Archive | February, 2012

‘Survival kit’ student teacher!

28 Feb

Here I am again! I thought I would share this project I am working on with you. I have a friend who is finishing her teaching degree and soon she will be on her final practicum. I found lots of funny quirky quotes relating to teaching and life on the internet and I thought I would put a ‘Survival Kit’ together for her.
1. I started with a box, I don’t know about you but I love all things Paris! When our family were in Paris, in 2004, we all fell in love with this gorgeous city! So when I spotted this box it had to be the one! My friend likes all things Paris, too! If you love Paris you must go to this website, as there is the most delightful mini travel Paris set to make! ( I have made 2, one I left black and white and the other I water colored with a brush that had about 10 hairs on it!) If I had any brains I would have enlarged it, painted it and then reduced it! Ok back to the kit………………..

2. I placed in the bottom of the box some pre loved children’s books, ones that will relate to the theme in her classroom.

I placed lots of tissue paper in the box over the top of the books to hold all the items in place.
3.I then set about matching the fun sayings with the different objects.

To help you pick out the good qualities in yourself and others : Toothpick
To help you keep going and going and going : Battery
To remind you that everyone makes mistakes : Erasers

To cushion the rough road ahead : cotton wool ball
Because you’re worth your weight in gold : Chocolate Money
You are a lifesaver to your children : Lifesaver lollies

To write your wrongs : pencil
Because you are a big piece of every child’s life: Puzzle piece
Everyone shines in their own way : Torch

To colour your day bright and cheerful : Crayons
To tie things together when they fall apart : string
Hang in there : pegs on a washing line

To remind you to be flexible : an elastic band
To hold it all together : paper clip
Yes, they are a tad corny but fun!
I am going to add some more photos here….My Kitchen Rules is on soon!
Okay I am back..

I added some tea bags which I placed in these wonderful little pouches available at (

For when you are up late writing lesson plans, doing assessments and planning activities : candle

To help dry children’s tears : tissues
For days when you wish you had eyes in the back of your head

I went on a search for nuts and seeds.
To remind you to be a bit nutty sometimes: nuts in a bag
To remind you that every day you are planting seeds for the future : watercress seed packet.

I also placed a box of tea, cappuccino sticks and some lovely chocolate powder to sprinkle on her coffee.
When I was thinking about the saying for the seeds I kept thinking how I do believe the sentiments in the statement. When I think about some of my own school experiences when I was young, there were some seeds that were definitely weeds that grew and needed removing. As a new teacher I feel it is so important to create classrooms were children will grow , where they feel valued, were their ideas are respected and where they can make the best relationships with other children and adults.
Catch you soon!


Recycled paper flowers

16 Feb

Here I am back again! I am constantly inspired by people who take something simple and recreate it into something amazing. Take the lady from Craftberry bush So amazing what she does with paper. So… I felt inspired, I went off and found my yellow pages from 2010. You ask why do I still have them, well, I keep thinking there must be something else this paper can be used for? I recently hurt my hip and the physio arranged some interesting exercises for me involving stepping up and down on a small step to strengthen my hip muscles. What…. you say, has this got to do with recycled paper flowers? Good question! As I stepped up and down I was thinking about how you could use this paper again in a creative way! This is what I came up with!
1. One page from the yellow pages phone book (circa 2010!)

2. The easy paper folding process (seen in many paper folding activities)
Fold paper in half.

3. And half again.

4. Fold again, but this time the paper will not meet at the edges, this is ok!

5. Fold paper again.

6. Now cut little scallops at the top. I was thinking you could use pinking shears and there are also children’s sets of scissors with interesting shapes on the blades.

7. Now the paper will look like this:

8. Continue to make smaller and smaller folded paper circles, using contrasting colours. Add contrasting coloured buttons.

9. You could use magazines, newspaper and junk mail to create different colours and designs.
I was thinking children from about mid year in prep and onwards would be able to create these flowers. I think they would make a great display on a bulletin board!
I believe, as a newly trained teacher, it is so important to continue the good work parents do in the home in highlighting the need to recycle and instill in children the need to care for our world. The more I see projects that use recycled products the more I believe that rather than recycling being a ‘theme’ it needs to be a constant thought in the way teachers plan their projects and lessons.I am sure many teachers keep this at the forefront of their minds as they plan. This concept I observed in my last practicum at a school in my local area. The teachers thought about each project with an eye to how they could re-use resources to create new projects.
10. Happy recycling!
P.S. One more thing! This website has the most innovative recycling projects I have seen. Have a look
Here are some flowers that I made with catalogues from the mail box and one from a large shopping store starting with the letter M!

