October 19, 2016

My Top 3 Fuss-Free Resources

Let me start by saying that being a relief teacher is tough. Everyday presents new opportunities, but more often than not, it also presents new challenges. At a moments notice, you could be thrust in front of a class you've never met, or you could get lost looking for a building you've never seen. Whether you're a new graduate, or a seasoned veteran, relief teaching can be darn hard! 

HOWEVER, the purpose of this post is not to vent about the difficulties of relief teaching, but rather acknowledge these hardships and even better, celebrate some of the amazing resources available to us, the modern-day super teachers! So today, i'd like to share my top 3 fuss and preparation free teaching resources!

As a relief teacher, one thing you need to have is reliable and engaging activities. To me, 'Just Dance' is just that! 

Just Dance is a video game series where players dance along copying the moves of onscreen dancers. How can you bring this into ANY classroom without a gaming console? Easy! Simply type 'just dance' into youtube and you'll be met with a whole range of songs for the kids to dance to. 

Just a tip, make sure you check the songs before hand. Some lyrics and dance moves are more kid-friendly than others!

Looking to grab a quiet moment after lunch or provide students with an opportunity to engage with gorgeous literature? Look no further than Storyline Online. Run by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Storyline Online provides a beautiful collection of stories read by famous actors. The videos are simplistically animated, and come to life with well known and loved voices. 

One of my favourites is 'Harry the Dirty Dog' read by Betty White. 

Literacy resources don't get much better than this. Pobble365 is an incredible website that publishes a new photo each day. Each photo comes with a range of comprehension questions and writing activities so all of the work is done for you - perfection!

So there you have it, my top 3 preparation-free resources! 

Don't forget, my TpT store also has a HUGE range of relief teaching resources and freebies!

And, if you're looking for an all inclusive pack, with over 100 pages of my best selling resources as well as a teachers diary and subpack templates, look no further than my HUGE sub pack bundle!


All the best and happy teaching!

October 01, 2016

I'm back!

Oh my! I can't believe how long it's been since my last entry, this year has just been chaos! However, now that it's the school holidays, no more excuses, it's time to get writing again!

But first, let's start with a FREEBIE... go ahead and grab yourself a free 
Halloween *Friends of 10* activity pack!

Since my last post in February (eek!) I've been busy both in the classroom and in store. As always, it's a challenge changing classrooms and schools from week to week, but now that it's the holidays, it's time to restock and reflect. 

What I've always loved about the teaching profession (a part from the students) are the loving and kind teachers that I work with everyday. Not only do they keep me sane on those difficult days, they also inspire me with their endless dedication and generosity for the whole school community. For this reason, I want to redouble (more like quadruple) my efforts to write about and share my teaching experiences as a relief teacher, so that I too can give back to the teaching community. 

This post will be one of many this month - so get ready! I'm pumped to truly and properly begin this blogging journey, and hope you are too!

February 21, 2016

Spelling 3 in-a-row!

What a crazy first few weeks of school! It's been a while since my last post and so much has happened! I had an amazing block on a Stage Three class and now i'm back to my other love, day to day casual work. Now that I've had some time to spare I've been busy making new resources - YAY! 

This is my newest product on TpT, it's something I've been using for a while but only just had the time to put up! This resource is great for engaging students and checking reading comprehension. 

As a new product it's currently 50% off!

And as always, I have a freebie just for you! Click on the picture below to download this super cute spelling worksheet. Laminate for re-use!


January 20, 2016

Book fairs - Dates for your diary!

Book fairs are one of my favourite things in the world! I love finding hidden treasures, grabbing a bargain and adding to my ever-growing book collection. I always feel so excited after getting my hands on good quality literature and always become inspired to try new lessons and artworks based on the books. I've been keeping my eye out for upcoming fairs and found quite a few coming up around NSW/ACT/VIC. I can't wait to post pictures of my bargain buys!

Hover over the image to pin it to one of your pintrest boards or save the image to make sure you don't miss any book fairs this year! 

