10 Great Things in 2014 Free Printable

Here are a couple of printables to use with your students as they welcome in 2015. Ask them to reflect on 2014 and think of 10 great 'things' about the year! 

Grab them from Google Drive HERE

Have a great day, friends! 

Snowmen Addition Fun

My 'Make 20 and 10 Snowmen' printable packet will make 'missing addends' snow much more fun in your classroom.

These are 'easy cut' games, as all the cards have straight lines and will make your prep very efficient. 

Students will find the snowmen 'middles' that combine with the bottom number to total the number on  each hat!

You can find it in my TpT store HERE 

If your little ones need some more 'hands-on' addition - try this "Snowman Makes Ten" game that is FREE in my TpT store!

Thank you so much for stopping by today - make sure you sign up for my newsletter (in the blog sidebar) so you don't miss out on exclusive secret freebies delivered right to your inbox. 

- Mel x

New Year Freebie, a New Packet and a Gift!


I hope you have had a wonderful week so far, full of happy times with family and perhaps indulging in a few special things!

I have had another beautiful Christmas with my family. We do not do anything too spectacular, but just being with family and having time to relax is so special to me. 

I have crammed a few things into this post, that I have been trying to blog about all week. So here goes! 

New Year will be here before we know it. You can download a revised copy of the FREEBIE that Deanna and I offered last year. You can make some fun photo booth props with these printables. Perfect for school or home!

Head over to Mrs Jump's Class to find them. 

I got time to list a new resource yesterday. It was finished last week, but with all the pre-Christmas craziness, I just didn't get time  to list it. It includes 5 'print and play' games that are SUPER easy to prepare. And when I say 'super easy' I mean you will have 5 number games/centers ready to go in a matter of minutes. There is no cutting or assembly required. I have also allowed for differentiation with most games having 2 versions of game boards - numbers to 10 and numbers to 20. 

There is a 'mitten bump' game that will have your students adding 2 or 3 dice. A 'snowball fall' game - students have to order the falling snowballs by spinning numbers in backward counting sequence. 


A 'play on the page' worksheet game will have your students identifying and counting up to 120 on a chart, and 'marshmallow match' will encourage your students to find the answer to simple addition problems. 


The 'penguin wall' game is similar, but will focus on subtraction. 

And speaking of penguins.. I have a gift for you! Your students will 'clip' the addition and subtraction problems that match each penguin. 

You can find it in my TpT store for FREE all this week - thank you so much for your support and kindness through 2014 - I appreciate all of you so much! 

If you need more resources for New Year, please head over to Blog Hoppin. Rachel has prepared a post full of links to useful resources and ideas!

Have a great day friends!

My Favourite Things

I am linking up with Erica today to share a few of my favourite (favorite in the USA) things! 

1. It is time to break open the Christmas tea and I could not be happier. I am a huge fan of tea ordinarily, but I love that at this time of year, I have a delicious special alternative to my regular cup. Some very beautiful friends spoilt me this year - I have Twinings Christmas tea and some loose leaf 'friendship' tea to try. After all the shopping and wrapping I have just completed, I think I might just have a cup of each. 

2. Gift Giving. I adore giving gifts and this time of year gives me so many opportunities to do so. I love that you can find some gorgeous little boxes to store gift cards and certificates now. I have to say, I am rather partial to a gift card, as I like shopping in the post Christmas sales. 

Did you know, that you can hop around some blogs at the moment for your chance to share in up to hundreds of dollars worth of TpT gift vouchers?! Check out my post  HERE. I think my rafflecopter may have just finished (time differences always get me) - but there is a big list of links to other blogs that are participating and you may have a few hours left to enter! 

3. Spending time with family. I love this time of year, because not only do I get my hubby home for three weeks, but I get to spend extra time with my children. We keep busy with projects around the house, enjoying our local beaches and parks and doing creative stuff! My daughter and I did some Christmas craft through the week, and we both enjoy the opportunity to relax. 

4. Blog Hopping. This time of year is the perfect time to blog hop. I make myself a cup of tea, sit in a quiet corner of the house and visit and read teacher blogs. I love to find new ones and visit favourites that I have neglected over the last busy month of school. A great place to start is Blog Hoppin'. It has links to lots of other blogs and a huge variety of high quality and interesting content. 


I am crazy about fonts! 

I made this one today and I would love to share it with you!

You can find it HERE to use in your classroom and commercial teaching products!

You can find more free font links on my sidebar over to the right of this post. 

Blog Hoppin

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! I wish you luck in the gift card giveaways! Head over to the beautiful Erica's blog to find more 'Favorites' posts! 

Erica's Ed-Ventures

Fold and Create Snowman

We love doing some super cute snowman paper craft at this time of the year!

Free Snowman Paper Craft

This is a really simple one, and it uses some key paper craft skills - cutting and folding. 

You can use all sorts of paper for the center. Concertina fold a piece of paper, use a paper plate or even a pretty white paper doily! 

Free Snowman paper Craft

Ask your students to colour all the features of the snowman. They can then glue the pieces together. The head is slightly smaller than the body, so they may need to trim their middle section off at one end.

Click on the image below to find the template. 

Thanks so much for stopping by my friends!

You can find more 'Fold and Create' crafts in my store!

I would love you have you as a newsletter subscriber so you can enjoy fun secret freebies as well as those here on my blog - find the sign up form in the sidebar of my blog!

Have a wonderful day friends, I hope you love this craft.

- Mel x

Creative Decisions

Recently, I was a guest of Teacher's Mutual Bank at the Schools Spectacular in Sydney. Witnessing the creativity and enthusiasm on display, got me thinking about the classroom. 

