Tag Archives: Year One

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


They look great when they were finished!


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


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


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.


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.


 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!


Stay tuned for next week when we attempt weaving!!

Handwriting Blitz Take 2

19 Mar

Last week I tried practicing our handwriting with 90 second fun activities (read about it here).

They were such a hit that I tried it again with 6 different activities.

I set up 6 activities to practice writing the letter ‘s’.  The students spent 90 seconds at each activity and then moved on to the next one.

This week’s 6 activities were:

Activity 1. Marble writing at the easel.


Activity 2. Writing using cotton tips and water paint.


Activity 3. Masking tape on the floor and using a toy car to trace the letter.


Activity 4. Writing under the table.


Activity 5.  Writing on paper using a crayon but with sand paper underneath.


Activity 6. Writing in sand on top of a mirror.


There you go…………another 6 fun and engaging handwriting activities (well as engaging as handwriting can be!!).

Handwriting Blitz

11 Mar

Hello Blog World……..remember me!  I’ve been a bit slack on the blog front lately…..SORRY!

Last week I tried a new activity with my class.

The letter ‘a’ was our handwriting focus of the week and some of the kids were just not getting it!

At the beginning of the year the school OT suggested 90 sec handwriting activities to aid with writing, so I thought I would give them a go.

I set up 6 activities to practice writing the letter ‘a’.  The students spend 90 seconds at each activity.

Activity 1. Rainbow writing at the easel.


Activity 2. Writing in shaving cream.


Activity 3. Writing in chalk at the outdoor chalk board.


Activity 4. Writing using water and paint brushes on the cement.


Activity 5.  Using play dough to make the letter


Activity 6. Using the handwriting app in the iPad to write the letter.


The students loves these activities.

Afterwards we had our inside inquiry time where students can select what they want to do.  I had a group of students ask me for more big letter a’s so they could do more rainbow writing!

So now I just have to think a 6 new activities for this Friday’s handwriting blitz session!

Suggestions welcome!

Pet Week

8 Nov

Welcome to another week in my Prep/Year 1 classroom.

This week was Pet Week! Yes, you heard it right – Pet week!  A big thank you to the parents that were able to bring the pets to school for us to see and most importantly pat!

Here is my Five for Friday teacher post.

  1. Water Play – The weather has been beautiful this week so we got out the tubs and did water play as part of our outside time.IMG_2537
  2. What am I?: Because of our recent interest in animals (due to our  paper mache’ animals and pet week) we have been writing What am I’s?  This week the students typed them up and we put them on display for the parents to see.IMG_2574
  3. Car Track Painting – This week we got out the toy cars and painted with them.IMG_2493
  4. Melbourne Cup Celebrations – We celebrated the Melbourne Cup in style this week. You can read about it here.IMG_2559
  5. Pets – This week we have had dogs, chooks and birds visit out classroom.  I was amazed at two poodles that went to the hairdressers prior to coming to school. They had bows in their hair and smelt better than I did (apparently they go every 6 weeks!).  We also made a graph of each animal throughout the week as each child did their Show and Share presentation.  The most common pet was………..dogs.IMG_2585IMG_2542

Well that’s another week all wrapped up. See you all next week!

Today I am linking up with FLOG YOUR BLOG FRIDAY

Hump Week

16 Aug

Here is my Five for Friday teacher post.

Yes, in the teaching world this was hump week – AKA middle week of term.  We have another 5 weeks to go and we are busy busy.  I honestly felt like I have been running all week.

Next week is “Book Week” and I have prepared an “Out of this World” costume to wear.  All will be revealed next week in my weekly wrap up!

Here is what happened in my crazy room this week:

  1. Pinwheels – We were looking at the wind this week in Science so we made pinwheels.   pinwheels
  2. Blot Painting – This week our painting experience was blot painting. I love how amazed the students were when they opened the paper up to reveal the image.IMG_1940[1]IMG_1941[1]
  3. Post Office – I’m not sure where it came from but this week some of the students started playing “The Post Office” during inside time.  Therefore we now have a class mail box.IMG_1942[1]
  4. Individual Letter Boxes – Small projects often turn into class projects in the Early Years.  We started to encounter problems with our class mail box (i.e. mail not named, people in the class with the same last name etc).  When we were discussing how we could solve these problems it was decided that we should each have our own letter box.  This way we post our mail in the large class mail box and then each day two “chosen” postman will deliver the mail to our individual letter boxes.IMG_1943[1]
  5. Reading– We are moving along like wild fire in our reading at the moment. Check out these two Preppies reading to each other, not because I asked them to, just because they could!!IMG_1939[1]

Today I am linking up with FLOG YOUR BLOG FRIDAY