Miss Galvin Learns

June 24, 2014
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
1 Comment

Two for Tuesday 50% Off!

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Linking up with 2 more products this week:

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NOW: $4.00

These packs are perfect for Word Work activities in the classroom!

Students read the sentence (then read the scrambled sentence for added OH NO, THAT’S NOT RIGHT! effect!), cut out the words and unscramble and paste it down. Perfect for Kinder and First Grade and students still working on sentence structure. You can scaffold it to include more or less support for students, too. Click the picture above to view some previews.

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NOW $2.00

A set of class books designed to get your kiddos writing from the very first day of school. Fun prompts that can be made into the first class books you have for your classroom year. Each book comes with a colour/black and white cover, 3 different page response styles, plus Australian and US spellings to cater for everyone.

These make a fun addition to any classroom library and encourage a love of writing in all students!

Don’t forget to link up with The Teaching Tribune, or check out the other great 50% deals going on today!


June 23, 2014
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Monday Meet Me Linky

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ONE I have a large (Italian) family on my Mum’s side and there are LOTS of cousins, as well as two cousins on my Dad’s side. It makes for some very entertaining/stressful(!) family occasions. I am the oldest cousin on both side – does this give some indication as to how long I’ve been looking after little kids? My youngest cousin started school the same year I started teaching and still thinks I’m cool, which is pretty nice. I have one younger sister (who is 14 months younger than me) who is currently living in Sydney.

TWO Once upon a time I was really nervous about talking to people about writing in role-playing games, but I’ve since come to embrace my inner-fangirl and just go WHAT THE HELL! Over the years I’ve written fan fiction AND written in numerous role-playing games, playing all sorts of characters. Currently I write in a Batman movie-verse game (I write Barbara Gordon/Batgirl and Bruce Wayne/Batman, as well as Jim Gordon when the occasion calls for it) and in an X-Men movie-verse game, where I write Kitty Pryde. (If you want me to explain any of this stuff, feel free to ask questions!)

THREE The last few weeks I’ve been really unwell, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a fructose intolerance. My sister had it a few years ago and went on the low FODMAP diet to help combat it. I’ve had to reassess some of my eating habits and say goodbye (for now) to a few of the staples of the food I’d normally eat. Thankfully though there are still quite a few things I love to eat on my allowed food list. (This, combined with a never-ending cold, has knocked me around quite a bit, unfortunately.)


And that’s it! Don’t forget to link up today with the Teaching Tribune!




June 9, 2014
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Monday Meet Me Linky

Linky-MondayMeetMeLinking up with The Teaching Tribune again for their Monday Meet Me linky!


I teach a Prep/Grade 1 class and it’s a lot of work. BUT it’s also a lot of fun and it’s so nice to see children in Grade 1 given the opportunity to be mentors and role models for their younger peers. Because of the range of concepts being taught there are LOADS of opportunities for the younger students to pick on the Grade 1 concepts and for the Grade 1s who need a bit of extra consolidation to have that as well.

I have a to-do list a mile long and neither the time or the inclination (sometimes!) to cross everything off all that one time. The worst being filing. (I hate filing!) I’d rather spend time making fonts and blogging and watching youtube and writing!

I watch anything with explosions, car chases or comic book characters in it. (And I’m not even joking – that is pretty much my criteria for viewing!) Alternatively I’ll watch craft tutorials, unboxings or make-up videos on youtube. Because that’s how I roll!

I listen to lots of different music. I prefer stuff that’s easy to listen to, as opposed to stuff that gives you a headache! I go through phases of bands and musicians, but one that’s stuck with me for years is Lifehouse (who I adore) and I’m also really loving Ellie Goulding at the moment. She has such a lovely, unusual voice!

I read Matthew Reilly! (This here counts along my viewing habits, because Matthew Reilly is ALL ABOUT action!) He has fabulous books like Ice Station or Seven Ancient Wonders. If you haven’t read them, you should! I also have a ridiculous picture book obsession (hello, teacher!) and I love to read comic books. (Yes I do!) Currently in the comic book world I tend to read N52 Batgirl or Nightwing, but I’ve loved Birds of Prey, the original Nightwing series and a whole host of Batman graphic novels. I’ve also read a range of Iron Man (Invincible Iron Man!), The Avengers and X-Men.

I do blog (when I get the chance), craft (when the urge strikes me), drink tea (often) and plan (for school, for myself – I’m learning to be organised!).



June 7, 2014
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Free Font Friday Linky

Linky-FreeFontFridayBeing Summer in the U.S. there are a lot of fun linky parties happening at the moment, but I thought I’d dip my toes in with this one. (Hey, even though it’s getting colder here in Melbourne, I can still dream of warmer days and holidays can’t I?)

Every Friday, The Teaching Tribune is hosting Free Font Friday, which is a lot of fun, because who doesn’t love fonts? Especially FREE fonts?

