First of all - What is going on? Am I turning into a daily blogger? 3 days in a row! As a teacher I feel that it is important to celebrate the small steps so I am always expecting a certificate or a sticker to appear from somewhere/anywhere and land on my desk when I do something that surprises me. Of course It never happens ... but a comment from you might give me that same feeling that a sticker would. Is that a hint? lol
I know these wee blogs are being seen out there. My last blog write up received 2,056 views!!! Wow! So maybe that has inspired me to write this one.
Well it all comes down to simplicity this week. It is the final week before my class run off to see the Easter Bunny and eat lots of chocolate. I still want all of them to read and think mathematically - that may be only a wish that I will send off to all as they leave my classroom on Friday. Saying that I did ask my lovely parents via Seesaw to work with their children over the two weeks and sent home voluntary homework. You see Seesaw is a cool app. (read my earlier blog on seesaw).
Anyway where was I? Oh yes- I'm tired this week and so are my class. We need to do something "simple" this week and yet connected to our topic, "Special days". Flicking through my own resource file just didn't inspire me this week so of course I checked out the lovely website Twinkl. And low-and-behold there was the perfect worksheet for my class - Easter Egg Doubles Colouring Activity. I have set a link below the blog as it screams out simplicity and straightforwardness and the lovely part is - the children learn, will be developing their skills in The Arts and they will go home with a colourful Easter egg at the end of the day. Win-win situation.
I will of course have to enlarge it to A3 and set out a variety of painting tools for my class to experiment with - who needs the basic paintbrush? Saying that my CA might insist that the odd paint brush is put on the craft table. I love the way she returns me to reality every now and again. Thank you Caroline.
I did see a post on pinterest - painting with pom-poms - I might try that out today. Anyway whatever I do with this great resource I will post on instagram - northernirelandteacher and here on my website - watch this space.
Finding simple, straightforward worksheets isn't always easy. That makes me want to shout out to the lovely teachers who work in Nurture groups. The teachers who are always on the lookout for simple, straightforward worksheets without the clutter and worksheets that stick to the basics. I would recommend Twinkl to all of them. Check it out. Anita you know I am talking directly to you - after our chat on Saturday.
So that is my blog today - oh and I started this at 5am! Miracle morning! If you don't know how that works check it out on Facebook. Don't if you looooovvvvvveeeee your sleep. Do if you want to work at your peak performance! Teachers if you want inspiration read Hal Elrod's book - it might just change your outlook on life itself.
Stay strong and keep smiling.
Who is the main person in a Primary School? Well my opinion hasn't changed over the past 20 years I have always believed that the main person in a school is the caretaker. This character neeeeeeeds to become your best friend. Not just your friend! He or she needs to be your best friend!
Here is the caretaker - who works in my school. Check out his website.
Why is this important? Well he is the guy who:
I love listening to Jim Rohn. Jim Rohn was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker and yet when I listen to him I can easily link his advice to my teaching. Here are a few examples that have helped me:
Check out Jim Rohn on youtube - you will not regret it. Enjoy!
Seesaw - where can I start? Seesaw describes the app best in their mission statement.
At Seesaw, our mission is to create an environment where students can be their best.
For us, this means:
As for my opinion - well it is hard for me to express how much I adore it. I have been using the app for 2 and a half years now and I LOOoOOOOOVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEE it. The main reasons for this endless love of seesaw are:
I like the way you can create folders on the app too. Of course I linked mine all to the Northern Ireland Curriculum - and colour coded them. Here are the folders I created:
The great thing is you can video an activity which is cross-curricular and select several areas . My favourite folder is the I.E.P folder as I pop in evidence that the pupils are reaching their SMART targets and this is great when you are asked my the SEN co. how the children are doing.
You can also send links to the parents. Great for posting Youtube videos on a skill that you wish to reinforce.
Overall, this is by far my favourite app for teachers.
I adore being the Early years specialist and linking our local Pre-school with our Primary school. I spend a day each month with the fantastic team of 3- Tracy, Fiona and Margaret. They are beyond doubt the most dedicated teachers whom I have ever had the pleasure to meet.
Tracy is the group leader and today she was happy for me to video her doing a tour of her pre-school. Press the button below which will link you to the youtube video.
Please excuse the fact that I cut off her head several times - I reckon I was too busy looking around the place myself! Whoops. Tracy has such a fantastic room that you can be easily distracted - so if you are reading this Tracy I have to ask you to take the blame for that. In the meantime I will check out tips on how to make fantastic videos for youtube and promise that I will improve for the next video.
Oh and if you check out the video - please leave some feedback as this is Tracy's first youtube video and sweet Charlotte would love a comment about her. After the tour from Tracy I recorded a child from her class doing the same tour. Very interesting!! Check it out.
Here are a variety of finger gyms - tried and tested & pupils love them.
I have created enough finger gyms for the entire year. This keeps everyone interested. My finger gyms are planned and linked to the Northern Ireland Curriculum. Each finger gym has a step-by-step guide of the resources that I need, how it works - with clear photographs of children using the gym, the areas of the curriculum that it focuses on and several sheets on more opportunities for more learning - again linked to the Northern Ireland Curriculum.
I included a description as to why we should use Finger Gyms in our classroom just to remind myself how important it is to promote fine-motor skills.