Friday, 30 August 2013

Freebie Friday: Place Value Mats

It is Freebie Friday once again here at Little Green HQ, and this week I have been cooking up another Maths resource - place value mats. What is it with me and my Maths obsession lately?!

Download your freebie at my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

I've kept the design of the mats clean and simple and have provided you with three options: a two-digit place value mat...

...a three-digit place value mat...

...and a four-digit place value mat.

The mats can be used with MAB or with any other kind of counting manipulative, or can be written or drawn on by students. I'd love to hear about how you use the place value mats with your students, so be sure to leave a comment if you do. 

It is Father's Day this Sunday here in Australia, so have a great weekend everyone, and Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

YouTube Tuesday: On the Ning Nang Nong

A bit of nostalgia here at Little Green HQ today - a video clip from my childhood. For those who did not grow up in Australia in the 1980s, Playschool was your go-to kids TV show for great songs and awesome craft ideas. My favourite presenters were Noni Hazelhurst and John Hamblin, who we called 'Funny John' to distinguish him from the other John, who was not as funny. You'll see John later on in the clip - he's the silver-haired gentleman with the triangle. Good stuff!

The songs on Playschool were often accompanied by cute little video clips using animation or claymation. This particular clip is one of the best songs I remember from the show, in my humble opinion! It is On the Ning Nang Nong, the Spike Milligan poem, put to music. Back in the day before manufactured kid-pop, this was how we got down and boogied. Ah, the good ol' days!


Monday, 26 August 2013

Pins of the Week: pegs, collapsible playspaces, Mo Willems, book towers and an assessment wheel

Welcome to another week! I must admit I am super tired this week, but not too tired to find you lots of goodies via Pinterest! Get ready to be wowed!

Peg Letters

Read all about it here!

I recently bought a mega-pack of wooden pegs and have been undecided as to how to use them. Thanks to this pin from the Creating and Teaching blog, I know exactly how I want to use them! You could make up these simple vocabulary cards for anything at all and if you make generic lower-case pegs, you can use them for everything. Now to find some spare time to write letters on a whole bunch of pegs!

DIY Collapsible Play Space

Click here to go to the tutorial, stat!

Oh how I want one of these... for me to play in! This great tutorial from She Knows makes it look super easy too. I can just imagine one of these with a pile of pillows in the bottom being a favourite spot in the classroom for so many kids - and then it folds away at the end of the day! I am definitely on the lookout for a big ol' box now!

Mo Willems

Click here to go to the BookPage website.

I am a huge Mo Willems fan, and this Q and A session with him proves why he is such a genius! I can't even decide which of his crazy responses is my favourite! Love it!

The Tower of Books Challenge

Visit Michael's store here - tell him Little Green sent you!

Sick of setting boring 'read 40 books' challenges? Chances are your students are bored too. Enter Michael Friermood and his awesome Tower of Books Challenge! This challenge will have your students reading broadly and deeply and will provide a visual motivation in the form of a physical tower of 3D 'books' for them to create! If you are stuck for space, there is a 2D version too, so don't despair! As cool as the book towers are, the best part about this challenge is the reading lists. There are a number of options available, including an Australian authors list, which I collaborated with Michael to create. Yeah, I know it is a sneaky plug, but I promise I'm not making a red cent - I genuinely love this resource, and for a fiver it can be yours to love too! Be sure to check out Michael's other resources while you are there - he is one of my favourite TPT sellers.

Assessment Wheel

Click here for a clearer view of the wheel!

Do you struggle to decide how to assess your students' achievement of outcomes or standards? This handy wheel from the folks at Arizona State University can help you decipher the verbs used in the outcome/standard to determine where it sits on Bloom's Taxonomy. Not only that, it also gives you a bunch of ideas for how to assess at each level. Too easy!

I hope you've been as inspired as I have by this week's pins. Don't forget to visit me on Pinterest for more great ideas!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Freebie Friday: Balancing Number Sentences

Are you itching for the weekend as much as I am? It has been one long week! But never fear, Freebie Friday is here! And today, Year 1 and 2 teachers are in for a treat!

Don't you just love the balancing girl by Ninja Woman? I know I do!

'Balancing Number Sentences' is a poster and worksheet combo that is designed to support the teaching of addition, subtraction and basic equations. Here is the poster:

Cute, right?!

And here is the worksheet: 

A simple worksheet to allow students to have a go at balancing number sentences.