If you’ve been on my blog for a while, you know I love to make fonts. I don’t get as much time as I used to, but I have plans (Grand Plans, maybe) to get back into making some new ones.

I thought for the purposes of this post, and the linky, that I might revisit one of my free fonts:

StapledOnSimply click on the image above to download this font from TeachersPayTeachers!

Don’t forget to head over to The Teaching Tribune and check out other links or link up!



January 13, 2014
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
1 Comment

Monday Made It



It’s been absolutely ages since I’ve linked up with Tara for Monday Made It, but I’ve actually made something! (Shock! Horror!)

I’ve been making some Back to School gifts for some of my besties at work/etc.

This year I’ve made them all some personalised merit stickers to hand out to their kids.


Every teacher is getting six copies of the 4 designs above:

– [teacher] thinks my work is spectacular!

– [teacher] thinks my work is un-BEE-lievable!

– [teacher] thinks my work is out of this world!

– [teacher] thinks my work is awesome!

I just printed them on some A4 size sticker labels that I picked up at Officeworks and used my 1 inch paper punch to cut them out. They’re pretty easy to peel back to give to students (or better yet, hand them out to the kiddos and get them to peel it back – fine motor opportunity!).


This is how they’ve been packaged for everyone!


I love me some washi tape. (No, seriously – I have a MASSIVE washi-tape addition and …. well, probably 40+ different tapes to pick from!)

I just picked some stylish black patterned tape and used my ink stamps to personalise each little baggy.

I think they turned out rather cute!

What have you been making lately?


July 5, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Throwback Thursday

Okay, so I’m a bit late! My apologies!

Today I’m linking up with Cara from The First Grade Parade for her Throwback Thursday linky! The post I’m going to be re-visiting is my Handwriting Bags post from earlier this year. As many of my northern hemisphere friends are beginning preparations for their new school year, I thought this would be a great post to revisit and share ideas around.

In my upcoming Third Term, I plan to revisit and revise my bags, so if you this post prompts any ideas, please share them. I love that blogging allows so much collaboration and sharing of ideas, so don’t be shy!

{ Handwriting Bags }

In the P-2 early years area at my school, we try to include a specific handwriting session each week to focus on letter formation, thus, I’ve been modifying how I’ve previously taught handwriting (very paper-based!) to make it a little less damaging on the environment!

What’s included:

  • A name-tracing card in our State font (Victorian Modern Cursive, for those not from Australia), laminated
  • Lowercase and Uppercase alphabet and numbers in our State Font (this is from one of our handwriting books), laminated
  • Dotted-thirds writing paper (actually on the back of the alphabet page!), laminated
  • Mini whiteboard
  • Whiteboard marker (I got them in packs of 5 for $2.80 from Daiso)
  • 1/4 Chux Magic Eraser

And everything is kept in a large-size snaplock bag (I use Hercules bags) in their tubs.

Our handwriting program:

Currently our handwriting session is on a Thursday morning after our Literacy/Guided Reading session.

Students collect their bags, put them on their tables and join me on the floor for a focus session on our letter for the week. We use a program called Track, Trace and Copy to observe and practise forming letters correctly using our Interactive Whiteboard (IWB). Depending on the letter (and it’s relative complexity) I might have students bring their mini-whiteboards to the floor and we’ll practise forming letters together, or we might form them in the air. I also have students come out and model correct letter formation.

At the end of the mini-lesson students go back to their tables and use their writing packets. We’re developing a formula (slowly) so that students stay on task:

  1. Students start by tracing their name (at least once). For my Preps it’s good practise revising how to write their name correctly, and it’s just as good for my Grade 1s who, even though they can write their names independently, struggle with letter formation, capital letters and letter size.
  2. Students trace the lowercase and uppercase letters on their laminated tracing sheet.

Then, the handwriting task is differentiated for my Preps and my Grade 1s.

The Preps:

  • practise writing the letter focus on their mini-whiteboard 10 (or more times) and circle their best go,
  • use our weekly brainstorm of words to practise their handwriting, and,
  • practise writing out sight words (we use the Magic 100 Words program).

The Grade 1s:

  • use their personal dictionaries to practise writing words using our letter of the week on the dotted-thirds laminated sheet,
  • use our weekly brainstorm of words to practise their writing on dotted thirds, and,
  • write a sentence and illustrated it on their mini whiteboards.

All the students are responsible for cleaning their laminated sheets and whiteboards and for ensuring that their whiteboard pens have their lids on them and that everything goes into their bags at the end of a session.

While students are working independently I pull students out in small groups (or independently) to work on a specific hand-writing skill – using a variety of whiteboard activities, IWB activities or sheet-based activities (although I’m moving away from having handwriting sheets, unless I can reuse them!).

I also usually have a fantastic parent-helper during this session who is really good with the kids. (I taught her middle child in his first year of school in my first year of teaching, and now I’m teaching her youngest in his first year of school!) She knows all the tricks, and helps correct pencil-grip, letter formation and knows how to encourage even the most reluctant writer. I’m super-lucky to have her helping me out!

