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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Christmas Borders

I was feeling Christmassy tonight so I created two new bulletin borders.
 I love free bulletin borders as they are add instant lift to any classroom without the price tag! I've found it hard to find interesting, theme based bulletin borders and have begun creating my own.

Follow me on here, Teacher's Market Place or Teachers Pay Teachers so you don't miss out on future freebies!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Cool Fonts to Decorate Your Resources or Classroom

Today I am going to share with you my two favourite sites for fonts.
1) Instant Display

These are downloadable as editable word documents to allow you to make your own words and print or print the whole alphabet. Each letter is a picture graphic.

2) Dafont

All the fonts on this website are to be put into your font file and then can be used for any word, paint, PowerPoint or other program where you can type in a selection of fonts. Above are the names and a sample of some of the ones I have downloaded.

Did I mention the best thing about these sites? 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Get your students to clean the floor and enjoy it!

We all know the drill...You just did a cutting activity with your students and their rubbish is all over the floor. The bell is about to go and you need it cleaned up FAST! Most teachers would start walking around directing students to pick it up. Some students would complain, others would do the bare minimum and no one is going to take credit for the rubbish in the corner!
Here's a trick that will have kids WANTING to pick up as much rubbish as they can and have FUN doing it. A simple game called

 I Spy a Piece of Rubbish!

All you do is pick a bit of rubbish on the floor (with your eyes) and tell the kids whoever picks it up gets a reward. A sticker or school reward, doesn't have to be big, it could even be choosing the game the class will play next. Students go around picking up as much rubbish as they can. Wait until someone picks up the piece you chose and reward them. If your floor is still messy, keep playing with a new selected piece of rubbish until your floor is clean. 

Tips and Tricks:
1) You can make it easy and lock you eyes on the piece so the kids have an idea of the area or keep an eye on the piece out of the corner of your eye so the students have no idea. 

2) No one says you have to play honestly- you can always say the piece of rubbish you picked was the last to be picked up or happened to be picked up by a student who did a good job cleaning up.

3) I find for grades 3 and under that you have to reiterate a few times that you know which piece of rubbish it is and will know when someone picks it up. They don't need to bring every bit of rubbish up to you and ask if that was the one!

4) Make sure to inform them that the rubbish they pick up must go in the bin. If you get students only 'touching' pieces in a lazy attempt to win try only announcing the winner when the piece is placed in the bin. You could also try introducing a rule that every five pieces they must bin their rubbish.

I promise, by using this trick your class floor will be clean in no time!

Thursday, 29 August 2013



A displayed timetable is great to have in the room for a variety of reasons and I happen to have three on display in my classroom!

The first timetable I have is the standard timetable that we try to follow each week (when there aren't interruptions). It is displayed on my door so parents and students can discuss what we are doing that day before they are allowed in. I also send copies home to parents at the beginning of they year and as requested through out the year as I change my timetable around regularly.
The second timetable is my weekly lesson planning document. I choose to type mine up rather then have a Teacher Journal/Planner/DWP  as I find this simpler to use (copy and paste is my key to quick planning). I also try hard to keep it to one page. It is pinned up next to my mat area for easy access so I don't miss anything out and can give the students a run through of the day at the start of the day.

Lastly, I have the class timetable that is changeable depending on the day and lessons plans for that day. I have a student responsible for changing it daily and they use the headings from my timetable to change it.  

I have had a child with Autism in my class every single year and they say that what is best for students with Autism is best practice for all students. A timetable helps to settle students as they know what they are doing and what they are going to do. It helps to reduce anxiety and keep the students focused. I like it as it stops the "what are we doing now/next?" question or the just as popular "when are we doing...?". Think about when you have a PD day, don't you like knowing what you are doing? We don't like surprises and we like to keep a track of what we are up to in the day.

Usually students with disabilities have their own timetable (on their desk or near by wall). I try to ease them into a class timetable so they don't feel different and can learn greater independence. Not to mention the work that goes into doing their timetable daily and the extra clutter it creates on their desk. Of course there are some students that need their own timetable, especially if they do a great amount of separate work or need the action of 'taking off' things they have done.

The pictures on my timetable are simple so that students who cannot read can still use it. It is quick to update and takes up a small amount of room. If you are one of the teachers that don't put up a timetable or painstakingly write it up on the board, consider using this timetable. 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Job Charts

Job Charts

Job charts are more of a hindrance then a help for most teachers. We put up with them because they teach students responsibility, reliability, diligence, leadership and cooperation.... if implemented effectively. 

Your job chart must be easy to manage and fair. I like to have enough jobs for all my students and the two job charts I have created have a few creative jobs to achieve this. I have used pegs, velcro and magnets to easily attach and change my job charts depending on what surface it is on.

Change it at the same time every week at a time when it is practical to do it. The routine will make things fair and soon students will begin reminding you to do it. For first semester I rotate the students through the jobs, then in second semester I randomly pick out their names and let them pick to ensure no one gets sick of the jobs and they continue getting done. In term 4 I add the incentive of rewards for completing the jobs.
I use to have a rule for the jobs such as calender and timetable to be done before school but I found the jobs seldom got down due to time constraints. I now get students to do them during morning announcements as a standard thing so its not my responsibility to remind individual students. 

Here is the list of jobs I use:
Teacher Helper: Helps teacher give out and collect worksheets.
Lunch Orders: Takes lunch orders to the canteen and/or picks them up.
Line Enders:  Stays at the back of the line to ensure all students keep up and that no one gets left behind.
Power Ranger: Responsible for turning lights, heaters, air conditioners and/or fans on and off.
Cleaning Crew: Goes around at the end of the day or after messy activities and tells people if their area needs cleaning.
Line Leader: Leads the line and ensures the rest of the class lines up quietly.
Calendar: Gets the calendar ready each day or assists the teacher to do it. Reminds students what the current date is when needed.
Board Cleaner: Wipes down blackboards or whiteboards.
Substitute: Fills in for other jobs when people are away.
Teacher Helper: A second teacher helper for splitting up jobs or doubling up on the same jobs.
Messenger: Sends and collects any notes to/from the office or other teachers.
Line Ender: A second person is needed for this job.  
Computers: Starts up and shuts down computers. Monitors computer roster is adhered to (if you have one).
Cleaning Crew:  A second person is needed for this job. It could also be their job to tidy up the classroom in certain areas or stacking odd chairs.
Line Leader: A second person is needed for this job.
Time Table: Completes the daily timetable or assists the teacher in doing so. If you do not have a changeable timetable chart then they could read the timetable each day.
Book Case: Ensures everyone puts their books back correctly and tidies if necessary.
Rewards: Adaptable to your class reward system. Could be counting how many of a reward the class has or how many to go. Collecting class awards from assemblies or presenting awards to their peers.
Ready Checker: Checks that everyone has everything ready at the beginning of the day.