Autumn Love

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13 September 2016

Collecting Holiday Memories

I am always looking for ways to revamp and make our holiday recount writing more exciting than the standard "One the holidays I went to..." 
I have a range two freebies on TPT that shake things up for a holiday recount. (Click on the images to take you to TPT to download.)

Also on my TPT page is another way to share and writ about the holidays in a fun and engaging way. I will be sharing how this works in my classroom! This is the second time I have used this activity across two years. Both times my kids have really enjoyed the collecting, constructing, writing and sharing about their holiday!

The week leading up to holidays I send home a brown paper bag with a label glued on the front. The label explains that in the bag the child can collect ticket stubs, brochures, picture, drawings and anything else to with their holidays. It is also clear that the items in the bag will be used for an art piece.

Kids have collected shells, brochures from the museum, movie tickets, photos, drawings and leaves in their bags. 

The kids bring their bags, full of their goodies, back on the first day back after the holidays. Instead of doing a whole class show and tell session (wow, it would take hours!) the kids share their items from their bag in groups of three. 

I am a HUGE fan of collages!! I love having my kids make collages and using all sorts of materials to create a masterpiece! 
And that is exactly what the do with all our items from their bag. Yay!! 

Students cut up the items in their bag and paste them on A3 card. I also put out paper, felt and have coloured pencils and crayons for the students to draw more pictures to go along side their pieces from the bag. 

The masterpieces that the kids made were fabulous. It was wonderful to hear the buzz from all the compliments that the kids were giving each other after we completed a gallery walk! It was a proud teacher moment!

The next day and once all the kids had finished their holiday collage, we then used this as a stimulus to complete a holiday recount. I encouraged my kids to write about what was on their collage. 
We talk a lot about our writing matching our picture and our picture matching our writing. This was a great opportunity to expand my kids perception of what a 'picture' is, not just a drawn illustration, however could be a collage or art piece. 

My kids wrote wonderful and rich recounts about their holidays. 

This is an alternative way for students to engage in a holiday recount. It is very easy to set up, all you need it brown paper bags and the tags. 
The tags are available in my TPT store- click on the picture below! 


10 September 2016

I spy with my little eye... Writing center!

My writing center was getting a little boring! I was bored, the kids were bored. I found that we were doing repetitive closed activities during independent writing where students are able to choose their own writing. 
I have a range of stimulus items such as topic lists, pictures and writing templates. However I was finding that my kids were relying too heavily on writing templates and not exploring writing as writers. 

I needed to add the EXCITEMENT back into independent writing! 

Drum roll please! 

The excitement is real, the engagement is there and my kids loved the new writing stimulus.

The following resources are from Twinkl!

Please note that this is a sponsored post. I was approached by Twinkl to review their products and I have enjoyed exploring and implementing different recourses in my classroom. All comments and views are my own. 

There are a range of "Eye Spy" sheets and different themes. 
Themes include Spring, Transport, Space, At the Zoo, Under the Sea, Dinosaur and Pirate. 

For my needs of my kids I decided to have two types of activities to stimulate independent writing. 
One where they could colour in the sheets and then use that as a base for their writing. The other option is that they use the laminated pages to support their writing! 
Both options are working fabulously in my classroom!

I provide paper and different "Eye Spy" colouring sheets and have them in document trays on the table. Students need to take both the writing paper and the colouring sheet back to their seat to work with. 

The laminated sheets are displayed across the table. At the moment I have the Space, Spring, Pirate themed sheets and the general "Eye Spy" sheet available for the kids to use.

I introduced the 'Eye Spy' sheets by having displayed on the wall of our classroom, this encouraged discussion amongst the students. After a week of having them up on the wall and triggering students interest I introduced the two options to our writing center. 

I don't like having loads of options in our writing center at a time. (Our activities or stimulus resources are more on a rotation.)

What I LOVED about this writing center activity is that it sparked a range of writing topics. Some students wrote a story using the theme pages, others wrote an "Eye Spy" directions page (Find an aeroplane, find a flower etc.). I also had students write an exposition piece about what the liked and what they didn't like, as well writing descriptions about all the things they could fine. 

