Miss Galvin Learns

October 1, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Flashback Post: Blogging with K/1 Students (Free Online PD)

Wow, it’s been positively ages since I posted on the blog. Life’s been a little hectic recently, and I’ll admit to being a bit distracted. I do promise to try and post a bit more regularly in the upcoming weeks!

I’m in the last week of our Term 3 holidays, and I thought I’d have a bit of a flashback moment and share with you all a presentation I did in August last year on blogging with early years students.

Tech Talk Tuesdays, for those of you who don’t know them, are free online professional development sessions for teachers. They do run on Australian EST, but the recordings are also posted afterwards, and there’s some fantastic presentations up there. I don’t often get to attend at the time because our school has meetings on Tuesday afternoons, but I do go back and watch them when I get a chance.

Anyway, on the presentation…

Little Smarties – Blogging in the Early Years  (click the recording link at the end of the post) is all about my journey using blogging as a tool in my (then Prep and) Prep/1 classrooms from 2011-2012. I still blog with my current group of P/1s, too!

Some of the topics covered include:

  • The technology tools I have access to in my classroom
  • Why I blog with my students
  • How I blog with my students
  • The benefits I’ve seen from the program

I hope that this is of use to some of you. If you have any questions about it, please don’t hesitate to ask!

And don’t forget to check out some of the other fantastic presentations on the blog!

April 9, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Text Talk Tuesday & Very Important Fundraising

Here is a brand new blog segment for you… Text Talk Tuesday!

What on Earth is that, you may ask? Simple – on Tuesdays (hopefully every week, at least every fortnight) I’m going to share one of my favourite picturebooks with you AND provide a free, and fun, book activity to go with it.

To kick of this fab new blog post, I’m going to start with one of my newest favourite picturebooks… Pete the Cat!

If you don’t know this book, you may have been living under a rock! Ok, not really… but since I started branching out in the blogging world around here, I can’t go anywhere without hitting a Pete the Cat reference or resource. I’ve even introduced him to all my Aussie teaching colleagues.

Anyway. Moving right along…

Pete the Cat is a FABULOUS book that is all about teaching children resilience.

Last year when I first purchase Pete the Cat, we read it about 3 times the day it arrived. And we listened to the free song. Over. And Over. And Over.

This year, I introduced my beautiful Preps/Firsties to Pete on the first day of school – Pete the Cat, Rocking in my School Shoes. Appropriate, right? And then had to read all the other books straight away (although I drew the line at Pete’s Christmas – it was only February!).

We’ve since revisited these books many times, because they’re a favourite, because they’ve got fantastic illustrations, and because the kiddos relate to the books.

Whenever something happens in the classroom that one kiddo doesn’t think is fair, all I have to say is ‘Do we get upset?’ The rest of the Little Smarties sit up straight and reply, ‘Goodness, no!’

(A few then proceed to sing one of  Pete’s songs, and I have to get them under control again!)

One of my book activities for Pete the Cat is a simple class book that my Grade 1s completed in the first week of term – you can see it in the first picture, right next to the official Pete book!

My Little Smarties brainstormed a list of colours and items that were those colours, and created their own page of the Pete story, substituting Pete’s name for theirs. I just love some of their illustrations!

I’m a big fan of class books – either making up a brand new story based on a book, collating responses to books, or using the story and only changing a few words. They make for fabulous (and CHEAP) additions to classroom libraries and the kids get a kick out of reading their own work… and being able to read the book independently.

So, today I have a copy of my class book for your download for free to use with your kids (should you choose to). It follows the same storyline as Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes, and involves tracing and filling in the missing words. (There’s an Aussie spelling and a US spelling sheet included!) Click on the image below to download the file from Google Drive. (I also have another pack of book response sheets for ‘cat-themed’ books that you can download for free here.)

Leave a comment if you download and let me know what you think!

And, even though this post is a bit longer than I anticipated I’m also going to talk about a really great fundraiser going on at the moment.

In February this year, Bundaberg East State School (in Queensland, Australia), was under water as a result of tropical cyclone Oswald hitting the state of Queensland. It was right before school was due to start for the year and was so devastating to hear about.

