Friday, January 22, 2016

Ask Me Why I'm Awesome Badges


Last year I decided to try something new and use these “Ask Me Why I’m Awesome” badges. I made 12 of them and hung them in a plastic sleeve on the wall so the kids and I could easily get to. I gave them out to a few students per day for things like: Correct letter formation, trying hard at something, an awesome artwork, persistence, great number skills etc……..pretty much anything I could think of. They clip onto the kids uniforms and all day people notice them and their badge.

They were soooooooo easy to make and so effective. The kids went home with a huge grin after being stopped 20 times on the way down to the car line to be asked “So why are you so awesome?”. The kids loved to brag about themselves and the parents loved it because they know their kid is awesome and I noticed it too :-) 

At “Meet the Teacher” night I explained that when the kids brought these home, they could keep them for the night and then bring them back the next day so we could use them again. The 12 that I made at the start of the year lasted all year!

It was such a hit that other teachers at my school have started using them so I thought you might be interested too. They are so EASY to make and well worth the smiles.

I bought some packets of the circle “Hello my name is….” badges from the party store (6 pack for $2), a full sheet of sticky back paper and some Alligator clips with straps (because I didn’t want to pin the kids uniforms…….this way, I take off the pin from the alligator clip and clip the badge to the kids uniform). Simple print out the file, cut around the circle and stick onto the badge…….easy as pie! You can print onto plain paper and just glue to the badges if you wanted to make it a bit cheaper.

You can find them in my store (Click the link below). Currently I have a: Jungle, Circus, Ocean and Bug set. I will happily make other themes so if you’re after something else, please send me a question on TPT :-)

Try them - You, your kiddos and their parents will LOVE them!


Monday, January 11, 2016

How to Make a Class Giraffe


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Meet Our Class Giraffe

It’s a new year and a fresh beginning! I know I haven’t been blogging much (or any) over the last few years…….things just got too busy with 3 little kiddos and working full time :-) I’ve decided though to give it another try and we’ll see how we go. I’m quite rusty though on both blog writing AND uploading pictures and posts so I’m hoping it will all come back to me pretty quickly.

For the last two years, I had a camping theme in my Kinder room. It was a lot of fun and the kids loved it but I felt like it was time for a change. I wanted something that wasn’t going to be too hard to change and I wanted to keep the fun tree I made in my reading room a few years ago………… I decided that the theme is SAFARI.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be showing you snippets of my room and the set up but today I wanted to share with you the giraffe that my hubs and I made on Sunday. It pretty much took a day to build but it wasn’t hard or expensive. I will say though that I come up with the ideas and my hubs is the man that makes them happen……I’m blessed!

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 Ok, to start off with, we had a few boxes and pool noodles in our garage that we knew we could use. We just taped the box up a bit to make it a little sturdy and we had a thick dowel that we put into the pool noodle (as this is the head and we didn’t want it flopping around).

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We did the same for the 4 legs only we used PVC pipe (much cheaper!).

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We also found these things (I have no idea what they are) in the PVC section of Masters that were perfect for the hooves (and also less than $3 each). We cut holes in the bottom of the box (only large enough for the PVC pipe) and we hot glued the neck inside the box.


The guy at Masters told us that the spray paint might eat through the pool noodle, so we covered everything in masking tape and used some rolled up bits of paper to make the knees and little bit knobbly. We sprayed the hooves black and everything else yellow. We gave the legs 1 coat of spray but the boxes and the neck we sprayed twice.

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While all of that was outside sun-baking, I painted spots onto thick cardboard plates. I used copper and brown acrylic paint and then outlined them with a sharpie.

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After it had dried, we used a lot glue gun to glue brown felt to make the “mane”. We also hot glued the spots onto the body. I drew and painted spots (using the same paint) on each of the legs. They needed two coats to cover the yellow spray paint.

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We found these little stopper things (also in the PVC pipe section), sprayed those black and used them for eyes. On top of that, we hot glued 2 glass stones and a button for the eyes. The eyelashes are made from the left over bits of cardboard from the spots. I had some cute orange fabric, so we used that for the hair. We also found a packet of these cheap balls from the dollar store and hot glued them onto the top. I painted them with the acrylic paint I used for the spots.

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I’m a bit of a cheeks fan so I had to glue some of those on to make it a little bit whimsical :-) The ears were made from a laminated sheet (To make it stiff) and brown felt.

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We had to be able to transport it to school (it is well over 7 feet tall) so the head came off and the legs we put on at school.

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It looks sooooo cute in the corner of my room! I can’t WAIT for the kiddos to see it in a few weeks……..meanwhile, we’ve also been working on a cave……..

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monet {What's Hanging Up Wednesday}


Last term, we studied colour and Monet. The kids did a fabulous job and I felt they learned a lot.

