imagine you want to be the 'Prime Minister of (insert school name here)'. What policies would you introduce and why? Develop a campaign to convince your teacher and peers to vote for you.

Students were allowed to work in groups or individually. They were allowed to develop their campaign however they wanted. Some students wrote a speech and some designed a poster. They used paper, computers and iPads to present their ideas.

I was pretty impressed, they came up with a lot of good ideas as well as justifying the reasons behind them. Was pleased to see that no one came up with the 'We will just play all day' idea :P

Our Art topic was 3D Illusion Art. Last week, I did the 3D hand activity and they were pretty impressed, so I did some research and found two more activities. On the Monday we did this one;

(Image credit;

On Tuesday, when I came back (on Monday, I had no idea that I would be back on that class for the rest of the week), a few of them had taken them home and completed them to show me. So, I knew that I had to find another one to do with them on my last day. We did this one;

(Image credit;
The thing I love about 3D Illusion Art is that it looks complicated, but it's actually quite simple and the kids just love it! It kind of makes me want to start up some kind of Art Club if I get a job next year...

I really enjoyed my week on the class. I've always seen myself as an Infants Only teacher, but I think I would quite enjoy having a year 4 class. I kind of wish I had put different preferences on my EOI for 2015. The kids kept asking me if I could be their teacher next year, lol. I wish!

Next week, I have work on Monday and then I am back to waiting eagerly by the phone. I seriously think I am the only nutter who is up at 5am each morning so I can be all ready to go if I get a call after 6am :P

In TPT news, I have uploaded a bunch of new products and revamped a few of my older ones. I'll write about them next time.

Enjoy what's left of your weekend :)