Monday, 29 August 2016

Back to School Sale

Hi all

A little while ago I dipped my toe into the waters of a new resource website. TES is  UK based website that supports Times Educational Supplement, a well-known and respected publication for the teaching profession. The site is still in its early stages and is not without its teething problems, but the TES team work hard to iron out any glitches, and I have to say that all seems to be well.

TES is available worldwide with a huge range of resources available for the US market as well as other countries around the world. Whilst my preferred site is still TPT, it's always good to have other outlets.

Between 4th and 6th September TES is hosting a site-wide sale. All of the resources that I have uploaded so far are included in the sale at 25% off. Why not take a few moments to check out what is available and let me know what you think. My page can be found at

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

I am pleased to be joining in a Book Review Blitz for the charming children's book written by Sandra L. Richards and illustrated by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan, Rice & Rocks.


About the Book

Title: Rice & Rocksl | Author: Sandra L. Richards | Illustrator: Megan Kayleigh Sullivan Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing | Publication Date: August 23, 2016 | Genre: Children's Picture Book | Number of Pages: 32
Book Description:

Tradition takes flight in Rice & Rocks, a picture book celebrating culture and diversity.

Giovanni's friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed he does not like 'rice and rocks' and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue. She and Giovanni's pet parrot, Jasper, take him on a magical journey across the globe, visiting places where people eat rice and rocks. This exciting story celebrates the varied traditions of every culture while also highlighting the delicious similarities that bring us all together.

Take a look inside the book...

About the Author: Sandra L. Richards

Sandra L. Richards is the debut picture book author of Rice & Rocks. With Rice & Rocks, Sandra brings a unique contribution to the world of children’s books. An American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, she hopes the book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity.

Learn more about Sandra at

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | LinkedIn

Amazon | Books a Million | Seattle Book Company

About the Illustrator: Megan Kayleigh Sullivan

Megan Kayleigh Sullivan graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2012 with a degree in Illustration. She is currently working as a freelance illustrator and storyboard artist, and aspires towards a career in the film and animation industry as a concept artist, character designer, or visual development artist (or d., all of the above). She enjoys traveling, writing, telling stories, and hula-hooping.

​Visit her at

LinkedIn | Instagram

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Best Year Ever Bonus Sale - Win a $10 TPT Card

Hi all

It's that time of year again - back to school. To help us all with our preparations, for one day only, TPT is throwing it's Best Year Ever sale.

On Monday 22nd August you will be able to get 20% off everything in my store, If you use the code OneDay at checkout you will receive a further discount up to a massive 28%. Now that's a great help for the new school year. Clicking the image below will take you straight to my store.

As a bonus, you can win a $10 gift card to spend in my TPT store. All you have  to do is follow my TPT page , like my Facebook page and this post and in the comments box tell me which country you are in and when your kids go back to school. I will randomly choose a winner and post here on 23rd August. Good luck!

Here's a snapshot of some of the items on offer:

First Day Jitters - Bumper Back to School Activity Pack  First Day Jitters - Bumper Back to School Activity Pack
A bumper pack of activities for those first days back at school. Based around the popular book "First Day Jitters" by Julie Danneberg, the pack contains everything you need to settle your kiddos in and chase away any "first day jitters".

The pack includes:

Pre-reading prediction activity
Post-reading discussion activity
Story map
Letter to Sarah
My Perfect Day at School writing activity
What's in your lunchbox?
My First Day Jitters
Two Truths and a Lie
Word Wall
Student v Teacher Venn Diagram
Compound Words
Congratulations certificate

Good to be Me - Skills, Strengths and Talents 

A huge bundle of lesson plans, activities and resources intended to explore talents, skills and strengths, including:

Lesson plans x3
All About Me Passport
My Very Own Poster
10 Fascinating Things About Me
Our Book of Talents
Sharing our Talents
Things I Am Good At/Like to Do
Poster Design
Strength Sort
Going for Gold Medal
Coloring Pages x5

To reflect on personal skills, interests and talents
To find out about how people share their talents with others and why
To demonstrate talents to the class
To think about how to play to strengths

Open House Slideshow - Pirates

Open House Slideshow - Pirate Theme  Open House Slideshow - Pirate Theme  Open House Slideshow - Pirate Theme

There is no feeling quite like when your child starts school for the first time, or moves to a new class. Teachers arrange their classes in different ways and have different procedures for homework, class management, behaviour etc. There are lots of questions that parents want answering, and Open House is a great time to meet the new teacher and find out a little about what the new school year will bring for their child, They also want to know how they can help their child and how they can help the teacher.

