The Importance of Social Emotional Learning

With a lot of importance placed in classrooms on academic achievement, analyzing data and reaching benchmarks, there’s one area of learning that is of increasing importance – social-emotional skills.

It is imperative that we  prepare our students for a world where getting along with others and understanding emotions are just as critical as Math and Language skills.

Think of it as laying the groundwork for well-rounded individuals. As educators, we’re not just sharing knowledge; we’re helping these kids navigate relationships, handle emotions, and communicate effectively. As the role models of character in our classrooms, we’re fostering qualities like empathy, resilience, and self-awareness that go hand in hand with academic success.

Our classrooms become mini-communities where teamwork and collaboration come into focus. We’re teaching our students to resolve conflicts, appreciate differences, and embrace inclusivity. These are the skills that will stick with them beyond the school walls, turning them into responsible citizens who can contribute meaningfully to the world.


































So, as we shape the minds of the future, let’s not forget about the hearts that come with them. Prioritizing social-emotional learning is our way of arming these kids with tools that go way beyond what’s written in the books.


Happy teaching!

✏️❤️ Katie

Wait – What? Platypus glow in the dark???

One of the things I feel blessed about being an Aussie (there are MANY things) is the chance to be around a lot of different animals, from ones that are cute and cuddly to ones that are really tough. Every time you take a walk in the bush or go swimming at the beach, it’s like meeting the coolest celebrities in nature.Our animals are special, and each one has its own interesting story. The kangaroo isn’t just good at hopping; it’s also really good at living in the tough Australian outback. Koalas aren’t just adorable; they’re experts at living in trees, like they’re the kings of the eucalyptus forests. And then there’s the platypus, which is like a puzzle because it’s a mammal that lays eggs and has a bill like a duck. And did you know it’s bioluminescent! That’s breaking all the rules! Now, the kookaburra is like our own stand-up comedian with a laugh that’s really hard to forget. And we can’t forget about the saltwater crocodile, a living dinosaur that still rules over our water.

To learn about such incredible creatures is eye opening for students all around the world.


Happy teaching!

✏️❤️ Katie



Dice, Dominoes, Unifix and Cards – Oh My!

There’s nothing better than getting out the manipulatives – Go through your classroom cupboards and grab hands-on equipment like cards, dice, and dominoes!

Using these types of manipulatives in math class can work wonders for students who struggle with traditional teaching methods. Seeing numbers and operations in action makes math come alive, and it’s way more fun than just staring at a whiteboard. Plus, it encourages collaboration and communication skills, allowing students to work together and learn from one another.

One of the best things about using hands-on equipment is that it caters to a variety of learning styles. Visual learners can see the numbers and operations, while kinesthetic learners can physically manipulate the equipment. And if some students need additional support, teachers can use different manipulatives to differentiate instruction, making math accessible to all learners.

By using hands-on equipment in math class, teachers can create a more relaxed and enjoyable learning environment that encourages active engagement with the content. It’s a great way to reduce stress and anxiety around math, promoting a positive attitude towards the subject. Plus, students are more likely to participate and have fun while learning, leading to a deeper level of understanding and greater interest in the subject.

So if you’re looking for a way to spice up your math lessons, consider incorporating hands-on equipment like cards, dice, and dominoes. Your students will thank you, and you might just have a blast too!


Happy teaching!

✏️❤️ Katie


Cultivating Calm and Focus with Mindfulness Mats

Can you believe how crazy our teaching lives can get? It’s like a never-ending whirlwind of responsibilities, am I right? But you know what’s been a game-changer lately? Mindfulness activities in the classroom!

In our fast-paced world of education, where we’re always on the hunt for ways to make learning a little less hectic and a lot more meaningful, mindfulness activities are like a breath of fresh air.

Okay, so what exactly are mindfulness activities? Well, they’re like these awesome little exercises that encourage students to be present, focused, and aware of their thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental way. Mindfulness activities help students develop emotional regulation, reduce stress, and enhance concentration.

I use these Mindfulness Mats successfully in multiple situations:

  1. Morning Routine: I have a few students who struggle to regulate themselves in the morning and by having 10 minutes of quiet time, they can transition to make a positive start to the day.
  2. Dedicated Mindfulness Time: Right after lunch break, we dim the lights, cue the relaxing music, and either lie down or start drawing on these mats. It’s the perfect reset button for our students.
  3. Stress Reduction: Incorporate mindfulness activities during stressful periods, such as before a test or after an exhausting school event, to help students manage anxiety.
  4. Work Break: My class LOVE colouring in, so these are ideal for those students who require differentiated 10 minutes of work time with 10 minutes of reward.

Now, I get it – you might be thinking, “I don’t have time for this!” But trust me, you don’t have time NOT to do this. Incorporating mindfulness into your day promotes better learning and helps all students take a breather, relax, and become the best learners they can be. Just 10 minutes a day can work wonders, especially in the afternoon when everyone’s a bit worn out.

To get you on the right track, check out our Mindfulness Mats.

