Saturday, 10 September 2016

ClassCraft - The new classroom management tool you need to check out!

ClassCraft is a FREE (although there is a premium version which offers more features) online, educational role-playing game that uses many of the conventional features found in today's online games and allows students and teachers to play together, in the classroom.

By taping into the interest area of those who play online games, students can level up, work in teams and earn more powers that have real-world benefits and consequences. This program is web-based, but can also be downloaded onto your phone via the app-store so that the game can run passively in the background whilst the class-learning activities continue. This is a great program that can be run by the teacher, or you can provide access and encourage students to play during class time on their own devices.

So why would you use this program as opposed to others, such as Class Dojo? Well, it comes down to the class and the teacher. Personally, I took over a Year 8 Autism class at the beginning of Term 2 and this was the program they had been using - and it was working well! Far be it for me to change something that works! 
I have SLOWLY be acquainting myself with the program (I grasped the basics quickly, but as yet, haven't delved into the full potential of this system) as the boys in my class respond really well to it, and enjoy the features, such as Daily Challenge. Being able to set your own rewards and penalties with points also means that this is relevant to students - if they do well academically, help a peer or even identify a mistake in the teacher's work they can gain points that unlock real powers that give them in-class privileges. HOWEVER, if students break the rules then they can lose points which will impact their team and may see them fall in a battle! 

I think this program would be suited to High/Middle school classes as it encourages students to work in teams, yet allows them to assert their individuality through the choice of avatars and team roles. 

If you think this system would work with your students, use the referral code below to access 2 FREE MONTHS of ClassCraft Premium. Share your favourite classroom management program below - sharing is caring!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

New Term - New Job - New Classroom

Well it was a quick turnaround from being offered the job to starting... to cut a long story short, the school that I've been coaching Netball at for the past 3 years has recently opened a Special Education Unit. Up until now I have been unavailable to work in the unit, but as serendipitous as life can be, a job for the rest of the year came up and the AP & HT were very accommodating in allowing me to do 3 days a week (and finding someone to do the other 2)! So I'm back in the teaching game... sharing a class... in a high school... teaching 8 year eight boys! It's very different to what I've done before, but I'm relishing the challenge and chance to teach again.

I've walked into a blank slate - pretty much! There wasn't much left from the previous teacher, and despite it being a new class (which comes with funding) there wasn't much furniture. But after spending some time in there and bringing my stuff in, I've started to create a really great learning space. Here is a look at the space pre-makeover. I'll be posting post-pics once the new furniture we've ordered arrives - did I mention I have a serious obsession with organisation and storage?!?!?

View from door looking towards front of classroom

View from door looking towards opposite side of classroom

View from front of classroom looking towards back towards the door

View from front of classroom looking towards the back of the class

To keep with the colours already in the room (new carpet and display boards were added last year) I've used a blue/green/turquoise colour theme in the room (as seen her in my classroom calendar - printables from School Girl Style) and managed to pick up some magazine boxes in the same colours.

Side display board before

Side display board after - monthly and weekly class calendar
Stay tuned for updated pics of my space, and check out some of my latest products which have been road tested by my kiddos!!! 

Monday, 15 February 2016

Australian Animals Clip Cards - Friends of Ten!

Australia is such a unique country, with unique animals. These Australian Animals clip cards provide a fun, engaging, hands-on activity that also aids in developing a good awareness of what the 10 numerals, 0 – 9, look and sound. This is the first step in developing strong Math and Number sense. These clip card activities will help young children to develop a strong visual discrimination, as well as knowledge of the numeral’s name and the amount each numeral represents.

These friends of 10 clip card activities provides an opportunity to find all of the blends that make 10. This aids in developing knowledge of mental addition and subtraction strategies.

These Aussie themed addition and subtraction cards provide a fun and engaging hands-on learning activity used to practice making 10.

The activity has clothespin clip card and recording sheet. There is a missing numeral in each equation, with 3 choices on each card.

Head on over to either my TpT or DBT stores and pick yourself up a copy of this hands-on, engaging maths activity that is sure to help your little one learn the different combinations that can make ten!

Friday, 12 February 2016

Friday Freebie: 12th February, 2016

Another Friday, another Freebie!!!! I'm enjoying much needed family time - we've been enjoying the Gold Coast summer sun and having a blast at what is fast becoming our favourite holiday destination - Turtle Beach Resort. But I didn't forget you all - here is this weeks featured #FridayFreebie:

Australia is a land full of many unique and wondrous animals, some of which are only found here - but due to the introduction of some animals our native animals are now threatened!!!

