Progression in Writing 

My lovely year group partner shared this from Heidi  Song with me yesterday. 

 
We have lots of parents mid year getting anxious about the quality of their children’s writing. 

However much we try to reassure them about the process, and that how all of the lovely things we do in our setting have a huge impact on writing, I’m not convinced that they truly believe their children will get there. 

I try to always back this up by explaining about my youngest, who in reception wouldn’t even pick up a pencil by choice! I probably couldn’t even tell you whether he was left or right handed before he was 6!?!!!?!! 

However because of the rich experiences he received in his EYFS he is now a proficient writer who loves nothing more than sitting down with a pad and pencil and allowing his imagination to flow freely on the page! 

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) 

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!!!

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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 

Linked Provision 

Here are our table top activities for this week… 

These activities are linked to our gap analysis assessment (taken from baseline at the mo) 

These activities are set up in the classroom first thing in the morning- and stay out for the first session.

 Giant polydron: it has been lovely to play alongside the children here in their construction area. Lots of children drew plans of what they were going to build/had built. It was a useful tool to have the clipboards and crayons as an enhancement  

Mark making on mirrors proved to be a real hit this week! 

  
 

Inspired by stimulating learning with Rachel https://www.facebook.com/162317827297284/timeline/story?ut=43&wstart=0&wend=1441090799&hash=-7784684924675874999&pagefilter=3

The children have loved mark making in the glitter using paint brushes or their fingers 

 

 Maths tray- squirting the numbers great for ordering, numeral recognition, counting actions that can’t be moved 
 

 Chalk and pastel shapes- we are going to attach these together vertically to create hanging mobiles (watch this space) this activity was great not only for shape recognition and colour but also for children to practice their skills of resilience. It took a lot of patience and effort to complete the whole shape 

 
M ark making using marker pens attached to cars- and colour mixing in the tough spot at the end 

 
  
Fire engine role play- the children painted the fire engine before half term. They then told me what they wanted in there! Kidlets often come up with better ideas than us!   

We keep our linked provision for two weeks, but change and adapt as needed throughout the fortnight 

Xx 

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!

  

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 

  

Funky fingers wk beg 12th Oct 

Ive decided to write a blog post each fortnight with our Funky Fingers activity. I hope this will be useful, but will also be a great reference for me to nip back and remember what we’ve done! 

Here’s our timetable…  

Each day one group completes dough gym… I will post a video on my FB page 

Here’s  this week’s activities… 

Sorting different types of pasta- how many can you sort in a minute?   

 Placing glass beads onto numbers 

 
Rolling dice… Building a tower with tweezers to match the number on the dice  
Water Squirters 

  
(This pic is taken from Pinterest and is not owned by EYFSmatters)

We spend just approx 10mins each day on Funky fingers. The children love it, and we definitely notice and improvement and progress with fine motor control. 

What activities do you use? It would be great to hear what you do in your setting. Please leave a comment below xx 

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket…

As today is National poetry day, we embraced poetry, grabbed it with two hands and ran with it! 

My year group colleague is the Literacy co-ordinator at our school and found the most fantastic ideas based around twinkle twinkle little star. 

We began by playing our children this beautiful animation by my good friend Jim! http://youtu.be/ata6QbvRQpc

We then talked about all of the words that rhyme within this song. The kidlets were just fab at hearing the rhyming words. We talked about how a poem is just like this with lots of rhyming words. 

During fruit time we read “How to catch a star” by the utterly fabulous Oliver Jeffers. The children adored the book, it truly is magical! 

 
We had lots of children who “just got it” but others who didn’t quite understand the concept of reflection. We talked together about what activities they would like to do. It was agreed they’d love to create the night sky with twinkly stars. 

We set to to create this. We used inks and pipettes and straws to blow the ink across the paper. 

   
    
   
Once the art work is dry, the children would like to add their own stars. 

It was fantastic to see lots of examples of COEL in fact I am pretty confident that I observed every characteristic at some point during this little activity. The children were wowed with their finished masterpiece and each one was as individual and special as them! 

We then decided to try and make some glitter stars in laminated sheets….

When I say it was a complete and utter disaster I am kidding you not- lets just say I now realise that my scrumptious little lot have a secret love affair with glitter (who doesn’t)and I think I owe our cleaner a big box of chocolates! Ooppsssss

You know you’ve had an interesting day when you find glitter in your bra!!!

Ta ta for now, whilst I shimmer off and say Toodledooooooo!!!