Little Miss Teacher Blog

By Clara Fiorentini

Friday, 10 January 2020

Sight Word Spelling Rainbow

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This is a useful little activity for practicing spelling and actually writing words down.

The Sight Word Spelling Rainbow simply requires the pupil to practice spelling the tricky word using the correct colours for each section. Write the target words on the clouds for the pupils and off you go!

Another practical strategy for working on those high frequency words...or any spellings! 

You can download my free template here. If you're using them in your classroom, be sure to share a picture of them in action on Instagram!

© C.Fiorentini - Little Miss Teacher Blog 2019. Resources, excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Hello & Goodbye: Seizing time for talk

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Oral language is the foundation for literacy development. By fostering language development we're enabling our learners to become more successful readers and writers. Humans are hard wired to talk. It's what we do best and by limiting talk time, we're limiting our learning and limiting opportunities to show what we already know and what we've learned.

As teachers, we are always on the hunt for transitions & strategies to open & conclude lessons. Sometimes less is more and we can overlook what's already at hand and what many of the children in front of you may be bursting to do - TALK!

Here are three strategies of mine to maximise some talk time in the classroom!

1. Ready, steady, TALK!

In years gone by, it seems as if many were allergic to noise or talk during transitions or interruptions. (Hands up who remembers 'Téigh a choladh!' or 'Heads down!' ?)
Sometimes the best transition is to let the children decompress by having a quick chat with the person beside them or those at their group. Ready, Steady, Talk is a simple but useful transition I regularly used with Infants and Senior Classes. I found it allowed for a lot more attention and focus during the next lesson as children got the chance to get burning issues off their chest, relax after an intense learning session and simply practice communicating with their peers. From time to time you can mix it up by setting a topic of discussion, challenging the children to go and talk to someone at a different table or someone who they haven't spoken to in a while. Set a time limit of 2-3 minutes and off they go. The routine is easy to follow and the children look forward to it and it is a great opportunity for you, the teacher, to listen, observe or have a chat with a particular pupil too! Use the time wisely, plan your intentions and a discrete, informal oral language opportunity presents itself before you!

2. Hometime High 5

I love an exit strategy. I love an exit strategy even more if it includes an opportunity for the students to think and talk too. This my Hometime High Five exit strategy - everyone leaving get's a high five and needs to tell the teacher one thing they enjoyed about that day at school. Change it up every so often to get them thinking outside the box - something they found difficult, something they would like to do again - whatever, once it gets the children talking & sharing! 

3. Talk, Listen, Transition!

If you're fond of a jingle, this is a nice one to invite children to talk & listen to each other as part of a transition between learning or during lessons!

Let's make time for talk a resolution for 2020!

If you would find these posters useful, you can download them here for free. If you're using them in your classroom, be sure to share a picture of them in action on Instagram!

© C.Fiorentini - Little Miss Teacher Blog 2019. Resources, excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Martin Luther King Day 2020

This year Martin Luther King Day takes place on Monday 20th January 2020.
As many of you will already know Martin Luther King day is celebrated every year on the third Monday of January - which is generally close to his birthday, January 15th.

Martin Luther King falls into the History books usually for 5th/6th class but is an extremely interesting character from history for children in other class groups to learn about too and obviously secondary school too. Funnily enough, I see it is listed as a topic in my little boy's creche this month too - we're never too young to explore diversity and inclusion. Regardless of the age group, it's a topic leads to great opportunities for writing, discussion, projects, stories, artwork - through all subjects - as I'm always saying, endless possibilities!

Use old magazines to create a meaningful MLK project. Students find and build words and phrases that represent MLK and the man that he was. See more examples and a how-to at Funky in Fourth.:

I love these silhouette word collages made with magazine cuttings. Image from Pinterest.

The Best Martin Luther King Jr. Crafts for Kids | Carrots Are Orange could even use when you talk about "all about me" and several other themes:

Diversity experiment. Image from Pinterest.

~Joy in the Journey~: Martin Luther King Quotes & Activities:

A nice activity "Inside the Head of a Future Leader" from Joy in the Journey.

The Bubbly Blonde: The Crayon Box That Talked Freebie Writing Papers:

The Crayon Box, a fabulous, thought-provoking poem. This image is from The Bubbly Blonde Teacher.

Martin Luther King Day  Apex Elementary Art:

I love Pop Art and this Martin Luther King Jr. themed piece is fabulous. Found this on Apex Elementary Art

And how relevant is this? "If Martin Luther King Jr. had Instagram". This brilliant display is from 6th Grade Tales. Download my FREE instagram template to get a head start on this activity. 

My class has recently been deeply involved in studying Martin Luther King, Jr.  My students have spent a great deal of time creating videos...:

For more ideas on how to use Instagram as a writing prompt, see my blog post on INSTAGRAM POSTS IN THE CLASSROOM.


Looking for some ready to go resources for teaching a topic on Martin Luther King Jr. ?

My own Martin Luther King Bumper Resource Pack is FREE TO DOWNLOAD - 10 resources, enough for at least a fortnight of project work on MLK.

There's Pinterest board on Martin Luther King Teacher Ideas on my Pinterest page for more inspiration.


Don't forget. Martin Luther King's powerful speeches are one of the most brilliant examples of expositions - useful if you're doing work on the genre of expositions for literacy.

There's a printable copy of MLK's 'I have a dream' speech free to download here.

What's an exposition again?!
An exposition is the critical evaluation of ideas involving argument, persuasion, or debate.
The purpose of an exposition is to develop an idea and supporting details in order to present a logical argument from a particular point of view.
The main focus of expositions is logical reasoning.

Loads of scope for lots of lovely cross-curricular learning!

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© C.Fiorentini - Little Miss Teacher Blog 2019. Resources, excerpts and links to my content may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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