Mel (From the Pond) teamed up with Jody, a teacher from TPT, who works at Bundaberg East State School and together they devised a way to raise money to help support the teachers and students as they rebuild their teaching resources. You can read a great post with more details from Mel, here. You can read Jody’s Post here.

Lots of teachers got together to donate resources to support these teachers, and now they’ve been put together into a fantastic SUPER PACK of 22 resources for K-2 classes to raise money for the school. There’s over 550 pages worth of activities included for only $15 which is a total bargain!

I really urge everyone to get behind this fundraiser – I can’t wait to purchase it myself!

22 packs for only $15.  Love it!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I apologise for the length of the post!

March 11, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

So… I’ve been busy. How about you? (Freebie and Linky at the end!)

Can’t believe it’s already March 11th!

Here in Melbourne we’re having a public holiday (Woohoo! I needed the sleep-in this morning!) so I’m making the most of my Monday off.

I’ve missed a few bits and pieces over the weekend – my ISP decided to to ‘maintenance’ that went 2.5 days over schedule, leaving my internet-less until yesterday evening. (Insert sad face here.) But I’m back now and I’ve got a few bits and pieces to share with you!

While I’ve been doing a lot of 1-10 number work with my Preps (aka Kinders!), my lovely First Graders have been doing lots and lots of work with numbers to 100 and beyond. The last few weeks we’ve been practising skip-counting and recognising the patterns and numbers that appear.

Hence, I’ve been busy making some simple games that students can play (click on pictures to view at TpT):

Both games have multiple purposes:

  • Pull cards out, read numbers, determine if it’s part of the skip-counting pattern in focus (use sorting mats to help categorise the numbers).
  • Add in the JIVE or CLUCK cards – when a student pulls these out they must return all their cards to the container.

All you need for these games is a container to store the game cards in (I found some cute little gift boxes in my local dollar store) and to print and laminate the pieces. If you need a title for your container, I just printed out the front cover at a reduced size and used tape to secure it to the container.

I have at least 1 more game coming in the series (Shoes Come in Twos) – and possibly a fourth (Bees Fly in Threes) for those interested – so be on the lookout for them, hopefully by the end of the week.

Each game is only $1.00 in both my TeachersPayTeachers and TeachersNotebook stores.

And now for a freebie: MEOW! Book Response Activities for Cool Cats

My kiddos (the Little Smarties) are now officially obsessed with Pete the Cat and Splat the Cat. We’re re-reading the books regularly – which is fantastic. I came up with some generic, cat-inspired book response sheets for them to use when responding to the texts.

You can grab them on TpT for FREE by clicking the image below. I’d love to hear your feedback!

And finally, I’m joining up with Latoya Reed from Flying into First Grade for her first linky party!

This week it’s all about using your initials to share things you love, so here we go!

I’m a Spring baby, born in September (yes, I’m in the Southern Hemisphere, folks!). I love Spring – it’s pretty much my favourite season – the wet season and cold weather of Winter starts to fade away and beautiful cool, sunny days start appearing.

I’m a sucker for anything lemon-flavoured – lemonade, lemon soda, lemon juice, lemon ice-cubes. I’m even one of those weird people who’ll eat little bits of lemon. It also smells beautiful!

As for the lipstick – prior to January this year I never wore lipstick, but I bought some MAC lipsticks while in the U.S. ($15 people! They’re $35 here!) and have fallen in love! My favs are Ruby Woo, Vegas Volt and Chatterbox!

When I started teaching four years ago I was head-over-heels in love with being a Prep (Kinder) teacher. Now I’ve been a Prep/Grade 1 teacher for over 12 months and I am enjoying it. (I still would love to go back into a straight Prep class, but my confidence has grown as a Grad1 teacher!)

And that’s all from me today, folks!

Enjoy the start of your week!

March 2, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

March Currently and Freebie Font Friday

(Ok, so Freebie Font Friday is now on a Saturday… but I’ve been busy!)

I’m linking up with Farley from Oh’ Boy 4th Grade:

LISTENING: I’ve been loving listening to Of Monsters and Men, especially their song “Little Talks” which my kiddos love listening to as well. It’s got quite a fun little tune to it.

