Storybook Sunday

I have mixed feelings right now.  It's the end of our summer break :( But, I get to meet my new class for the first time tomorrow :)
I'm linking up with Paula from Paula's Place for Storybook Saturday Sunday.  The book I want to share this week is Dear Teacher. 
Dear Teacher
This humorous back-to-school book begins with a letter to a student from his new principal welcoming him back to school.  In the letter he states all of the challenging work he will do throughout the year. Following is a series of notes to his new teacher from the highly imaginative Michael, explaining the reasons for his lateness and subsequent absence; “The head of the secret service turned up…I did mention the math test, but he said the future of the country depends on me.”
 Readers follow Michael on the hunt for a missing explorer from the top of Mount Everest through the Egyptian pyramids and the Amazon, by way of a rather sinister pirate ship. Michael ends up not returning to school at all, but instead finds himself on another mission of epic proportions.
Or does he?
I got my copy from Book Depository.  Click here for the link to purchase this book.
Halle from Across the Hall in 2nd Grade has created a pack which you can get from TpT here to accommodate the book or any letter unit. 
For those of you (including myself) who are starting back tomorrow, have a great first day back.

Tech Tip Tuesday

Last day of PD today and then back to work with the students on Tuesday. I am excited to meet my new class for the first time.  I suppose that's one of the perks of our job.  We get to have that exciting feeling of the first day of school every year.
I thought I would link up with The Techie Turtle Teacher for Tech Tip Tuesday before I head to work.  (Even though it's Friday here in Aus)
This week's tip is for a fun FREE game called Sight Word Bingo.  If that name doesn't draw you in the catchy music at the start definitely will.

How to Play:
select your level
This game is great too as it tells you what CCSS it covers.

Once you choose your level, I choose Grade 1 here.  The little blog at the top will call out a word and the students have to touch that word.
Here my word was every.
When the students get it right, another blob covers that word.  It they get it wrong, the game prompts them to try again.
When you get four in a row you have BINGO and the game ends.  It also gives you a score report at the end.
There are so many fun free games on this site
Now head over to the Techie Turtle Teacher to get some more great tips!

We have a winner and a lot of new followers!

Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word about my giveaway.  My TpT store has gone up by 35 followers and my lil' old blog has jumped by 33!  The winner of the $25 gift certificate was Kimberley D. 
Sorry for not posting sooner.  We started back at work yesterday, 3 full days of PD.  I had to do a staff presentation today about geography.  FIRST TIME PRESENETING TO STAFF!  Kids, I'm fine.  But colleagues, that's a whole other ball game.  Let's just say that nervous would be an understatement to the way I was feeling.  But it went of without a hitch, I think/hope.  My deputy gave me really good positive feedback. 
I am very lucky that this weekend is a 3 day one!  It will give me extra time to prepare my last minute things.  I was wanting to do a present for my new students to take home on the first day.  I was hoping to tie it in with my under the sea theme.  I am stuck for ideas, but hoping someone can help me?

100 TpT Followers Giveaway

Thank you to everyone. It has taken a year, but I have finally made it to 100 TpT followers.  I am so thankful to each and every one of you. To celebrate I am giving away a $25 gift certificate on TpT.  Enter the Rafflecopter below." rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter ASAP it is only running for two days.

Do you do a themed classroom? 
I'm giving it a go this year.  I wonder what it is?

Off to work to set up my room tomorrow, before we are officially back on Wednesday.  I'll post some before and after pics.

Tech Tip Tuesday
Before I head off to Edsco today, I thought I would link up with The Techie Turtle Teacher for Tech Tip Tuesday.
This week's tip is for one of my favourite addition games that is free! 
It is called Minko's Milkshake Shoppe.
How to Play:
Each shift has 10 penguins.  Students have to successfully help Minko run the shop by selecting the right answer to the addition that the penguin calls out. This game is great for differentiation as you can choose different levels of addition.
To make a Milkshake:
Click and HOLD on the correct machine until the milkshake is complete.  Then, Minko will take it and give it to the customer.
This game is great for use with interactive whiteboards, as the students can hold down on the machine with their finger.

