Halloween

If you haven’t guessed already, I LOVE any opportunity to dress up. Dressing up promotes imaginative play which is fantastic for young children (I won’t lie, I like it just as much as the students do). We had a normal day of learning with the added fun of wearing costumes. As a teacher, I think dress up days like this are so important for building positive and fun relationships with students. I can say that it did feel strange teaching reading dressed up Ursula the sea witch from the Little Mermaid haha.

In FB, we had an fantastic day filled with fun and laughter. I did have to educate the students on who I was so I showed them some clips from the Little Mermaid.

There were some great costumes in our class.

Miss Yarni and her protege Miss Yarni (Maryam)

The two Miss Yarni’s and Mr Stafford.

Mr Stafford telling Miss Yarni off for not eating her lunch. Miss Yarni was having none of that…

 

Daniella and I unintentionally dressed up from the same movie, which I LOVED!

Ursula pretending to be nice to Ariel while she asks for legs.

Ursula cursing Ariel. Ariel looking very confused.

 

Our class was definitely safe if any bad guys were to attack. We had our own little team of superheros and ninjas protecting us!

Jack caught mid action shot being SUUUUUPERMAN

Dominic looking like a very realistic Batman.

SUUUUUUPERGIRL SALMA. Ready to save us all.

SUUUUUUPERGIRL SALMA. Ready to save us all.

Abdullah is fastest ninja in the prep unit.

Half spiderman / half student. The perfect combination for Ayiden to get work done AND save us all from bad guys.

Thankfully we had some beautiful princesses in our classroom too.

Fairy princess and birthday girl; Reshma.

Princess Giselle

Can’t forget all of our animals either.

My clan of un-costumed bandits. I gave anyone who didn’t have a costume an animal mask to colour in and wear.

 

 

 

 

Prep and EAL excursion to the zoo

This term we are learning about animals and their habitats and what better way to learn about that than to immerse ourselves into the topic and going to the zoo. In the lead up to going to the zoo we had been learning about animals body parts and habitats to build the students’ vocabulary. We even made up our own crazy animals with different heads, features, legs and skin. It was so much fun.

It was the first time at the zoo for many of the students. We were all so excited. I drew a calendar on the board and we had been counting down the days since the end of Term 3! Every day that we crossed a day off the excitement grew greater.

Then FINALLY the zoo day had arrived and thankfully it was a lovely, warm day. We caught a big bus to the zoo which was very exciting.

First step was to claim a spot for us to come back to for lunch, next we got into out groups. There were 3 groups and lots of lovely teachers and parent helpers there to experience the day with us.

Our lovely zoo group.

 

Once we had our groups sorted our next mission was to explore the zoo. The elephants enclosure was our destination but we stopped at EVERYTHING along the way.

We were lucky enough to see baby elephants walking around with their parents. If you look closely, in the background there is a herd of elephants (excuse the overexposed photo). Taylan was clearly more interested in the elephants than in my bad photography skills.

 

Next stop: the butterfly enclosure. The butterfly enclosure is simply amazing. There are butterflies everywhere and if you are lucky enough, like Dominic and myself then a butterfly might even land on you!

 

We saw so many animals and had such a great day. The kids also loved all of the statues around the zoo and wanted to get photos with all of them. The kids were fantastically behaved and had an absolute ball. Even though it was very hot that day we all pushed through and nearly made it through the entire zoo. We missed the monkey section which is a shame but I was very impressed with what we got through. I can honestly say that this zoo excursion has been the highlight of my teaching career so far and not just because I love the zoo. It was so special for me to be there with my students and share this experience with them. What a great day of learning. Thank you to Rose and Monty who helped me throughout the day and thank you to Salma, Reshma and Eman who took the map and helped Monty lead the way to our next enclosures. Some of the students had maps and there were ticking off the animals that we had seen. We had looked at the map during class before the excursion and mapped out where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see. It was a great exposing the students to the map beforehand because they were all so confident with finding the way. I think I have a set of explorers on my hands.

Please see below for more photos of the zoo.

Eman on the corroborree frog statue.

Daniella on the corroborree frog statue.

