MagnaBorder Giveaway!

Just a quickie for today!
Lori over at Teaching with Love and Laughter is giving away a fab Magnaborder!  You have a choice of four designs.  Would absolutely love one of these for my classroom!  These are being shared courtesy of Learning Resources.  Check out Lori's new blog design while you're there!  Have fun!


Class Schedule Linky and freebie!

Name that Schedule linky!
The OC Blog Button
Thought I would add my schedule as it's probably a bit different due to the country.
We pretty much get to decide on the schedule as long as we include at least the minimum required for numeracy and literacy.  It's quite a short day and there's a lot to fit in!  I fiddle with it every year hoping to get a better balance. 
You will see there is no specific time for guided reading as we are expected to fit this in during the day whilst we are teaching!  This is especially difficult when you have no helpers in the classroom.  I have 28 first graders this year and always worry about the lack of time for guided reading.  However this year I have an autistic child and a helper for 12 hours per week, so I hope it won't be as stressful as it normally is.
We do 'connected learning', so the 'topic' plays a bit part.  My particular theme for the first half of the first term has a PDMU  emphasis.  This emphasis changes every half term.  PDMU: Personal Development and Mutual Understanding.  During this topic time every subject is touched on:  literacy, numeracy, science, etc.
L&L is Language and Literacy.  VCOP is Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation - this is all related to a teaching method called Big Writing which I mentioned in a previous post here. Although actual independent 'writing' is scheduled once per week, obviously the children write every day in some shape or form.
P3 is Primary Three which is the equivalent of First Grade.
We don't have a specific time for computers as they are on all the time and the children are expected to use them in some shape or form during the course of the day.  I only have 3.  One is connected to my Smart Board which I use a lot!  There is always some type of consolidation activity on this, related to what I am currently teaching.  The children access this on a rotational basis.  The Smart Board is set low down so they can reach it! Second PC is set up for ereaders and online assessment and the third PC is free for general classroom use - word processing, graphing etc.  Without helpers the children have to learn quite quickly how to logon independently.  All passwords are displayed by the PCs.  Larger schools have computer suites, but we are quite small!  The older children have areas with laptops, but the wee ones have to be a bit more patient!
Think that's it!  My big gripe is that the children go home at 2pm.  I think they are old enough to stay until 3pm!  That way I would have a better classroom schedule!  I moan about this endlessly every year - hehe!
A wee freebie for you!  I have been busy creating Classroom Label Sets which has been great fun!  I have my labels for the classroom sorted, but I had some fabulous background papers from Scrappin' Doodles and wanted to use them.
This is what I have done so far:

This can be downloaded here


                                       Available in my TpT store

Hope you enjoy!


A thank you....

I was overwhelmed this morning when I checked my email and read the TpT newsletter!  I still find it hard to fathom the wonderful welcome I have received at TpT! 

When I first discovered teacher blogs and TpT, I was amazed to have stumbled across a whole new world!  I spent many happy hours reading blogs and getting new ideas for my classroom, loved the fact that teacher resources - always with new and interesting ideas - were available to buy at the click of a button and I can't express how much I and my children have benefited from this.

Although I jumped in pretty quickly with a blog and a store, I was very nervous about this new venture and it took ages to pluck up the courage to post on the TpT forum.  How I wish I had done it sooner!

I'm constantly amazed at the kindness of people and have had so many lovely conversations.  I really want to thank everyone for welcoming me so warmly.  

Patti's giveaway has gained me many new followers and I thank her so much for allowing me to take part!  Also thanks to Mercedes I actually won some of her wonderful clip art!

I can't thank Paul enough for the special mention (my email has been pinging all day!) and feel very blessed that I have been allowed to become part of this community.  I still can't believe that this opportunity has presented itself and will do my very best to make sure all my teacher colleagues hear about TpT!

I absolutely itching to get back into school!  I have so much I want to share with my kiddos.  It's been an amazing summer, but I'm ready for 28 young minds to come marching through the door!  (Remind me at the end of September that I said this!)

I have been adding products to my store and will update soon!  It takes me so long to produce documents, because I get waylaid reading, commenting, buying......coupled with being probably the world's worst procrastinator!

Cheers from across the burning Atlantic!!

Question: Teacher or child??!  You can tell I have just read First Day Jitters - hehe!

Neglect, furbabies and awards!

Hi everyone,

Sorry it's been a while.....I've been ill, been helping hubby paint the outside of our house (between rain showers!) and getting ready for school - the countdown begins!

Sadly, I've been missing school - I love routine!  Can't wait to see the kids again and get a new school year started!

Have been feeling very sad about my precious Holly.  The vet feels that she won't make another winter and we've had to buy a special collar for our young boy Blue to wear when the time comes....I had no idea that such things existed!  Apparently it will help keep him calm.  They are so very attached to one another, I can't imagine how hard it's going to be!