This slideshow can be adapted to include all the information you need to pass on to your parents, from classroom expectations to grading policies, to what you will be teaching across the year. From field trips to special events. From Daily 5 to Math, Science and Writer's Workshop. From morning arrival to afternoon dismissal.

This slideshow can also be adapted to suit older students.

The slideshow has a cute pirate theme. Each slide can be edited to suit your schedule and activities, and put on a loop at Open House so that parents can get all the information they need at a glance.

14 slides, all with embedded fonts.

Also available: pink and green owls, zebras, kids, carnival, giraffes, cheerleaders, great outdoors, snake jungle, fall critter and sock hop

Common Core "I Can" Statements

Available for reading, writing and language for K-5

I also have a full range of Great Outdoors classroom d├ęcor items.

Presidential Election 2016

I am very proud of my latest resource - my Presidential Election 2016 movie and activity pack. Both are available separately or purchased together at a discount.

Presidential Election 2016 - Movie and Activity Pack

Presidential Election 2016 - Movie and Activity Pack  Presidential Election 2016 - Movie and Activity Pack  Presidential Election 2016 - Movie and Activity Pack

This pack provides lesson ideas and activities to help teach Grade 3-6 children about the Presidential Election system in the USA.

The pack includes a fully animated 7 minute 5 second movie which gives a background to the Presidential Election system in child-friendly language. It includes cool graphics and exciting music, sounds and animations that are sure to appeal to a younger audience.

The activities pack is 29 pages long and begins with a Cool Kids KWHL chart to brainstorm facts already known, things they want to know, and how they will go about finding out. Through teacher input and independent research, children then build up biographies of the candidates, and research the key issues they represent. Finally, they use books and websites to research information for their own presentation to the class on their chosen candidate.

The movie is in MP4 format. Please contact me if you would prefer it as a Powerpoint animated slideshow.

Happy shopping! And remember to leave me some feedback - I'd love to know what you think of my work.


Thursday, 28 January 2016

New Resource - Shape and Colour

Hi all!
It's been a while, but I haven't been sitting on my hands. I can now reveal my latest project...

"Shape and Colour" was devise firstly as a tool for teaching vocabulary (basic colours and technical knowledge of 2D shapes). Aimed at all children from K to Grade 2 (Reception to Year 3), it aims to teach the properties of 2D shapes and increase the vocabulary bank by consolidating knowledge of colour words and introducing technical maths terms such as corner, edge, parallel etc.

The visual nature of the resource is great for pupils who are learning English and struggling to build up a vocabulary bank.

 The resource is 29 pages long with a series of fun activities that are designed to engage and interest all learners.
It is available in both UK and US English through my TPT store, TES shop US and TES shop UK at a very reasonable price. I do hope you enjoy!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Using Castles to Cover the Curriculum

Hello and welcome back! I don't know where the last six weeks disappeared to - we wait in eager anticipation for the summer break to arrive and when it does it just seems to zoom by! I can't believe that we're now back at school, well and truly back into the swing of things. Oh well, here's counting down to half term in eight weeks....

Although I didn't get away anywhere during the holidays, I did manage to spend lots of time enjoying my beautiful Wales. Wales has so much to offer, from great cities, shopping, eating out, theatre and music, to the most glorious countryside ranging from sparkling white sandy beaches, dunes, craggy cliffs and coves, to rolling green hills, patchwork quilt countryside and towering, dramatic mountains. One of the seven Celtic nations of the world, Wales can boast its own language (we are a bilingual nation) and a rich history of proud Celtic traditions and culture.

The earliest inhabitants of Wales were Celts from continental Europe, who migrated in several waves.  The Romans occupied most of Wales, where they built roads and forts, mined gold and conducted commerce, but their interest in it was limited, because of the difficult geography and shortage of flat agricultural land. They established several forts, including Caerleon (Isca), Chester (Deva) and Caernarfon (Segontium) and one major town in Wales - Caerwent (Venta Silurum). The Silures were the major tribe of south-east Wales. Their military leader, Caratacus (Caradoc), had joined them from another, defeated, tribe. Under his leadership, they defied the Romans for a period after the Claudian invasion, but eventually Caratacus was captured and taken to Rome, where his dignified bearing made such an impression on the people that his life was spared.

