Sunday, 26 January 2020

Back to School - 5 Printables for the First Week of School

The first week of school is here! It is always a big week of fun, emotions and lots of firsts! Today I wanted to share five of my favourite activities for the first week of school! These FREE printables are perfect for Prep and come in Print, Queensland Beginner, New South Wales Foundation and Victorian Modern Cursive fonts!


1. My First Day of School Drawing and Name

What better way to start school with your little learners than a picture. This is a great keepsake page for the first day of school. Students can draw a picture of their first-day and write their name. There are three different versions to pick from when you download the pack below.


2. First Day Crown

Oh wow, do I LOVE a crown! These crowns are fabulous and will make your little learners proud as punch when they walk out the door wearing their first-day crowns! I have included loads of versions so you should be able to find the one you need -

  • My First Day of Foundation
  • My First Day of Prep
  • My First Day of Kindergarten
  • My First Day of Reception 
  • My First Day of Grade 1
  • My First Day of Grade 2
  • My First Day of Year 1
  • My First Day of Year 2

3. My Name

Name recognition is an essential part of the first year of school, and this activity is perfect for identifying names as well as for identifying classmates names! Students write their name, identify the beginning letter and someone who starts with the same letter. There is also a place for students to draw a picture of themselves and their friend.

4. Being a Good Friend

This printable is perfect as a follow-up activity after a class discussion about how to be a good friend. Students draw and write about one way they can be a good friend.

5. The Things I Like About Friends

The Things I Like About Friends by Trace Moroney is a beautiful book to share with your class in the first week of school. It can also start a discussion about how they can be a good friend this year. This printable has a sentence to trace and a place for them to draw a picture of themselves being a good friend.

Click here to download all the printables for FREE!

I hope you have a fabulous first week of school! I would love to see these resources in action, so please tag me in your posts on Instagram or Facebook.

Love,

Saturday, 11 January 2020

10 Morning Activity Ideas for the Start of School {FREEBIE}

Morning activities are a fantastic way to start the school day. They should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. I believe morning activities are essential for creating a happy and safe classroom for little learners to strive! I have shared 10 amazing ideas for morning activities, as well included a download to FREE labels that you can use to organise your morning activities, making this part of the day easy and straightforward!

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.

1. Make As You Go - Car Mat

This is a super simple activity to set up, and students could spend all day creating their own car mat! All you need is a paper on a roll or large butchers paper, toy cars and a tub of textas, crayons and pencils.

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.


I usually start the ball rolling by drawing the first road, some trees and a landmark or two. However, it will not take long for your students to turn this into their own detailed and colourful maze of roads, monuments and even people!

2. Initial Sound Tracing Strips - TPT Resource

These tracing cards are a productive fine-motor activity, as well as developing students awareness of letters and sounds. I like to laminate the strips and have whiteboard makers for students to trace over the lines. When I am roaming in the morning, I invite students to tell me the letter and sound on the card they are using. You can find this resource in my Teachers Pay Teacher Store - click here!

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.

3. Rock Patterns - Freebie 

This one is an absolute favourite of mine! If I was in Prep again, this would be my go-to morning activity! You can use rocks, pebbles, pompoms, glass stones or even buttons! Students simply place the objects along the line, talk about great fine-motor practise! Download the FREE template from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store here.

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.

4. Blocks

Blocks are a standard morning activity in my classroom! I either have Duplo, wooden blocks or Lego out for kids to build and play together. Having an activity to start the day that encourages communication and sharing is another reason to love morning activities!

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.

5. Toys, Vocab Words & Books 

Whenever I have toys out in the classroom, I also include vocabulary words and books to match! It must be the teacher in me! Our favourite toys are bugs and dinosaurs. To keep everything together, I have large tubs that keep the toys, words and books altogether.

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.

6. Play Dough Mats - TPT Resource 

Playdough is fabulous for fine-motor development and incorporating individual name, alphabet and number recognition is a winner in my book! I like to keep to rotate the three different mats for my morning activities. Click here to purchase these playdough mats from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.

