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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Today's Number is....

So I have seen these around Pinterest for quite a while now and with school going back on Monday I decided to finally get into gear and make myself one. I really want to increase the quality of my maths lessons this year. I am going to be breaking my maths block into four sections. Basic skills to start the lesson, explicit mat session, consolidation activity, reinforcing maths game. For first term I am going to use Today's Number is as the basic skills activity. While I have done 12 questions up I am going to start with 5 and introduce a new question each week, with the final few being challenges for the more able finishes.
I am calling it Number Crunch to make it more appealing to the students!
You can download it free here

Monday, 26 January 2015

My First Clip Art

Since I have been making my own products I have been making my own clip art.  I didn't want to get involved in all the copyright issues and formalities of using other clip art (nor spend money on clip art that might not make its money back).
I have gotten quite a few compliments on my clip art and I know I am a million times better at it then when I first started. So...I am now selling my own clip art! My first packet is 50 different people.

Here are a few of my favourites close up!

This clip art set contains 50 different characters in colour and the same 50 in grey scale. Click on the thumbnails to see all 50. Featuring girls, boys, women, men, king, queen, astronaut, elderly, surgeon, super heroes and much more. Most have their hands at their sides.
All have a transparent background.

Clip Art Terms and Conditions
By purchasing this set you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions
• Provided you are a follower of mine on Teachers Pay Teachers you do not need to give credit or provide a link back to my store within your products.
• If you choose not to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, credit must be given within each of the documents you use my clip art in and on the product descriptions.
• The copyright of the images remains with MrsAmy123.
• This product can be used for personal and commercially within a document (not an image file). They must be embedded within a document (e.g. pdf file) to ensure they cannot be copied. 
• You may edit the colour of the clip art but copyright still remains with MrsAmy123 and cannot be sold as new clip art or claimed as your own.
• You may not share these clip art images with another person.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

It's HERE!

This package is a complete 10 week unit on narrative writing (exposition writing). It includes a planner based on ACARA curriculum that features a variety of interesting teaching strategies and the worksheets and posters to go with each lesson.

The planner was written for year 3's but is easily adjustable for using in year 4 and 5 classrooms. 

At four pages the planner features five to six steps for each lesson, keeping it simple and succinct. Teachers need to use their own skill to ensure the lesson remains explicit and teaching opportunities are not missed. 
The package contains posters, prompts, activities and checklists.
A lot of people teach narratives through the concept of a juicy hamburger. I use that concept for persuasive writing and did not want to get the two topics confused. So I create the above poster showing narrative writing as a roller coaster ride. 
Think of a narrative like going on a roller coaster ride. In the beginning there is anticipation. Who’s going on the roller coaster? Where are they?                                                                                                 
Slowly the cart starts going up the first hill. It builds up slowly.                                                                  
Everything changes when you reach the top of the rollercoaster. The ‘uh oh’ moment. What’s the problem? What are the implications?  Then as it takes you down towards the finish everything starts to return to normal.                                                                                                                                               
At the top of the roller coast the sky helps remind students that at the beginning of the story things are fine but trouble is coming. Lightening strikes at the top of the hill and at the end of the story everything is sunny again.                                                                                                                                      
Without the support beams the rollercoaster would fall down. A narrative needs the support of punctuation (full stops, commas, question marks, exclamation marks and speech marks), adjectives (complex words), language devises (similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, alliteration), setting (time, place, atmosphere), characterisation and paragraphs (One for beginning, one for each problem and one for each solution).

It contains Amazing Adjectives Activities (also sold individually)Click here for more info

Also Narrative Picture Prompt Cards (also sold individually) Click here for more info

I have trialed this unit aspects of this unit in my classroom with pleasing results. I am BEYOND excited to trial this improved unit with my new batch of students.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Grouping Cards

Grouping cards are a simple and easy way to quickly group your students into a wide variety of groups. I prefer to use grouping cards because you easily influence which students are grouped with others without the students knowing. You don't have to worry about students forgetting which group you told them to go in or swapping groups. They assist in getting students excited about the pending activity.

I remember when I created my own set in my first year of teaching. I used a combination of coloured paper, printed numbers and borders and stickers. While they can be fun to make I have taken the hassle out and made a bright and colourful printable version for you.

This set of cards is designed for a class size of 24 but by removing cards you can use them for a smaller group.
You can use the cards to group students into 12, 8, 6, 4, 3 or partners by asking students to look at a certain aspect on the card.

Hand out the cards to the students and then tell them what part of the card they must look at to group themselves.

Introduce the cards to students by making it a game. Call out a grouping category and the group that gets together the quickest wins. Use this game before group activities to solve the problem of students swapping cards to get in a group with their friends, as students won’t know which time will be their actual group.

Strategically hand out cards to avoid certain students being in the same group. Assign leaders to groups by handing out cards in advance. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Amazing Adjective Activity

I am on a role! Just uploaded another resource!

Amazing Adjectives is a fun activity exploring adjectives and their impact on writing. For use as a whole class, group or learning center activity.  I have used this activity several times before as a printable sheet for students to fill out individually but this year I thought students would get more out of it if they could swap out the adjectives in the story to find the perfect ones. The download comes with 6 story templates that have blank spaces for students to fill with adjectives. 

