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Mince Shop

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I am a primary homeroom teacher who currently teaches in Japan. I have previously taught in England, Korea and Thailand. I have also taught ESL/ELL to primary, middle and high school students. All my materials were written by me and were uploaded as I feel they are worth sharing. I have written a few books (not about teaching) - feel free to check them out (they are cheap!) - Steve Tully - They Say you Can't Judge Me, Work Like an Egyptian, and The Satanic Nurses.

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I am a primary homeroom teacher who currently teaches in Japan. I have previously taught in England, Korea and Thailand. I have also taught ESL/ELL to primary, middle and high school students. All my materials were written by me and were uploaded as I feel they are worth sharing. I have written a few books (not about teaching) - feel free to check them out (they are cheap!) - Steve Tully - They Say you Can't Judge Me, Work Like an Egyptian, and The Satanic Nurses.
Differentiated Potions/Witches/Halloween Magic Themed Addition Problem Worksheets
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Differentiated Potions/Witches/Halloween Magic Themed Addition Problem Worksheets

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These differentiated worksheets give children the opportunity to create potions using addition. Have them pick and choose 2, 3, or 4 ingredients for their own individual potions and then add up the total number of litres used. I had my class cut out four ingredients of their choosing and put them into a cauldron they had drawn as part of a 'Potion Poster'. After writing what their potion was for (e.g. an potion to make you invisible) and giving it a creative title, they added the contents to make sure their potions had the desired effect. Afterwards, the children presented their potion posters to the class while their classmates checked their numbers added up. This was a lesson that really engaged all students and gave them the opportunity to practice their addition skills, as well as working with units of measurement (litres and for the HA millilitres too). I have included the smart board file I used when teaching this lesson, it contains work from other lessons - though the first few slides are related to this. The guess the amount of litres/millimetres in the coke bottles was a whiteboard carpet warmer activity that the children really enjoyed.
Extra recess?  Persuasive writing example with questions
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Extra recess? Persuasive writing example with questions

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This persuasive writing piece models for students how to lay out a simple persuasive argument about something they all have an opinion on - recess/play! After the reading are some questions to check for understanding about the arguments made and the layout used by the writer. Finally, it gives the opportunity for students to express their own opinion and give reasons for their choice. I used this soon after introducing persuasive writing to my class. After they returned late from recess we had a class discussion about whether extending recess was a good or bad idea. I think introduced the idea of persuasion before giving them this example of a piece of persuasive writing. It was interesting to see if they came up with the same/different arguments I made in my written argument for having extended recess.
Name the Monument Quiz
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Name the Monument Quiz

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A PowerPoint I made as part of a quiz based on Famous World Monuments. Each monument has a number of clues - students earn more teams points for using fewer clues.
Helen Keller Research Task
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Helen Keller Research Task

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Children used the Ducksters website page about the life of Helen Keller to complete a specially-made informational poster about her life. The activity challenged their research/inquiring skills while helping them to learn all about this remarkable woman.
Fun Darts Subtraction Board Game
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Fun Darts Subtraction Board Game

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A simple game to help students practise using adding, subtraction and working with number. All they need is 2-3 dice and a pen to record scores. I laminated these so they could use quick wipe markers to record their workings and calculate their scores as they played. A ‘How to Play’ section is included on the game sheet to help with understanding. This game can be differentiated by allowing for higher starting scores (201, 301, 401 and 501). The option to use 2 or 3 dice also allows for differentiation - rearranging 2 digit numbers or 3-digit numbers and subtracting them from 3-digit numbers. I let my Year 4/Grade3 students self-differentiate and after a little pre-teaching of how to play they found it very easy to follow.
Nina Simone - I Wish I knew What it Felt to be Free - listening activity
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Nina Simone - I Wish I knew What it Felt to be Free - listening activity

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A classic song from the legend that is Nina Simone! This song can be used a simple listening activity before leading on to deeper discussions about such issues as: Social justice Racial equality Civil rights Gender equality Black history Prejudice and discrimination The power of music/protest songs #racialjustice #socialjustice #equality #strongwomen #protest
Nina Simon Listening Activity
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Nina Simon Listening Activity

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Two wonderful songs sang by Nina Simone - both related to black history month and issues of discrimination, racism and inequality. One song - Missisippi Goddam - was very controversial for the time. The lyrics express her anger, especially at recent atrocities committed against black people in some Southern states. at the time. To be free is a classic expressing the desire to have freedom and equality. Both songs allow for listening activities before a wider discussion. These songs and the themes raised in the lyrics are ideal for Black History Month discussions and music and history lessons.
My daily routine time lesson
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My daily routine time lesson

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Simple daily routine (differentiated) to help children work on time and the language associated with describing their daily routine. Also includes blank clock faces and clock faces with some hands drawn to help practice telling the time. After completing their daily routine, I have the children act it out in pairs/threes with a clock - something they really enjoy.
Magic Potion Poem
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Magic Potion Poem