Students will need to help our native animals by placing traps for the feral animals found in Australia on the grid - they also need to add some native animals too! The teacher then calls out grid references and students cross them off their grid. Once the teacher has called out a desired number of grid references, students will then need to add up their feral animals, and deduct for any native animals they trapped. The student with highest score wins.

This activity combines grid referencing skills as well as addition, subtraction and multiplication skills.

It is a great resource casual teachers to have in their bank of activities and is a fun way to engage students whilst teaching mathematical skills and concepts.

When you rate this product, TpT will add credit to your account which you can use to purchase other TpT goodies for your classroom and personal use!
If you're thinking about becoming a seller on TpT, then click on the image above!!!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Australian Animals Clip Cards - Count to 10!

Clip Cards are a great hands-on activity that not only provides an opportunity to learn things like numbers, letters, beginning sounds, syllables and much more, but it is also a great fine motor learning activity - if you use pegs, learners much first choose the correct answer then use a clip to identify it on the card. 

Australian Animals Classroom Posters 1-10

Australian Animals Number Clip Cards - Numeral and Word

Australian Animals Number Clip Cards - MAB

Australian Animals Number Clip Cards - Tens Frames

As our eldest is starting to learn and recognise letters and numbers, I have seen some great activities around the web - and to celebrate all things Australian I have created some clip card sets with an Australian animals theme.
This pack provides 8 different clip card activities as well as a set of classroom posters for the numbers 1-10. Head to my TpT or DBT store and pick yourself up a copy - this will be an invaluable resources both at home and school when helping your little one/s learn the numbers 1-10.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Friday Freebie: 4th February, 2016

Welcome to 2016!!!! I'm back with Teaching Blog Addict for #FridayFreebies - today I'm sharing my Magic School Bus DVD Questionnaire - Body Basics product.

On the Magic School Bus... step inside it's a wild ride!! The Magic Schools Bus Emmy Award Winning series is a wonderful way to explore everything from the human body and insects to space and machines.

This FREEBIE includes questions for the episodes of "The Magic School Bus: Flexes its Muscles and Inside Ralphie - episodes that focus on the Human Body and its systems. I've even included a teacher cheat sheet!! So sit back and enjoy this wonderful series!

When you rate this product, TpT will add credit to your account which you can use to purchase other TpT goodies for your classroom and personal use! 
If you're thinking about becoming a seller on TpT, then click on the image above!!!

And don't forget to head over to my store and pick up this, and my other great #Freebies.

Five for Friday: 5th December, 2016.

Thank Goodness its Friday!!!!! I know it's only officially Week 1 for those of us in NSW, Australia, but a lot is happening already! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year, and that the start of 2016 has been kind to you! Here is a look at the week that was...

Monday the boys enjoyed some time with Dad, whilst I did some general duties - grocery shopping, cleaning etc. We're heading away on a little family holiday next week so I wanted to get some packing started, and make sure the washing was up to date! BORING - but necessary.

Both the boys are at school Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this year. Lachie is very excited to be part of the 'bog kid' group at preschool (school readiness program) and was showing me how every morning he has to find the rock with his name on it, and move it from the 'home' basket to the 'preschool' basket - and then of course when we're leaving he has to do the reverse. 

I quite like this idea as it gets the children to start recognising their name and distinguish it from others, and it forms part of their daily routine.

I'm trying to focus on making resource design a real business. I'm looking into a few online videos ad courses on how to become a successful 'treacher-prenuer' and hoping to double my sales for each month by the end of the year. Wait and see what 2016 has in store for me! 

I started back at the Illawarra Sports High as their Head Netball Coach today. I've got a few new girls who've just come into year 7. I've worked really hard these past school holidays on creating a program that will suit our circumstances and really provide ALL the girls with sessions that are beneficial to their level and ability (we do have a wide range of abilities in our group - one of our girls has just returned from representing Australia at the Indoor Netball Championships). 

I've set up a comprehensive Strength and Conditioning program (it's a good thing hubby is a sports physio/strength and conditioning coach) and I'm establishing our skills program. Stay tuned as I will be sharing it!

It's my dearest Dad's birthday today (61)! We're off to lunch for a small family celebration. He officially retired from teaching at the end of last year and the poor thing is finding it a little hard to adjust to having so much time on his hands after nearly 40years of being in the classroom (that's not including his time as a student!!!). Hopefully he'll get to spend more time with his grandchildren, and find a local organisation that will allow him to do what he does best - mentor and guide wayward young people.