Classroom rules

I have received a request for the following rule:  “Look at our teacher when he speaks”. I had mentioned that the rules were created for my own classroom use and therefore I used “she”. I also said that I was happy to create a version for any male teachers who would like it. True to my word here it is. 🙂

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Click here to download

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Free First Day at School Certificate

It’s hard to believe that the summer is drawing to a close. I am busy preparing myself for going back to school. Classroom theme chosen: check. Decorations ready to be hung: check. Scheme of work for 1st week: check. Photocopying complete: almost! Classroom decorated, cleaned and tidied: on Monday’s to do list!

I have been giving a lot of thought to the “first day” experience that my class will have. It is quite a while since I thought Junior Infants. It is a very different “first day” scenario in Senior’s. I do love children taking something home in their hands to share with Mom/Dad. I think that it creates excitement, a sense of achievement and an easy way to broach to topic of school.

With this in mind I have created some free “First Day at School” certificates and free” First Day” certificates. I thought that the “first day” cert would be useful for play school or other grade levels.

Here they are:

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                                                                      Click here to download free First Day at School certificates

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Click here to download Colour version of First Day at School certificates 

There are two certificates per page. Both my First Day at School and First Day certificates come as a single download. You might need a different one next year so it is a s well to save both ;). You can choose between B&W certificates or  a full colour version.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

ps: both the clipart and font are by DJinkers. I am not sure as to the origin of the frame as I downloaded it a while ago. If it is your please let me know so I can credit it you for it 🙂

Even more Roll and Cover Games!

I have been asked to create some Roll and Cover Games that are in full colour. It seems that lots of you have colour printers at your disposal. Lucky you! I am still living in black and white land with my printer at home and at work.

Here are some Roll and Cover Games that are full of colour and summer fun!

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                                                                                                                                                    Click here to download

  (scroll down past the B&W ones to find the images above)

I hope that you have lots of fun playing  my Roll and Colour Games. Any requests? What theme are you using this year? Please leave a comment below!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

ps: the cute bee and apple graphics are from DJInkers.com

Seriously Cute Classroom Rules Posters

It is that time of year again! Teachers are readying themselves for returning to class. I am sharing with you the seriously cute classroom rule posters that I created for my classroom last year. They were one of the most popular downloads from missmernagh.com for 2012. I wonder if it will be the same this year?I have to say that they worked out really well and will be remaining in my classroom management plan for the coming year.  I have tried to cover all bases while keeping the number of rules to a small number.

I have used the term” she” in the final poster as it is applicable to me. If you would like a poster that says “he” drop me a email to info@missmernagh.com and I will create one especially for you!

Here is a quick refresher on some key points with regard to classroom rules:

  •  There are two types of rules: positive and negative . Positive rules focus on what a pupil should do. The focus of these rules are to encourage pupils to adopt suitable and appropriate behaviours. Negative rules state what should not be done and their main focus is on misbehavior. Positive rules encourage use of positive interactions, while negative rules focus on punishment (Bicard, 2000)
  • Classroom expectations must be clear, concise, and explicit so that students can understand them and how to behave in order to follow them (Quinn et al., 2000).
  • An optimal number of rules is between 3-5.  (Bicard, 2000; Heins, 1996; McGinnis, Frederick, & Edwards, 1995; Short, Short & Blanton, 1994)
  • Classroom rules should be stated in the “positive“, presented visuallyand consistently enforced.
  • Classroom rules should focus on specific observable behaviors rather than nonspecific generalities (Kostewicz, Ruhl & Kubina Jr, 2008)

What do you think? Cute or what?! I still love them even after looking at them for a year. That NEVER happens. I always create new resources each year. Maybe you will love them too?!

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Click here to download my Seriously Cute Classroom Rules Posters 

Are there any rules that I have missed out on? What are your classroom rules? Please share by leaving a comment. I am sure that we would all like to know!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Roll and Cover Maths Game

I am super excited about going back to school! I am really looking forward to teaching Junior Infants again!!! I loved every minute of Senior’s but it was time for a change.