Three ways to use:
Option 1: Print the story templates and photocopy. Students write their own adjectives in the boxes.
Option 2: Print and laminate the story templates and allow students to use whiteboard markers to add adjectives to the boxes.
Option 3: Print and laminate the story templates and print, laminate and cut the adjectives included.
You may need to print duplicates of some pages depending on your chosen usage.

Activities can include:
Exploring adjectives and what they are
Learning to use commas in a sentence
Hearing the difference adjectives can make to a story
Learning new vocabulary


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Narrative Prompt Picture Cards

I just uploaded a new resource!

This is a set of 72 narrative prompt cards. They cover characters, setting and problems.
Print, laminate and cut out the cards. The character cards are green, setting cards blue and problem cards purple. Page 3 includes optional cover cards for each aspect and 22 to 24 includes backings for the cards if desired but must be printed off multiple times.
Students can use their own creativity to decide what each picture represents and most are open to several interpretations. Is it a farm sheep or a talking sheep? Is it a problem about talking too much or losing your voice?
Randomly assign one of each coloured cards to the students. This can be done by handing them out, passing them around up side down or pulling them out of a hat. Students then use them to create a story.
With 24 of each coloured card this can be used as a whole class activity or just given to students who need a bit of extra help.
These picture cards are great for any age and can be used for a wide variety of activities including writing stories in groups or non narrative based activities.

I am also very proud that I did all the clipart myself! This project has really helped my clip art making skills.

These are going to be a part of a bigger unit I am developing on narrative writing. Follow me on here, Facebook or TPT to find out when it gets released!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Tips for TPT Sellers with Full Time Jobs!

I started on TPT over a year ago now and at the time I was pregnant and working full time. I worked up until 3 days before I had my gorgeous little girl (now 8 months) and went back to full time work 6 weeks later (leaving my husband to be a stay at home daddy.) The time I have available to work on TPT is limited and I have to make sure I make the most of every free minute I get.

When I first started I spent hours reading advice and tips on the forum and I tried to do EVERYTHING they recommended. Thinking back, there are a lot of things I could have done differently that would have maximized my time and increase my sales much earlier on. Today I thought I would share those thoughts with you.

1)            Don’t be in it JUST for the money.
If you are just out to make money you won’t last. Coming home at night from one job to start work on another is much easier if you enjoy what you are doing. I love creating resources, it relaxes me. I call TPT a hobby! I get excited over each and every sale and am happy with any extra cash I earn. Unless you’re extremely lucky it can take a while to start earning a sizable amount.
2)            Sign up for premium seller straight away!
This will help you commit to TPT and motivate you to keep going whilst also earning more. You know how insurance companies always compare their premium to being less than a cup of coffee? Well so is the TPT premium (when spread out over a year). It’s worth the risk!
3)            Forget the social media!
Leave the Facebook, Pinterest, blogs and Instagram pages until your store picks up. Yes, these will help you get sales but not as fast as prioritizing the tips below.
4)            Build up quality products
I didn't start seeing every day sales until I had over 20 products in my store. Spend the time getting the products up then look at getting more complex thumbnails and previews. Many of my products just get screen shot/JPEGS of one item within the product rather than spending time trying to showcase all the pages over three thumbnails.
5) That being said...
 Have good cover pages and descriptions. People won't click on your products if they don't look inviting or offer more information then the title. They also won't buy a product if they don't know what they are getting.
6)            Find your Niche- Quickly!
Find that area that you excel at or is lacking on TPT. I found my Niche with ten week unit plans on specific topics. When I first started I wasted time producing more general stuff like job charts. Yes, they do sell…but at a much slower rate because there are so many of them out there on TPT. Leave them till later.
7)            Don’t undervalue your products

This is one that I am still guilty of. Your new to TPT and you think maybe my products aren’t as good as others or that they will sell better if they are competitively cheaper. NOPE! Trust yourself. People will pay for quality!

Thank You

So we are over half way through my 'blog every day of January'. I can't say it has been a complete success yet....I do know though that there is a few people out there reading most of my blogs each day. To you, I would like to say thank you for your support!

Don't forget you can jump over to my new Facebook page and like it for a chance to win all my products from 2014. With no likes yet (major unhappy face :-( ) you stand a really good chance at winning!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Next Project

So the project I am currently working on is a Year 3 Narrative Unit that addresses the needs of the NAPLAN test. Here is a sneak peak....

Follow me on this page or on facebook to find out when the unit will be coming out!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Facebook Giveaway!

Like my new Facebook page for your chance to win my Bundle of 2014 package. It has all 17 of the products I released in 2014. That's over $50 worth of value! 
A winner will be randomly selected on February 1st 2015 (AWST)
If we get to 50 I will give away two!

