Miss Galvin Learns

February 24, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
6 Comments

Brand new MGL fonts – for FREE!

Now that I’ve recovered from my sickness (instigated by students throwing up in my classroom all week – ew!) and I feel somewhat alive again, I’ve got things for you!

It’s been a while, but I’ve got some new (and free) fonts for you all to use. As with all my other fonts you may use them for commercial use, but I do require credit (preferably with a link to my blog or TpT store).

So, without further delay, please meet:

Click on the images to download from TpT!

Have you used my free fonts before? I’d love to see how you’ve used them – please drop me a link (or two or three!). I’m planning on creating pages on this blog for each individual font with links to products they’ve been used in – think of it as a referral service, for free!

Also… experiencing a bit of TpT-block… (I know, sad, right?)

What kind of products would you like to see in the future?

I know my sight word games have always been popular, but I’d love it if you threw some ideas at me. (Must be start of year-itis!)

February 22, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
8 Comments

Hall Pass and Five for Friday

It’s been one of those weeks, so I’m going to link up with two linkys today. I hope you’ll forgive me!

We don’t have Hall Passes at my school, but it seems like a pretty good idea for a linky, regardless. Thus, I’m linking up with Reagan, from Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits. On with the show…

P is for Product (My Favourite Product)

I love my Silly Sentence Sorts, and I use them all the time. They’re a simple, easy to use Literacy activity that reinforce reading and writing skills. This was one of my very first products and remains my fav!

A is for Area 

My favourite area is my classroom. I can’t really narrow it down too much (because honestly there’s not much area to narrow it down to!), but I have a soft spot for my rainbow wall. It just brightens the room and looks great with work covering it. (Need to update my photos now that the kids have moved in to the classroom!)

S is for Signal

I use the Whole Brain Teaching’s “Class Class” signal. However I say ‘class’ my students respond with an identical ‘yes’.  I love that I can play around with how I say ‘class’ and make it loud, soft, fast, slow – the kids love it!

S is for Sanity

My sanity is saved daily by my co-workers. I’m very fortunate to work in a school with a fantastic staff who all get along, and I have a great team leader who’s very supportive and a fantastic integration aide who’s been an absolute life-saver since the start of the year. At the end of the day I just love the opportunity to unwind and discuss the day, get things off my chest with my like-minded colleagues, and leave the school feeling at ease!

 

#1

Last week, Brooke from Teachable Moments, highlighted a great product for cleaning whiteboards and laminated paper. I went out and bought some (on sale!) and cut them up for my classroom. So excited to have a class set of whiteboard marker erasers that will actually clean!

#2

We’ve had some ridiculously hot weather here in Melbourne (uncomfortable and annoying hot!). On Monday night I was with my parents and my Dad, bless him, made us banana splits! Now, I’m not a big ice-cream eater, but it was simple and delicious!

#3

Speaking of my parents, my Mum likes to buy things for my classroom when she spots things that the kids would like, including this fake-grass covered bunny (that’s available due to Easter… which is so far away still!). But I love it – it’s so tactile and I have a lot of kids who love sensory activities. He’ll go into the classroom soon and join my fake tree and assorted classroom decorations.

#4

Speaking of classroom things, meet Wally. Wally is my 2013 classroom take-home mascot. He’s actually the wombat from Wombat Stew and was named by not-so-diplomatic vote (not-so because my Preppies, with only 10 days of school under their belt, voted for EVERY name on the board!). He’s cute and tiny and the kids of are super-excited to take him home. I’ll share more pictures of him at a later date!

#5

Who stole the apples from the apple tree? This week our letter/sound focus has been ‘a’. While the Preps made Anzac Biscuits in Investigations, the Grade 1s and I explored apples. We peeled and spiral-sliced apples using an apple peeler/corer (my kids LOVED this – springy apples and long, thin, curly apple skins!), made apple glyphs and made a class book adapted from Deanna Jump’s Apples Math and Literacy Activities.

What’s ahead for you this weekend?

February 15, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
4 Comments

Five for Friday

Does anyone else feel like their constantly treading water just to keep their head above the waterline?

