Thursday, 11 July 2013

Just a reminder...

No more postings...even little bits...from this address...
so PLEASE head over to my new blog site by clicking on the link below,
Mrs Stowe - that's me!

Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
I'd love to have you follow me at my new site!
Mrs Stowe :)

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Thanks everyone for the heads up about Google Reader closing tomorrow, July 1.
At first I ignored it...thinking it sounded much like the panic with the

millennium bug
(that didn't happen)

but after a while...several groans and grunts, I did it.
I worked my way through all of your advice and switched to


Now, if I can do it anyone can so please follow me at Bloglovin'.
I have tried and tried to make a button and link it in but I can't so you'll just have to roll your eyes and shout NEWBIE then click on my link Bloglovin’ words. I am so glad I made you laugh and it was worth the cost of my dignity. to learn more about inserting things that aren't photo's on my blog...
I am determined and I will win.
However, if you have any compassion for me please send some advice/direction.
Happy Blogging!
Mrs StoweSmile

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

I have to stop! 
No more postings...even little bits...from this address...
so PLEASE head over to my new blog site by clicking on the link below,
Mrs Stowe - that's me!

Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
I'd love to have you follow me at my new site!
Mrs Stowe :)

Monday, 17 June 2013

let's celebrate!

I certainly know what it means to say time flies!
Want to know why I'm celebrating...head over to my new blog site,
©Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage 2013

Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
I'd really value your encouragement by following me at my new site!

Mrs Stowe :)

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Australian Animals - Mr Echidna

We are learning as much as we can about Australian Animals as preparation for our first big excursion to the Australian Reptile Park next week.

My Little Learners gobble up every fact and gleefully use the facts in thematic discussion times. Doesn’t it just amaze you how many facts they can actually recall when they are only 5 and 6 years old… Now if I could only remember where I left my keys!!

Meet Our Echidna
©Mrs stowe 2013

If you'd like to see this post in full... click on the link below to my new blog site.

Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
I'd really value your encouragement by following me at my new site!

Mrs Stowe :)


Monday, 10 June 2013

Whole Brain Teaching excels again!!

5 Essential Rules

Right from Day 1 of Kindergarten I teach my Little Learners the 5 basic class rules that underpin our positive classroom environment. The wording of the rules below is a slight variation from those introduced by Chris Biffle at but the effect is the same…pure bliss!!

If you'd like to see this post in full... click on the link below to my new blog site.

Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
I'd really value your encouragement by following me!

Mrs Stowe :)
WBT rule posters in Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage


Monday, 3 June 2013

Secret Sentence...shh!

Once a week my Little Learners joyfully participate in a Secret Sentence lesson.

It begins like this…
(Head on over to my new site to view this post in will be worth it!!)
Sample from the beginning of Kindergarten year.
Hey why not follow my blog at the new site address while you are there.
I'd really value your encouragement by following me!

Mrs Stowe :)

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Circus Style

Head on over to my new site to view this post in's a cutie!!

Kinder Clown!!

Mrs Stowe :)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

New Address Remember...

Just a reminder that I am no longer adding to this blog as I have moved to a new address.  The link below will help you find me quickly this time but don't forget I'd love to know you are following me. 

Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage at

With thanks
Mrs Stowe :)

Mrs Stowe from Mrs Stowe's KInder Cottage

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Same Blog new address…

Dear Friends
I am moving my blog to a new ULR because I didn’t realise it was wise to have a matching ULR and Blog title…or at the very least a link.  Mine were world’s apart so I have started again at the matching blog address.
A Special Place in My Heart
Thank you to my few lovely Followers.  I really hope that you follow me as I really am excited that you chose to follow me and I will always know that you were the first followers.  I’m not sure how to transfer you over to the new blog so it’s all up to you to hit follow me at the new site.
Here is the link,
Now don't be shocked my new blog looks almost exactly the same but here’s hoping it’s bigger and better than before!
With thanks
Mrs Stowe Smile

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Class Yes - Whole Brain Teaching

What it looks like in Kindergarten…

The Whole Brain Teaching approach is really fun and extremely successful too.  It just makes sense to teach this way.  Common, give it a go.  It’s FREE.  I read about it, watched several You Tube clips and videos about how to implement it but to be honest I completely underestimated its value until I tried it.

More hours in a day!

I decided to try the ‘Class…Yes’ attention gaining strategy last November and really have not looked back.  It is an attention gaining strategy and I was certain that I didn’t need it.  I have great classroom management and thought this was for someone who needed help in this area.
How wrong was I…It is brilliant!!!!!!

