Thursday, 31 July 2014

Facelift feedback please!


If you stopped by earlier - who knows what you will have seen as I have been giving my blog a little bit of a face lift (well, quite a major one really!) this morning. I thought it was time for something a little more fresh and colourful and have tried my best to put something pretty together!

If you're here visiting - I would love to check that it is all looking as it should on your screen. I'm aware that what I'm seeing on my screen may not look the same on your screen so if there is something strange happening or you have some feedback or suggestions for improvements - please please leave me a comment so I can make adjustments!

I also have a new button so feel free to grab it!

Thank you!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Let's Talk about Books - Toys in Space


I'm linking up today with Deanna for Let's Talk about Books, a great linky for discovering amazing books!

This week I'm sharing a book by Mini Grey - Toys in Space.

This is a great story within a story about some toys who are left out in the garden one night. Each toy has a distinctive personality and the little interjections they add throughout really demonstrate this.

( I like the thoughtful green dinosaur!)

While lying out in the garden and looking up and the night sky, they toys get beamed aboard a spaceship and meet Hoctopize.

He is searching for his own lost toy and goes around beaming up toys he finds while searching and searching for his lost Cuddles.

The toys from our story explain to him that this isn't right and help him to return all they toys to their rightful homes.

As the alien returns the toys from our story home, he finds his lost toy which had been there all along (and if you look back to the beginning, you will see it was there in the illustrations all along!).

There are so many things you could do in the classroom with this book. There are lots of writing ideas (writing address labels, describing the characters, writing your own speech bubbles for the characters, creating lost toy posters, postcards, researching and writing about the night sky etc.), reading ideas (finding evidence to describe characters, looking at the idea of a story within a story, author technique, themes etc.) and crafty ideas (making a Hoctopize, parachutes, star gazers, designing and making a new toy etc.)

I haven't actually used this book in the classroom other than reading it to the class but I plan to design a unit of work based on it for next year!

I'm heading back over to Mrs Jump's Class blog to read about all the other great books people are sharing. Don't forget to share yours!

Monday, 28 July 2014

A crafty Monday Made It!

First Monday of the holidays! So good not to have to get up and go to school today. I still had to get up pretty early and tidy my very messy house as I had family coming to visit but it has been a lovely day so I'm not grumbling (too much)!

I'm excited to link up with 4th Frade Frolics today for a Monday Made it where I have actually made something (slightly) crafty!

I went shopping at the garden centre for some flowers to give the adults who work in my class as end of year gifts. I saw something nice but it was SO expensive for what it actually was so I decided to make it myself as it was so simple.

I bought the vases, flowers, ribbon and decorative stones and set to work. 

Adding the flowers, stones and trying with ribbon.

The finished vases. At least double the size of the arrangement I saw for just under the price they were charging. The ladies that work with me loved them!

I bought a bottle of wine as a gift for someone and decided that instead of putting it in an ordinary bottle bag, I would make one myself to make the gift that bit more special. I looked on pinterest and found a great tutorial which you can read here.

The only changes I made were not to use batting and to just use a square of interfacing on the bottom of the lining bag as well as the outer lining. It was really easy to follow, took about half an hour and I think it looks great! 

It definitely added a personal touch to an otherwise ordinary gift!

As a final made it - I've almost made it to 105 pictures on the Blog Hoppin' 2014 scavenger hunt! When I started, I never thought I would even get close but thought I would join in just for fun anyway. I only need another couple of pictures which will be easy. Lots of them are thanks to my lovely sister and I thought I would share a couple taken this weekend that I love!

This one was taken when we went in to London to see Les Miserables on Saturday. Posing by the lion statues in Trafalgar square.

This one was taken at my Mum's house on my birthday yesterday. My niece went into the garage and came out with this tricycle which I didn't even know was there so I quickly snapped a picture! Have you been joining in with the scavenger hunt?

Right. As the holidays have finally started I think I will go for a quick nap now!

