Miss Galvin Learns

September 21, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
4 Comments

A Bright Idea for Wet Days

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I’m linking up again with the September Bright Ideas Blog Hop. This is such a fantastic blog hop through the wonderful land of teacher blogs, with a whole host of amazing teachers sharing handy, USEFUL (and FREE!) tips for the classroom.

Today’s tip is something that I started doing this year. I have a vague feeling that I saw this somewhere online (or at least a variation of it) and I can’t find it – so if you’ve done this and shared it before, I’d love for you to let me know so I can link to your post!. BUT, it has been an absolutely fantastic routine that I’ve trained my kids to use independently.

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Do you dread days like this? Days when it rains (or snows?) and your kids are stuck inside ALL DAY with no chance to run around an burn off that excess energy?

Me, too!

(A bit of background for my non-Australian friends – at my school, we have recess (30 mins) and lunch breaks (50 mins) where students are outside in the yard while the majority of staff are on recess/lunch breaks.)

When it’s a Wet Day Recess/Lunch the students are stuck inside and my classroom is at the mercy of their whims! I’m not required to be in the classroom with them (that’s the job of the yard duty teacher who has duty on that day) and so in order to stop the near-compulsive need to remain in the classroom to supervise, I’ve implemented my visual label system.

This systems lets students know which classroom resources/toys/games they’re allowed to access on a wet day.

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See those cute little rainclouds?

If a classroom container/drawer has one of those labels, students are allowed free reign/access to the contents of that container.

I have some on my art trolley for white scrap paper (for drawing), scrap coloured paper (for crafts/collages), paper punches and scissors, odds and ends and How to Draw books.

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I also have some on my Maths trolley – students can access dice and counting cubes and unifix blocks.

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I also have a tub of card games, student-made board games and Pokemon cards that students can pull down and use.

Honestly, it’s been such a life-saver here in rainy Melbourne! No more “Can I use the (insert activity of choice here!)?!”

Additional Wet Day Tips

With our IWB, students have the option of 2 different video options during wet days.

At lunch times I usually put on a DVD (usually a Magic School Bus DVD or something Disney) for those students who just want to sit and chill out. It’s usually a small portion of my kids, but it keeps them settled and out of trouble. The rest of the kids choose activities from their Wet Day options and keep themselves busy.

At recess times I always put on a Dance Party – which is just a playlist of Just Dance videos. Because our recess is short, it gives kids the opportunity to move and get rid of some of their excess energy!

One of our favourite Dance Party dances is Moves Like Jagger.

If you’ve got a great wet day/indoor recess tip, leave it in the comments!

If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, I’d love for you to join me on Facebook or Instagram  for more great ideas!

For even more Bright Ideas from over 100 fantastic teacher-bloggers, don’t forget to check out the wonderful links below. There are plenty of grade and topic options available and you’re sure to find something that interests you!



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September 19, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
6 Comments

Five for Friday (September 19th)

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On Sunday I spent the day with my family at a family friend’s house in Torquay and our friend made me an absolutely AWESOME pink pavlova for my birthday! (It was totally yummy!)

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On Monday my class celebrated International Dot Day by making these Dot Quilts – students decorated 6 circles with coloured patterns, then cut them in half and traded 6 halves with other students in the class. They look beautiful and bright on our wall!

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Wednesday was my birthday. It was also the School Dance. So I spent 14 hours working on my birthday. (But the School Dance is seriously my favourite school event so I can’t grumble too much!)

My student teacher taught my class how to make those pink tissue-paper flowers for my birthday and one of my lovely, lovely colleagues bought me a WhizzBang Stapler (lol!) and glitter washi tapes. Does she know me or what?!

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I’ve been playing with my new watercolour set. Having some fun!

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My class is participating in the #GoZumba campaign with GoNoodle, and this week we were featured on their Instagram account. Click the picture above or here to see them dancing along to “I Like to Move It”! (I think they’re too cute!)

Happy Weekend!

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September 12, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
1 Comment

Five for Friday – September 12

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Sunrise on Monday morning. This was before the horror morning of public transport disaster, but it was quite a pretty day before the rest of the disaster happened. Still, 5 days later I’m a lot calmer about the whole thing. Plus, I just like the photo!

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So… it’s Spring here in Australia. And on Tuesday afternoon you could have sworn it was Winter. At about 3:50pm it decided to BUCKET DOWN WITH RAIN. It was like the clouds just opened up and dumped water over Heidelberg and this was the result. Most of the photos are taken from inside my classroom looking out over our Middle School yard.

There was so much rain we had multiple leaks in the school and in the shopping centre next door to us.

Plus, a whole lot of hail that survived until Wednesday morning (the very leafy photos at the end!).

