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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Win a WHOLE store!

 
If you have not seen this giveaway, you might want to hop on over to another froggy-licious blog '2nd Grade Pad' to read all about it!
You can win Cynthia's ENTIRE store, worth over $350!


Saturday, 29 December 2012

Five Fab Graphics Freebies!

Frog Spot Five Freebies

OK, I know this post says Saturday, and it is supposed to be 'Friday' Freebies... but seriously, I thought it was Friday all day until my husband politely told me I was a day out. Does that happen to you over the holidays? Really, I don't think I had a clear idea of what day it was at all, it just kinda felt a little like Friday.

Anyways... here are 5
fabulous 
AND
free
 sets of clipart/graphics from very talented artists over at TeacherspayTeachers!

1.
Krista Wallden has a very cute set of Color Pencils Clipart
I love all the colours she has included!
 
2.
Miss N has a very cool set of ThinChevron Digital Papers
I was so excited to find these at my friend Shanyn's store. You will love them!
 
3.
Blair Turner and made a set of Stripes and Chevron Digital Background Paper
These will look wonderful on your next teaching resource, thank you for sharing Blair!
(I have a not-so-secret-anymore-that-I-just blogged-about it name-crush on Blair. Seriously, if I wanted to be a movie star, I think Blair Turner would be perfect!)
 
4.
Sarah Cooley has made an adorable set of Snowdudes.
I am sure you have probably seen these already, as they are the cutest and hard to miss - but if you haven't, you must check them out! Be sure to follow Sarah's store, as I am sure she will have other A-MAZING clipart coming in the future!
 
5.
Randi  has made a delightful Freebie Clip Art Set for Commercial Use
So cute and perfect for your next fairytale resource!
 
Thank you to all these wonderful artists for sharing your work freely. I understand how hard it can be to part with precious work sometimes.
Happy Friday Saturday everyone!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

12 Things I Loved About Christmas Linky!

 
Christmas is my favourite time of year. We do not celebrate too many 'holidays' here in Australia, so Christmas is the BIG one! It coincides with the end of the school year, the summer break from school, and many families have time off work to relax and unwind for the year.
 
Here are 12 things I loved about Christmas 2012. Please copy my button and link up and share what you loved!
 
1. Him
Need I say any more? He is the reason for the season, and really I should not go beyond this one, but I just have to have 12, so I will try!
 
2. Chocolate
This big girl shaved a cool 5kg off on the lead up to Christmas, to have some room to indulge, and I think I many have popped them all back on over the last 3 days. I just inhale chocolate and go up a dress size, but it is too good to resist!
 
3. The smiles and excitement on my children's faces!
All parents will understand..... There is nothing like it, next to memories of your own childhood Christmas days!
 
4. Christmas papers and cards.
Me, paper and ink. Need I say anymore!?
 
5. Little Dutch Girl Teapot Cutie
My hubby knows that next to chocolate, TEA is what warms my heart, and this little beauty will look wonderful in my collection!
 
6. Shortbread
Me. Sugar. Butter. You get the picture.
 
7. Husbands that FIX things.... eventually
I am blessed to have a Dad that can fix just about anything.... but I married a man that knows how to shop!
Christmas 2011, hubby followed my directions found this little tea infuser/cup and I was IN LOVE! Two days later he broke it. I'm not saying he is clumsy, just that A LOT of things in my house get broken... hmmmm. However, he finally redeemed himself with this addition to my Christmas stocking this year! SO. EXCITED.
 
8. Great big 'its been TOOOOOOO long' hugs,
from people that you saw last Christmas and promised you would see sooner.
 
9. The anticipation of starting a fresh new diary
and a fresh new calendar! Did someone say kikki k and boxing day sales??
 
10. Christmas Tea
This was my FAVE present - honestly, its like drinking Christmas. I have had 6 already, and am dreading seeing the bottom of the tin.
 
 11. Heartfelt thanks!
Love getting and giving heartfelt thanks for gifts and the end of a great year!
 
12. Santa
Love the big fat red man!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Exciting Giveaway

Shhhhh... this is a little bit of a secret, so don't tell anyone!
I am joining with some friends tomorrow (Wednesday for US folk, Thursday for Aussies) to have some blogging fun.
I am giving away a 6 month membership to my
as part of a giveaway for one lucky winner!
Stay tuned to find out how you can enter!


Monday, 17 December 2012

Learning About Life in Kindergarten


One of my favourite books is All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. In Kindergarten you should learn such things as:


 

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them….