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A great activity to have children practice listening and using rhyme and rhythm in poems. This was used as an activity during a magic-themed day. It is also an ideal activity during Halloween. The challenge of making a powerful potion combined with using ingredients such a mice and spiders' legs really engaged my G2 and G4 classes. Students need to use the words given to make the poem rhyme (so need to really read and sound out each word). They also need to think by creating their own magic word, choosing the quantity of ingredients, and ensuring one of the lines has 'rhythm' by writing a sentence that keeps with the rhythm of the poem. This activity really challenged my classes without being too difficult.
Persuasive Writing Plan
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Persuasive Writing Plan

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I made the link between boxing and writing. When trying to persuade we need to not only put forward our strongest 2-3 arguments (throw our strongest 2-3 punches), we also need to defend ourselves against any opponent's argument (block) and then say why it isn't a good enough reason against our argument (counter punch). This simple plan really helped my students work out what exactly they were arguing for and against and how to formulate a counter argument. The boxing analogy - which we acted out - really helped them understand what a counter-argument actually was. I had my class of 8 year old kids in Japan write a persuasive argument in favour of a chosen energy source with a counter argument. This was not an easy task - the fact they all managed to achieve the end goal was in large part to the solid foundations this plan gave them.
Fairy Tales Intro Powerpoint
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Fairy Tales Intro Powerpoint

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Short and sweet intro to fairy tales - excellent to use to introduce the topic. Have children guess the name of the 5 fairy tales before answers revealed. Good to start discussions about fairy tales - especially when teaching children from overseas who often have their own versions of or endings to famous fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood.
Peer Assessment Writing Checker Chart
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Peer Assessment Writing Checker Chart

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My Grade 3 children love checking each other's writing using this 'detective checker chart'. They have a chart each (laminated) and a marker pen. When checking a classmate's writing they check boxes whenever they find a good piece of writing (e.g. a correctly written sentence) or something that needs improvement (e.g. an incorrectly used apostrophe). They draw a small respective smiley/straight face in pencil on the piece of writing so it is clear where the great writing/mistake was found. I challenge them to try and find 6 positives and 6 needs improvements to earn themselves a class point for each.
Vegetarianism Persuasive Argument
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Vegetarianism Persuasive Argument

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Powerpoint Presentation on the benefits of being vegetarian. This thorough account is a good way to show the class persuasive arguing/create debate and discussion, etc.
Communities and Cities
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Communities and Cities

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A PowerPoint of activities based on communities and cities/urbanisation. This includes: Pictures of various communities (rural, urban and suburban) that can be used for a warmer quiz introducing the subject of different communities. Smaller versions of each picture (4 x one page) which can be printed out and used for sorting activities (I had 3 teams sort them and make a poster using them to compare characteristics of the 3 different types of community at the start of my unit on communities). A maths lesson on rounding which compares 5 large cities. This was used to raise awareness of the rapid increase in urbanisation across the world. A table for students to organise their rounded figures and fill in information about each city. Pictures of each city - printed and used by the students to complete their table. The students then used their tables to make bar charts comparing the population of the 5 featured cities.
Food-Based Activities
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Food-Based Activities

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An inquiry-based template. Using the kidshealth website and search function, students work individually or in pairs/threes to research the different food groups and fill in the necessary information in the table. A specially-made food label reading comprehension activity (can be completed as a whole class/in pairs or individually).
Rugby World Cup - Maths Challenge
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Rugby World Cup - Maths Challenge

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This is an educational slide-show presentation that covers the history and basics of both rugby and the rugby world cup. It also contains some simple maths questions before ending with 3 differentiated maths challenges based on point-scoring in rugby. Having the children working in pairs/groups to solve the problems over 1-2 classes is an idea. The questions allow for exploration and different perspectives. These slides can easily be shortened or adapted to suit different ages and abilities. The second slides contain some of the first games of the competition score breakdowns with the scores hidden. This is a great maths warmer activity (working out the scores). Following on from that a simple introduction to formula writing and algebra is included.
Classification Chart/Tree
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Classification Chart/Tree

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I used this as a warmer - the children had to name my 6 nieces and nephews by using their pictures and the classification chart/decision tree. Once they understood how it worked I had them make their own classification chart based on identifying 6 chosen members of their class.
Nina Simone - Listening/discussion activity
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Nina Simone - Listening/discussion activity

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A great song from the legend that is Nina Simone. This could be used as a simple listening activity, ideal for music class or practising English listening skills. This comes with an answer sheet for your convenience. The themes covered in the song - racial prejudice, the fight for racial equality, US history, the civil rights movement, the change in language, etc - mean it would be a greater starter to deeper discussions. #blackhistory #civilrights #genderequality #racism #racialequality #socialjustice #blm
Halloween Haunted House ad-lib writing challenge!
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Halloween Haunted House ad-lib writing challenge!

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A simple narrative writing starter about a haunted house. Students edit/fill in the gaps to bring the story to life and make it their own! This is a great way to practice narrative/creative writing while learning/reinforcing parts of speech/similes.
Christopher Columbus Website Research Challenge
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Christopher Columbus Website Research Challenge

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Using the excellent BBC website about famous people, this is a ready-made bank of questions/tasks for the children to complete. They have to 'explore' the website to find the answers. As a reward for those who completed it, I let them play the games on the site and do the quiz. The kids really loved this challenge and it was ideal for our unit on 'exploration'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/famouspeople/christopher_columbus/#focus