Monday, 30 September 2013

Australian Planner

Well this is my cover… its actually a lovely teal colour vinyl . 
iPad photo has washed it out. 
Our school lets us choose the cover and internal diary style we like. 
There are numerous options. 
Last year mine was hot pink.


Below is what it looks like inside.  I have stuffed a few things into the clear pocket that I need to keep and added the display sleeves.  I add these because if I don’t I end up with a whole pile of disorganised ‘important bits and pieces hanging out everywhere.


This next photo shows a laminated calendar by.  The diary section does contain a year view calendar and a month at a glance calendar as well as the diary day by day but I like to have a calendar I can just pull out when needed too.


Finally, This is what I scribble on to keep my day on track.  I follow the order of my timetable.  we have a 30min recess break at 10:45am and a 50min lunch break at 1:15pm.


Bit of a ‘plain Jane’ share today but I’m on holidays without my Little Learners to photograph. 

Happy Tuesday
Mrs StoweSmile

Friday, 27 September 2013

we are a little bit naughty…sometimes!!

Today I thought I’d share the process that has most transformed my Little Learners recall and correct formation of sounds/letters.  That’s right after
24years teaching
I have found the answer that cements the sound of each letter for


Best news ever is… 
the process ensures that the Little Learners form the letter correctly at the same time. (association)
SAME TIME and its fun!!!

A Little Bit Naughty…

This is how I sold the concept to my Kindergarten class.  I told them I was going to teach them something a little bit naughty that no other class in our school of 1100 had ever been allowed to do.  We were going to write on our desks with TEXTA (white board markers)


Naturally they were keen.

Before we stared I told them that they had to copy me exactly, no talking in between or it simply would work and Id have to pass the texta box to another class to try.  I also made them aware that if they wrote anything else other than our ‘special’ work’ I would have to take their texta and they would complete the activity with their finger which would be missing all the fun.  They swallowed these instructions hook, line and sinker and to this day have not done anything they shouldn’t do in this lesson.

Step 1  I demonstrated a single letter formation on our Smart board.  ie 'a’
            While I demonstrated I made the short sound, just once.
            Step 2 I repeat this step again next to the original formation, again with the short sound once.
            Step 3 I repeat exactly the same thing again BUT before I begin said ‘eye’s closed or look      away’  as I wrote the letter and vocalised the short sound.  You form the third letter without looking at what you are doing.  Try it. We can do it because our brains have a well developed pathway.  This step for the little learners strengths this development for them.

a a a

Step 2  Look at the Little Learners and say ‘ your turn’ and gesture with one hand over to you, bringing your hand forward, palm up, sweeping left to right.’  
At this point the little learners commence writing on their desks,
repeating exactly as you demonstrated. 
All you hear is repeated short sounds and
all you see is letter formation with intense concentration or
eyes closed (for the final attempt)

Below are some samples of the Little learners in action. 

2  3

4  photo

I usually practise about 5 sounds everyday this way and the results have been
ecause the little Learners have established a strong sound letter formation association using 3 senses –

visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. 

Even my weakest children are now brilliant at forming letters and can quickly recall how to form the letter shape. 
Did I mention how successful this has been.  Brilliant!!!! 

For Little Learners initially forming incorrectly…you scan their desk tops, quickly head over, demo on their desktop and have them trace your modelled formation first as they say sound then they process with the next 2 steps.  It easy and it works. 
And to clean up…
give them a dry tissue or wet wipe.
Absolutely no fuss getting out mini white boards and packing them up etc.  I keep the whiteboard markers with their desk supplies on their desks

Not my idea at all but a small part of the Multisensory language Education (MSL) course I completed last holidays at the Australian Dyslexic Association.  This course was the best PD I have ever completed and I believe it should be mandatory for all training teachers…but that’s another post in itself.

Happy Saturday!
Mrs Stowe Smile

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Game storage idea

Need a good excuse for eating chocolate?  I found a GREAT excuse..


Ferrero Rocher chocolates
come packaged in cute little clear plastic reusable containers. 
Different sizes housing different amounts of these delicious little chocolates.

I hear you say.

Well…these little boxes are perfect to house some of the games we print and laminate.  Just have a look at the nine chocolate balls box below and how neatly my maths matching cards are stored.  It made me so cheerful to discover this that I went right out and bought another pack.  Now admittedly not the best idea to eat my way to a storage solution but very tempting indeed.


In actual fact,
I will put an add in our school newsletter
asking families to collect them and send them in to me. 
In a school of 1100 students I'm guessing I’ll get a few. 
If not then plan B it is…I’ll eat my way through.


By the way if you’d like to know more about the game click here.