Lots of love,

2 September 2016

Five for Friday

A peak at my week with Doodle Bugs Teaching. 

Father's Day Prep

Students made cards and decorate mugs for their Father's Day gift this week!

Visit my TPT store to purchase all my Father's Day products! Click Here!

Spring has arrived in Melbourne - Yay!

With Spring we have warmer weather, happier teachers and itchy eyes! It is a win lose, love hate season!

Finding something amazing on Facebook!

I found a this post from The Classroom Key and just had to screenshot it. What a wonderful engaging and hands on task for teaching time.


Wonderful pictures by my kids!

I absolute love when my amazing students draw picture of me - it is also confirmed that I wear too much black to school!


The Education Show!

I am heading off to the Education Show this week- I am super excited to attend the free seminars and meet the creator of some of my favourite resources, including the lovely ladies behind Top Teacher. 

Let me know if you are attending the conference/expo!

Much Love,

31 August 2016

My Home Desk

I thought I might share some photos of my desk at home, it is after all where the magic happens! All my blog posts, planning, TPT products and collaboration form you guys all happens here.

My favourite thing on my desk is my iMac! 

Fresh flowers, candles, tea or coffee (or wine) also find their way on to my desk!

It wouldn't be a teacher's desk without student work, now would it!

I also have these two photos my younger brother (and best friend!) and I hanging behind my desk. 

Reminding me that my dreams do matter, it sits on my windowsill with my trinkets and nicknacks.

Much love, 

25 August 2016

Five For Friday!

A peak at my week with Doodle Bugs Teaching.  As I was only at school for TWO days, yes only TWO days, my five for Friday has less to do with school and more to do with home, Instagram, food, reading and resources! Enjoy!

I have had three days off this week with the flu and it is the worst! However  this has allowed me to have the time to sit down and explore all the Twinkl resources, and boy are there a heap!

I was recently contacted by Twinlk and asked if I would be able to post and review their products that I use in my classroom on my Instagram and Blog. I jumped at the opportunity. My opinions and thoughts are of course my own. 

I am still at the 'exploring' stage and I am having tons of fun viewing, downloading, printing, laminating and cutting! 

Make sure you check back in to see the products I start using in my classroom!

Do you use Twinkl? Leave me a comment! 

Did I mention that being sick is the worst?!

What are your sick day essentials? Leave me a comment!


Miss Tess' Classroom - Wow!

My hobby is slow and steadily changing into a business! Super scary and some days I think "yay- I am reaching and collaborating with amazing teachers around the world" and other days I think "what am I even doing!?" I think it is all about balance!

This week Elizabeth from This Little Home Of Mine posted a wonderful blog post called 'How to Start a Blog & Then Take it to the Next Level'. If you have not read it (or have not checked out the whole This Little Home of Mine blog) - DO IT!

Like Elizabeth, I didn't start a blog or Instagram page for fame and fortune, it was just a way to collaborate and connect with teacher across Australia and the world! And it has been an amazing journey so far!

After reading Elizabeth's blog post, I decided to get my backside into gear and start planning, not just posting randomly on my blog and my Instagram feed. I am also going to take up Elizabeth's advice and really connect with my followers in the next coming months - "Be more active!"


Pumpkin Soup

I am sick, therefore pumpkin soup is my best friend! 

Last weekend I used a new recipe from Donna Hay and my love for pumpkin soup is stronger than ever! 


My Books...

I thought I would share a picture of my book case and some of my all time favourite books. 

Ten Little Finger and Ten Little Toes written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.
Pure joy and delight. 

The Dovekeepers written by Alice Hoffman 
My favourite book of all time! 
Based in 70AD it is the story of four individual women who lives intersect. Love, war, passion and secrets. 

Flow: The psychology of optimal experience written by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 
One of my psychology reads - we are all trying to find the 'flow'. 

The Slap wirtten by Christos Tsiolkas
A challenging and though provoking read. 

Much Love,