Back to School $1 Sale!!

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It’s nearly back to school time here in Australia and to celebrate and help everyone get prepared for the start of the year, a few wonderful teacher friends and I are celebrating by sharing some fantastic teaching resources at a huge discount for this weekend only. We’re having a ONE DOLLAR flash sale on select items in our stores.

You can find all the $1 items on TpT by searching using the hashtag #ausbts17.

We want to make sure that everyone goes back to school with a great collection of resources and products that will make the start of the year a breeze!

In my store you’ll find the following items on sale:

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School Makes Me School first week activities pack.

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Start Write Away class books writing pack.

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Victorian Handwriting Placemats featuring Vic Modern Cursive font.

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Serving Up Numbers 1-20great for revising numbers!

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Hip Hip Hooray, Today It’s Your Birthday! classroom birthday pack!

And, as a bit of a bonus, for those of you wanting to stock up on fun fonts to use in your classroom, I’m also putting my font bundle on sale for 50% off, too. That means you can get 75 exclusive fonts (plus 18 free fonts, too!) for only $12.50.

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Now’s the perfect time to stock up on items for back to school at crazy prices!

Remember, just search #ausbts17 when you visit TeachersPayTeachers!

5 Things to Read Before You Go Back to School

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Here in Australia we’re about half-way through our Summer break and will be headed back to school at the end of the month.

Today I thought I’d share some of my favourite posts that are particularly relevant to the start of the year. If you’re new to my blog, or missed these posts, I hope you’ll take the time to check back over them and see if these tips can help you in the lead-up to the start of the new school year!

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The First Week of Prep was a much requested post about my experiences starting the year with our youngest learners who are experiencing school for the very first time. From personal anecdotes, to tips and suggestions for activities, this post is bound to include at least one thing everyone can take away for the start of the new year.

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5 Ways to End the Day is exactly that – 5 different ways you can end the day with your students on a positive note that will see them eager and ready to come back the next morning with a big smile on their face!

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5 Reasons to Have a Classroom Blog outlines some ideas for using blogs in your classroom with your students. Blogs are a great community outlet, a great way to communicate and an amazing way to teach writing for an audience, so stop by and check out ways you could use a blog in your classroom!

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Why I Said Goodbye to Post-It Notes. Controversial? Possibly, but this post shares some of the organisational tips that helped me streamline my giant paper pile and to-do lists last year. Well worth a read if you’re looking for a new organisation system.

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Celebrating Birthdays in the Classroom is my post full of ideas that you can use to implement great birthday practises in the classroom. It does share my product pack for birthdays, but each idea can be taken and adapted to suit YOUR class and YOUR students.

Stay turned later this month for more organisational tips and tricks to help you started right in the new school year.

2017 | New Year, New Goals

Hello lovelies!
Welcome back to my blog, and Happy New Year!
I’ve been absent for a long time, and there’s really no excuse, but I’m being kind to myself and I’m not going to make any. Life simply gets busy and things have to take priority, however, I’m happy to say that I have plans in place for 2017!
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Firstly, you may have noticed that Miss Galvin Learns is getting a bit of a make-over. For a while, I’ve been meaning to change my blog name and align it a bit more with my other creative pursuits, so Miss Galvin Learns has become A Novel Classroom. I’m really pleased with the change and while it’s not complete, it’s on track. (I just couldn’t wait to share it with you!)
Thus, one of my goals for 2017 is to complete the change over, update my blog layout (and maybe tackle the change on my TPT store).

My home base (read: office) for 2017.

Next, this year holds significant changes for me, teaching wise. For the first time, I will not have a classroom of my own. Next year, I have taken on the role of Early Years Support which will see me working in the Foundation-Grade 2 classrooms in my school, working in support and coaching across multiple curriculum areas and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m also continuing my role as Foundation Team Leader, so I will continue to work closely with my beloved Foundation students and teachers. Some of my future posts will be around my 2017 role, so if there’s anything you’re interested in reading about, let me know in the comments!
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Finally, I will be moving to my new apartment in early 2017, which will cut down on my commute time. I’ll be working on organising my time so that I can better bring you content here on the newly revamped A Novel Classroom. Ideas for posts include organisation tips, coaching tips, art projects and more. I want to bring YOU tips and tricks that you can take, modify and use in your classroom, which means I need YOUR input. Let me know in the comments what areas of teaching you would like me to cover in 2017.
 
I hope that everyone has had a safe and happy start to 2017. May it bring new adventures, experiences and opportunities for you and your loved ones.

Have you unlocked Dance Party?

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You guys know I love GoNoodle.

(I’ve talked about them a lot!)

I’m very proud to be a 2016-2017 GoNoodle Ambassador and share the wonderful resources offered by the website with all of you (and my class… and everyone else)!

This last week, GoNoodle unlocked a really awesome new feature on their site: Dance Party.

What is Dance Party, you ask?

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Well, it’s a great activity that pairs some funky music with fun dance moves… but that’s not even the best part! The best part is that your students can now connect their Champs from their home accounts (via a unique class code) with your class account via Dance Party.

Which means, they get to see their awesome Champs in their classroom, and share them with their friends!