Today was such a strange week, and I’m sort of confused as to what I’ve achieved, what I haven’t achieved and what I need to do. It’s very bizarre.

But, anyway, on to my Five for Friday:

5. Saturday day (and night) was spent laminating and cutting out signs and activities for the week. (Typically, I didn’t even get to the activities that I laminated. Can’t wait to use them, though – they’re a great set of pop-stick bundling activities by From the Pond!)

4. One of my very best friends is only a few weeks away from welcoming her first child into the world and we had celebrated at her baby shower on Sunday. Lots of great food, great company, and lots of baby stuff. My favourite part was decorating a onesie for the baby (see below) and giving lots and lots of gifts. (And I even guessed, within a centimetre, the width of my bestie’s tummy! Sadly I kept imagining a meter ruler and whether or not it would wrap around her – such a teacher!) Also… don’t you love the Minnie Mouse outfit! I saw it when I was in Disneyland and HAD to buy it (and a little Minnie Mouse plush) for baby!

3. I made these games 6 months ago after spotting something similar on Pinterest or a blog(can’t remember where, sorry!) and have had them sitting in my office for the entire six months! Finally bound them the other day and am ready to put them into maths rotations and an easy access place for students during wet (or hot) day timetables!

2. We (my Grade 1s, while my Preps had the day off) made these cute little iPhones for Valentine’s Day on Wednesday. I was fortunate enough a little while ago to win a copy of Foxwell Forest’s iHold You in My Heart pack. It’s such a great pack and my kids adored this activity. One of my firsties explained to me why she was making the Valentine for her brother – “Because his iPad screen is cracked and he can use this one instead!” Precious!

1. So, anyone who lives in Victoria knows about the industrial action being taken by Government teachers. Our school is lucky enough to be united in this action and we had our stopwork on Thursday. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m the last person to get involved in politics, because I can’t stand it, but I do believe in standing up for your rights and at the moment teachers are getting a very raw deal from the State government. Sigh. I’ll leave it at that. Well… not quite. I do have to share with you one of the signs to our Premier, Ted Ballieu:

I wish I could think of witty things to put on signs, but alas I’m relegated to loving other people’s creativity!

So that concludes my Five for Friday.

How was your week?

February 5, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
7 Comments

Currently

It’s that time of the month (well, a few days past, but shh!). I’m linking up with Farley at Oh’ Boy 4th Grade for this month’s Currently.

I’d like to think that eventually I’ll catch up on my need, but I don’t see it in the near future. 🙁

How is YOUR week going?

February 2, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

Super Sunday Sale!

(Thanks to Brooke from Teachable Moments for this super-cute sign!)

By now most of you know that TpT is having a big SALE this Sunday in celebration of the Super Bowl. My store will be 20% off for the 3rd and 4th, and on Sunday when you use the promo code SUPER you’ll get an extra discount. That means, spend big on Sunday and you’ll get 28% off your purchase!

love sales!

Here are a few of my current thematic and most popular products. Click on the pictures to view the products on TpT!

My valentine’s-themed literacy centers! Read all about them here.

This has been my most popular product for the last 2 weeks and is so fun, and very easy to make!

Also, you should definitely check out some of my good friends, who have FANTASTIC products in their stores. My cart is full of their great stuff!

Teachable Moments

Tania Poultney

Top Notch Teaching

The Paper Maid

From the Pond and Graphics from the Pond

Clever Classroom

OzCurriculumHQ

Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists

Teaching Maths with Meaning

Now I’m off to go and check the status of my TpT shopping cart! Happy shopping!

February 1, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
18 Comments

Five for Friday & First Day of Prep/1

Joining in for another week!

1. Started work on Tuesday. Honestly, it was like I’d never left! However, it was great to be among the people that I’ve loved working with for the last 3 years, to learn alongside them and to have a fabulous lunch outing. We also had a great PD session on high expectations (which has really resonated with me and some of the other staff), and had a brief look at the Australian Numeracy Curriculum, and reassessed our whole school Numeracy planner.