Each mat has the same style of layout for consistency and include:

  • Colouring a Mandala: Colouring helps everyone find their calm and focus.
  • Finger Tracing Activities: This one’s all about tracing shapes, patterns, or letters while taking slow, deep breaths. It helps to keep students rooted in the present moment.
  • Maze Challenges: Mazes are fantastic for sharpening problem-solving skills. Plus, when approached mindfully, they teach patience and concentration.
  • Mindful Questioning for Deep Thinking: Asking open-ended questions that make students reflect deeply – that’s what this part is all about. It encourages critical thinking and self-awareness.


Happy teaching!

✏️❤️ Katie


Times Tables Rote Learning? No Way!

When I was at school (think late 1980’s – scrunchies, colour change t-shirts and fluoro) we had to learning our times tables the rote way. Might I add it was SO BORING! The teacher would get us to stand up, he’d call out a number and we had to quickly multiply it by the chosen multiple. It was fine if you had the answers memorised, but embarrassing for those that didn’t (plus the teacher would give you THIS look).

Let’s switch that scenario out – Imagine a classroom buzzing with excitement as students eagerly tackle multiplication problems, their minds sharp and engaged. Gone are the days of mundane multiplication drills. Instead, enter a world where these essential math skills are supercharged with fun and interactive resources, transforming learning into an adventure.

In order to make learning multiplication a truly enjoyable and captivating experience for your students, incorporating a variety of engaging activities is key. This range of interactive activities will not only enhance your students’ multiplication skills but also make learning a whole lot more fun.

Make dull, repetitive and rote multiplication lessons a thing of the past. With this fun NO PREP resource, you can transform the way your students approach multiplication and watch as their skills are supercharged. By making learning an engaging experience, you’ll not only foster a love for math but also boost their confidence in tackling complex problems. So why settle for traditional methods when you can bring excitement and engagement to your lessons?

Click on the image below to check out our new pack today!


Happy teaching!

✏️❤️ Katie


Fairy Tales Come to Life

Fairy tales have long been a beloved source of entertainment for people of all ages. But did you know that they can also be an effective tool for learning in the classroom? From teaching morals and values to multicultural education, fairy tales have a lot to offer when it comes to education.

One of the biggest benefits of using fairy tales in the classroom is the engagement factor. Fairy tales are filled with colourful characters, exciting plot twists, and captivating stories that can capture students’ attention like no other. They’re also often familiar to many students, which can make them more invested in the learning process.

Fairy tales are also a great way to teach important life lessons. Many fairy tales have morals that can be applied to real-life situations, such as the value of hard work or the consequences of dishonesty. These lessons can be particularly impactful for younger students who are still learning how to navigate the world around them.

But perhaps one of the most significant benefits of using fairy tales in the classroom is their universal appeal. No matter where you come from, chances are you’ve heard of classic fairy tales like Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, or Little Red Riding Hood. This makes them a powerful tool for teaching about different cultures and traditions, as well as promoting empathy and understanding for people who may come from different backgrounds.

When using fairy tales in the classroom, there are a variety of ways you can incorporate them into your lessons. I’ve designed this 200+ page pack around 9 of my favourite fairy tales:

  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • The Elves and the Shoemaker.
  • The Three Little Pigs
  • The Gingerbread Man,
  • Hansel and Gretel.
  • Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Rapunzel
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • Aladdin


Each fairy tale includes Literacy and Math activities, story sequencing, STEM activities, comprehension questions, print-and-play games, and reader’s theatre.

Also included are 45 pages of general fairy tale activities such as analyzing elements of a fairy tale, would you rather expositions, Thinker’s Keys, an inferring QR code hunt, story starters, colour by code and much more!

*Selected pages are also duplicated to cater for AU/US regional spelling differences such as colour/color and favourite/favorite.


If you are looking at learning about fairy tales, then this is the pack for you!


Happy teaching!

✏️❤️ Katie

When you’re sick – it’s easier to go to work right? WRONG!

Picture this: you wake up feeling under the weather and realize you won’t be able to make it to school. It’s a tough situation, because to be honest – I’ve done it before…. dragged myself out of bed and gone to school because sometimes it’s just easier than getting everything organised for a substitute / relief teacher.


After catching COVID, suddenly having to stay home for at least a week and not being able to plan anything left me worried about my students learning. So I’ve spent the last 18 month putting together packs that are suitable for grades 2 to 4 that require NO PREP. All you have to do is print and go.

One of the greatest challenges for substitute / relief teachers is stepping into a classroom with limited knowledge of the students’ regular routines and materials. This resource, with its range of engaging activities, ensures that students stay on track even when you’re away.

Each of the five packs, covering the areas of Geography, Health, Science, Math and English include a collection of worksheets, hands-on activities, and print-and-play games and are duplicated in both US English and Australian English to cater for regional spelling differences.

Nothing makes learning more enjoyable than interactive games! Each resource includes print-and-play games that are not only fun but also educational. These games provide substitute / relief teachers with an easy-to-use and engaging way to reinforce key concepts while keeping students entertained.