I have been planning my theme for the last while. Gosh it was hard to choose. I have been conflicted for a while now. I finally settled on it when I found the right props. Poor Mr. H ended up spending part of his Sunday shopping for school. I found it so hard to decide and to keep to a reasonable budget. Bless him, he didn’t complain at all.

Following on from our shopping trip I created these fun “Roll and Cover’ maths games. I think that they will be lots of fun to play! It will encourage number recognition and one-to-one correspondence.  They are in black and white as we don’t have a colour printer :(.

Just print and colour. Roll the dice and cover the number. The first person to cover all of their numbers wins!

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Click here to download!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

PS: The flamingo is a colouring sheet from:http://www.supercoloring.com/pages/flamingo-with-glasses. The coconut tree is one that i have had for years and don’t know who to credit it.

Summer Read No. 3: Handa’s Surprise

Here is another story with a fruit theme!! Handa’s surprise with all its exotic fruit will transport you to a sun-kissed land.

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Handa puts seven delicious fruits in a basket to take to her friend, Akeyo: pineapple, mango, guava, passion fruit, avocado, tangerines and banana.But Handa and Akeyo are not the only ones who find it hard to resist delicious, ripe, juicy fruit! When Handa reaches her friends’s hut and lifts off her basket, it’s Handa who gets the biggest surprise.

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Handa’s surprise is a fantastic way to introduce children to both fruits  they may not be familiar with: guava, avocado, passion fruit and antelope.  Next time you are in the supermarket why not pick up one or two and make a Handa’s Surprise Fruit Salad?

Most of the animals  in Handa’s Surprise will be instantly recognisable. The antelope might be the exception.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Free Back to School Name Tags

Some of you must be reading this and thinking that the sun has gone to my head! I just had to share these seriously CUTE tags with you! Just save them on your computer now and forget about them until the night before school. All you need to do is download these free Back to School name tags, write your child’s name, laminate and attach!

Please, please, please TAG your child’s lunchbox and school bag clearly on the OUTSIDE! I’ll settle for the inside but outside is better.  You’d be amazed at how many people don’t tag lunch boxes at all. I cannot tell you how much time I have spent over the years playing ” match the lunch to the child”. “Did your mom pack ham sandwiches for you or crackers or rice cakes or a roll or a wrap…… Guaranteed they have noooo idea at all! It’s not much fun, it’s distressing for the child, not to mention dangerous due to possible food allergies. I know that I am sure to be playing it again this September ;).

Seriously, are these not the cutest?! I can’t believe that these back to school name tags are  free!!! The last one is very Monsters Inc.

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Click here to download free back to school name tags

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Summer Read Number 2: Camille & the Sunflowers

I hope that some of you are enjoying “The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear”. I am still waiting for my large format version to arrive. I am really looking forward to having it “super-sized” for September reading with my Junior Infants!

Here is book number 2 on my Summer Reading Programme:

I have been a fan of Laurence Anholt for years and years. In fact I purchased this book way back in 2001 when I was training as a Montessori Directress. I still remember reading it to my first class in Slieverue. When I left one of the children gave me a packet of notelets as a gift. He had chosen them himself and the images were of Vincent Van Gogh paintings. He recognised the painting and knew that I would love them. Sweet!!! This summer one of my pupils gave me a beautiful Sunflower plant. It is looking resplendent in my garden thanks to the sunny weather that we have been experiencing.  Sunflowers just brighten up any day!

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Camille and the Sunflowers explore Vincent Van Gogh’s art through the eyes of a child. Camille is fascinated with Van Gogh’s paintings, especially Starry Night and The Sunflowers. Camille accepts Vincent and his work, unlike many of those in the village. Camille and the Sunflowers is filled with reproductions of Vincent’s work. Each page is more beautiful than the next.

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Laurence Anholt’s books are a wonderful way to introduce your child to art and art history. The stories are captivating and the illustrations breathtaking. Children just love them!

Camille and the Sunflowers is available from Book Depository for €6.05. Click here for a link. Your local library may also have a copy. I am pretty sure that mine does.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Frozen Chocolate Banana Pops for a hot day!