When students have made the right milkshake, they get a green smiley face. If they get it wrong, they get a red one.
There are 10 sums and each time you play the game they change.  So you can play it again and have a different order of sums.
There are so many fun free games on this site
Now head over to the Techie Turtle Teacher to get some more great tips!


Head over to Techie Turtles Blog.  Cheryl has just reached 100 followers on TpT and is having a giveaway to celebrate.  There are 20 awesome items up for grabs.
I have decided to do an Am I Right? Task Card bundle. 
This is an expanding pack which means that I will continue to add Am I Right? Task Cards with new focus areas. The price of the bundle will increase as more cards are added. The sooner you purchase, the lower your price. You will get all the new cards by uploading the new file.

Some new Am I Right? Task Cards that will be added are
•2D Shape
•Australian Money
•Addition and Subtraction to 100
•Place Value
Great for use with C2C Prep and Year 1.
Once again as I am feeling very generous (probably because I am still on holidays) I will give one copy of this bundle away to one of my awesome followers.  I will chose a winner in a couple of days.  Make sure that you leave your email.
As for going back to school, I am going to teacher Mecca on Wednesday.  For those of you who don't know I'm talking about Edsco.  I remember when I went there for the first time 4 years ago.  I think I spent about 3 hours in there.  I am going with my intern now colleague, which should be fun to see her eyes light up when she walks in for the first time.  It is over 50 mins drive from my house and near a major shopping centre so it would be wrong if I didn't do some 'me' shopping afterwards.
Where do you get your supplies from?  Online or in-store. 
I guess I'm a bit old school and I like to look through text before I buy. 
What do you prefer?

Am I Right?

Just a quick post before I log off.  I wanted to share a new concept that I have been working on which is my Am I Right? task cards.  These cards are perfect for math centers and a ton of other uses such as SCOOT, gallery walk etc. 
Students work out if the answer on the card is right or wrong by choosing yes or no.  I have started the collection off with addition and subtraction to 10 and 20.  Make sure that you keep a look out because these babies are going to grow!
I am going to give away one pack to one lucky person who will be chosen at random (I'm thinking rafflecopter or names in a hat).  Click here to go to my store to check out my Am I Right? cards.  I will draw a name tomorrow afternoon.  Make sure that you leave your email and what pack you would like.

10 Top Tips for New Teachers

I am linking up with Lauren from Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep for a 10 Top Teacher Tips linky.  Lauren started this linky for teachers who are just starting out.  I remember when that was me. I spent my whole first day looking out the door waiting for my internship teacher to come in and observe me.  It wasn't til the end of the day when it kicked that I was no longer a prac student but now a fully registered teacher!

Here are my top 10 tips.
1.  Top Tip for Classroom Organisation
From day one have the classroom set up and structured so the students quickly learn the do's and the don'ts.  Have everything labelled from the reading areas to the students' books.  Trust me, this comes in very handy when you have 10 identical scrap books with no names and no one can remember what their writing looks like.  I use to write my name of anything that I made or bought.  But then I thought if I left this somewhere other than my school, no one would be able to return it to me.  I ordered return address stickers from Vista Print and now put these on all of my things.  There are so many cute designs or you can make your own.  Here is the one that I have and how I have ordered it.  I think it was about $5 for 90, they are always having promotional sales.
2. Top Tip for Behaviour Management

Have no more than 5 rules!! Too many class rules can be a nightmare.  Some new teachers think that they need to have a rule for anything that could go wrong.  Keep your rules simple and able to be used in any context.  My favourite rule is 'Do the Right Thing'.  It covers classroom, playground, specialist lessons etc.  I always teach the class rules explicitly on the first day and we make an anchor chart together and hang it in our room.

3. Top Tip for Being a Team Player
Share the workload! At our school we all share our curriculum planning.  Each teacher on my current Year has a Key Learning Area that they are planning a unit around and we are getting together next week to share our masterpieces. This makes life so much easier.  If you can't do this with people at your school, try joining with a colleague from another school and bounce ideas of them.