I blogged in November about how teachers can help students to adopt a creative attitude at school. Today, I would love to extend that discussion with some thoughts and ideas on how we can provide for creative decisions. 

As teachers, one of our end goals is to have students who are creative. That magical moment when they stop being directed on how to 'create' something, and start making their own choices and decisions. Based on my experience in the classroom, I don't think it has to be as decisive as that. I see students performing at various levels, and accessing both their own 'creativity' and 'teacher direction' simultaneously. 

Providing opportunities for students to make decisions with their own work, and with things they 'make' will support their creative development and help them grow in confidence to eventually rely on their own abilities and ideas. 

The key is the word 'opportunities'. It does not mean that your students get to choose the direction of every single experience in the classroom. It is not possible, nor practical. I would suggest glancing over your weekly plans and doing a quick stock take of how many opportunities are provided for your students to make a decision. In visual arts lessons for example, how many times are you doing a 'directed lesson' and how many times are there opportunities for your students to make some creative choices. 

There is room, and need for both. 

It can be scary, I know. Especially in the early years, when it is difficult enough to manage 20-30 'little people', let alone all their varying choices. Here are some tips that might help

1. Small is good! A decision like 'choosing a colour' may not seem like it is all that important to you, but allowing students to select their own colour to use in an artwork, for example, is a great place to start. It is a decision, regardless of how impactful you as an adult thinks it is. Your students will experience a decision and see what result it has. Perhaps when you next do a directed activity, give directions for everything except one factor, like colour. Your students will begin to consider the impact of creative decisions when one is highlighted for them so prominently.

2. Discuss decisions. Take a deep breath and allow your students to talk about their choices. It can get noisy, but the more you encourage and accept discussion in the classroom, the easier it is to handle. Tell your students that there are times when they need to complete work, as the teacher has directed, and that at other times, they need to show how they can complete something on their own. Talk to them about the difficulties and obstacles of both. Tell them that you are going to support them as they learn to make decisions for themselves. 

Talk to your students at the end of the activity about the choices they made, and the impact this had. Would they make a different decision next time?

3. Be organized. You might think that the most creative teachers have a big old messy classroom filled with paper, paint and feathers. From what I have experienced and witnessed - organisation is the key. Having an organized classroom, cupboards and system for sorting your resources and supplies will often result in more creativity. Both from students and the teacher. I think this is largely because it frees up time. I've always said that 'time' is a key commodity for teachers and if you have 'time' you can achieve anything. With organisation comes time, and with time, you can carefully plan exciting and motivating classroom lessons. Having your resources and materials organized allows you to easily cater for choices and differentiation in your lessons. It could be as simple as offering oil pastels or water colors. Allowing your students the option to choose, can have a profound effect. If they are easy (ie. organized) for you to access, it doesn't become an obstacle in your preparations. 

4. Be clear. Offer to your students, very clear goals in simple language. When they hear the word 'choose' or 'choice' your art lesson on 'Gingerbread Men' can quickly become a display of blood dripping vampires. How do I know this? Well.... let's just say that I speak from experience. 
Help your students to be aware of the task and what you want them to achieve by the end of the lesson. 

Our goal should be to have students that are confident to make decisions and choices in their own work when it is appropriate. They need assistance and practise in learning to do this. 

By making decisions, students are actually 'being creative' and also developing a creative mind. 

One downside to student choices, is that we will find some students who find it difficult to cope with "mistakes" - especially in practical activities. It take time for them to understand and deal with what they may see as a 'mistake'. Click on the image below to find a printable poster - display it in your classroom as a springboard for discussion!

Christmas Gift Tags

We made these ones this morning, using twist up crayons. We glued them to bright thin card and punched a hole ready to tie on to our presents. 

I hope your Christmas preparations are in full swing - or perhaps you are just thinking about them, like me!

You can make some of these tags too - just click on the image below to download from Google Drive.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.   

- Mel x

Some Snowman Fun

We had some fun with snowmen today. Here is a paper craft we made. 

Your students can simply colour and cut the pieces. 

You can add other crafty details if you choose - like this one with goggly eyes. 

The template pieces are from my 'Christmas Craftivities' packet on TpT.

We also did some Snowman writing on these special paper I made.

You can download the free template from Google Drive HERE

Before you leave today be sure to sign up for my newsletter - I would love to send you some exclusive free teaching resources through the year.

Thank you so much for stopping by today- have a great day!

- Mel x

Thoughts From the Pond

Hi friends!

It is ALMOST Friday - can you feel it? Well done on getting through another week of wonderful days with your students. In case you have not been told yet - you are very much appreciated!

Teachers rock! 

I often make and post little 'thought' images on my blog post and Facebook page. I have had quite a few requests to put these images all on one page, so it can be easily accessed. Some teachers would like to share them as motivational messages to their students, others would like to share them on their own social media pages, with friends and colleagues. 

I have finally had time to put a page together, and have listed some of my favourites. There are still many more to be loaded, and I will keep adding to the page. 

Click on the image below to find the page and if you have any ideas you would like me to make, do not hesitate to contact me or leave a message.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope (in the past, or today) one of my random thoughts has brightened your day!

Santa Shapes Reader - Christmas and 2D Shapes

I just added a 'Santa Shapes' reader to my Print Cut Make Read Ultimate Pack 

Students colour, cut and paste the pictures to match the text. They love making their own books to read. 

When the pictures are all done, they can spend some time colouring the borders on each page also. 

This reader will help with reading skills and 2D shapes. 

If you already own this bundle, you can re-download from your "My Purchases" tab to grab the new title! 

Thanks so much for stopping by today.