My Mom used to make frozen banana pops for us a children. They are one of my absolute favourite ways to cool down on a hot day. They taste amazing, just like ice-cream. Mind you, I don’t remember them being as gourmet as this. It was simply frozen banana on a stick.

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Frozen banana pops are a great way to have your child help you in the kitchen. If you cut the banana into smaller sections you get mini pops which will freeze quicker (suitable for those with limited patience ;)!!!!!)

Frozen Chocolate Banana Pops:

115 grams semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon flavorless oil (corn, vegetable, canola, safflower or a light olive oil) (can also use coconut oil)

3 large ripe bananas

Garnish:

Chopped peanuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts or pistachios

Toasted dried coconut

Granola

Sprinkles or 

Instructions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil.

Cut the bananas into 2 – 3 inch (5 – 7 cm) chunks. Insert a cookie stick, popsicle stick, bamboo skewer, or a chopstick into the pieces of banana. Place on the baking sheet and freeze for about 15 – 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and flavorless oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.

Then remove the bananas from the freezer and, taking one banana at a time, dip into the melted chocolate, making sure the banana is completely covered with chocolate. If desired, roll (or sprinkle) the chocolate coated banana in chopped nuts, toasted coconut, granola, or colored sprinkles. The chocolate covered bananas can be eaten right away (although the banana will still be quite soft) or place them back on the baking sheet and freeze.

Once completely frozen, the bananas can be stored in a covered container, for about one week. To soften the bananas, place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Makes about 9 – 2 inch (5 cm) frozen chocolate banana pops. Preparation time30 minutes.

I am off to make some for myself. I have no lollipop sticks so I will improvise with cocktail sticks to create some very mini bites!!!!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Thoughts on Summer Reading & Learning

The sun has been shining for weeks now in Ireland. It is absolutely glorious! It has been a fantastic start to the school holidays for all of us!

While school might be out for Summer learning certainly is not! I am busy completing a course on Junior Drama. I can’t wait to try out all the new games and techniques that I am learning this week!

I always encourage parents to continue reading to and with their children over the summer. It has been proven that  reading for 20 minutes per day has a hugely positive impact on literacy rate and reading fluency. In fact reading for 20 min per day equates to 10 school days per year according to U.S  research.  Click on the link below if you are curious!

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                                                                                                                                                    Click here to read

I just love to read. I think that it is probably one of my favourite things to do when on holiday! I am loving the fact that I can buy books instantly on iTunes for my iPad. My latest download is “Orange is the new black” by Piper Kerman. Netflix have adapted it into a tv series. I just love true stories and this one is fascinating!

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I will leave you with this poem to reflect on. It certainly got me thinking! Check back tomorrow for the start of my summer reading for kids. It promises to be fun!!!

20 MINUTES A DAY

Read to your children
Twenty minutes a day;
You have the time,
And so do they.
Read while the laundry is in the machine;
Read while dinner cooks;
Tuck a child in the crook of your arm
And reach for the library books.
Hide the remote,
Let the computer games cool,
For one day your child will be off to school;
Remedial? Gifted? You have the choice.
Let them hear their first tales,
In the sound of your voice.
Read in the morning,
Read over noon,
Read by the light of
Goodnight Moon.
Turn the pages together,
Sitting close as you’ll fit,
‘Till a small voice beside you says,
“Hey, don’t quit.”

Author Unknown

 

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Weight: can you measure up?!

This week are are exploring the “Measures” strand of the maths curriculum. More specifically we are exploring weight. The curricular objectives are as follows:

  • develop an understanding of the concept of weight through exploration, handling of objects and use of appropriate vocabulary
  • compare and order objects according to weight
  • estimate and weigh in non-standard units
  • select and use appropriate non-standard units to weigh objects

We are using a balance to predict what objects are the same weight (eg. what weighs the same as my eraser) and then comparing the weight of objects using non-standard units of measure (we are mostly using unifix cubes as they are in plentiful supply).

