Sunday, 2 August 2015

Laughing Australian Style

Look what strolled into my office the other day.

It was just what I needed 
(no pun intended)

A surprise visitor

I laughed and laughed.

Now who wouldn't want to be a teacher.  
We dress up just for fun.

It wasn't a special day but this lovely lady was just spreading some cheer.

Looking forward to 
2015 Book Week Parade Day 
in a couple of weeks.  

At my school our staff often dress in a common theme on this occasion.  
I love the way we do this.  We usually sit the Little Learners in our hall which we call the MPC. (multi-purpose centre)  It holds approximately 1200.  
Once the kids are seated our staff gather in the foyer and make a formal entrance to theme music.  

One year we were the deck of cards from Alice in Wonderland.  
Another year we were chimney sweeps from Mary Popins.  
We have been the characters of the Mr Men series books 
and the cast of Despicable me. 

The kids love that we go all out and I love that we have a big giggle together.
Looking forward to doing it all again soon.
Any ideas for staff costumes gladly accepted.

Happy Sunday
Mrs Stowe :)

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Not quite in the classroom yet...

Thanks for the warm welcome back to the wonderful world of blogging.  

This week I have been reading and reading and relearning and reading some more.
Not sure about you but reading so many great ideas from real teachers really inspires me.

Perhaps not educationally inspiring but...

A Little bit personal this time

Today I thought I'd share my latest family birthday.  
Little Miss 17years was delighted with her very quick and easy piggy birthday cake.  

Pigs in Mud

Hope it gives you a giggle.

Step by simple step

(unfortunately I'm no chef but I sure know shortcuts)

"As happy as a pig in mud"
The birthday celebrations were appreciated although very simple.  
Who says teenagers are trouble.  Feeling blessed, really enjoying mine!

Well there you have it!

Happy Saturday
Mrs Stowe :)

Sunday, 26 July 2015

I need a little help, please!

Well hello,

I haven't posted for just over a year now for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, I changed positions within my school and have not been teaching Kindergarten!
Secondly, I had dreadful computer difficulties.
Thirdly, I now have changed to Mac.
Finally, I've been super busy.

I guess that adds up to a whole lot of excuses.

I miss blogging and I miss reading blogs.  
I plan to spend the next couple of weeks catching up by reading as many blogs as I can 
while trying to locate the best user friendly blog writer I can.  

I was using Livewriter on my windows system but have heard this doesn't work with Mac.  
If you have anything to help me in my search then I'd love to hear from you!

But for now...

Happy Sunday!
Mrs Stowe :)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Test post

I have had huge computer problems over the past few months so please excuse this text post.  I'm just checking to see if everything is back on track after reimaging.

Ahhh…seems like some features have been disabled so I'm still a work in progress.

I am enjoying reading blogs dearly but am also looking forward to returning to posting from my cottage too.

I need a teenager!!

See you soon…forever the optomist.  :)

With thanks
Mrs Stowe :)

Monday, 21 April 2014

WBT–Hands And Eyes…

Everybody knows I love & appreciate

Whole Brain Teaching.

I love it because it works.
I love it because it’s quick.

But most of all…

I love it because the Little Learners love it!

The Whole Brain Teaching approach is really fun and extremely successful too. 
It just makes sense to teach this way.  Come on, give it a go. 
I read about it, watched several You Tube clips and videos about how to implement it but to be honest I completely underestimated its value until I tried it.

Guess What?  I bought the book!
I had to following the little fiasco written below.

WBT book cover

There is so much more to this approach and you can adapt as much or as little as you like. 

‘Hands and Eyes’
also known as The Focuser

Best introduced through a little story at my expense…

I watched a You Tube showing how to implement WBT in an Infants classroom. 
I watched carefully oo-ing and ah-ing at all the appropriate places. 
I was looking for pointers to use in my room.
I hadn’t read the book. 
I knew that Hands and Eyes was the focuser to use directly after the Class-Yes! 
I watched the clip carefully.
Learned the accompanying action.

Hands and eyes2

Slight problem at this point…

I thought the teacher demonstrating was saying ‘hands in ice’.  I listen to it several times.
I thought that was unusual and must be an Americanism.  Didn't question it beyond that really. 
I was armed and excited ready with my next WBT development
to trial with my Little learners.

