Monday, 30 November 2015

Is your wish-list ready for the sale?

Just incase it is news to you- TpT are having a site wide sale running through this Monday and Tuesday! Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING in my store will be 20% off and if you use the (ever so kindly offered) promo code from TpT then it will bump your saving up to 28%!!!!!! 
How could you resist?!

My only problem with sales is, as a buyer, I often become 'sales blind' you know what I mean…. panic sets in, you want everything in sight and you really can't remember what it is you actually need- the savings are just too good!!! You want EVERYTHING!!!! 

So, to help you out, the lovely Jen over at Teaching in the Tongass is hosting a super-great link-up where us sellers are listing their top wish-listed items- something you, as buyers, don't usually get a peek at! 
Click any of the photos to visit them in my store…

I love to theme my Numeracy lessons and made this product last year to fit in with our Superhero week. Super Subtractor flew in to recruit some side-kicks and set them lots of challenges along the way! 

This product gets children applying their addition and subtraction skills to 20 or 50 in a fun and engaging way! 
It is perfectly suited to children working at a 1st, 2nd or even 3rd Grade level. 

Although there are separate addition and subtraction games in this pack, because the children are working with running totals, they have to use both skills which is an added bonus!

To find out how it worked out in another teachers classroom, visit the lovely Ashley over at Anchored in Learning to read her blog post all about their Superhero Math activity using my Superhero Addition and Subtraction Games

This is by far one of my top sellers and one of the products I use in my own classroom the most!
I teach Year 2- the UK equivalent to 1st Grade so anything which gives my little ones a fighting chance at remembering something is a winner with me! 
This simple mnemonic for remembering a problem solving method is straight forward and easy to apply. 
This poster pack features prompts to remember what each letter stands for as well as an example of each step being applied to a word problem- 
This handy pack is usually $1 so just think how little it will cost you in the sale!
Click here to add it to your wish list now! 

This was my first ever bundle and I was so proud when I posted it!
Here's why…
QR Codes? CHECK, 
Scoot? CHECK, 
Quarter past AND quarter to? CHECK, 
Digital and Analogue? CHECK!
This bundle has it all!!! 

This 34 page bundle can be used as single, stand alone activities or, because of the differentiation on offer, a series of lessons. 

I'm not surprised it is wish listed so many times but if you are in any doubt then you could download my Time-tastic Task Cards for FREE by snagging my Featured Freebie here.

To find out what other sellers top wish-listed items are or to link up yourself then click on the picture below to take you back to Jen's original post.

Me? I'm off to wish-list some of the amazing products I've just found out about…happy sale and don't forget to SMILE!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Global Glitter Tribe November Link-up

By now you should know that I am a loud and proud member of the Global Glitter Tribe! If you don't know what we are all about then click here to visit our fantastic blog full of ideas and inspiration for teaching 'Global Thinking' and developing your children in 'Global Citizens'. 

This month's link-up has made me stop and think which I love! It is so easy to get swept up in the fuss and stress that this time of year brings so taking a moment out to reflect is a delicious treat-

I live several hours away from all of my family which is something I hate! I have to embrace the fact that I live in a beautiful place, have an amazing husband and friends and a job I love but I would move home in a flash just to be close to my family who are truly my best friends too! 
Any chance I get to go home and visit I jump at- I feel grounded and totally myself when I am with them. These are the people who helped to shape me into the person I am today and I couldn't love them more. 
My totally BFF and big cousin Ali is extremely talented. Not only is she a great artist and crafts person but she is also a fantastic business woman too. Along with 2 of her friends she puts on an annual festive fair which celebrates and supports local, independent businesses. I had the privilege of attending and supporting her this past weekend- 

As a school we made a conscious decision to structure our curriculum so that children spend time embracing and developing their understanding of their local area before spiralling their learning out to our country and then the wider world. During every spiral of learning the other 2 elements are brought in and applied for example during this term we have found out about where food comes from so visited a local farm and harvested and tasted locally produced food but then also explored the journey of food and where in the world our food comes from as well as looking at Fair Trade.
We work on a 2 year rolling program but here is an overview of how our spiral will look this year-
Autumn Term- Food (local produce and global)
Homes (our local area and castles around the country)
Spring Term- London (the geography and history of our capital city)
Baking- (national favourites and food from around the world)
Summer Term- Africa (culture and wildlife of another countries compared to ours)
Sea Life (Whales around the world)

This is not a new idea and by no means an original of mine but I love my Table Tubs-
To find out more, visit my previous blog post here.

Broad Perspectives 
As a school we are committed to developing our children into citizens who are able to make positive contributions to society. We call ourselves a team and the children in my classroom are not only part of our school team but our classroom team also. 
I encourage my children to recognise that they are all responsible for their choices and how they affect others in our team. We win points for our table teams and prizes are awarded weekly and we also win 'Rainbow Drops' for good class teamwork and rewards are usually earned half termly which results into a whole class celebration. 
Our aim is that our school community and the way our children behave within it mirrors their behaviours in the wider community and that their contributions to both are positive ones. 

