Word Wall Alphabet

My goodness, it’s been a while. I hope all my Aussie teacher friends are enjoying their mid-year break, and that all my Northern Hemisphere friends are enjoying their Summer!

I had a few requests after my last post (the June Bright Ideas Linky) for me to share my Word Wall Alphabet letter tiles. As of this morning, I have finally been able to upload it to my TpT Store:



It’s currently on sale for  $1.50 until tomorrow lunch time here in Melbourne. Grab it here.

For images of what it looks like in my classroom, don’t forget to revisit my last post.

Have a fabulous week, my friends!

Another peak in the classroom!

Hello, friends!

Today was my first day back for 2014 – a student-free day while the staff had meetings during the day. It was busy, but I did manage to get my Word Wall up today, which is very exciting.

I have an entire wall of pinboards at the back of my room – dubbed the Rainbow Wall because I covered it in different lengths of coloured cotton. This year I have decided to section off parts of it for permanent displays like a word wall and a Maths Focus Wall. (The maths wall hasn’t been finished yet – hopefully a job for tomorrow!)

However, the Word Wall is good to go and I wanted to share it because I’ve never (please contain your gasps of horror!) had a traditional word wall before.


It’s quite large, but I figured if I was going to use it effectively, it needed to be large enough for my kiddos to use and find words easily.

At my school we use the Magic 100 Words program and I used all 200 words from this high frequency word program to add to the wall (because I have some Grade 1s this year who are working into the second hundred group of words). Each word is attached to a colour level, and I’ve copied the words onto corresponding colours.

Do you use a word wall? What’s your favourite activity for your word wall?


P.S. Don’t forget about the awesome deal on Writing materials for K-2 classrooms on Educents! Click the link below to check out the day’s awesome deals!


New School Year

I have one more day left of Summer Break before returning to work for the 2014 school year (Jan-Dec). 2 student free days, then my Grade 1s return on Thursday and the Preps commence on Friday for a half day.

Life’s about to get REALLY busy!

I’ve spent a bit of time in my classroom, preparing it for the new year. It’s not completely finished (I’ll have some late nights Tues/Weds finishing it up), but I’m getting there. I thought I’d share some photos. I’m still in the same classroom, so no moving around for me, but I do like to change things up each year.


This is (one of) my photo booth signs for the first day of school – the Grade 1 dates are in because they start back first. I’ll switch it out on Friday for the Preps. I’ll also probably take out the glass in the frame for the photos so I don’t get the glare.


This is the table by the door to the classroom – my reading groups will have a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme this year (can you tell?). Our take-home reader boxes will go here, plus the kiddos blue communication folders. I have some charts to track reading that will also be on display.


The black tubs underneath the big board are for all our workbooks (which we’ll keep communally this year) and the pinboard (doesn’t it look pretty!) will become our CAFE board this year. I don’t run Daily 5, but I am going to try and get better at consistently and explicitly teaching reading strategies this year. It’s a movable board because none of my permanent board space is near the front of the room where I teach Guided Reading. This was I can always have the board handy! (More pics to come when I finish setting it up!)


Remember my post on Wet Days inside? Here are my little rainclouds (cute clipart by Graphics from the Pond) stuck on containers the kiddos are allowed to access. There’s about 12 different tubs all around the room!


3 (out of 4) class tables and the rainbow wall! The green and blue panels will be my Maths Focus wall. The bottom half of the pink/green/purple panels will be my Word Wall and the rest of the space will be used for student work.


This chalkboard (given to me by my sister and her partner) hangs near the door. I decided to use it as a permanent notice board this year, even attempting my first chalk art! It’s only simple, but I like it. Now I can add last minute notices on it in the morning for parents. Plus, I also have a hanging pocket chart underneath it now, to hold spare notices and newsletters.


My pencil tubs for the tables this year. I got these art caddies from Kmart. They’re really easy to pick up and move around.


Another work in progress space. This is just above my teacher-computer station. My brand new calendar pocket chart! I’ll change up the theme of the cards each term, and I’m in the process of making some special event cards as well! Underneath I will add a ‘Days of School’ counting chart!