Yes, it is an attention gaining strategy but more importantly it gets rid of your waffle.  Your kind well intended words or in my case, fun nonsense and useless words, that probably only served to teach the children to tune out to what I was really wanting them to hear. 
Have you ever thought that in having fun this way you might actually be teaching the Little Learners that sometimes the things that you say are not really important.  Now if they think that what your saying might not necessarily be really important then this is like teaching them to give you some of their attention while they decide if it is important or not.  We don’t want the kids to decide this.  We want them to hear and learn from all we say and we want everyone's full attention.

How it works?

First you say, “Class” and the Little Learner’s respond, “Yes”. Plain and simple. You will need to explain to them that when you say ‘class’ you want them to respond ‘yes’ then it’s a good idea to practise it a few times and praise them for their efforts.  Tell them that they must also look to you as they say ‘yes’.  Have a play with this response as a practise time.  You are now ready to implement it.

Raising the bar a little…

Tell the Little Learners that they are so clever that they can now try the advanced level of “Class Yes”.  This motivates them even further.
Now you can vary your class delivery.  Try a high voice/low voice variation. 
Next try saying “Classity class” and they should copy you responding “Yessity Yes”  You can try absolutely anything you can think of. 

Have a go at these,
Class” “ Yes
Classity Class” “Yessity Yes
Class, class, class”  “Yes, yes yes
Oh class”  “Oh Yes

Now I realise that this sounds fine and dandy but you want to know why you should do this instead of the usual approaches such as clapping rhythm patterns, good old chants,  “1,2,3, eyes on me” Or “Boys and girls”or lots of positive talk etc.


I promise that when you introduce this in the fun way outlined briefly above the Little Learners will all, and I mean every single one of them, have their eyes on you ready for your next words - even little Jonny who usually has to be singled out to everyone that you are waiting for him.  Suddenly you have absolute silence in the shortest time, full attention and icing on the cakeexpectation that the next words you utter are going to be really important for them.  It’s all up to you at this point. Don't waste the moment, or weaken the opportunity by filling  it with waffle, here’s where you launch straight into your lesson content.


The absolute attention will shock you.  You will realise that you do waffle.  You will gain time in the day and your Little Learners will be super focused.
Give it a go…you have absolutely nothing to lose!

Want to know more? For more information or perhaps a video example of this approach head to And have a look at some of my other WBT posts. 
Super Improvers Wall
More Super Improvers Wall
The Scoreboard

They work amazingly well together.

Bye for Now
Mrs Stowe Smile

PS. Something for my to do list… Or should I write something else for my To Do list.  Here are my shelves.  Believe it or not, this is on a very tidy day.  There is some structure but they sure need some TLC.
Now that  shared this area with you I feel a strong sense of accountability and will sort it out, relabel and share the results with you soon.Smile

Monday, 6 May 2013

Super Improvers Wall Levels–WBT

Finally I remembered to photograph my Super Improver Levels!

I didn’t create the gorgeous level graphics that you see on the right in the photo above but thanks to a Tara West freebie on TpT we have them beautifully prepared for us to use.

Thanks Tara – very cute Smile

I personalised the premade levels after printing them by adding the gingham paper backing boarders.
I LOVE gingham!!

Luckily I was able to match a gingham backing paper, from my craft supplies, to each level card before I laminated them.  Happy days - the final product looks effective and as I mentioned in a previous post, the Little Learners LOVE the Super Improver Wall.


You may also like to check out my previous post about how this system works. 
Check it out here… Super Improver Wall.
The photo below shows the angle that the Little Learners view the Levels. 
Kind of looks like a colourful ladder don’t you think?


If you’d like to know more about the Super Improvers Wall visit 
- it’s fabulous.

Mrs Stowe

New Labels, New Labels…

Well here are my new labels!


Remember the old ones?


I am really happy with my new ‘neat’ tub labels.  The Little Learners were hilarious when I replaced them. They were giving me loads of verbal encouragement…
“Good Job Mrs Stowe”
"Neat cutting” 
“They are beautiful Mrs Stowe”

and my personal favourite…

"Just imagine how good you’ll be next time!  Look what you can do when you try!”

SadlySad smile, I still can’t upload them away as my first freebie because the font I used is one registered to my school.  Oops!  Lesson learned just in time.
(A trap for Newbies like me) 

Please let me know if you’d like a copy of my labels (in the comment area below) and I’ll change the font to a freebie font that I can share with you.

