Sunday, 22 January 2017

7 Aussie Teachers You Should Follow On Instagram



Instagram is chock full of exciting teachers doing wonderful things with their classrooms. I know we all love to have a peek inside other teacher's classrooms and see how they set their rooms up, what decor they are using and what resources their students love.

In particular, Australian teachers are starting to make their presence felt on Instagram with some wonderful looks at #teacherlife. You can find Aussie teachers by using the #aussieteacher but I've compiled some of my favourite up and coming Aussie teachers taking off on Instagram.

Click each link below to follow them or leave them a comment to let them know you came over from #techteacherpto3



A Queensland early years teacher, TechTeacherPto3 shares ideas and products from not only her own store but also useful teaching items she finds around the place. One thing that sets TechTeacherPto3 apart from other Teachers Pay Teachers sellers is that all of her products are aligned to the Australian curriculum so the hard work has been done for you.



Rainbow Sky Creations is run by two Aussie teachers that met teaching in the middle east and who share a love of colour and creativity in education. On their Instagram account they share learning ideas, resources and inspiration for the classroom and at home.



A passionate mother, teacher and creator from W.A, this Aussie teacher loves to design and create bright and engaging classroom resources for teachers around the world.


At Little Library Learners Instagram you will find library ideas, inspiration and general teacher life. This Aussie Instagrammer is a teacher from Qld who has taught in both Australian and American schools and is passionate about encouraging students to love reading and to feel motivated to visit the library.



Lauren from Love Laughter Learning is a former Prep teacher from Queensland who now spends time at home with her 7 and 4 year old girls. Pop on over to her Instagram page and you'll find a colourful collection of classroom ideas, crafty projects and teacher humour. Lauren loves to share and create hands-on resources for little learners - games, sorting activities, playdough mats and fine motor tasks and is a huge advocate for FUN in the classroom! Follow her for lots of inspiration and a laugh or two.



At Miss Smartie Pants you will find fun and bright ideas for your classroom. As a Year 1-2 teacher from NSW, Miss Smartie Pants shares fun DIY projects as well as amazing teacher hacks. This Aussie teacher creates cute teaching printables - you'll love her bright ideas!




Aussie Star Resources is a teacher from SA and she's all about Upper Primary - believing that the big kids are fun too! She created Aussie Star to provide resources that make life easier and save time for Upper Primary Teachers because she knows what it's like to try and juggle life and teach. If she can make life easier for teachers by providing high quality resources then she's achieved her number one goal.





Never miss a blog post from Foundation into First by subscribing here and you'll also be sent a free teaching planning document upon subscription!



Sunday, 8 January 2017

Celebrating Chinese New Year in the Classroom


Chinese New Year is the perfect opportunity to bring a cultural celebration from another country into the classroom.  

There is so much you can unpack with this celebration and I'd like to take you through the Chinese New Year Activity Pack to give you some ideas and demonstrate how you can align this celebration with some of the outcomes in the Australian curriculum.

Maps and Flags

Exploring other country's maps and flags forms part of both the Geography and History curriculum (now called HASS) for all year levels. Inside this pack you will find some cute wall decorations students can put together and explore the Chinese flag and national dress.

The image below shows the wall display printed in colour but a black and white version ready for students to cut and paste together then colour in included inside.


Symbols and Traditions

From Foundation Year (exploring celebrations) through to Year 6 (exploration of Asia) all year levels require students to examine how celebrations take place both within Australia and the rest of the world, then draw comparisons. 

Creating hands-on resources always engages students and cements learning which is why these easy to make paper lanterns are such a big hit with students. Instruction and the template is included in this pack and allows students to consider the symbolism involved with this tradition.


The Red Pack is also another fun craft activity where students can make the envelope up with the template and decorate it then insert the paper coins and give to their friends.


Cultural Significance of Symbols

Included in this pack are several reading comprehension sheets on Chinese New Year, with each one exploring the symbolism of a traditional element that is an essential part of the celebration.

There are also mapping worksheets and maths activities so you can bring the Chinese New Year focus to all subject areas.


To view this pack in more detail click here.


Why not download the free Chinese New Year Poster for 2017
Don't forget to leave feedback if you enjoyed this freebie!




Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Setting up your classroom - 8 quick ideas you can pin today.



Setting up your classroom, even if you're an experienced teacher, can be fun but overwhelming. Pinning on Pinterest is a great way to pass the time and procrastinate about setting up your room, however, there are some wonderful pins out there to give you ideas - and I've placed a few pins below, 8 to be exact, that cover some of the basics of classroom organisation. 


All of these pins can be found on my Pinterest board Classroom Organisation where you can go to re-pin these ideas or you can click the image to go directly to that pin and re-pin from there.

1. Bulletin Boards

Crafty Morning has some great suggestions for creating bulletin board borders with scraps you might have easy access to at home.

2. Word Walls

Also an essential component of any classroom is a fantastic word wall and Buzzfeed has some exciting photos from classrooms to inspire you.




3. Displaying Student Work



Putting student work on display is essential to create a sense of ownership within the classroom. It's important to give student work some dedicated space to keep your room organised. I love the bright use of colours here by Live Laugh and Learn in Second Grade.

If you're stuck for space try this clever window idea by KB Konnected.



4. Classroom Library


You're going to have to give a small space over to your classroom library. It might contain your own books, a selection of books from the school library or a combination of the two. Either way, an organised classroom is one where everything has a home and Blossoming in First Grade has some great examples on her Instagram account.

5. Desk Arrangements

There are so many different classroom desk arrangements but which one is the most effective? 
Top Notch Teaching has the ideal classroom layout for you.




The Classroom Key has some great little visuals about how to set up your students' desks - always a difficult dilemma at the start of the year...

or perhaps you need your students sitting on the floor - we can organise that as well thanks to Blooming in First!


6. Equipment Storage

In lower school there is a constant issue with the 'right sort of container' for pencils and pens on a shared table (yes Early Years teachers spend time thinking of such things). Controlling My Chaos has some nifty ideas for pen and pencil caddies in shared spaces.


7. Classroom Rules Posters

I've always found it useful to place rules posters in key places around the classroom, at eye level, just to serve as reminder but I really love using this Classroom Rules Pack because with every poster comes with a worksheet so you can explicitly teach each rule with students.


8. Setting up Classroom Jobs

Another way to help students claim ownership of their classroom is to give them Classroom Jobs to do. I usually change the jobs once a week with lower school students and with upper school students I select new monitors once a term. It saves me a lot of stress and helps me keep the classroom organised as well!