Handwriting Nazi’s

15 Aug

I’ve created handwriting nazi’s in my class.

When you teach Prep and Year 1 a lot of time is spent teaching the students the correct way to form their letters and numerals.

IMG_3570

Every week we have a handwriting “letter of week” that we focus on.  We do fun handwriting rotations where the students spend 1 min at each activity practicing writing the letter in a different medium (read about them here and here).  The year 1 students also have a formal handwriting text-book to practice their writing (not that I’m much of fan of this one).

 I’m starting to think I’ve been overdoing it a bit!

In the past week or 2 the students have been on my case! Whenever I write on the whiteboard in front on them they have been pretty quick to correct me if I incorrectly form a letter, pick up my pen in the wrong place or start my letter in the wrong place (I admit that today I did do a lazy capital A although most of the time I think I’m pretty right).

Don’t you love it when these type of things come back to bite you!

The Cultural Unit

12 Aug

For the first four weeks of term we have been learning about the Aboriginal Culture.  We have made rainsticks, woven artworks, read many Dreamtime Stories and learnt some songs.

IMG_4801

Last week we wrapped up our Cultural Unit with an excursion to our local Cobb and Co Museum.

It was a fantastic excursion – so well run and organised.

The students worked their way through a series of activities that included:

  1. Dreamtime Stories and clay sculpture making
  2. artefact study and learning a traditional game.
  3. Fire Making/Attempting (no one was actually successful)
  4. Learning a dance and listening to a didgeridoo player
  5. Outdoor games – spear throwing (with tennis balls) and boomerang throwing
  6. Aboriginal Art – Hand painting and Class MuralIMG_5051

The hardest part was walking up the hill home!

Oh and before we left we quickly visited a special exhibit that the museum had on local sportspeople as a Dad of one of the students in my class was in the display. You can imagine how exciting that was!

Aboriginal Artwork

24 Jul

Last week as part of our Indigenous Culture Unit my class made rainsticks.  This week in keeping with the theme we each made a piece of Aboriginal Woven Artwork.

For this activity we asked the students to each bring in a Y branch to use as the main structure of their art piece.

When we did the ‘test’ run we realised it would be too difficult for the students to wrap the twine around tightly themselves so we decided that we would do that for them to start them off.

IMG_4824

We viewed a collection of Aboriginal Artworks online to give us some inspiration before we went out to the playground to collect pieces for our own.

IMG_4825

We decided against letting the kids collect feather from the ground (health reasons) but did pull out the natural coloured ones from the art cupboard for the students to use.

IMG_4826

The students were then let loose to create their own art piece.

We were amazed at how quiet the students were while weaving and at how long they spent creating their piece.

IMG_4831

They look great when they were finished!

IMG_4827

 And I’m sure they have all been hung somewhere special in the students houses!

IMG_4829

Let’s hope next week when we attempt to make our own ochre is just as successful!

Rainstick

21 Jul

We are beginning this term with a 4 week Cultural Unit studying the Australian Indigenous Culture.

Last week we studied Aboriginal artefacts and read a few Dreamtime stories.

We also made a rainstick.

We were lucky enough to have a student bring to school a ‘real’ rainstick (so we had some idea what we were doing).  I also found a great video on You Tube that showed us how to make one.

All we needed was a cardboard cylinder, brown paper, rubber bands and alfoil.

IMG_4798

We used corn and rice (items we had left over from our science unit) to put inside the stick for the ‘rain’ sound effect.

IMG_4797After the students had made their rainstick they painted them with their first attempt of Aboriginal art.

IMG_4799

 They look great when they were finished!

Now I can fib and tell you all that they easy to make – honestly it was a little stressful.  The You Tube clip suggests fastening the ends with rubber bands, which we did to start with……..then by the time the 2 student had rigorously shaken their rainstick so fast that the end had come off causing rice and corn to fly across the classroom we wised up and insisted that every child sticky tape their ends down!  When we were finished we also found 4 pieces of alfoil that obviously fell out of a few rainsticks before they were sealed shut!

IMG_4801

Stay tuned for next week when we attempt weaving!!

