Positive Reflection for Teachers (Video Post)

Positive Reflections for Teachers - a Video Post from Galarious Goods

This video explores a few ways we can prompt ourselves to reflect in a positive manner and how it can help us with our teaching practice. Don't miss the birds who decided to add a bit of positive reflection themselves!


 
 

5 Galarious Goods Resources I Absolutely Love

I'm celebrating the first year anniversary of Galarious Goods! Last week, I took a bit of an overall approach to celebrating and talked a little about celebrating in the classroom. This week, I want to take a little look at the shop I've created and which teaching resources are my personal favourites!

 
5 Galarious Goods Resources I Absolutely Love
 

Boy Overboard Complete Novel Study Bundle

This is one of my strongest performing resources, so I know I'm not alone in loving it. I first came across the Morris Gleitzman book back in 2009 when I studied it with some of the students I was teaching at the time. It remains such a strong and relevant book, looking at why people become refugees and what they give up to get themselves and their families to safety. 

The novel study was interesting to put together because Morris Gleitzman often uses short chapters and answering comprehension questions for each chapter would be an incredibly lengthy (and quite boring) process. I worked on grouping chapters which worked well together and then finding the comprehension questions which would work best for that selection of chapters. It was also the first time I created a 'all in one sheet' - a printable sheet with comprehension questions, vocabulary questions and a 'going deeper' activity - these could go together to make a book students could work through or go home as homework sheets. I was thrilled to repeat this with the Nim's Island Novel Study. 

Get your copy here

 
 

Getting Involved Lessons

As politics and governments become more talked about around the world, I believe there is a sense of people looking for ways they can get involved - including students. These lessons were designed to help students get involved in local, national and global issues - to think about what they really cared about, to research how they could get involved, to get information out to others and to take action. I feel that this is a really important message to get out to students - that there are things they can do to create a better world for themselves and others.

This was probably the most comprehensive approach I've taken to lessons. I tried hard to think of everything a teacher might need to teach them and either provide them or provide ideas and resources which the teachers can include (I couldn't quite figure out how to include students' elected representatives to give class talks within a digital resource!). It was also the first time I included PDF presentation files which are formatted files to be used with projectors or interactive whiteboards or used on devices. 

Get your copy here

 
 

Magna Carta, Westminster System and Australia Mini Unit

What do you know about the Magna Carta, the Westminster System and how they influence the Australian system of government? Well this mini unit has everything you need to teach this to your Year 6 students. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this one, especially writing differentiated fact sheets to allow all students to be engaged with this important democratic foundation. The resource was awesome for this - particularly because I found some wonderful videos on YouTube about the Magna Carta - well worth watching with your students.

I was also surprised at how relevant some of this information was - I really didn't think I'd be applying the research for this to modern day politics. It also has allowed me to really enjoy some documentaries on the topic and related topic - more knowledge is fun!

Get your copy here

 
 

Christmas Math and Engineering Paper Chain Challenges

This is a totally out of season resource to talk about and I don't even care because I like it so much. STEM and maths investigations is not something I do a lot of, but they are topics I completely believe in and thoroughly enjoy. I also love making Christmas chains, so this was the perfect combination. 

Many of these challenges are just plain fun - something to enjoy while you wind down for Christmas break. Students can look at measurement, strength, materials and creation techniques through these challenges, while thinking about mathematic and engineering processes.

Get your copy here

 
 

Pearl Verses the World Novel Study Bundle

The book Pearl Verses the World by Sally Murphy is one of my favourites. I first read it not long after it was released and it produced all the tears. It's also a great one to read in the classroom or to have students explore on their own. These novel study resources ask students to look at comprehension and vocabulary and the novel as a whole, but also allow for the exploration of poetry, within and outside of the novel.

I wrote this one on a beach holiday, so the feel of the beach is definitely throughout the resource for me. I also loved that I got to write my own poetry for this resource. It was great to flex some of those creative writing muscles again.

Get your copy here

 
 
 
 

Celebrating Galarious Goods! Welcome to Our First Birthday Party!

 
Celebrating Galarious Goods! Welcome to Our First Birthday Party!
 

Happy anniversary to me! This time last year I was preparing to launch Galarious Goods. I was learning everything there was to know about preparing teacher resources which could be sold around the world and working hard to have quality resources to sell when I went live. Since then, hundreds of teachers have bought Galarious Goods products in their classrooms and thousands have been able to download free products from TeachersPayTeachers and from right here. Not too bad for the first year in business!