Cooking with Kindergarten children

8 Feb

pirpWhile I love cooking with children as there is so much learning going on, science, math, oral language etc etc sometimes I like to provide a selection of different toppings for children to experiment with and let their creative juices flow!!!
I thought I would include some no bake cooking ideas I have come across over the years.
Some I have made myself as a ‘thank you for having me in your school’ project and other times for children to create their own cooking masterpieces!
I will be back with the recipes and ingredients needed!
One thing I will say Arnotts Tic Toc biscuits take a lot of the work out of projects!………..
I am back.. Here are some goodies I have made and they were very well received by children everywhere!

The cups and saucers have been around for a while but here is the recipe from
I have just noticed this picture is slightly off centre and I think it is going to annoy me, so I will get to it for all of you who like things neat!
The pirate faces are from
I have to admit me and fondant..! So I thought I would tweak the recipe making it easier for children to recreate! The hat and the patch are made from the smooth strap licorice roll. The eyes and mouth are mini m and m’s (the mouth is half a mini m and m!). I know..really fiddly! That is why I made them for the children! I guess you could pre-cut everything and after all they do have tiny hands!
The hats are from here:
They are from the official Peter Rabbit website which in itself is the most delightful website for children and yes for grown ups! I haven’t tried the second recipe. I must as it looks sweet!
Here is the recipe for you to see:
I found over the years due to some children having allergic reactions to eggs and nuts I have pre made the biscuits just to be sure and also included this recipe so that no-one misses out!

The flower biscuits by far and away have to be my favorite. Mainly because they were so easy and they look so amazing! If you look at this recipe it is for a cupcake but have a look at the method for the petal!
I have found over the years the Usborne series to be invaluable. The following titles: Chocolates and Sweets and Christmas cookingby Rebecca Gilpin , Easter cooking, Christmas Fairy Cooking and Christmas Cooking activities are all available on (where I buy all my books!). The Christmas Fairy Cooking book, at the time of my posting this blog, is $5 with no delivery charge!

Styrofoam painting with kindy children

2 Feb

Tomorrow I am going to post an activity I did with some Kindergarten children with some stunning results! I had been introduced to this printing process at Uni and I know it is not a new technique but I thought I would try it with this age group. Lots of my fellow student colleagues  thought the process would be to difficult for this age group, but WOW not so!!!! So I will be back soon with photos and info!

So here I am again ready to go. In uni I did an Art unit and one of the activities involved printing with Styrofoam. It is not a new technique but this was the first time I had been able to try it for myself. As I was making my own print I started thinking about how you could explain the technique to Kindergarten children.  I just found this wonderful tutorial from the artful parent it is exactly the process we used! The artful parent suggested this site for the brayer

1. I started with my faithful story bags. I decided to go with an African theme, so an   African themed bag was needed! I found this photo of the Watoto children’s choir on this site’s-choir-visits-bolton/.  As I go through this post,  I am determined to link to the sites  I have taken illustrations and photos from. I am so aware of the need to show honour with other peoples resources and material. The choir came to our church and they were truly amazing. I felt so humbled by their stories and determined to attempt to not complain when small things happen in my life!

I will be back………….

2. I showed the children some examples of printing and we talked about the lines, colours, shapes, form and texture

3. We looked at the equipment and materials we would be using. I demonstrated the use of the roller sponge or bayer. I spent quite a lot of time talking to the children about the pressure that needed to be applied to create their image on the foam. I did an example where the image was lightly drawn and also one were I pressed so hard I made a hole! They liked that and lots of laughing ensued!
4. We talked about the sequence of the activity, I provided planning sheets to help them move through the activity.

5.The children could not wait to get started. They were so enthusiastic! I set up a table for the planning stage, a table for applying the image on to the foam and a table for the painting.
Here is one example of the finished product. I am hoping to contact the school and request more photos to show you. It turned out to be a great idea as part of my prac requirement was to participate in the community of the school. I was able to enter the students work in an exhibition held by the school. The children were so pleased and excited.

6. I added some resources to my bag to extend the theme of Africa. Here are some of the resources, of course, my many fair trade puppets get a look in!

Ikea is always handy!

I found these shadow puppets here

I printed these sewing cards to add some fine motor activities. I found them here

I thought these looked great!

I enlarged the print and laminated it so that I could write messages on it and then wipe them off and write new ones. There is a set of 5 or 6 here
The following print is one of many more and they are truly astonishing. When I showed the children these prints they could not believe what they were seeing. Much discussion arose as we looked at them more closely! You will see what I mean!

Of course, my art come story bag would not be complete if I did not include some books! An activity book by Usborne books and three great stories. A fellow teacher suggested that I could definitely enhance my bags by including specific literacy outcomes and she is so right! Her suggestions are as follows:
I would do a spelling type activity, I would want a comprehension type of activity. Maybe a word matching or sound onset activity. Maybe photocopy a page and look for sentences, count the word, find the words with a letter sound for kindy and a few sounds for pre primary. !! I have found if you look up reading notes for books, there are many more activities, questioning techniques and ideas that complement the book and add to teachers repertoire!