If you would like to read more about how I use play dough in the classroom, click here!

7. Puzzels 

Puzzles are a crowd-pleaser - you will have students who will head straight for the puzzle table every time you have it out!

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.


Jen Jones over at Hello Literacy has a fantastic puzzle table freebie that lists all the skills that students are working on when doing a puzzle. You can download it for free on Teachers Pay Teacher - click here!

8. Picture Storybooks 

Whether you lay some books out on a table or invite students to read in your classroom library, picture storybooks are a great calming morning activity that allows students to slow down before starting the school day. At my school, we have before school care as well as a time before the doors open in the morning where students play outside. Having space and time for students to reset their minds before diving straight into the school day is so important.

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.

9. Scissor Practice - Cut and Paste Sheets - TPT Resource

Scissor practice is another great activity for fine motor development. I like to rotate the different pictures so that students can come back to this morning activity each time there is a new page to complete. This activity also incorporates colouring in and gluing. You can find these printables in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store - click here!

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.

You can read more about this activity and how I use it in my classroom here.

10. Roll and Cover Number Sense Game - TPT Resource

Finally, we have an activity for the number lovers! These Roll & Cover mats are used all day every day in my classroom! However, they are also a great morning activity as students can work on it independently, and it develops their number sense in a fun way. Students simply roll a dice and cover the number on their board. They can also play with a partner and see who covers their board first. You can also find this resource in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store - click here!

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.

Setting Up Your Morning Activities

I use Ikea Trofast tubs for my morning activities and try to keep them in the same area of my classroom, that way, I can easily find them when it is time to swap out an activity. I like to rotate the activities weekly, however, sometimes I keep a particular activity going over a couple of weeks. This is especially important for those students to have separation issues. If I know that one of my little learners loves a specific activity, I ensure I have that as a morning activity option.

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.

We set up our morning activities together at the end of the school day. This is vital as it allows me to explain any new activities or go over expectations for activities. For example, when we are playing with play dough, we must stay at our table!

Morning Activity Labels 

This year I have decided to label my morning activity boxes with individual labels that match the labels for where they belong on our shelving. This will help my students know where the boxes go when it is time to pack up. I have shared these labels as a FREE download. If you would like your own copy - click here.

Morning activities should be fun, engaging, play-based, full of fine-motor development, and allow your students to ease into the busy school day. Find 10 great activity ideas and a free set of morning activity labels.

Comment below if you have a morning activity that your students LOVE! I am always looking for ways to change things up.

Teach big and change the world!
Love,

Saturday, 4 January 2020

A Guaranteed Favourite in your Classroom - Play Dough!

I wanted to come on today and share what I can assure you will be an absolute favourite in your classroom! If you are not using play dough with your little learners, then you need to start to! There are so many benefits to using play dough including social skills, fine motor skills and FUN! There are so many ways to use play dough in the classroom with Prep, Kindergarten or Foundation students and below I share three of my favourites!


How to Use Play Dough in Your Classroom 

To start with I love to introduce play dough as a morning activity where students can use their very own play dough mats decked out with their name, picture and tens frame! At the start of the school year I have a play dough table with all the name mats and if students would like to, they can find their name mat and play with play dough toys and tools.


When we start to introduce literacy centers I include the name mats as an activity. The difference between the morning activities and literacy center is that now students need to focus on making their name and identifying that the picture starts with the same beginning sounds. They can also make their friends name and again identify the beginning sound and make a connection to the picture. Click here f you would like to read more about my name play dough mats.


As well as having a literacy center for play dough name mats, I also include another play dough based activity where students make the letter of the alphabet using play dough. On the alphabet play dough mat there is also picture of things that start with that letter. This activity exposes students to the letters of the alphabet, the formation of letters and initial sounds.


Literacy centers is not the only place you can include play dough, I also use number play dough mats in Maths centers! This is a really great activity for students to make a connection between numerals and quantities in a fun way! They are also learning the correct formation of numbers!