Just as we're celebrating here, it's important to celebrate learning in the classroom. Sometimes there's bigger things to celebrate, like understanding how fractions work or students showing big improvements in a spelling test. Other times you might just want to celebrate learning the origin of a word or learning how to apply maths skills to solve a multi-step problem. All these types of learning are building bricks in the knowledge of our students and it's important to acknowledge that our students are continually learning and that all learning is important.

Posters and displays can be a great way to acknowledge the daily learning, so I've put together a little Celebrating Learning Poster Freebie which is suitable for a range of classrooms. There are two posters included - both in black and white and colour - and these allow you to brainstorm ways to celebrate in the classroom and share what you're celebrating with your students and parents.

 
 

I've learned so much in the last year, but one thing which has been confirmed for me is how strong the community of teachers are around the world. So many teachers are dedicated to sharing ideas and making the often difficult teaching job that little bit easier (or more fun, if you're following some of the 'oops, I went shopping at Ikea/Kmart/Target' posts on Instagram!)

What else have I learned? Well my design skills have improved drastically, something which I really noticed when I recently updated the Ranger's Apprentice novel study resources! I've also learned a lot about some of the ways I can help teachers to present the same material in different ways - offering task cards and presentation files for teachers with low photocopy budgets or low-paper schools, offering differentiated information sheets for difficult topics, offering activities which can be completed by individuals, small groups or in a whole class effort!

I've also learned a HUGE amount about Australian Civics and Citizenship and how the Australian Government works. Interestingly, I think it's made me a more informed citizen - I've always had an interest in politics and government, but now I can understand some of the reasons they make the statements they make or legislate in a certain way!

Next week, I'm going to share some of my favourite resources from the last year, but for now I just wanted to say thank you to my readers and buyers. Here's to another great year ahead.

You can get your Galarious Goods resources here. 

 
 
 
 

Using Printable Resources When You Have A Photocopy Limit

Photocopy limits are the pits! I once taught at a school with a ridiculously tight budget and found myself almost in tears when something copied out wrong - all those wasted copies! They can be particularly frustrating when we come across wonderful printable resources which we'd love to use with our students. Luckily, thanks to the help of some of my fellow 'Down Under' teachers, I've discovered some great workarounds which allow teachers to use the printables and stay within their copy budget.

 
 

1. Embrace the Laminator

Laminate, laminate, laminate! One of the best purchases I've made as a teacher is my own laminator. You can laminate fact sheets, task cards and task cards to be used over and over again. You can also laminate worksheets to use with whiteboard markers - allowing you to use them with different groups of students. (I particularly loved these as a substitute teacher!). One excellent tip from Mrs Manning's Classroom is to use magic erasers to help clean the laminated sheets when students are finished, while Teach Travel Learn recommends laminating a few extra for the inevitable use of permanent markers.

2. Laminator Alternatives

Don't have a laminator? Run out of sheets? Don't have the time to laminate everything? Tech Teacher Pto3 shared these awesome ideas with me - reusable write and wipe sleeves, where you just stick in whichever sheet you're working on (these would also work great to protect task sheets or fact sheets) and the DIY alternative, using plastic sheet protectors and folders.

3. Work in Groups

I love rotational groups. My photocopy budget does too! Breaking the class down into four or five groups allows you to change up what they're working on - some might be engaged in discussions, writing tasks, games or work with the teacher, while another group engages with the printed resources. Using the laminator or laminator alternatives, you can simply prepare enough printables for the group, then reuse them as the groups rotate around. If your students aren't great at returning the materials, nominate one student to be the collector or number the materials to allow students to keep track of what's coming back in.

4. Reduce and Share Space

Lots of printables take up a full page - this means it's time to make friends with the reducing option! Some printers will help you reduce sizes as you print, or you might like to use the features on the photocopier to reduce the sizes. When you have 2 reduced copies, you can print them side by side - effectively getting twice the copies! Little Library Learners suggested the use of miniature clipboards to hold the reduced copies - perfect for smaller hands!

5. Check The Work

Sadly, some printable resources just won't work with your photocopy budget, no matter how much you laminate, use group work or reduce. So how can you avoid buying resources which won't work for you? One thing you can do is read thoroughly through descriptions which come with the products - many include page counts and descriptions of the included features. Check out any previews which come with the product - many of them show you exactly what you're getting. Look for resources which include task cards which can be shared between students, files which can be displayed on devices or with projectors or other resources which can be reused within the same class or from year to year. When you're well informed about what you're purchasing, you'll feel good about what you're buying and using it in your classroom!

 

Looking for some resources with presentation files? These Getting Involved citizenship resources allow you to cut down on photocopying by providing a file which can be easily viewed with projectors or on devices. Get them at Galarious Goods today.