100th Day

17 Jul


Yesterday marked the 100th day of school this year! All year we have been counting down to this day.  Each day we have added apples to our number tree, added a paddle pop stick to our Place Value Chart and added a number to our 100 board.

We started the day by counting to 100 and doing our 100 floor mat.

IMG_4754

and singing our favourite counting to 100 song.

This is how else we celebrated the milstone.

  1. Hats: We made and wore these 100 day of school hats.100 hats
  2. Cake: We made a cake in the shape of the number 100 and put 100 SMARTies on it !cake
  3. Necklaces – We made Cheerio necklaces with 100 Cheerio’s (FYI this took forever!).IMG_4758
  4. 100 Cup Structure – This was the FAV activity of the day.  I gave the students 100 plastic cups and each group had to make a structure.cups
  5.  Name Race – Students raced each other to see who could write their name the most amount of times in 100 seconds.IMG_4777

The students had a great day celebrating being 100 days smarter!

Well that’s my 100 day of school Five for Friday post and because it’s Friday I am also linking up with FLOG YOUR BLOG FRIDAY

The Olden Days

12 Jun

This term our hisory unit is titled ‘What was school like for Grandma?”

We have been researching the question and wrote questionaires to our Grandparents asking them a few questions about their school days.

This week we held a “School in the Olden Days” morning.  The students helped me plan the morning using all the information that we had discovered throughout our unit.

For this weeks  Five for Friday teacher post I’m going to show you what we got up to on our “Olden Day” morning.

  1. We sat in rows: Nearly every Grandparent told us that their desks were arranged in rows facing the front. The students were so excited when we moved our round tables into rows (there were a few unimpressed students sitting in the front row – as we had learnt that the naughty kids sat up the front).IMG_4343
  2. Desk Work: We sat at our desk for over an hour straight (which is something we never do) doing book work, making sure we sat up straight, didn’t call out or talk! We did sneak in watching a short BTN movie about school in The Olden Days on our Interactive Whiteboard!IMG_4344

  3. SchoolYard Games – Our Grandparents provided us with an extensive list of schoolyard games to play.  We choose 3 – Drop the Hankie, Elastics and Red Rover.  The Drop the Hankie game did lead to some interesting discussion on what exactly is a Hankie!!IMG_4345 IMG_4346
  4. Artifacts – As part of the students Show and Share students bought in items that Grandma/Grandpa had when they were young.  We had a pretty impressive collection to examin.  The Chamber Pot was an interesting discussion!!IMG_4348 IMG_4349
  5. Fun Rotations – We finished the morning with activity rotations that included writing on a slate, olden day dress ups, playing marbles and an artefact study.  The students spent about 6 mins at each station before moving on.IMG_4356 IMG_4354

Well that’s a wrap……….until next week when we have our Grandparent morning!

Because it’s Friday I am linking up with FLOG YOUR BLOG FRIDAY

New Stuff in Prep/Year 1

29 May


Hello again…..it’s time to showcase a few new things that have been happening in my classroom over the past few weeks.

Here is myFive for Friday teacher post…

  1. Number Lines: We have been doing number lines to death in maths over the past few weeks. Lucky there are lots of fun hands on activities around to help us with this concept. The students love using the hanging geckos!gecko
  2. Cloud Dough: This week our  sensory activity for outside time was cloud dough.  They love playing with this stuff.IMG_1376
  3. Grandparent Letters – This term our history unit is titled “What was School Like for Grandma?”  This week we wrote letters to our Grandparents asking them some questions about their school days.  In return we are inviting our Grandparents to visit our classroom so we can show them what school is like in 2014.  In 12 years of teaching I have never had a Grandparent day before………..so we will see how it goes!IMG_2736
  4. Laser maze – This week we turned our stage area into a lazer maze! The kids had more fun making it than they did playing in it!IMG_4268
  5. Chinese Finger Traps – I purchased a class set of Chinese Finger Traps to help my kiddies sit still during meditation.  They have been a huge hit although to date, not hugely successful!IMG_4156 

So there you go…..another week in Prep/Year 1.  I have a weekend full of writing report cards ahead of me…….yes you can feel sorry for me if you like 🙂

Because it’s Friday I am linking up with FLOG YOUR BLOG FRIDAY