Miss Galvin Learns

August 16, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

The Jungle Bully (R.I.C.)

Slide1Welcome to part 3 of my review for R.I.C. Publications! If you haven’t already, check out my reviews of some of their English and Maths resources.

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The last item I have for review, is the textless big book The Jungle Bully ($29.95). This book is A3 in size (see below for comparison with an A4 book).

IMG_4602This beautifully illustrated book deals with the topic of bullying, and how those situations can be dealt with and resolved, all through oral discussion about what is happening in the illustrations.

The following narrative description is taken from R.I.C.’s page:

A small monkey is bullied by other monkeys in his community and, feeling sad, runs away to be by himself. Seeing a group of happy animals, he decides to take his frustrations out on a harmless gorilla, and does this while the gorilla’s friends are distracted or sleeping. Although much bigger than the monkey, the gorilla doesn’t retaliate; but rather than remain silent, he finds his friends and tells them what happened to him. The animals decide to confront the monkey and talk about what he did to their friend.

The monkey, now realising the gorilla has a support network, appears worried about what they will do to him. The animals give the monkey a chance to tell his side of the story and are saddened by what they hear. The gorilla and monkey are left to discuss how they can move forward and how the gorilla and his friends can support the monkey.

They come up with a plan where all the animals can work together so they can all enjoy the jungle and keep the monkey safe.

IMG_4603I love using wordless texts with students, because not only does it reinforce the practise of using/paying close attention to the illustrations, but also because it allows students the opportunity to make their own meaning rather than purely being influenced by the words the author has chosen.

IMG_4604At the back of the book, you can find extensive teacher notes, or you can download them from R.I.C.’s website, too. These notes have extensive questions for discussion with students, ordered by page so you can tailor the depth of your book discussion to the needs of your class.

IMG_4619You can also download printable masks in black and white and colour (I printed the BLM ones) for use with the class. This provides plenty of opportunities for role-playing to build the connections established through the storytelling process.

I think this would be a great book to add to any school’s collection of student well-being resources – no matter where you are in the world – because it deals with a topic that students really struggle with. Discussing it through the medium of a story can make it very accessible even to young learners.

Thanks so much to R.I.C. Publications for the wonderful opportunity to review all of these fabulous resources. Don’t forget to check out their website, and my reviews of their English and Maths resources.

Happy weekend, friends!

Sig_NewBlog2014

 

 

August 15, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

R.I.C. Maths Resources

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Last weekend I shared with you a review of R.I.C.‘s new Australian Curriculum-linked English resources. This weekend I have the 2nd and 3rd parts of the review, starting with this review of some of their recent Maths resource releases, and I can’t wait to get started!

IMG_4606First up I want to look at the New Wave Mental Maths A book ($11.95). There are 7 books and a teacher resource book in this series, so there’s something for all year levels. You can download some sample pages from the R.I.C. website here by clicking on the Book A link.

Because Book A is aimed at 5-6 year olds, it’s a scrapbook size book (see below, compared to an A4 resource book) and slightly larger. It also has coloured pages and the best way to use it would be to have one book per student.

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As a daily maths activity, students can track the tasks they complete at the front of their books.
IMG_4608Activities are organised by Week # and Day of the Week, with each weekday having between 4-5 different mental math activities to complete.

IMG_4609 These books would be great for students to use first thing in the morning (as morning work) or as an early finishers task during math lessons. Alternatively, if you run math rotations, it could be one of the activities during the rotations.

I really like the variety of questions and the visuals and visual prompts students are given which will eventually aid in them being able to complete most tasks independently.

IMG_4611Next up is the Number and Algebra Foundation book ($6.95/$7.95). Again, this book series goes all the way up to Year 6.

Like the Mental Maths book, this book is a colour resource and as the title would suggest, focuses on the Number and Algebra strand of the Australian Curriculum.

The Foundation book has two sections: Number and Place Value and Patterns and Algebra as per the curriculum. The bulk of the Foundation book focuses on Number and Place Value, and the sections are marked by colours – blue for Number and Place Value and pink for Patterns and Algebra (see below).

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IMG_4614Wearing my Foundation teacher hat, the layout of this is wonderful because it’s clean, simple, and very easy to read. The text and images are large enough for the little learners in my class to have room to work on the activities.

IMG_4615The final maths resource book that R.I.C. sent me to review was the Year 1-2 Fractions Book ($32.95).

I was really excited to get a peek at this book because even though I’m not currently teaching in a Year 1 or 2 classroom, fractions are one of my favourite maths topics to teach, especially over the last 3 years when I had my Prep/1 class.

IMG_4616The book itself is broken in to two sections – Year 1 and Year 2.

