Sunday, 30 March 2014

Swap, Share, Give: A blog linky from Down Under!

When Lauren from Love Laughter and Learning in Prep asked me to join with her and some other wonderful Aussie teacher-bloggers in a 'Swap, Share and Give' blog linky, I HAD to say yes! So much fun! Giving and sharing are two of my most favourite things to do.


Lauren and I swapped a resource from our teaching collections. 

Lauren sent me her new Caterpillar Sight Word Game that reviews 220 Dolch words. Perfect timing as we are working hard at the moment on Sight Words in my First Grade class! 

Lauren has colour coded the different sets of words, which makes game set-up a breeze! I like that she has put the word on the left of the card and the picture on the right. We teach children left-to-right progression in reading, and this card design will assist in reinforcing that concept!

The game includes fun 'caterpillar' and 'butterfly' cards which adds an element of fun to the activity! Your students will LOVE them! They read sight words and try not to have their cards gobble dup by that hungry caterpillar as they go!

You can find this fabulous resource by clicking on any of the images above!

Visit Lauren's TpT Store HERE

And her adorable blog by clicking on the button below:


I want to share an idea and printable with you today. 

As I have just printed Lauren's card game, I will be adding it to my resource boxes. Over the years,  I have tried many many different 'organisational systems' for my classroom resources. I settled on this one a few years back. I have a 'file box' for basic areas of the curriculum (mainly the ones I cover in small-groups). I also have a box for some themed areas of learning. 

I once had all these resources in a traditional 4 drawer filing cabinet, but when I made the shift to part time teaching, I found these boxes perfect for my travels to and from school. I also like that I can grab a box that will be used for the week, and have it out ready, while the rest are packed away out of sight. 

Here are some of my mathematics boxes.

In them, I place each different activity (game, center, word cards etc), in its own plastic document wallet. I do not worry about files, as these just add weight and bulk to the box.

These are the wallets I use. They are 'compact' and do not have a button or zip. They sit flat and you can get lots of them in the box!

In each pouch/wallet, I try to put a cover that, in a glance, tells me a bit about the activity. After a decade or so, of gathering resources, I do forget what-is-what sometimes. 

I also put an 'instruction' sheet in the pouch. It is helpful for when you have parent helpers in the classroom,, working with groups. I have also found, when I am brain-fried, I just need to read out what students have to do. You know how it gets by 1pm on Friday, when it's time for groups.... I cannot string three words of thoughts together, let alone explain the rules to a game!

Today, I want to share with you a pro-forma that I just prettied up for you. I have in the past, just scrawled notes on a scrap of paper or on post-its. This page can be added to the pouch/wallet of each activity you have. It helps you remember quickly, how to differentiate your activities. 

This makes your planning easier, saves you in prep time, and helps you suck every last inch of educational benefit out of a resource. Why make 5 resources when you can just use 1!?

When I plan for 'small groups' (maths groups, reading groups, guided reading, play groups etc), I usually have 5 or 6 groups of children, and they are grouped according to their ability or achievement on our continuum of learning. In the past, I planned 5 different activities, depending on what level of learning they were up to. And sometimes, that is still appropriate. BUT.... if you have one of these pages in your activity wallets, you can quickly differentiate one set of resources for ALL of your groups!

As you see in the example below, a basic sight word game "Carrot Crunch" can be played in 5 different ways, by changing or adding to the original instructions/outline. 

I am planning to add this sheet to all of my pouches, and the next time I get them out to use, I will just jot some ideas down. It is not meant to be a planner or program, just a way to record ideas. I put the heading at the top and the teaching area. Then I listed 5 activity variations ranging from basic at #1 to more advanced at #5. 

You can download this differentiation planning sheet from google drive, by clicking on the image below!


We are giving you the chance to win a copy of ALL of the resource featured on ALL of the blogs in this linky! Just follow each of the TpT stores, and add your details to the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And I am giving you the opportunity to win a $10 TpT gift Voucher to spend in my store, Lauren's store or ANY where on TpT. Just leave a comment here and enter the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Head over to Lauren's Blog to find more links to Swap, Share Give posts! 


Stefanie Galvin said...

First up, how cute is Lauren's sight word pack? Oh, my word... *adds more items to TpT cart*

And secondly, I LOVE your idea for differentiating the same task. I do it all the time but your planning sheet makes it so much easier to plan it out and have it handy all the time. I know I'll be using this sheet very soon!

Miss Galvin Learns

Alison Hislop said...

Thank you for your maths resources organisation pictures - this is something I need to do badly!

I also love your differentiating sheet.

Thanks so much!


Karyn said...

The sight word pack is adorable! I love the "wallets" you use! I have t find some! Thanks so much for the differentiating sheet! Great idea! :o)

Marylin L'Hommedieu said...

Thank you for sharing your ideas and for the giveaway. It is so kind of all of you.

Marylin L'Hommedieu said...

Thank you for sharing your ideas and for the giveaway. It is so kind of all of you.

hsease said...

I love the "wallets" that you use! Thank you for the great ideas and the opportunity to win!! You guys are wonderful!!

Malinda Phillips said...

Oh my goodness! Those sight word cards are so cute, Lauren! And Mel,I absolutely adore all of your clipart! So fun. :-)

Andrea L. said...

There are so many good ideas/products in this swap! Just when I thought my wish list was getting smaller...I'm crossing my fingers and hoping to win! Thank you for the opportunity!

Christin W. said...

What a great way to share others products! Thanks!

Shifting Teacher K-2

Jamie - The Itty Bitty Teacher said...

Lauren's sight word game looks amazing. I love the wallets you use and your organization. Great idea!

Cindy L said...

I love your clip art. I was a club member and you made amazing things!

Julie Davis said...

Amazing giveaway!!!! And I love your organization idea! I need to get better organized!

Ellen said...

Your planning sheet will be very helpful, thanks!

Teacherandtripletmom said...

Awesome blog post! Collaborating with other teachers ROCKS. Thank you for the giveaway and freebie!

Teacher Mommy said...

Thank you for sharing your ideas, cute and colorful artwork and giveaways.


Rainbow Lily said...

I love everything about this blog post! It is so good to see teachers sharing ideas like this.

I am definitely going to clean out my resource boxes and organise them with your freebie. Such a good idea and so handy to have for parent helpers!
Thanks so much!

Rainbow Lily
Rainbow Lily Designs

Jem said...

I love the organisation idea! I was planning to do some rearranging of my resources over the term holidays (only 5 days away!) but I hadn't figured out how I wanted to do it - now I've found inspiration!!

Andrea said...

This is a great idea. Thank you. I absolutely hate my file cabinet. This type of organization would probably help me use the resources I have.

Cherie said...

What a wonderful planning idea! Thank you for sharing!

lianna6 said...

Thank you for being part of this fantastic blog linky. It has been so great to find new Australian teaching blogs to follow and receive such great freebies!

Rachel Aulet-McGann said...

I <3 the wallet pouches. I am looking for new ways to organize my space. Thanks!

Amanda Applegate said...

Thanks for the organizing tips and the chance to win!
Happy Sunday!

Gaarmagost said...

I have fallen in love with your blog! Lots of great ideas and activities...I have seen lots that I would love to get!

Christy said...

This is such a cute idea! Thank you for sharing more of your great ideas and for introducing me to some new, great blogs!

Katherine Walker said...

I'm glad I found you! You have lovely ideas.

Emily Levine said...

Thanks for the great ideas! Also for having a giveaway!