2D Shape Posters

I have so many resources and so little time to share....!

I wanted to make these posters available as they have proved a popular download on my website.

These colourful posters can be laminated and used time and again for your display boards or as a useful visual for consolidation.

Hope you like them!


                 

2D Shape Posters Download Here


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Number Fans

Thinking ahead to the summer term, I have been trying out new things for my classroom, making changes and adding to the various learning areas.
One of the children's 'may do' tasks is to play a maths game with a partner.  I usually keep the offerings related to their current topic in maths, but given that they love using fans with the challenge cards I make, I wanted to give them more choice in this area.  Although fantastic, the manufactured number fans are expensive to buy, so I though I would have a go at making my own.
Printed on paper, these fans are sturdy once laminated and should take the knocks through repeated use.  I have created a modest number for my maths area, as I don't have help in my infant classroom and couldn't bear the thought of making 26 sets for lessons - lol!  Once completed just punch a hole and tie together with wool, string etc.
I'm sharing these in the hope that you can use them too!
NB Please note the coins fan is British coins only!  I have added a wee number fan too.



Money fans download

        
         Number fans download

       
       Coin fans download




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Today's Number


Apologies, this really is my last post.
This idea is credited to I love to teach.  It's a fabulous idea that I intend to implement when I start school on Monday.
I have created my own as some of the language had to be different for the children to understand, so for any UK followers, you can download my version below.




Download here
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Lupin Powerpoint

A last post for today!
I'm very pleased to announce that I have created a very small powerpoint and am ridiculously proud of myself - haha!
If you have read previous posts, powerpoints were not something I had tackled before, but was keen to try creating one to go with my 'Miss Rumphius' spring display board, ready to start on Monday with my children.
So, don't laugh!  Find the link below, download and let me know what you think - be gentle!

Lupin Powerpoint Download





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This is my new blog!

I have switched my loyalties, fellow bloggers!
Please click here for a link to my former blog if you wish to go back two years - lol!  I'm afraid I'm not a prolific poster, but am trying hard to remedy that!
I have begun this blog with a few of my older posts, so it wouldn't look so blank!
Thank you so much to Leelou Blogs for the lovely free template!


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Powerpoint presentations

Although I use my Smartboard on a daily basis, I would not often use a Powerpoint Presentation.  I am nearly ashamed to admit that I have only ever created one which was used for a school fair!  They seem to have become quite popular again, as I have seen them used quite frequently by young student teachers coming through - I really thought they'd had their heyday, but that could be because I have never shown much interest in them. 
Recently I came across a lovely little site called Topic Resources.  The majority of their downloads are Powerpoint Presentations and I really appreciate the hard work and thought that has obviously gone into the production of them.  I wanted to share this site with you as the resources are very inexpensive and my pupils have enjoyed the addition to my teaching.  
I have reached the point now where I would like to produce some of my own, but currently lack the time required - maybe in the summer holidays?!
I hope you enjoy the site as much as I do! ☺





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Free Downloads


I continue to create new materials, mostly display, which are downloadable from my website, free of charge.
As I have stated in previous posts, although my website is run as a small business for tax purposes etc, it really grew from a passion for teaching and display resources, so I suppose I view it as more of a hobby. 
Requisition money never stretches far enough and there are so many wonderful, fun resources for activities in the classroom.  Over the years I have bought so many myself and continue to do so, but in my search for all things different and interesting, I found many resources that have been made by other teachers and can often be downloaded free of charge or for a small sum of money.  Manufactured educational resources, although wonderful, can often be prohibitively expensive!  My dear old laptop will soon need upgrading as I reach the memory capacity, as I am always downloading files for printing and laminating!
As I'm up for a challenge (most of the time!), I decided I could learn something new and put this to good use, therefore I set about using many programs on my PC that have never really seen the light of day!  I wanted to try and create resources too!  It has been a challenge as I'm of the older generation and don't always understand technical jargon, but what I don't know and understand, I 'google'.  I have had so much fun learning how to produce resources and make them available to others.  Yes, my business sells physical resources, but I wanted to add a service that others might find useful and could be free.  Sadly I don't have access to amazing graphics software and only have limited knowledge and creativity, but I can see from the number of downloads that people are finding the resources useful and that's as I'd hoped - brilliant!
The resources range from certificates through to display, literacy and numeracy resources.  I have added some pictures with links to give you an idea.  As I complete the resources I tend to publish them on Pinterest as I have some followers there.  
This link will also take you to the free section of my website.  I hope the resources you find there may be of some use to you!