 

And of course, taking these basic lessons and applying them to your adult life.

 

They are such simple ideas, but so true. Ask any teacher that has had Kindergarten for a few years, and they will tell you what an insight it gives you into human behavior…..the beauty of it, and the simultaneous simplicity and complication of it. Kindergarten is often a fascinating microcosm of society and a place where brilliant, exceptional things take place.  Most Kindergarten teachers would love to share a few of those stories with you, and they probably have a special little book at home where they keep a note of them. I have a plastic document folder filled with the special drawings that past Kindergarten students have given me – each a little reminder of the very special time we shared in that first year at big school. A recorded snapshot of a precious little soul before the trials of school life begin to take their toll.

 

The horrible news over the weekend, that Kindergarten children were victims in the most horrid of acts has left teachers the world over, numb. We simply don’t have many words. As a teacher and mother I am truly devastated. Flat. Dazed.

 

The juxtaposition of a safe, happy Kindergarten classroom with the horror of what happened in Sandy Hook, is both baffling and heart wrenching.

 

It is unimaginable to consider what some of those children learned in Kindergarten that horrible day. It is simply not right. I will go to bed tonight and every night, praying with hope that every child in the future can learn that Kindergarten is to be full of joy, hope, wonder, excitement and learning – and never terror.

 
I will pray that teachers continue to be some of the true heroes in our world - that out of this misery we can help each other to cope and that we can together, see a way forward. As Robert says in his book And it is still true, no matter how old you are - when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

To my friends in the USA, I cannot pretend to know what you are going through. I can only try to understand. Please know that teachers all over the world are thinking about you and praying for you.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

12 12 12 in the Classroom!

What a special date! I like it most because no matter where you are in the world, you will know exactly the day and month when you see this written!
 
In Australia we write the short date DD/MM/YY and in the US I have learned, they write MM/DD/YY
 
The next time the short date will appear in this fashion will be in 89 years! On the 1st January 2101 - or 01/01/01. Not too sure I will be around for that one.
 
Celebrate the number 12 in your classroom to remind students how special it is (and just to have some fun!).
 
- Count to 12, forwards, backwards, by 2s, 3s and 4s. Count by 12s!
- Talk about things that come in 12s (dozen eggs, months, 2 sets of ladybugs legs!)
- Read books about number 12 (Mr Men 12 Days of Christmas)
- Sing 12 days of Christmas!
- Write a story about 12 elves (just because it sounds cute)
- Give each child a small box and see if they can find 12 things that fit inside
- Write as many problems as possible that make 12 (10+2, 6+6, 3x4)
- Make something with an egg carton!
-Play Buzz, but with multiples of 12 not 5
 
I put together a set of fun activities (mostly paper activities) that might help your Kinders mark this special day! Find it here at TpT
 
 
Head over to Carrberry Creations to join the 12-12-12 linky fun!


Sunday, 9 December 2012

FREE Green Paper Circle Christmas Tree Craft


Are you one of my Australian teacher followers, and just trying to hold it all together for the last 2 weeks of the school year? Packing up the room? Kids 'busy' with excitement for Santa, and end-of-year craziness! Presentation day looming? Party day?

I bet your classroom supplies have all but gone?

Do you have some green paper circles somewhere in the bottom of your tote trays? You need little else to create this little cutie with your kids!

My daughter and I stood in front of the craft cupboard today, and decided on something simple - sometimes there are just too many choices (in my defence, I have been a craft crazy since I was about 5, and this collection has grown since then!)


Start with a green paper circle...

A blue piece of paper for the background


And a scrap of brown paper...


Crayons, glue and scissors
(have I told you how much I LOVE MICADOR crayons - no they don't pay me to say that, I just seriously LOVE their stuff - these Beeswax Triangular Crayons are a crafty kid's heaven stick! They are neat and non-messy to use, but give the rich bright result of an oil pastel. Seriously, if you have these, your little ones will draw ALL day! It's heaven! Notice in my example above how the crayon goes nice and thick and bright over coloured paper!


Anyhow, back to the craft. Fold and cut circle in half.


Then a quarter...


And an eighth...


Stick them down, with a scrap brown bit for the trunk


White crayon some snow - as you know, its 35 degrees celsius here today, but its Christmas and even little Australians dream of a white Christmas!


Add some colour and a shiny star on top!
Voila! Pretty tree!


