This resource is designed for use with the whole class on the interactive whiteboard. Children use the letters of ‘birthday’ to see how many smaller words they can make. Each letter can be used only once in each word.
Children drag the letters to form new words, then type the words into the text box. The page of words can be printed if you wish to keep a record. Progress can also be saved for another lesson if you still have more words to find when the lesson is over. A printable PDF activity sheet for individuals or groups of children to use is also included.
As a birthday gift from readilearn to you, this resource is available free until 14 September.
It is just one of the birthday-themed resources in the collection. Others include:
Next Friday 15 September is International Dot Day, a day for celebrating and promoting creativity, courage and collaboration.
Celebration of the day was initiated in 2009 with teacher Terry Shay introducing his class to the picture book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.
The story is of Vashti and a teacher who encouraged her to make a mark and have a go. Lacking self-belief and courage, Vashti was reluctant to participate in art class. When the teacher framed and hung her signed painting of a tiny dot, Vashti was determined to do better. She painted all kinds of dots that wowed the people at the school art fair. What happened when one little boy admitted to Vashti that he wished he could draw will inspire children everywhere to be brave, have a go, and be creative.
For a wealth of celebratory suggestions, visit the International Dot Day Get Started page and sign up to download a free Educator’s Handbook, which includes a lovely certificate of participation which can be printed and personalised for each child.
I have included a link to the page in the new resource Getting creative with dots in which I suggest additional ideas to add to the celebration.
The suggestions, of which examples are shown below, can be used in conjunction with International Dot Day, or any day when you feel like going a little dotty.
This week we celebrate readilearn’s first birthday. Last year we launched with just over one hundred resources to support early childhood teachers in their role. Now there are more than 250, and the number continues to grow with new resources uploaded nearly every week.
Resources across most areas of the curriculum support teachers of children in their first three years of school. All resources are original and teacher-made, designed to lighten workloads by providing lessons and activities teachers would make themselves, if they only had time.
The collection consists of digital stories, and interactive resources for use on the interactive whiteboard. There are printable activities, teaching suggestions, and notes for distribution to parents. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, let us know and we’ll do our best to support you.
This week, in celebration of the milestone, I have uploaded two new free resources which can be personalised for individual children on their birthday.
This week, from 2 – 9 July, is NAIDOC Week in Australia with celebrations occurring all around the country. The purpose of the week is to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Islander Peoples and acknowledge their contributions to our country. The acronym NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.
The theme of this year’s celebration is Our Languages Matter. When Europeans first arrived in Australia a little more than 200 years ago, more than 250 Indigenous languages were in use across the land. As the languages were spoken, not written, many of these languages have been erased. Fewer than half that number remain, and many of the young people are no longer familiar with the language of their ancestors.
According to the NAIDOC website,
“The 2017 theme – Our Languages Matter – aims to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.”
By now, NAIDOC Week celebrations are almost over, and most Australian school children are enjoying their mid-year break. However, many teachers will be looking for ways to share the celebrations with their students when school resumes. As any time is a good time to incorporate learning about Indigenous culture and history, in this post, I provide links
A great way of sharing information about holiday traditions is through the use of class surveys. It’s fun, engaging, and provides opportunities for learning across the curriculum.
Here are some of the benefits:
Children feel valued when they have opportunities to share information about themselves and their families.
Children’s social skills develop when they interact to find out interesting information about each other.
Children become more aware of their similarities and differences. This helps to develop feelings of acceptance and appreciation for the diversity represented in the class.
Children’s language skills develop as they talk to each other, asking questions and clarifying information.
Children learn to be organised and methodical in the collection, recording, interpretation, and reporting of data.
Children are fully engaged in the learning when they are asking questions they have raised and to which they are interested in finding the answers.
Because learning occurs in meaningful contexts and is integrated across subject areas, children can transfer learning to other situations.
Children enjoy learning about their classmates and the classroom community is strengthened.
This week I have uploaded three new resources to support early childhood teachers’ use of Yes or No class surveys, and a quick and easy recipe for entertaining at home or to contribute to a “bring a plate” function.
One of the greatest contributors to a child’s happiness at school, indeed for happiness in life, is friendship. Talking with children about their day at school will more than likely contain some reference to their friends; who they played with, who they didn’t, who was absent, who was mean. If they felt sad during the day it was possibly because someone wouldn’t play, wouldn’t let them play, or was mean.
Getting along with others seems to come naturally to some children, especially to those who see positive social skills modelled by parents and family friends, who are given lots of opportunities to mix with others of all ages, and who are encouraged to express themselves and their feelings. Other children don’t find it so easy, sometimes due to lack of positive role models, but often for other reasons.