The best part about this resource is that it’s not limited to sick days alone. Even when you’re present in the classroom, it serves as an incredible supplement to your regular lessons.  You can incorporate these worksheets, games, and activities into your daily plans to add a fresh and engaging twist to your teaching. I often use the worksheets and games to add to my existing learning program.

Being too sick to go to school can be frustrating, especially when you worry about the impact on your students’ education. However, with this resource in your teaching toolkit, you can rest assured that your absence won’t hinder their progress and your students will be engaged and excited about learning.

I highly recommend clicking on the images above and looking at the previews for yourself. Each pack will ensure that your classroom never misses a beat, even when you’re not feeling your best.


Happy teaching!

✏️❤️ Katie

What’s in the Box? Inferring with Mystery Boxes

Inferencing is one of the comprehension skills that I enjoy teaching the most, however it is also one that students find the hardest to master. There are many possible reasons why students find it so difficult. It could be due to a lack of life experiences or sometimes it’s simply because it’s a way of thinking they aren’t often required to do. It may make me sound a bit old here.. (ok ok the internet was only just becoming mainstream when I was a teenager) but these days if a student has a question they can simply ask Siri or Alexa.

One the first things I do to peak my students interest is a classroom crime scene. I still have past students coming up to me in the yard talking about it. Super easy to set up and such fun!

Wanting to keep the momentum going, I devised a special series of mystery boxes. Each of the 6 sets has 6 series of clues (so 36 in total!)

Simply use 6 small boxes and inside each one place an item that corresponds with the clues provided. The clues have been designed to be for items you may already own or could very easily be found at a discount store.

There are three ways to use this set.

1.  In small groups

Form students into small groups of 3 or 4, with each group given one box. Using only the clues and the ability to give the box a little shake (but not open it!), students read the clues, record each one and make an inference as to what is inside the box by drawing and writing what they believe it to be. Some of the clues are easier than others so beware! The boxes are then rotated to the next group.

Students are provided with the chance to discuss their ideas with other groups and workshop other possible answers. As a class then come back together, with students providing what they inferred was inside each box, plus justifying their answer in relation to the clues. For example, “I think there is a balloon in the box because one of the clues said ‘pop!’.“ Finally reveal the contents of each box to cheers of success and acknowledgement.

2. As a whole class.

Use the individual slides one at a time with the whole class recording the clues individually and discussing the possible options. Ask for inferences after each slide and see how student’s ideas change with each extra provided clue. The last clue is usually the give away, with the first three clues designed to have students thinking outside of the box!

3. As an independent literacy center.

Simply set up the sealed boxes, then individually have student read then record the clues before making their final inference.

Included in both US and AU/UK English, this is perfect for an interactive, engaging activity. Includes 36 different sets of clues, so this could easily be a lesson that is repeated multiple times with different answers, or simply choose the clue cards that cater to objects you already own.

Recording sheet and full answers are included.


Happy teaching!

✏️❤️ Katie


Telling Time on a Number Line!

Telling the time has always been a tricky concept for students to understand.

Often they become mixed up between the two hands – which one is the hour hand and which one is the minute hand.

Throw into that mix the fact that there are both hour numbers and minute lines around the clock face and it’s no wonder students get confused.

Well here is now another way to help students tell the time – use a number line!

It makes sense that when learning about place value, using a number line shows children the sequential numbers forwards, backwards and reinforcing the concept of skip counting.

If you take a number line from 0 to 60, bend it into a circle you have yourself a number line clock face!


I have found that using this method after teaching students about number lines has really helped them to understand the concept of increasing minutes, skip counting by increments of 5, o’clock, half past, quarter past, and quarter to.

See what a difference it will make to have a hands-on experience. It really will help make those students make connections with numbers and time.

Download the freebie below and grab your own copy so that your students can make a number line clock too.

Happy teaching!

✏️❤️ Katie

Analysing Character Traits for Kids

I try to read a story to my class every day. I’m a big fan of fairytales and the various versions each one can take. In one story, the Big Bad Wolf might eat Three Little Pigs, but in the next version the pigs take ninja training and chase the wolf. Such fun!

I discovered very quickly that students are coming to school with very little knowledge of the fairytales that our generation grew up with and loved.

When learning about narratives, it is easy to focus on the four main areas of character, setting, conflict and resolution. Often delving deeper into character traits is overlooked as it is quite tricky for some students to deeply think about the personalities of the different characters. It is important that we analyze not just who, where, what, when, problem and solution but also the characters themselves.

I usually teach narratives and character traits after out unit on adjectives, as it helps for students to be able to use broader language and express themselves rather than use boring terms such as  ‘bad’ or ‘mean’. Students become quite clever at finding new terminology and enjoy the challenge of describing each character perfectly.

To encourage deeper thinking, I’ve designed these templates to help students really think about what the characters look like on the outside and how they are on the inside, making comparisons between the main characters.

For example the Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood. They are very different characters with very different personalities but by placing them next to each other students can compare and contrast what the two characters are like both in appearance and personality.

✏️❤️ Katie