I highly recommend laminating the mats - this way they will be able to be used over and over again! I have been using my number and letter mats for years! The key to all these mats being successful in your classroom is, of course, the quality of the play dough you are using! I like to use home made as it is cost effective and I can make any colours I like! I once read that the colour yellow is good for memory so naturally most the play dough I make is yellow!

Play Dough Recipes 

The best recipe I have found for making your own play dough is from The Imagination Tree. However as soon as I got a Thermomix I started making my play dough in there! I have found that the recipe from ThermoBliss works best.


The Benefits of Play Dough 

Hopefully I have already convinced you that play dough is a winner! However if I haven't, below are some more reasons to use play dough in the classroom! 
  • Fine motor - it helps to strengthen the muscles in little fingers. 
  • It is another opportunity for students to engage in play where they are required to share and compromise. 
  • By using play dough mats it encourages students to communicate with others, therefore building on their oral language. 
  • Name, letter and number recognition, as well as initial sounds and counting. 
  • And lastly, play dough is FUN!

I hope I have convinced you to start using play dough in the classroom with these fun ideas! Find all my play dough mats in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!


Teach big and change the world, 

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

2019 Gift Guide: 11 AMAZING Gifts for Teachers!

Receiving a present at the end of the year from a family is always something special. A present to a teacher doesn't have to be huge, a thoughtful or personalised gift shows your appreciation for the fantastic jobs teachers do throughout the year! So whether it's a gift for your child's' teacher or for a friend who is also a teacher, these gift ideas will help you show your appreciation for the incredible work that teachers do! 
Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

1. A Lanyard from Lillipop 

The bright and colourful lanyards from Lilipop are fun and fabulous! This gift is also practical, as teachers are always misplacing their keys. Whether you go with the classic rainbow lanyard or something with the wow factor, a lanyard will be a winner this Christmas!

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

Lilli also has beautiful and unique jewellery available in her store.

2. Earrings from Teaching with Miss D 

If you know a teacher who loves a bit of bling to brighten their teacher outfit, then the amazing earrings from Teaching with Miss D are for them!

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

You will also find a range of lanyards and vinyl decals!

3. Personalised Stickers from Jess' Sticker Store 

Fun and motivating stickers with my name?! Yes, please! From emoji to bitmoji, these personalised stickers will brighten up marking for sure.

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

4. Personalised Stamps from STAMP IT by 

Miss M 

Just like the stickers above, these personalised stamps are a thoughtful and practical gift for teachers! STAMP IT by Miss M also has some other fab gift ideas, including teacher planners and personalised cardholders.

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

Can't decide? She also has gift cards available.

5. Essential Oil Roll-Ons from Wimmera Wellness

Oh, the soothing smells of essential oils are perfect for calming the teacher mind! Wimmera Wellness has it all sorted with a range of different essential oil roll-ons. My favourite is the calm blend!

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

6. Positive Perspective Cards from The Teacher Collection

This lovely set of motivational and inspiring cards is the perfect gift for any teacher. They are designed with Australian teachers in mind and are there to uplift and support teachers.

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

7. A Gift Card from Endota Spa

Treat the teacher in your life to a little pampering. Endota Spa is known for relaxing massages and refreshing facials - PERFECT!

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

Gift cards start from $25; however, you could organise a class gift where everyone contributes!

8. A Gift Card from Feather & Noise 

Feather & Noise is the perfect online boutique for teacher-friendly clothes (yes, that's a real thing)!  Spoil the teacher fashionista in your life with the freedom to update her wardrobe!

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

9. The Ultimate Teacher Bag from Teacher Carry All Bags 

These bags are incredible- they are designed for busy teachers on the go. They can fit everything and anything in them, which is perfect for teachers because they pretty much have to take everything but the kitchen sink to school! Also, they come in a range of fabulous colours and special edition prints.

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

10. A Scrunchie from Teaching with Julia 

The scrunchie game is strong at the moment and Teaching with Julia has the most creative and colourful range out! When you head to her Esty store you will be tempted to buy her range of fun skirts, T-shirts, headbands or teacher belts!