Have a great week! 

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Friday, 25 July 2014

Five for Friday - Summer is here!

Friday has finally arrived!

I'm linking up with with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday to share some random things from my week.

The summer holidays finally started for me on Wednesday afternoon! I am very excited about a lazy 6 weeks at home (and hopefully a holiday!). I will undoubtedly be doing a fair amount of school work but it feels so different when you don't have to and there is no time pressure - I'm looking forward to it!

To celebrate the end of school we all went out on the riverboat shuffle. Here is a picture of us boarding the boat ready for a slow cruise on the Thames with plenty of celebratory drinks and dancing!

I made these sweet little magnets as a gift for the parents at the end of the year. I think they turned out really well - they were a very lively class but I will miss them all!

I saw this fact file against the wall background on lots of blogs a while ago - I can't remember where so please let me know if it was you and thank you for the idea! I also used them as a slide show before and after our poetry recital a couple of weeks ago and got lots of compliments!

School may have finished on Wednesday but I went in on Thursday and today to do some sorting. I thought I was in pretty good shape as I only moved into the classroom last year and have worked hard to be super tidy all year. However, by the end of Thursday, my sorting left the classroom looking like this...

And despite, 7 hours of work on it today, it still only looks like this!

You'll have have to trust me when I say I threw a whole load of stuff out and am more organised. 

I'll head in on Tuesday for another couple of hours and to print up all the labels and other goodies I'm going to make over the weekend and have a final spruce!

I couldn't resist sharing this gorgeous picture as number 5. My very lazy cat is not making the most of the beautiful weather we have been having recently and is snoozing away as usual. I need to get her up, out and chasing butterflies to help her lose some weight this summer!

That's all for today - have a great weekend wherever you are. I'm off to see Les Miserables in London with my family tomorrow - can't wait!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Hooray for Wednesday!

Today was the LAST day of school and I now have the (almost) 6 weeks of the summer holidays to look forward to! I have a few minutes before my Dad is picking me up to take me out to the riverboat shuffle (our annual end of school trip up and down part of the River Thames) and thought I would link up quickly for Wordless Wednesday - Thank You Christina at Sugar and Spice!

I have this picture today:

(You can see I snapped it as part of the scavenger hunt - someone in costume)

A magician was booked to perform for the children who had 100% attendance over the WHOLE school year. Attendance figures are really important at our school and we have various things in place to try to encourage good attendance. Last year there was a circus skills workshop (I wowed everyone with my plate spinning skills!).

Looking ahead to next year - do you have any tips on what more we can do to encourage good attendance at school throughout the year. Do you do anything to promote this at your school?

I'm off to cruise down the Thames now!

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Monday Made It - Vehicle Special!


Welcome to my Monday Made It (with Fourth Grade Frolics) Vehicle Special!

Today we finished the vehicles we have been making in DT. We explored different shapes, designed and then made these models over the last couple of days. 

Having moved from Year 6 (Grade 5 I think) to year 2 (First Grade?), things did not go as smoothly as I had planned and my poor old carpet can attest to that, but overall I think they did a decent job of making something that moves! 

First we chose boxes/junk to make the basic shape of our vehicles (sorry - I don't have pictures of all the steps!). A fair amount of masking tape was involved!

We then covered them in papier mache to make them solid and ready for painting.

The painting was a messy business (you may well have see the photo of my skirt on Friday)...

After the base coats had dried I let them loose decorating! It's amazing how much glitter even the boys feel they need to use (even when they were making army tanks and double decker buses!).

None of them are things of beauty but the kids were certainly proud of their creations!

We had explored different ways of attaching wheels before we built anything. In the end, I provided the method we were using as we were running short of time. They worked in pairs to get it all put together though and by the end of today they all had something that rolled to take home with them! 

(The parents were delighted)

Here's my effort which I decorated in glitter as my 'something glittery' for the scavenger hunt!

What kind of models and crafts do you make at school?

Until next time!