Abdullah, Shoaib and Salma on the corroborree frog statue.

 

Climbing like little mountain goats.

 

Who could go past a beautiful cat mural like this?

 

The kids loved the seal statue. I’m sure if I let them they would have gotten in with the real seals and tried to ride them too haha.

Reshma, Salma and Eman

Adam looking shocked at being caught stroking the seal.

The boys doing what boys do…trying to ride a wild animal.

 

Monty riding the elephant statue because he was on the only one big enough to get up there properly.

 

Pretending to be African wild dogs.

 

I HAD to get a photo of Adam with the platypus statue. It was the animal that he was desperate to see.

I wish I had more photos of the animals but I, just like the kids was too busy being excited by them all to get photos.

 

Arrrrrrrrrrrgh me hearties, it’s pirate week!!

It’s been pirate week in the prep unit this week. We have been learning about the letter arrrrrrrrr (r), following and making maps, following procedures to make pirate ships and then sequencing the steps we took, drawing and describing our pirates and much more. We even had a pirate come and teach for the day. The pesky pirate Captain Black Beard.

See below for all of our pirate adventures!!

The infamous Captain Black Beard taught the class on Tuesday. Miss Yarni ate a piece of her cake so she made her walk the plank. Thankfully for Miss Yarni she is a good swimmer, she was able to swim through the freezing water to get back to her class by Wednesday!

 

Classroom? What classroom, this here is Miss Yarni’s ship that Captain Black Beard commandeered.

SHIP BUILDING

The students followed a procedure to build their own ships. I modelled the steps to build the ship. We discussed the vocabulary of parts of a ship. Here is my ship.

The students hard at work building their pirate ships.

 

The finished products. It safe to say the enjoyed their first time building a pirate ship.

 

DRAWING A SETTING

Earlier this term we have been learning about narratives. We have worked a lot on the character and the setting in the story. The students got a ship and a pirate. Their task was to draw the setting and label their ship and pirate. Get your telescope out and view the finished products.

I’ve just realised that shape that I’ve put the posters up resembles a ship. I definitely did that on purpose….

DRAW AND DESCRIBING OUR PIRATES

The wonderful Mrs Selamet came into our class one day and modelled how to teach functional grammar. Functional grammar is the way in which sentences should be written. We were focusing on noun groups; a word or group of words that are used to describe a noun. Using noun groups makes our writing far more interesting. I took a leaf out of Mrs Selamet’s book and did a very similar lesson. We had already brainstormed vocabulary on how a pirate looks. I started the lesson by teaching the students how to draw a pirate. Then I added my detail. The students went off and drew their own pirates and added as much detail as they could. Then myself and Rose and a teacher’s aide in training went around and asked the students to describe their pirates and we wrote down the noun group they they used. We came to the floor and built noun groups to describe my pirate on the board. I gave the students the sentence starter of ‘My pirate has’ and their next challenge was to go and write at least 1 sentence using a noun group from their pirate drawing. The results are fantastic!!

Here is my pirate and the noun groups that we created as a class.

 

Taylan doing great work!

 

Ali’s excellent pirate and sentences.

 

Abdullah smashing it out of park with his work.

 

Do you like maths? Yes or No questions

The statistics and probability maths strand for foundation states that the students need to be able to answer Yes or No questions. When marking the roll I like to take that time to get the students to do things related to their work. I might ask them to tell me a word that starts with a letter we have learned, or give them a word and they need to tell me the letter it starts with. This week I have been focusing on yes or no questions. When I call each name that student answers the question with yes or no. Then, as a class we read the data and decide if more people answered yes or no to a question. We practice our counting by counting the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ columns. I find this a fantastic and fun way to slip in a little extra maths.

The kids weren’t sure what flavour salt and vinegar chips were until I said the ones in the pink or purple packet. Now they all know what salt and vinegar chips are…turns out this is a great way to teach new vocabulary too.

 

I knew I liked my class for a reason. Red is my favourite colour also.

 

If the student’s said ‘yes’ they needed to tell me what sort of a pet they have. An excellent way to build their oral language skills.

