Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Back to School - Tips for a Fab First Day

Here in Australia we are preparing for the start of the 2016 school year.
So in between spending time with family, friends, long lunches and relaxing we are printing, laminating, cutting, putting up displays, reading curriculum documents, planning, buying stationary, carting bags from school to home and back again. 

Some bloggers are posting some helpful tips that might help ease us all back into the work groove.

Julie over at Oz Curriculum HQ is hosting this link up and some other bloggers have joined - so once you have finished reading my tips head on over and read what others have blogged about. 

Set the scene for the first day

This is like making a good first impression - that saying 'don't judge a book by its cover' springs to mind. 
As parents walk in on day one with their children they are checking us out.
They will notice things like clean spaces, names on tables, lockers ready to go, where the tables are, what's on and not on the display boards and how we say hello to their child. 
There are huge expectations in this window of time - we agonise over how our room looks and the flow of the room. I will be posting photos of my room set up later in the week. 
These photos are from last year.

When students arrive on the first day and equipment on the first day 

Play it by ear and don't push the kids too much.

It is also hot and will be a long day for some kids!

If your school is like mine - the kids come with a box of stationary and lots of excitement. 
So I get them to find their desk, put their box on it and then put their bag away. 

I get them to sit on the floor and welcome them as a grade - I team teach, so this means we then meet as a double grade and welcome them as a big family. 
We talk about our shared expectations for the year - the routines we will have - logistics about moving in and out of our room and around the school. 
We particularly welcome new students to the school and buddy them up so they know where the toilets, drink taps  and where the specialist rooms are.

When we are all here, we go through the box and store it all. 
Name tags help!

Activities on the first day

As I mentioned above we over plan - so be realistic about what you can do. 

A visual timetable is always a good idea.


This is a page from our shared plan that we have up on our smartboard (IWB) for each day.

Yep - we start swimming on our very first day with the kids. 

We start work on 'Me' - this way I get to know them, the grade get to know each other and we can put up a display on the first day.

Happy first day everyone. 

You could win eight products - one product from each of us to the value of $10 each.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Back to School 2016

For our teachers in the Southern Hemisphere we have a few short weeks left of our summer break.
Some have already set up their classroom, others are waiting to get in and others will set up in a week or two!

I have a few packs which will help you when you are setting up and also a few that will help with the first few days with your new kids.

These will help to cover curriculum in the first few weeks...

Classroom set up ideas...

 Happy setting up

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Have you entered?

It is such a privilege to be collaborating with seven other bloggers to bring you this.
I have the pleasure of announcing a fabulous competition - not just for Aussie teachers but for anyone who follows us.

Scroll down to enter our competition.

We are delighted to bring you the following rafflecopter with the prize being your choice of 

one item to the value of $10.00 from each of our stores

You can enter once a day to increase your chances - make sure you tell all your teaching buddies too!
To enter - just go and follow all our stores. (Links are within the rafflecopter)
The winner will be announced on the 25th January on our blog and Facebook page.

These buttons will take you to our blogs. There are some great posts about setting up classrooms, getting ready for the school year and what we get up to in our classrooms. 

Miss Jacobs' Little Learners

Paula’s PlaceEarly Years with Sheri

Jem's Bright ButtonsMy Mum, the Teacher


Spread the word and enter each day!
Winner announced on the 25th January.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Writing Goals for Grades 2-5

After working on this for what seems like forever - like all last year!
I'm finally ready to share.

Each child had a folder with too many goals and it become hard to manage for not just me, but my kids as well.

I am such a fan of Six Traits plus 1 and the impact that it has on writing is clear. 
To focus on a part of writing and give a chid or group the instruction they need is supported by the 7 areas to explicitly teach. 

You can see how each student works, improves and where to go next. 

But I needed to streamline what I was trying to do.

So - here is what I have worked on to replace it.

My Writing Conferencing folder - I have all my goals in here ready to go.

I have checklists for each section and an assessment page for each child. 

There are tags for each component that are attached to work and this way I can track goals and assist in setting new ones. 

This pack will support you to have simple goals of brainstorming writing ideas to more complex goals of using figurative language.

By attaching the tags this is a visual reminder. You can go back and check what you need to work on. 

Happy goal setting

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