I love teaching art and last half term we did one of my favourite projects ever! 
We look at how food is represented in art and the concept of still life. 
We then look at and discuss the work of Giuseppe Acrimboldo and then recreate it using food (the food has already been used for tasting and will be used for creating prints too) 
Let's Chat
I am one of the co-hosts of the Global Edventures Blab Show and I would love to hear your ideas for future topics so please feel free to comment below with suggestions- after all #2getherwearebetter

To link-up with Global Glitter Tribe yourself then visit us here and download your own graphic

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Five for Friday

I'm sure that, by now, you know how much I love this link-up with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Here's my reflection on the week just gone and boy, did it go by in a flash!

This week I was introduced to Voxer!!!

Now, I'm sure that many of you are already familiar with this walkie-talkie 'whatsapp' style apication but I don't have any UK contacts who use it so it was all brand spanking new to me!!! 
Needless to say- I LOVE IT!!! 
Yes I can natter away to my lovely US, Canadian and New Zealander friends but I also love 
how we have used it with our classes!!! 

Erin over at Learning to be Awesome and I have exchanged voice memos wishing our respective classes a fabulous day and asking them to guess from our accents where we are from- my class thought that Erin was from the North Pole as she mentioned our new class visitor (more about that in a moment) in  her message. 
Since these initial intros, we've also had messages with children from Erin's class sharing facts about New Zealand and asking my children questions which we will respond to on Monday! 
How awesome is that? Free, easy and no worrying over children being on camera!!! 

So onto our little visitor…
Yesterday a very cold parcel arrived in class with some fancy writing on the front- we opened it up and inside was our class elf!!!
My little 6 & 7 year olds were beside themselves!!!!
As we read the story we discussed names and I used a graphic to figure out what our
elf names would be…
This gave us all a good giggle and provided us with lots of ideas!

We came up with suggestions and then voted- our elf is Merry Happyfeet or just Merry to those who
know him well!!!!
Do you use Elf on the Shelf with your class? Check out my Pinterest board for ideas…
year2tastic Christmas

 I've been wanting some kind of class media account for a while and seeing as our school has a Twitter account I figured this would maybe be the easiest and most accessible option. 
I spoke to our head teacher and got the green light- it is a private Twitter account meaning that I have to approve all followers and that our tweets can not be retweeted- I think this is a much safer and reassuring option that Facebook! 

We are going to have a 'tweeter of the day' who decides what we will tweet and will get to type it out! The arrival of our class elf is a perfect way to start our journey into the world of Twitter and provided us with our first tweet-

Do you use any form of social media with your class?
 Do you have any tips for me? 

And on the theme of Twitter- I taught my children all about hashtags this week!!!! 
We looked at a from cover and made evidence based predictions. As we had discussed that hashtags are used to lead people to a range of information about the same subject then no random predictions were allowed!!!
Of course I had to teach them how to make a hashtag with their fingers too…

This weekend I have been blessed enough to spend time with my amazing family! I live several hours away from all of my aunties and cousins not to mention my sister, niece and nephew! I travelled down in time to meet my sister for a festive mulled wine and I got to go with her to pick my niece up from school- her face when she saw me was priceless!
Me and my lovely little sis Xx
My very talented best friend, who just so happens to be my cousin too, organises the
  Fabulous Frost Fair every year which promotes local small businesses and charities- it is the perfect time to get your Christmas groove on and buy some unique gifts!
I got to go to the VIP night this year with some of my aunties and another cousin- sipping prosseco and shopping makes for a very happy Laura!

I'm totally in the Christmas mood now- how about you? 

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Phonics- Top 3 Tips & Tweaks

As you may know I'm a bit of a Phonics geek and I love finding new ways to spice up my lessons.
We follow Letters and Sounds at our school and I love the freedom it affords.
 I live by the 'Fast, Fun and Frequent' approach to my sessions and like to get the kids up and moving as much as possible.

In this post I've included 3 top tips or tweaks you might want to use to add a bit of pizzaz to your sessions too! 

As we all know one of the most valuable parts of a Phonics session is the 'Apply' part. It gives the children a glimpse into how they will actually use these skills in real life and show them that they CAN read! 

With my group, children who are needing more practise at Phase 2, tracking the text as they read is a big issue. Using text trackers (or partner pointers if they are reading in a pair) has given this key skill a massive boost. 
Yes they all have fingers but these are just so much more fun!

Fly swatters have added a great fun twist to my Phonics. 
Buy 2 for £1 in the pound shop and give your 'Revisit and Review' section a makeover too! 

I like to put the grapheme cards in the middle of a circle, have 1 kiddie shout out a sound and the children with the swatters have to race to splat it! This can be used when reading tricky words, practising blending or even applying their reading skills. 
To ensure maximum participation I split my group into 2 and use 4 swatters. 

I'm a firm believer that before a child can blend and segment using written sounds, they need to be able to do it orally. I adore teaching these skills using my little friend 'Freddy'. Freddy can only 'sound-talk' and so he whispers his instructions to me, I sound-talk them to my little friends and they blend the sounds to follow the instruction- it's lots of fun, active and an invaluable step.
 My puppet friend can also work in reverse- the children have to sound-talk to give him an instruction! Perfect! 

If you don't fancy using a puppet, why not try my 'Daisy says….' set to practise those all important blending skills too! 

Please let me know if you try out any of these ideas in your Phonics and how you got on.

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