Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Farfaria - A Great App For Back to School

I just discovered an amazing reading app for kids.
I haven't had the chance yet to classroom test it, but I did the next best thing - I just pretended to be a kid and explored. It is extremely easy to use and as a Teacher, I love that all their book choices are levelled from P, which is easiest, to level 4, most difficult and challenging. The level is displayed on the front of every book cover. Farfaria has over 600 titles and 5 new titles added weekly. Lots of variety is also a big plus for me cause I like to be able to give my kids as many book choices as possible. Each book has a Read to Me or Read Myself feature.
The app is geared for 2 to 9 year olds and there are literally all kinds of books to read, fiction, non-fiction, sing song books, fairytales and more. Your kids can explore the magical Farfaria lands like Fantasy Falls, Adventure Island and my personal favourite Mt. Make Believe. With the iPad, kids can choose their own genre of discovery and the library is always Open. 
One of the things I like best about the app is that it highlights and tracks each word as the child reads. This is a must have for my first graders. I am going Back to School with Farfaria. If you would like to give it a try, you can download the app for free here, but it only allows you to read one story. If you'd like a chance to win a 3 month subscription to Farfaria, enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.
Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Two Stars and a Wish - Tips for Back to School

Welcome to Two Stars and a Wish, hosted by Mandy's Tips for Teachers. This is a blog hop that will give you some great and very useful ideas ideas for Back to School.

My 1st Star Idea involves school supplies. Every year on the first day of school, my kids arrive with all their stuff. Piles and piles of it, it's overwhelming to say the least. I find it very difficult to sort through all that and still be dealing effectively with my new batch of kids and all that goes along with that. Here is a look at just a fraction of my supplies on the 1st day last year. 
I had so many other things to deal with that morning that I just left everything in a pile at the front of my room and ended up sorting it at the end of the day. Took me a long time. So…. never going to do that again. My Star Idea - This year, I asked my parents to make a quick trip to school in the days before classes begin, so that they can drop off supplies and give me any other information that they need to. So much easier and neither of us will feel rushed. It also gives me a chance to check and make sure that each child has what they need and nothing has been forgotten from the list. 
I try to be as organized as I possibly can on that 1st day. But, there is always so much to do. When I take a look at my classroom on those first few days back before the kids come, I start making list after list of things I want to get done. The list ends up being so long that I never get through it all. My 2nd Star Idea - this year I decided, before I left in June, that I would get cracking on my list right away. So this summer, I have taken a bit of time to organize my classroom from home and I know that this will save me time in the long run. Here is a bit of what I've done.
Getting my book baskets ready. I have some now, but they really needed a facelift.
Getting my reading folders and notebooks ready, labels and all.
And finally, getting my Teacher planner ready!
My wish - to improve my ability to assess my kids quickly. I've noticed that it takes a while to really size each child in my class up, so that I know what kind of learner or reader or thinker or little person I have in my possession for that year. This school year, I hope to get on that more quickly right from the first day of school. I use this Pack to help me find out what interests my kids and it gives me an idea of how they think/work right from the get go. 
Just click on the pic for more info. 

If you enjoyed these star ideas, I would love it if you followed my TPT Store or Blog so you can be notified every time I post something new.

For more Star ideas from over 40 different bloggers, please browse through the link up below and choose a topic that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A Different Kind of Read to Self

I'm linking up with Christina from Sugar and Spice today for Wordless Wednesday. So, here it is…

This is what happened one time when Read to Self went in another direction completely and I just didn't have the heart to stop it. It was too adorable. They were both so into their books. I had no choice, I just let it be.