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!


Monday, December 26, 2005

Time to Reflect

I know that many people who were present during the tsunami would probably rather forget the ordeal. But a year on, my thoughts are with everyone who has been effected by the tragedy, wherever you are.

To the brave people attending memorial services today, my heart goes out to you and I hope it helps you in some way.

For the friends, colleagues and pupils who survived the ordeal, I am thankful. For those who did not, you are dearly missed.

Thursday, December 22, 2005



I don't know how many of you noticed, as I certainly hadn't, but I accidently changed the design of my blog yesterday! I was playing with the new buttons available in Blogger, tried a new design template, but noticed it meant I had lost all my customised links and things. I thought by not pressing publish that nothing would happen! Apparently I was wrong!

Fortunately, I had made a back up of my template yesterday morning after I tidied up the sidebar. Let me take this opportunity to remind all you bloggers out there to make regular back-ups too! It only took a few mouse clicks to repair it all!

That said, if any of you rpeferred the new design, let me know. I can change it again and copy the links in. I know Andrew on Primary Teacher UK changed to a white background to help those readers with dyslexia. I just liked the colours on this one! (I buy cars using the same criteria!!)

Comments please?


Year 3 Maths Plans

The Wirral Learning Grid have produced a set of maths plans for Year 3. I haven't used them myself as yet, but they come highly recommended!

For anyone teaching other year groups, their Mathematics Resource page has loads of stuff on assessment, homework, using Teaching Assistants and ICT opportunities. Worth bookmarking as it is updated fairly regularly.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Aesop's Fables Resources

Many teachers will be covering Aesop's Fables soon and here are a couple of really useful resources.

There are two PowerPoints which can be found at the Teacher Resource Exchange. The catalogue is really useful for using with a projector and my class loved it last year. Click on any of the titles on the contents page to go to that fable, which usually only take up 2 slides. Be sure to download the one at the bottom as the 'home' link didn't work in the original. The other PowerPoint explores the style of his writing. has loads of online fables. Some of them have an audio file attached too, but I am not too keen on this. You can also access a list of lesson plans which have been sent in.

I have some other resources on my school computer, so will post those next term.


Library Skills - Dewey Decimal Classification Animated Tour

The Online Computer Library Centre (OCLC) is a useful site for anyone in charge of a school library. They have produced a very useful Animated Tour of the Dewey Decimal Classification System which you can view using Flash. I am going to try it with my Year 3's, although I may skip a few of the pages. It can be used with much older children too. They also have a short biography of Melville Dewey and even a Dewey Blog!

A resource which may come in useful from time to time.


How To Run A Science Club

I came across The BA website today (British Association for the Advancement of Science) and as well as some good ideas for science week and other resources, they have a link on How To Run A Science Club.

It gives some sound advice with some useful downloads available for anyone interested in starting such a club. It also provides useful organisations which you can contact for assistance if you are in the UK. I liked the idea of bridging the clubs with local secondary schools to make use of their resources and specialist teachers. We actually do this in our school already as we have the senior school on the other side of the playground! It works very well.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Ho Chi Minh's simple stilt house. Posted by Picasa

Hanoi, Vietnam

Thanks to everyone who mailed and posted messages in my absence. It is nice to know my little blog remains popular even when I am not around to update it!

Hanoi was wonderful. It is a lovely city with so much history and architecture. I feel guilty for learning about it all retrospectively - I had no idea before I went but I'm reading up now!

The Old Quarter is marvellous maze of little streets with shops selling everything under the sun. My hotel was located on Hang Dao - roughly translated to mean 'Shoe Street'. I was in heaven - so many shoes to choose from. (if anyone wants hotel info, email me. The Sofitel Metropole, where I also spent a night, is over-priced and very over-rated!)

So with all my Christmas shopping done, I am back and will be once again posting regularly. More from me soon.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Good Morning Vietnam!

Well, the next five good mornings actually! I am off to Hanoi for 5 days so please excuse me going quiet!

Back on Monday evening.


Work-related Blogs and News

Work-related Blogs and News

Give James a hand by completing his questionaire to aid his research into blogging about work! His posts are useful, sometimes amusing and very readable!


Writing Instructions - Recipes KS1

Here is a set of four sheets I used in Year 1 when writing recipes. There are two very simple templates on which to write a recipe for a fruit salad and a pizza and two sheets for work on verbs. I used them in Y1 but Y2 may be able to make use of them too.

I introduced the imperative verbs as 'Bossy Words' and we had great fun being bossy, giving instructions to each other before we started. the children loved doing this and had no trouble at all when it came to writing down the instructions themselves.

