Miss Galvin Learns

June 10, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Serving Up Numbers game

Here in Australia we’ve just finished our Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Funny, it didn’t feel like a long weekend. At all! Oh well… our school holidays are getting closer and closer. Three more weeks!

I did, however, manage to roll out another new product on TpT and TN. And it wouldn’t have been possible without the awesome graphics of the ever-talented Mel from Graphics at the Pond! Her awesome new pack, Plate It Up, made this all possible!

Join in a celebration of all things From the Pond on Mrs Poultney’s Place!

And now… let me introduce Serving Up Numbers:

Find on TpT

Find on TN

Essentially it is a really fun way for students to show all the different ways to make a given number from 1-20 – using numbers, names, subitising patterns, base ten and popsticks, as well as physically counting out counters/food images to represent their number.

Bonus skill = practising their place-setting skills! (My mum would be so proud – lol!)

The best thing about this particular activity is that while you can print all the pieces out in colour, I’ve also provided the blacklines of every piece to help you save on printing costs, should you choose!

This is a great visual for students, and will really demonstrate their knowledge.

As a teacher, this pack is easy to differentiate – simply choose the numbers you wish students to work with (1-10, 11-20, all, etc).

This pack is on SALE for the next 24-ish hours!

I’d love to know what you all think!

Enjoy the start to your week!

June 4, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

You’re Wonderful!

Despite everything else that’s going on this week, I have to share this one perfect little gem from today.

Many of you know the very talented Debbie Clement, of Rainbows Within Reach. Not only is she talented, but she’s also a lovely person who shares wonderful ideas to inspire teachers all over the world.

I’ve slowly been collecting some of her wonderful songs from TpT, trying to find the perfect time to teach them to my Little Smarties. Today was that day.

This afternoon I had my Grade 1 students (a grand total of 13 kids!) while my Preps attended their Investigations sessions and I thought I’d try out one of Debbie’s beautiful songs – You’re Wonderful. If you’ve never heard this song, I urge you to go and buy it now because it’s a truly moving reminder that everyone is special and unique.


We listened to the song, and the kiddos started bobbing their heads to the music.

Next we learnt the words and sang it a few times.

Then we added in the actions in Sign Language – which most of them thought was very cool. We sang it a few more times after that.

Then some of my boys started getting restless (they were hanging out for the next chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!), so we took a break.

A few minutes later my very good friend, and my student’s art teacher, Rochelle came in. Rochelle and I are very like-minded teachers and so I knew she’d love to hear the Grade 1s sing, because next term she’ll be teaching them music, too.

So they sang to her. A song that they’d only just learnt 15 minutes earlier, complete with actions.

And Rochelle started crying. She was so touched by the way the kiddos had responded to the song and performed it for her that she had tears.

Our performance was followed by a big group hug.

You’re Wonderful had resonated so strongly, in such a short time, with these young kids that when they sang it to someone else, it was just magical.

We’ll be doing some activities on this song very soon, and teaching it to our Prep classmates. And (hopefully) perform it for an audience soon.

What activity has resonated with you so far this week?

June 3, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Peas on a Plate – Counting to 10

I confess to being quite behind in blog posts, but I blame reports, a week-long head cold and inability to sleep to my lethargic approach to my online presence.

But I’m here to share something fun that I’ve made and uploaded on TpT (and soon TN).

It’s a resource that I actually made in 2010 when I first started teaching and have remade into something a little prettier. It does involve some laminating and printing, but it works beautifully!

Purchase on TeachersPayTeachers

Purchase on TeachersNotebook

Peas on a Plate is a fun little resource to practise number recognition from 0 to 10. (Yay, subitising!)

I’ve used this little activity for the last 4 years with my kiddos to build and reinforce instant number recognition and I’m so happy to be able to share it with all of you!

Here’s what my cards used to look like… (Ok… shhh! I still have them and use them because the kids enjoy them, so we mix it up!):

Now I have a set that look like this:

All cards come in a full-page format, I simply print multiple pages per sheet (2 per page), laminate and cut them out.

Each number (except for 0) has four pea combinations in different patterns, from dice patterns to less common groupings.

Ideas for use:

– whole class/small group focus: display cards for a few seconds and ask students to identify the number displayed,

– whole class game: divide the class into 2 and line them up so that there are 2 teams, flash a Peas on a Plate card and have the two leaders compete for points, and,

– small group games: play Memory or Snap with students matching different representations of the same number.

Hope that some of you may find it useful!