Within those sections, there are teacher notes, warm-ups, resources, BLMS, assessments, checklists and answers – everything a teacher might need to keep track of student learning and progress.

Most of you know I’m a firm believer in hands-on learning (especially in maths) but having access to a collection of high quality resources such as the ones found in this book do make it easier to collect student understanding, because we do still need to collect evidence and these can form one aspect of that evidence.

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IMG_4618These are perfect for copying for your class – whether as a whole group, small group, or even using the activities included (enlarging them) and completing them as part of your focus or summing up activities.

Like all the reproducible books produced by R.I.C. the layouts are clean, free from any unnecessary distraction with all activities being relevant to the topic.

 

I’m looking forward to using these resources in the classroom, so a huge thanks to R.I.C. for the opportunity to do so!

Don’t forget to check out my review of their English resources and stay tuned tomorrow for a review of their new anti-bullying Big Book! Also, head on over to R.I.C. Publications to check out more of their wonderful resources!

Sig_NewBlog2014

 

 

 

 

 

January 22, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

Back to School Bounty Giveaway!

Hello friends! I’m back on home soil after 24 wonderful days spent with my best friend in Toronto. I have that lovely bittersweet feeling of enjoying being home, but being sad that I had to say goodbye to some people that I love dearly. But, the wonderful thing about living in this day an age is the awesomeness of Skype and FaceTime!

I’m interrupting my scheduled blogging program to share a fun giveaway that some friends and I are putting on to celebrate the start of the new school year here in Australia!

So, to all my Aussie friends – this post is to cheer you up as we embark on a brand new year. To anyone who’s not starting the new year now, there are still PLENTY of wonderful things for you to win, so do join in the fun!

My friends and I have teamed up to give you a chance to win 2 fabulous prizes!

 

All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For those of you who are new to my blog, or those of you who missed this last year, here’s a fun freebie for you – a Valentine’s Day class book that coordinates perfectly with my Start Write Away pack included in the ELA giveaway!

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Finally, you have the opportunity to win a $10 voucher for TpT! Simply complete the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win, and don’t forget to check out the other fabulous blogs involved for a chance to win other vouchers, too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I’ll see you all tomorrow for my Five For Friday post!   Sig_NewBlog2014

September 9, 2014
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

New freebie! Peas on a Plate craftivity!

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Oh my word, it’s been ages since I made anything!

This little freebie (click on the above image) compliments my Peas on a Plate subitising pack (below):

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If you’re teaching the little ones to recognise and count groups of objects, this is for you!

There is a lot of freedom in using this freebie:

1) Let students pick a number to show with the peas on a plate,
2) Assign each student a number,
3) Have them roll dot dice to determine the number they need to record.

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Once students have their number, they colour and cut the peas and glue them on to their plate – a template has been provided, but use a real paper plate for extra fun.

(Would you believe that I don’t have a SINGLE paper plate in my house… despite the drawer full of them at work?!!! Oh well, I like the cute yellow plate, too!)

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Then students go in and record their number – numeral, word and illustrations!

Simple, easy to use – just print and go!

(Or, you know, add your own additional accessories!)

If you download, please leave some feedback! Also, if you use it with your class I would love to see how they turn out! Please feel free to send me a photo or link if you do!

Happy Tuesday, friends! <3

Sig_NewBlog2014

November 5, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
3 Comments

Put Your Ducks In Order!

Oh, my – another long absence from my lovely blog!

I blame the fast-approaching, end-of-year craziness that seems to sweep in mid-October every year!

Today I’m popping in to bring you a sneak peak at my newest pack. It’s been a loooong time in the making and I finally got it finished over the weekend.

Click here to view on TPT (on sale for the next 24 hours!)

 My kiddos recently completed a unit on ordinal numbers, inspired by the fabulous Eric Carle story Ten Little Rubber Ducks (if you haven’t read it, please DO. Quickly!).

This pack contains a lot of resources – both for classroom display and for student use (both materials that can be laminated for multiple use and also print and go materials). There’s also a class book that adds some reading, writing and craft to an others math-based pack.

Now, for a peak…

If you’re after some fun and engaging activities to practise reading, writing and ordering ordinal numbers to 20th, I’d love you to take a look! Plus, it’s on sale for the next 24 hours!

Click here to view Put Your Ducks In Order!

June 10, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
8 Comments

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 3, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
2 Comments

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

March 11, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
4 Comments

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!

April 18, 2012
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

Why I teach

So, we’re nearly one week into the second term (to be highlighted by 11 weeks AND report writing!) and I’ve had a fantastic week so far.

This post is primarily to share one story that happened yesterday, that reinforces why I love teaching: We’ve started exploring 2D shapes as a class, introducing circles/squares/triangles/rectangles with the preps and revising and exploring new shapes with the grade 1s. (I was quite ambitious with my grade 1s – we explored many, many shapes – but they got such a kick out of it and we had lots of hilarious pronunciations of ‘parallelogram’!)

