Super Dooper Lesson Plans | TpT Round Up

Back in April, I blogged about my discovery of TpT (Teachers Pay Teachers). Since then, I've found many more useful worksheets, art and craft ideas and lesson plans so I thought it was about time I did another 'round up' and featured some fantastic resources that other teachers out there are creating. Sharing is caring so each image will link back to to the creator's TpT store page where you can either purchase the product or download it for free! Thank you to the sellers who gave me permission to feature their products on teacher types

This is such a cute sight word activity where students cut and paste the letters of the word 'about' to create their own mini-book. Kinder Craze is such a fantastic blog. Maria has the most stunning classroom! Lots of inspirational ideas :)

click image to download for free!

This bundle is a great set of really useful sight word sheets...(from this blog)

click image to purchase

Another sight word resource bundle...from the blog Smitten With First

click image to download for free!

My students LOVED "Rainbow Roll & Write"! It combines maths and literacy and is a whole lot of fun. There is also a black & white version so your students can colour first and then play! This is the blog it came from - A Cupcake for the Teacher

click image to download for free!

This awesome bundle of spelling worksheets are such a great resource because they can be used for any list of words.
(Here's the sellers blog)

click image to purchase

My students were so engaged in this writing activity below. They loved getting up out of their seats and being 'word detectives', looking for words around the room to record on their sheets. Also be sure to check out the creator's blog.

click image to download for free!

Finally, we are doing a unit on weather this term. This cute little craft idea looks like a winner to me!
Robin's blog is here - Sweet Tea Classroom
She also has a 3D water cycle product that I'm thinking of trying too. I'm getting exciting thinking about all of the great art and craft we can make to hand from the ceiling! Perfect for a weather unit!

click image to purchase

So that's all from me today. I've downloaded the TpT app this week. Do any other teachers out there enjoy scrolling through the worksheets and resources on TpT as much as you like scrolling through ideas on Pinterest? I wonder what it would have been like 10 years ago when I was studying if we had these websites to inspire us? What would it have been like if blogging was so popular back then?

Hmmm...thoughts to ponder :)

Sticky Collages | A Little Art idea for Little People

Ah the joys of simple things! I was really pleased with how this little activity turned out. Miss 16 Months wasn't too fussed when I first set it up, but by day two and three she was really interested in sticking the little pieces of paper on to the contact. It's a nice activity you can leave set and up and let your little one continue going back to.

All you need to do is attach some contact to a glass window or door, sticky side facing out and give your little person lots of interesting cut up pieces of paper. Try to use a variety paper textures (a lot of mine was wrapping paper and see through cellophane). It's a great opportunity to talk about shapes, colours and animals names and noises. So cute to see her puzzlement when trying to stick pieces onto the glass!

I'm keen to try this same idea in my classroom to make raindrops for our weather window display! (This great blog is where I got the idea from). It's a nice quick and easy way to create a collage instead of using glue.

Try this one with your little person! Let me know if you give it a go.

Lauren :)

The A-Z of a Successful Classroom | My Alphabet Project Part 1

In the first year of school (we call it Reception in SA but you may know it as Kindergarten, Preschool, Prep, etc) we spend a lot of time teaching the alphabet. This can be done with a variety of literacy approaches and I'm always looking for fun ways to link it in across the curriculum.

Through a couple of blogs I follow I stumbled upon the Alphabet Project. The basic idea is that bloggers will post something to the theme of each letter of the alphabet on a weekly basis. This lovely blog is doing a character series targeted at parents of young children. I loved the idea, but am about three months too late to keep up with the rest of the blogging world. So I'm doing mine all in one go! I have two projects going - one for school age children and one for toddlers. I planned to include both finish products in the one post but I couldn't wait and wanted to publish my first one.

So I call it "The A-Z of a Successful Classroom". Please 'pin it' if you like it and help me get it circulating around the Pinterest world!

made by me using canva

I tried to think of key words that would inspire students to DO their best and BE their best. Many key words are from particular programmes that our school adopts such as Program Achieve, Habits of Mind and Play is the Way. Also, I should note that I teach at an Christian School so you'll notice that I included "J is for Jesus and Joy" so as to cater for all. You could introduce one a day with your class or one a week if you start early enough. The children could also come up with their own class alphabet project! Here's my list again in plain text (with elaborations).

