Friday, July 19, 2013

It's been awhile...

over a year in fact, when I look at the last post.

Such a lot has happened in that year - personally, and professionally.

Let's start with the personal. I have lost 30kgs and still aiming to lose more.

I am an emotional eater! I get stressed... I eat. I get upset... I eat. I get happy... I eat.
It could be worse, I could be an emotional eater and drinker! :-)

Last October I hit crunch point. My weight had ballooned ALOT after my class from H. E. double L. last year. I knew what was happening wasn't healthy for me and somehow I managed to take a stand. It started with going to the gym (curves) and then I started their eating plan as well.

2 weeks later I "threw my toys out of the cot" so to speak. I went to my Principal and told him it was them or me... either he did something about moving 2 of my students or I was going on stress leave for the rest of the year (8 weeks). Going to my Area leader all year about my problems had resulted in NOTHING. Thankfully he listened and 2 students were moved. What a difference it made in my class. I actually enjoyed teaching (well... enjoyed is a bit extreme... but it was BETTER than it had been all year). I still had 4 problem kids, and some of the fringe kids stepped up as well (with their naughty behaviour), but I could cope!

So it has been 9 months, and I am now 30kg lighter. Very proud... my treat... We (hubby and I) are going to Adelaide in the October holidays. We have never been there before, and I am really looking forward to exploring that part of Australia.

Now let's look at the professional side of my life.

This year I have a class from HEAVEN! I can't really decide if they are... or if after last years class, ANY class would feel like that. But they are the most delightful class I have EVER had. They want to learn, they are keen to do things, and the biggest plus is that they are pretty good at managing themselves, listening to instructions and actually doing what I showed/asked them. We are having such a great year.

Another change for me this year is that I am training to be a reading recovery teacher (remedial reading for struggling 6-7 year olds). So I am only in the classroom half of the day. The other 2 hours, I teach 4 students for half an hour each reading and writing.

It is very intensive. It is very prescribed (as in how to do things) and I have had to learn ALOT of things. Such a lot to get through in half an hour. And some days it really feels like I am hitting my head against a brick wall... but when I look back to the beginning of the year, to where they started, I feel proud of the progress they are making.

I am responsible for reading, topic (curriculum areas), art and PE with my class. I have the best release teacher who does maths, writing, phonics, oral language and music/drama/dance.

So there goes a quick update on my year past.

I hope all is well in your life.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Snow day!!! Yah...

I know most of the people that will read this post have either just started their summer break, or about to... but here on the other side of the world winter is here! And I have the proof...


And I know to alot of people this is just a sprinkle, but here, it is enough to close all our schools for the day! We don't get snow every year, and certainly not for months on end.

I am just hoping that it stays long enough for us to have a couple of days off school! :-)

The fact that Monday was a holiday (God Bless the Queen) is neither here nor there... nor the fact that I had classroom release last Friday (giving me an extra long weekend break from the kids)... I will take snow days ANYTIME!... I so deserve them with the class that I have this year!



Enjoy your summer break, while I sit here sipping on my hot chocolate!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A moment of brilliance!

Sometimes I spend hours trying to come up with some kind of activity that will stimulate, motivate and most importantly keep them busy learning! But it doesn't quite work.

Today I was just puddling when I had this brainwave... My kids LOVE playing cards and they enjoy write the room as part of my literacy activities. So I combined the two of them! Brillance... I KNOW!! :-)

They had to take the top card of the deck, and whatever the number was (J,Q,K A all mean more than 10 letters) they had to find a word in our room with that many letters and write it down.

They LOVED it... there was lots of discussion about the words they were finding, and trying to decode some of them as well using a range of strategies.

It was fantastic to watch! Brilliant infact!

And the best thing... didn't cost me a cent! I just grabbed the cards from the maths box and away they went!

I do have photos to share some other things we have been doing... but they are on my camera at school!

What brilliant activities have you stumbled across?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Thanks.... and a freebie!

I have spent every spare minute today madly clicking and saving files from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Living on the other side of the world I had NO IDEA when the sale actually started. It turns out I could have started last night (my time)but the first few I clicked on had not yet started, so I was unaware of the wasted minutes!

So today was revenge day for me with the sparrows... I was up farting first!!!

I even had a SHORT shower so that I had more time for clicking and saving! Gulped down my breakfast in a somewhat awkward postion so as to not even tempt fate to spill my breakfast on my laptop.... all with the single-minded focus of saving money so that I can provide even more motivating, authentic, realistic learning opportunities for some of my ungrateful students!