Purchase on TeachersPayTeachers

Purchase on TeachersNotebook

June 1, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Classroom Quick Tips Linky

Wow – it’s been a while since I got around to an actual post. It’s been busy in my part of the world recently.

First up, a small request – my Assistant Principal (AP) has recently discovered Pinterest and likes to tease me about the fact that I have so many more followers than him! He’s awesome, and teachers ICT at my school and so has begun collecting cool ICT-based resources. He’d love some followers – click here if you’ll help him out!

Now, I’m joining up with Diving into Second Grade and Hippo Hooray for Second Grade for their Quick Tips linky!

My tip is actually a very recent organisation tool that I’ve been putting together to store resources for my Preps and Grade 1s.

Use bead boxes to story alphabet resources!

It’s a great way to keep things sorted and in their place. In the picture above you can see my little ‘trinkets’ – tiny things of all shapes and sizes sorted alphabetically and ready for use!

I’ve also got magnetic letters sorted in these containers, as well as magnetic sight words.

(And… not only is it nice and tidy, but it helps the kiddos pack up, too!)

I’m slowly organising all my materials, but this is what I’ve got so far!

– flat magnetic letters

– alphabet objects

– sight words (need to pick up another box to put words r-z in)

– big magnetic letters (vowels in the bead box and consonants all in a tub)


So… that’s my quick tip for this week. I hope that some of you find it useful!

Enjoy your weekend!

May 17, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Five for Friday & Quick Tip linky

Hello friends!

What a CRAZY week it has been! Here in Melbourne we’re in the middle of writing our mid-year reports. (And when I say ‘reports’ I really mean over-long essays about each student!)

I actually don’t have an issue writing reports – I’ve always found them fairly easy to write and once I developed my system I was good to go. I’m finished… just waiting for them to be proof read by my Prin, who does a fab job!

So… I’m starting this weekend in a BRILLIANT frame of mind. No reports for me!

Thus, in my joyous state I bring you my…


On Mother’s Day my parents and I went to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. It was my first visit there and it was pretty amazing. Great location, beautiful views (despite the dreary weather) and AMAZING chocolate designs. I snapped these really cool chocolate frogs for Mel (From the Pond) because I saw them and thought of her! The single frog is about 40-50cm tall!

And the best part? They have FREE chocolate tastings. Essentially all you can eat. 3 big bowls of milk, dark and white chocolate buds – and they’re pretty amazing. 🙂


Dad and I took Mum to Savoia for High Tea on Mother’s Day. Another gorgeous location, totally hidden away and just beautiful. Lovely food and tea, too!


My class’ term topic is Sustainability – and we’ve just planted our veggie patch!

We plotted and planner together on the IWB and then went outside and planted our seedlings in the box that’s all our own! (We have 4 planter boxes in our school and our Prep and Prep/1 classes have taken them all over. Because they’ve been a little neglected!)

We planted spinach, fennel, broccoli, celery, lettuce, beetroot, carrots, purple carrots and parsnips! And students have their own teams (eg. Team Spinach, Team Fennel, etc) and are responsible for their vegetables. They were SO great. We can’t wait to watch them grow.


We’re finishing up our persuasive writing (well, my Grade 1s are!) and they spent Wednesday trying to persuade me to let them make ice-cream in a bag next week!


 We’ve been doing addition in Grade 1 and I’ve got a few little dears who really don’t understand the concept so we spent some time building addition problems with unifix blocks and discussing the different ways to make the same number. I think I got through to one… perhaps not the other so much, but we’ll keep persevering. The majority of my kiddos were adding 3 or more numbers and having a grand old time. <3

And finally, I’m joining Jean’s (from Diving Into Second GradeQuick Tip linky party. I actually have a tip to share!

I store my counting charts in a file stand right near where I teach whole group activities. (I’m not fortunate enough to have a classroom big enough to have a small group work table – most of our small group work is done on the floor – so I have to story things on top of cupboards and bookshelves!)

I use these ALL the time – we count on them, write on them, find patterns, play games, etc – and I have LOTs of them, so this is a great way to keep them handy, organised and ready for use!

Happy weekend, my friends! 🙂

May 11, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Five for Friday

… on my Saturday!

I’m sneaking this post in before I go get my nails done (yay!) and before I attempt to write out at least 8 mid-year reports this afternoon. I’m setting myself the goal so that my reports are done by the end of next week. Because our school has a crazy report-writing timetable.

Also because I won’t be home on Sunday to write any, being Mother’s Day and I intend to spend the day with my Mum!

So… on with the show!