My A-Z Alphabet Project for School Aged Children

A is for Accuracy (Check and edit your work.)
B is for Brave (Stand up for what's right and take responsible risks.)
C is for Confident (To speak or perform in front of others.)
D is for Discussion (With peers, teachers, parents.)
E is for Empathy (Understand how others are feeling.)
F is for Friendly (You don't have to be best friends with everyone in your class - but you do need to be friendLY.)
G is for Grateful (Take a moment to be thankful for all that you have.)
H is for Humble (Be proud, yet modest in your achievements.)
I is for Imagination (Be creative, think outside the square.)
J is for Jesus and Joy ("Nothing Without Joy" - Reggio Emilia.)
K is for Kindness (A kind classroom is a happy classroom.)
L is for Listening (What does a good listener look like?)
M is for Motivation (Children who are motivated to learn will be more likely to succeed.)
N is for Neatness (Apply your best effort to your work.)
O is for Organised (Daily routines and manage your time.)
P is for Persistence (Try and try, don't give up.)
Q is for Questioning (Think before you ask. Is it a relevant and thoughtful question?)
R is for Resilient (Is it really a big deal? "Oh well, doesn't matter")
S is for Senses (How can you use all of your senses to learn something new?)
T is for Thinking (Be a critical and creative thinker.)
U is for Understanding (How can you show me your understanding?)
V is for Values (What's important to our school community?)
W is for Wonderment (Take a moment to appreciate the amazing things in our world!)
X is for eXcited (Be excited about learning!)
Y is for YOU (You are the most important person who can influence your learning.)
Z is for Zest (Be enthusiastic about what you do.)

I once again owe the ability to create such an awesome graphic to canva (which is the site I used for my blog header and profile pic). I created each image individually, exported the whole lot and created the collage using Pic Monkey. (Pic Monkey is the best collage website I've seen that lets you put a large number of images in the one collage. Fotor, my usual program only lets you have 9. Ribbet is another good site but is more limiting than Pic Monkey). I love to give out little tips every now and again and I must say that I am really loving learning new things on this blogging journey. I really feel like a life long learner. And isn't that what we teachers are encouraging our students to be?

Now that I've written this post, I think it was a good idea to do them in two parts! Stay tuned for the next stage in my Alphabet Project - the A-Z in the life of a Toddler.


Author Study | Lynley Dodd and her friend Hairy Maclary

Hello there! Welcome back to teacher types :)

My Term 1 Author Study was none other than Eric Carle which the children absolutely loved. Last term we studied the 'Hairy Maclary' series of books (as well as many others) by New Zealand author Lynley Dodd. Her sing song, rhyming and repetitive stories had the children engaged and eager to join in.

Hairy Maclary has his very own website here... with lots of interactive games, stories, characters and activities for school aged children. There is so much on here - we didn't even get to it all in one term!

If you're unfamiliar, here's a summary of all of the characters you'll find in the Hairy Maclary series...

**images from website

This is just a short list of some activity and lesson plan ideas to support this author study;

  • "Dog" and "cat" are great starting points to introduce rhyming concepts to young children. They can come up with their own rhyming words and record inside pictures of dogs and cats to display in the classroom
  • Do you know the game "doggy doggy who's got your bone?" Simply replace "doggy doggy" with "Hairy Maclary" for an independent, quiet time class game.
  • Here's the link to a Slinky Malinki resource that I found on TpT (I think because Lynley Dodd is a New Zealand author, and TpT is American, they weren't any other resources I could find)
  • Children can choose their favourite book and think creatively to design a new front cover for it
  • Write your own Hairy Maclary story by following this template "Out of the _____ and off for a ________ went _______________ from _______________". You could then combine the children's story writing and make a class book.

Here's a list of great You Tube links for some Lynley Dodd texts...


Some of my other favourite Lynley Dodd books are pictures below. They aren't part of the "Hairy Maclary" series, but we loved reading them anyway :)

  • The Smallest Turtle was a big hit in our class and it tied in beautifully with our Under the Sea theme.
  • The Nickle Nackle Tree made great connections with mathematical number concepts - starting a number 1 and going up to 14.
  • Dragon in a Wagon not only demonstrated rhyming concepts, but immersed the children into a world of imagination!