The first week, we looked at colour mixing……you really can't go past "Mouse Paint" to get the kids thinking about it.


We also watched this great video about colour mixing.



Then the kids got to mix their own colours to make a colour wheel.Slide1

Since we were also learning about the farm, for the next two weeks we studied warm and cool colours with the book "A Year on Our Farm" by Penny Matthews and Andrew McLean. There are TONS of pictures using warm and cool colours to look at.


We experimented with our own colour mixing and made these warm and cool colour trees {it took us 2 lessons to do these}.


I LOVED the colours they chose!


After that, we began our study of Monet. We looked at his "Haystack" series and painted {with watercolour} a cool and warm rendition of his paintings.

We also spent a bit of time learning about impressionism and read these two {awesome} books about Monet:




We tried to recreate Monet's Waterlily pond {this also took us 2 lessons}.



It was quite a busy term with Father's Day Art (will post about this later) and open day taking up a few weeks…….so we spent the last few lessons looking at the various flower paintings Monet did. Then we had a go at drawing our own.




That's what we had hanging up last term……….how about you?

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Pocket Dogs {Freebie}


This term we are learning all about pets! The first book we read was one of my favourites "The Pocket Dogs" by Margaret Wild.


If you have never come across it, you really should search for it. It's about two little dogs named Biff and Buff that live in the coat pockets of their owner, Mr. Pockets. One day, a little hole appears in one of the pockets and Biff falls out……..will he ever find his way back to Mr. Pockets and Buff?


After taking a bit of a book walk and talking about the pictures and what we thought would happen, we read it. The kids then choose a part of the story to draw and we made a bit of a story sequence……….


Slide02I just have to give you a close up of some of the kids drawings of the characters because they are so cute!




This one is my favourite! I LOVE his stripy middle and arms!


Then we decided on a sequence of events for the story…….


And finally a resolution {or conclusion}!


We also had a picture for Mr. Pockets sewing his pocket back together but I forgot to take a picture of it. Blow is a picture of what it looks like on our wall.


After working on this as a class, the kids worked on their own copy.


Later in the week we talked about how Biff felt when he was lost and how we {have} or might feel if WE got lost. We completed a little text to self paper.


Towards the end of the week completed a planning page for our "Dog" writing. On day 1 we talked about things we know about dogs. The children wrote these things down on their own paper.


The following day, we used our planning page to write some sentences about dogs. Even the kids that usually wouldn't write did an awesome job!



Slide14I LOVE how this cute little puppy looks like a rabbit :-) 

If you're thinking of learning about Dogs and would like to use the paper I created for us to use, you can download them HERE……………be quick though, I'm only going to leave this link up for 2 weeks so spread the word!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cock-A-Doodle-Do! {A Rooster Craft Freebie}

Slide1One of the first things we created to go with our farm scene was a rooster. These guys were sooooo cute! I love how each one took on their own personality! 

We read a few rooster books like:

NewImageKip is a charming story from Australian author Christina Booth. From the time he hatches, Kip knows he is going to be something special………….he has an almighty crow!! Unfortunately the people in the neighbourhood don't appreciate Kip's loud crow and his owner{Mrs Be a} is forced to send him away. Without Kips crow, the neighbourhood is quiet…………..too quiet………………..will the neighbours miss Kip after all?


The other book we read was "Bob" by Tracey Campbell Pearson. We LOVED this story! Bob doesn't really know how to crow like a rooster should. All the other animals on the farm are fed up and decide to teach him how to do it! One night when a fox lurks about, Bob decides it's time for action…………what comes out though is a crow sure to scare away a pack of foxes……. VERY cute story!!

Here's a close up of our little creation…….


First we painted the rooster black and brown. We then added white dots by using the end of a pencil. When it was dry, we cut him out, folded two strips of yellow paper {fan style} for the legs and glued them on. We then stuck on the feet, beak {which you can't see very well but it's a folded square} eye, comb and wattle. Last but not least, we taped some coloured feather to his back.

If you'd like to make one of your own, you can get the pattern for free by clicking the picture above. I'd love a comment if you find it useful!

Have a great weekend everyone. I'll be back next week with a cute cow craft freebie that you won't want to miss!

Sgn1 1

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Harbour Bridge


I LOVE the Sydney Harbour Bridge! When my (now) husband first came over to Australia to visit me (he's American), I took him on a Bridge climb………yes, you read that correctly….you can actually CLIMB over the top arch of the bridge . It was one of the best things we've ever done….and such a beautiful view! 


When my Kinder class was doing our "All Things Aussie" unit this year, this was one of the art lessons we did. We drew the bridge with a white oil pastel on black cardboard, added the cellophane water and drew fireworks on with pastels…….you could also do the fireworks with paint or glitter paint to make it stand out more!

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