Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Teaching Numbers Using Resources from Around the House

Teaching numbers in the playground:

This is a very simple and effective number activity that can be done in the garden on a path or in the school playground like this. I had collected a large basket of nuts – I love using natural resources in the classroom. As I have said before – they are all around us, they are interesting to use, can be used as an open ended, multi-purpose resource and they are free!

I drew large circles on the paving with chalk and wrote the numbers 1 to 10 in them. The children were standing on the numbers, jumping from number and number in order and counting the nuts and putting them in the corresponding circles. It was a great group activity!

Numbers @ the playdough table:

I cut out the numbers 1 to 5 from cardboard and put out various pots and pans for cooking ‘playdough dinner’. The children loved this activity! They were making playdough food to match the numbers in their pot or pan. Some of the examples were…

2 meat balls...

5 potatoes...

4 sausages...

This encouraged lots of great language. Not only maths language and counting but lots of descriptive language.

Teaching numbers @ the light table:

Children were encouraged to use the tongs to put the correct number of cotton wool balls in the cups.

These are all very cheap and effective number activities that can be incorporated into the school program or at home!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Happy Birthday, Cupcake!

It was my daughter's birthday party last Friday night and we invited her friends to come over for some "brinner" (breakfast at dinner). But they had to wear their pyjamas!

Everything revolved around breakfast.  
Sweets made from cereals

Cereal (of course!)

And a little bit of fruit.

Here's the whole smorgasbord before we added sausages, hash browns and pancakes.  My wonderful niece Ella helped style the table.  She's soooo great.

While I had fun making little signs for all of the food I realised that, with twelve year olds, all that food would last about sixty seconds.  What to do with the other hour and fifty nine minutes?

Ella and Annie kept the girls busy with a pancake toss; Frootloop® necklace creations and a breakfast quiz.  But I needed more....
I knew I had some remnants of  lovely, bright fabric....  

And some letter stencils from another project.
In two sizes, with flowers, hearts and other accesories.  An idea was forming.
I attached some Vliesofix (iron-on fusible webbing) to the squares of fabric.
 Each of the girls used the stencils to cut out their name or other patterns.
They then queued and myself and my sister ironed them onto pillow cases. 
But who was to go first in choosing the colour of their pillow case?  
I wrote numbers onto lots of small balloons and the girls pulled them out of the fish bowl.
We filled some other balloons with helium and attached them with ribbons to small boxes of cereal to take home (along with their finished pillow case).  No photos of them today, sorry.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Farm Fun

Our finished scarecrow!
A couple of weeks ago we finished making our scarecrow at school and entered him in a competition at our local garden show. We decided to do something really different for our scarecrow and put him on an old bike. Another teacher worked with me and we began constructing our scarecrow from recycled materials.

Firstly we spayed the whole bike white and cut up old plastic table cloths to weave around the spokes of the bike. This was a great project alone and would make a fabulous garden ornament.

We found an old basket and the children painted it in pastel colours.

Farms @ the playdough table 

We have been talking about farms and farm animals at school. This week I cut up some old bamboo blinds that had been given to me into a variety of different lengths. These were used at our playdough table as fences for the farm, paddocks and hurdles for the horses. The green playdough was used to secure the fences. It was food for the animals and also grass and foliage for our farm. This was a very popular activity today.

Farms @ the wonder table 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Learning to Crochet

We have just finished two beautiful weeks of school holidays and amongst other things I learnt how to crochet. My daughter and I had seen some lovely baskets on the blog "My Poppet" and we were determined to master crocheting. My daughter is 11 and got the gist of it straight away.  I took a lot longer...

Back at school today, I put our crocheted baskets on the wonder table with a variety of flowers and foliage for the children to sort. They are lovely and sturdy but soft all at the same time!