I tried my hand at colouring pasta. It started with a vision (see below) and I spent a good hour making a mess and making beautifully coloured pasta for the classroom!


My vision – rainbows for ‘r’ week!

My 7 preps (plus 2 Grade 1s) made beautiful coloured pasta rainbows, while the 12 remaining Grade 1s made beautiful torn paper collage rainbows!

They were quite a hit with the kids (and the staff!).

They’re currently up on display in the room, and I’ll need to take  a photo once the display is complete!


A selfie… although this one has become my new image for everything – Pinterest, Facebook, blogs, Google, etc.

We had ‘R’ is for Red Day (also rubbish-free lunch day!) and I bravely wore bright red lipstick to school. Lol! I also rocked a sparkly-red Transformer t-shirt that was a hit with some of my little friends. (What you can’t see are my red skinny jeans as well!)


We made rock pets to celebrate ‘R’ week yesterday.

We had such a crazy, messed-up week, that craft options were preferable to my survival until the weekend. 😉


We also took home our cress-head friends.

The Little Smarties were very excited to watch the seeds grow and change over the week. Many of them referred to it as their jungle or rainforest, which was so cute.

Now I’m off to (re-)print my activities for next week before I run out the door!

Have a lovely weekend! xx

May 6, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Teacher Appreciation!

It’s that wonderful time of year when we get to recognise the amazing work done by teachers – all over the world.

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, TpT is having a tiny sale, that I’m sure you’re all well-advised of!

My entire store will be up to 28% off when you use the code TAD13 at checkout.

I’ve recently added 3 new items to the store that you should check out:

What’s in your cart? (Inquiring minds want to know!) 

April 29, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin


Otherwise known as joining in the Instagram fun!

I’ve been on Instagram for ages, but never found a way to use it effectively (aside from making my pictures look pretty!). This might be the answer.

I’m linking up with What the Teacher Wants and Apples and ABC’s for:

You can follow me on Instagram under the username sgalvin1, or click the image below to follow online:

Yes… I do take photos of the Avengers. Shh! There are plenty of teacher-y photos there for you to peruse!

Link up and join the party!

P.S. Happy Monday to everyone!

April 21, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Product Swap!

This is my first time joining in the Magical Product Swap and I am SO excited!

I was paired with the very lovely, very inspiring Katie from Teacher to the Core:


I’m sure many of you know her blog, and her work, and know that she is just a very special person. If you’ve never had the chance to stop by your blog, I urge you to go there as soon as you’ve finished reading this post!

I chose to review her Easy Ecology unit – which is fab, and a perfect fit for what my class is doing this term.


This unit is just amazing and if you’re doing a unit on the environment, ecology or simply need something to add that extra special something to your Earth Day units of work, Easy Ecology  is IT!

We’ve only just started using it in my classroom, but my Little Smarties are already in love with their mini-information books, which we’ll be working through this term. They’re also SUPER-EXCITED about making their Earth Smart Art craft on Earth Day!

Definitely visit Katie and check out the rest of her amazing ideas and see her reviews for the Product Swap!

I’m also going to give one lucky reader the chance to choose any 3 items from my TpT store. Just fill in the Rafflecopter below to join in:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

April 19, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Five for Friday

After only 1 week of term I feel like I’ve been hit by a freight train. Tonight’s post will be brief because I honestly don’t think my brain is functioning properly.

It’s been one of those weeks.

Linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday:


I got mail! Brand new write and wipe pockets. I was so VERY excited on Monday night.


This week we’ve been exploring shapes. The Grade 1s loved using the geoboards to make different quadrilaterals.


We read the Very Hungry Caterpillar on Thursday. My Preps retold the story by sequencing the food the caterpillar ate using ordinal numbers. We turned them into caterpillars and hats and made the Grade 1s very jealous. Must come up with a Grade 1 hat idea soon, or I may be accosted by grumpy Grade 1s!


First classroom test run with the write-on-wipe-off pockets. Major success. I foresee much use in the future.


We have an open-day tomorrow (Saturday) for prospective Prep parents for 2014. We had to change the big display board in the Prep area. Now… my classroom is NOT in the Prep area, but this is my display because it wouldn’t have been changed (or half as bright and colourful) if I hadn’t done it. 2.5 hours of my time (not including tissue-paper pom-pom making time) and it’s up and done.

In the next week or so we’ll be adding photos of all the Prep and Prep/1 kiddos with their Lorax moustaches and their quotes on how to look after the environment.

I’m going to go and collapse now. I’ll be back later this weekend with my review for the Magical Product Swap.

Enjoy your Friday!

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