Wednesday 9 January 2013

Deskmats and Whiz Words

I have been busily preparing for the first day back at school. There always seems so much to do, and a lot of the jobs are fiddly. At least during the holidays I get the chance to play around a bit with these fiddly jobs and as I don't feel so rushed I find it takes all day to get the job done to my expectations.
Today I created files for my deskmats. These placemats are very handy. Last year I used them everyday as part of my morning routine and the students referred to them often during both literacy and numeracy activities. It is very useful to have the help right in front of them.
I have made a simple freebie version with the Whiz Words on a mini-poster. These could be printed two-to-a-page and glued inside a homework or writing book as a quick reference for some of the commonly used words.

My full placemats are available in three different fonts and in two formats. I use Queensland "qcursive" font which is a precursive font with exits and entries. It is great to have a handwriting model on their desks everyday. I also included a copy with a beginners font for younger students and a plain font for people who don't use the Queensland font. The PDF version is simple to print and all the hard work is done for you. If you would like to customise your deskmats, I have also created a PowerPoint version.


  1. What a great idea! I totally agree that having them right in front of the kids is helpful. I have taught my kids to refer to their names tags for help with numbers, but their word wall words on not on there. I really like that idea.

    I do include a personal word wall inside each student's writing folder, so they have easy access to it during writing time, and a reference chart in their reading bags for reading strategies. One thing I like about giving them their own word wall is the ability to personalize it. I can add a few words to each child's card that I know they use a lot (soccer, sister, puppy, etc) and they feel really excited to learn "extra" words!

    Teaching Ace Blog

    1. Thanks, Karen
      I like the idea of being able to personalise their own word cards. I found a cute Monster dictionary app that is set up with the commonly used words and then you can add more as you go. I am thinking of trying these with my class this year because I am getting 6 iPads to use with my class.
      I'm hoping it will allow me to personalise their learning and save a bit of paper at the same time.
      I'll keep you posted if it turns out to be successful.

  2. Hello from a new fellow Aussie blogger!! Love your ideas and inspiration! Looking forward to following your blog

    Kylie :)