2. Made my first day frame (below), which I love so much more than my frame from last year! Had lots of inspiration!

3. Had a wonderful sight as I left for work this morning – I saw not one, not two… but three beautiful rainbows on the way to work. The photo’s not great (never is with rainbows – sight!), but I had to share it anyway. This was the first rainbow I saw, as I walked out my front door.

4. This week (due to a lot of things happening in the school), I gained a beautiful little cherub in Grade 1 who requires a teaching aide – which is brand new for me. (Having another person in the room with me 10 hours a week will take some getting used to!) However, I met my teaching aide today and she’s so lovely (and a qualified teacher!), so I think we’ll have a brilliant term!

5. I prettified my laptop. This cheered me up after a full-on day!

In other, first week of school news…

Yesterday (Thursday) my 15 lovely Grade One students started school for the 2013 year. They were such sweethearts, and were so eager to do some reading and writing and singing.

Today (Friday) my 7 gorgeous Prep students started their very first day of school. They’re a beautiful bunch, too, and fit right in with their Grade One buddies. They only had half a day at school, but will be full-time on Monday. The Grade Ones were so precious, showing them how to draw pictures on the IWB, how to make shapes in playdough, how to build really long magnetic chains on the floor (and leaving me to find magnet pieces all over the place for the rest of the day!), and how to do really neat colouring in.

I couldn’t have asked for a lovelier class.

But, I will confess, that it was a stressful day for me. With confident Grade Ones, and nervous Preps (and parents!), I felt like my attention was divided ALL day. I had to give my attention to the Preps, who’ve never been to school, who don’t know to put their hand up to go to the bathroom, who finish activities in 2 minutes, who don’t like to sit down for longer than 5 minutes, and who are eager to share everything they know. Which of course meant leaving the Ones to complete activities with the attention of my very good colleague (and their art teacher) who was helping me for the morning.

I’m back to a balancing act, and I forgot how hard it is at the start of the year with a Prep/1.

But it can only get better from here.

I have to go in to work tomorrow morning to move a few things (borrowing a new bookshelf from my principal, so I have a bit more storage in my classroom), and to set up my new writing table and do general start of year organisational stuff, so I hope to take a few more photos of my classroom to share with you all.

How was your week?

January 30, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

Website Wednesday

Today I thought I’d share a fun little website that’s quite addictive, but could be adapted to suit classroom learning.

The site is called Akinator, the Web Genius. (Nothing like setting high expectations!)

Akinator is an online ‘game’ that asks you to think of a character. Once you’ve thought of your character, you click play and answer the multiple choice questions that Akinator asks you, in an effort to discover your character.

I was actually quite skeptical at first, but I have to admit, it was kind of fun trying to think of (what I thought) were obscure characters in an effort to stump the genie. (I only stumped it once, but picking a very Australian character from an Aussie children’s book – Mothball, the wombat from Diary of a Wombat.)

Ideas for education:

How fun would it be for students (old and young) to think of a favourite character? It could focused for only book characters, or film characters, etc (depending on your area of study). Alternatively, collectively choose the main character from the current book you’re reading, and use the subsequent questions that Akinator uses to ‘discover’ your character to assess how much your students paid attention?

And, when you come across questions that students don’t know the answer to? Research! Brainstorm (particularly with younger students) how you could find out the answers and then do it.

Honestly, this is a fun little website (also an app/etc) that would be great for book reviews, or to fill in those little breaks that we occasionally have during the day.

Have you used Akinator before? How did you find it?

January 25, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
7 Comments

Five for Friday & Freebie Friday


It’s my first time linking up with Five for Friday (I blame being overseas!). What a great way to review the week that’s been!

1. My new nails (done by the very talented Nancy!). They’re bright, fun and very Summer. Plus, my nails actually have a bit of length on them, which definitely won’t last once school starts back, but for now they make me happy!

2. My new classroom name tags for bag lockers and chair bags! I was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest aaaaages ago, and now I can’t find the original post. 🙁 Can someone help me, because I so don’t want to take credit for these – the original poster is my hero!

