Sunday, 28 February 2016

Using Our Manners - a FREE Social Story and Sort

Well school has been back in full swing for 5 weeks here in Oz and I now have a pretty good idea of what my kiddies have and what we need to work on. 

In this case, we need to learn social skills! Manners, sharing, working together, listening, keeping our hands to ourselves - you name it, we will be working on it! (Anyone else feeling the same way???) Last week we learned about how to share. 

This week, we are on to manners, and I would like to share some of my new resources with you.

This week we will begin every day in Circle Time by reading our 'Using my Manners' social story. I printed it out and added it into a display folder after our Sharing social story. We will choose a different part of the story to talk about each day - listening skills, asking politely, treating our friends kindly. We act out different skills and complete our picture sort, and give examples of mow we can use our manners.

If you would like to grab your own copy of this Manners Social Story and Manners Picture Sort just click on the image above to access it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this or other activities which we teachers could use to support the teaching of manners and other social skills. As I create more social skills resources for my classroom I will happily share them with you all!

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Colour Sort Freebie!

Beginning of Prep teacher moment...

Over the holidays I planned for this term, taking everything I had learned from my very first year in Prep. This year however, I found that my little Cubs need a little more work on their foundation skills like, colours and shapes. 

So I got busy!

This week I created, printed and laminated these cute little cards (after spending a decent amount of time Google-ing different pictures...BEFORE remembering that there is an amazing lady who sells photos on tpt!) On Friday we completed this colour sort together as a class. I handed out one card to each child and they had to state the colour they had and then match it up to the correct colour title. It was a great lesson, and one which I will be adding to my small group time.

Would you like to grab a set for yourself? Just click the image below and it will take you to the file! (Which has different photos which are suitable for commercial sharing, thanks to Strawberry Shake).

Hope you enjoy this little FREEBIE!

I am looking at making a similar activity for recognising basic 2D shapes as well so keep an eye out!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Back to School - Prep C Style!

A big hello out there to all my fellow teachers, and congratulations to those Aussie teachers who have survived their first and second week back at school for 2016! Today I would love to share with you what the Cubs have been up to in Prep C!

Last Wednesday I finally got to meet my brand new cubs! I feel like this year I will be in for a good few challenges but I am looking forward to it. Besides, even if it is a tough term, if the days fly by as quickly as the last 8 days have, it will be Easter holidays in no time at all!

I started the term by snapping a photo of each of my little ones holding our 1st day of Prep C sign (and I couldn't resist snapping one of myself!)

The first few weeks of Prep are most certainly all about setting up expectations and building social skills. Over the last 2 weeks I took some time to sit down with my cubs and discuss classroom rules, and what they would look like in our classroom. I then went home and put our ideas together into some posters and we refer to them every morning during Circle Time. I also have a set posted up on the wall.

In our first week we read the book 'The Kissing Hand' which the Cubs really enjoyed. It was a bit of an effort to build our 'sitting on the carpet' expectation but we are making progress. After we read our story for the first time we talked about how Chester felt on his first day of school, and compared how we all felt on our first day. We drew faces on a piece of paper to make a chart and I then printed of pictures to create a display version. This is an activity we will do each week for our book of the week with a different theme.

We also started working on letter knowledge. Having started some mini checklists with my Cubs over the last week and a half we will definitely be doing everything we can to add in more time for letter recognition and sound knowledge!

So far we have started work on the letters b, m and s. These are a few activities we have been working on over the last few weeks. We have been building words with matching beginning letters with Wikki Stix, building letters with play dough, handwriting letters in our mini books, and working on letter matching and recognition.

The picture in the top left corner was of an activity we played in our Circle Time one day this week. As I stated a letter name, three of my Cubs threw beanbags into the matching hoop. The remainder of the activities here were done during Literacy Rotations. We circulated around the room whilst the Cubs worked and had them tell us the letters they were working on.

This week we moved onto reading 'The Rainbow Fish' - one of my all time favourite books! Again we build up our poster for out theme of sharing. We brainstormed all different things we can share with our friends (funnily enough the things kids seem to share most didn't make the list - head lice and bugs! haha!)

Later on in the week we worked together to create a display of rainbow fish in our room. I cut up coloured patty pans into thirds and we stuck them over a fish template which I printed onto white card. As they worked I wandered around and handed out one silver scale (aluminium patty pan cut up) to each child. They looked fabulous when they were all finished!

During our math block the last few weeks I introduced my Cubs to number sense warm ups, which worked a treat! I have thrown a few photos together below of all the different games we played. Some days we even wrapped up math rotations a little early and had a second game before lunch which nobody objected to. You may notice that I have used my animal number posters in every game so far! These are working posters and I use them in just about every math lesson! They are especially great fr practising number formation because I can hold one up in the air facing my kids and trace over the numbers with my finger. 

We had a go at Apple Picking where we raced to collect as many apples (scrunched up red paper) as we could to place them on our trees, counted them up and placed the matching numbers beside them (missed this shot!). We built collections of frogs in our pond. This was made from A3 card cut into a pond shape and stuck to green card. 

We went fishing for numbers twice! One day we used snap cubes to show the numbers pulled out in front of us, and on another day we wrote the number on our whiteboards. One day our doggy hid his bone under cones and we have to find it by guessing the number it was behind. Once we found the bone we had to write the number on our whiteboards.

On Friday we practised subitising to 3 by turning over cards and identifying how many animals we could see. We then had to find the numeral and write to on our whiteboards. After our warm up on the carpet, we then went to our desks and practised rainbow writing our numbers to 5 in coloured pencils - We need lots of work on number and letter formation!

Our Math rotations we full of back to school themed games (which will be swapped out at the end of next week). We build towers, matched number representations, counted collections and identified matching numerals, and built numbers in ten frames. We also tried out a few finger gym activities to build our little finger muscles.

This term in Prep we are learning about plants and animals. Over the term we will be looking at all different kids of Aussie animals and how they live in their habitats. So far we have begun by talking about our 5 senses, living and non-living things, plant parts, needs and how plants grow. We even made our own people and plants which look amazing in our room! As we learn about a new concept I add new displays to our Science Wall. All these displays I have made with adorable clip art from Krista Wallden.

Well that about covers the bulk of what we got up to in our first few weeks :)

How were your first weeks back?