Egg rolling- a tradition 

I have the fondest memories of egg rolling as a child. 

We would always take a BBQ and head up to Grizedale Forest in The Lake District, with a basket of freshly painted eggs and big smiles a plenty. 

I have always wanted to recreate this magic with my own children, and today we did! 

 We started the day with dippy eggs and soldiers (of course!) 

  
The kidlets then decorated their eggs 

    
    
   
Once all the eggs were good to go, we packed the kitchen sink (literally ) and headed north.

Only a few loo and “I’m gonna be sick” stops and we arrive at our woodland retreat. 

It was just as I remember, even down to the sound of the rushing water fall splashing over the mossy rocks! Isn’t it funny how evocative smells and sounds are. I was suddenly transported back to being a pickly 6 year old! 

   
  
There’s something quite special about eating in the great outdoors even if at times we had to flick a few bugs off the colslaw that dropped in for a nibble 

   
 
So everyone is fed and watered, and so we go in search of an “eggcellent” (sorry) rolling hill. 

    
Enroute we find a very lonely wood cutter and a money tree (I’m sure my folks always said money doesn’t grow on trees- well here is the proof that they were wrong!

  

  
And so the rolling competition began, although I use the term rolling very loosely… It was more of lobbing! I pulled the short straw and had to be at the bottom of the hill- I’m sure they hatched a plan and were aiming directly at my head! 

Despite their best efforts I came away egg free, the kids shrieked with laughter, argued about who won and who didn’t, ran around in the fresh air, but best of all made memories that I hope like mine… Will last a lifetime! 

  

Easter Give Away 

How would you like to win a lovely “Tell by touch with clock” 

We have been given this lovely clock by the gorgeous folk over at EYPDIRECT

  

This Colourful and unusual telling the time clock comes with moveable hands and removable number pots with a different textured surface on the reverse.

The Tell by Touch with Clock is also a great early years learning resource for matching colours, patterns and counting.

Size: 240 x 37mm. Age 3+.

    The Tell by Touch with Clock is a perfect early years educational resource to support the EYFS Mathematics development area of learning within your childcare setting, it will help children practice and improve their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.

The Tell by Touch with Clock also makes a wonderful sensory resource!

  
To be “In it to win it” all you need to do is 

1. Leave a comment at the end of this blog

2. Like and share our Facebook page  Eyfsmatters

3. Follow me on Twitter @eyfsmatters 

4. Leave a comment under the Tell by touch clock picture on Instagram @eyfsmatters 

  

Good Luck xx 
(Winner will need to pay postage) 

Love the child, dislike the behaviour 

We’ve all been there I’m sure, we’ve always had that one little poppet who just knows how to press those buttons. 

  
Even the best, most outstanding teachers amoungst us, will at some point had moments of self doubt! Fear not… Here are some great tips to help restore calm and order, and remove those barriers to poor behaviour. 

  
Always remember… There is usually a reason behind the poor behaviour. Our job is to unpick, and find solutions and strategies to help each child achieve their best. 

  

  • Every day is a fresh start- Always Meet and greet at the door – the best early intervention in behaviour management is at the door. Smile, show you care! 
  • Relationship build- this is the biggest tool in the tool box! We need to build trust, and mutual respect. Although at times it may be tough, you need to show you care, and that you are there. You could potentially be the only person this child can fully trust. You may be the only constant in this child’s life. 
  • Make sure you catch your little one doing the right thing – ensure you give the praise that this deserves- be careful not to use insincere praise, it’s sometimes easy to catch children doing the wrong thing so develop the ability to catch those more challenging pickles  doing the right thing is invaluable. 
  • Model good behaviour- use your school behaviour policy rigorously and ensure you follow through any sanctions. Be fair but firm- remembering all the time that it is the behaviour that you dislike and not the child
  • Ensure you inform parents of positive behaviour rather than just negative. You need to be transparent but ensure you have parents on side to work together. 
  • Find common ground, what do they love doing? Tap into this- if they love Lego (for example) use this as your carrot. Bring in lego comics from home “I saw this- and thought of you!” Show you really care about them and want them to achieve 
  • Talk- communication is so so important. Use comic strips to work out where the outcome could have been different. Encourage children to recognise how their behaviour affected the situation. If appropriate keep a Log of anti-incident, incident, post incident. Is there a pattern? 
  • Encourage children to reflect on their feelings as colours, use mirrors to look at themselves, show pictures of emotions to help them recognise how they are feeling.
  • Never alienate this child, create an ethos in your learning space where ALL children are valued- work together to help
  • Talk to other colleagues- a problem shared is a problem halved as they say. Be careful not to “give the dog a bad name” but download on critical friends who you respect  and value and ask for their help and support. 

  

Everyday is a new day- “A new beginning always allows us to wipe the slate clean” 

  

Play is just play… It needs no explaining!

I found this awesome quote from Fred Rogers whilst surfing around the net this morning! (Cup of coffee in hand- my favourite way to spend a lazy Sunday morn!)

Too often some practitioners will ask… “But what are they learning- they look like they are just playing!!”

Hands up if you’ve ever experienced this?

I tend to get my ikea fold out soap box out, and explain that although they are “just” passing a ball to each other, two months ago that little 4 year old there used to spend the whole time hurting other children because he/she hadn’t learnt YET how to use their words to convey feeling, that most of their time was spent being changed by a grown up because they hadn’t yet developed an understanding of personal care. That two months ago they wouldn’t have been able to catch the ball yet with two hands, because their hand to eye co-ordination wasn’t developed enough.

