Word Clouds

Pebble loves sharing what she’s been learning at school. Lucky for us she has a super awesome teacher who also writes a blog! So we get to read about what’s happening at school, as well as hear it from Pebble. Recently Miss H shared that they had been making word clouds (sometimes called a wordle), and Pebble was keen to make some at home. Pebble used weather words because they’re learning about weather at school.

Weather Word Cloud

You’ll notice that Pebble used her ‘internet’ name, not her real name, in her word cloud. We’ve had lots of discussions about sharing information on the internet and she knows to be careful. She also thinks that her internet name is hilarious!

You can make a word cloud on ABCya! There are lots of features, including layout, colours and fonts, which are all super easy for kids young and old to use.

Why make a word cloud? You can use them to reflecting on learning, as creative writing prompts, for making gifts and much more! I made one for Octavia and Vicky using just the web address. Many word cloud creators let you do this, I used Tagul. How cool is this? I love that ‘Play’ stands out loud and clear.

Octavia and Vicky Wordle

You might have noticed that I’m not writing on Octavia and Vicky as often. I have something to tell you … I’ve been cheating on you! I’ve been writing a class blog, a research blog, a maths blog and have just agreed to contribute to a digital citizenship blog. I’m also still doing the odd contribution to some of my other favourite blogs. Phew! Never fear, I will still be here! Just not as often as you’re used to. You can still follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.

Have fun making word clouds! 

Last Minute Book Week Costume Ideas

Last Minute Book Week Costumes

Book Week is here! This year will be Pebble’s first official Book Week parade. She’ll be visiting her local primary school along with her kindergarten and joining in the Book Week fun. I’m very much a last minute person, and I struggle to sew a button on to a shirt, so making an elaborate costume is off the cards. Pebble is quite determined to be a “Super Hero Fairy” at the moment, which means that she’ll likely end up wearing her cape and wings from our dress ups box. Easy peasy! I’m sure there’s a super hero fairy in a book somewhere.

Perhaps, like me, you’re doing a last minute panic over Book Week costumes. I’ve seen some fab ones over the years as I’ve celebrated Book Week with the children in my class. I think on of my favourites (not that teachers have favourites, of course) was Mr Strong. It looked so cool! And it’s not too tricky to make at all. You will need to get organised a little bit, to get find a box large enough and paint it, but otherwise it’s very easy to do.

Last minute book week costume ideas

Here are a few other ideas that you can throw together without staying up for hours the night before the parade:

Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

If you happen to have a red dress in the cupboard then this one is super easy.

Last minute book week costume ideas

Peter Pan and Mr Smee from Peter and Wendy by JM Barrie

 Mr Smee is especially easy, I’d love to see a cubby little tummy sticking out too.

Last minute book week costume ideas

Max and the Wild Thing from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Check out the tutorials for these paper costumes over at Red Ted Art

Last minute book week costume ideas

Sam I Am from Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss

If this was my kid I’d take it even simpler (cos I can’t sew!). I’d grab a yellow t-shirt and hat from the cupboard, or cheapies from the shops, and make paper eggs and ham. If you search Google Images for ‘green eggs and ham’ I’m sure you’d find plenty of examples to print.

Last minute book week costume ideas

Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

Take a look at the video tutorial for this simple costume over at Kidspot.

Last minute book week costume ideas

The Lorax from The Lorax by Dr Seuss

Gotta love a printable costume!

Last minute book week costume ideas

Fern from Charlotte’s Web by EB White

We have everything in the cupboard or Pebble to wear this costume.
I might even try and convince her that it’s a good idea. Mwahahahaha.

Last minute book week costume ideas

Arthur from the Arthur series by Marc Brown

Super cute, super easy.

Last minute book week costume ideas

Gum Nut Baby from Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs

Kat from The Organised Housewife made this cute gum nut baby outfit for her daughter. Don’t fret! The skirt can be no sew!

Last minute book week costume ideas

Angelina Ballerina from the Angelina series by Katharine Holabird

We already have the ballet gear, all I’d need for this one is some foam and ribbon from the craft shop to make the Angelina face. I’d probably cheat and make some little cardboard ears and stick them on a headband, like the Arthur costume.

Last minute book week costume ideas

Have you got book week costumes sorted yet? What are your kids dressing as?

Fridge Sight Word Practice

Fridge Sight Word Practice

Four and a half year old Pebble (never forget the half!) is so desperate to learn to read. We’ve played and learned with letters for a long time now, but I haven’t pushed anything too formal. I believe that play is way more important than anything else at this age. Now, though, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Pebble is just ready to learn more. There’s no reason why we can’t play with words!

It doesn’t get much simpler than this game and Pebble loves it! Grab a whiteboard marker and an old sock. Write some sight words on the fridge, pop the sock on your child’s hand and ask them to have a go at reading the words. Start with two or three words, and tell them the words the first time you play. If they can read a word, then they can erase it using their sock eraser. Pebble was giggling as she jumped from side to side, swiping words faster and faster. She quickly figured out that it’s easiest to wipe off the repeating words first, then attack a different word. As she learns more words we’ll add those to the routine. That’s your sight word practice done!

Fridge Sight Word Practice

We have a white fridge – I haven’t tried this on stainless steel but the internet tells me that you can. Test out a small area on either a white or stainless steel fridge before you go nuts covering it with words. Some dry erase markers are more stubborn to wipe off than others. I found a basic glass cleaner (like Windex) cleaned the fridge up easily afterwards. You can buy dry erase paint (whiteboard paint), if you’re really keen, and choose somewhere in your house to set up a whiteboard wall. Or use blackboard paint or a small blackboard. We have a mini whiteboard and a mini blackboard, but there’s something about standing up and moving that makes this activity extra fun for kids.

Why learn sight words? Sight words (or high frequency words) are the most commonly used words, and often are words that can not be decoded by sounding out the letters. When children learn to recognise these words instantly, by sight, it makes it much easier for them to read simple books. I use the Magic 100 Word list (not sponsored) and have also used the Dolch and Oxford word lists.

Other ways to use your fridge: You could also use this same activity to practice other things, like letters or numbers.

Fridge Sight Word Practice

Looking for more sight word practice ideas? Try these: