13 January 2018

My Ron Clark Academy Visit

I mentioned on my last blog post that my blogging may not be regular but I will do it when I feel I have something to say or I want to relax and feel happy.

Today is one of those days! I am so pumped full of teaching energy at the moment!
I am also stressing out majorly as I am not in Australia at the moment meaning I can’t set up my classroom or go buy resources etc and it’s getting close to the start of school!
BUT I am doing some pretty incredible once in a life time teaching stuff over here!


I have always been excited by the look of GYTO (Get Your Teach On) whenever it came up in my Instagram feed I would wish I could go!

Mid last year I was calculating how many weeks left the construction of me first home was going to take and through my calculations I realised it was not going to be completed by January as I had hoped but rather later.

When I saw GYTO was going to New Orleans I was very tempted because out of all the places in USA, New Orleans was on my bucket list.

Then when I looked at a map I realised it would be feasible to not only go to New Orleans but also go to Orlando Florida where I could go to Universal Studios for HARRY POTTER!!!

Things were becoming more tempting!!!

Next, I found out that you could attend the Ron Clark Academy for a PD session and there was one going to be help around the same time as GYTO!!

At this point I began researching but I knew it was going to be costly so I was still undecided

BUT then Hope and Wade King announced that they were releasing a book and that the release party was going to be on the first night of GYTO!!

Well I think that clearly it was a sign and as I said I thought this was a once in a lifetime event!

So I committed!
I flew over from Australia to the US!


I am currently sitting in my bed at a hotel in New Orleansjust wait there for a second .sorry there was a parade going past isn’t New Orleans just like one of the coolest cities ever?!?!?


Anyway as I said I am currently sitting in my bed (partly because I just need a low key night after jumping states every three days through the US) and I thought I would share part of my educational journey so far!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta!



Now I had heard it was life changing and amazing from many people before so I had REALLY high expectations going in. Yet despite all this it still surprised me!




I think I went in expecting to see these ‘perfect’ lessons where kids were dancing, singing and the room was transformed but the reality I got was all that more empowering.

I saw day to day teaching in those classrooms, not just a ‘one day’ show lesson! They were not all super fancy but they were real and I loved that so much more! Everything I saw was easy to implement and apply in my classroom with practise and as long as I am dedicated.


My favourite part of the visit was not the teachers at all though (was actually a big surprise) but rather the young adults themselves and the way they spoke and carried themselves. They were speaking like grown adults (some adults don’t even speak in this manner) using complex language and displaying a reflective attitude.

It made me reflect on my students and how even though they are little kids and I want them to have the chance to still be kids, they are also very capable of displaying a high level of manners and behaviour.

I also felt that by attending this PD it validated my opinion of what I was doing in the classroom. Many of the practises I saw were similar things I knew I was doing so that was affirming to see that these sorts of methods are working and I should continue to focus on this within my own classroom.

If you ever get a chance I highly recommend going! I have now well and truly drunk the cool-aid and will say it is a life changing!



In two days I will be attending the Get Your Teach On Conference!!

I can’t wait to continue this learning experience and come home with a new wealth of knowledge ready to go!!


09 December 2017

Welcome to Swimming Through the Year with Miss Thresher

It’s been a whilewell more than a while reallyit feels like forever since I blogged last.

It was a hard decision to stop but at the time I was teaching a lovely, curious and amazing class but they were also a hard class. There were so many needs within the classroom it was emotionally draining and I could feel I was burning out trying to do everything.

So I made the decision to put aside the blog and put my class first which at the time was what I needed.


It’s funny though, how we tend to return to what makes us feel at ease most through tricky times.

This year I was blessed with 31 incredible and beautiful children which was a God send for a very hard and emotional year. I lost one of my beautiful past students and my Dad. I don’t mention this for sympathy but more for emphasising that this is how I have got to this point.

For me, my blog is my release. I find it grounds and calms me writing everything out. Even if no one reads this, that is fine because it’s about me feeling I need to say something to get it out and work through it all.

So I am going to blog. I can’t promise it will be regular. I can’t promise it will be pretty all the time. I can’t promise it won’t be a rambling mess BUT I can promise that it will be real and honest.

If you want to come along for this ride feel free to drop by every now and then.



SO


Welcome to my blog!
I’m Teagan and I teach in Perth, Western Australia!

In the teaching world I go by Miss Thresher!
I have been teaching for five years and I am about to go into my sixth year!
95% of that time has been in Year Two and 5% in Pre-Primary.


I actually LOVE Year Two and always panic at the prospect of having to move from this year group. I learn so much each year I could literally just teach Year Two for my whole teaching career and STILL have new things to learn!