When Rome withdrew its rule from Britain in AD 410, Wales was left self-governing. One of the reasons for the Roman withdrawal was the pressure put upon the empire's military resources by the incursion of barbarian tribes from the east. These tribes, including the Angles and Saxons, were unable to make inroads into Wales, but they gradually occupied the whole of England, leaving Wales cut off from her Celtic relations in Scotland. Wales was divided into a number of separate territories, and for a single man to rule the whole country at this period was rare, the first to do so being Rhodri Mawr, during the 9th century AD. Rhodri's grandson, Hywel Dda, succeeded in drawing up a standard legal system and brought peace to the country, but, on his death, his territories were once again divided.  A major difficulty in achieving national unity was the inheritance system practised in Wales. All sons received an equal share of their father's property (including illegitimate sons). Liberal as this policy was, it resulted in frequent internecine violence and the division of small territories into still smaller ones, so that, by the time of the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Wales was again fragmented. The princes of Gwynedd, in the north, were increasingly dominant. Owain Gwynedd, who died in 1170, had a strong hold on his principality, but, following his death, his sons squabbled and murdered one another. Out of the ensuing power struggle eventually arose the greatest of all Welsh leaders, Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, also known as Llywelyn Fawr or Llywelyn the Great, but internal strife again broke out after his death, culminating in the rise to power of his grandson, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Llywelyn the Last.  He gained the antagonism of King Edward I of England, who determined to complete the conquest of Wales. After Llywelyn's death in battle in 1282, only token resistance was offered by the surviving princes. King Edward's ring of impressive stone castles assisted the domination of Wales, and he crowned his achievement by giving the title Prince of Wales to his son and heir in 1301.   In 1400, a Welsh nobleman, Owain Glyndwr, revolted against King Henry IV of England, inflicted several military defeats, and succeeded in evading capture, but he did not have the strength to survive as a leader. Subsequently, a Welshman, Henry Tudor, gained the throne as King Henry VII of England.

The evidence of this is easily spotted in Wales. You do not have to look hard to find ruins of Norman castles and Roman forts. Caerleon, the home of around 6000 Roman soldiers, has a well preserved bath house, barracks and amphitheatre. Caerwent has shops, villas, a basilica, a forum and even a Roman temple. Some of the best castles in the world can be found in Wales, including Raglan, Harlech, Caerphilly, Chepstow, Caernarfon and Conwy - a World Heritage Site. In addition, the ruins of Tintern Abbey and Valle Crucis stand in painful witness to Henry VIII's ruthless pillaging of the monasteries.

I love history, and consider myself truly blessed to live in a country where I can reach out and touch the evidence. Over the summer I walked the ruins of mighty stone castles, piecing them back together stone by stone in my mind until I had conjured up a picture of what they would have been in their glory days. I trod the footings of Roman barracks, knowing that Roman feet had left their footprints almost 200 years ago. I wandered around the remains of magnificent monasteries, saddened by the mindless dereliction inflicted by Henry VIII. It was truly awe inspiring.

So how can we bring history to life for children who have little concept of time, who live in an age where technology moves so fast that it becomes outdated within weeks, where new inventions and discoveries are happening every day? Our children cannot imagine a life before mobile phones, the internet and ipods: they have never seen a vinyl record and can't imagine why anyone would need to feed coins into a slot to make a phone call! Sometimes timelines just don't hit the mark.

It saddens me when I hear people say that they don't like history. History is what has made us who we are, for better or worse, and if we don't have an appreciation of where we came from and what made us, then it's difficult to know why we act in a particular way and hold certain beliefs. Bring history alive! Breathe life into old tales! Field trips are great and don't need to cost the earth. Dress up as Romans, eat meals, teach lessons, play games as they did. Children love to see, touch and explore things for themselves, so give them every opportunity to do so. If you haven't got the luxury of having the real thing on your doorstep, be creative!

Cadw, the Welsh Government's Historic Environment Service, has produced an education programme to help school groups to tackle subjects including literacy, numeracy, geography, science, technology, engineering and mathematics while on their historical visits. Click on the image to take you to a full list of resources.

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