Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Hodgepodge Wednesday plus wordless

Today I am doing something completely different and joining in with:

who has posted the various questions to which I have answered.  You can join in too by pressing on the button above.

1. Share a favorite memory/moment from the week of Christmas.
There were many but opening presents with the kids is still the most special :)

2.  If someone wrote a book about your life based on the past year, what genre would it fall under? What would the title be?
Probably Comedy and title - "What Are You Doing Now?"  I just can't believe all of the things I have got into since moving across country and finishing teaching!

3. What made you feel patriotic this year?
Not sure that I have done - although does supporting England in the Rugby World Cup count?

4. What experience from this past year would you like to do all over again?
There have been lots of new things that I have really enjoyed and I know in 2016 I'm going to do more nordic walking and more winter floristry as I really liked them the first time around :)

5. What song lyric sums up or is a reflection of your 2015?

Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf

Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure
And whatever comes our way
6. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate 2015?  (10=stellar) Why?
I would rate this year as an 8 possible 9 for all the happiness it has brought to my husband and I despite both of our children now being off on life's adventures of their own - university and travelling.  I was so imagining things to be much worse instead of being different and full of their own joys.  

7. What part of the upcoming year are you most excited about?
I think this will be the year I get more done and get better organised.  I feel excited about trying other new things out and meeting new people.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Wednesday Wordless - Cake!

Marzipaned and iced by me!!  First time ever :)

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Winter Wellies

Here's a little freebie once more on the theme of winter.  This time I was thinking about those mornings when the children all come in wearing their wellies and hopefully with a peg to clip them together in the cloakroom so they are not "lost" when it comes to breaktime (recess).

All children like pegging things on the clothes lines we often use in a classroom - either number ordering, sentence construction, punctuation etc so either you could use a piece of elastic as your line for each child to put around their chair back and peg their phonic boot pairs to it or just get them to simply peg the correct boots together and hold up for you to see.

The thinking behind this little resource is that children need repetition for blends and at the beginning of teaching it can all be a bit rushed and over-whelming for some.  By having colour-coded boots, this helps build in more correct answers to begin with and the physicality of actually finding, touching and pegging the correct wellies together will also help with memorising the two letters needed.

The welly clipart comes from a pack with textured spring flowers I made for my TpT store -

Click on the welly button to go to the downloadable document and let your students have fun!

If you have any other tips on helping children learn blends during their phonic lessons please let me know in the comments box or if you have any memories of wearing your wellies to school it'd be nice to hear :)

Monday, 28 December 2015

What Direction?

As we are starting to get to the New Year my thoughts are turning to what direction I should maybe steer my blog towards?

If anyone has any thoughts about what they would like to see or what bits about this little blog they enjoy I would welcome any feedback?  Just drop me a line below or if you prefer my email is

Many thanks!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Penguin Time

As most teachers know, we try to make teaching resources that fit our topics and the seasons in which we teach them.  Leading up to breaking up for the winter holiday brings a flurry of snowflakes and Christmas designs but afterwards going back early in January for "spring" term always seems rather out of kilter if we plunge in with spring flowers and baby birds when often there is a covering of snow on the ground outside the classroom!  That is why about this time of year my thoughts often turn to penguins and particularly if I come across some clipart that charms me and I know will engage children in their learning!

So today I want to offer you this freebie made using the inspiring clipart of the little penguins from Grade ONEderful - a Canadian teacher -

Just click on the picture above to be taken to the downloadable google doc!

I gave each of the cute little penguins his or her own parachute complete with phonic buttons in red. The children use this sheet (that will be laminated for re-use) to spell the six words containing three phonemes each they are told by their teacher.  e.g. dig, shed, top, thin, with, pan etc.  
Can they parachute their penguins to safety by spelling them correctly?

What type of resources do you use at this time of year?  Have you got any helpful hints for phonics you wish to share?  You know I'd love to know so leave me a comment - even if it's just agreeing that these little penguins are just adorable :)

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Christmas Celebrate

A quick Christmas Celebrate blog hop - once again hosted by the wonderful Lexa Cain (who even managed to host it on Christmas Day!!)

My own contribution is the tinsell-ated and baubled normal blog button above which if you press will take you to Lexa's website where you are welcome to join in :)

Christmas is a time for much rejoicing and giving thanks for the small things in ones life as well as sometimes realising what truly is most important.  We may well take for granted what others sincerely wish for.  I have read a great many blog posts over this past week which make me just so thankful for the hand I have been dealt and once again make me realise how lucky I am to have so much when there are so many that have so few.