Can't wait? Download this bargain NOW for only $25! Half price till the end of January

First Aid Unit

My second biggest seller is my First Aid Unit. This also happens to be my favourite unit to teach. It is fun and engaging for the teacher and students! Today I thought I would go into a little more detail about what the unit contains.
The three page planner contains 5-6 steps for each lesson. This keeps it short and succinct for a busy teacher but you do need to be careful that you really flush out each of those points while teaching. It utilises many different teaching strategies and moves at a steady pace through the topics. By the end of the unit students will know how to;
  • Identify risks
  • keep themselves safe
  • give first aid in different situations
  • identify when they need to get help
  • know what to do in an emergency
  • determine when to call 000/911
  • know what information to give when calling 000/911
  • explain and act out DRS ABCD

The unit also comes with a series of first aid posters. Use these for your reference, for display, for the activities or make them into a reference book for your class library. The first aid topics covered in this unit are;  burns, nosebleeds, wounds, chocking, DRS ABCD, CPR, broken bones, sprains, stings and bites.

The best way to learn is by doing and so students have ampule opportunities to (pretend) practice the skills they learn. Towards the end of the unit students get given scenario cards (examples below) to act out.

The unit features a great deal of higher order thinking as students are asked to compare strategies, retell and summarise information and share their knowledge with others. There are venn diagrams, retrieval charts, flow charts, T-charts and lots of discussion and collaboration.

It includes provision for both Australia (000) and America (911) but contains Australian English.

Available for purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers, Teachers Market Place and Teachers Notebook. (click on the site to take you to the resource.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

How to Find Your Ranking on TPT

Update: If you are in the top 50 000 sellers you can now find your ranking easily here http://tpt.naujok.com/index.php . Just type in your store name and click on 'get rank'. So simple and easy! If you don't come up you can still use the system below and start from page 1000.

I discovered a post on the sellers forum once that talked about his/her ranking on Teachers Pay Teacher. After quite a while I discovered how to find my own ranking. It is not the easiest thing to do but if you're curious or just the competitive type then keep reading.

Step 1: Go to the TPT homepage (not your dashboard).

Step 2: Scroll down a little way and in the left hand column you will find the heading 'View Sellers' Click either Top Sellers or by State/Provenience. Unless you fairly high up in the rankings of your State/provenience I don't recommend you go looking in Top Sellers....You will be there for quite some time!

Step 3: Click on your State/Provenience if you are going down that route.

Step 4: On each page press Ctrl - F which will bring up a search bar. Type in your user name. Do this for each page until you you find yourself. Like I said before...it isn't easy and it's time consuming. There are 50 results per page so multiply the page you are on by that to find out your rough ranking. Down the bottom where it says that it will also tell you the number of  people in total in that specified area.

Step 5: I am a little addicted to checking my ranking and after the first time you'll know which page to go to each time. It find it updates within 10 minute of me selling a product.
Remember that while your store is growing so is everyone else. Your ranking will go up and down.
Also remember that this is based on all time sale records. The ones in the top 50 have been on TPT for quite a while.
I like to look at who the people are above and below me so I can get to know my fellow sellers and find some interesting products (and check out the competition). 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Welcome Banner

This year I am trying to bring my class rainbow theme together. I never thought much about classroom themes before which lead to an eclectic collection of posters and resources. If I had the money and time to start all over again I would go for a straight purple theme but this seems unreasonable so I decided to go with a rainbow theme.
It has been a bit haphazard of a theme but it is slowly coming together. Make sure you are following me on this blog to see when I post my classroom tour sometime in February.
I have caught onto the welcome banner craze (???) and couldn't find one I liked so I made up my own.
 I plan to hang this so it is visible as soon as you walk through the door. I just have to laminate it.
I have now included bunting that spells the word GOODBYE! so you can glue it to the back of the WELCOME! bunting if displaying in the middle of an area. If you do that though remember that the letters need to be glued in the opposite direction of the welcome letters to read the right way. I also fixed the bunting background up so the lines all go the same way!  

You can purchase this sign along with my classroom rules posters (more to come on that soon) from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Persuasive Writing Year 5 Complete Unit

My most successful product to date is my Persuasive Writing Unit for Year 3.

I have finally done up a planner along these lines for Year 5. It features fun and engaging activities, relevant persuasive topics and will assist your students to do well in NAPLAN. While it does have some overlap with the Year 3 planner it has some completely new lessons and is a more targeted unit.

The package is a complete 10 week unit on persuasive writing (exposition writing). It includes a planner based on ACARA curriculum that features a variety of interesting teaching strategies and the worksheets and posters to go with each lesson.

The planner was written for year 5's but is easily adjustable for using in year 4 and 6 classrooms. 
At just over three pages the planner features five to six steps for each lesson, keeping it simple and succinct. Teachers need to use their own skill to ensure the lesson remains explicit and teaching opportunities are not missed.

The lesson I am most excited about is entitled 'Pick a Side and Justify'. It is the introductory lesson into the topic and is based off the 'Would You Rather' Game. Students are put into groups and then teacher calls out a would you rather... Students then discuss which one they would rather and why (they must pick one!). Then students record their justification on a speech bubble and then glue that on to their chosen side on a T-Chart on a piece of giant paper. It is sure to engage all your students and get them justifying their answers.
Available on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Market Place