4. Top Tip for Time Management

I'm really not the ideal person to give out info here.  I leave my house everyday extra early so I have an hour and a half to get prepared before school.  I wake up in the morning and I write my mental to do list. Then I get to school and somehow I am having a chai and a chat with my best friend who I only saw yesterday and before I know it there is 20 mins before the bell.  At that time I see that whole list crumple in my head and go into my mental trash can. Ideally make sure that you have a work-life balance that is in check.  This is something that I am still working on.

5. Top Tip for Engaging Students

I confess.  I rarely read books unless they are glossy and have photos of celebrities.  But when it is time to read a new class story, the tone in my voice would make you think that this book is the best thing in the whole wide world and for the next 20 mins you will only be thinking about this book. The way you use your voice can either engage or disengage students very easily. Use lots of positive language and gestures to engage your students.

6. Top Tip for Getting Along with Parents
Try to learn parents' names as soon as you can.  Keep your relationship professional and never pass on too much information about yourself.  If you have parents that come into your room every morning put a sign out to say open for a chat from ---.  This way parents have a certain time period to see you rather just coming in when they would like.  I always jot down a quick note when I have approached a parent about something or they have approached me.  Keeping documentation like this is very important.     

7. Top Tip for Teacher Fashion
I love dressing for work.  I will actually be doing blogs about this when we return.  Our school motto is 'If you can see up it, down it or through it - Don't wear it'. Simple and to the point. Some other rules I go by
  • Never wear spaghetti straps or have your bra straps on show
  • Make sure that what your wearing to roughly to the knee
  • Don't wear high heels - you never know when you have to drop everything and run
  • Keep your make up simple - you don't want your parents to think that you are Gene Simmons
8. Top Tip for Bargain Hunting
Go shopping right now.  Now is the time to get some great back to school bargains.  Target, Kmart and Officeworks have some great packs on sale now that they don't have in the middle of the year.  I try and do as much of my shopping for school supplies now.

9. Top Tip for Eating Well at School

Try and have a stash of health foods in your room or pigeon hole etc.  I always have a bag of nuts in my pigeon hole which come in very handy during staff meetings.  Remember that you are trying to set an example.  It's a bit hard to teach a healthy food unit when your students see you drinking a soda!

10. Top Tip for Staying Sane

Treat yourself! You have earned it.  Whether it be a delicious muffin or a new top.  You have worked hard and you need to reward yourself.  I tell this to my partner all the time, lucky he knows how hard I work!
I hope this has helped in someway.  Head over to Lauren's Blog to read some other great tips.

100 Hundred Charts for the 100th Day

What a crazy week it has been!  Here in Australia we have experienced some of our hottest days, while in America it seems to cold to even function.  I have just got back from some time on the Sunshine Coast with my friend, it was nice to just relax and listen to the waves.

I have finally finished a product that I have been working on for a couple of days.  Introducing 100 Hundred Charts to fill in to Celebrate the 100th Day!  Here in Australia we don't seem to celebrate this milestone as much as our American friends but I am making it my mission this year to go all out.  Our 100th Day is still a while away, I still don't even know the names of the students that I will be teaching this year,  while it's just around the corner for others.  This activity is ideal for differentiation as the number of missing numbers varies. Students will use and develop their knowledge of number to 100 by filling in the missing numbers.
You can check it out at my TpT Store Here
 I would love to hear what you do to celebrate the 100th Day.  Leave a comment below and the first 3 people to comment will get a copy of this activity for FREE! Don't forget your email.

2014 and a Giveaway

I hope you all had a great new year and celebrated in style.  I have been reading everyone's post about their resolutions and goals which have really motivated to keep the ones that I have set.  I have set a goal to blog at least twice a week, which I can definitely do since I am still on my summer break until the 22nd.  I live in Brisbane and it is set to be one of the hottest days on record today, it's not even 8 am and I feel like eating some ice cream. 

I am looking forward to this year as I am teaching a new year level for the first time.  It's not really a big jump as I am going from Year 2 to Year 1, but I am looking forward to teaching this year level as I know where they need to go for the following year.  In Queensland this will be our third year using ACARA and C2C units.  I have already bought the text that we need for Unit 1 and bought some great products off TpT to use as well.

Now head over to Mr's Bearfields Class to checkout her current weekly giveaway which I am apart of for your chance to win any product from my store!
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