Here's to wishing and hoping that 2016 brings much needed cheer and understanding around the world and that we can all play our part in making that happen :)

In the words of Jimmy Durante -
"It's so important to make someone happy"
Make someone happy
Make just one someone happy
And you will be happy too!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Ding Dong Merrily on High

The bells are beginning to chime summoning people to the Midnight service as I quickly write today's post.  Unfortunately, due to a back problem that has suddenly developed I will not be attending and I so wanted to this year as I have never done so and thought it might be nice to go and see Christmas Day in!  It will just have to wait until next year.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and 
a Happy New Year :)

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Wordless Wednesday Wreath

I was so pleased with my first ever attempt at making a proper Christmas wreath.

Did you try a new Christmas craft this year? 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Winter Freebie

Today I am sharing a little winter freebie I created after being inspired by another clipart artist I blogged about yesterday - Narelle and her wonderful sewing buttons.

Lots of children find learning their multiplication tables difficult so good graphics are needed to help them understand what is going on as they recite 1 x, 2 x, 3 x etc.  Colours can also help with the recall of key facts so hopefully these posters will benefit children by allowing them to count the number of holes in each button (4) and see the repeated addition in process :)

Click on the button below to go to the correct TpT page to download and enjoy!

As a child, I remember my first winter coat being a shaggy orange creation with a zip that made me look like a fuzzy duckling - I was none too keen.  Nowadays my winter coats are the classic black wool with 6 buttons - rather boring or if I am out getting muddy a barbour jacket.  What did you wrap up in as a child and what do you wear now?  I'd love to know :)

Monday, 21 December 2015

On a Mission plus lovely clipart freebies

I realise that if I post over these next few days I will have managed to have posted at least the same amount as last year so I think I ought to try!

A couple of shout outs to clipart artists I have been using recently:

Narelle from Australia who posted a lovely button clipart freebie which I will be featuring in a freebie product tomorrow - so stay tuned! You can find her store at:


Brad Fitzpatrick from Clipart Crush who kindly gave me permission to use his wonderful gingerbread clipart in a couple of my new products.
You can find his store at:

and my gingerbread products by pressing the buttons below

Be sure to check these artists and their products out.  I love talented and generous people :)

I'd also like some more feedback left on my TpT site if you do happen to download my freebie product - many thanks!

Let me and others know if you have found any great free clipart by leaving a comment below :)

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree

Well it's finally in the room - but only just!

Truly the tallest Christmas tree we've ever had and can ever have!  They've been growing steadily over the years but now it's official we have reached ceiling height there is no where else to go unless we start cutting holes in the actual ceiling!!  This is what comes of allowing Dad to go with DD to choose a tree - they egg each other on and this year they have come back with a tree that was destined for a school before something happened and it is now in our sitting room.

As you can imagine the cats have all been wondering - what is going on?

My own little artificial tree reached "vintage" this year having been with us for 25 years now and to give it its due has lasted really well.  Thank goodness I don't need to saw the top off it each year to get it in to position!

Do you have any Christmas tree traditions going on in your family?  Who goes out to choose it?  What room does it get put up in?

Saturday, 19 December 2015

I'm Back & Celebrating

OMG - where has the time gone?  Never mind - I'm finally back and catching up again with everyone on the Celebrate post.  Click on the button to link up :)

Over this past week, I've had many things to celebrate:

  1. The company of good friends
  2. Both of my children returning home for the Christmas holidays
  3. The ordering of the Christmas turkey before it was too late!
  4. Going to see the latest Star Wars movie at midnight as it opened here in the UK - and yes it really is that good - brought lots of memories flooding back of how I felt when I was a child watching the first one back in 1977.
Lexa on her blog is wondering what kitchen calamities we've experienced.  I think I'm quite lucky when I say not too many - but I always seem to burn the garlic bread whenever we have guests - I think it's because I get talking and forget about cooking.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong with the Christmas dinner this year  and that we don't forget something - normally it's the stuffing!

Here's to hoping everyone else has been having a good week and that this one leading up to Christmas will run smoothly for one and all :)  Tell me what you're planning to do - I'd love to know!