You can download your freebie here

While you are visiting my Teachers Pay Teachers Store, pop over and have a look at my other brand new Maths resource: Roll, Tally, Graph. It is a game designed for students in Years 2 and 3.

Yes, I've gone dice mad, I know! But this fun little game is a great way to let your students collect and record data... 

...then graph it.

There is also an instruction sheet that you can print and laminate to use in a Maths centre. 

You can get your very own copy for a teeny tiny $2 here. That is cheaper than a decent cup of coffee!

Both of these resources have been aligned to the Australian Curriculum, the New South Wales syllabus and the USA Common Core - the standards covered are outlined in your download.

Enjoy your freebie and your weekend!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

New in the Little Green Store: Creative Writing Dice

I don't usually post on a Wednesday, but I am just too excited about my new resource to keep quiet! I present to you: Creative Writing Dice!

Here's how the 'game' (read this as 'work masquerading as fun'!) works: students roll each of the three dice to reveal a character...

...a setting...

...and an action.

Students then use their character, setting and action as a starting point for a piece of creative writing. I'm hoping these little babies are going to lead to some creative ideas and great writing from the students who use them. I'm so pleased with how the dice turned out and I'm sure kids will love them.

So, how do you get your paws on your very own set of dice? Pop over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking here or on any of the pictures, and for the tiny sum of $4, you will have yourself an inspiring resource (if I do say so myself!) to use with your students tomorrow. Too easy!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

YouTube Tuesday: Hansel and Gretel

Fairy Tales, as we know, are great for kids of all ages. The trouble is, however, that many videos and texts are aimed at younger children, so our older students often miss out. Never fear! This version of Hansel and Gretel will work well for your older students as well as younger students. It contains cute stop-motion animation and jokes in the narration that will be appreciated by students in older grades. This video could even be used as a lead-in for a stop-motion animation project for your students. Enjoy!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Pins of the Week: area game, animal movement, 50 things I love, story songs and ninjas!

Another Monday, another round-up of Pinterest inspiration from Little Green HQ!

Area Game

A great idea from Marcia Miller on her blog.

This pin takes you to an idea-filled post about Cuisenaire Rods by Marcia Miller. Although this game could use Cuisenaire Rods, it doesn't need to. All you need is a set of two dice, 1cm grid paper and textas (markers) or coloured pencils. Have students roll their die, then make a square or rectangle using the numbers they rolled as their dimensions. For example, if your student rolls a 2 and a 3, they would make a 2x3 rectangle. You could have them fill a defined space on their own or turn it into a multi-player game where they are racing to fill their page. Definitely one to try!

Animal Movement Dice

A fun freebie from Wildlife Fun 4 Kids.

Penny at Wildlife Fun 4 Kids has created a terrific movement game based around this great little die, which she offers as a freebie on the blog. The extra bonus is that they are all Australian animals! Penny explains in the post the different sounds and movements the animals make, so if you are unfamiliar with the animals, you can still play along! Did I mention the die template is free? 

50 Things I Love Worksheet

A great freebie worksheet from Nicholas Reitz.

How great is this worksheet by Nicholas Reitz?! I love the layout of the different frames and the concept behind them too. The idea is that students fill in every space on this page with things they love. They can then use this sheet as a prompt any time they get stuck for something to write. Such a great idea... and free!

Story Songs

I was drawn in by the cute cardboard tower, and, I'll admit it, was a little disappointed that this didn't link to a tutorial on how to make the tower. I'll also admit that I actually wanted to make the tower to play in myself. But my disappointment soon turned to joy - I used to love the princess song when I was little and had forgotten all about it! The folks at QC Music have put together a great post including the lyrics and a video so you can listen to the tune. If ever I'm back on Kindy or Year 1, I'll be rocking this one out for sure!

Factor Ninjas

The Wild Rumpus's freebie poster.

Is it weird to love ninjas? They are, after all, highly skilled killers. Even so, I love them, and this little poster by The Wild Rumpus, which also happens to be free, ticks all my boxes. My boxes are: ninjas, educational, free. In that order. More importantly, kids love them, and this poster will help to remind your students that factors are the 'chopped up' remains of the whole number (or product). Definitely a winner!

Well, that's a wrap from me. Enjoy your week!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Teachers Pay Teachers Sale!

If you are a Teachers Pay Teachers seller or regular customer, I'm sure you know all about the sale that is happening today and tomorrow (USA time, so Aussies will need to wait a few hours for the sale to kick in). Now, I know I only have one item for sale, as all my other items are freebies, but I thought I'd join in anyway! Why not?!