In I went so excited and taught the kids the very next day the focuser .
I taught them that when I said ‘hands in ice’ they needed to echo and complete the accompanying action. 
This action was to clap hands together quickly directly out in front of their torso then snap their clasped hands quickly towards their bodies landing in their laps with one smooth movement as they echoed ‘hands in ice’
Well naturally they did this, such an obedient bunch of kindergarteners.
Look at the Little Learner above so sweetly following.  
We practised a few times and then…
my 15year old daughter happen to pop past my room
(She is in Year 10 at our K-12 school and sometimes visits me…usually for money) 
She wandered in,
she listened and she laughed…


She said mum, it’s not ‘hands in ice’ it’s ‘hands and eyes’
and instantly it made sense to me. 
After all, it was an meant as an attention grabber. 
Hands in laps meant not fiddling attention my way as did eyes to me. 
Oh my! 
Yes I did feel silly but I did LOL too. 

So there you have it my introduction to WBT Hands and Eyes
Hopefully yours will make a lot more sense when you try it with your Little Learners.

By the way it works brilliantly as a focuser after using Class-Yes.
Want to know more about WBT…try my You might also like links below.

Happy Tuesday
Mrs StoweSmile

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Aussie autumn & Gum Trees

Here in New South Wales, Australia we are on our 2 week Autumn/Easter Break.


Temperatures are definitely cooling down and we have experienced

23oC – 26oC

for the past week.
(that’s 73.4 –78.8 Fahrenheit)

I probably should post pictures of the beautiful beaches and waterways but I have decided on a few autumn plants this time.  why not have a flick while I get a cardigan!

Gum Trees

I went outside to capture a few pictures for you of our Gum Trees. 
They don't lose their leaves and are very tall, great for shade.

photo 1

  photo 2  photo 2  photo 2 


A Few other plants that grow around my place in autumn.

Not flowering at the moment

              photo 3   photo 5

Bottle Brush & Banksia

          photo 1   photo 4


photo 3

Kangaroo Paw
(a little too much sun in this shot)

photo 5

And some Daisies..

    photo 1photo 3

Not really sure what this random plant below is but I do know that those orange round things somehow get from the front yard over our house to the backyard and into the pool!


Although to be honest, I plead ignorance and rarely clean the pool.

photo 4 

Now if you made it down to here you probably think I'm a bit of a gardener but no! 
Sadly all I touch turns to brown. 
These are plants that grow all year without attention fortunately.

Not a teaching post but just a little share today.
Now…where is my book?
Time for a holiday rest.

Happy Thursday!
Mrs StoweSmile

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Lunch Time in Australia

Now this could seem a little odd to our OS blogging friends

but here in Australia

most children sit outside at tables, benches
or on the ground to eat the lunch they have brought from home.
That’s right a packed lunch is the norm here. 
We don't generally have cafeteria’s in schools!
It’s a rarity.

Now this poses the problem of where to eat and how to keep an area tidy.

Finally I have found something that works!

It’s the Lunch Mat Trolley!

photo 3

We simply bought online these lovely camp mats.
One of our clever High School Staff worked out the design when told what we wanted. 
Another beautiful staff member spray-painted them to coordinate with our renovated Kindergarten rooms, castors were added for manoeuvrability and
There you have it The Lunch Mat Trolley!

photo 1  photo 2photo 3

How do we use them you ask?
Read on…

Daily monitors pop outside just prior to lunchbreak and spread these beautiful brightly coloured mats about on the ground.  The Little Learners simply get their lunch from their bags and plant themselves on a mat.  They eat their lunches and return the mats to their class trolley when finished.

No more sitting on concrete.
No more dirty outside tables to lean on.
No more scattered chairs after every lunch break.

It Works a Treat

photo 4

Our beautiful Kindergarten teachers introduced them as something really special that no other class had and ran through rules for using them.  Much like anchor charts with Daily 5.  Funny thing was that it has worked so well that each day after lunch we keep finding that the Little Learners have not only returned their mats to their trolley but they have grouped them in colours within the trolley.

Little Learners – you have to love them!

Happy Sunday!
Mrs Stowe Smile