Miss Galvin Learns

October 19, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin

Happy Snaps Sunday


The very lovely Shanyn, from Classroom Chit-Chat, has started up a fun linky to celebrate all those things that make us smile each Sunday.

Since I’m a firm believer in smiles making the world a better place, I’m linking up this week with the thing that’s made me smile the most this week:


This is Benny, a 3 year old Miniature Poodle who joined my family this week. He needed a new home, and we’re so very glad to have him. He’s getting to know us, his new house, and we’re getting to know him. He’s a beautiful little dog and he makes me smile just looking at him!

Click on the banner above to link up with Shanyn and share the moments that make you smile!


October 18, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
1 Comment

A Bright Idea for Storing Math Resources



As teaches, we accumulate, use and store A LOT of different resources. Most we pull out every now and then when a topic or theme comes around and we need to use it.
Then there are resources in the classroom that we just need to keep easily accessible and on hand.
For me, that’s my counting charts. I love for my students to have these readily accessible for number fluency, independent activities and the occasional five-minute time filler activities that require nothing more than a hundreds chart.
For a long time I had them stored in folders, or in boxes on a shelf and when you pack materials like that up, it often becomes ‘too hard’ to pull them out and use them (even when you want to and know that you should).
Enter my file stand.
I bought this file stand when I first started teaching and was under the misguided idea that I could keep my desk tidy and organised (for reference: that was never going to happen!). It ended up sitting on said desk doing absolutely nothing for 3 years.
Then I realised that it was perfectly capable of holding laminated counting charts. And they didn’t need to be in folders. If they weren’t in folders, these counting charts would be easily accessible and easily seen.
If you can see it then you will use it.
(Or, at least, that’s my motto!)
Now I store this on a shelf in my classroom. It’s right within view.
It’s also neat and tidy.
I store any maths resources I need to be able to access quickly: counting charts, tens-frame mats, some sharing mats and usually a few relevant maths games, too. I don’t use folders to hold them because that would defeat the purpose of having them in clear view. Some of the items I keep in the stand include:
It also makes ‘packing away’ resources less painful, because they simply get slotted back into place, ready for next time.
How do you store your counting charts?
If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, I’d love for you to join me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest 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!


October 14, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
1 Comment

Question and Comment Wands!

Earlier this week I posted a brand new product to my TeachersPayTeachers store: Question and Comment Wands!


(Click the image above to view on TpT!)

This little pack is designed to help those gorgeous kiddos who still (occasionally?!) mix up their questions and comments during whole class discussions.

How often do you ask your kiddos if they have any questions and you ask a little cherub and they pipe up with something completely off-topic? (Say, for example, when you’re introducing a new CAFE menu strategy and one poppet decides now is the perfect time to inform you that today is his uncle’s birthday!)

This is my day. At least once during instruction time.

Don’t get me wrong – I love that they want to tell me everything that’s happening in their lives, but quite often comments pop up right in the middle of that WONDERFUL lesson that’s going so well and then you have to spend 30 seconds redirecting one (or more) kiddos back on task.

Enter the Question and Comment Wands!


A handy little tool that each of your kiddos can make to provide themselves (and you) with a visual tool for identifying the types of thinking happening during your instruction time.

This would work well in whole group instruction time, or even in small group instruction, particularly if you have a focus on turn-taking and speaking and listening skills.

It also offers a great opportunity to teach or revise the difference between comments and questions, especially with our youngest students.

Check out my quick video below, with a run-down on my thinking behind this little pack, as well as a demonstration on how easy it is to put together:

Thanks so much for visiting!

I’d love to hear your

October 3, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
1 Comment

Blogging Buddy Weekend!







One of the most magnificent things that has come from my blogging journal is the connections and friendships that I’ve made – both internationally and here in Australia.

Last weekend I had the fabulous opportunity to get to meet some of the loveliest, most inspiring ladies that I know, who have not only been my blogging and TpT support for the last two years, but have also been great friends who’ve supported me through personal issues, too. Friends in the truest sense.

With OUr Tags


Back: Alison (Teaching Maths with Meaning), Mel (From the Pond), Me
Front: Brooke (Teachable Moments), Emma (Clever Classroom), Shanyn (Classroom Chit Chat), Tania (Mrs Poultney’s Ponderings)

These ladies and I met up in Darling Harbour (NSW) to catch up and put faces to names. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet both Alison and Brooke before, but sitting down to chat with these ladies over drinks was just amazing.

We started off in our hotel, having drinks and snacks and talking non-stop. Tania even made a Blogging Quiz, which was hilarious. Brooke organised for us all to have fancy GoNoodle lanyards with our blog buttons on them, and Mel gave us chocolate!


(Yes, I’m terrible at selfies! Don’t mind me!)

After a while we decided to go for a walk down to Darling Harbour to find some food and we came across something fun and spectacular: fireworks! (Seriously, who doesn’t love fireworks?)




Can you tell I love fireworks? (I had about 40 photos of the fireworks, but I thought I’d spare everyone!)

We had dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant on the waterfront called Olivo. I had homemade spinach and ricotta ravioli, a lemon and lime tart and a fabulous mocktail:





The Big Green Frog at the Back

On the Sunday, Alison, Brooke, Tania, Emma, Shanyn and I went on a ferry from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay, giving us a great view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House:


We also saw Luna Park:


And this giant cruise ship!


photo 3 (1)

It was such a fun weekend and I’m so lucky to count these girls as friends!


September 21, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin

A Bright Idea for Wet Days


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.


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.



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.


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



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!


September 19, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin

Five for Friday (September 19th)




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!)



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!



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?!



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



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!


September 12, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin
1 Comment

Five for Friday – September 12




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!


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!).



We’ve been exploring length this week!



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!



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!


September 9, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin

New freebie! Peas on a Plate craftivity!


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):


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.


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!)


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


September 8, 2014
by Miss Stefanie Galvin

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!


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!


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!

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 9.27.46 pm

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.


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!