Little Miss Teacher is a place where those of us in the classroom can share our ideas, resources and experiences. We can also have a good old moan and share some of those funny little things our children say!


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My New Class

Well, they arrived today and they looked so smart and clean in their brand new uniform and shiny shoes! That lasted until around lunch time, by when they were sporting stripy spaghetti stains down their shirts and around their faces! Bless!

Year 3 is a big move! They have changed building and uniform and they look so tiny in our huge KS2 block! There were a few tears here and there, but we had a nice easy start to the year!

They were so quiet and well-behaved today that I am wondering if this may be the calm before the storm? I am sure the next few days will tell, but so far so very, very good!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

First Day Ideas

Even after all these years of teaching, I still fret about what to do on the first day with my new class. Here are a few ideas, although I am sure I will have a sleepless night trying to decide which of them to use!

  • Circle Time - getting to know each other; likes/dislikes; fears; hopes/targets for the year
  • Discussion and writing about their holiday (old faithful)
  • Writing one or two targets for the first half term - on a leaf, to go onto a display of a target tree
  • Book/tray/locker labelling - keeps them busy whilst I try and do reading assessments!
  • Names word search - getting to know you ( has a wordsearch maker package for free)
  • Name acrostic poems for display - choosing posive words like great, fantastic etc - good dictionary work here too
  • Shape posters/pictures - using 2D shapes and coloured paper - can either make a picture of holidays etc or write about shape properties. Quick, easy and looks good on the wall!
  • All About Me writing
  • Print and copy title pages for each topic for them to colour (Romans, plants etc)
  • Self portraits for a welcome to our class display (also use the digital camera for this these days!)
  • Golden rules sheet - writing examples of things they can do to follow each rule (can use pictures for younger classes)

Basically, just things to keep them busy whilst I work with individuals doing assessments.

Golden Time

Golden Time is a positive behaviour system to use in your class or even as a whole school. Many schools use it and adapt it to meet their own needs. The way I use it is based on Jenny Moseley's ideas (she has written a lot of Circle Time books too).

Basically, you share with your class the six Golden Rules:

Do be gentle
Do be kind and helpful
Do work hard
Do listen to people
Do be honest
Do look after property

For me, this has replaced the need for any other class rules. You could adapt them if you wish, but these seem to cover most things.

I make a chart with all my childrens names down the side, and the days of the week accross the top. This is a bit like a star chart, but using smiley faces and egg-timers instead.

At the end of each day, you ask each child if they have followed the Golden Rules. It's worth spending ten minutes or so daily on this for the first week or so, but they get faster, so it isn't too time consuming at the end of a long day.

Ask the children if they need a smiley or timer and to give you an example of something they have done following the Golden Rules. They are very good at evaluating their own behaviour and are usually very honest. This isn't a time to tell them off for discovering they weren't gentle because the hit Johnny in the eye! If they do want a timer, I usually say something like, "Well, you have started to follow the Golden Rules again by being honest, so well done!"

We have Golden Time for the last half hour of Friday afternoon. This is their special time where they can choose what to do, bring in games and sometimes we have structured treats like cooking or art. For each timer a child has got, they miss 5 minutes of their Golden Time. I use a five minute egg-timer and they watch this sitting on the mat whilst the rest of us run wild! If they have 2 timers, they have to miss ten minutes and so on.

Believe me, if they get timers this week, they will work their hardest to ensure they have none next week!

The children love their Golden Time and work hard to earn it. It is a big treat for them, and I am more than happy to justify to my boss the need for that special half hour in our timetable - it can always come out of the PSHE time anyway.

What I really like about it is that it works from Reception to Year 6 (although I have used the term Funky Friday instead of Golden Time with the older ones).

Any other ideas for Golden Time activities would be appreciated.


A few pictures of displays in my classroom. I don't take enough photos of displays, so that is my new school years resolution. I will add more as they go up this term. Please add your own too.

Jolly Phonics

Jolly Phonics is an amazing method for teaching children to read and write. It is aimed primarily at reception, but can be used with older children too.

It moves away from teaching young children 1 sound each week. You go fast, a sound a day, and they learn fast! It also moves away from teaching ABC. It actually teaches the 42 main sounds of the English language in a specific order which research shows enables children to build words faster. Basically, you start by teaching them s, a, t, i, p and n in the first six days. You can actually make about 40 words from these letters...


Have a go! How many can you make?

What I love about it is that it is multi-sensory, so appeals to the different kinds of learners in your class. Therefore, it works well with more of the children. Each sound has a story and an action and there is a specific way of pronouncing each sound too which makes it easier to blend them into words. No more 'nuh'. 'muh' etc. You say nnnnnnn - one long sound, keeping your tongue on the roof of your mouth. This makes it much easier for the children.

This also helps greatly if you, as I do, work with ESL children from countries with known pronounciation problems, such as r and l.

If you would like to know more about it, check out their website at

I am also a trainer for them in the Asia region, so email me if you would like help. advice or to arrange some INSET for your school.

I have made a lot of resources to use with this, which I would be happy to share. If anyone can tell me how I can upload Word, Publisher and PowerPoint files on to here, that is what I would like to do. If not, email me for them


Back to school!

Well, it's back to school for me tomorrow, after six and a half weeks of lazing around. It is going to be difficult!

I remember always dreading going back to school after a long holiday when I was a kid. I still feel the same way now as a teacher! Anyone else feel like this?

It's not all bad, I know once I get there, everything will be fine. It's just the thought of going. Ouch!

We have 2 INSET days to start with, which means meetings, meetings about meetings and then some more meetings! That at least makes you look forward to the children coming in!

But after such a long holiday, where I havent had to get up once to the sound of an alarm clock, it is going to be tough! And, I can never sleep the night before school starts either!

Does anyone have any tips?


Debs Posted by Picasa

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