Most children require some explicit teaching from time to time, for example to share, take turns and to use friendly words. Many schools incorporate the development of friendship skills into their programs. Some schools, such as one that employed me to write and teach a friendship skills program in years one to three, develop their own programs. Other schools use published materials such as the excellent You Can Do It!program which teaches the social and emotional skills of getting along, organisation, persistence, confidence and resilience.
In the early childhood classrooms of my previous school, we used the songs, puppets and stories included in the You Can Do It! Program. We also involved children in role play and discussion, providing them with opportunities to learn the language and practice the skills in supportive and non-threatening situations. Having a common language with which to discuss feelings, concerns and acceptable responses meant issues were more easily dealt with. More importantly children learned strategies for developing positive relationships and friendships with others. They came to understand their own responses as well as those of others.
I have talked about friendship in many previous posts, including here, here and here. My online friend Anne Goodwin, who blogs at Annecdotal, even wrote about it in a guest post here, and I described friendship trees that I used with my class here.
In this post I want to acknowledge a new friend and a long-time friend. (I can’t say ‘old’. She’s younger than I!)
My new friend is Pauline, The Contented Crafter. At the beginning of last week Pauline announced a very generous giveaway for Christmas which I shared with you here. Pauline invited readers to nominate someone as a deserving recipient of her beautiful Christmas light catcher. She posted the nominees and their stories here and invited readers to vote for the two they would most like to receive the light catcher.
I nominated Robin, a friend of over thirty years. That must be deserving of an award in itself! In case you missed her story on Pauline’s blog, I include it here so that you can understand why I value her friendship so highly.
I have a wonderful friend for whom this beautiful light catcher would be a perfect gift. Each of its strands holds a special significance, as if Pauline had her in mind.
She gifted her friendship to me more than thirty years ago and, thanks to a miracle and the protection of angels, it is a gift that continues.
Over twenty years ago, on my birthday, she was involved in a serious car accident. My birthday became her life day, a constant reminder that life and each passing year is a precious gift.
Her many injuries, requiring numerous surgeries over the years, did not injure her bright, cheerful nature and positive outlook on life. Although she lives with constant pain you wouldn’t know unless you asked, and then only if she chose to tell you.
She has an enormous generous and loving heart, and her home is warm and welcoming. Family, especially her two grown daughters and her dear Mum who passed this year, is important to her. She loves to bake and craft individual gifts for her family and friends. She is always busily thinking of others.
She is a gifted musician and amazing music teacher. She plays the flute and sings like a Robin. She incorporates music and fun into classes for children and lessons for adults learning English. All come to her classes eager to learn and leave singing with joy and acceptance.
At Christmas the family gather round to decorate the tree and “remember the moments” marked by ornaments made by smaller hands, collected on travels, or signifying achievements and occasions like graduations and engagements.
I know my friend would treasure this beautiful light catcher as another reminder of life’s precious gifts and moments that make it magic. Thank you Pauline for the opportunity to express openly how much I value her friendship.
You can find out more about Robin on her website and even purchase her wonderful CD “Notes from Squire Street”.
I am very excited to say that Robin is included in Pauline’s list of winners. In fact Pauline’s generosity is being extended to many of the nominees, and even to one for commenting on the post. Very soon Pauline’s light catchers will be dispersing rainbow light of friendship and joy around the world. I think that is a beautiful and generous gesture.
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At about this time of year people all around the world are finding something to celebrate. According to reindeerland.org about one third to one half of the world’s population celebrate Christmas, whether they are Christians or not. I am not sure about the authenticity of their “facts” but other sites also suggest that arriving at the number of people who celebrate Christmas is problematic.
Christmas is the holiday that I celebrate with my family and friends. I was surprised to find, by reading a guest post, written by Gordon Le Pard on Geoff Le Pard’s blog TanGental, that many of the traditions celebrated at Christmas time are more recent in origin than I would have thought. It is not surprising, though, that the way Christmas is celebrated differs from country to country, and even from household to household, around the world. Sherri Matthewswrote a beautiful post about a Christmas tree festival hosted by a church in Dorset, England. I haven’t seen anything quite like this.
In a previous post I’m (not) dreaming of a white Christmas I talked about some of my family’s Australian ways of celebrating. Sadly most “Australian” resources are simply innovations on, or adjustments to, the European traditions. There are not enough that recognise the summer celebration and “traditions” unique to Australia. I guess our small population keeps us in the minority so it is not economically worthwhile to create alternative resources.
So from my hot sunny days in Australia I wish you and your loved ones happy and safe times, whatever your celebration.
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