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We’ve been exploring length this week!

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We raided our veggie patch on Thursday afternoon. We pulled out 6 heads of lettuce, 30 radishes and a handful of snow peas and broad beans.

Then we had a taste-test!

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This was my art-therapy last night while I was trying to relax. I watched a wonderful tutorial on Youtube by The Frugral Crafter on this Whimsical Zentangle Art Journal Piece.

It’s not finished yet, but I’ll share a picture when it’s done.

I was talking to my Grade 3/4 colleagues about how it could be incorporated into their program, because they would absolutely love it!

That’s it for me – I hope you all have a wonderful Friday!

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September 9, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

New freebie! Peas on a Plate craftivity!

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Oh my word, it’s been ages since I made anything!

This little freebie (click on the above image) compliments my Peas on a Plate subitising pack (below):

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If you’re teaching the little ones to recognise and count groups of objects, this is for you!

There is a lot of freedom in using this freebie:

1) Let students pick a number to show with the peas on a plate,
2) Assign each student a number,
3) Have them roll dot dice to determine the number they need to record.

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Once students have their number, they colour and cut the peas and glue them on to their plate – a template has been provided, but use a real paper plate for extra fun.

(Would you believe that I don’t have a SINGLE paper plate in my house… despite the drawer full of them at work?!!! Oh well, I like the cute yellow plate, too!)

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Then students go in and record their number – numeral, word and illustrations!

Simple, easy to use – just print and go!

(Or, you know, add your own additional accessories!)

If you download, please leave some feedback! Also, if you use it with your class I would love to see how they turn out! Please feel free to send me a photo or link if you do!

Happy Tuesday, friends! <3

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September 8, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

Back to School and Back in the Game!

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that all of my Northern Hemisphere friends are just starting back now, even as I head into our Term 3 holidays (towards our last term of the year!).

So, in honour of all my friends heading back to school, I thought I’d share some of my favourite resources to get the year going. All of these are perfect for K-1 classes!

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Subitising is such an important part of developing number fluency in young learners and my Peas on a Plate subitising cards have been a staple in my classroom for years. Once laminated, these will be a useful resource time and time again!

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I printed mine 2 to a page and 4 to a page to have different sizes available. They’re great just for simple number fluency, for games and mini competitions in the classroom. Once students feel confident in trusting the count for numbers to 10, they’ll become more confident recognising and counting larger numbers!

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This has been one of my best-sellers since I started on TpT! Perfect for First Graders who are familiar with identifying words and using them to label animal images! Available in colour and black and white options! Click here.

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This activity is great for Literacy centres! Help beginning readers identify CVC words by adding initial sounds to word families to build new words! Click here.

What are you favourite start of year activities? Leave a comment with a link to your products!

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September 5, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
2 Comments

Five for Friday – September 5th

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Last weekend I uploaded 2 more unboxing videos onto my personal channel:

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Every fortnight we have a Special Morning Tea at work – one of the grade level teams prepares a morning tea for the staff. This week it was the Specialists’ turn, and our PE teacher made this awesome rainbow surprise cake!

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While I was waiting for the bus this morning, I noticed this spiderweb. No spiders, thank goodness, (because there would have been no spider photos at all, had there been any 8-legged creatures). Just the very cool spiderweb covered in water!

Also, I love that this has real world applications in the classroom – spiderwebs are amazing for art and maths and science! (And great for those kids who like writing stories, too!)

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My birthday’s in a few weeks and I always buy myself something… only this year I decided to buy myself an experience. Kikki.K offer group workshops instore, and so I booked myself in for their DIY crafty workshop. So excited!

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On my way home tonight I stopped by the local shopping centre (to buy my birthday gift to myself, see above!) and loved the colours of the sunset.

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Hoping to have a few more school-related bits and pieces next week. It’s just been One of THOSE weeks!

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September 1, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
4 Comments

September Currently 2014

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Listening to  The Blacklist on DVD. I loved this show when it was on TV but sadly fell behind so I’m revisiting and catching up!

Loving that there are 3 weeks until holidays! And I really need a rest. This term has been cuh-RAZY!

Thinking that mentoring a pre-service teacher is a wonderful opportunity to learn a lot about myself as a teacher. Seriously, just watching and then having to give feedback has helped me better understand exactly what I do every day. (And yes, it freaks me out!)

Wanting to get rid of my cold. Seriously. Enough is enough!

Needing to manage my budget… because I don’t. And it’s depressing.

3 trips I want to take are to Canada (to see the wonderful, wonderful Alex!), Philadelphia (to see the wonderful, wonderful Var!) and the Great Barrier Reef before we do something horrible to it and lose it forever.