Make it interesting by using different papers and mediums - here is one we did with a paper doily and paint.


Craft foam and mini-ribbon decals.


If you don't have paper circles left, but you have a photocopier - then I have made a template for you! See, I know what it can be like this time of year in an Australian kindergarten! Nothing left!



Find it HERE at Tpt!

And its FREE!

If you like craft with paper circles, you can find this nifty file there too!

And, if you really have no resources left in your store room and need something exciting to help pass the last 2 weeks (with some number learning as the focus) - photocopy these 'Print and Play' games to keep your little kindies smiling all the way to Presentation Day! Paper, pencils and basic game equipment needed only!





Thursday, 6 December 2012

What to give Santa!?

I read an adorable Christmas story with my daughter last night, that featured a little boy Sam that wanted to give a present to Santa.
 
The book is called A Present for Father Christmas and it is written by Dana Kubick. We loved discussing all the lovely things that we could give Santa. And as told in the story, my daughter is now convinced that Santa gets very little on Christmas day for himself.
 
The story ends with Santa reassuring Sam, that it is quite OK that he did not actually get to buy Santa a gift, and that he was just so happy that he was in Sam's thoughts. There was quite a few great themes for discussion that would work very well in the classroom in this story - themes of giving, thoughtfulness, thinking of others, and the sorts of gifts that matter the most.
 
For fun, why not brainstorm with your class what they would like to give Santa, should they get the opportunity! Have them fill out this worksheet with drawings or writing!
 
Download it from google drive (docs) HERE
 


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Big Dots Revised

 
Around 12 months ago, I started a little TeacherspayTeachers store to house my growing collection of clipart and graphics. Those that have known me that long, can appreciate how far I have come.
 
I never had a clear picture of where I wanted to go with it, I only knew one thing. I loved creating digital images, loved learning how to get better every day, and LOVED sharing with other teachers. I have quite a long and challenging little relationship with clipart for digital teaching resources, and every time I banged my head against a brick wall, or faced a big expense trying to find them for myself, little did I know I was one step closer to biting the bullet, and making them myself. For someone that was only used to drawing and painting with paper, canvas, pencils and pastels, it has been a HUGE and challenging journey. One that is quite emotional for me, and one that has been intensely personal for many reasons.
 
So here I am one year later, feeling like it has been ten years. A little tired, but reflecting on how much I have learnt and feeling quite proud (can I say that?!)
 
 I started out wanting nothing more than to ease the struggle (that I had faced) for other teachers and self-publishers. To give others some creative freedom to make resources and teaching aids to further share once more with even more teachers. There is no feeling like starting a project, inserting some images and knowing full well, that you wont be faced with a copyright and limited usage issues years down the track. I wanted to give other people the freedom that I had found myself.
 
Thank you to all the wonderful people that have supported Graphics From the Pond this past year. You and your wonderful comments and emails of support have kept me going.
 
I received a very important email last week, with a show of support that I never saw coming, and it reaffirmed that I have been on the right track. It can be a lonely and confusing existence at times, I am sure others in this arena will know what I mean. I am grateful for this recent support, as it has spurred me to give even more for our second year of graphics!
And my special people - you know who you are - I won't forget your kindness, respect and support. And you will be repaid one day, cause that is how the world works you know!
 
Those of you in this arena, will understand how brave you have to be, to 'put your stuff out there', amongst some of the most talented and respected teachers around the world. I love you even more that you sent me messages telling me my first attempts were grand, even though some of them were far from. Thank you. I mean it! I was shocked at the time, and continue to be. Teachers rock!
 
To celebrate, I have revised a FREE set that is long overdue! Our 'Big Dots' have been given a freshen up.
 
This was the first set of borders I ever created. I know each of those dots like the back of my hand, because, not knowing any better, I drew each individual one to make the pattern. My word! See how the dots are not even and perfect circles - that's cause I didn't know how to do it! How things have changed.... he he! I really am self taught you see! The first collection took me a few days to get finished, now I am far better skilled, I was able to revise them in far less time - and add MORE!
 
The set now included digital papers, unfilled borders and filled borders.
And the whole spanking lot is now also included in A4 size for my growing troop of fellow Aussie resource-makers!
 
So if you love the Big Dots as much as I do, you may want to head over to TpT and get yourself a brand new set!
 
Every time I see them, I get a bit choked up, thinking about my journey,  and the days I sat down (a little scared but excited) to attempt a pattern with those dots
and for you ....
I hope you see bright fun and happiness.
 
 


Monday, 26 November 2012

SALE

Our TeacherspayTeachers stores are on sale for
 
Monday 26th - Tuesday 27th November
(USA time)
Aussies - because of our time differences, you have until Wednesday to grab some bargains!
 
EVERYTHING in our stores is on sale + if you enter the code CMT12 at checkout, TpT will give you a  bonus 10% discount!
 
Head over to our Teaching Resource and Graphics stores now!
 


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Santa Puppet and 'How to' Writing

 
We made this simple and very cute Santa puppet yesterday. We used a brown paper bag, our favourite new Micador Mega Markers (they are HUGE and cover a large space in a teeny tiny time frame), cotton wool balls and glue.
 
We folded the two top corners around to the back and secured them with tape
 
 
We drew all of the features, then stuck some cotton wool on to make the beard and moustache.
 
This photo shows the back. Too easy, and too cute!
 
 
I would do this simple activity, and other like it in the classroom, as I love craft activities that children can complete entirely on their own. I also love simple fast ones that look effective on display and also leave enough time to complete a little writing activity with them.
 
We teach 'Procedures' in my state of Australia, as part of our work on 'Text Types'. Our English curriculum is structured around various text types and the students learn to read, write and talk/listen in the various text types. We do a lot of learning on the organisational features and grammatical structures within the various texts. And, we start in Kinder! Many of our kindergarten activities utilise 'proformas' - or worksheets that provide a structure for the students. Of course, we work up towards independent writing, but a proforma is usually how we begin.
 
Shown below,  is the 'procedure' that my daughter and I collaboratively wrote after our craft activity. As I would do within a classroom setting, I preceded this writing activity with a LOT of talk! By talking students through a text type, you are able to explore the features with a speed and ease that would be impossible in the written form. It really is like a first draft. Lots of ideas, hesitations, queries and random offerings! We organise and consolidate our thinking, reflect on our understanding and make new connections.
 
I asked my daughter lots of questions, and framed the discussion to get her to express precisely the steps and logical sequence of the activity.
 
We organise our 'procedures' to include a
Goal (usually the heading How to.....)
Materials (usually a list of equipment in the order of use)
Method (ordered steps taken to achieve the task)
 
In kindergarten, when forst learning procedures, sometimes we leave out the materials, and just structure the text with a goal and method. we also start out by just drawing pictures for each step.
 
 
 
 
This 'proforma' can be found in my Basic Kindergarten Writing Worksheets resources, along with many others. I am also currently preparing more worksheets to update this useful resource and make it even better value. Many of the proformas are very generic so they can be utilised in a range of learning experiences! Click on the image below if you would like to take a look at TpT.
 
 


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

FREE Christmas Card Template

One of my favourite activities for the last few weeks of school for the year, here in Australia, is helping the students to make a Christmas card for their family.

I have made a nice simple template for one that will be easy for little hands to make. There is not too much colouring, and plenty of space for students to write.

Print and copy the template onto card.


Have your students colour the tree halves, and the 'Merry Christmas' message.


Cut out around the edge.


Fold the trees back.


Using the line markers, fold the side panels into the front centre.


Open, and write a message inside!


Click on the image below to download the template from google docs.


Friday, 16 November 2012

Froggy Brings You 5 Fab Freebies!

 
Another Friday is upon us! Don't you just love Fridays! Its Friday for only 45 more minutes here in Australia, so I had better jump right to it!
 
I found
five
FABulous
frog themed
FUN
&
FREE
resources from 5 insanely awesome TeacherspayTeachers teacher-authors for you today!
 
#1
Tracy Tegelar has a  very cute frog themed craft activity that will go perfectly with any frog themed book you have!
As my sister is saying at the moment - too tute! Yes, I said my sister, not me!
 
 
#2
Megan Mitchell has a free Frogand Toad Craft Project
Could there be two sweeter friends in the world? Love it!
 
 
#3
Robin Sellers has a LeapFrog Origami Pattern
I know what my daughter will be making this weekend - we are right into origami right now!
 
 
#4
Lil Country Kindergarten has made a
A frog AND a hundreds chart - what is not to love in that combination!
 
 
#5
forkin4th has made some very sweet FrogStationery - I love that frog!
 
Thanks for hopping in to check them out, please remember to give these wonderful teachers some lovely feedback when you download! It will make their day - trust me!
Have a great Friday!