Mrs Stowe Smile

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Freebie Large Tub labels

The time has come to start renovating my classroom.  I am going to take a long hard look at labelling and see what I can do.  Fingers crossed…here we go!

Functioning but not very cute tub labels.

(Hope you notice the watermark on the photo.  Completely unnecessary but I had to include it as I ‘just’ learned to do it – JOY!)


Can’t wait to get to school tomorrow, print and attach my brand new Tub labels!!

I followed Mel’s (Frog Spot blog) tutorial to the letter and present to you below my first ever…


Oh SadSad smile…I just realised that the font I used may be a problem. I have tried to download a different free font from TpT but I keep getting a message saying that it does not appear to be a valid font.  I am now at a loss about what to do and rather than post something with a font that I may not be able to use, I will seek an answer tomorrow!


Please check in again tomorrow!

Mrs Stowe Smile

kindergarten, a hive of activity

1st week back after holidays and time for a quick craft activity just for fun.


The Little Learners enjoyed making their own cute little bee using coloured pencils, crepe paper, cellophane and pipe cleaners.

The Yellow Stripes 
Instead of making crepe paper balls and pasting them on to form the yellow stripes the little learners wrapped the end of a pencil with a one crepe paper square then dripped it into paste and pushed it onto he bees body. The picture doesn’t show the intricacy and fine motor skill required to do this but eventually everyone mastered this skill. 


Naming the bees was fun too as each Little Learner had to use alliteration in the names.  We had Happy Honey, Buzz Bertie, Super Stingy just to name a few.

The Hive
Naturally the Bees needed a hive and when it was finished the bees were pinned all around and a big sign, “Kindergarten is a hive of activity.” hung at the top.

Next week we begin our Australian Animals Unit.
 Looking forward to the fun times ahead!

Mrs Stowe Smile

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Make over…any ideas welcome

Just a quick blog tonight…I've been programming!!

I have this cute little well used old, and i mean old but not old enough to be worth anything of antique standards, wooden dollhouse in my classroom.

P1000806I’m not sure how to dress it up and I just know one of you will have the perfect idea so


I really will appreciate any ideas and when I have finished the make-over I will post the new look…I promise.

With thanks
   Mrs Stowe Smile

PS  I’m so excited as I am using a new blog writer Windows Live Writer for the first time and my smiley comes out like a real smiley Smile


(You know what they say…small things amuse small minds…I’m amusedSmile)

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Classroom Noise Visual Display

My Little Learner's respond quickly to this simple Classroom Noise Visual Display.  They often remind me to set the display for the lesson!  I think it gives them comfort or maybe they just like to 'dob' on peer violators!!!

Kinder Cottage Visual Noise Level  Display

This Visual sits at the front of the classroom to the right of my Smart Board. 

Easy visual access for all.  

I Blu Tacked 3 brightly coloured, purchased, call outs to the chalkboard. The Little Learners and I agreed on the noise level labels as a class and I wrote them in semi permanent chalk pen. We chose a Tigger mascot magnet to be the pointer and added the title,

"Tigger is happy...".

Kinder Cottage Noise Level Visual Display
Following teacher instruction... I set the level of acceptable noise allowed for task completion.  I say,

" Tigger is happy when you work silently. "

I place the Tigger magnet on the matching callout.  During the lesson if necessary I say,

" Oops!  Tigger is not happy."

...Alternatively, I say,

"Tigger is bouncing on ..."  This triggers the Little Learners look to the board and see where he is bouncing.  Sometimes I add, "Tell your neighbour that Tigger is bouncing on ...whisper voices" Then the kids start working.  However, if someone breaks the set noise level, the Little Learners very indignantly remind the 'rule breaker', often pointing to the display board as a cue.  It's great...the children participate in the classroom behavioural management!

Simple but effective!
Mrs Stowe :-)

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

WBT - The Scoreboard

Meet my Scoreboard...Smileys and Frownies!

I LOVE using The Scoreboard with Kindergarten, another fabulous idea from wholebrainteaching.    Although I admit that I was uncertain of its potential success at first.  In fact I was sure it wouldn't work with the Little Learners but could see it being effective in older years  But guess what???  It worked a charm.
(I simply printed my icons, cut them out and Blu Tack them to my chalkboard)

Give it a go - I am so glad I did!