LOVING: All the math game ideas I’ve been getting from Mel (From the Pond) and Brooke (Teachable Moments). I’m really not a math person and so I find it hard to think up great little games – but these girls have been fab the last week or so. I’m spending my weekend making up some of their games and activities for my class this week!

THINKING: I’ve got a decent amount of money sitting in my Scholastic Rewards bank and I’m really considering getting an EasiSpeak microphone for my class to use. I’m thinking they could record their reading at home one night, or even in the classroom, and then I’ve got a bank of their recordings. (Also, very good for them to ‘hear’ their reading back as well.)

WANTING: I know lots of you love hot Summer weather, but I’m desperate for Winter. I loved being in the cold weather in the U.S. over Christmas. You can always put more clothes on to get warmed, but when the mercury rises you can only take off so much clothing… (and still be decent!)

NEEDING: Air-conditioning. I know we’re in Autumn now, but Melbourne gets hot, dry heat and teaching in a glass and metal building with NO air-conditioning and broken windows (that are run electronically) has not been fun for me or the kiddos.

LIKE. LOVE. HATE.: Pretty self-explanatory – I like me some silliness, and I love singing songs with the kiddos (this week we’ve been learning the Date Song and the Days of the Week song). I hate supermarkets because they’re always busy when you’re in a hurry. Like today. Sigh.

So, this week I went on a font-making binge because I’m in a terrible state of TpT writer’s block. Oh well.

(Perhaps I should have charged for my fonts? Ok, not really. They’re not THAT good, lol!)

Anywho, here are a few more goodies for YOU!

Click on the images to download the fonts from TpT!

You can also purchase MGL Spring Writer Ext for $1 which includes the accents and misc options (for a total of 195 characters, as opposed to the standard alphabet of 99 characters). I only put the charge on this one because it took a while longer to make.

December 8, 2012
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Another Freebie & a great giveaway

I forgot to post this yesterday (insert sheepish grin here), but nevertheless, I’m sharing it now!

From my Christmas Fun Literacy Activities pack, I present Ten Little Reindeers. I’m a sucker for songs, and I’m loving coming up with seasonal variations on classic children’s songs (in this case, Ten Little Indians). The freebie is simply the words to my variation with cute Melonheadz illustrations. If you purchase my Christmas Fun pack, there’s also a blackline master and a cloze activity for Ten Little Reindeers.

Click the image to download from TpT!

Katie from Teacher to the Core is having a fabulous giveaway with loads of great prizes from 33 fabulous bloggers! Stop by and enter because there are loads of things up for grabs.

Freebie Fridays

December 7, 2012
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Freebie Friday, Good News … & a FLASH sale!

Just a quick post for some GOOD news and a freebie!

So, my good news is that I was just able to purchase AMAZING seats for Cirque du Soleil when my friend and I travel to Las Vegas in January. I cannot express how excited I am! In 20 days time I will be leaving Melbourne and heading for the U.S. and I can’t wait. I loved my time there a few years back and I’ve been dying to visit again! (Shh! I’m already plotting a third trip to a few different states in a few years time!)

And now, for the most important part of this post… (ok, equally important!):

2 roll, stamp & add activities with a fun Christmas theme. (For use with 2x 6-sided OR 2x 10-sided dice.) Click the image below to download from TpT!


Freebie Fridays
And… because I’m in such a good mood, I’m having a


at my TeachersNotebook store.

Everything’s 40% Off!

For the next 24 hours only!


November 24, 2012
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
1 Comment

Super Saturday!

It’s hard to believe that there is just 20 more (school) days until the end of the teaching year.

First thing on Monday morning I think I’ll make Count-down Paper Chains with my students so that we can display them on our back wall and count down the days until the end of the year. (I promise to take a photo!)

Not only that, but next week we have our final Prep Transition session (for the 2013 incoming Prep children) and I’ll finally get to meet my students… and find out whether I’m teaching Prep or Prep/1 next year! (That’s actually an important bit of information!) It’s all very exciting. I’ve been involved in 3 out of the 4 Transition sessions this year, and they’re a lovely group of students. Next year will be great!

Don’t forget: I have my ‘sneaky’ Giveaway ending in just a few hours – it’s easy to join in and you can win your choice of one of my paid products on TpT/TN!

