Miss Galvin Learns

May 5, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Teacher Appreciation Sale


Stopping by real quick to help celebrate Teacher Appreciation by contributing to the TpT Teaching Appreciation Sale.

Click on the banner above to visit my store, which is 20% for the next 2 days. And don’t forget to add THANKYOU as a promo code to get up to 28% off everything!

Teachers, you are amazing!

May 2, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Currently May!


Linking up with Farley for this month’s Currently linky!



LISTENING: Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. And you MUST check out this version (thanks to Shanyn for sharing this on Facebook!):

LOVING: Doing very little today… which is a problem as you’ll see below!

THINKING: I have SO MUCH to do. Like clean. And put away clothes. And plan.

WANTING: To just keep creating pretty things. I’ve been doing ALL the hand lettering of quotes today!

NEEDING: To start writing mid-year reports. Sigh. That’s tomorrow’s big job!

SUMMER: Is a full half-year away for me here in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m really bad at planning that far ahead. Instead I’ll commit to continuing to be creative, hoping for a good next few weeks and dreaming of that far-off Summer! <3

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the links for the month, and thanks for stopping by!


April 26, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Swap, Share, Give Linky!



So, we’re back at it again, this time we’re celebrating the change in the seasons – in both hemispheres! Here in Australia the weather is starting to cool as we start our journey from Autumn to Winter, while I know many of my Northern Hemisphere friends are cheering the warmer weather in!

For those of you who’ve not experienced the Swap, Share, Give linky, a few of my good teacher friends from around Australia have gotten together to swap a product for review, provide YOU with a fun freebie and offer a piece of advice based on our teaching experiences.

So, without further ado, let’s get on with the show!


I was so lucky to have the opportunity to swap a product with the lovely Lauren, from Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep. If you haven’t been to her blog, stop what you’re doing and RUN over there, especially if you’re a Prep/Kinder teacher. She always has such fabulous ideas and I’m constantly stealing borrowing them!

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 7.51.33 pm


I was very fortunate enough to review her fun new pack that combines word work AND fine motor skills!

Now, Lauren has an amazing collection of Fine Motor activities in her store, and I’ve actually used some of them before, but this one looked amazing for my class at the start of this term, because I have some great little readers this year who are learning about word families at the moment.

We used this activity as a warm up for our reading, and students worked in pairs to complete the different word family groups.



This pack contains the four short ‘a’ word families -ag, -an, -ap and -at.



Each word family has a main card with four holes punched in it, plus 4 word cards belonging to that word family in one of three options – pictures (shown above), pictures and words, and just words, which is perfect for providing differentiation for your students!

Students find the cards that belong to the depicted word family and use ‘links’ (those ones that EVERYONE has stashed away in their classrooms!) to connect them together, utilising not only their word family knowledge, but also the ability to manipulate and connect small objects together.

My kiddos LOVED this activity and have asked to do it a few times since we last had a go. Next time we’ll be using the picture and word cards to extend students and get them focusing on what the words look like now that they’re starting to blend words!

Thanks so much to Lauren for swapping with me – click on any of the images below to check out her store! Also, don’t forget to stop by blog to check out her review of one of my products!





Celebrate the seasons with your class and create a fabulous seasonal bunting that showcases what students know about each season in this fun freebie for you! Simply click the image above to download, and don’t forget to drop me a comment with your thoughts!

This task works fabulous as an individual task, or buddy kids up to create a joint masterpiece that can be strung up in the classroom for an extra pop to your displays!

Note: There is an Autumn page and a Fall page, to cater for language difference! :)


Finally, the fun part! A giveaway from my friends and I to you! Simply fill in your details in the rafflecopter and you’re good to go!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to stop by and visit all of my friends, see their fabulous swaps and collect all your freebie goodies by following the links below!

Happy weekend, Sig_NewBlog2014

April 19, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

A Bright Idea for Sticker Management


Hello friends, and thanks for stopping by on this wonderful blog hop of fabulous ideas!

Slide1If you’re anything like me, you probably have a TON of teacher stickers floating around somewhere in your classroom, right? (Tell me I’m not the only one!!)

I’ve tried many ways of managing my stickers over the years, from filing them, to putting them in binders and having them in drawers. But what’s always driven me NUTS is having half-finished sticker sheets. I tell you, there’s nothing more satisfying than finished a full sheet of stickers!

My goal this year was to make my stickers more accessible and thus, more readily used. I really wanted to get through my collection.

This is what I came up with:


I went through ALL my sticker and grouped them into their respective sets and just used a paperclip to keep them together. Then I put them in the drawers that are right behind my teacher chair (to keep them easily accessible).


I pulled out ALL the half-finished sticker sheets (you know, those tiny little dot stickers?!) and put them in a plastic basket.


I keep this basket on my ‘teacher’ table and it is my FIRST port of call for stickers.

Believe it or not, this basket was FULL 6 weeks ago and now I’m running low on half-finished sticker sheets. That means I get to dip into my new sheets and keep the process going.