 

Don’t forget to head over to Oh’ Boy 4th Grade and join the linky fun!

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August 22, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
4 Comments

Five For Friday – August 22nd

Back for another week!

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I’ve started a youtube channel for my non-teaching videos! Last weekend I put up my first personal planner set-up video and a Memebox unboxing!

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This week is Book Week – and our school celebrates by exploring the Shortlisted books and doing a whole host of book-themed art activities!

On Monday we read I’m a Dirty Dinosaur and made these fun dinosaur pictures – using our hands to stamp a shape like a dinosaur.

(These are still a bit of a work in progress – even on Friday! – because we need to add a few more details, but they’re super cute!)

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On Tuesday we read The Windy Farm (which is quite a funny little book!) and made our own windy farms with windmills!

These are probably my favourite art activity for the week!

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Every year we make an art piece that will be printed on calendars, notecards, notebooks (etc) as a fundraising project.

I got this idea from my good friend, Tania (from Mrs. Poultney’s Ponderings), and read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds and made these fun little dot/circle pictures to put on the calendars. They’re bright and colourful!

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As part of Book Week we have a whole school Book Parade and everyone comes dressed as their favourite book character. This year I made my very own, over-sized paper bag costume and went as Princess Elizabeth, from The Paper Bag Princess.

I felt ridiculous, but it was still a lot of fun!

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Have a great Friday, friends!

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August 17, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
4 Comments

A Bright Idea for Managing Pencils

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In my class, all supplies are communal and we have pencil/stationary supply holders on each table.

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If your classroom is anything like mine, by the end of the day you probably end up with a pile of pencils that started the day all nice and sharp and perfect and end up… well, not so sharp any more!

AND, if I let my gorgeous kiddos at the pencil sharpeners, I end up with pencils the length of a coin, which is not all that useful really.

After getting ridiculously sick of hearing the same old ‘Can you sharpen my pencil, Miss Galvin?!’ question over and over (and always in the middle of a small group!) I implement what has become a great time-saver:

The Pencil Exchange!

During working time, if students have a blunt pencil (that absolutely will not do for whatever task they’re working on) they can place it in the ‘Blunt’ bucket and select a ‘Sharp’ pencil and continue working in their space. No more calling out, no more wandering around from table to table looking for that elusive grey lead pencil.

Generally speaking, I only have out enough pencils for 1 per child plus around 10 extra pencils in case some go walkabout, or we have extra visitors in our room.

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(Note: I have it on good authority that my Northern Hemisphere friends like to use the term ‘dull‘ for pencils that need to be sharpened. You’ll have to forgive my Australian-ness!)

I just reused some cute little buckets I purchased last year, along with some chalkboard labels and a chalkboard pen and I was good to go!

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At the end of the day, it’s easy to sharpen the pencils in the ‘Blunt’ bucket and have them ready for the following day. I keep all our sharpeners in a little Ikea box next to the buckets.

You could also train up some kids as Pencil Sharpeners who are responsible for ensuring the ‘Blunt’ bucket is emptied at the end of the day.

I’m fortunate enough to teach opposite a Grade 3/4 class and occasionally borrow some of the older students to come and sharpen the pencils, too, which is another great time-saving tip!

If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, I’d love for you to join me on Facebook or Instagram  for more great ideas!

For even more Bright Ideas from over 100 fantastic teacher-bloggers, don’t forget to check out the wonderful links below. There are plenty of grade and topic options available and you’re sure to find something that interests you!

Thanks for visiting!

 

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August 15, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
6 Comments

Five for Friday (August 15th)

Can I just say: it’s been an unbelievably exhausting week. Just back from the Grade 1 dinner at school tonight and I’m beat. Not much is going to be happening this weekend, that’s for sure. But I am ready to link up with Doodlebugs Teaching for:

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I’ve moved into a personal-sized planner from Kikki-K and I have to say that I’m loving the portable size. I’ve even made my own planner inserts for it. This was this week’s planner layout and I’m kind of in love with it. I’m such a pink person!

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I saw this CUTE idea over at Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep. I loved it so much I have a little team of 14 tennis ball pals for fine motor development!

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I got this awesome hanging pocket from my aunt – totally out of the blue! I’ve never mentioned to anyone that I’d like one and she randomly gave it to me. It’s been put to good use, as you can see!

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Our class veggie patch has been a little bit neglected of late, but we’re heading up next week to harvest our lettuce!

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We’ve been exploring location this week – looking at paths and maps.  We spent an hour making paths around the classroom using different classroom materials and then my kiddos had to draw their paths on a classroom map. (This was very interesting to see which students could orientate themselves!) They had a lot of fun, and I loved that some of my boys used their beloved Pokemon cards to mark their paths!

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