Monday, December 31, 2012

BIG PLANS for 2013!!!

I've got BIG PLANS for 2013!!! I am still working on my studio/office space (waiting on a hand-me-down desk from my brother which is beautiful and wooden)  ... I am becoming more and more ruthless as time goes on! Behind me are the last piles of bags of stuff that I have to sort/file/chuck! I need to purchase some plastic (yeah I know) storage containers so that everything can be sorted nicely and put inside the wardrobe out of sight but easily accessed!

I have a trip to the Salvos planned for Saturday (a giant Ikea bag of books, a box of nicknacks, and a big garbage bag of clothes) ... and I've filled the recycling bin with papers.

I still have to finish up lots of things from my last job (some documenations and some support documents for my old staff and filing and the like) ... AND do what I'm planning with my home space and my garden space ... but I'm making lists and prioritising! I can only do, what I can only do!

I have a list of things I want to work on in 2013 - such as making mosaic stones and mosaic stepping stones for my garden which I also think would look amazing in a child care setting! (Don't worry, I'm probably going to blog about it!).

I'm loving my blog, and I'm greatly enjoying putting together my little publication and being creative and fun with it! It means I'm using my teaching resources in totally different ways!

So, I wish you all a happy new year with a great many blessings and wonders and treasures!

© Teacher’s Ink. 2012

Sustainable Resources from the Op Shop!

What you see here, is $11 worth of wooden bowls from The Salvation Army op shop. I love op-shops. I love op-shop shopping. I seriously do! Aside from rehoming items that would otherwise be trash and supporting organizations that support others in need ... I love the style, the originality, the funkiness of what you can find! Even the table underneath the bowls was op-shop fodder! It was $40 from St Vincents and in reasonable pristine condition (until one of my exes put something stupid on it and made a great big gounge - which annoys the stuffing out of me (depsite using a wood crayon!)).

I am using these bowls in my photo shoots and I have used others at my last job to display items like insect and animal figurines as well as natural embellishments: seed pods, leaves, twigs, stones etc.

I now have a box full of wooden bowls - some from garage sales, most from St. Vinnies or Salvos - most of which were between $1-5 each ... In this photo, the large bowl was $5, the double was $3 and the others were all $1 ... and this was one trip to one store.

They also have lots of baskets available in all shapes and sizes, but I'm not buying them! I'm running out of room at home to store these things!

Why are we displaying items in plastic containers when we can use, re-use, recycle items that are so rich and warm in colour, and support a more sustainable life? They just look lovely!!!

PLUS as a bonus, you can link your provisions to sustainable practices which ties in to the NQS and the EYLF ... See? See what I did there?

Op-Shop Wooden bowls = NQSEYLF friendly!

In fact op-shop anything is good for us and our world and our practice!

So there you have it!

Peace Out!

© Teacher’s Ink. 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012


First day of holidays!!! 3 weeks to regroup, plan, create, 'spring' clean, garden, write, blog, work on my book, recover, finish some things from my last job and plan for my new one!

Early morning sleep in plans thwarted by the Teacher's Ink. Quality Control Officer (aka gorgeous side kick).

And since the world didn't end, I'll have to do the dishes after all.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Reflection Flashback circa 2009: What Happens if ... You Give A Child A Camera?

Well, I gave the children a camera and answered that question!  It was during rest time while the adults were putting children to sleep.  A, M, and YH were doing quiet activities at the table. YH had used the camera to take a photo of his letters. YH then spread the love and took pictures of M and A. He then shared the camera with them. They posed, took pictures of one another from close up and from far away. They took pictures through the window of outside where the rain was bucketing down. They took abstract photos of objects in the learning environment. My colleague L grabbed our other camera to take pictures of the children using the camera.
What prompted this? Well, I had previously been to a conference where a presenter had made the point that we diligently photo document the children’s work. She questioned us as to when do we give the right and responsibility of documentation to the children? When do we give them permission to use the camera so they can share their own perspective? I thought that this was FABULOUS so I tried it with great success.
As my colleague and I looked through the children’s photos we were impressed with their creativity both in posing, almost as characters for the camera, but also in documenting their unique perspectives of the world around them.
The previous story happened way back in 2009. I thought I would just share it with you because it was a beautiful moment that made it into my personal reflections.  It also marked a shift in my professional development as a practicing teacher. It was a moment where I chose to view the children as powerful and capable. It was a moment that created change in our learning environment.
This could be a story for the child's portoflio along with the images that they took. It certainly links to the EYLF in many ways although it happened in a time before the EYLF was even published. This story is the child's voice! It shows the children as actively involved in their own learning! The children are sharing their knowledge with each other! They are sharing and negotiating taking turns which in turn is about the relationship that they have with each other! It's the children not only exploring technology, but also using it successfully! They are transfering what they have learned in one context into another. They are learning through play!
There is more than one way to observe and document.
I think in a perfect world, we would have cameras for the children so that they could share their ‘voice’ more readily!
© Teacher’s Ink. 2012 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Repurposing: Art Tray

I'm a BIG fan of recycling and repurposing and re-using if you havent already picked up on that notion ...

The tray is from my uncle. He won it at a tournament a great many moons ago. It's an engraved trophy. The tin cans, well, you all know where they came from and I've posted about making cans safe before in my post:  Sustainable Recycled Repurposed Home Corner Resources. The materials are simply what you might have at an art table or possibly even in a writing or drawing area. This was so simple and easy to put together. You could also have materials for a playdough table. Hmmm that gives my my next idea!

If you don't have the materials to "recycle" you can easily buy metal trays from any number of discount stores if you want to head down this specific path. Weekend market stalls where they sell homewares have them in many different sizes. I've also seen them many times at opportunity shops (Salvation Army or St. Vincents or Anglicare Op shops).  Or if you want a wooden look -  wooden trays are readily available from Ikea or Kmart or any other number of stores.

© Teacher’s Ink. 2012 All Rights Reserved