Thanks to The 3AM Teacher for this gorgeous sale banner! Be sure to visit her store too!

So, this is how it works:

1. Go to my store on Teachers Pay Teachers and click on my 'Numbers to Ten Posters'.
2. You will see that it is already 20% off. Do a little happy dance.
3. Excitedly click 'add to cart'.
4. Go to your cart and enter the promo code 'BTS13' at the checkout. This will entitle you to the full 28% discount instead of just the 20% discount. Do another little happy dance, then purchase away!

Don't forget the promo code at the checkout!

These babies could be yours at 28% off!

Just in case you are reading this a day too late for the 28% off sale, never fear, my shop is on sale for one extra day, so you can still get 20% off. Hooray!

Happy shopping!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Freebie Friday - Ten Frame Printables

Friday is upon us once again, and it is time for another fantastic freebie! I'm quite excited about this one - it is a printable ten frame pack!

Don't you just love the lemon yellow?!

The pack includes colourful printables for 10 and 20...


...and black and white options too.

You can access your freebie at my Teachers Pay Teachers store here. While you're there, check out my other products too, and don't forget to leave feedback!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

YouTube Tuesday: The Fibonacci Sequence

This is a video for all you high school Mathematics teachers, but it is also for anyone who likes to appreciate the intricacies of the natural world. The video explores through animation (no words, just visuals) some of the places that the Fibonacci Sequence appears in nature. Amazing stuff!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Pins of the Week: small space display, keys writing prompt, my favourite no, physical activity cube and fun bookmarks!

Ready for some inspiration? Excellent! Here we go!

Small Space Display

Click here for the source.

What a great way to display in a small space! This idea could be used for displaying information or student work. Love it!

Keys Writing Prompt

Click here for the source.

This is such a terrific writing prompt - write key-related story prompts (such as, "There was a 50/50 chance that this was the right key. I put it in the lock and hoped I'd picked the right one.") on tags; attach each one to a different key; place all keys into a large jar; have students pick a key and write a story to go with the prompt. The link takes you to a description of the activity and a long list of prompts you could use. The use of a physical key adds a tangible element to the task that would help students engage with the task.

My Favourite No!

Click here for the source.

This high school Mathematics teacher has come up with a great way to quickly assess where her students are at, give students opportunities to look for great mathematical work as well as find mistakes, and work through common issues - all in one task! The link will take you to a blog post at Math Coach's Corner that contains a video of this teacher in action. This technique could be used in other subject areas and with younger students as well, not just for high school Mathematics.

Physical Activity Cube

Click here for the source.

This fantastic idea comes from the Little Family Fun blog - make a cube with physical activities on each side. The cube can then be used to get kids moving, either in a PE lesson or in between activities. Kids will love the game aspect as well as the activities you choose to include, so it is a win-win situation!

Fun DIY Bookmarks

Click here for the source.

What a fun idea! Get your kids to pose for a photo as though they are hanging from a rope, then use the photo to make a bookmark! The link takes you to the Creative Family Moments blog, where you will find step by step instructions for how to make these bookmarks.

That's it for this week's pins. Please comment if you plan to use any of these ideas in your classroom and let me know how it goes!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Salvaged Saturday - Useful Box

Welcome to another Salvaged Saturday! This week, I'm letting you in on the joys of what I like to call my 'Useful Box'. I can't take credit for the name - that came from the good old days of Playschool (an Aussie children's TV show) - but it is a great way to salvage your 'rubbish' so your students can get creative!

So, what goes into my Useful Box? Boxes, paper, plastic containers, ribbons, biscuit tins and any other reclaimed bits and bobs I can find.

What doesn't go into my Useful Box? Cartons that have held dairy products or meat products and toilet rolls. Maybe I'm just being pedantic, but better to be safe than sorry!

Do you keep a Useful Box? What do your students use the items in your Useful Box for? What do you call your Useful Box?

Friday, 9 August 2013

Freebie Friday - KWL Chart Graphic Organiser

Hooray! It is Friday again, and time for another Little Green freebie! Your fabulous freebie this week is a KWL Chart Graphic Organiser, which you can download here.

Download your free KWL Chart here

KWL stands for 'Know', 'Want to Know', and 'Learnt'. Students complete the first two columns of their chart at the beginning of a new topic of study to reflect what they already know and what they want to know, then complete the 'Learnt' column at the end of the unit to show what they now know about the topic.

This sample shows an example of how KWL Charts can be used in Mathematics.