3. So, while I was in Disneyland I found this hat (it lights up and changes colour based on sound frequency/etc). I had to buy it… and then I came up with a completely plausible reason for having it (and yes, I did it in that order!) – it’s my new bright idea  hat. Whenever one of my lovely students shares a fabulous idea – one of those great ‘aha’ moments, etc – they’ll be able to turn on the Mickey Mouse ears and feel proud of their bright idea! (A little cheesy, but I love myself some Disney-inspiration!)

4. While browsing through my Writing board on Pinterest, I stumbled back across this pin from Teaching with Love and Laughter. Because my goal, this year, is to have a Writing table near my word wall, I made up some topics to write about cards. They’re super-cute and I can’t wait to put them up in my room!

5. I spent ALL of today attempting to sort out my classroom ready for next week. It’s all set up – I still have LOTS of organisation to do, but I’m pretty happy with how it looks at the moment. Can’t wait to have some student work to put up on my rainbow wall! See my panorama view below (look at how tiny my room is!):

It’s scary to think how quickly the holidays have gone. I only have 3 more days of (Sat/Sun/Mon) before starting work again on Tuesday! We have 2 pupil-free days (meetings, planning and professional development sessions are held on these 2 days).

Then my Grade 1s starts on Thursday and my Preps start on Friday. (And yes, that’s a teeny bit frustrating for me. Sigh.)

Can’t wait to have my whole class together, though! They’re a beautiful group of kids and I’m predicting that we’re going to have a great year!

Click above to download from TpT.

January 21, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

Back Home!

Hello everyone!

It’s been AGES since I posted on my blog – although I do have my good excuse: I’ve just spent the last 3 weeks (including New Years Eve) travelling around the USA. And it was amazing!

Honestly, I could write a massive blog post, or a series of posts about my trip, but I won’t bore you.

Instead I’ll make a list of all the things I did (it’ll give you an idea of how crazy-busy my friend and I were travelling around) and then I have a couple of PhotoPeach slideshows with a very small smattering of photos. (I came back with close to 3,000 photos to sort out! I’m terrible when you give me a camera!)

Ok, here we go:

New York: Rockerfeller Center, Bryant Park, Times Square, Saks and Company, Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), FAO Schwarz, Central Park (in a snow flurry… wet and cold!), American Museum of Natural History, Spiderman: the Musical (Broadway… EXCELLENT entertainment!), The Guggenheim, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Statue of Liberty cruise, Empire State Building observatory, Madame Tussaud’s NYE Party (Times Square… absolute NIGHTMARE – until we finally got inside and took progressively crazy photos with wax celebrities!), Harry Potter: the Exhibition, M&M World

Washington, D.C.: White House, Washington Monument (so disappointed not to go to the top like last time), WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Castle, Museum of American History, National Zoo, Natural History Museum, NASM: Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center (one of my favourite stops! Got to see the SR-71 Blackbird!), Mount Vernon, National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art

Las Vegas: Paris Casino & Hotel (our accommodation – highly entertaining!), Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, the Forum Shops, Primm Factory Outlets (my bank account will never forgive me!), Cirque du Soleil’s O (utterly amazing – we had front row seats and it was such a fascinating show to watch), Planet Hollywood and Miracle Mile Shops, the Venetian, New York New York

Day trip from Las Vegas to the Hoover Dam and the West Rim of the Grand Canyon (including helicopter ride to the bottom and boat ride on the Colorado River – so cool!)

Anaheim: Disneyland and California Adventure Park (highlights include the fireworks display and World of Colour – which just blew my mind and reminded me of my childhood being raised on Disney movies!)

Los Angeles: Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Universal Studios, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Santa Monica Pier

Phew! I feel exhausted just thinking about everything we did!

And now I have a confession to make.

I came home to 1000+ posts in my Google Reader and after attempting to go through them I had to give up and so I’ve missed 3 weeks of awesome blog posts! (Is it weird that that actually bothers me, just a little bit…?)

So, my question to you, dear readers, is: What did I miss? If there’s something you really think I should read, please feel free to send me links!

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