I love to sing, dance and generally make a fool of myself in front of my class because hey 8 years old don’t judge ;)
It is also a perk 8 year olds think EVERYTHING you do is the best thing they have ever seen!


Some things about me:

-My last name is actually a species of shark so it is a great talking point for students in my class  last week my students went NUTS because they found a book dedicated to the Thresher shark. You would have sworn I told them it was Christmas by the levels of excitement displayed!

-I have a dog named Molly who is my world!

-I LOVE reading, dancing (even though I’m terrible!), drawing and generally being creative!

- I am not a super duper organised teacher in fact I think the correct description would be that I am an organised mess!  
It’s messy but it’s messy organised so it kind counts right??!?!

-My favourite colour is blue and my favourite font is CCBOOYAH by the amazing Cara Caroll!

-I am addicted to TPT  its possibly getting to the stage of an intervention .but it’s not there yet!

-I am passionate about teaching and my students


So welcome to my blog!
I hope you enjoy my random babbles and rants and maybe even have a laugh every now and then!
If you came here for amazing organisational tips . . . maybe find a different blog!


I am Teagan.

I am a passionate, creative, organised mess of a teacher and that’s fine by me. 


xxx

21 October 2016

Mental Health Week Ideas

As I stare at the time and date located at the bottom of laptop screen I am asking myself did that week really just finish?

Week 2 is done and dusted and we are now in Week 3 like how is that even possible!

Did I blink? Fall asleep?

No but SERIOUSLY!

Which then leads to that fact that I am having one of those moments (or lots of those moments lately!) where you go in that blind panic!

There is still so much to do What have I even taught my kids this year? I have taught them nothing .my kids know nothing I am the worst teacher.

PANIC PANIC PANIC!

So from one panicked teacher to the next just breathe!

You are a good teacher!
You kids DO KNOW things!
You have taught your class MORE than you will realise!
You have that amazing ability to hit multiple skills in one lesson so you can get through that content!

And lastly

As a teacher you were built to roll with the punches so do what you do best and TEACH ON!

(. My wayward song) - sorry couldn’t resist the Supernatural reference! ;)


On the theme of panic and stress I thought I would share with you what we did at school for Mental Health Week!
I am a HUGE advocate of trying to ensure our students’ emotional and social needs are at the forefront of our minds as educators.

Too often these days I hear stories of children breaking down for fear of performance in tests or are too nervous to say the wrong answer in class.

Healthy minds are open to learning and growing.

In order to learn we need to be ready to fail!


So this year we decided to host a Mental Health week at our school to encourage positive conversations about how people were feeling and also encourage students to take time out to do things they love!


It was a GREAT week!

Each day we had a daily focus and a little YouTube video to watch to inspire or promote conversation.

At lunchtime we put out drawing paper, musical instruments, printed slogans for the students to decorate and had a giant banner for students to decorate before it was hung up.



We created a positive jar where students wrote down a positive message or thought and put it in the jar. If someone was having a down day they could pull out a sweet thought and hopefully it may just brighten their day!








As if HP was ever NOT going to make an appearance haha


We also had some fun themed days!

On the Wednesday, everyone was invited to dress up in colours or clothes that made them happy!

The teachers had ordered wigs and all came dressed up as characters from Inside Out. I chose Sadness because I knew it was going to be SO MUCH fun pretending to be Sad my students thought it was HILARIOUS!!


One day we had the school band rock out and some fellow teachers jam on the guitar leaving the rest of us to show off our awesome dance moves!
But let’s be honest you really don’t have to ask me to dance twice! ;) or really even ask I’ll just be doing it already!

Finally on the Friday we partnered up with our buddy class and watched the Inside Out movie with popcorn on beanbags! So nice for the students to just stop and enjoy each other’s company!

You can see a brief outline below:



If you are able to hold a Mental Health Week at your own school I highly recommend it!


If you do I would love to hear what you do!

13 October 2016

Eric Carle Inspired Art

I tell you I have been struggling lately because I have had such dodgy internet connection. I have tried to blog SO many times for it to not publish or crash half way through!!  ðŸ˜¡

It was literally one of those I can't even moments!!  ðŸ˜“
Hopefully this will be the last of it!!! 😅 Positive Polly reporting here 😉

Reading and Art. Two of my favourite things in the world. Together they make my heart soar!! ❤️
So whenever the chance comes to intertwine the both - I'm all on that!!! 

There is not better time to do this (although side note there is ALWAYS time to do it 😉haha) than during book week where we can celebrate reading and books through artistic creations
- what could be better!?!? 

