Currently December

 Listening- I had enough of cleaning my room today and came home from work early for once.  I had dinner on the table by 5:30, kitchen cleaned by 6 and ice cream at 6:20.  So while I'm on the computer (working/blogging/shopping) my partner is watching the Simpsons.

 Loving- This is our first Christmas in our house.  Last year I bought a lot of the decorations during the boxing day sales and got some great buys.  I bought lots of gold and silver and decided that I needed a black tree.  We found the perfect one at Masters.

 Thinking- That I have nine days left and then HOLIDAYS!  I am so grateful for this this to spend with family and friends.
 Wanting - For the first time in 3 years I am moving rooms.  I have had a smaller room but it's been my home for 3 years now.  When I first moved in it was an off salmon colour which I couldn't stand.  I got permission to it which I'm so glad I did.  I am actually moving to a whole other year level so I won't be taking much with me.  That's why I wish the magic cleaning elves would appear anytime now!
Favourite Tradition- Every year my Mum insist on playing the worst Christmas CDs ever and I mean ever!  I really don't know where she finds them.  But they have become such a tradition that I couldn't imagine Christmas without them.
 Plus have you checked out the TpT sale yet?

Cyber Sale Time!

It's finally here!  The TpT Cyber Monday Sale is happening right now!  I am so delighted to be participating in the sale.  I have 20% off my entire store, that's right 20% off!! But wait there's more. When you enter the code word CYBER you'll get an extra 10% off. I am so excited as I have already had my first sale.  I can't wait to go shopping myself and  I'll most certainly do a post with some of my great buys.
250 × 120

Storybook Saturday - Nov 2nd 13

Wow, today has been a busy day with lots of cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning! Now that everything is shiny and new again, I thought that I would link up with Paula from Paula's Place for Storybook Saturday.  Today I would like to share a book that I normally read at the start of the year called The Very Ugly Bug. 

A very ugly bug thinks that if she looks like her pretty friends, she will be more beautiful, so she makes herself a disguise. But now she's even tastier looking to the birds. When something strange happens, the ugly bug learns that just being herself is the best defense. The story is simple, however, the message is very clear and one that the class always enjoys.

I normally link in an art activity and we try to make the ugliest bug that we can.

Top Apps for Teaching and Learning

A fortnight ago we had a great PD at school about iPads and how we can use them best in the classroom.  I asked our eLearning Teacher for her top 3 apps to use in the class, here they are.

1. PicCollage lets you instantly arrange your photos into frames - or get creative with freeform collages, cut-outs, filters, borders, stickers, and text. Your friends will be amazed with what you can create. It's like Photoshop with your fingers!

  • Import photos from your photo library,
  • Instagram, Facebook and web image search
  • Simple touch gestures to rotate, resize, flick to delete
  • Double-tap a photo to edit photo with Aviary photo effects, clip photo, adjust borders, copy/paste and “flip” images
  • Just tap on the lower-left Frame icon, and swipe to select a frame to make an instant collage!
  • Clip photos by outlining the area you want with your finger
  • Lots of backgrounds and stickers to choose from!
  • Download a “Remix” collage to use as a template for your collage!
  • Share your creations to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and now... Path!
2. iMotion HD is an intuitive and powerful time-lapse and stop-motion app for iOS. Take pictures, edit your movie and export HD 1080p & 720p videos to your device or directly to Youtube.
Time-lapse is a cinematography technique which accelerates movement. It can be used to photograph cloudscapes, plants growing, crowds...
Stop motion is an animation technique which makes a physically manipulated object look like it’s moving on its own.

  • HD 1080p & 720p capture & exports
  • Universal binaries iPhone / iPad / iPodTouch
  • 4 capture modes (time-lapse, manual, wifi remoted, microphone)
  • Ultra speed shooting up to 10fps (iPhone5/4S/4 & iPad3/4 only)
  • Variable frame rate playback
  • Portrait and landscape orientations supported
  • Useful capture tools (Manual Focus, Exposure Lock, Onion skin, …)
  • Export your videos and photos to your Photo Library, iTunes Sharing Folder
  • Export your videos to Youtube, Facebook and Mail (Full Version In-App required)
  • Quick and smooth interface
  • Autosave and direct preview
  • Unlimited movie length
  • Retina Display
3. Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. You can create dynamic interactive lessons, activities, assessments, and tutorials using Explain Everything's flexible and integrated design. Use Explain Everything as an interactive whiteboard using the iPad2 video display. Explain Everything records on-screen drawing, annotation, object movement and captures audio via the iPad microphone.  Import Photos, PDF, PPT, and Keynote from Dropbox, Evernote, Email, iPad photo roll and iPad2 camera. Export MP4 movie files, PNG image files, and share the .XPL project file with others for collaboration. Explain Everything has been designed for use in educational, business, and entertainment settings.

This Friday I am off to an all day PD for Ipads. Stay tuned, I'll share with you what I got from the day.


