Thursday, 19 June 2014

Reading Corners

I love the idea of having a reading corner in my classroom.
I imagine it to have plenty of books and soft cushions to sit on.
Many of the classrooms I have been in have this. I love how most of them have a net or tent for a couple if kids to sit in quietly.
If they can have a tent why not a teepee right?
This teepee is handmade by my talented grandmother using Dr. Suess print material and bamboo sticks (and that is one of my dogs inside it).

Does your class have a reading corner? I'd love to hear about it. Or even better comment with a link so I can see it!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Class Quilts

I believe that classrooms should be a safe, structured, organised environment. I also believe that it should be fun, welcoming and inclusive.
In order to encourage this within a class I have taught in I decided to work with students to create a class quilt that go over there couch.
Each student was given a square piece of material where they were asked to write, draw or sew at least three things they like. This could be a great getting to know you activity at the start of a year.
Once the students had completed there squares they were put together by adults (me and my crafty Nanna).

Another thing that I would love to see in my own classroom would be a chill out area and a quiet, comfortable reading corner.

If you have any suggestions on how I should start this please let me know,  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Making Play Dough

Why buy it when I can make it at home!
Playdough a cheap and effective resource for play based learning.

Ingredients you will need for this recipe:
2 cups of flour with
1 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
3/4 of a cup of water
Food colouring to your liking

Mix the salt and flour together
And the oil and food colouring
Add water slowly and mix thoroughly
Once the mixture clumps roll up your sleeves and kneed well.
The more you need the better the colours will mix.

At the end my play dough was still a little sticky so I sprinkled a little more flour on top.
Store in a sealed plastic container to keep the playdough fresh for a long time.

Learning 4 Kids has some great ideas on how to use play dough in the classroom check it out here.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Music For The Classroom

At the moment I have been playing Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach's Butcher Paper, Texta, Blackboard and Chalk which comes with there book and dvd. This has already mentioned in my Reconciliation Week post.
I actually received this book from my Nanna who is a close friend of Archie Roach.

The music on this CD was composed through song workshops held by Ruby and Archie for children living in Cape York and Queensland. The music shows how indigenous children today are connected to their culture. Whether it is Reconciliation Week or not this is still a enjoyable album to share with students. You can learn more about this on the website.

Purchase the book, cd and dvd here.
Read about Ruby's Foundation here.
Check out Archie's Website here.

I have not been asked to promote this product, I did receive it as a gift and have chosen to review it based on my own enjoyment of the product.

What are you listening to at the moment?
Leave a comment below and let me know.

Reconciliation Week

Reconciliation week celebrates Australia's Indigenous history and culture running from the 27th of May until the 3rd of June. It was first celebrated in 1996.

At our OSHC service we ran a series of craft activities for students choose from including:
Red, black and yellow friendship bracelets
• Making a rainbow snake inspired by the book Warnayarra The Rainbow Snake by Lajamanu School and Pamela Croft
• Making artistic native animals from Paper plates

Some other great ideas for celebrating indigenous culture are:
• Cooking kangaroo meat
• Cooking damper
• Whole class or individual dot paintings

Top Resource:
• Butcher Paper, Texta, Blackboard and Chalk by Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach - This book comes with both a musical CD and informative dvd which can be a great foundation for a unit on aboriginal culture and history

Some of my favourite books to read for reconciliation week include:
The Echidna and the Shade Tree by Pamela Lofts and Mona Green

Visit Reconciliation Australia to learn more

For anyone who lives in Adelaide, Marra Dreaming is a great place for a hands on cultural experience.

Here is an example of a students work where they have made a diorama of an Ian Abdulla painting

What cultures are celebrated in your community and how do you include them in your teaching?

Framing Student Artwork

Do they pictures on your classroom wall look untidy?

I have found that trimming students pictures and sticking them onto coloured paper to make a border adds a world of difference. The little pop of colour can tie a picture together and really make it stand out on the wall.
To me adding that little bit of border makes the whole piece look neater and more professional.

 How do you make student artwork standout?