Back to School! :) What a great day!

WOW! What an amazing first day I had back at school today! My 22 little Grade Preps were just beautiful! We had a few tears - from the children AND their parents :) A few little toilet  'accidents' and a few lost children after recess who were still playing or couldn't find their way back to the line up area, but other than that the day ran really smoothly and has given me a lot of excitement about the year ahead.

Today we took it easy and gave the children a tour of the school and showed them where to put their belongings etc. We did a little colouring activity about their first day of school and gave them a photo of themselves from today to take home.

I had forgotten just how needy they are on the first day - the first few weeks will probably be like today. The kids were hungry by 10.00am and lots of them just wanted to go outside and play! hehe

I thought I would put up a few pics of my classroom so far - some are blurry - sorry. Lots of our decorations will come later as the children work on things and we develop our classroom rules etc.

I'm looking forward to reading other Aussie teachers experiences they had this week with their children :)

Have a great week guys!

Teaching in Thailand!

Hi Everyone,

As some of you may know I have had a very rare opportunity to teach in schools in both Thailand and London for short periods of time.

So today I thought I would share a brief snip it of my experiences in Thailand.

In 2008, during my 3rd year of my teaching degree, my university was offering students who were interested an opportunity to undertake their teaching rounds in Thailand. I thought it would be such a fantastic experience and of course jumped at the chance! I had never been to Thailand before and was offered to go to either Bangkok or Chiang Mai. I chose an area called Chiang Mai - it is in the North of Thailand and myself and around 20 other student-teachers joined me.

During my 3 weeks teaching at a Christian School, I was presented with a number of challenges. Firstly, the hours were very different to what I was used to. We were all waking up so early to get to school at 7am. We would walk from our accommodation to the school and by the time we arrived we were already hot and sweaty!! It was so hot! The classrooms didn't have any air conditioning and we were teaching classes of around 35-40 students!!! Needless to say, the days were long and tiring in the heat - but oh so rewarding!!!

Fortunately, I was asked to teach English, and subsequently, my supervising teacher could speak English as well. Other teachers were asked to teach Math or Art/Music and were placed with a teacher that could speak very little, if any, English at all - so at times it was quite difficult to communicate.

I taught 3 separate grade 3 classes and whilst I was there the children were learning about occupations. The teaching in Thailand was very different to what I was used to back home. They had very minimal resources and the children sat in rows with very little group work or interaction with other students at all. Most of the learning was done by rote and listening to a cassette tape whilst the students repeated phrases.

As the rules for photos are different to what they are here, I am able to post some pics of the students and what the classrooms looked like.

This is how the children's desks were arranged.

I moved the desks around so the children could work in groups. 

With very limited resources, I was forced to draw pictures of different occupations on card and create some flashcards and sentence sequencing activities. The kids seemed to enjoy it!

I would start every lesson with some movement - despite the heat - the kids LOVED the Hokey Pokey!!!

I brought in some Alphabet flashcards from home and gave them some fun learning letters of the alphabet.

This is how the students do their Independent Reading! On the floor, squashed into a tight space sitting in rows.

This is a photo of my supervising teacher and I. She was so beautiful. She would buy me red bull because she knew how exhausted I was! :) :)

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my experiences teaching in Thailand. If anyone else has had any time teaching overseas I would love to hear your stories too!

Till next time,

Nursery Rhymes Resource

Hi Everyone!

I'm so excited! I've been busy working on a new resource for my class for the first Term. Every year we do a little unit on Nursery Rhymes and I am forever finding a new Nursery Rhyme each week and coming up with activities for each one! Well.... this year I thought I'd be organised and seeing as though I am on holidays I thought I would get a head start and do it all now!

The entire unit has 7 different Nursery Rhymes and we will look at a new one each week. We look at one together during Shared Reading and use our Reading and Comprehension strategies to decode the words and infer their meaning.

Then each child gets a mini copy of the Nursery Rhyme and they paste it into their own Nursery Rhyme booklet. They decorate it and draw a picture on the opposite page. The kids absolutely LOVE these books and really enjoy reading it during their Independent Reading time.

During their literacy group activities - some children will be using the sentence strips and sequencing the Nursery Rhyme into the pocket charts. Others will be completing the handwriting sheets and others can complete the fill in the gaps cut and paste activity.

Looking at and reading Nursery Rhymes during the early stages of reading are really beneficial for the children as at this stage they are often reluctant to read as many of them are still learning and find it very difficult. Because these are rhymes that most of them know, (they pick them up really quickly) it gives them the confidence to read and provides a lot of enjoyment as well :)

When we are done looking at the Nursery Rhyme for the week, I usually display it in the room or place it in an A3 display book for our classroom library. They can later use it to find sight words during out sight word hunts.

Here is a sneak peak.... (It is also available on TPT)

I'm looking so forward to using it with my little ones in a few weeks and will be sure to post some pics when we are done. :)

Alphabet Chart Freebie

Hi guys!

Today I decided to experiment with Google Docs! AND.... I figured out how to upload a file so that I can share it with others......I know, I know - don't laugh at me - it's probably such a simple thing to all those experienced bloggers out there, but to me... it was a big achievement! hehe

So... to celebrate I would love to share an Alphabet Chart that I made with you all. I am planning on using this with my Grade Preps this year - each child will have one stuck in their Word List Folders to take home with them and I will also laminate a class set for the children to use as resources to assist them during Writing Workshop.

Click on the picture to upload your copy :)

Oh - and if it doesn't work for whatever reason - PLEASE tell me so I can fix it


Classroom Library

At our school each classroom is required to have their own Classroom Library. I like to change my theme each year - last year my Team Teacher and I created a combined Classroom Library with a Space Theme. Take a look...

Each child had their own little astronaut with their face on it :) Also, in order to keep it neat and tidy and of course student friendly, we labelled each basket and included some cute pics.

This year, with my recent obsession with owls, I have decided to create an owl themed Classroom Library. It will be labelled with 'Reading is a Hoot!' I am planning on creating a large tree with 20 owls on it (I have 20 students) and the children can make their own owl to place on the tree :)
I cant wait to post the final result. But for now - here is a sneak peak of the signage....
What are your thoughts/ideas for your new Classroom Library????

First Linky: Shout out!

I am going to attempt my first Linky! Here it goes....

1. Blogger I have been following for a long time and have learnt so much from is Kirsten from Ladybug Teacher Files.
2. A blog that I have recently discovered is The Downunder Teacher. She is an Australian blogger - like me!

Classroom Setup

Well it's the time of year when Aussie teachers are beginning to think about their new class for 2013 and how they might set it up. I have to move classrooms again this year - so I know its definitely something that has been on my mind.

So I've been going through some of my old photos from my previous years and taking a look at what I have done in the past.

This was how I set up my word wall in previous years. We use the Most 100 Used Words for our Grade Preps. This year I have decided I will continue to use this however I also want to create a Word Wall where we add words that we use throughout the year. I have made some round labels for this - I was inspired by Lady Bug Teacher Files :)

If you would like to use these labels for your classroom Word Wall - leave a comment with your email and I'll be happy to email them out to you :)

First Freebie!

I'm very excited! Today I opened my very own Teachers Pay Teachers account and as a celebration I will be offering my first Freebie!

It's A4 sized Alphabet Posters with cute little graphics for each letter of the alphabet.

You can find it by clicking on the link below.

Enjoy! Oh - and please leave feedback - as it's my first product I would love to hear what you think :)

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