Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pinterest inspired Pollution Fun!

What a week!
I'm exhausted.
Student teacher finishing up. Report card comments. Assessments. Assessment. Assessments.
In the middle of it all, we have been learning about saving the Earth.
This week we talked about pollution.
The kids watched this YouTube clip on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
It's not great quality but it sent the right message to the kids. There are lots of other great ones online, too.
We also did a little experiment, inspired from Pinterest.
This is the pin I found.
This is how ours turned out.
 It was a great conversation starter!
I think I could actually see little light bulbs lighting up when we were talking about how easy it was to create the pollution but how hard it was to undo it.

Such a rewarding and simple activity!
Have you had to teach about pollution?
I would love to hear and see your ideas!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five for Friday
We had a pupil free day on Monday and one of the PD sessions was on the 10 Essential Skills.

I LOVE these!

It was a great reminder for us all that the 'little' strategies to address behaviours really do work.
My prac student finished up today, after a 3 week block with my class.

If you are ever given the opportunity, have a student teacher!

Sharing advice and giving suggestions to a learning teacher makes you realise how much you know and do for your class.
My lovely student teacher gave this book to our class as a gift.

If you haven't read it yet, do yourself (and your students) a favour!

It is A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!!!

If you go to Oliver Jeffers' website, there are a bunch of activites to go with some of the books he's illustrated.
I have only 7 weeks of my school year left!


I'm excited to find out what year level I will be on next year.

This week we looked and learned about pollution. We did an activity inspired by Pinterest to show the kids exactly what pollution can do to water and how hard it is to undo.

Here's a sneak peek. I'm going to post about it tomorrow.
 Head on over and link up!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Storing Laminated Posters and Resources

Hi friends!

If you're anything like me, you're a printing and laminating addict!

I have SO many resources that I can't possibly use them all at once or my classroom walls would look like a collage of posters!

 So, what do you do with all of your unused posters and resources?

How do you store them?

I have several forms of storage but here are two of my favourites:

1. File folders!

In my first year of teaching I printed and laminated a bunch of resources. I had nowhere to store them! I found some file folders which ended up being perfect! The folders are alphabetised which means you are able to pop smaller resources under sections that fit certain learning areas. For example, I can store old maths resources under 'M'...

 ...and literacy resources under 'L'!
(sorry for the upside down label!)

File folders make it very easy to move old resources around and very easy to find when you want them again. However, they don't fit larger laminated resources, which brings me to...

2. Large display folders

I have many A3 sized (almost double letter size paper) posters that I've enlarged from a smaller size print. I moved from first to second grade a few years ago and found I no longer needed some of those posters.

These large display folders fit laminated A3 size posters perfectly!
 I'd love to hear how you store your laminated posters and resources!

If you liked this bright idea, please consider joining me on Facebook, Pinterest an Instagram for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from a variety of other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you.
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies

I love teaching reading comprehension strategies!

Each week I focus on a different one. I blow up examples of texts to an A3 size and laminate them. I introduce the focus strategy and then model reading the text.

After, I go back to what the strategy is that we are learning and model answering some questions about the text that focus on using that strategy.

The points I reinforce EVERY time I teach comprehension are:

1) Always go back to the text, if you need to.
2) Highlight/underline/circle any key words from the question that you find in the text.
3) Reread the question as many times as you need.
4) If it is a multiple choice question, read EVERY answer before choosing one.

I teach that multiple choice questions often have 'silly' answers. The children enjoy reading through the answers and deciding which are the silly answers. We have a good chuckle at them and discuss how they don't make sense and aren't a good choice.

When answering the questions, I always model and 'think aloud' the strategies and skills that I am using. For example:

1) I read the question (and answers if it is multiple choice).
2) I model and talk about going back to the text to highlight any key words that are linked to the question.
3) Once I've highlighted key words, I read the sentence and sometimes paragraph that those key words are in.
4) I go back to the question and then decide what is the best answer.

I've found that, for some reason, children think that they are not allowed to go back to the text to find answers. I think some teachers think this is the case and it is simply not true!

Comprehension is NOT about 'remembering' information. It's about knowing and using strategies to FIND information.

I use MANY resources, when teaching reading comprehension strategies. Some I create myself but a lot are from comprehension books that I've found. I was contacted by Blake Education a while back and they sent me out their Achievement Standards Assessments for Comprehension.
It's packed with texts on an array of subjects. Each text has a range of questions that cover different reading comprehension strategies. I love that each text has questions that cover a range of strategies, not just one. My only wish is that they were in different structures and had more diagrams and pictures but I still love them!

The book also comes with a CD-ROM and interactive PDFs so you can complete them as a class, if you'd like. They provide pages for you to track student progress, too.

Here are some pictures of some of the pages in action, using strategies I've taught in class.
What tips and tricks do you have for teaching reading comprehension strategies?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Five for Fr....aturday!

I have not been a very good blogger, yet again.

However, I am making it my goal to be a better blogger - starting this month! What better way to start then by joining up with Doodle Bugs Teaching?!
I'm going to have to start off by apologising if you have already visited Mrs Poultney's Ponderings, Teachable Moments and From the Pond but I just have to share my fave five moments from our little mini Aussie blog meet up, too!
I have been super lucky to have connected with some amazing Australian bloggers over the past 2 years and last weekend I FINALLY got to meet up with some of them. I travelled all the way from Brisbane to Sydney to meet with six of my oldest bloggy friends.
We went for a stroll along Darling Harbour in Sydney looking for a place to eat, only to be greeted by a beautiful fireworks display. We can only assume it was for us to celebrate our meet up! although there may have also been some coincidental cultural festivities occurring at the same time...
I took this the next day but this is where we had dinner. I had THE BEST spinach and ricotta ravioli I have EVER had in my life. It was so fresh and delicious. If you are ever in Darling Harbour, Sydney you MUST go here!
I felt super spoilt by the girls!
Brooke from Teachable Moments made us all cute lanyards using gifts from GoNoodle, Mel at From the Pond wrapped up chocolate for us using her adorable graphics and Tania from Mrs Poultney's Ponderings prepared a super fun game for us all to play!
I got to see some great Sydney icons! The Sydney Opera House, The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour and Luna Park!!!

It was such a great trip! I can't wait until the next one where I can hopefully meet up with even more of my Aussie blogger friends!