THANK YOU to all the fantastic teachers who took part in this day. I will endeavor to go back and look at your other resources as I just did not have the time today.

I would like to share a resource that I made to go with what my student teacher started teaching my students last week.


I have called it Ladybird Facts. I have printed and laminated the sheets to put in the group boxes for my groups. I can also print them as a worksheet to check their learning/understanding. The file include addition, subtraction and family fact sheets. Please click here for a copy.





Today in the scheme of things was a good day! I had 3 of my challenging students away today and what a difference!!! I was even able to mark some writing samples as they read at library time. I loved being able to glance around and see all (ok... all but 1) of my students reading and sharing together without me having to reinforce remind them of what they are supposed to be doing!

See.. so it isn't me that is the bad teacher... I just have a VERY challenging mix of students, who individually are wonderful wee human beings... but together become the devil incarnate!

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?!

How was your day?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sigh...

The bubble has burst!

We had a pretty good first week back at school... yes it was only 4 days. There is alot to be said for having a Wednesday holiday!



How do you teach children to talk in a whisper?

This group of kids just can not do it! It is soooooo difficult to try a teach small groups when I constantly have to stop and tell them to be quiet.

The task for writing today after our shared writing was to draw a picture of the new sentence we had written (focussing on adjectives)... I couldn't even type an email, I had to constantly walk the room, whispering to children to lower their voices...

And it's only Monday...

It's going to be a long week!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I love teaching writing!... Adjectives Anchor Chart

Yah!!!! I have my files from my old laptop! And he even retrieved 'my favourites' links ... soooooo happy!

This term for writing our main focus is going to be descriptive writing.

I have made a couple of anchor charts for adjectives.





If you would like a copy click here













I have purchased a couple of toy windmills that are like flower petals and have vibrant coloured petals. With our book characters(Splat the Cat and Chester) I will put a picture of the cat, and the children will come up with adjectives (in their reading groups)to describe the cat and then using word art will make them to put on the windmill.

Looks good in my mind, ticks all my boxes for catering for different learning styles, using technology and being meaningful. We will also use a venn diagram to compare the two different book characters.

Can't wait to start it this week! Do you enjoy teaching writing? What is your favourite part?

Friday, April 27, 2012

M.I.A... my excuse.. don't multi task! & a chuckle!

I blinked... and now the 2 week break is over and we have just completed the first week of school! What happened to my holidays??? All my best intentions were thwarted!


I managed to last a week not going in to school. On the Monday of the second week I was all set to go into school, all I had to do was quickly email from home to school a couple of things I had made for 'my darlings'.


I opened my laptop picked up my breakfast, took a couple of mouthfuls and when I went to put my bowl down it slipped out of my hand!! Nutrigrain and milk all over my laptop and me!!


I hate those split second decisions to make that feel like time is standing still.... do I tip the milk on the floor or onto me??!! I lost!... milk on the carpet would be harder to clean than putting my clothes in the wash!


But the damage was done!


I cleaned and dried up as much milk as I could, and left it in the sunny autumn sun to dry, but to no avail. I fried the motherboard. :-(


I took it into the insurance company, but of course they had to send it away to confirm it couldn't be fixed. By the time they did that, then they got quotes to replace it a week had passed. Thankfully I will be able to retrieve all my files, just waiting on a kind friend to do it for me!


I rushed down to purchase my new laptop, only to get home to discover that some contractor in town had damaged 2 of the main cables in town that supplies my landline and internet! THWARTED again!!! It took 2 days for us to get phones and then internet back again!


But all is well now. I have a nice new shiny laptop :-) Thanks insurance company. I am now banned from having liquids near my laptop... Hubby and kids order!


I don't have anything to share with you today that you can use until I can access my files again. But I thought I would share a laugh from my week.


This week I have been doing a real focus on being a smart fish (see my earlier post on what that is). We had been having a discussion about how people say things, trying to make us do things that isn't good. How we should just ignore them, walk away or be a brick wall.


Miss 6 was obviously listening and thinking about things in her life. Her question... "so if Mum and Dad are trying to make me eat my vegetables can I ignore them?" Bless her!!!!


I have no idea how I managed to keep a straight face, because in my mind I was rolling on the floor laughing! But I managed to explain the difference between people trying to be mean, and people trying to look out for us. When parents are telling us to eat our vegetables they are trying to make sure we grow up healthy, and that is a good thing, not a mean thing... so I think we should listen to our parents when they tell us that. She agreed... reluctantly!


Did you have a chuckle this week you could share?