Thursday, September 29, 2016

The stamp that changed my life

Hi friends!
I need to share something with all of you that I feel as fellow teacher-friends you will all appreciate and love as much as I do.
I am a part of an amazing collaborative group for Queensland Prep teachers on Facebook and one of my wonderful friends posted a picture of a stamp that she was getting made up through a company called Family Tree Fine Crafts.

Crazy good ideas like this pop up in this group all the time but this one I NEEDED to have. Take a look and I feel you will see why...

(No, this is not a paid post. I actually love this stamp!)

I use this stamp two ways:
1. For my own reference. I tick what the students have used and I like to asterisk the things they need to work on. It is quick and easy for me to look at, when I flick through their books.
2. It's fabulous feedback for students. I have Prep (Kindergarten) students and, yes, it absolutely works a treat for even the young ones. The visuals match perfectly as a reference for them. I have even blown up a big version of the stamp on my whiteboard for whole class modelling. I usually go through the check list with them during conferencing.

Now, it hasn't been the cheapest teaching resource investment that I've made but golly gosh it's one that I use daily and will continue to be able to use for the remainder of my teaching career. It has hands down been one of the best things I've ever bought for teaching and worth every cent.
They have created a range of stamps that target different age groups, too. Check out their Facebook page to see more.
Oh, AND they don't just do teacher stamps. They also do other incredibly beautiful hand-crafted wooden creations, too.

The lovely company Family Tree Fine Crafts are 100% Australian owned and operated (which I love). I spoke to them before I wrote this post and they have been generous enough to offer a deal for Classroom Chit Chat followers.
If you mention 'Classroom Chit Chat' when you make an order of $100 or more, they will throw in a free ink pad. Early Christmas presents, perhaps..?
At the very least, make sure you go and visit their Facebook page to see what I'm talking about.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Some new looks!

I thought it was about time some of my products had some touching up. After all, it has been about 4 years since I've created some of my resources.
Click on any image to visit them in my TPT store!
First up is my very popular Super Summer writing craftivity. Use this any time of year, if you have a super hero theme :)
 I also jazzed up my title pages. There are a selection of simple and cute title pages for a range of subject areas. If you need something different, just email me!
 Lastly, I touched up my George's Marvellous Medicine novel study. It was a little out-dated so I spruced it up with some new borders and a revised craft.

Fine Motor Monsters and Crafty Crabs

A while back, RIC Publications sent me some goodies and I wanted to share with you some of my favourites.
My little Preppies have gotten pretty good at their fine motor skills but this Fine Motor Skills book has a STACK of so many fun ideas - many I'd never even thought of! Activities range from shoulder, wrist, hand and finger strength building games to scissor, drawing and writing skills.
There are 233 pages of wonderful printables and ideas. There are mazes, dot-to-dots and even recipes for paints and play doughs! Yes, you can see my sticky notes that I've placed on pages that I want to try. One of which my Preps did - the scissor skills monster.
I modified this activity a little to include not just the suggested scissor skill work but also pattens. I modelled how to do different patterns in each section of the puzzle and then the kids had a turn on their own. We glued them onto the fabulous paper I bought from Kmart at the beginning of the year and put them on display. Super cute, in my opinion :)
Another one of my favourites was the Awesome Art and Craft book. What I love about this book is the range of arts and crafts. There aren't just simple printable crafts (don't worry, there are still some of these with templates included). They have included crafts that require all sorts of materials. Here are a list of a few of my favourites:
"Sponge" cakes
Adorably decorated 'cakes' using kitchen sponges. Can you imagine the little kids' excitement?
Crawling Caterpillar
Thread coloured plastic cups to create a cute caterpillar.
Stain Glass Butterflies
Who doesn't love using cellophane to create adorable art for classroom windows?
Sensory bottles
Students can create their own sensory bottle using recycled materials.
Plus there are a bunch of really easy and cute paper plate crafts like this crab that my class made. They loved them!
The last two of my favourites were the Phonics Fun and Patterns and Sequences Stick Kids Workbooks.
  These are for individual student use and would be great for parents or even for teachers with just those few in their class that still struggle with some of those basic foundation skills. Some of my kids tried the rhyming and dot-to-dot number recognition pages.
Thank you, RIC Publications! I love having a fresh lot of useful teaching resources!
Have you purchased any great finds lately?