Kinder Cottage Smiley and Frownie Scoreboard

What is this Scoreboard?? I hear you ask. The Scoreboard is a whole class motivational tool.  You simply put two icons on a board, one representing success and the other room for improvement.  Every time your class is achieving your expectations you exclaim, '1 second party!' hold up one finger and add a tally point below the Smiley on the scoreboard.  Now this next part is priceless - Your Little Learners then shout 'Oh Yes/Yeah!'  They raise their arm and punch up into the air. 

If you see or hear something that you want to discourage you simply exclaim, ' Mighty groan! shrug your shoulders, hang your head down and add one tally point below the Frownie on the scoreboard. Now for the priceless part - The Little Learners voice 'Ohhhh!' and sadly sigh loudly. 

It doesn't take long before the children are checking the scoreboard and quietly encouraging each other to do their best to ensure Smiley wins.  You need to maintain a difference of no more than 3 tally points between the Smileys and Frownies all day for optimum motivation and give points frequently.  100 points is suggested for the first few weeks. 

I know, I know, you are thinking doesn't this distract the Little Learners from their work tasks?

NO, NO, NO! 

Quite the opposite which is hilarious.  The Little learners very quickly make their responses then continue with their tasks without prompting to do so.  It really is funny to listen to their responses, watch gestures that accompany the words then to have the Little Learners immediately back on task....all without you saying a word.

The Scoreboard needs to be in a prominent position allowing quick, easy access.

By the way...there isn't any reward at the end of the day, week, month or ever.  Kids just enjoy the challenge.  After about a term you can crank it up/refresh it by telling the kids that they are soooo amazingly good that they have moved to the next level.  Simply write 'Level 2' on the board above the icons and off you go again.  Hilarious...but this genuinely motivates the Little Learners.  Theory suggests that they are so used to playing computer games that progressing to the next level is mental reward.

Give it a go.  I promise it works well.
Mrs Stowe :-)

Monday, 29 April 2013

Thanks Mel from Frog Spot

There is such thing as a free lunch!

Thank you Mel from Frog Spot.

You are a real gem and I appreciate you  so much!
For the last couple of weeks I have been passionately getting my blog up and going with the ultimate vision of creating my own resources to share. I have completely loved the journey but admit it has been frustrating at times too.

Probably nothing unusual,  I hear you say... Well, inundated with so much information on the web and reaching the point of thinking I am just never going to be able to do this, I found your blog,

 Frog Spot

and on it were the most simple, helpful hints, ideas, and how to do... all in one place.  I understood the way you explained everything and it all works.  You have not only taught me how to create resources correctly and inspired me to create resources but you have provided so many free graphics to use as well. 


Now it might take me a while but I will produce something soon!

With Thanks
Mrs Stowe :-)

Sunday, 28 April 2013

'Royal' News!

Our News Week is a display board that prevents many 5 and 6 year olds from talking all day -  everyday!  I cant actually believe how many times a day the children check their names on this chart.   Each child is allocated a day to present a news item to the class for approximately 1-2 minutes.  I have a timer to prevent the talks going longer which the days leader controls. 

Our News Week display board
My 'News' rules are simple.
  • Everyone must take a turn... every week.
  • Children are free to talk about one object of their choice per session or News Talks may be based on the 'question of the week' which is usually theme related.  For example, 'What's you favourite Australian Animal?'
  • Anyone who is speaking during a presentation loses their turn for that week. Very strict on this rule right from Day 1.
  • The presenter may select one question from the audience to answer.
  • If someone is experiencing difficulty they may opt for five questions from the audience rather than presenting news.  Most Little Learners take this option once in term 1.
  • If someone is away they may have their News on the day they return.
Little Learners Kings & Queens

I have a student run the news session as supervisor and I sit with the audience checking eye contact, volume, oral sentence structure progression etc. (I usually jot down any of the little pearls of wisdom the Little Learners reveal too.  Later to be shared with Mum or Dad or a colleague.  You have to admit we hear some hilarious stuff!)
Kids love to Be King or Queen during News because they sit on our class throne and wear their choice of royal cape and crown, of course.  They also have the privilege of selecting 2 students to receive  a gold glitter star sticker on their Super Improver Wall - a huge motivator for my class.  