My new Writing display board. Using the Writing Center Starter Kit by A Cupcake for the Teacher and the awesome giant pencil from The Teacher Wife. I’ve also got a blank display chart hanging to block out space for our anchor charts. (I’m going to have the same space blocked out on my maths wall, too!) This way I can just clip up new charts and have everything in the one spot!


My IWB, guided reading materials and seasonal book display. The carpet blocks out the space and is nice and bright and colourful!


Sorry about the lighting in this photo! This is my reading corner – one chair, two beanbags, a car mat and a whole host of classroom reading buddies! And BEYOND that you can see my classroom’s deck – which is huge and I am going to make a diligent effort to use this as a learning space more often this year. After all, who doesn’t love working outside!

And finally, here’s a few pics of my books. They’re a bit messy (forgive!) after last year, but I’ll get to them soon!



WOW! What a long post! ❤

Don’t forget, Educents has a fantastic Writing Bundle up for purchase for the next 12 days. PLUS, for this weekend only you can get 10% off all purchases using the sale code SALE10 at checkout! Click the picture below to check it out!


What have you been up to this weekend?


Word Cloud Art

Well, sort of.

A little while ago I saw a fantastic idea posted on a classroom blog (and I feel terrible because I forgot to save the post and I can’t remember where I saw it – point being, this is not my original idea!) that I remembered this afternoon and had to try.

This year I’m moving into a brand new classroom in brand new building. Now, I’m slightly distressed because the room is tiny and I have a LOT of stuff. I don’t even have room to hang a net in my room – which is difficult for me, because I put up student work and displays left, right, up, down, all across the classroom. This year, however, I have to be super organised and crafty with my room space.

But I am determined (I swear!) to have a cozy reading space. And this is why my borrowed idea comes in handy.

Blog-HungryUsing my (undeniable) love for word clouds, I’m making picture-book word clouds for some of my favourite children’s books using the words from the stories. I’m using Tagxedo, mostly because I love the different shape layout options, but I do also have a love for the original word clouds from Wordle.

My aim is to frame these and put them up in the reading area, and throughout the year make new ones and switch them around based on my class’ favourite stories. (Not counting the other many Literacy-rich activities that word clouds can be used for – but that’s another post all on its own!)

If anyone’s interested I’ve put together some of the word clouds I made in a .pdf featuring the following books:

  • Imagine a Place (Rob Gonsalves and Sarah L. Thomson)
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle)
  • The Very Itchy Bear (Nick Bland)
  • Possum Magic (Mem Fox)
  • The Red Tree (Shaun Tan)
  • Diary of a Wombat (Jackie French)

Download the .pdf here

I have no doubt that more classroom decorating posts will follow (I’m notorious for documenting that sort of thing) once I can actually get into my classroom! First trip in on Tuesday, to sort out the Prep Resource Room (a disaster site after our moving day in December).

However, I think more of these picture-book word clouds are also on the agenda, because frankly, they’re addictive and cute!

Which picture-books would you turn into a word cloud?

Why I Celebrate Halloween

On Friday 28th October, my class celebrated Halloween as “Spooky Friday” in our classroom. (We decided to celebrate the Friday before the actual Halloween because the actual date fell on the day before the Melbourne Cup – and we were planning Melbourne Cup activities.)

Yes, I know I’m Australian, but I’ve always celebrated Halloween with my family and my students had been asking me since the start of Term 4 – and I think it’s important to allow students (especially very young students) the opportunity to have some themed-fun days. It also afforded us a great opportunity to talk about how different countries celebrate different events, and how sometimes those events move all around the world.

Halloween is being a lot more popular in Australia. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I know that many of the students at my school were having Halloween parties and going trick-or-treating in groups – and I think that’s brilliant. It’s encouraged a lot of community spirit in our school’s area!

Below you can see some photos of the (very simple) decorations for our classroom – lots of spooky ‘eyes’ watching us from around the room, a giant spiderweb on the floor, Halloween lanterns, and streamers.

There’s also photos of the Prep Pumpkin Patch Portraits that we made and decorated in our own styles!

I hope (those of you who celebrate it) had a wonderful Halloween!

Halloween Decorations on PhotoPeach


Prep Pumpkin Patch Portraits on PhotoPeach


What did you do to celebrate Halloween?