Happy hunting,

January 15, 2016

3 things you HAVE to do on the first day back!

With a block lined up for the first few weeks of Term 1, I'm in a similar position to many other teachers and it's had me thinking, what do I do on the first day back? It's a daunting thought "going back", as you want to make the most of the first day, make a good impression and start the year off on a positive note. 

It's a general rule of thumb that the first day back should be relaxed but well structured to allow students to feel comfortable in their new learning environment but also get a sense of your learning and behavioural expectations. I've had many first days, being a relief teacher it sometimes feels as though every day is the first day! Armed with years of these experiences I have decided on my top 3 things to do on the first day back:

Although the students sitting in front of you may have met you before, or seen you around the school, these interactions are not always true to who you are as a classroom teacher. That's why it's important to start fresh and introduce yourself properly at the very beginning. When I introduce myself I always talk about my family, show a picture of my gorgeous puppy and talk about my favourite books. Students are often surprised to have a teacher talk so openly about their personal life, but this is so important in building rapport and mutual respect.

At this time I also introduce the classroom, giving a brief tour  of the the room and explaining daily procedures. The classroom tour provides a great lead in to discussing classroom expectations, as these are always displayed in the room. From the very start, students need to know the rules and consequences of good and bad behaviour, so including this explanation in your classroom tour allows a non-treatening introduction to your expectations during the 'honeymoon' period of the year. As the term progresses, you'll be glad you established your expectations early on as you can easily refer back to your rules and students have clear boundaries.

Once students are familiar with you and the room it's time to allow students to get to know each other. The reality of our education system and classroom set up is that students spend a lot more time learning with and from their peers than with you, meaning positive student relationships are paramount. In light of this, it's important to provide students with an opportunity to get to know each other in a positive and well-structured environment, as we can't just expect students to get along from the beginning.

Looking for a relationship-building activity? Check out this board game:

Throughout the day, make learning all of your students' names a priority. Also endeavour to have a one-on-one conversation with all of your kids. Building positive relationships must begin on day one, as students will only be responsive to your teaching if they respect you and feel respected by you. My top tip would be to move around the classroom as students are playing their get to know you game and listen to their answers and even join in!

Well there you have it, my top 3 things you have to do on the first day of school. They may seem obvious, but in the chaos  of being back at school you can be tempted to rush through these introductory basics. Now that I've thought these steps through I feel a lot better about getting started and the first day back is just that little bit less daunting!

Now to start printing and laminating these resources for the 'before  I go back to school rush!' Remember, if you see anything you like, head to my store!

All the best,

January 07, 2016

First week back? Bring it on!

As the holidays draw to an end, I can't help but get the jitters thinking about the new students and the new classrooms I'll be visiting this year! To begin the year I have a 2 week block - YAY - on a year 5/6 class, so being as organised as I always am, I've already begun prepping! 

With the school term beginning only a few days after Australia Day, I feel like there is no better time to teach deep and meaningful lessons about Australian history. With this in mind, I've created an interactive WebQuest about Australia Day.

It has taken quite a long time to make this resource, as I created the webpage, sourced all of the information and then created an accompanying question booklet and answer key, BUT it has all been worth it, I'm so excited to get back into the classroom to teach it! 

How it works:

To complete their quest for knowledge, students navigate through the past, present and future, learning about the European and Aboriginal history behind Australia Day, exploring modern day traditions and considering the future of Australia Day.

As students progress through their quest, they will view videos and maps, explore early European artwork and navigate websites to answer a range of short and long answer questions, create a historical timeline and complete written tasks.

*Tasks are aligned to Year 6 & 7 History and English ACARA outcomes*

Purchasing this product provides you with exclusive access to the WebQuest website and accompanying WebQuest question booklet and answer key.

For the first week this product will be only $4 - down from $4.50 - so grab it ASAP!

I hope you find this product helpful! Let's bring on the first week back!

Happy Teaching,