Platypus Reader Response Activity

I think that I might have Platypus, by Chris Riddell, for as long as I’ve been teaching. Well, maybe not quite that long but it’s a firm favourite.

“A big rock. Some slimy seaweed. An old shoe. None of these is quite what Platypus wants for his special collection. Then he finds a beautiful curly shell–perfect! But the next morning his curly shell is gone. Where can it be?
The star of a brand new series from acclaimed author-illustrator Chris Riddell, the thoughtful, lively, and always curious Platypus is a wonderful companion for every young child.”

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Platypus is just beyond adorable to read. I like to do so early in the year as it’s a very simple read and visiting the beach is not a dim and distant memory. It’s easier to make a “text to self-connection” to the beach in September than in December.

Now that I am teaching Senior Infants I have created a more text rich reader response activity to accompany our reading of Platypus by Chris Riddell. Platypus is a fan of collecting little trinkets and is looking to expand his collection. I have created two different reader response activities to accompany our reading of Platypus. Both involve making a “text to self-connection”. Here they are:

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Click here to download both

Platypus by Chris Riddell is a series of books. Unfortunately, I only own one. They only seem to be available on Amazon at the moment. Click here for a link. I’m a Book Depository kind of gal so I am a little bit disappointed by this. I’d really love to have the entire Platypus series.  I might have to bite the bullet and order them from Amazon. I know that they will be well worth it.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh

Back to school prep: Speeding Tickets

Speeding Tickets for classrooms seem to be the next big thing on Pinterest. Have you ever used them?! I seem to spend a lot of time writing notes on textbooks and worksheets to that effect. Same kids every time but that’s a different story… Do you feel me?

Anyway, I’ve been tempted to use Speeding Tickets in the past but they always seemed to wordy for my little kiddos. I was messing around with graphics the other day and decided to try my hand at making my own Speeding Tickets. My speeding tickets don’t have that many words on them at all. I wanted to keep them simple and clear so my Senior Infants can read them. I think the simple act of stapling a Speeding Ticket to their work should a great way to reinforce the need to take time and care when completing assignments.

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I generally don’t blog about resources that I haven’t used yet. Obviously, I am on Summer Break and haven’t yet trialed them. Let me know what you think.

Let me know what you think. Do you have any tips to share?

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Click here to download my speeding ticket pdf. I simply photocopied mine onto red card to make them “pop”.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh🙂

What’s in my shopping cart?!

I know that it’s only the first day of summer but I’ve already started shopping and prepping for next year. I thought that you all might like to be kept in the loop!

The first thing that my work colleague and I ordered was more personalised stampers from I have purchased from them before and just can’t say enough about them!!! I love their stampers and their stickers. The quality is amazing. The stamper ink doesn’t bleed through the page. They come in all sorts of designs and colours. I like the option to personalise a whole lot. They last really, really well. Get the picture? I love!!!

I always struggle with keeping up with absences in workbooks. I have the best on intentions to write “absent” on the relevant pages. It happens most of the time, well some of the time… Well, that’s all about to change!!! I created an Absent Stamper using You can see the process below. I chose red ink to make it pop. I am hoping that my “Lucky Duck” will be in charge of the stamper. I am guessing that the average 6yr old will be highly motivated to stamp workbooks of those absent?! Time will tell but I’m optimistic.

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I am playing around with a few more stampers like this one:

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I think that it could be really useful too. I seem to write this phrase more than I would like to…

I also fancy ordering these ones:

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You’d almost think that this is a sponsored post for! It isn’t, I just really  love their products. I take some photos when I place my final order.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh🙂

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh🙂

My Dyslexia Resource Kit

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I’ve had a few requests to fill you in on all of the resources I brought with me to my dyslexia talk. Here it goes people… I’m going to list them by table starting with the back left one:

I hope that you find this useful in your classroom/home. Leave a comment below if you have any resources that you think should be on my list!!!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh🙂

Dyslexia Must Buy Resources

I was delighted to have the opportunity to hold a talk last night on Dyslexia. The Wexford Library Service have always been a great support and encourager mine. It was great to get to “talk” and demonstrate rather than just blogging. It was actually really, really hard to keep to time and I had 1.30hrs!!! There was just soon much to cover. I tried to have a good mix between understanding the neurobiology and what you can and should actually do in a classroom or home setting. I lugged as much as I could from my personal resources.