Sequencing our morning routine

In maths at the moment we are learning about time, we have looked at things that take a long time and things that take a short time. This week we are learning to sequence (order) events in our daily lives. In Prep B we have a morning routine. This morning I got the kids to tell me their morning routine before doing it. I then took photos of them doing the routine. We discussed the order that we do things in. Would we eat our fruit before we unpack our bags? No! Our fruit is in our bags!! After we did our morning routine the kids then went and drew what we do 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th every morning.

 

1st: We unpack our bags.

 

2nd: We put our home readers on the table.

 

3rd: We get our book boxes.

 

4th: We eat our fruit while reading our books.

Making and writing cvc words

CVC words or consonant, vowel, consonant words are our very best friends. We have learned lots of letters and are now able to make our own cvc words and try to sound them out. Some words have letters that they haven’t learned yet, so the focus is on matching and identifying letters.

All of our activities this lesson were based on either identifying single letters and looking at CVC words, identifying the letters and writing the word.

Here is Ayiden hard at work making CVC words.

Ayiden doing an amazing job.

 

Rayaan did a great job! She recognised that letter b and used a capital letter when she couldn’t find a lower case letter. How great is that?

 

Abdullah and Shoaib busy sorting, matching, writing and of course…posing.

 

Joseph is hard at work finding all the m’s and practising his writing.

 

Amazing job Joey!!

 

It’s safe to say that everyone had a ball. We are loving learning and playing with letters.

Felix the Frog fff fff

In Foundation B we are learning about the letter F and the sound that it makes. We made frogs to match out Little Learners Love Literacy character of the week; Felix.

We went outside and practised being frogs and grabbing things with our long frog tongues.

We did much more than just make frogs, we wrote about our frogs and what they looked like using the picture of our whole class as a prompt.  Then we sequenced the pictures below in the order that we made the frogs. The students had a great time pretending to be, making, writing about and sequencing our frog activities.

Colour

Fold

Cut

Staple

BLOW

BLOW

It’s about time.

We are learning about time at the moment. Who knew there was so much to learn? We have learned about the months of the year, how to read a calendar, the hands on a clock and how to tell the time, about words associated with time such as morning, afternoon and night and also that we do certain things as certain times of days.

In one lesson I gave the students a challenge. I gave each of them blocks and they had to build a tower of blocks in 1 minute. We counted them and 21 blocks seemed to be a common number that most students could build. Then I really challenged them. I gave them 1 second to do the same thing! Boy, did that challenge them! Two students didn’t even get to use any blocks!

The next day we discussed different times of day and how we do certain things at certain times of day. I gave the students the challenge of making a timeline for a day. I gave them picture cards of events such as having breakfast, getting ready for school etc and time cards (digital and analogue times displayed) that matched the activities. First the students had to find their matching time/event partner. Once everyone had done that they all had to organise themselves into put themselves in order from morning to night. The kids had a great time.

See our timeline below

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Using a movie to teach inquiry and writing

The 1/2 students will be inventing an building robots this term. We watched the movie Meet the Robinsons to show them all about inventions. The movie is full of time machines, robots, meatball cannons and other crazy inventions.

We are also learning about narratives this term. We are teaching students to take notes on a narrative to help identify the setting, characters, problem, solution and the main events in the story. The students took notes during the movie which will help them to retell the story and find the main idea in later lessons.

What an educationally packed lesson that was!

It’s fair to say the kids were thoroughly engaged!

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Weam’s fantastic note taking.

Book Week – Escape to Everywhere

This week was all about celebrating books! On Friday all the students and teachers dressed up as their favourite book characters. I absolutely love books and I love to share my love of books. There’s not enough time in the day to read all the books I’d like to read to the kids. Books provide us with a place to escape, with something to connect with and they help our imaginations run wild! It was so great to see the kids dressed up, really showing their love of books.

All the students got to go up on stage and show off their amazing costumes to the entire school. Most kids had the books that their characters were from. Nina and Aaron won the prizes for best dressed! They got to pick out 2 books to live in our class library!

Back in the classroom I took a photo of kids in their costumes. There’s a nice one and it had to be followed by a silly one! You can’t play dress ups without being a little silly!

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