Now – this isn’t a perfect program, but already it’s starting helping me to really target the students that need specific instruction in letter formation (which is really tricky in Australia, because our State handwriting fonts are SO different to what students see everyday – sometimes I wonder why we don’t teach print handwriting, but that’s another story!).

I’m also hoping to include a few little fine-motor skill activities into handwriting as well, because some of my kiddos really need that extra support.

How would YOU use handwriting bags?

March 28, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

High/Low Linky

Ah… Term break is upon me! I’m so excited to have the next 2 weeks off.

I don’t have exciting personal plans (I officially have no life to speak of), but I do have grand plans to organise my classroom, my classroom library, update my files before my PRP next term and get as much photocopying done over the holidays as possible before my school commences the photocopying audit (blargh!).

But, to kick off my holidays, I’ll start with a linky party!

Today I’m linking up with Katie from Teacher to the Core for her High/Low Linky Party.


I’ve dedicated myself to being Isla’s (cute little thing as she is) Fairy Bookmother – because I’ve already given her 4+ books and will continue to give her books for as long as her Mum lets me (lol!).

In regards to the low point – I’m always my worst enemy. Some  times it just blows out of control, and that was definitely one of those months. I’m slowly digging myself out, though. Seeing my bestie and her baby certainly helped (sometimes you just need to talk to the people who know you best!).

Also, my day was totally enhanced by coming home to discover that I’d won Melinda’s blog birthday giveaway! Super excited to receive the fab prizes that were up for grabs.

Okie doke – I will be back tomorrow with my Five for Friday post, and hopefully a few freebies, on Good Friday.

March 11, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Monday Made It

I’m linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It for the first time! (You know, having actually made something this weekend!)

I’ve literally becoming obsessed with Washi tape (so many cute designs and colours…!) and have started to Pin lots of ideas to my board Washi-nspired. Here’s one idea I’ve become particularly enamoured with:

See pin here.

Seriously, how cute are these fold-back clips?!

So, clearly, I could not resist, what with my growing collection of washi tape that’s been sitting in a drawer, begging to be used.

I found some super-cute, coloured fold-back clips from K-Mart and this great washi tape from Typo and voila!

I now have a cute collection of fold-back clips to add to my classroom collection.

(Beware, I may go on a fold-back clip decorating frenzy…!)

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!

July 16, 2012
by Ms Stefanie Galvin

Must Have Picturebooks

The Teacher Wife


I’ve survived my first day back for Term 3 (and by way of first days it was quite an interesting one for many reasons).

However, what better way to celebrate returning to school than to join in a Linky Party all about picture books. Anyone who knows me knows I’m NUTS about books. I have books all over my classroom (that I’m currently trying to get under control and in enough order for my kids to use).

Also, being Aussie, I’m throwing some Aussie titles into the mix and to share the love with those all over the world. So, here are 5 of my favourite picture books.

Teaching the Teacher by Janet van Loon {Buy}

Beautiful, charming and sure to worm it’s way into the heart of every teacher. The beloved Ms Cherry learns what it’s like to be little again through the imagination of one of her students.

I’ve used this every year for the last 3 years with my students. We read the book and then create a class book of all the things that my students can teach me. It’s just gorgeous.

Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French {Buy}

Meet Mothball, the irrepressibly charming wombat who moves into the backyard of an unassuming family and diligently details her daily life. She sleeps, she eats carrots and she fights major battles with flat hair creatures! This book has 2 follow-ups – Baby Wombat’s Week and Christmas Wombat.

And, I just have to share one of my favourite pages from this book – where Mothball meets a Welcome door mat for the first time!

The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland {Buy}

The very funny story of 4 animals trying to find a dry place to play on a rainy day. They stumble on the Very Cranky Bear, who’s trying to hibernate. The animals try to cheer up the bear by making him over in their image. What ensues is hilarious and will have your students in stitches. This book is followed by The Very Itchy Bear (our Bear meets Flea) and The Very Hungry Bear (where Bear meets Polar Bear).

Possum Magic by Mem Fox {Buy}

It’s impossible for me to have a list of picture books without include Possum Magic. This is the quintessential Australian picture book, complete with native animals and local delicacies. Grandma Poss turns Hush invisible to keep her safe from the natural predators in their environment. When Hush wants to turn visible again they need to travel the country in search of the reversal – and it has something to do with people food!

I grew up with this book and I have just as much love for it now as I did as a child. Plus, my class mascot is a small plush version of Hush (and she’s been home to visit each of my students, along with her beautiful story!).

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle {Buy}

What can I say – it’s a classic that will never go out of fashion. I love all of Eric Carle’s work, but The Very Hungry Caterpillar will always hold a special place in my heart. This is another book I grew up with and I share with all my students and they love it like I do!

Join in the fun and recommend your favourite books!

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