Fun in 1st Grade's Amazing Giveaway!

Congratulations to  Dana at Fun in 1st Grade on this amazing giveaway!  Some people are going to feel very lucky!  

Stop by and check it out as Dana has had over 50 contributors, so there's loads of wonderful things to win!  Just click on the pic to take you there.....


What a way to start the weekend!

Have fun!

In the mood for Friday Freebies!'s been an interesting day....a day without my kiddos and I missed them!!
I had some training today.....we have to have epipen training every year as we have quite a few children who have allergies that require this adrenalin shot.  I also took part in emergency treatment for children who have epileptic seizures - we learnt how to administer treatment for both ends!  We have some children who have Cerebral Palsy with Epilepsy.  Very interesting, but I do feel a bit nervous about being the responsible person to do this in school (although I will have support).  It is required of me as I manage our Special Needs Programme within our school.  It would be very interesting to find out if other bloggers out there have similar responsibilities and how you feel about it.  Does your school have a school nurse who is responsible for this or a designated first aider etc?  I know I will do what I have to do, but in the back of my mind I do wonder how I will react in an emergency situation, as I have not had to do this before - time will tell....
I love this time of year - Autumn and Spring are my absolute favourite seasons.  I have been enjoying seeing all the lovely Fall and Halloween downloads on TpT.  My school is situated in a very conservative area and we are not allowed to mention Halloween as we may offend, so I don't get to use all those gorgeous resources (but I can still look!)  Is there anybody out there who is in a similar position, as Halloween seems to be very celebrated in the USA?  We have taken on the American tradition of 'trick or treating' and I love it when the children call by.  We decorate our home and have lots of goodies ready, but we just can't mention it in school....I would love to hear your opinions.......
We conduct a large Harvest celebration every year for our parents.  My class has been tasked this year with writing an acrostic poem to present with props etc. (We put together a complete show to present, but each class has their own small part to play).  I have been preparing a lesson for next week and created a little template that I thought someone might be able to use.  Just click the picture to download.

As you all know, I have a large, noisy class this year and they take some time to settle to tasks.

We have been working on appropriate reading behaviours during DEAR time, but I found they needed that little extra encouragement.

To that end I made this 'reading stamina' poster. I copied it onto much larger copy paper and created a reading board with reading strategy posters surrounding it. Looks bright and colourful and the children are enjoying the 'competitive' element of beating the previous day's record. (Be prepared for backwards steps too!)

I use a countdown timer on my smartboard and increase the start time by a minute every day.

The graph can be coloured in or filled with smiley stickers. (Also great for a quick 'time filler' teaching tool for interpreting data).

So far, so good - they seem to be enjoying it!  Again, just click the picture to download.

Lastly, although it's not finished yet, I did want to thank everyone (so far) who has entered my 100 follower giveaway - you have all left such sweet comments and I have loved reading them every day - thank you so much!  Overall the giveaway has been very successful for me, so I hope, for all the contributors, that you have found it successful for you too.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate this wonderful community!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend......


Fabulous 100 follower giveaway!

I can hardly believe it!  It's taken a while, but finally 100 followers - feels like such a big milestone!  Thank you so much to everyone who has joined my little blog.

As a thank you, of course I had to do my first giveaway!  It's quite nerve-racking doing so many things for the first time!  It's been a bit delayed, as my poor hubby had to spend some time in hospital this week, so things have been a bit hectic!

All the wonderful ladies below have very kindly donated an item for my giveaway - I just can't thank you all enough!  

I just wanted to say that starting this blog has been a big thing for me.  I'm partly still struggling for my direction as I'm so aware that most teaching blogs are American and in many ways there are so many differences between terms, buzz words, teaching methods and strategies, that it can be limiting sharing what's happening in my part of the world.  That aside, I want to say that I have received such an amazingly warm welcome from fellow bloggers, other 'friends' who are kind enough to be interested and the TpT forums.  I'm quite a shy person by nature, but the keyboard allows us to be many things we might not be in real life and I have to say honestly I have been scared!  However, I am beginning to feel a bit more relaxed and that has been because of all of you - YOU have made my journey such a happy one - I love this sharing community and have learned so much from so many wonderful people.  This journey has been a special addition to both my personal and professional life and I hope it continues long into the future - so this really is a heartfelt thank you to all those who have helped me so much.  

Below you will find the names of the donors' blogs.  Below that you will find the name of the wonderful digital resource you can win and, if you click on the picture provided, the link will take you straight to the item so you can check it out.  If no picture is provided, then I have left you a link to the store, so you can check out what you might be winning!  

The donors will be sent your email so they can contact you.
Twenty wonderful ladies, plus me and twenty one wonderful items for the lucky winner!  What more could you ask for (wish it was me - lol!)

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and happy moments!

Keep scrolling to enter the Rafflecopter!

Teacher's Toolkit

How's The Weather Display Labels & Activity Sheets


Teach, Inspire and Prepare Students

Sweet Practice of Place Value, Expanded Form, Written Form

Creation Castle

Number Recognition {1-30}: Farmer & Fruit

Teaching Spanish Beginning Sounds

English Alphabet Halloween Letter Match

Flying into First Grade

One item from Latoya's TpT Store

Liv to Teach

There was an old woman who swallowed a pie! (Sequencing Activity)

Mrs Nutter's Ready Readers

Halloween Math Game - Mummy Addition March - Great add on to any Math Lesson!