KWL Charts can be used in any subject area, and are a great informal assessment tool for gathering information about your students.

This page gives some ideas for using KWL Charts in different subject areas.

Now, I know my KWL Chart is not as fancy as the one I blogged about last week, but sometimes a simple format is what you need! If you do download this freebie, please don't forget to rate it - it only takes a minute and is a great way to give me feedback about what you like.

Before I sign off, I also wanted to hit you with a quick shameless plug for my first paid resource (Eek! Here we go!) on my Teachers Pay Teachers store: a cute set of 1-10 Number Posters featuring adorable owls on a green chevron background.

Get your set here!

A sample poster.

They cost a mere $3, which, I hope, is a reasonable price for what you get! Be sure to follow me on TPT so you don't miss out on any of my products! Ok, shameless plug over!

Enjoy your freebie KWL Chart and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

YouTube Tuesday: Outdoors with Jason Mraz

I'm a Jason Mraz fan - I'll admit it. So when I heard he had reworked his song, 'I'm Yours' for Sesame Street, I knew I needed to see that video! I was not disappointed! The song encourages kids to go outdoors to play, and is really catchy, so it is sure to be a winner with kids, parents and teachers.

Happy Tuesday! Enjoy the sunshine, wherever it may be found!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Pins of the Week - formative assessment, real life literacy, writing prompts, tabletop twitter and introverts!

An interesting beginning of the week here at Little Green HQ: an abscess gone horribly wrong, pain (so much pain), a trip to the doctor's, antibiotics and a few days on the couch prescribed for me. So, not much time to collate today's pins, but I am a trooper (a whiny trooper, but a trooper just the same), and I have pressed on to find some excellent pins to share with you today! Here we go!

Formative Assessment

What a great idea for conducting a formative assessment of your students' grasp of your current topic! This links to a blog post from The Elementary Math Maniac, that gives several great ideas for formative assessment in Mathematics. Of course, the ideas can be used in a number of subject areas too, so a win for everyone!

Real Life Literacy

Don't you just love all those spelling and grammar mistake posts you see on Pinterest and Facebook? Don't they make you feel so smug about your own grasp of the English language? Have you ever thought about how you could use them as a lesson on proof-reading for your students? Laura Randazzo did, so she created a resource for us all to use, and it is available for download at Teachers Pay Teachers for a mere $3! Well worth the investment.

Writing Prompts

I do love a good writing prompt, and this one is sure to have your students inspired. Have them tell this story and watch them exercise their creativity.

Tabletop Twitter

Ok, so it isn't exactly Twitter, but it is a fantastic idea from Lori at Conversations in Literacy. Print out an excerpt from your current text of study that is sure to get students talking, glue it to a large sheet of paper, then have students silently write their thoughts and respond to the thoughts of others. Did I mention the word 'silently'? Sounds like a winner to me!

Introverts in the Classroom

My final pin of the day is an excellent video from TED by Susan Cain. As an introvert myself, I can attest to the validity of what she says in her talk, and her ideas for helping ALL students, not just the introverts, think more deeply and creatively are absolutely inspiring. Are you failing your introverts? Please, please, please watch this video to find out! You can find the video on the TED website here.

All these pins and more can be found on my Pinterest boards.

Well, I'm off to try to recover. Have a great week!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Salvaged Saturday - Books Galore!

Today has been a very good day! Not only did I beat the hordes at Aldi to score a lovely $50 outdoor setting for two (Seriously, have you seen the queues? Insanity!) but I also scored big at a Salvation Army store that my friend and I happened to drive by (yeah right, as if we could just drive by!) and stop at. Winning!

So, what did I score? Books galore for my classroom collection! Check it out: 

Some quality literature in this bundle - a hard cover copy of My Place by Nadia Wheatley, some Roald Dahl magic, Pamela Allen, Mem Fox, Jackie French, Morris Gleitzman, Garth Nix and JK Rowling - wow! And how much did this colossal addition to my children's book collection cost me? Ten bucks! I am a happy woman! 

So, in honour of this glorious day (oh so glorious), I have decided to dedicate a day of the Little Green week to the salvaging of unwanted, unloved goods - welcome to Salvaged Saturday, my new favourite day of the week! 

Have you salvaged anything lately? Books, furniture, containers... Maybe you've even given something a new purpose? I'd love to hear all about it! And bloggers, if you'd like to join me in celebrating Salvaged Saturday on your blog, feel free! Just use the logo above and link back to my blog.

Happy salvaging!