I cannot stress the importance of “hands on” & “discovery learning” for maths. There is no substitute for having concrete materials in your hand. That said, some of my class could handle an “abstract” challenge at this stage of the programme. I spent some time online this evening in between completing overdue paperwork (Groan: I hate falling behind but I had a wedding to plan 😉 ) Anyway, here it is…

It is as yet untested by my class but looks like a winner to me. You need to add/remove the weights in order to make it balance. The graphics are very clear so children can easily see if the rock  is heavier or lighter than the counters. Then they can remove/add counters one at a time in order to achieve a balance between the two. Then click on the “tick” to see if you are correct. “Sid the Scientist” gives clear explanations and chats a little about weight and perception. Overall it is a great game. I can’t wait to play it with my class tomorrow!

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Click here to play

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh

Math Man Addition Game

I have been searching for some more fun games to encourage my pupils to practice their addition skills. I love to use online maths games as they naturally inspire interest. It’s pretty hard to get kids buzzed up about a page of maths problems but suggest a maths game and you feel the positivity and excitement fill the room.

Here is another game from sheppardsoftware.com. I am fast becoming a fan! Unfortunately many of their games do not exactly match our curriculum in Ireland. Math Man is a great game and can be played by children from Senior Infant up. The harder levels are perfect for middle school or even higher school pupils who need a little bit of practice.

Math Man is a type of Pacman that many of us will remember from our childhood. I haven’t yet played this one in class so I am not sure how it will go with an interactive whiteboard. I think that you will need to use the arrows on the keyboard rather than your pen. We call our pen ” squiggle” 😉

I think that Math Man is going to be a popular game with my class! Doesn’t it look cool?! It’s also pretty simple to play.You need to navigate your way to “eat” the ghost with the number that answers  the sum on the bottom of the screen. If you eat a star the ghosts will freeze for a second.

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                                                                                                  Click here to play addition up to 10

maths man 2                                                                                                      Click here to play addition up to 20

I hope that you all enjoy this retro Math Man game. I certainly enjoyed reviewing it for you.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Fruit Shoot Addition Practice!

There’s just something about brightly coloured fruit that puts me in a Summer mood.This addition game would almost fool you into thinking that it was Summer! No such look here in Ireland. Another overcast day…  

I love, love games that allow me to choose from many and varied levels. This Fruit Shoot game is suitable for children from Senior Infants up. The easiest level has sums up to 10 which is an exact match for our Senior Infant objectives. Yippee!!

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Once you have selected your level then you can select either the relaxed or timed mode depending on ability levels. It also allows you to start on the Relaxed mode and over a period of time, say a week, become more skilled and then take on the challenge of the timed mode.

I  like having the option to avoid the timed mode if desired. Completing a challenge against the clock can be a source of stress and upset for some children. It’s great to have a choice, though, as some kids thrive on the challenge. I have some real speed demons this year that would relish the timed mode 😉

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Now for the fun bit… Line up your target, the correct answer, and fire to make the fruit splat!!!

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         Click here to play

I can’t wait to play this with my kiddos once we complete our unit on Weight.

Have fun,

 

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Split Digraph Game

I am busy revising split digraphs (a_e, e_e, i_e, o_e, u_e)  with my class this week. I had my fingers crossed that their knowledge was not displaced by Easter break! I think that Hot Potato was a great help with consolidating split digraphs! It was so much fun to play that we practiced them more than any other year. Will be rolling it out again next year, that’s for sure 😉

As we are having a  week long break from “Power Hour” I was on the hunt for a fun, interactive game for split digraphs. I struck gold with this one! It is fun but pretty tricky. You really do need your wits about you!

The link below is for u_e words. They are the trickiest to decode and pronounce by far. The object of the game is to spell the word by tapping on the correct tiles. You must tap them in the correct order. Sounds simple, right? It would be if it wasn’t for the fact that the letter tiles keep moving!!!! You can, thank goodness, use the small arrow key to delete a letter if necessary.

I dare you to play is before your child/class. It is tricky to tap the tiles before they move. Lot of fun and laughter in my room when we played this. I had pupils decode the word before spelling it on the tiles.

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Click here to play

I hope that you have lots of fun playing this game. Oh yeah, there is a harder, timed level for those of you who dare!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