Happy Wednesday!
Mrs StoweSmile

Monday, 23 September 2013

Numbers 1-10

Ice-creamelicious fun


How much fun matching numerals to play
Ice-Creams Memory Game or Snap game.


My Little Learners also loved playing

 Ice-Cream Trilogy
Each player has 4 cards, they take turn turn discarding a card and taking one from a turned down pile of cards.  Object is to make a trilogy set match.  ie one, 1, picture of one ice-cream. 
The first to make a trilogy wins.

photo4   photo2

So much fun they didn't know they were revising and conserving numbers 1-10

Uncut the posters make a beautiful set of
wall reference posters
in beautiful pastel colours. 

Cut in half they become terrific
Math centre activities
limited only by your imagination.
*numbers can be ordered by numeral or number name or pictorial representation. 
*For an extra degree of difficulty try giving the Little learners mixed sets to order.

You could make your own cards or use my created  pack.


Its a pity that the colours didn't photograph well using my iPad but just imagine the prettiest pink and you’ve imagined well or check it out at my TpT store.

Happy Spring Holiday Break!
Mrs StoweSmile

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Happy Father’s Day

Oops… I forgot to post this little Father’s Day Celebration.

One of my colleagues saw this gift idea or something similar, on Pinterest and we decided this was the activity for the Little Learners
2013 Father’s Day Gift
It was so simple and the results were gorgeous.

pic 1

We three Kindergarten teachers tackled this task on a major scale containing placing all 68 Kinders in one room with their shoes and socks off watching an animation on a Smartboard.
(God Bless the Smartboard)

BTW…the smell was horrid. 
Note to self, next year do this at the start of the day!!!

Next, a few Little Learners at a time were taken into another classroom and one of the teachers wrote on their feet in permanent marker.  That’s right permanent marker.  One parent told me that their child’s white socks were marked and so was their white bath…what can I say…all in the name of good art.  The parent wasn't actually cross, just saying!

Next the Little Learners were seated one by one on a table that was covered in a dark sheet.  They had to cross their feet so the camera could see the message on them as the focal point.  Sometimes it read ‘Daddy I love you’ and other times ‘I love you Daddy’ 
Either way it worked.

The photos were printed off in sepia and put inside a cheap little black frame.

Gorgeous indeed.

Later each Little Learner wrapped their gift in wrapping paper. 
Honestly you have never seen so much sticky tape used. 
I am sure that the Dads had a heck of a time unwrapping on
Father’s Day Morning.



Simple and Sweet

Mrs StoweSmile

Monday, 9 September 2013

Simple Yacht craft

What did we make?

Just a quick one today…


The Little Learners assembled, glued and drew.

They made a yacht.


P1010257  P1010258


The spectacular stories followed.


Each of the Little Learners created a story about their yacht using sight words, environmental print and phonetic spelling.  This is an exciting time of the year in Kindergarten (Term 3 in Australia)  You know that feeling when all your hard work begins to pay off as they put everything together and write independently. 

Happy Monday
Mrs StoweSmile

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Almost 3/4 Through Kindergarten and Loving It…


In Australia our school year begins at either the last few days of January or the first few days of February.  Our school year ends in mid December. 
We have 4 terms that are usually are approximately 10 weeks each. 


basically we have 10 weeks of school then two weeks holiday,
10 weeks of school then two weeks holiday,
10 weeks of school then two weeks holiday,
10 weeks of school then two weeks holiday,
10 weeks of school then six weeks Summer holiday break including Christmas. 
Remember our summer is December, January & February.

Almost 3/4 through Kindergarten means reading, writing and maths skills are really coming together so I thought I share some of the Little learners writing today.

The writing was in response to the lovely story called,
by Janell Cannon.

P1010360   P1010361  P1010362  P1010367

  P1010368   P1010369

Happy Wednesday!
Mrs StoweSmile

Monday, 2 September 2013

Artist in residence


Today the Little Learners spent 3 hours with a visiting artist who taught them to sketch a portrait then paint it on a canvas.  They loved the step by step experience which was so much fuller than the guided drawing activities I do with them.  They were patient and focused and produced portraits of which they can be proud.

Step 1 involved sketching onto paper while the artist created focal ideas for them.


Step 2 The Little Learners sketched again only this time onto canvases.


Step 3 Mixing paint to create a skin tone then painting.  they used when to use a small and large brush and how to correctly hold a brush too.


Step 4  Little by little different colours were added to create a background of choice and coloured features.


Step 5 Finally they used black to define their portraits and  dah, dah…here they are!

                    P1010413 P1010434 P1010433 P1010429   P1010422 P1010414 P1010417 P1010421

I love using experts to enhance the Little Learners experience.  Do you have specialist visitors at your school?  What do they do?  I'm looking for our next venture.

Happy Monday!
Mrs StoweSmile