I then put away my fold out ikea soap box, and disappear in a puff of smoke to the thick of my learning environment to watch children at play, and extend their learning!!!

20160207-100340.jpg

Creativity just makes my heart sing! 

I love watching children explore and create with loose parts. One little poppety and her friend worked for a long time yesterday on this marvellous creation- I tried to stay well back whilst listening to their lovely conversation. It always amazes and fascinates me to watch friendships and relationship build and blossom over the year. The two girls who created this masterpiece have only just “found” each other over the past few weeks, but I can already see their relationship developing and growing day by day! 

   
   
I am such a firm believer in the Prime areas of the foundation stage, this gorgeous pair wouldn’t have been able to complete such a fantastic outcome had they not had a solid foundation of PSED, C&L and Physical Development.

Watching the joy on their faces as they worked together on the same theme was yet another reminder as to why I do the job I do, and also how important child led learning is! 

  
What has inspired you this week? Please leave a comment below 

I spy with my little eye… 

We had great fun this week making this lovely I spy game…

  
We filled a litre coke bottle full of rice using a funnel… Lots of lovely talk about capacity and measure came from this. 

The children then hunted around the classroom to find items to pop into the bottle. It was fascinating to see how they were guessing whether their item was small enough to fit through the bottle neck, and then testing out the size. Cue lots of talk about size and weight! 

  
We then placed all the items on a sheet and photographed these so we knew what to look for. The children loved adding tiny items such as paper clips, split pins and even a rice crispy (“no one will ever spy these” they shrieked!) 

The items were then popped into the bottle and shaken profusely. Then the game began.

Great for…. 

Sounds 

Phonics 

Making relationships 

Resilience 

Speaking 

Listening 

Shape/space/measure 

Turn taking 

Have fun… I’d love to hear of any games you have made. Please add comments below x 

Excuse the mess… 

Absolutely no explanation needed here except for- I’m so glad I’m not alone! 

Some days I look at the classroom and I think “How the hecky peck are we ever going to get straight?”

But we always do… 

With Creativity comes mess!

  

20 questions!!

We’ve all done it!! Well that’s where I’m hoping I’m not alone… 

When my little girl first started school, I was paranoid about her being happy and making friends. To be fair I didn’t really worry about the academic side of things, I just hoped she would makes friends and play with lots of children at playtime.

I was that annoying mum, that pebble in your shoe, that each day would say… What did you do today? Who did you play with? 

Being an EYFS teacher, I now realise what a ridiculous question this was to ask each evening! Of course she wouldn’t know, due to the fact that most Kidkets on the whole, play with such a vast amount of different  children on a daily basis. And actually by my asking this question day in day out, was only adding to my anxieties when my poor tired little poppety just simply said “NO-ONE!!” 

For those of you that don’t know me- I am by no means a perfect mummy, I don’t claim to be, nor would ever pass mummy of the year. I try to do my best, but like we all do, I often get it wrong! But now instead of asking the same boring questions after school, I try to jazz it up, maybe add a little sprinkling of glitter here and there (metaphorically obviously… Here are some of the questions I throw in! 

What did you eat for lunch?

Did you catch anyone picking their nose?

What games did you play at playtime?

  
What was the funniest thing that happened today?

Did anyone do anything really nice for you?

What was the nicest thing you did for someone else?

Who made you smile today?

  
Which one of your teachers would win a dance off? Why?

What new fact did you learn today?

Who brought the best food in their lunch box today? What was it?

What challenged you today?

If school were a ride at the fair, which ride would it be? Why?

What would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?

If one of your classmates could be the teacher for the day who would you want it to be? Why?

If you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?

If your teacher was a colour- what colour would they be? 

  

What is your teacher’s most important rule?

Does your teacher remind you of anyone else you know? How?

Tell me something you learned about a friend today.

What is one thing you did today that was helpful?
When did you feel most proud of yourself today?

  
Who do you want to make friends with but haven’t yet? Why not?

What is your teacher’s most important rule?

What rule was the hardest to follow today?

Which area of your school is the most fun?

  
What is one thing you hope to learn before the school year is over?

Which person in your class is your exact opposite?

Which playground skill do you plan to master this year?

What was Mr B wearing today? 

If Mrs S was a Disney character which one would she be? 

  
What questions do you ask your kidlets over tea? Would love to hear them… Please leave a comment x 

Number Patters

Now that our baseline is nearly complete, we have started some focus teaching sessions. This week we are learning the numbers 4,5,6

Each and every time we introduce a new number we show our children the numeral, we introduce the Numicon piece  

 
We sky write the number whilst using the patter…

  
0- round the face of a super hero… Is the number zero! 

  
1- a straight line down and then we’re done. That’s the way to write a 1! 

  
2- around and back on the railroad track, 2,2,2! 

  
3- around the tree around the tree,is the number 3!

  
4- down across and down some more, is the number 4! 

  
5, Hat  neck, big fat tummy

  
6- a stick and a hoop do the tricks, is the number 6

  
7- across and down from heaven, is the number 7

  
8- draw a S and do not wait, that’s the way we write and 8

  
9- a hoop and a line, is the way we right the number 9! 

We then count objects to match the number, focussing on good 1:1 correspondence. The children then go and find that amount of objects. 

Once this short snappy focus teaching session is complete, I will leave a basket of goodies out near my chair for children to investigate and develop further. I often find lots of them being “teacher” 

How do you teach number? 

It would be great to hear your ideas… Please leave a comment below x