Monday, 19 January 2009


I just made this material as part of my advanced mathematics course work for my training. Although it looks quiet hard to make, it was actually straight forward and easy.
All you really need to make this is a ruled cutting mat, foam or cardboard and a sharp crafts knife. I choose foam rather than laminated cardboard because I can imagine how frustrated a child would get when his mat is knocked and everything slides all over the place after spending hours working on this. I think I will also make another one from very thick card and not laminate it. The only problem I have now is trying to find gold coloured foam and a suitable storage box. I'll upload my own photo's once I get my laptop working again.
Here is a link I found for a presentation of this.

Subtraction Strip board

I was asked a few weeks ago about this piece of material and how I find it in the classroom. I apologise for the delay [Little-N was sick, new term began and laptop isn't working]. I haven't actually had any problem with material and all the children seem to find it easy and satisfying to use. The subtraction strip board i have is the old fashion one where there is one strip and only one place to put your strip. I find the old board a lot easier to use then the one in the picture above.
Your result with the subtraction strip board, relies a lot on your wording. I make it clear for the child that in 7-3, we have to first make 7 on the board by covering all the numbers after 7 with the strip, then we place the 3 strip to take away and we count how many are left on the board. I honestly haven't had a problem with it and I see it as an important material needed in the steps of making subtraction go from the concrete to abstract.
Hope this helps and so sorry for my delay.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Snow Poem

This week the children are taking a poem about snow. This ties in with our winter project that we will be doing and it also snowed last week end.
This is the poem that the children took:

Snowflakes spill from heaven's hand
Lovely and chaste like smooth white sand.
A veil of wonder laced in light
Falling Gently on a winters night.
Graceful beauty raining down

Giving magic to the lifeless ground.
Each snowflake like a falling star
Smiling beauty that's spun afar.
Till earth is dressed in a robe of white

Unspoken poem the hush of night.
~~By Linda A. Copp.~~

After listening to the poem a few times, the children decided that they wanted to write their own poem about snow. Here is the poem that six children between the age of 4-8yrs wrote.

The Snow Poem

One day it was snowing,
And the snow it was glowing.
The snow is on the duck,
And the duck is in the muck.
The snow is cold and freezing,
And all the children are sneezing.
The snow is falling on your head,
And now its time to go to bed.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Lego Addiction

Little-N is finally getting better after a very long and difficult week. Recently he has developed a cute addiction to Lego and has been playing with it all day from the minute he wakes. He gets frustrated when he can't find the small Lego bits that he needs, so we sorted all the small pieces into some sorting boxes. It might sound crazy, but i really enjoyed sorting the Lego, I just hope he puts all the pieces back in the right place once he has finished with them.

In case anyone is interested, while I was looking for Lego building instructions and I found free instructions here.

I cant wait to go back to work tomorrow, its been a long month with very little teaching!!!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Happy plants everywhere

All these plants and bulbs are happily growing on a window sill at school or at home.

I can't wait till they all flower!!!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

My Class has grown

While I was away in December my classroom was extended. Luckily, my boss has been really happy with the achievements of all the children last term and she decided to give us the library room that was next door. We sawed our way through to the library. My class is now much bigger and there is lots of room for us to add more materials. Here are a few pictures of our extended class. I had to move some of the materials over to the other area.

Mathematics Area. Each shelf or section is specific for one are of operation.
This is the view from the window end of the class.
The maps and cultural materials have moved to the other area.
This is a view of the window from the new end of the classroom. I am hoping to bring in a display shelf or cupboard for the children to display some of their work or nature findings. I need to add some more advanced practical life activities and science experiments.

Socks and a Tomten

I haven't been able to blog lately since Little-N has been very sick and I'm sorry for not replying to comments, I hope to do so before the end of the week. I finally finished knitting my socks that I posted about earlier. I used a simple toe-up pattern that you can find on knitty.

These socks took ages and ages to finish as i kept getting side tracked by knitting other things. Now that my socks are finished, i hope to knit Little-N a pair that match mine.

I also finished Little-Ns Tomten jacket from Elizabeth Zimmerman's book. I initially intended to sew a zip in the front, but after completing this jacket I felt buttons would look nicer.

Friday, 2 January 2009

I am obsessed with the checker board

This month we took the checker board at college. It is used for long multiplication.
I now have a slight problem, I'm totally hooked on it.

I don't actually own one, however I have been doing teacher training for a school and they will be paying me by materials. First material I have on my list is this and I will be expecting it very soon.
I was going to type up the presentation but luckily I found a detailed online presentation here which is a sample from the NAMC manuals.