Needless to say, my class are very excited by this. So far, we have 14 out of 22 Champs connected and there’s been a lot of talk about how they know which Champ belongs to which student.

It’s also helped introduce GoNoodle to families, who’ve been sending in some wonderful feedback about how much they’re enjoying joining in at home and sharing with siblings, cousins and family friends.

So, if you haven’t already unlocked Dance Party, you definitely need to check it out! Just log in to GoNoodle, click on Dance Party and print your class code!

What is your class’ favourite GoNoodle activity?

Review | Australian Curriculum “Health”

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The second book R.I.C. Publications sent me for review this month was their new Australian Curriculum “Health” resource book for Foundation. This resource is available for Foundation – Year 6 (each level with it’s own resource book) and aligns to the Personal, social and community health strand of Australian Curriculum Health and Physical Education.

As with all R.I.C. Publication’s books, it is designed to support teachers in implementing the curriculum.

This particular resource consists of 20 units that cover the three sub-strands:

  • Being healthy, safe and active
  • Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing
  • Contributing to healthy and active communities

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Each unit with this book consists of a detailed lesson plan that includes an introductiondevelopment (including differentiation) and a concluding task. All Australian Curriculum outcomes are clearly outlined, as well as the provided resources, assessment options and ways of extending the content further.

The resources included are large and clear (which is very important in the Foundation years) and include a range of cut and paste and recording options, props for interactive lessons and stories for teaching concepts.

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Where available there are links to online resources of videos that are age-level and content appropriate.

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I am really pleased to see resources for feelings that very young children feel often but don’t often have the language or skills yet to deal with themselves. The units on Feeling Left Out and Taking Risks really struck me as being spot-on for targeting areas that are difficult for my young students. I love that the lessons are taught through simple stories that students can easily relate to.

The other unit that I think is highly important is Being kind, fair and respectful and it includes a great set of puppets for students to make and scenarios for them to explore what it means to be kind, fair and respectful which is so incredibly important for young learners.

As always, this resource has been designed with R.I.C. Publication’s trademark clean, simple styling. They don’t overpower any of the pages with unnecessary illustrations (unless they demonstrate a point) and the pages designed for students to use have simple phrases that students can read independently or with minimal support.

This is a wonderful resource for any teacher who teaches the Health curriculum but doesn’t know where to start (or those of us who love fresh, new ideas!). The lessons are simple and clear and easy to understand and implement.

If you would like additional information about the other books in this series, please check out the publisher’s website here. You’re able to preview all of the books in full.

Thank you to R.I.C. Publications for the opportunity to check out and review this title.

I received this title from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Review | Australian Curriculum “Money”

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R.I.C. Publications contacted me this month and asked me if I would be interested in reviewing one of their new release Australian Curriculum resource books on “Money” and I said yes, because one thing I’ve had trouble sourcing a lot of great resources on for maths is money and it’s one of the topics we’re covering next term.

The Australian Curriculum “Money” resource book by Clare Way is available in three year level options:

Book 1 – Years 1 and 2

Book 2 – Years 3 and 4

Book 3 – Years 5 and 6

I was sent Book 1 for review and as always, it’s full of great resources and ideas for classroom teachers.

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This book is broken in to two sections – one for Year 1 appropriate content, and one for Year 2 content. Each section has clear, concise teacher notes for introducing students to money (notes and coins) as well as display ideas and teaching points. Where available there are links to online resources to supplement their suggested activities.

I especially like the sections on Warm-Up activities as these activities are all short and are great to include in a maths warm at the beginning on your lessons to get students started on thinking about money and currency.

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Both sections include teacher resources that can be reproduced for displays or hands on activities with students. These resources include picture representations of coins, the symbols on coins, international coins, blank coins, notes and price tags.

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Each Year Level section is clearly marked at the top of the page, and activity worksheets are very clear and uncluttered.

I love that the activities included have a very heavy focus (particularly at a Year 1 level) on knowing and recognising coins. There are activities for each individual coin in which students look at the features as well as practising making different values using known coins.

The activities become increasingly more complex as you move into the Year 2 section, as students begin to look at notes, as well as begin to add up and make collections and begin to write these values.

Each year level section has two assessment pages, as well as a checklist for the teacher and answers to all activities for quick and easy marking.

If you’re looking for an in-depth series of activities focusing on Australian money for your classroom than this is a really wonderful resource. It is a great supplement to hands-on activities using coins for young students.

If you’re interested in more information, check out R.I.C. Publication’s website here.

Thank you to R.I.C. Publications for sending this book to me for review.

I received a copy of this resource for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Top 5 | Mem Fox Books

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Hello teacher friends!

It’s been a while since I last posted on the blog and I’ve been super-busy with a lot of things, but I had an idea (after discovering the magic of BookTube) and thought it might be fun to film a video sharing my Top 5 picture books by different authors or on different topics.

If you’re anything like me, you may have difficulty picking just five books in any category. It’s virtually impossible for me to narrow down any book category, and my first theme – books by Mem Fox – was no exception, but I did it for the sake of the video.