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

11. Wine!

If you are stuck on a gift idea, then you can not go past a nice bottle of wine! Just make sure you drop this one off to the classroom!

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

I hope this guide has helped you select the perfect gift for the teacher in your life. Remember that you don't need to spend a lot to show your appreciation!

Show your appreciation for the incredible job teachers do this holiday season with the perfect teacher gift! I have found 11 fabulous gift ideas that will help show the love! From lanyards, wellness packs and teacher bags - there is something for every teacher!

Make sure you are following Big World Teaching on Instagram as I have joined up with the amazing businesses above to bring you one incredible giveaway starting the 1st of December! 


Love,

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Word Work for Independent Reading!

An after reading activity helps students to make sense of what they have just read, and it also enables you to gauge their comprehension and application of the text. Today I wanted to share a different reading activity which focuses on word work. These activities will provide students with an activity to complete when reading any book! These printables are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store - scroll to the bottom to find the link!

Are you looking for ways to extend your students during independent reading time? The answer - Words in Books! Differentiated word work sheets for any book!

Words in Books

Words in Books is a pack of differentiated reading activities that focus on word work. Students can read their own independent reading book, whether this is a personal choice book or a levelled reader. As they are reading their book, they work at identifying words based on the focus of their sheet.

Are you looking for ways to extend your students during independent reading time? The answer - Words in Books! Differentiated word work sheets for any book!

Setting these up as a literacy or reading centre activity is a great way to extend students thinking when doing independent reading. I like to introduce a new sheet and include it as one of the activities for that week. It is easily differentiated as students will all be reading different books.

Are you looking for ways to extend your students during independent reading time? The answer - Words in Books! Differentiated word work sheets for any book!

There are 17 different recording sheets. The sheets range in skills such as initial sounds, digraphs and blends, as well as students recording words and writing them in a sentence or finding the definition or drawing a picture!

Are you looking for ways to extend your students during independent reading time? The answer - Words in Books! Differentiated word work sheets for any book!

They can also be used during your assessments weeks, where you need students to be working on independent reading activities. This allows you to be available to administer assessment one-on-one or in a small group.

Are you looking for ways to extend your students during independent reading time? The answer - Words in Books! Differentiated word work sheets for any book!

Having students focus on words when independently reading will strengthen their knowledge of how words are put together. By matching the independent reading activity sheet to match the word work focus for your class will assist students in making connections in their learning and see words in the context of books.

Click on the image below to purchase this pack from my Teachers Pay Teachers store or click here!


Providing students with activities to extend their learning in independent reading time will help students develop a holistic understanding of reading. Words in Books printables are a perfect way to extend independent reading time in an engaging and meaningful way! They will quickly become a favourite in your classroom!

Until next time, remember to teach big and change the world.

Love,

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Making Money Real in the Classroom!

Teaching money doesn't have to be boring. Instead, you can make it real and authentic for your little learners! These activities will encourage your students to think about money in a real-life setting, develop their understanding of Australian coins and notes, and build on their addition strategies! These three activities are my FAVOURITE activities for teaching money and financial mathematics!

Let's make money fun, engaging and relevant for our little learners! These three activities make money real and provide an opportunity for students to learn the Australian coins and notes in a fun way. Read about how to make Australian money real in your classroom!

Writing a Lunch Order

This is always a winner! Asking students to write their own lunch order makes for a fabulous hands-on and oh so real learning experience. Also, it's super fun! 

You can easily use your school tuck-shop menu, and I believe this is the best way to do this activity. However, not every school has a tuck-shop, so in my TPT Store, you will find your very own tuck-shop menu. I have provided two versions - one with whole dollar amounts and the other one with cents included!

Let's make money fun, engaging and relevant for our little learners! These three activities make money real and provide an opportunity for students to learn the Australian coins and notes in a fun way. Read about how to make Australian money real in your classroom!

I love seeing students write their name and class at the top, carefully select their items, and add up how much their lunch order is going to cost. It truly is a beautiful real-life math experience! You could also give your students a budget to work with as well!

Head over to my TPT store to find the printables you will need for this activity.