The preps were exploring circles, but using 6 cut-out circles to create a picture. We had ideas of a collection of balloons, a collection of different sports balls, caterpillars, ice-cream, flowers, people and part of the solar system. (I’m hoping to post some photos of their work soon, because they did such a great job!) The grade 1s were matching 2D shapes to their names in their numeracy books. It wasn’t a particularly original lesson, and it involved quite a bit of work at their tables, but about halfway through the session one of my grade 1s stopped me and said: “Miss Galvin, you’re the bestest teacher.” (Which was then followed by a chorus of other children, putting in their two cents!)

After saying the ‘thank you, that’s very kind’ response, I asked the original student why she’d said what she’d said, and she replied, “Because you let us do fun learning.” It was so sweet and genuine – I literally smiled for the rest of the afternoon. It’s great to get that feedback from the students and it lets me know I’m on the right path.

Incidentally, that entire conversation was proceeded by another conversation where the grade 1s and preps tried to trade work with each other! Had I not been in the room I think they probably would have switched seats and worked on each other’s little projects!

Here’s our anchor chart for shapes, and the display – student work to be added later!

 

(Poster design completely and utterly appropriated from Amy Lemons – because I loved it so! Clip art shapes around the poster are by DJ Inkers.)

And one more picture, our afternoon brainstorm:

I hope everyone else has had a brilliant start to the term!

What has your highlight been this week?

August 10, 2011
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

Face to Face Networking

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One of the most challenging things about teaching, at the moment, is the integration of technology into daily classroom use. Since starting to build my online PLN, barely a month ago, I’ve been inundated with great ideas from educators who do just that – and they do it well.

While I didn’t grow up with technology from a very young age, by the end of Primary School, I had access to a computer at home and I had a blog on LiveJournal just after I turned 13. (I shudder to think about the things I probably posted on that blog!) I’ve always loved using computers to connect and talk to other people, to write and share ideas. It’s a great way to meet and learn from people who live all over the world, which is the driving force behind online PLNs, Twitter chats and other sources of networking.

However, as a relatively new teacher to the profession, relatively young and – dare I say it – naive to the politics involved in teaching, I sometimes struggle with the idea that there are teachers out there who are reluctant to make use of all the amazing resources available to them – mostly free – online.

As a result, just in the last four weeks I’ve found myself presenting web2.0 tools to parents, colleagues from my workplace and colleagues from the local teaching network. For me, it’s a very strange position to be in, not least because I’m absolutely petrified of public speaking (please don’t ask me what I’ve actually said at any of these presentations, because I’m usually so nervous I can’t remember!). But the sad thing is, it feels like if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t be presented at all and I think that’s a detriment to teaching in such a digital age.

In a lot of ways, I consider myself a sponge – I want to learn and know as much as I possibly can (usually in the shortest time span), and I’m willing to put the time in to teach myself. In reality, I know that schools can only provide so much professional development on ICT development, tools and skills – there’s just so much that is crammed into each year, so much time spent before and after school at meetings and planning that it’s just not possible.* That said, I think teachers also need to be willing to put in an effort on their own – and spend 15-20mins researching and playing with the different tools they want to use with their students – and ultimately it’s that 20mins that will the most valuable in the long run.

*Unless of course you volunteer your own time (which I recommend, in moderation) to attend PD that you want to. Or attending something wonderful, like RSCON3 – or simply watching the recordings!

To that end, during our most recent Mini-Network Meeting – a gathering of teachers from local schools meeting together in Level teams to discuss areas of interest – which was held at my school for Level 1, it was decided that we would look at free, interactive resources for teachers. (Ultimately, this also included subscriptions that schools had, classroom resources and blogs.)

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I’ll admit to getting all exciting and pulling together all the links of great sites I’d come across over the last couple of years (and a few from the last few weeks!) and throwing them into a LiveBinder all ready to share. I organised a bit.ly short link for ease of access and made sure we had access to an IWB for the session. During the meeting, I was able to easily show examples of sites, explain what they were, etc. Others we able to suggest extra resources (which were recording and added to the LiveBinder) and we had decent discussion going.

And, I think it went well. It was actually quite hard to judge; these were people I see once a term (if that) and I’m not sure if it was what they were expecting, or whether it was an overload or if they just thought it was a waste of time. Most of the suggestions for additional resources were subscription sites/accounts that schools had purchased, which was fine, and there were suggestions for blogs that one of the teachers followed (I internally leaped for joy at the thought of another local teacher following blogs!).

The feedback I got from my AP was very positive though – and it is nice to hear that from school leadership.

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