If you'd like to pursue the Author Study approach with your children here's a guide of how to go about it

  • Start with your curriculum and select your outcomes for the term.
  • Choose the author you'd like to study and make a list of all of their books.
  • Select your main texts to focus on and decide on a time line (e.g. one per week, one per fortnight - you can always read the others to tie them in to your unit)
  • Make a structure for your term overview of texts.
  • When you begin teaching the unit, introduce the author to the children (investigate where they come from and find this location on a map or globe).
  • When you introduce a text, spend some time looking at the front cover and make predictions.
  • Select a page of text, either type or blow it up on the IWB and examine it closely for sight words, punctuation, capital letters, move words around - does it still make sense?
  • Select your activities to match each text. Ensure a combination of worksheets, sequencing, cloze, writing tasks, hands on, art, songs, etc. Ask yourself - how can I make links with other curriculum areas?
  • Search the web for more resources (definitely do a search on TpT). Does this author have a website? Check for you tube clips of each text. Maybe the website has an audio version of the text that the children can listen to?
  • Keep texts accessible to children for them to read at their leisure.
  • At the conclusion of your unit, ask questions like - What book was your favourite? What similarities between the texts did you notice? Did the author work with the same illustrator for every text?

So it's nearly the end of school holidays and time to go back to school. Our next author study is Pamela Allen. Now that the children are half way through the year there is so much more they can do! Exciting times ahead!

Thanks for reading

Fun with Straws | Simple Toddler Play

Hi there!
A short and sweet post today.
Remember this post about simple baby and toddler play ideas? Little Miss and I discovered that my straws wouldn't fit through the little holes of my colander. Well look what I found in the shed! A little canister from IKEA was just the thing I needed for some fun straw play.

You could turn this into a fun game of kerplunk for older kiddies by just adding some pom poms :)

And I couldn't help but sharing this little screen shot. A small milestone in the world of blogging - but a pleasant surprise when I logged on to 'blogger' this evening.

Until next time (which won't be very long I hope)

Drawing, Painting & Collage | Baby & Toddler Art

In one of my previous posts back in April I gave examples of some lovely art activities you can do with your baby's footprint. Today I want to expand on this and share some ideas for babies who have graduated to toddler hood and are beginning to be able to hold pencils, crayons, paint brushes and chalk.

So to kick things off - I let Miss One go crazy scribbling on some white paper with some pencils - and surprisingly she did quite well. It was a great opportunity to teach and talk about the colours. I then traced some love hearts using a cookie cutter and cut them out. These were perfect additions for relatives birthday cards! I've also put a couple in her baby book. Such a simple idea that turns scribbles into something more special.

I LOVE these egg chalks that were given as a gift for my little one's first birthday. They are easy to hold and lots of fun! Blackboards are making a comeback these days - and there are many things you can cover with blackboard paint. We are planning to mount one on our back fence for fun outside drawing when the weather improves.

Did you collect these Jamie Oliver stickers from Woolies over the past few months? I've been amazed at how my little one was kept occupied for ages (with my assistance) to stick them all over a numerous pieces of paper. Our next step will be to try sticker books.
image source - eBay

A final little idea - are you a sentimental keeper of things like me? I kept all of the baby shower cards, arrival cards and first birthday cards we've been given by family and friends. It's lovely to treasure some special ones with thoughtful messages inside, but if you'd like to use them for an art project...try this! I simply traced and cut some circles and glued them onto a canvas. I'm still deciding if we'll display it or not. We don't have that many free walls in the nursery :)

You could get your older toddler involved in this activity as well. Ask them to select the pictures they want from their (and your) past birthday cards, let them tell you the shapes to trace and cut. Then depending on how fussy you are with the finished product - let them do the gluing or give them a little more guidance if needed.


My friend Sarah over at Sarah Tamblyn Designs is always posting lovely art and craft ideas on her blog. Her original and unique designs are inspired by the painted collage method. Pop in and have a look. Her latest was written by a guest blogger all about Art Therapy. A really interesting read.

When your children are a bit older and bring painting after painting home from kindy, I've found these two cute ideas of how to put those paintings to good use and make something new!

I really do love teaching Art at school. Last term the children and I enjoyed crayon resist water colour paintings, colour mixing and paper plate fish with button scales. It's great now to be able to do a few little art projects with Miss One. Here's a simple yet timeless quote to finish today's post...

image credit

Sooooo....teacher types has been getting a few more page views lately thanks to my birth club group on FB and the articles I've been writing for AMM have directed a bit more traffic my way. So to my regular readers - just a quick thank you! Please leave a comment if you have an idea to share or you've read something you liked - I'd love to hear from you.

- the teacher who types
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