Wednesday, 24 October 2012

More Spiders, A Freebie and a Giveaway

I made this simple spider drawing activity for my daughter today.
You can get it HERE at google docs
Simply print it...
And trace 4 fingers on each side:
Then colour!
It got me thinking about my journey of using spiders as a theme...
One of my maternity leave projects has been to sort through and re-organise all my learning resources.
Here is one that I must have kept purely for sentimental reasons... I made it when I was 15! I won't tell you what year that was! I was a Junior Leader for the Gumnut Guides (5 year old Girl Guides/Girl Scouts). Each week I would write a program for the hour long meeting, that included a story, activity, game and sharing time. I also found my little program book, it is amazing to look back and see how many of the skills I learnt through my years as a Girl Guide have actually helped me in teaching.
I had made this one, by hand drawing spider webs on round pieces of paper, and then pasting hand draw spiders onto the back. It was a colour matching/memory game.
I did not have cardboard available at the time, so the double layer of paper made it harder for the girls to cheat by seeing the colour through the paper.
And another blast from the past, one of our first From the Pond games. I had hand drawn the spider, scanned and used MS PAINT to add a little colour circle to each spider. I made the spider as basic as possible, as once I had scanned the drawing, there was no way I could edit or clean up the lines, I just didn't have the skills.
Then we paid a graphic designer, Luke Flannagan, to design for us, some cool looking spider clipart. At this time, there were no websites where you could purchase clipart to use commercially for digital downloads. I took out an ad on to ask if there was a designer that could draw some child-friendly art for me. It took months to find someone! And then trying to explain what I wanted and what I was going to do with them! I paid Luke about $50 for 5 or 6 images. I thought this was outstanding value and had no hesitation paying him for his hard work, after all, I had exclusive use of the graphics. But it does help me to remember how far the world of digital teaching resource design has come, when you can now purchase whole sets for as little as $1 and download so many wonderful free images to make your own resources. We are still using some of Luke's wonderful designs and our standard cover page layout was designed by him also.
A very sweet Australian blogger, Tania Poultney, is having a giveaway to celebrate 100 followers on her blog! Please head over and show her some love! I must have missed the opportunity to donate something to her giveaway, with a house of sick children the last few weeks. I am sure she will be having another one soon to celebrate 500 followers, so I will join that giveaway!

Free Font Friday.... A Few Days Late

Over at our graphics blog, we have a free font giveaway every Friday. We list the fonts on our sidebar and you can click on the links and download them anytime.
I've had a busy couple of weeks and didn't get to post one last Friday, so here it is. Aptly called 'Fat Friday'.
Fat Friday is a tradition my husband an I started shortly after we met. Fat Friday is termed to reflect the very casual attitude we have toward our food choices on a Friday.. well it started with food, and it has slowly moved across to most other aspects of our lives. We are quite laid back here in Australia, but on Fridays, my husband and I are even more so - and just about anything goes - cause its FAT FRIDAY!
You can grab Fat Friday HERE and find more free fonts and our terms of use HERE

Lesson Ignition - Let's Light Up Their Minds!

How do you ignite the learning in your classroom? Lesson igniters are short and snappy ways to begin your lesson or session. Igniters snap your students to attention! Igniters are simple, focus on an explicit, or narrowly defined learning area.
We have created a set of igniters for the interactive whiteboard! These are short one screen games that will help you revise (or introduce) basic kindy content. There are no fancy animations or voices in the games, which although I admit, can be fun, will let you control the ignition and allow you to guide your students the way that suits your own learners.
We made them in PowerPoint so that they will open on most whiteboards.
These ignition mini-lessons are simple and short - as if you are anything like me, you want to control the amount of unnecessary screen time your students are getting. I like to incorporate some Smartboard into most of my lessons, but just for part of the lesson - like the 'ignition' or at the end to conclude the lesson.
This packet includes 5 games and can be used when you are teaching the same content areas, or use them just for review or to fill in those little five minute empty spots in your day!
I did all the graphics for this file and kept that as simple and clean as possible. Here is one, where the students practise their 'counting on' strategy and then drag the little bees to the correct beehive.
There are games for adding, number counting order, cvc words and matching upper and lower case letters. You could do these activities with a small group, or the whole class.
Head over to TpT to see the listing