We also brought in our teddy bears (me included) and took them outside with us with our fruit salads for a Teddy Bears Picnic. Are you brave enough to eat their delicious cooking???

In Y3, we based our instructional writing on producing a guidebook for an alien coming on a visit to our school. I asked the children what they thought he would need to know. They came up with ideas such as how to tie his tie, brush his teeth, use a knife and fork etc. Each child went away and wrote their own set of instructions for him, which I then bound together to produce a guidebook which I posted to him! (amazing what they fall for!). Unfortunately, he later emailed them to apologise explaining that he couldn't come due to mechanical problems with the spaceship! Bless!

Download the Recipe Worksheets or click on the title at the top

Monday, December 12, 2005

Scary Santa Or Silly Pyscho-Babble??

I have just laughed my socks off at the BBC's report about the 'Terrfiying Santa' warning on Teachernet!

Apparently, someone had posted some advice about the dangers of pantomimes and the scary aspects of Christmas entertainment. Whilst I understand that seeing Cannon and Ball in drag in a pantomime is enough to terrify anyone, I agree that this advice was being just a bit too PC!

The DFE have stated this was not their official viewpoint or Government policy. Teachernet have removed the advice from their site - I have just done a quick search to no avail! Let me know if you find it.



I am quite shocked to read about all the tummy bugs hitting schools at the moment. Andrew mentioned his school had been hit quite badly last week on his PrimaryTeacher UK blog.

After a busy weekend, I have just been catching up on the education news and saw Friday's BBC report about a school in Wales which has been forced to close due to illness too!

My own school differs slightly! We are already on holiday (I know, I know - it isn't fair!) but last week saw a dwindle in numbers on the last couple of days so that everyone could jet off to all corners of the globe on the only available flights! No major illnesses fortunately, but I guess that may be something to do with the beautiful weather here!

So sorry to tease (hehe). I am actually a bit sad that I won't be back to fight for the last box of mince pies in M&S or be able to sit around the fire. If it makes you feel any better, I do have the start of holiday compulsory for teachers cold starting!

Is it just me or do the rest of you manage to plod on until the start of the holidays before coming down with all sorts of ailments?

Hang in there everyone! Those lie-ins are looming!


Monday, December 05, 2005

Synthetic Phonics - The Rose Report

Jim Rose's interim report was published last week. It seems to suggest a move towards the use of synthetic phonics as oppopsed to the NLS analytical approach.

To me this is good news. I have been using a synthetic phonics approach for several years now and with great success.

I have read Friday's BBC report, by their education correspondent, Mike Baker. Like many, he is dubious, which is fair enough, but again he seems to think the teaching of reading is all about phonics. Phonics is essential obviously, but teaching reading is a whole lot more besides.

I feel that this is a good move and Jim Rose is correct, this is the first step, which then needs to be developed.

In the article, like many others, Mike Baker seems to think teaching reading is only about phonics. This is not the case. Many synthetic phonics programmes, such as
Jolly Phonics, state that once the children have a good knowledge of phonics, it enables us to move on to develop other literacy skills and a love of reading.

For me, teaching my class phonics comes first, but I am quickly able to move on to teaching transactional reading strategies, which enables the children to understand what they read, not simply decode it.

I think Jim Rose's recommendation is the first step in a series which is needed. More teachers need to know how to teach guided reading. If you browse the TES message boards, you will see many questions every week from teachers about how to do this. They are unsure, and similar to Mike Baker, seem to think reading is only about phonics.

Something else the BBC report has failed to mention is writing. If the children have been taught synthetic phonics, they are then able to identify the sounds in words which enables them to write independently too.

I believe this is a good move in the right direction. The synthetic schemes available out there, in the main, provide a clear overview of what to teach, when and how. This in itself has to be more beneficial than the methods initially prescribed in the NLS which threw teachers into an almighty panic. Most of the programmes available provide teachers with simple, clear guidance on how to deliver the content, making our lives easier!

Also, so many schools have already adapted a synthetic phonics approach, the government needs to acknowledge the changes which have happened under their noses. I believe that about 54% of schools in the UK already use synthetic phonics anyway!

Obviously, I am a big fan of Jolly Phonics, but only because I have yet to use anything else that achieves better results. If something new came along, I would try it and if it resulted in my class making more progress, I would use it. So far, the only programme to do this in my own experience has been Jolly Phonics.

Also have a look at the Synthetic Phonics website for a look at some other synthetic programmes available.


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