However – I do have a fabulous freebie for you today, just in time for Christmas!

Freebie Fridays

A new, FREE font – MGL Write Well for Santa 

Click on the image to download it!

And don’t forget – 2 fabulous sales over the next few days!

Up to 35% off my TeachersNotebook Store. (24/11 – 26/11)

Up to 28% off my TeachersPayTeachers Store(26/11 – 27/11)

I also snuck a new item into both stores last night – an early Valentine’s Day craft (or even just to celebrate the wonderful people in our lives!):

Find on TeachersNotebook and TeachersPayTeachers

November 18, 2012
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
1 Comment

Homemade number stamps

I’m (rather impatiently!) waiting for 4 sets of number stamps to arrive from Etsy for my classroom. One can never have too many alphabet or number stamps!

I need some for my Number Rotations this Wednesday, so I spent most of yesterday trying to find some ANYWHERE. No such luck.

My sister and I made a late-night trip out to K-Mart last night and I resolved to DIY my own number stamps for this week. It was quite easy, and pretty cheap, and I’m rather pleased with myself!


– 1 bag of foam numbers ($2)

– 2 packets of erasers ($4)

– Hot glue gun

See, easy peasy!

(And while I was there I also bought a packet of six coloured ink pads! No more students arguing over who gets to control the ‘shared’ ink pad!)

Click on the picture above for my Prep’s Stamp the Number recording sheet.

What is your best DIY classroom resource?

Enjoy your Sunday!

November 13, 2012
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

World Kindness Day

This week at school we’re promoting Wellbeing Week. There’s a whole range of activities that we’re doing in the classroom to celebrate social, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Today was World Kindness Day.

As a school we each created a Kindness Leaf, a leaf decorated with what kindness means to us. I was very proud of my kiddos, who came up with some really thoughtful ideas, including:

  • helping others when they’re hurt
  • inviting others to play with them
  • smiling
  • saying lots of nice things
  • hugs
  • saying hello to everyone

The leaves will be collated into a whole school display in our Hall, which we’ll see every week during our whole school assembly time.

To celebrate World Kindness Day I’ve put together this little freebie pack for you:

This pack contains:

  • Templates for a class book (including colour and black and white versions of a front cover)
  • 3 optional writing templates for the class book
  • 2 options for creating your own Kindness Tree

Click on the picture above, or here, to download this freebie.

Also, I’ve been rather busy lately creating my own fonts. It’s seriously addictive!

However, for those of you who don’t follow my TpT store (nudge, nudge!), I’ve recently uploaded a few of those fonts for FREE!

MGL All Write

MGL All Write Skinny

MGL Dotti

MGL Good Writing

MGL The Right Line

MGL The Write Stuff

MGL Too Cool

MGL Write Well

They’re all free – and available for commercial use, as long as you link back to my TpT store. I’d also love your feedback, if you have a moment.

Happy Kindness Day!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

November 5, 2012
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Mad Monday Maths & 2 Freebies

… or at least that’s what I’d call it if I’d had my class today (and not a Curriculum Day).

I humbly bring you a new product and a freebie to match.

Purchase on TeachersPayTeachers or TeachersNotebook

For those of you who are not familiar with the BUMP games – they’re simply an addition game using 2 dice to find a total. Students cover up the total on the board with a counter. If their partner also rolls that number they can BUMP the person off!

Great addition practise for young students.

This pack features 7 themed BUMP boards – veggie garden, garden insects, rainbows, Autumn leaves, pumpkin patches, Easter and owls. (All, save for the owls, have a blackline version included.)

The first 2 people to leave a comment with their favourite Maths game will get a free copy of this pack! (Don’t forget to leave your email address!)


Click here to download a free BUMP game board




Tomorrow is the Melbourne Cup (hooray for public holidays for horse races!), and to celebrate with my students we’ll be designing names for race horses, designing jockey jumpers, and writing about the long weekend (my kiddos will have had 4 days off!) on Cup-inspired paper. Click here (or on the pic above) to download this freebie!

Please note that these files are for your personal and classroom use only. Please do not distribute or share this file.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Freebie Fridays
and don’t forget to enter my GIVEAWAY! Lots of great prizes to be won!


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