QAR - Question Answer Relationships

Hello everyone.  Tonight I thought that I would post about something that we have been discussing and implementing in our teaching at our school, The QAR strategy. The question and answer relationship (QAR) strategy is an awesome way to help students understand different types of questions. By seeing the relationship between the question and the answer, students can identify what type of question they are being asked and what type of answer they will give. 

Why use the question and answer relationship strategy?
  • It develops higher order thinking skills.
  • It teaches students how to ask questions about their reading and where to find the answers to them.
  • It helps students to think about the text they are reading and beyond it, too.
  • It helps student to analyze, comprehend and respond to text concepts
  • It helps refute the common misconception held by students that the text has all the answers.
There are four different types of questions:
  • Right There - The answer is in one place in the text.
  • Think and Search - The answer is in several places in the text.
  • Author and Me - The answer is not in the text.
  • On My Own - The answer is not in the text.
These four types of questions can be put into two categories:
  • In the Book - Right There, Think and Search
  • In my Head - Author and Me, On My Own 
The easiest way to implement QAR is by using question starters when reading a text, either in a small group or whole class discussion.  First, I explicitly go over what QAR is and the four types of questions.  I then read a text with my class and we look at the QAR questions starters.  I also read a text and ask my students' to come with their own QAR questions.  I might say who can give me a 'Right There' question about this text.  It can be quite difficult for students to come up with questions on their own rather just answering the ones we ask. 
Here are some examples of
- Right There question starters
  • How many...
  • Who is...
  • Where is...
- Think and Search question starters
  • What caused..
  • Compare/Contrast...
  • What happened before/after...
- Author and Me question starters
  • What do you predict...
  • What is the theme...
  • What does the author mean...
- On My Own question starters
  • Have you ever...
  • If you could...
  • Do you agree with...
I have created my own set of question starters that I use everyday.  I have them printed and laminated into four different tubs, so I can grab them whenever.  As I am a sucker for cute clipart, I found some very cool moustaches and used them to create 'I moustache you a QAR question'.  Take a look!
Check the link to my TPT store -

I am feeling very generous today, as I just cracked my $25 milestone on TPT (no that's not short for $25,000).  I am going to give this item away for free to the first person to leave a comment. Don't forget your email.

Storybook Saturday

I'm a little bit nervous about this, but here I go!  This is my first attempt at a link up with another blog.  I love reading about what other teachers do in their classes, I get so many great ideas.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love, love, love maths.  The more hands on the better.  I am a sucker for place value.  So hence I am linking up with Paula, from Paula's Place with her weekly Storybook Saturday.  This week she has posted her favourite maths storybooks, so I thought I would post mine.

I have to decided to write about my favourite maths storybook author.  The ever almighty Stuart J. Murphy, who created the MathStart series.  I love these books!  Not only are the storylines wonderful, the illustrations are so eye catching and reinforce what the objective of the maths lesson is.  Not only that, the books come in 3 levels.  Level 1 is for ages 3+, Level 2 is for ages 6+ and Level 3 is for ages 7+.  At last count I have around 20-25 from all 3 levels.  I have Year 2s and found that any level is appropriate for them.  I would read a level 1 book when we are introducing a new concept.  Level 2 and 3 really reinforce some of the concepts from level 1. 
I order my books from Books Depository, but I have also seen them on Amazon.  The books range between $5 to $7 Australian dollars, which are great value for money.  The best thing about the books is that at the back, Stuart lists activities that you and your students can do while reading the text and after.  Not only that, he also suggest other books that also relate to that concept.  As you can see I am a huge fan of MathStart and I hope you will be too!
Here are 3 of my favourites, one from each level.
Level 1
Henry the Fourth Thumb
Henry the Fourth (Ordinals): It's "Dog Show Day" and the kids in the neighbourhood have all gathered together to see four perfect pooches compete. Maxie's first, Baxter's second, Daisy's third, but will the stage-shy Henry the Fourth end up stealing the show? Identifying order is essential for developing sequencing skills.
Level 2
Give Me Half! Thumb
Give Me Half! (Understanding Halves): When a boy tries to eat a whole pizza without sharing half with his sister, it's not pretty. Of course, she isn't too keen on sharing her juice or cupcakes. With a little adult prodding, however, they soon learn the benefits of sharing and split everything in half, including clean-up chores. Recognizing that half means one of two equal parts leads to understanding fractions.
Level 3
Too Many Kangaroo Things to Do! Thumb
Too Many Kangaroo Things to Do! (Multiplying): Poor Kangaroo! It's his birthday but everybody's too busy to play with him. Emu has to bake one cake (1 x 1), spread two colours of frosting (1 x 2), decorate the cake with three flowers (1 x 3) and add four big candles (1 x 4). That's 10 Emu things to do when you add them up. The two platypuses, three koalas and four dingoes are likewise occupied with multiple tasks. Multiply each group's tasks, then add the totals together and it equals…a party! By learning how to multiply by 1, 2, 3, and 4, children are introduced to multiplication, one of the four basic arithmetic operations.

TPT Sale

Be quick TPT is having a sale.  There is way too much stuff on my wish list! What will you buy?

Here are the details - Teachers Pay Teachers has reached 100,000 facebook followers and is celebrating with 10% off - I am over an additional 20% off in my store, so a total of 28% off! Just don't forget to enter the code "FB100K".