Catalogue Hunting 

For this activity, you will need a grocery catalogue. So head on down to Aldi, Coles or Woolworths and grab a whole heap! This activity is as real life as it gets! Students will go shopping for some items and cut and paste what they would like to buy on their sheets. They will then cut and paste the correct money using Australian coins and notes. You can set a budget for your little shoppers or let them go wild!

Let's make money fun, engaging and relevant for our little learners! These three activities make money real and provide an opportunity for students to learn the Australian coins and notes in a fun way. Read about how to make Australian money real in your classroom!


With Christmas coming up soon, it's a great way to put those catalogues to good use! Students can use their favourite catalogues to find items they would like for Christmas. They then cut and paste the notes and coins to match the amount of that product. It's like creating a Santa list with intention! 

The Perfect Book Club Wishlist 

If your class is anything like mine, then they live for Scholastic Book Club! Seriously, my little learners can not wait to open it up and start picking out what books they would like to read! This activity harnesses that fantastic energy and allows your students to create a Book Club Wishlist while developing their understanding of Australian coins and notes. 

This activity is very similar to one above where students select the items they would like to purchase from the Scholastic Book Club and match the correct amount of money they will need to purchase that item. They can then add up their things and write the total at the bottom of the page.

Head over to my TPT store to find the printables you will need for this activity.

Let's make money fun, engaging and relevant for our little learners! These three activities make money real and provide an opportunity for students to learn the Australian coins and notes in a fun way. Read about how to make Australian money real in your classroom!

I hope you and your little learners enjoy these hands-on and real-life money activities! You can find all the printables in my TPT Store here! If you have any questions, please reach out, I am more than happy to help!

Let's make money fun, engaging and relevant for our little learners! These three activities make money real and provide an opportunity for students to learn the Australian coins and notes in a fun way. Read about how to make Australian money real in your classroom!

Have a wonderful week and remember to teach big and change the world!
Love,

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Meaningful, authentic and timely feedback made easy! {FREEBIE}

We all know how important it is to give feedback to our little learners. However, sometimes it feels like everything else is getting done and students are missing out on meaningful and authentic feedback that they can act on straight away! Feedback can come in many different forms, including from peers or self reflections. Today I will be focusing on a strategy for teachers to provide meaningful, authentic and timely feedback to students! 


Looking for a way to provide meaningful, authentic and timely feedback to your little learners? These feedback slips are the answer!

Feedback slips are an effective way for teachers to provide quick feedback on students learning. They are easy to prep and once they are cut they are ready at any moment! {Scroll to the bottom of this blog post to download these slips for FREE!}


Now that you have something to write on that clearly states that you are giving feedback, you may be asking but what do I write on them?!

Start with Praise! 

I always like to start with a positive statement that just radiates positivity, rainbows and magical unicorns. Now the words 'Well Done' can get really repetitive, really quickly! That's why I like to use the amazing 87 praise phrases from Jen Jones at Hello Literacy. I know this card pretty well now, however when I first started using it I had it hanging off my lanyard! You can purchase you own praise phrases card from Teacher Pay Teachers.


Two Stars and a Wish 

It is now time for the meaningful and constructive feedback that allows your little learners to reflect on their work and to guide them in working towards their goals or where to next in their learning! 

Thinking about the strategy of two stars and a wish when providing feedback is a great framework to follow to ensure you really are giving meaningful feedback! The two stars refer to things that the students has done well and the wish is a suggestion for improvement. 

The wording of this feedback is important, here are some sentence starters that work for me -

Looking for a way to provide meaningful, authentic and timely feedback to your little learners? These feedback slips are the answer!

Once I have completed the slip, I simply staple it to the piece of work. When I give the work back to students I always let them them know that if they would like to have a chat about their feedback, I am always there for them. 

Click here to download a copy of the feedback slips! 


Feedback should be meaningful, authentic and timely! I hope this blog post has provided a practical way for you to provide your little learners with the feedback they need to continue to grow and flourish! 


Remember to teach big and change the world,