We decided on no holidays this year as we didn't want her to go into kennels.  She's almost 17, with lots of wee niggles, but has kept relatively healthy.  I hope we will know when the time is right to intervene and help her along if we have to.  She's been my constant companion for 15 years now and I just can't imagine life without her.....apologies for the sad share, it's on my mind a lot!

I have been neglectful of thanking lots of people for awards, but hope to make amends now.  I think I am up to date with messages and thanks.  It's been slow building followers and I am very thankful to everyone who stops by to say hi and the kindness of people when they recognise you for an award.

I want to say a huge thank you to:

Stacey from a Ray of Kindergarten Sunshine for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Ashley from Inspire, Dream and Create for the Liebster Blog Award.

Mercedes from Surfing to Success - I don't know what the award is and I can't find the post it was so long ago - I feel awful about that!

Thank you so much to you all for thinking of me for these lovely awards!

Here are the rules for the Liebster Blog Award:
1. Copy and paste this award to your blog - done!
2. Thank the giver and link back to them - done!
3. Reveal 5 other bloggers and let them know by commenting on their blog - trying to do! 

The Liebster Blog Award recognises blogs with under 200 followers, so I will update this post as I come across blogs that fulfil this criteria.

I do hope to have a giveaway soon.  My facebook page is just shy of 300 followers, so I have to get thinking!  My TpT store has reached the heady heights of 6 followers and 20 products!  I so wish I had more time - I'm becoming quite addicted!  A couple of days ago, I was so excited when I had 5 sales in one day!  The opportunites for TpT are endless and I am so happy to be part of it!

Lastly, I just had to share this pic with you!  I was browsing ebay and came across a little company that customises wooden signs - I just couldn't resist!  This will be going up on my door as soon as I can get in to school.  It's actually a lovely blue colour but my photography skills aren't great!

Wishing everyone a fabulous start back to school - let the fun begin!


Back to School freebie for 24 hours only!

Firstly, my apologies to all the award givers.  I have been a unwell and not up to blogging for a few days, but I promise to get around to thanking everyone and doing my 'duties'.  I appreciate all your kind comments and sentiments and will be sure to pass the awards further.
This morning I put the finishing touching to my first little mini packet for my teacher store.  I have seen some packets for sale with up to 300 pages!!  I just don't know how these ladies manage it!  It took me, from start to finish, about a fortnight to complete my mini-packet of approx. 20 pages - lol!  I don't imagine that I will ever win 'Business Woman of the Year' - haha!  To keeping creating at such a snail's pace, I would need to be on permanent holiday!  Although others might think it's pretty rubbish compared to what's out there, I feel ridiculously proud of my little achievement - I feel like a schoolgirl again!
My packet is entitled 'All About Me'.  Because of the topic we start on our return, this booklet really kills two birds with one stone - something I can use to get to know my students, as well as an introduction to our topic.  I have several versions of this, but none were quite right for my purpose, so really it was time I did a customised version!
Some notes from the packet: "This little workbook contains 22 pages in total.  19 of the pages can be made into a ‘Back to School’ workbook for the students in your classroom.
I have created the workbook for my first graders – my intention is for them to complete it in their own time as a ‘busy book’ – perhaps when work is finished or if I need some time during the first week of school when ‘chaos’ reigns!!  
I feel it should take the first week to complete and will hopefully kick start the teacher on the path to getting to know his/her students on a personal level.  If a student feels the teacher is interested, it will quickly build up a classroom ethos of caring, respect and trust.  Students should share the completed activities with others if they feel able to.  It would be great fun if the teacher could also complete the workbook and share this with the class!
Obviously pages can be added or removed.  If you have further ideas of additions to the workbook, I would be most grateful to hear them.
Some pages have been deliberately left open to interpretation, so you can put your own preferred stamp on them.
I have had loads of fun creating this workbook and hope you and your students enjoy it too!"

'All About Me' tasks students to complete a variety of writing and drawing activities which include the ability to reflect on themselves in a positive way, to have ideas and opinions and share these with others.  I deliberately created the booklet to allow for 'colouring in' to keep your little ones busy!  (Will also help check out fine motor skills!)  A number of pages also check students' knowledge of their personal details.  Although created for my first graders, I am sure it will be adaptable for kinder and possibly second graders.
If you find anything wrong with it, please let me know before I place it in my Teacher Store!  Adaptations are always possible.
I have decided to offer this as a freebie for 24 hours.  I have only one stipulation:  if you feel it is possible, I would love you to follow my blog.  Remember to leave a comment with your email address, so I can send the document to you.  I really hope you like it!

This is our typical 6 week planner - this is the one which goes to the Principal.  We also do weekly and daily planners.  If you can read it you should see where my workbook fits in!

Update:  This post was scheduled for 7.00pm this evening, but I have somehow managed to publish it!  Hey ho, you get an extra 10 hours - hehe!
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