We read SO many books during book week but when it comes to artistic illustrations I really love to look at Eric Carle's creative creations!!! 

We decided to put an emphasis on his style and create out own Eric Carle inspired creations!! 

To begin we painted patterns onto coloured paper. I made sure to emphasise that we would share the paper and students were not just painting patterns for themselves as we wanted a variety of colours and patterns to choose from!! 

After painting a range of patterns we discussed how to cut shapes out to create body parts of their animal creations! We discussed how to start at the edge so we don't wast paper etc! 



We mixed shapes and prints, exploring what worked and didn't. 


Finally we placed our shapes together to create our work! 




Some of my students went on to paint he background - I recommend staying with a plain white background as it makes the pictures prominent but hey kids are kids and do what they like when it comes to art 🙊


I am loving our Eric Carle wall! ❤️❤️

Hope you have had a great start to this final term WA teachers!!!

Only 41 days left of school with the little ones so make the most of it!!! 

16 September 2016

Art Ideas 101

I am saddened it has been so long between posts ...this term has been really full on and I made the decision that I needed to put my focus on my class and my students for this term. Now we are towards the end and I can tell you I can most certainly see the light at the end of the table tunnel!! (see what I mean haha)

The one bright side is I have loads to share and report!!  

This semester junior primary teachers took over teaching art (and gave up science) and well I feel like someone just told me it's Christmas!!! 

I LOVE art! Like LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! 

So I have been super excited to be teaching it this term!! We began exploring art using different mediums.

One of my favourites has been straw painting. We used watercolours and straws to create two pieces of art. 

Our first piece was an experimentation piece! 
Students blew, splatter and dripped paint onto their designs. They then stuck a silhouette on top! 




They turned out pretty amazing in the end! 


Our second piece gave students a chance to further explorer and in some ways learn from our first piece. Some people learnt not to mix to heavily or add to many colours!! Our focus for this artwork was 'crazy hair day' where we found something crazy in our hair! 




Students used the straws to create some spectacular crazy hair and then used paper drawings to create something in their hair!! I think the kids did a WONDERFUL job!! 





Well that is it for now! Looking for award to bringing you more news and posts next week! :) 

10 August 2016

Numeracy Warm Up

Do you ever get that AMAZING feeling when your students are understanding EXACTLY what you are trying to teach them??!?!? 

It leaves you on cloud nine and fist pumping the air!!! 

It is magical...UNBEATABLE!!! 

...
and then the next day comes and it as if that lesson never took place. You feel as if you obviously taught a different class because you KNOW they had it yesterday/two days ago!

I mean its only been a day or two!!!

Well that's memory for you! It is a fickle thing!

Moving learning from short term to long term memory may seem hard but through the use of warm ups it can become a lot easier!!!



Warm ups are basically a review of both past lessons and content you have covered or was taught in previous years! 

As its name implies it 'warms' your little learners' minds up ready to learn something new by reminding them about their prior knowledge!!!

Now it is NOT about reciting and drilling sums!

And if you know anything about me you know I AM NOT ABOUT THAT DULL BORING DRILLS!

So add some fun!!! Don't sit down and count find some videos, do some jumping jacks!!!

Here is a glimpse of  some of my Maths Warm UP!! :)


Counting To 100
I love dancing and music! It is just incredible what you can teach through music!!
I think it is important to not get bored with the song so we have a selection and the students choose the one they want to do for the day!!!

                                                               What Comes Next?
We pretend we are trains chugging along and then toot our horn as we call out the number that comes next!


                                                             Count on From
We pick different starting numbers to begin counting from and jump around the classroom from these starting points!


                                                       Double Jumping Jacks
Yes that is right we do jumping jacks! 
We call our double fact answer out to one jumping jack!



                                                               Expanded Notation 
We pretend we have a balloon that is getting bigger (moving our hands further apart for each number) and then POP the balloon by clapping and saying the number this equals!

                                                                      Rainbow Facts
This is just an easy stretch from the bottom of the floor, creating an arch as we come up and return to the floor on the other side - creating a RAINBOW!!! 
All while calling out our rainbow fact! 


                                                              Skip Counting
These videos are amazing! Sometimes we groove to a couple or sometimes we make a circle and clap our 3's or 4's together!


                                      Skip Counting by 10's from any starting point
We LOVE stomping around like a dinosaur all while counting by 10's from different starting points like 90,140, 55 or 16!


Well that was just a small GLIMPSE of some of the things we do in our Year 2 class Maths Warm Up! 

Hopefully you got some new ideas!!!

What do you do to help your kids transfer their learning to long term memory?