I’ve found this to be a really good way to actually USE my stickers on a daily basis without having to dive around to find them.

If you liked this Bright Idea, I’d love for you to join me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! Don’t be a stranger!


For more bright ideas from other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

April 10, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Five for Friday (April 10)


Hi all, I’m joining in another week of Five for Friday, hosted by the lovely Doodlebugs Teaching!


Well, it’s the end of the last week of the holidays for me, but I’ve been fortunate enough to spend some quality time with this little cutie! Benny has had quite the busy last two weeks, making new friends (or, at least, learning how to), lots of travelling over Easter, and lots of cuddles. And yes, that black shadow of a thing lying against one of my best friends is Benny. He’s awfully difficult to take photos of sometimes, but it was kind of cute he had his teddy with him!


I’ve started a new online course on Hand Lettering over at Studio Calico, and so far I’m loving it. These were a few practise samples I did the other night!


I finally found (a tiny amount) of creative energy for my TpT store, and came up with this simple little activity to practise common nouns with early years students. Check it out in my store (both images link to the product).



How cute is that polka dot desk mat?! I’ve been eying it off for a few weeks and finally bit the bullet and bought it the other day. It’s so bright and colourful and it makes me happy!



I’ve had a few craft ideas on my to-do list these holidays and I’ve been slowly ticking them off, but this is one that I had a go at today (inspired by the Marbled Clay Ring Dish DIY from A Beautiful Mess). I really love how my little dish came out. Also, being one to loathe wasting scraps of FIMO clay, I use the excess trim from the bowl to make a matching bead necklace! I love that EVERY bead is completely different, despite being made from exactly the same materials!



Happy Friday, my friends! I hope you have an excellent weekend!




April 3, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
1 Comment

Five for Friday – April 3rd



An updated look at my personal planner!


This week marked the start of the school holidays. How did I spend my first day? In the classroom gluing work into portfolios. I think I worked it out to be around 430+ pages glued in, using up all 24 of the half-used gluesticks on the tables, for about 4 hours. But it’s done. That’s the most important thing, right?!



Take it to Tuesday and the first ‘official’ day of holiday break with no school work planned. I started the day with a banana and raspberry smoothie and some reading. (Oh, and the puppy got to go for a walk, too!)



I’ve discovered something truly fun making the rounds in the planner and youtube community – Pocket Letters. Basically, pen pal letters in trading card sleeves with fun little goodies tucked away inside for the recipient. This is actually one I made for my Etsy store as a planner embellishment kit for sale.

Would like to do one as a pen pal swap at some point, though! (Excellent for destashing all those crafty things I’ve accumulated!)



I’ve been making these sparkly little paperclips all week! Hoping to have a video tutorial up soon!



March 28, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Kikki.K Planner Workshop


If you’ve followed my blog for the last few months, you’ll know that I’ve been on a ‘planner’ journey. Last year I started to get involved in the ‘planner community’ on Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest and more recently on Facebook.

I’ve always struggled with using a planner to organise my life, but for the last 12 months I’ve successfully maintained a planner, week by week, to make notes, keep track of my to-do lists and essentially create a paper record of my daily life.

I’ve used Kikki.K’s Time Planners for this process, and I have a few (most of which I got on sale!), and currently use a medium, black leather time planner for my day-to-day life, plus a large, raspberry time planner for my school planner.

Last Tuesday I attended my very first Kikki.K Workshop at their Doncaster store – all about planners!

It was a really fun and interesting night, which was as much about the wonderful products Kikki.K sells, as it was about getting your planner set-up, organised and pretty-ified (look, I’m making up words again!) and functioning properly for your life.

Now, I’ve reached something approaching ‘planner peace’ – wherein my planner is working very well for me, I feel – but I do love hearing people talk about their own experiences, and I believe there’s always room for improvement.


Getting to the fun stuff first, all the attendees received a fun little gift, perfect for planners:

Printed Notepad (Mountains collection)
- Sticker Sheet (Life Is Sweet collection)
- Felt Tip pen (I ended up with a grey pen)

On the night, our lovely host Caroline, talk about:
– the difference between a diary (a time keeping tool) and a planner (an ‘everything’ folder for your life)
– how to merge a diary and planner
– customising and decorating your planner to make it work for you
– minimising the to-do lists popping up everywhere in your planner
– how to make an accordion folder for your planner (to hold tickets/notes/etc)
– brainstorming what your planner is actually for, and whether or not you might require multiple planners to help you keep track
– … and other things that are slipping my mind at the moment!



My take-aways from the night:

Creating a Master To-Do List, and doing away with lots of lists all over the place.
I really loved this idea, because it cuts down on all the procrastinating “I’ll make a list for that project” that happens when you try to AVOID doing something. If it’s all in one place, you know where to find it. Also, regularly checking that list each night, adding to it and crossing off tasks that are needed/have been finished so that you go to bed with a clear head. Picking 3 to-dos for the next day that MUST BE DONE to stop from being overwhelmed.