Here is a link to my store -

I'll do another post with my purchases!

Have a great weekend and happy shopping!!

Holiday Fun in Hawaii

During the first 9 days of the school holidays, my family and I headed to Hawaii for a family trip!  It was great to relax and unwind in the sun.  We did lots of sightseeing, ate lots of food and even tried our hand at surfing. Here are a few photographs from my trip.

This was the view from the breakfast bar every morning.
Here I am with my partner Mick on a sunset dinner cruise.  Wasn't what we thought it would be as there was no sunset ..... hmmm.

The lobster was good though!
We visited the U.S. Arizona, was a really good tour - so much history.

We hired a car and went to the Northshore, was really great to get out of Waikiki.  I will definitely be going back one day!

Math Mentals

Welcome to my new followers or I should say followers as last time I posted I had zero, and now I have six! Whoo hoo! I have been attending a fortnightly problem solving PD and have got some great games and activities that I could use in the classroom. The one thing that the PD discusses every session is the importance of math mentals. Doing a 5 - 10 min warm up before each math session is vital to developing student's mental computation skills. So here are 3 easy activities to use as a math mental warm up.

1. Guess the Number
Give each student in the class a laminated hundred chart and a whiteboard marker. Choose a number or select a student to choose a number. Students will then ask questions that have a yes or no answer to determine the number. They could ask questions like
  • is the number odd?
  • is the number even?
  • is there a zero in the tens column?
  • is it larger than 50?
As students eliminate numbers, they can cross them off the hundreds chart.  Once students have asked a couple of questions and crossed off numbers, they should be able to determine what the starting number was. 
This game will build number sense, place value and the concept to develop key questions to eliminate unwanted numbers.

Here is a link to a FREE number chart on TPT

2. Recalling Math Facts
I bought a set of 9 PowerPoints off TPT that cover different strategies such as doubles, near doubles, making 10 to add 8 and 9 and more.  These were only $1 and were such a time saver.  You could also make your own PowerPoint or flashcards to practice recalling basic facts. 
Here is the link to the set of Powerpoints
3. Subitizing
Subitizing is a fundamental skill in the development of students' understanding of numbers.  Subitizing is a way of instantly counting. Students should be developing this skill to quickly recognise a number, and then be able to tell you how they worked out what the number was.  You can make your own flashcards with dots or any type of picture.  A game that I play in my class is called Jumping Jellybean which was showed to me by the fabulous Tracy McKay.  It not only gets students to recognize dots but also numerals and words as well.  The teacher has a set a cards and sits at the front of the class.  The cards go from zero to ten in numerals and words.  The cards are mixed with subitizing cards that have clusters of dots.  The teacher shows one student at a time the cards and they have to say what they see.  If it is a dot card, they first say the number and then go back and say how they worked it out.  e.g. if the card has 4 black dots together and 2 black dots together the student would say 6, and then they would say I worked it out by adding 4 and 2.  But, this game is called Jumping Jellybean because in the pack there are the Jumping Jellybean cards.  If a student gets this card, they jump up and say 'Jellybean' and then sit back down.  It is not only fun but also helps develop important subitizing skills. 

Please share what you do in your class as a warm up, I would love to hear from you.

Noun Groups

Hello to all of my fellow Year 2 C2C people.  I'm sure you have heard of this term to death by now, the old 'noun group'.  Before C2C came in last year I hadn't had a clue what a noun group was.  I knew that we could describe nouns, but I hadn't heard of this term before. For those of you who are unsure, a noun group consist of an article, adjective and a noun.  For example the black cat.

I have spent the last year and a half trying to find resources for noun groups, but I noticed there isn't a lot out there.  So I finally decided to do something about it and create my own activity.  In this activity, students will use two adjectives instead of one.  Head over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to check it out! 


It's that time of year again fellow TPTers!  The annual TPT back to school sale.  Even though I am in Australia and have been back at school since January, I have decided to join in on the fun.

The sale is Sunday August 18 and Monday August 19.  My entire store will be marked 20% off and  when you add the the Promo Code: BTS13, you will get up to 28% off!  
So make sure you grab a bargain!

Welcome and a Sale

Welcome, welcome, welcome!!!  I am so excited to be up and running in this mysterious land of blogging.  Firstly, thanks to Alicia from Dreamlike Magic Designs for my blog template, I absolutely love it!  I recently came up with the concept of Creative Teaching Supplies and the dream is to one day own my own supply shop for teachers.  To celebrate the new blog I am throwing a 20% off sale in my TPT store for the next 3 days!  As an added bonus, when you make a purchase and leave feedback I will give you any item from my store for free!!  The second item must be of equal or lesser value.  To get the second item for free you must leave feedback on the item you purchase.  This offer is only running for the next 3 days 13/07/13 - 16/07/13.

I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.  I will be using my blog to post items that I have created, what's going on in the world of education or anything that is too cute not too.

Please sign up to receive my blog updates so you don't miss out on anything.  You never know when a freebie could be lurking!! 
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