Mem Fox is an iconic Australian author who has written numerous books for children and they’re all wonderful. Not only beautiful stories, but wonderful characters and language that is so much fun to read aloud with kids.

So, without further ado, here are my Top 5 Mem Fox books… although I’d talk about ALL of them if given half the chance!

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(The links below are affiliate links.)

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The Magic Hat

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Shoes from Grandpa

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Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge

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Possum Magic

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Where is the Green Sheep?

What are your favourite Mem Fox books? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to know which ones are nostalgic favourites or class favourites. If you’re interested in some activities or crafts based on these books, be sure to let me know.

Also, if you’re interested in this Top 5 Books becoming a regular feature, what authors or book themes would you be interested in seeing?

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week and I’ll see you soon!

Finding Your Tribe | Melbourne Instagram Meetup

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Hello, teacher friends!

Have you found your tribe? (Or tribes, even, because there can be more than one for everyone?)

I have, and it’s amazing.

Tribes are those likeminded individuals that you find you share a lot in common with. The kind of people who you can chat to and know that they really understand and that they don’t judge you. Good days, bad days. It doesn’t matter, because your Tribe will always have your back.

I wear a lot of (metaphorical) hats, so I have a Tribes to meet those hats, and I had the amazing opportunity to visit with one of those Tribes yesterday at the Melbourne Winter Teachers Instagram Meet-Up.

You may remember a few months ago when I posted about the first Instagram Meet-Up. It was one of those moments that (as Sarah-Jane reminded me yesterday) you really tell your kids and friends not to do: go and meet random strangers whom you met online in a strange place. So many things could go wrong.

I’m happy to say, they didn’t then, and they didn’t yesterday.

The meet up was organised by Laura (from @littleapplelearning), Sarah Jane (from @thepolkadotapple) and Tess (from @misstessclassroom) and held at BangPop, a Thai restaurant in the city. It was spectacular.

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Okay, so the weather wasn’t so spectacular. Melbourne sure knows how to throw a rain party right when I want to walk around the city. But it’s all good.

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I met up with these lovely ladies: Jem (from Jem’s Bright Buttons) and Paula (from Paula’s Place). I’ve known them for years through Facebook and TPT and I love catching up with them.

We then went down to South Wharf for the meet-up.

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Yes, that is a Duplo bar. Could you think of a more perfect place for teachers to meet? Imagine all the things you could in your classroom with a Duplo wall. I’m already thinking of ways to petition for one.

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All the tables were beautifully set-up by the lovely organisers who added beautiful little details to EVERYTHING, including a wonderful swag bag of goodies that made the event seem almost like a conference. With better food, drinks and a lot more off-topic conversation.

We’re teachers, right? We know how to talk!

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The Photo Booth set-up was super fun and next time I think I just need to drag more people up to it. Of course, that involves being less shy and intimidated by all the amazing people there, but I think I’m getting better.

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The ladies did an amazing job organising sponsors to donate items for the swag bags and prizes (I didn’t win anything but it was super-fun getting a peek at what other people got!). As a way of showcasing and thanking the sponsors, I’ve recording an ‘unbagging’ of the swag bag which is below, so if you want to check it out, go for it. I apologise in advance, apparently I can ramble on!

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It was such a wonderful experience. I loved catching up with Jem and Paula and the other girls I met at the first meet-up. It was also amazing to meet so many new Instagram friends across all parts of Victoria, and even a few from NSW. Teachers are amazing at banding together – stick a group of teachers in a room and you’ll have plenty to talk about!

There’s such a great feeling of collaboration, respect and understanding that came with yesterday and I had an absolute ball.

I can’t wait to see what everyone gets up to in the upcoming term; I’ll be hanging out on your Instagram accounts for sure!

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Font Bundle Update!

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Hello, teacher friends!

It feels like ages since I last posted, but in truth, the end of Term 2 was huge for me (and for many teachers I know, too). An 11 week term? Report-writing? Oh, boy!

It’s the holidays now, and I’m on break for two weeks. I have a few posts planned for the upcoming weeks, and the first one is an update on my font bundle on TpT! I actually have a few more updates planned for this bundle, which is discounted for the next 48 hours before I add even more fonts to my collection!

Creating fonts is quite therapeutic!

If you’re unfamiliar with my bundle, you can click on the image above, or this link here to check it out. There are currently 75 fonts exclusive to this pack, as well as 18 of my free fonts, all in one handy free download. That’s a total of 93 fonts. Early in July there will be over 100 fonts so if you purchase it before the discount ends, you get all future updates as they’re uploaded!

All of my fonts are available for commercial use with credit back to my store

You can check out this month’s updates below. Some of my favourites are MGL Rush, MGL Rushing and MGL Sunday Night!

MGL_BubbleBath MGL_ClassicWriter MGL_FullofStars MGL_FunFun MGL_GetItDone MGL_Rush MGL_Rushed MGL_Rushing MGL_Sparkles MGL_SundayNight MGL_TallManBubbles MGL_Words

Don’t forget to stop by and check out the Miss Galvin Learns Exclusive Font Bundle before it goes back up to full price on Thursday!

Have a wonderful day, teacher friends!