Using a weekly planner to map out your week.
I liked this idea because I think it will help me to map out the major events for the week before I add them to  my various planners. Plus, Caroline made the suggestion for scheduling regular ‘me time’ each day so that we’re more likely to include it somewhere during the day (whether it’s reading 5 pages of a book or taking a bath, or using a face mask – whatever makes YOU happy)!

If it’s paper, you can punch it and add it to your planner.
I do this already, but it was really nice to hear someone reinforcing that concept as well. I have bucket loads of Kikki.K’s notepads, plus their Paper Books and you KNOW I punch them out and add them. They’re cute and pretty and make my planner look pretty so that I want to open it and look at it and see what’s going on in my life.

Finally, I came to an understanding of what my planner is for me. It’s my record of my life. What I do, what I write, what I like at this point in time. I decorate it and I record the little things of my life and I intend to keep these pages. I’ve never been fabulous at journalling, but this is my quick way of having a snapshot of my life that I can look back on, or one day show my kids. For this reason, I decided that night to switch from using the Pilot Frixion pens that I love (because they’re erasable, and thus I can fix any errors) to felt tips, because I’m not convinced that one day the Frixion ink won’t disappear over time. (For reference, it does disappear when heat is applied.)


We also got a discount on the night, for attending the workshop, so I purchased a few things that I thought I could use, as per the talk on the night:

A4 Weekly Planner Pad (Minimalist)
- Round Paperclips in Jar (Gold) (link is for the silver paperclips)
A6 Printed Notepad (Mail Multi)
- Vision Board Kit (Minimalist)
- Felt Tip Pen 10 pack

I believe the Planner Workshops are finishing up for the year (but will begin again later in the year), but if you’re interested in finding out ways to customise a planner to fit your life, I highly recommend attending a session. They also have loads of other workshops as well, covering organisation, happiness, goal setting, etc.


Do you use a planner? What planner do you use? What do you find most beneficial about using a planner? Let me know in the comments.

I’ll also be filming an updated look in my personal planner tomorrow, along with a closer look at the items I purchased from Kikki.K, so keep your eyes peeled for that on my YouTube channel.

If you’re interested in seeing regular updates on my planner journey, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time!


March 20, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Five for Friday – March 20, 2015


I’m linking up with Kacey for her Five for Friday linky party. Click the banner above to see her Five Things, or to check out the other amazing bloggers!


Surely this was expected, right? This week’s planner pages featuring my other favourite comic heroine, Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl/Oracle) from DC. A truly fabulous female character in media.



I have some truly lovely classroom neighbours. There are six classrooms and two specialist labs in my building, and I teach opposite two Grade 3/4 rooms. Annie is a beautiful, warm and funny colleague with a teaching philosophy that matches my own. She was such a super-sweetie this week, leaving me this fun sushi-themed candy surprise for Monday morning! Just because!



This week our phonics focus was ‘d’ and we made concertina-fold dragons (I haven’t got a photo yet – when I do I’ll share it!) that necessitated the use of glitter. So naturally I ended up covered in it! So did the floor.



I was home sick today. Just general un-wellness that’s been driving me nuts all week. It was nice just to be able to sleep and relax and do some crafting this afternoon when I felt up to it. I also got a lot of writing done, which helps my mental state, I find. But during one stage of writing, Benny decided to curl up beside me in bed (hiding his face, the cheeky thing) and didn’t move.



If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen this photo tonight, of my new planner dashboard. It’s white with gold polka dots and is very bright and shiny and makes me smile when I see it. I’m contemplating making some more and adding them to my Etsy store. What do you think?

Slide5Thanks so much for stopping by today – I hope that you have had a fabulous week!



March 15, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Sunday Showcase – Zentangles

Title-SundayShowcaseHello, my friends! Happy Sunday!

Today I thought I’d show you something I’ve been really intrigued by recently, and something I hope to be able to take with me to school and use with students. (Perhaps not quite with my Foundation students, but then again, I do believe everything can be modified to allow students the opportunity to practise a skill, so, you never know!)

It’s a doodle-art form called Zentangle.

I first came across this while watching a video on youtube by The Frugal Crafter (a great channel to follow if you love art and craft making!), and gave it a shot late last year. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen some of the pieces I’ve been making over the last 6 months or so. I’m going to link the video at the bottom of this post for you!

Essentially, a zentangle image is a picture created by drawing structured patterns.

Yesterday I played around with the following 4 designs. (Some of the lines – the squares and circles – were printed for these, because I’m considering using it with some students and I think some guidelines might help them focus more on creating the patterns at first!)

Slide1Slide2They are a bit time consuming, but honestly, it’s so relaxing to sit there and create repetitive patterns and they look so effective!

If you want some more info, simply do a Google or Pinterest search. I’ve pinned a whole lot of ideas to a Pinterest board which you’re welcome to take a look at:

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.00.44 pmI’m quite keen to try out those Easter Eggs for the upcoming holiday!

And for those of you who are interested in the video I mentioned:

Thanks for stopping by today – I hope you got a bit of inspiration from it!

What helps you relax at the end of the week?