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Here are two of the key resources that any teacher or indeed parent should have. Knowledge is power. These little gems will be a great reference tool to add to your collection. I’ve had both of these for years and they are pretty wrecked from use. I really struggled to find a ‘clean page’ to photograph. By this I mean a page that didn’t look worn,  selloptaped etc. I really, really use these: Jolly Phonics Word Book and Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials.

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The Jolly Phonics Word Book is a fantastic resource for phonetically regular word list. Here is a peak at the menu:

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I always keep my Jolly Phonics Word Book by my side for literacy lessons in class. I actually am the proud owner of two of these. I have a copy for home use as I find the Jolly Phonics Word Book so vital for my fortnightly planning and literacy schemes.

The Jolly Phonics Word Book is worth its weight in gold for your phonics lesson or indeed home practice to support classroom learning. It’s simply a compilation of word lists that correspond to the phonemes and digraphs (a.k.a “sounds”) taught in Jolly Phonics. It’s worth noting that the Jolly Phonics Word Book would be a great buy even if you are using an alternative phonics programme.

You will never again run out of or blank on words that contain the chosen sound. When you have 34 kids in your class and you are looking for a different word per child then this is “the bomb”.

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Click here to purchase the Jolly Phonics Word Book. It costs 3.47 Euro and the postage is free.

Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is another god send for lesson planning. It’s more a great reference for lesson planning or homework support. It helps to explain all of the most common and important spelling patterns that we need to teach all readers but especially those with language processing difficulties such as Dyslexia.

Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is a really easy to use reference tool for parents, teachers and kids. It is extremely comprehensive as you can see from the image of the index:

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Here is an even more detailed look inside the front cover of Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials:

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These spelling rules, taught in a multi-sensory and systematic way would make a huge impact on reading, writing and spelling.

As you can see, Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials, is like a dictionary for spelling rules. Find the rule in the index and refer to the relevant rule. This could be an indispensable reference tool for an older child to check if they are spelling a word correctly.  I think Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials would complement any instructional programme. I wore this book out when I was studying for my Masters in Special Education and tutoring children with Dyslexia.

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It’s hard to believe the price of this book. Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is 2.99Euro!!! I know, it’s incredible!!! Click here to purchase from the Prim-Ed Website.

For less than 7.00Euro you can  have an amazing amount of information at your fingertips. I hope that you find these books as indispensable as I do.

Do you have an essential that you would like to recommend? Please leave a comment below or message me on Facebook. I’m always on the hunt for new resources.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh🙂

Free Roll Say Keep Printable

I decided to “funk up” a very, very old favourite resource of mine: “Roll, Say, Keep”. “Roll Say Keep” is just one of those incredibly useful and versatile resources. All you need to play is a dice, relevant flashcards and a “Roll Say Keep” template per child.

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How to use “Roll Say Keep” in your classroom or home:

High Frequency word practice

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Phonics practice:

Here we were practicing phonemes and digraphs

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Here we were practicing “ee/ea” sounds

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Maths Facts:

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The list of uses for “Roll Say Keep” is pretty much endless!!!! My Differentiated Instruction Cubes are making another appearance in this blog post. They are one of my top 5 favourite teacher resources of all time. I swear that I’d be lost without them!!! You can purchase them here.

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I have inserted 5 Frame images in this instance to encourage “subitising” of number as well as literacy practice. Double whammy. Love it!!!

How to play:

Roll the dice and find the corresponding flashcards e.g Roll a 6 and you must read/answer the card in the number 6 dice box. If you can read/answer it you keep it.The card is removed from the gameboard and another placed in that box. The winner is the first to correctly win “X” number of flashcards. If the word/answer if unknown remove it from the board too and set aside for practice either/instruction.

You can download my free ‘Roll Say Keep’ template by clicking here: roll say keep.


Have fun,

Miss Mernagh🙂

Frozen Themed Phonics Game

With “back to school” around the corner I figured that you might be in the market for a fun phonics game! By using “Frozen” as my theme it is still “Winter-themed” but with no reference to Santa!!!  My Frozen  themed phonics game is designed for your pupils to revise or explore “ai words”.

Frozen is very simple to make and to set up. You simply need a large bag of cotton wool balls /snowballs and to laminate the “ai” words sheets provided. Cut out the snowballs and toss them into a container. My pupils really loved “digging in the snow” to find the “ai” words. My Frozen  themed phonics game would be a great addition to your Literacy Lift Off stations.

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The “winner” gets to take home a lovely certificate :Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 14.47.18

Detailed instructions on how to play my Frozen themed phonics game are included in the download. Enjoy!!!

Click here to download my Frozen ai game.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh🙂