Learning 4 Keeps

Winner's Choice (1 item)

I Heart Education

Winner's Choice (1 item)

Fun in 1st Grade

Winner's Choice (1 item)

Ribbons, Recipes and Rhymes

Winner's Choice (1 item)

The Happy Teacher

Winner's Choice (1 item)

Sparkles, Smiles and Student Teaching

Winner's Choice (1 item)

The Peanut Gallery

Winner's Choice (1 item)

Grade One Fun

Winner's Choice (1 item)

Primary Paradise

Roll Out a Story: A Dice and Writing Center

First Grade Chatter

Batty About Bats Language Arts Activities

Adventures in Teaching

Outer Space Subtraction

Happy Happy First Grade

Winner's Choice (1 item)

Drowning in Paperclips

Halloween Math Center Common Core Aligned for 2nd or 3rd

Second Grade Nest

Nouns and Verbs Pumpkin Pack
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Writing Checklist freebie!

Hi everyone!
Just a quick share this evening.  Writing is on my mind!
I'm so aware that a big part of my job is to encourage independence in my students and I try to find ways to help them help themselves.
The little ones, especially at this time of year are still so very needy and I often wish I could change my name, I get so sick of hearing it - hehe!  Everyone needs help at the same time!  This can be a problem during guided reading as this is not scheduled in our day and happens when the teacher has a free minute - not ideal!  Our day is just too short to allow an allocated time.  I've been training the children to realise that I am not always available to help.  When I am finished with a guided reading group, the children can have all of my attention and they are beginning to recognise this.  (I feel so mean, sometimes!)
I bought this little light.  
When it is lit, the children must try other avenues first before they come to me - very cute!
My two stars of the week are my 'experts'.  I had considered caps, but I had images of them turning into frisbees!!  However my 'stars' do wear little pins to single them out.
The children do have wordlists, helpmats etc, but they still need encouragement to use these and often need the reassurance of a voice or the cosy feeling of collaboration.
I decided they also needed a visual reminder of what they should be doing (without me constantly nagging!) and to that end I created a writing checklist. (Download below). My hope is that the children will eventually use this checklist as a matter of course.  
We are currently working on descriptive writing and stretching our sentences.
I love love love this anchor chart and made a very large one for our classroom.
I thought you might like our writing checklist, so just click on the picture to download from google docs.  (Sorry, can't get it to upload in google docs properly, so please click through to my TpT store).
Fold along the middle dotted line to form a tent shape. You may need to lightly score underneath with a blade (scissors etc) to allow for a decent fold.   The end result is a sturdy checklist for table/desk tops or writing areas.  I usually share one between 4 students, so all have easy sight access.  I find this such a useful reminder for the children  before work is handed in for marking!
Please check back soon as I have a 100 follower giveaway going live at midnight!  Nearly forgot to mention there's also a 300 follower giveaway on my facebook page (link at top) - this will hopefully go live at midnight too.  Rafflecopter for facebook.......hope it works! Quick edit - it doesn't work!! :(
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

A quick catch up and a giveaway!

Hi everyone!
Just a quick blog post this evening!
Latoya at Flying into First Grade is having a fabulous giveaway and I'm sure you won't want to miss it!

I've been umming and ahhing for weeks, but I finally bit the bullet and joined Teaching Blog Traffic School!  I wish I had joined up ages ago - I realise I have so much to learn!  I've been enjoying it tremendously, but neglecting lots of other things!!  I can't wait to put it all into action, but wish I had more hours in the day!  Highly recommended!

Teaching Blog Traffic School

I'm a lover of lists - they're all over my desk but I lose them constantly, so I rarely get the chance to do the satisfying ticks!  As this is a quick post, I'm adding a list!  Please excuse the randomness.......
1.  I feel like I should hang a huge sign out side of my house, saying COME AND GET YOUR GERMS HERE!  I'm sure the majority of teachers get this at the beginning of the year.......with a large, noisy class I have already lost my voice!  Either my immune system is rubbish (or I'm getting too old for this!), but I have a horrible cold and sore throat.  My poor husband is ill and will be recuperating for a couple of weeks, so we're quite the grumpy pair at the moment!  Louder with the sympathy violins, please!!
2.  I'm finding my class tough going.....I'm officially exhausted already......say no more....!
3.  I bought a gorgeous bag (purse) to cheer myself up.....
4.  I have loads of TpT projects half finished!  I have nearly reached the first financial goal I set myself for TpT!  Only a little one, but big to me!

5.  Update on my precious furbaby - she's doing well so far! Cue the awww factor pics.....apologies for this.....I can't help myself!

6.  I bought this for my class, can't wait to use it and will be back with a blog post full of ideas (hopefully!).

7.  Last but not least - Downton Abbey is back tomorrow - yay!  I so love a period drama!
Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

Guest blogging and Brain Breaks!

Big apologies for being AWOL for a wee while!  Has been a bit manic with the start of school.  I am definitely not in the swing of things as it seems to be taking me sooooo long to tick things off my 'To Do' list!
I  managed to survive my first half day last Friday and had a wonderful morning with my students.  
You can read a wee bit more about it at 1...2...3...Teach with Me.  
(Sorry Tammy - I didn't quite get the timing right - hehe!)

I feel totally honoured to be guest blogging for Tammy at 1...2...3... Teach with Me.  As usual I never know when to stop, so apologies for the length of the post!  (I did edit and cut lots of things out - honest!).
I have been given an additional student, so now have 29 first graders - yikes!  My room is not big and there seems to be bodies everywhere!  They are a pretty mixed bunch and allowing them to sit where they wanted on that first day proved NOT to be a good idea - hehe!  We did have great fun though!
At the end of last year I had started to introduce brain breaks, but was not very consistent.  After one and a half days with this year's bunch, I just know they are going to be a very, very useful addition!  I found a wonderful list of brain breaks at Minds in Bloom. Thank you so much Rachel for putting this list together.

Has been lovely to see all my colleagues again and swap summer break stories!  Have been plugging TpT like want it to take off on this side of the pond!  Can't wait to get my first week behind me and get a glimpse of what the year holds!
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