Thursday, 29 December 2011

Diary of a Wombat

This year I am going to have Munch & Crunch sessions with my class. Each morning just before morning tea, I will read a book (or a chapter of a book) to my students while they "munch and crunch" on fresh fruit or vegetables from their lunch boxes.
I plan to create activities based on many of the books I read so that I can use th
em to reinforce language ideas in the short space between when the story is finished and when the bell goes for morning tea.

One of the books I will use is "Diary of a Wombat" by Jackie French. You can see the book online here or read about the background to the story on Jackie's website.

This is another really cute book. It is written in diary form. They are not always complete sentences. I will use this book to illustrate the different styles of writing for different purposes. (Australian Curriculum link to English, Year 2: Understand that spoken, visual and written forms of language are different modes of communication with different features and their use varies according to the audience, purpose, context and cultural background)

I have made an Easiteach file for the activities. They are very simple activities. The first one is reinforcing the days of the week and the use of capital letters for proper nouns - also Australian Curriculum, English, Year 2. The second one is matching different forms of verbs - past and present tense.
I hope you enjoy this book!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Guess the Baby

"Guess the Baby" by Simon French and Donna Rawlins is a lovely picture book that I used when I had Year 1 a few years ago.

I plan to use it with my Year 2 class at the start of the year. It is a lovely way to get to know children better and it ties in really well with the Science Understanding focus we will have in Term 1: “Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves.” (New Australian Curriculum)

You can check out the book via this link.

The children in the story are invited by their teacher to bring in photos of themselves as babies and they hold a competition to see who can “Guess the Baby”. The illustrations are lovely and the children in my class have always enjoyed the story.

The book will be used as a springboard for our own “Guess the Baby” competition within our class.

To show how much they have grown, I will get each child to measure their height with green streamer. We use these streamers to make a height chart wall display and top off each streamer with a patty case or cupcake liner with a little photo of each child glued in the centre to make a flower.

When I get around to making some resources to go with the book I will post them to my blog.

Now I have another goal ;-)

Where do I Start?

I have decided to write a blog this year even though I'm not really sure how to go about it. I have been looking at many other teacher blogs and seeing the great ideas people are sharing so I thought I should share too. Hopefully someone else can benefit from the work I do...

This year we are implementing the new Australian Curriculum. I hope that as I create and share resources that I will use in my classroom, other people will share too and we can support each other through this new experience.

I am excited by the new curriculum and am glad that we will finally have a bit more consistency across the states within Australia.

I am teaching Year 2 this year after a few years in the Year 4/5 area. It has been a while since I have taught little ones so I know there will be a learning curve for me in this regard as well.

One goal this year is to make better use of the IWB in my classroom. When I first got one three years ago I was using it interactively a lot, but I found that with the older students, a lot of the activities that were taking me hours to create would only last a few minutes in the classroom and they were not intellectually challenging. Last year I used it mostly as a projector. I think that having a projector in the classroom is essential and really enhances the students' opportunities to understand concepts more deeply because they can "see" what is being talked about, but it doesn't justify the expense of having the interactive capabilities.

Another goal is to make good use of our new iPads. Our school has purchased ten iPads for use across the school. I won't be able to have them all the time of course, but I can already think of great uses for them and hopefully will discover many more along the way. I think that all these new challenges will keep me pretty busy this year so I hope I can manage to find time amongst it all to share my journey via this blog.

I have a few short weeks before we start to try to get my classroom organised and to learn a whole lot more myself.

Wish me luck!