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Miss Rumphius, the lupine lady - Part 2!


Yay!  I found the link! Another blogger - lol!  The original idea stems from the blog  kids-finelines and explains the process clearly, with a later update - you need to scroll down.




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Miss Rumphius, the lupine lady!


Preparing for the start of the new term, I have recently moved around our furniture, to create more marked learning areas within the classroom.  After a long winter, I needed a change!

I have been trying to decide what to do with my display boards, particularly the one currently dedicated to winter.  Once again, Pinterest has come to my rescue!  Unfortunately, I didn't 'pin' the idea and don't know who to credit!  I will continue the search and update this post with my thanks to the author.

Spring has sprung (!) and I need to change my display board from winter to spring, but wanted a new idea, instead of the same old, same old!  Browsing Pinterest I came across this book:  Miss Rumphius and was able to buy it from an english company on the internet.

In the story Miss Rumphius became known to the village children as "The Lupine Lady" because she always carried lupine seeds in her pockets and scattered them everywhere.  The idea was that everyone should do their bit to make the world a more beautiful place.  'Miss Rumphius' has won the American Book Award and is really the most delightful story.  Accompanying the original post on Pinterest was an art idea which would be ideal for my Spring board.  Basically the children would be creating lupins from thumbprints using the colours blue, purple and rose with white on top.  I have spent some time photographing lupin leaves (!) in my garden, saving images from the internet and researching the history of the name.  I intend to collate my research into a Powerpoint Presentation, along with the story, to create interest and motivate.  I really can't wait to see how these turn out - I am sure they will look amazing!

Hopefully many wonderful photos to follow! ☺

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Focus Walls-my new fascination!


From my last post, you can see I am very taken with blogs at the moment and love all the interesting ideas that help me keep my classroom environment and teaching skills fresh and engaging for the students.

One favourite is the Clutterfree Classroom blog.  I have spent many happy hours on this blog, gaining inspiration and motivation.  In the wee small hours, when sleep doesn't come easily, this is my favourite way of passing the time!

From this blog, I have implemented two ideas in my classroom, which I love and my students appear to appreciate.  I so wish this type of classroom organization had been around when I started my teaching career!

The first idea is a 'focus wall'.  I have dedicated a large display board at the back of my classroom for this focus wall and can answer most students' questions by directing them there.  

One side of the board is dedicated to learning intentions.  Here you will find the students' input as well as the teacher's.  Although I don't display my teaching  planners on the board, any parent or teaching colleague will immediately have an idea of what I am currently teaching.  I display the students' notes on 'what I know' and 'what I would like to know' for our current topic, along with our focus for Numeracy, Literacy and Phonics.

The rest of the board is dedicated to the current month's birthdays, the 'Word of the Week', our current newsletter, task self-evaluation, a 'boggle' board and a 'Must Do', 'May Do' board.  I have attached small whiteboards/lapboards to the display board, so I can easily wipe off what I don't need and add what I do.  The whiteboards are very light and were easy to attach with blu tac (I had visions of hot glue guns and mess!).  The 'boggle' board is made up of an attached magnetic board, using strips to create a a grid to contain the magnetic letters.  This board is updated on a weekly basis.  

The 'Must Do', 'May Do' board has been created using two lightweight, but very large whiteboards that I managed to find on the internet for next to nothing!  I have laminated labels for every eventuality (!) and the children know what needs to be completed for the day.  If work remains unfinished within a particular teaching session, they know it must be finished at some stage in the day, before they can spend any free time on the 'May Do' side of the board.  The 'May Do' side is made up of a variety of fun activities/challenges that students can complete should they be an early finisher.  This board also directs students towards a task board for their colour of table, which is changed on a daily basis.  If the students do not wish to complete a task from their task board, they can move on to other activities on the 'May Do' board.  The list of activities is handwritten, so it can be changed regularly.  The activities can be random or related to a current teaching focus.  Sadly I do not have a photo of my task board!  The tasks are color-coded to match the color of table where the students sit - these are rotated daily.




