Saturday, 31 August 2013

Spring Photo's


Well spring is now here and we've had some warm sunny days this weekend. Happy Father's Day, especially to those first time dads. The kids at school spent a lot of time on their hand crafted Father's Day gifts last week so I hope they were appreciated today. Yesterday I popped up early to school and spotted some kangaroos at the foot of the White Swan Reservoir ( about 500 m as the crow flys from our school) and just for a change I had my camera with me so I took one good photo and one of them bounding off when I moved a bit closer. It is great to have a school setting so close to Ballarat ( population 90 000+) yet surrounded by farm land and bush inhabited by our native animals.

Haunted House

On Friday I read a book called ' Hide and Ghost Seek' by Rupert Matthews to my prep and grade one student. The book was cheap so I bought them each a copy of it. In the book you have to look for ghosts hidden on each page. After we'd had a good look a the book we made our own Haunted House picture. ( The outline was inspired by the photo I took the other morning of Craig's Hotel on Lydiard St. In Ballarat) I've added photos to show you how it was made. The kids loved it but for a big class you'd need some parent helpers to lend a hand with cutting out or have it prepared before hand. In a few weeks I'll post a 'Classic Horror Craft' unit on TPT which will include the outline ( But it is not really hard to draw) The girls drew ghost, bat and spider images and also found some images on their iPads which they printed off and cut out and added. ( They also added photos of themselves) While they were doing it I found some Caspar the Friendly Ghost cartoons for them to watch on their iPads.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Fun on the oval

We had another 'springish' day today. The kids played football and one of my students made a kite with her mother last night. The warm windy weather was perfect for her to fly it.
The kids have been working on their Fathers Day presents today and they have also been finishing up their Reading and art responses to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.( Photo below of a student finishing her Jekyll and Hyde comic) One of my students also started work on our Human Body Learning Centre.Our student teacher Leah Woolfe has been working with us 2 days a week over the last few weeks and she has been a great asset.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Early Spring

We had a lovely sunny day today ( only 5 days until Spring) and the kids played basketball and relaxed on the oval and our vegetable garden is looking great. I was at work early this morning and took a few photos of historic Ballarat on the way through to school. The children finished their 'Mr Hyde's London Tenements' paper models today and we finished reading the book. They really enjoyed it. We have another couple of craft activities for Jekyll and Hyde and Dracula this week and start reading Frankenstein on Monday.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Z is for zebra

My prep student is studying the letter 'z' this week ( She was very excited about it!) and we made the zebra pictured below.It is just a cardboard tube (No not a toilet roll tube, they are unhygienic - we can only use paper towel tubes) some white paper, black paint and some drawings of a head, legs and a little tail.We laminated the legs and head to make them stiffer and then cut slits in the tube and slid them in. We'll check tomorrow to see if it is still standing.
Today we also drew pictures of Dracula's castle. I found an easy step by step guide to drawing a castle on Google but we concentrated more on getting perspective right in our illustrations. Some wanted the castle to be perched on a peak while others saw it more on a vacant plain surrounded by mountains. We watched a bit of the original 1931 movie which shows the rugged countryside (Probably the Universal backlot) and the spooky castle in all its gothic glory.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

TPT Update

Over the last few weeks I’ve placed a number of classic Literature unit plans on TPT. Most of them are free (Yes, I can’t believe it either!) so click onto my TPT site and download away. There works were all written and or published between 1949-59. Many of them are best sellers, award winners and many have been made into movies. All of them are in print and can be bought online or from good (not bad!) bookstores. I have ‘road tested’ all of these units either this year or recently with students from grade 4 to 6. All of the books have been enjoyed (I wouldn’t bother with them if they weren’t) by the children and me!

Books include; The Dolls House, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, (Links already posted for them) The Rescuers, Little Old Mrs. Pepperpot, 101 Dalmatians, Tom’s Midnight Garden, Marianne Dreams and Bedknob and Broomstick.
To go to my TPT shop, click HERE

New learning centre

I popped up to school today ( another grim, cold and misty winter morning) to organise a new science learning centre. This one is on the human body. I've organised floor puzzles of skeletons, models of the heart, human eye and brain, a DVD of the Magic School Bus in the human body, books, a stethoscope, working model of the human heart and an activity book that the children can complete at the centre or back at their desks. I have also loaded an excellent. Human body app for them to use to support their learning.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Book Week

We celebrated Book Week today by having a book character dress up day. Children came as The Cat in the Hat, Harry Potter, Nancy Drew, Robin Hood, Jane Blonde and others. We turned cardboard book boxes into their favourite books and also wrote our own books on our iPads. After a hot dog lunch we watched the DVD Inkspell.( We also finished off our Dracula's graveyards. The children created a picture of a spooky graveyard and wrote amusing names on the tombstones)
Photos below.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

A busy day building up to Book Week

Today we started reading Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde ( one of my favourites) and finishing off Tasks for Dracula. ( refer to the Dracula's in Coffins, coded letters from Jonathon to Mina and Funny Tombstones perspective pictures) My grade 6 boy is reading Edgar and Ellen and the grade 3 children are starting a non-fiction history unit on bushrangers as a prelude to a visit to the Old Melbourne Gaol.
My grade 1 student has identified some more fables she wants to read and I'll start my prep ( Foundation) girl on Story Box big book studies. We had a lovely rainbow today.(refer photo) I had my grade 1 girl also take a photo of it as she is always writing about rainbows. ( and volcanoes..... Hope we don't have one of those pop up!)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


The children finished their knights this morning ( refer photo) and the Picnic At Hanging Rock diorama was also finished and put on display with a label this morning. I was getting some posters for a display on bushrangers this morning from the store room and I forgot about the possum. He didn't jump out and run past me this time but he poked his head out and stared at me for a while before crawling up onto the roof and away. ( Another- what you see without your iPad moment) Next time I'll remember to take it with me. We had some sheep moved out the front of the school today as well. Photo below.

Hanging Rock

My grade 5 girl who has finished reading Picnic at Hanging Rock has been working on a diorama.She created the monolith using air dried modelling clay and I bought some model trees that they use making model railways. she did a great job. ( Refer to the photos)
We have also started making some cardboard knights (They feature in the Bedknob and Broomstick movie. Children used silver cardboard and other bits and pieces to enhance their models.)
We've started reading Dracula as a serial and the kids are really getting into it. It's an interesting book. Bram Stoker wrote it as a series of journal entries and letters written by the main characters and giving the reader their individual perspectives as the horror unfolds. I have a lot off interesting craft, research and creative writing activities to complete while we are reading our classic horror tales.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Icy pond reflection picture

The last of our winter art activities was finished today. It was an idea I saw on Pinterest. The idea is to show a mirror image reflection on a frozen pond ( similar to a scene in the animated 101 Dalmatians movie) of trees or a snow man or something wintry. I picked a good day to do this as it snowed this afternoon when I was off home. ( sleety snow) Sadly the kids missed it but we might still have another snow day they can enjoy at school. I started reading Dracula as a serial this morning and the kids are really getting into it. I wonder what they'll think of the old Bela Lugosi movie. I'm sure it will look very tame next to the vampire movies they've probably seen on TV. Over 6000 views notched up this week. Thanks to all of you who have checked out the blog. Feel free to leave comments.