Simple stuff.  Lots of fun!
Mrs Stowe :-)

Friday, 26 April 2013

Super Improvers Wall

Well this is it!  Here is my first ever Super Improvers Wall.  Another brilliant WBT idea.  I wasn't sure how the Kindergartners would respond to it but it has been a huge encouragement for the Little Learners. When I took the photos below it was January, the day before my new class started therefore, all of the stars are the same colour.  After just one term our wall has three different coloured stars and my Little Learners are striving for the next level constantly.  Motivation Maximum I can assure you. 

Super Improvers Wall at start of 2013
 As you can see the display board has a bright background with cute little letter flags making up the title.  Underneath the title each Little Learner has their own star with their name on it.  I made up stars in 10 different colours for each student because each colour represents progressive improvement.  I made these up before I started the year so that all was ready to go before I began using the reward system.  You know how busy things get during the term and we need instant follow through to maintain motivation for this age group. I keep each set of coloured stars in a separate snap lock bag for quick access and efficient storage. Before a student can move to the next level/colour they earn 10 stickers on their star.  Stickers are awarded for individual improvement in absolutely anything.  For example; lining up without touching others, good manners, neat colouring, clever thinking, fact recall, waiting turn, helping others etc  I now have a chart which  is on the wall next to the Super Improver Board in place of the birthday cake.  This shows the Little Learners what the name and colour of the next level is so it adds to the whole motivation. I will photograph this after holiday break and add a link to that post to share with you.

Kinder Cottage
Super Improvers Wall Title

Super Improvers Wall
The Little Learners spontaneously applaud when a classmate achieves a new level.  It's very cute and honestly required no prompting whatsoever.  I take down the star which has 10 stickers on it, hand it to it's owner and immediately replace it with the new coloured star.  Usually the Little Learner keeps the sticker filled star on their desk for the day then takes it home to share with their family.  Absolutely gorgeous, motivational system and simple to implement I promise.

Until tomorrow...goodbye!
Mrs Stowe :-)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

What's on the Wall?

These photo's were taken in January the day before the Little Learners descended for Day 1 of Kindergarten so they really are the bare bones of my room.  However, they give you the general idea of the room set up.

First lets look at my Class Rules.  I use, standby and love many Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) techniques.  After watching a few free video's at  I downloaded these cute rule posters for free from Pinterest then added some gingham backing paper, a little red card stock and laminated them.  I have a small A4 sized set in my class nook area that we run through every morning as a reminder of our rules.  The Little Learner's take turns in leading the class in rule gestures as they all chant them.  This definitely helps to reinforce the rules and the kids just love using gestures. Throughout the day I sometimes just perform a gesture relating to one of our rules and instantaneously the child is bought back into line without a spoken word.  Alternatively. I call out rule 3 or rule 2 and the Little learners all recite the rule aloud, continue working and the rule offender is brought back into the cohort without being singled out by name.  I plan to write a blog solely about these basic rules and how effective they really are in the future.  If you haven't tried are going to love it!!!

Class Rule reminder

Next its the Birthday Wall.  Simple... yes.  Bright and cheery...yes.  The kids love to see their names on display and are always checking to see how many months until their birthday and who is having a birthday.  We have also used this information display to graph birthdays in our class.  We have used it to name the various colours, count the months, say the months in order, story spelling and of course it keeps me on red alert as to who has a special day coming up.  This too was a free download from Sparklebox. 

Birthday Balloons - months of the year chart

Special  Five Sound Houses. I have a sound house for each alphabetic letter.  The humming House, The Royal House, The Quiet House, The Noisy House and The Vowel House.  The divisions were not my idea but I did make up the roof tops and cards.  Eventually I will provide a link to these for anyone interested. I run through these each morning with the Little Learners and they seriously LOVE vocalising them in the appropriate tone.

Sound Houses

The Behaviour Clip Chart.  I down loaded this from Pinterest then mounted it on matching card stock and laminated each for durability.  I soaked some wooden pegs in yellow food dye and used a black marker to write each Little Learner's name on a peg.  The idea is to move the pegs up and down over the course of the day, week, term.  All pegs were in the starting position to start the year and now...well they are all over the place.

Behaviour Clip Chart & Colour words on Cats

The Coloured Cats surrounding the chart were a freebie from Sparklebox.  Having the names of each colour on the cat means the Little Learners can refer to them when writing as well as practise their colour word reading anytime.

Okay I admit there are quite a few more bits and pieces that we'll stumble across in due course but for now, if you have read my first few blogs, you will have a little understanding of where I teach and how I like things.

May our journey continue!
Mrs Stowe :-)