Although it might sound like a lot of preparation, I was able to set up the focus wall in a day and it is very easy to maintain, if kept simple.  The biggest advantage is that the children can have most of their questions answered by just looking at this board, which is especially useful if I am currently engaged with a guided reading group.  I have recently attended a number of courses, therefore leaving the class in the hands of a substitute teacher and believe that this set up makes life much easier for anyone entering the classroom, as the children are much more independent and autonomous within the classroom setting.

This focus wall was my first attempt - the second one will be much more eye-catching! It will definitely be better coordinated and I will use more child-friendly fonts and so on.  I was so keen to get started at the time, I didn't get much thought to the aesthetics!  My students love the independence it affords them and I love not hearing a hundred times a day - 'What do we do now, Miss?'






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Pinterest


Finally getting a chance to update the blog – I just don’t know where the time goes!
In between Parent Interviews, student teachers and the end of term madness, I have managed to keep busy with ‘free stuff’ (explanations later!), and American bloggers!

Let me explain......
After the worldwide phenomenon of facebook and twitter, now we have Pinterest!  I love it!  It’s a really simple concept, but brilliant!

After 25 years as an educator, it is easy to become complacent and set in your ways.  I find that browsing the internet continually throws up new and interesting ideas for me personally and professionally.  I want to keep motivated and bring fresh ideas to the classroom, but where to find something different?  Often I come across ideas when I am not specifically looking for something, mean to bookmark it for later, but forget. This is where Pinterest comes in.  Not only is it a great way to keep all your ideas together for when you need them, but it also offers endless possibilities on finding a wide range of ideas – I often find myself just reading for hours about all the interesting lives people lead! For me, fifteen years ago, none of this would have been possible and I am constantly amazed that I can make online friendships with people I will never be able to meet, but can talk to for hours and share common goals.  Living where I do, opportunities are limited – modern technology never fails to astound me!

Anyway, I digress!  Pinterest is basically a collection of (memo) boards, where you can pin ideas, just like you would pin notes.  On my bookmark bar I have a little icon with the words ‘pin it’.  As I am browsing the internet and find something I want to come back to later, I just click my icon on the bookmark bar and pin – this takes me to my Pinterest account where I can decide which board I want to pin it to.  I currently have 21 boards with a variety of pins.  All of my boards relate to teaching, e.g. numeracy, literacy, display ideas, classroom organisation and so on.  However Pinterest is for everybody!  Some people have boards just for recipes, crafting and lifestyle.

So now I know that all the things that interest me are kept in one place to return to when I need them.  Fortunately the pins also include a link to take you directly to the website where you first encountered the idea!  Also when you are browsing Pinterest, it is possible to browse other boards and repin if you find something interesting there.

This leads me nicely to American bloggers – wow!  This ‘trend’ seems to be a few years old.  American elementary teachers just love to blog!  I have found such a variety of blogs on Pinterest.  They have amazing ideas on classroom organisation and management that are so interesting and motivating – a completely different world!  The bloggers seem to be so committed to everything they do and have an enormous appetite for life, coupled with such a positive attitude towards their chosen career.  They appear to be supermums, incredibly dedicated to family life, as well as working full-time and blogging about what they do and achieve – just where do they find the time?!! Not only do they write, but they share their ideas, mostly for free, with great detail and superb photography.  Most of them also appear to run ‘shops’ where they also sell teaching resources.  Their blogs are beautifully put together, with superb graphics and can keep you engaged for hours – I have the utmost respect for these ladies and wish I had those levels of energy and enthusiasm!  I have already pinned lots of ideas from these bloggers and have begun to implement some of them in my classroom, which the children love.  In my next post, I will share a couple of things and include links!



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