Friday, 19 December 2014

Fun Static Electricity Experiment

A bit of a cheat post as the school year has now finished and I'll probably just update this blog weekly for the summer holidays until the new school year starts but I'm really excited about this simple experiment from I Heart Crafty Things: The Static Electricity Butterfly Experiment.

What an amazing way to engage kids in static electricity and let them see and do what can be such an abstract concept! It takes the classic balloon making your hair stand on end just that little bit further! So much great learning could come from this experience too!

I'm so going to try this one out one day!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

My journey so far to becoming a CONNECTED EDUCATOR

A large part of starting this blog was due to being part of Connected Educators Month 2014 and going through the Connected Educator Month Starter Kit.  I also have to say that I may have never even know about this course if it hadn't been shared to a shared graduate teacher group page by a fellow graduate who I trained with. Thankyou!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Imagination news: An alternative to morning news

In a typical junior primary classroom many mornings start off with morning news or sharing time which is a wonderful tradition that allows children to share their stories and helps to build their communication skills. Yet in some classes I have experienced that some children don't always have something to share and can be bored by this ritual. I want to share something small with you that I learnt from a lovely new entrants class I taught in that could help rejuvenate this morning routine. That something is imagination news.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Look What I Can Do!

I had an adorable Year 1 class today in which we made the curly beard Santas from Tuesday's post. They too loved it but what I really wanted to share today was our writing lesson.

I found this idea from a book I got cheap at Whitcoulls and bought thinking that it had some great adaptable ideas for the junior primary school and I finally got to use one of these activities today.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Police Sketch Artist Lesson

Having no relieving work today I was at a bit of a loss as to what I could blog about, so I am taking a bit of a trip down memory lane today.

At the beginning of the year for my last placement I was teaching in a Year 7-8 class. During my full control I taught an integrated unit centring on the theme of 'Crime Never Pays'.  The text that the students read in relation to this unit was Alfred Noyes' narrative poem 'The Highwayman'. Our art lessons centred around the experience of a sketch artist.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Santa Craft Activity

I relieved in a wonderful new entrant class today. The classroom teacher left a great Christmas art activity that I wanted to share with you.

Each student was given a template of Santa's face. The children coloured him in and then cut him out. I then gave the children thin strips of white photocopy paper that the children had to roll around their pencils to curl. They also had pom poms to glue onto the end of Santa's hat. A very simple activity to take but the children loved it and did an amazing job of their Santa. I was very impressed with how well these students did at curling their Santa's beard as this is quite tricky. Good for practising fine motor skills!

This image is an example of what the template looked like (click on the image to go to the site) and the second image shows what the beard looks like when it's finished. I bet these will look great on the wall!

This was done with a second class and unfortunately we didn't have any pom poms but they still look great!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Feeling Christmas-y

I've just found Niamh's wonderful blog, Tell me and I'll forget, through Primary Teachers, Resources and Stress Relief. I particularly loved her Snowflake post. So much so that I'm trying it out for myself. I decided to add some colour to mine by drawing a pattern on each paper with colouring pencils before cutting and joining them together.

I can't wait to use this activity in the classroom! I wonder if we could kiwi it up by adding kiwiana Christmas drawings to the snowflakes?


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Looking for my FIRST JOB

As a new year comes to a close and another year seems to come hurtling closer and closer I am in the position of still applying for permanent teaching positions. I'm not sure what the journey has been like for other beginning teachers but for me it's been tough out there.

Having completed my course at a strange time in April. I was hopeful about getting a job in the second and third terms and when this didn't happen I realised that I needed to change things up.

I had been living in my home town (which is teeny tiny) doing customer service type jobs to help me get out of debt and taking the odd relieving position to try and keep my hand in (there is only one small school back home). During all this I was feverishly sending out job applications and waiting and hoping! Having no success I decided to move to the big smoke of Wellington (the greatest little capital in the world) and try my hand at relieving there.

And that is what I have been doing for the last two months; showing my face and hoping to make good impressions. It's been such good experience but also very challenging some days to come into a classroom and try to run it, knowing nothing or very little about that particular class: how it runs and the children who are in it. It goes against everything I have been taught about how to teach. I have made several mistakes and learnt some very valuable lessons That being said I have also had lots of fun. I have to remind myself of this sometimes when I'm having a bad day and remind myself why I wanted to teach in the first place; wanting to help children find their passion and inspire them to learn.

I am crossing my fingers that next year will be my year and I will finally be a teacher with a classroom, instead of a tumbleweed teacher blowing where the winds takes me.

So, here's to 2015 and wishing that I'll find a job and that other out there like me will too.

Saturday, 6 December 2014


I hope to start this blog to document my journey as a teacher. In this space I will muse, reflect, develop and explore my learning as well as the learning of my students. So here goes...